An Epically Ridiculous Hat


It is very nearly warm here. Not break-out-the-spring-wardrobe type warm. But, I-might-not-need-a-scarf-with-my-coat-today warm. I’m enjoying the change in mercury. But, for this story, we’ll have to turn the calendar back a bit to the pre-warming weather.It is a story rooted in a red-cheek inducing cold. The kind of cold that took me an hour indoors to feel well and truly warmed. Hot cocoa was typically involved. That kind of cold.

On its surface, this is why I made this hat.  I needed a thick, chunky hat to keep the cold at bay.  Simple as that.  But it’s never really as simple as that, is it?  True, I knit this hat to keep my head warm.  The bigger truth, though, is that I began this hat in a moment when I felt particularly exposed and inadequate in my writing.  Without being explicit with myself, I put aside my writing and picked up this project as a way to hide, to feel more in control.  There is, implicit in these stitches, the statement, “Look at me.  I can’t make my words behave as I want them to.  But, I can work up a hat in no time flat.  See?  I’m good and worthy and enough.” 


It should be no surprise that a hat knit with that kind of energy did not transpire as I hoped.  Sure, my inadequacy didn’t change the guage of the yarn.  But, if I hadn’t been so intent on hiding, perhaps I would have admitted the problem sooner.

Because, you see, there was a problem. A few rounds in, I wondered a bit at the size of the hat I was creating.  It seemed generous, to say the least.  A few rounds later, I had the thought, “Hmm.  This keeps getting bigger and bigger.  I guess a chunky yarn will do that.” 


I watched as it grew to epic and then ludicrous proportions.  But, I did not second guess.  Until, finally, I did.  In the last cable rounds I realized that it was going to be ridiculous.  Even then, I harbored an impossible hope that perhaps it only seemed outrageously outsized.  I meticulously knit each row only to discover that it was indeed an epically ridiculous hat.


The good news is that knitting with such a chunky yarn means it was a fast foray into the absurd.  The other good news is the cables.  They are enchanting and addictive and every bit as much fun as everyone suggests.  I want to put them on everything I knit now.

I suppose the discovery of cable knitting is worth something inherently.  So, yes, this hat will need to be unraveled completely.  I’ll have to begin again.  But, I can’t say that it feels particularly like a failure to me.  And that may be the most important lesson I take from this particular knitting adventure.



New Skills Learned

Cable knitting and a deep and abiding conviction in the importance of swatching.


This was an in between times project.  I cast on while waiting between Elementary School Concert and High School preformances.  It was my handwork as I went back and forth to Polish class.

My favorite moment with this hat was sitting in a warm, empty restaurant one Saturday morning on a date with Steve.  He’d had a particularly intense stretch at work and on this morning he’d wrapped up the last of a major project.  He could finally settle and we were relaxing into the novelty of being quietly together.  We sipped thick hot cocoa, waited for our Eggs Benedict, and I worked cables into a mammoth hat.



I grabbed a scarf at the thrift store a few months ago because it had nice chunky yarn.  I unraveled that scarf to make this project.


Yarn: 2 zł, or $0.50

Pattern: Free

Total Cost: $0.50