Friday, November 18, 2016

Tale of a Hat

Back in the beginning of November when I was expressing gratitude for knitting, I shared Justin's hat and received some very nice compliments. Now it's time to share the full Tale of a Hat with you.

Four years ago Justin saw the woodsy association pattern on the cover of a Knitpicks catalog and said that he would really like a hat with all the animals on it. I don't think he had ever asked me to knit anything for him before, so of course I had to order yarn and start immediately.

I decided to knit the Scraptastic Hat with a few modifications and duplicate stitch the animals on it. The fingering weight hat took me forever, and duplicate stitching all the creatures even longer, but at last I was done. I proudly presented the hat to Justin when he came home from school for the weekend, and was happy that he seemed to like it enough to wear it when he headed back. It was quite possibly the best thing that I had ever knit.

So where is the hat now?

See those bags in the freezer behind the beans and vegetables?

That's where the hat has been for the last three years. When Justin was packing to go back to school for his junior year (which involved picking up a lot of clothing from the piles on his floor), he brought me the hat, showed me a hole, and asked if I could fix it. My heart sank as I looked at it closely and found a second hole. I was feeling a bit perturbed that he might have treated this hat carelessly, but when we also found a hole in Justin's wool hunting pants, my anger was quickly redirected at carpet beetles. I couldn't find any evidence in Justin's room, but the hat, yarn, and wool pants immediately went into the freezer while I thoroughly cleaned his room.

I took the hat out a few weeks later and picked up the live stitches but then put it right back in the freezer.

Today when I thawed the hat for photos, I noticed that some of the white duplicate stitching on the owl's face had also been gnawed on by the hateful critters.

I'll probably fix this someday, but I'm going to have to work up the fortitude to face that task. I've also thought about starting a whole new hat now that I've learned better ways to cast on, but that is a "someday far, far in the future" project.

So for now, it's back in the freezer for the hat and yarn. Justin did wear the hat at least twice, and maybe after another three years in the freezer I'll fix it so he can wear it for a third time.


  1. oh ugh... you did such a beautiful job with the animals, what a shame other critters have spoiled it. I wonder if the fix-it fairies might be more inclined to visit if you moved the hat to a warm bookshelf; I'm sure the freezer is scaring them away!

  2. That's a story to break a knitter's heart.

  3. The animals are so beautifully wrought. Nice work, Bonny, and yes, that is one heartbreaking story. Don't let it end!

  4. Ugh. It's mending. I hates the mending. The hat is just beautiful, and it's a wonderful story all the way around. Even if it sits in the freezer for a while longer. (And . . . like KonMari explains . . . you'll always have the photos and the memories!)

  5. Freaking bugs! That said...I hope you do fix it as it really is very special!

  6. What a gorgeous hat and I'm so sorry it got the bugs. You know what they say about vegetables - it's a good sign when the bugs eat them because that means it's organic or at least not completely swathed in pesticides.

    I wonder if you could cut out the animals and make them into patches somehow?

    I think I would just start over on a new hat if it were me though.

  7. Oh man. You did such a lovely job!! I hope there's an eventual happy ending to this story!

  8. Mending... sigh. Oy vey! A pox on carpet beetles! I think the fix will be easier than you think though. I have faith in your mad mending skills!

  9. I love that hat! Why, why, why was it the one thing that was ravaged by the carpet beetles? I do hope that it (and you) make a full recovery soon.

  10. what a beautiful hat and I'm sure you will fix it one day! Mending is not my favorite thing to do but I am always motivated to fix things.


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