Saturday, November 24, 2012

Let the Right Hat In

I had been debating for a few months about what to knit for my new mother-in-law this Christmas. I kept thinking about shawls. I had even queued a few, but not actually started anything. I wanted to knit something she would like, but also... well, to put it bluntly, I wanted to show off a little. Not a Herbert Niebling level of showboating, but something to show that I am a capital K Knitter. I like my MIL, but we haven't known each other that long, and I still feel the need to prove I am going to take good care of her daughter and granddaughter by showing that I know my twisted stitches from my yarn overs. 

If you're reading this and scratching your head, puzzling over how my ability to knit correlates to my ability to be a good wife or mother, you are of course correct. Healthy, sane people do not have to "prove" anything through handknits. Give yourself a cookie, and congratulate yourself on how much less time you've spent in therapy than I have.

Anyway, before I could even cast on, she changed my mind by making a request for a hat "like Lynn's." She asked for it in black. On the one hand, I was excited that she actually expressed interest in something I could provide! On the other, I was groaning inwardly. I generally dislike knitting black things. I mean, you can buy a plain black hat just about anywhere. It wouldn't even be that hard to find a wool one. Where's the joy? Where's my chance to flaunt my feathers like a knitting peacock?  

But, I was ready to roll with it. Who am I to chafe at the demands of my public? If easy, boring hats are what they want, by golly, I will deliver. Besides, I told myself, you have the perfect yarn already stashed. Embrace it! 

I dug the yarn out (Cascade 220 Superwash) and cast on for Susan Anderson's Modern Rib Hat on Monday night during my pre-bed phone chat with my wife. I told her that the holiday knitting had officially commenced.

"I'm really dreading it," I whined. "It's going to be soooooo boring."

"Boring? Why boring?" Lynn asked.

"I mean... it's just a simple, black hat."


"Very simple. It's just ribbing all over."


"You know, like your yellow hat. It's ribbed all over. Stretchy."

"No! She doesn't want a hat like the yellow hat! The purple hat!" 

Come to find out, she didn't mean "Lynn's hat" as in, the hat I actually lovingly made for her right before our first date. She meant "Lynn's hat" as in the purple Koigu Purl Bee Beret, that hat that my wife stole borrowed permanently. 


All I can say is that I'm glad I didn't do more than cast on. I keep having this horrible "what if" fantasy where I excitedly present the hat to her, and she is totally confused about why it looks nothing like the Purl Bee Beret she actually wanted. AWKWARD.

Though the crisis was narrowly averted, my new dilemma became that I didn't have any appropriate yarn in stash. I was forced to forage in the wild. On the way home from Thanksgiving with Lynn's family, we dashed into Fiber Frenzy, a recently opened shop in Berea,KY with high hopes. Luck was with us, and I found a beautiful skein of Cascade Heritage Silk in the right color. I had gone in hoping they might just have plain Cascade Heritage, so finding the silkier variety was kismet. I think it's a good choice for the pattern. The superwash wool means that it will be safe from washing related mishaps, and the silk adds just the right touch of fancy. 

Of course, it is still a boring black hat. But at least it's the boring black hat that she wants.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you, Holly. How was the shop? I haven't been to Berea since before I started knitting.