Tag Archives: botanic hat

And yet another thing that isn’t quite what it started out to be…

While I was trying to get my mojo back last week, I was working on a few other things that I hoped were likely to turn out as I expected.

I made a big mess of these Botanic hats recently and was left with one that was a bit on the smaller side.

I know a kid who likes yellow, and his father was one of the recipients of the recent ones, so rather than knit yet another (and buy more yarn which I’m really trying not to do) I got some Wilton’s buttercup yellow food coloring for transformation purposes.

A's hat before

The yarn is superwash, so I went to town without worry, glopping in about a quarter of a teaspoon of color to a liter or so of not quite boiling water and dumping in the room temperature vinegar and water pre-soaked hat.

And as usual, the whole process was already underway before I considered gloves….

A's hat on my fingers

I was expecting to have to use more and more color, but the little bit did the trick.

I’d love to dye more often but I hate how much water it takes to rinse… I suppose water tainted with food coloring would be safe to use watering plants and whatnot, but I don’t want to dye my plants, and I don’t eat anything with artificial food coloring, so I don’t want it on my vegetables…

A's hat in the wash

The color worked in pleasantly surprising ways – the dark charcoal became a shimmery brown with almost navy blue accents and a slight yellow haze.

A's hat damp

And whether it was from the vinegar rinses or hot water baths, it has become wonderfully soft.

A's hat after scrunched

I think it is my favorite version of this hat yet.

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The hat with the incurable case of wanderlust and amazing feats of reproduction

We got a surprise in the mail last week.

botanic is back

N’s favorite hat came back after being left behind in our August vacation cabin.  I wasn’t too terribly upset when he lost it – I felt sympathy for him, but not anger because he lost something I made.

(And this isn’t the first time he left it behind somewhere – it regularly has alone time far away from us.)

It was the first of a series of Botanic hats from Stephen West that I’ve made over the years.  N picked the pattern too – riffled though a big box of printed ones while I tactilely browsed in a LYS in the state where we now live, but haven’t been back to since (it’s a good shop but a bit far away still).  But when I made it, I messed up by making an unnecessary and unsightly seam where you alternate between the two colors – in fact, I messed it up on more than one hat, but this was the first before I knew it was wrong, and the one that didn’t get ripped out.

botanic with seam showing

And though I love knitting with you, oh Malabrigo, you really suck in the long term.  I pay too much for you to collapse in a miss-spent pile of pills, though I did get this batch of yarn with my customer loyalty discount (meaning I’d spent too much previously) at my old beloved LYS.

And the pattern has a weird habit of scrunching upwards and flailing outwards – so even though it’s long enough just off the needles, a few weeks later it exposes the ears.

So even though I have to routinely pick and brush and shave the hat, I was willing to make him another in the same yarn (I have some left anyway) only this time without the mistaken join seam thing that annoys the hell outta me every time I see it.  But he didn’t want a longer brim on the new one – this is mostly an indoor hat to keep his hair out of his face and take off a bit of chill, and to wear to bed which is where it usually likes to go rogue and fling itself between the wall and the bed frame.

My other Botanic hats were one for one of my brothers out of Cascade 220 superwash in two shades of green.

(And yes, my blog banner was on this same chair with the yarn for N’s first hat).

botanic in progress

This is is the unnecessary seam issue I’d had (you have to drop the the old yarn before picking up the new rather than wrapping around it) so this hat got ripped and re-made.

botanic mistake

And I had enough yarn left for another for N, though he doesn’t like this one quite as much as the other – but I like it more since the yarn is virtually pill-less, though more prone to stretching out…

botanic -green

Then one for me.  Oddly, the grey of the ribs is the same as the non-rib part in N’s first one – it’s my favorite colorway in the yarn – “Pearl Ten” – and though the color is greyish, tanish, lavenderish, in his hat it turned tan, and in mine it looks grey (and he calls his hat his “brown hat”).  I think the peach color in mine is “Applewood.”

Botanic-me

One day I might add more length to the brim, though I too like to wear mine indoors or only when it is just a little bit cold – I can’t tolerate exposed lobes even within 15 or so degrees of freezing…

botanic in the mist

And finally, one for an old friend at work who underwent chemo.

botanic for coop

I didn’t know if he was a wool person or not, so this is a synthetic blend, and though a single color defeats the purpose of this pattern, the texture is still interesting, and it is especially soft when the ribs are worn on the outside.

If you count the green one I ripped and re-knit, I’ve made this hat 6 times – my most knitted pattern besides my vanilla sock recipe.

So I’m slightly relieved to not have to make a replacement hat for N, but can you truly replace a “favorite” something anyway?  A new one might be a little more tight or loose or feel generally different without the several years wear (and probably not enough washing).  So I have to deal with looking at that ugly-ass seam again.

But I do enjoy making this hat and really like that it is reversible, so I’m sure another will find itself on my needles again…

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