This has happened to me a few times: I am at ACW, and I want a project to work on While I am there that is to donate for the next craft sale. Logically, I wasn’t to use some of the yarn they have there. there that is from the yarn they have. So I find something in the ACW stash, pick a pattern, and work on it for a few Mondays. Then I realize that if I only work on it at meetings, I will not finish it ’till a craft sale this time next year. So I take it home and potter away on it.
The ACW stash of yarn is mostly acrylic, because that’s what they prefer. I can understand why; it’s sturdy, affordable, and they’re used to working with it, and make gorgeous things from it, so I’m not going to sniff. But every now and then, something really crunchy and woolly and wonderful comes through the stash, and I keep an eye on it.
No one wanted these two little woolly woolly skeins, from some small farm in Ontario, extremely crunchy. Not what you’d call soft, but right up my alley, and I was sure some granola Canadian like me would come through the craft sale and dig it. When the skeins had sat unloved in the ACW stash for a good six months, I took them home and went through my pattern stash to see what they could be.
I decided on the inspiringly beautiful but uninspiringly named “#18 Fair Isle Tam” by Anne Featonby, from my pile of Vogue Knitting magazines, Fall 2009. I even swatched, and washed my swatch. For a hat! I felt so virtuous.
It was really fun to make. I’d been hankering for a spot of fair isle, and this scratched the itch.
I did not feel any concern until I finished it, and noticed… it was kind of large.
Never mind my unkempt face and hair and all these awful phone photos; that hat is definitely on the big side. The brim fit, though, and it seemed to fall into the category of “tam-o-shanter.” I had thoughts of a jaunty yarn-covered button on the top.
But I still had to block it. Not just on principle; the fair isle really needed a good soak to even out my work.
Oh dear. Once wet, it just flopped over my largest dinner plate. I ended up stretching it over my largest pyrex bowl.
After a couple days of drying, it’s beautiful, but completely ridiculous.
I wore it around for a few hours to see how it wore. The washing and Eucalan had softened it up, so it was comfortable enough, but it was like wearing a sleeping bag on my head. Or an entire extra head of hair.
I think my only recourse to make something saleable is to felt it. The brim stretched out a bit over the pyrex, so I’m not worried about that getting too small. I’m just waiting for the right moment, when I can hover over the washing machine for fifteen minutes and there’s not already a bunch of dirty training pants already in there, to do it. I’m also maybe working up the nerve… it’s so beautiful; I don’t want to ruin it.
But I’d better. I don’t think we have a large enough supply of committed Rastafarians in Iqaluit to make it likely this will find a forever home otherwise!