The Salmon Hat

The Salmon Hat

Insert obligatory hand-wringing about blogging, here: It’s such a pain in the ass! I have such a terribly inconsistent history with it! I have made no fewer than a dozen blogs and abandoned them all, I can’t imagine why anyone would read them anymore, and indeed I hear blogs are dead anyway. Because now we have social media, and everyone is posting everything on social media, which is fine (I do love Instagram), but everything I post just disappears into an archive I can’t easily dig through, and with companies coming and going I’m never sure what will happen to projects I post about, and I require a way to keep track of these things. Thus: a hat post. Blogging.

I want to remember this hat. It will likely end up on someone else’s head soon, because it doesn’t quite fit me and I refuse to put anything hand knit at the bottom of a storage tub in the attic. Hand knits must be worn, and loved (and every few years left at a restaurant somewhere, and then cried over, and then found by someone new).

The Salmon Hat:

Knit on #4 needles (two circs), knit from the crown down. Bound off with Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. Spiral increases.

Okay that light is crazy orange, I think it’s the plant light on the shelf behind me, but that’s okay, it’s a pretty good example of the hat’s color in bright light. I almost didn’t put this picture in because you can so clearly see the scar on my nose from my car accident twenty-nine years ago, but then I remember that this nose was once mostly removed from my face, and I decide that a little scarring is okay (maybe even slightly badass) and who wants a perfect nose anyway.

Hat adventures:

The hat is ever so slightly too short because I didn’t have enough yarn. The ball was only so big, and there was nothing I could do about that. I found it in a bin at the Eugene Textile Center, under a sign marked “handspun, half off”, which is possibly the only sign that will make me move fast (other than “corgi puppies, half off” or “small boats, half off”). And there it was, just a little ball of salmon-colored yarn, spun by someone who had clearly been learning how to get their singles even, and was now learning to ply. I could see their hands working it, I could imagine them cursing them when they had this long even part and then a few accidental hills and valleys. Several sections were badly overspun, and I worried they would create a few hard nodules of yarn in the finished hat, but no worries there. It’s very soft.

It isn’t long enough, but then it’s also a little too wide, too big around my already giant skull. My head is 24″ around, which is apparently ginormous in women. I’ve never seen a women’s hat pattern that wasn’t 22″ or less, usually 24″ hat patterns are “XL” or “Men’s”, which is basically my life, lol. There’s the ideal size of a woman’s anything, and then there’s me, living outside all the lines.

So how did I get this hat to be too big? Once, a long time ago, I read something about body proportions, like how your height is the same as your wingspan, that kind of thing. And one of those was how your hand, from the bottom of your palm to the tips of your fingers, was the same as the diameter of your head. So even though I had a perfectly good book on making hats filled with tables on how to figure out when to stop your increasing, no, I like to knit by the seat of my pants, so I just knit until the circle’s diameter was the same size as my palm.

In my defense, this worked, sort of – the hat IS the same size as my head, but I forgot the crucial part of knits: EASE. I needed some negative ease for the knitted garment to actually stick to my head. In other words, the hat is too loose because it’s the same size as my head. It should have been slightly smaller, so it has to stretch slightly and grip.

I still love the hand trick though. I’ll use it again, I’ll just stop at the top of index finger to build in some ease. Who needs a pattern anyway?

From there it was just knit, knit, knit, watch a watch Two Towers, then knit some 2×2 ribbing, and then cast off with Jenny’s stretchy bind-off, and DONE!

It’s too big for my adorable husband, but I think he’s cute in anything.

Too big for my oldest teenager, although he says he’d love one his size, in dark blue! So that’ll have to happen.