Wednesday, January 18, 2012


A few days ago, the copilot and I brunched at Madison Sourdough, a bakery down the block from our apartment. It's a great place to people watch (who am I kidding--our entire neighborhood is a great place for people watching. It's primarily populated by crusty old hippies and young hipsters). Driven by hunger, my copilot had dragged me out of bed and allowed me to don sweatpants and a hoodie in public without comment.

As I started coming out of my morning stupor, I checked out what other people were wearing. Compared to my outfit, everyone was looking pretty stylish, but one woman in particular caught my eye. She was wearing a ribbed shirt with a fur collar, cinching the waist was a woven leather belt, and the lower half was a knee-length pleated skirt, tights, leg-warmers and hiking boots. And she was absolutely rocking it. I gaped at her as she navigated the tables, turned to the copilot and said, "She looks so cool.  I could never wear that." He rolled his eyes, because this isn't an uncommon sentiment from me. There are certain styles that I love on anyone else but me--you know what I mean? This is a roundabout way of saying that I think slouchy hats, which are very in right now, are too cool for this gal. In general? So cute! But on me? Stupid.

After my trip out to Washington to interview, I thought it fitting to use the last skein of yarn I'd purchased from the now defunct Knitty Gritty yarn shop in Richland.  I love Ravelry: I told it I had some yarn, and some US 7 needles, and that I wanted to make a hat, and it presented me with various options. Some I had to reject outright, because I literally only had a set of US 7 circs with me (spent last week in Minneapolis) and many patterns called for a smaller sized needle for the brim. I noticed a theme in what Rav had provided me...slouch, slouch, slouch all around.  Who am I to argue when the universe demands I be fashion forward?

I picked It All Comes Together, based on the fact that it met all my criteria and it was free. I figured the lace pattern might get lost in the variegated yarn (it did), but that was fine. The pattern was acceptable, but not particularly well edited--if you look at the various project photos, you'll notice that about half of them have twice the length of ribbing that mine does due to some serious ambiguity in the directions.

No way is a plate fitting in there.

The finishing directions called for wet blocking by putting a plate with a diameter of 10.75" in the top part of the hat to stretch it out. That's the size of a regular dinner plate, I know because I measured. "Pssh. I don't think so," I said.

Yeah, I totally got a plate in there. It wasn't even hard.

New Fiesta-ware marketing campaign?

Turns out, I'm kind of rocking this slouchy hat. I know, it surprised me too.

The awkward self-portrait.

But the past couple of days, upon wearing it for a longer period of time I've been having an issue. Despite being ribbed, the brim isn't particularly clingy, and it slowly creeps down my forehead.

I really, really don't want to unravel the whole thing, or even go the centi-sock route and try to unravel it from the bottom up. What can I do? Throw it in the washer? Or, Jebus help me, the dryer?? Is there anyway to shrink-inate part of a knitted item, but not the rest? Felting? I've only felted with unprocessed wool before, and that makes a pret-ty firm fabric. I don't want to lose the softness of my precious yarn. Should I just live with it and not risk it?? WHY IS LIFE A CONSTANT STRUGGLE????

Excuse me, I need to go take my medication.


  1. My most favorite knitting technique is throwing something that has grown into the dryer. 2.5-5 minutes is good enough for just about any knit. Be sure to make the knit a bit damp first. Then, if a bit has shrunk too much, I just pull at it a little. Just be sure to set a timer or something if you go that route. Forgetting a knit in the dryer is a recipe for tragedy.

  2. Let us know how it goes, I have a couple of hats with a similar problem!

  3. Maybe thread (or crochet, or knit) in some elastic?

  4. I just knit my first slouchy hat a couple of days ago, too, and I've been impressed by how surprisingly good it looks on me! I've never done it, but I've heard Ivy's elastic idea before, and that seems to work. And it's a lot less permanent then mini-felting, plus you're less likely to lose the softness of the yarn. Good luck! (And thanks for pointing out the pattern, because I just favorited it!)

  5. I vote for elastic thread. If you get some in a matchy colour, (or even translucent. I think that exists?), you should be able to thread it through the brim without it showing. I sewed some elastic-elastic (i.e. not thread) into the brim of a hat once, by making the ribbing into a sort of casing. But on that had the ribbing was way too long as well, so I was trying to solve two problems.

  6. Barettes ! Clip it on with some kirby grips ....

  7. Hmmmm...perhaps this may work, and it's not permanent until you make it so, so if it's a fail, then nothing is lost...
    Use the same yarn and crochet slip stitches across part of the brim in the front, skipping every second stitch, so that you "shorten " a part of the shouldn't get much puckering if you do a short section (just sew in the ends)...this might tighten it up a bit, and slip stitch isn't all that stretchy, so it may hold over time...
    Btw...very nice hat!
    And the copilot shouldn't roll his eyes, but rather say, *"Of course you could, Love of my Life, you could wear a sack and be gorgeous"...
    *I have trained mine well over the years ;)

  8. I have a similar issue with the one slouchy hat I knit for myself - it droops (despite the fact I have a gigantic noggin). Perhaps I will try the elastic thread that people commented here. Sounds brilliant!

  9. Elastic thread, for the win! If you put the hat in the dryer, it will get shorter before it gets narrower, and you'll lose your slouch. I once shrank a too-big sweater on purpose, but it ended up too short and still boxy wide!

  10. The hat looks great on you! I know what you mean by not thinking that a certain style would look good on you. But you never know until you try.