I managed to finish my hat over the Easter weekend. It’s called the Mathings Hat by SL McDonald and you can find a link to the pattern HERE. It’s one of those patterns that looks a lot more complicated to do than it actually is; I really like how it has turned out, particularly the crown. The pattern suggests a stretchy cast-on and provides links to learn an Alternative Cable Cast On, however, with limited time I just opted for a loose cast on rather than learn a new method. The ribbing around the brim is also a bit more interesting than usual as you need to knit through the back loop, creating a twisted stitch, and purl. The main body of the hat is created by doing either knit, purl, purl2tog or kfb rows.
It was all going very well and I liked the finished result – one of those hats that feels springy and snuggly. But then I decided to block it and disaster struck. Ok, in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t really a disaster, but, you know, perspective kind of goes out of the window when it comes to things I’ve spent time making (just me?). I had stuck the hat in a sink of hot water with some special wool wash, feeling really very impressed with myself. When I pulled it out about half an hour later – I had gotten distracted feeding the baby – I thought it seemed like it had stretched. So I rolled it up in a towel to try to remove some of the water and then tried it on. Cue a cry that had my husband running for the kitchen because he thought something awful had happened. Nope, just that the hat covered my entire face when I put it on. Suffice to say, I was a bit upset.
The moral of the story, however, is to try not to panic unnecessarily. Once I had actually let it dry properly – which is really what I should have done in the first place – it had shrunk back to near enough the original size and fitted my head again (see below). It’s still a bit on the loose side around the rim but is not in immediate danger of falling off, which I find is always a good thing in your headwear. A couple of people on my Facebook page have made good suggestions as to how I might fix the looseness; either using a brooch or threading through some shirring elastic – I have absolutely no idea how to do the latter, so if anyone has any tips then please let me know!
So, has anyone else ever had any blocking disasters? That perhaps like mine turned out to not be so much a disaster as a case of premature panic?