My dear friend Karen hosted the first in a series of knit alongs on her blog Fringe Association, the first being the Audrey hat by Jessie Roselyn, a beautiful and simple hat that you could make into an almost beret like cap or a longer beanie. She also told us to make a swatch. To gauge for our work. AND I WAS LIKE NO WAY KAREN. I am just going to use the recommended yarn and needles and VOILA I'M GOOD.
SPOILER ALERT : all humans have different size heads. all humans knit differently. and in the powerful words of Karen herself ++ The answer to “Do I have to swatch for a hat?” is the same as for anything: Only if you want it to fit. ++
I was excited to work with double pointed needles for the first time and to knit with beautiful Snoqualmie Valley Wool from Tolt Yarn and Wool. Other than the Camellia Fiber Co. beanie kit, this was one of my first projects that took a lil extra concentration and skill. But like almost all knitting, it was simple! I could handle it! The transition to DPNS was not only not NEARLY as hard as I'd been anticipating for 20 years, but it was also fun. And yes, since learning to knit at 6 years old I have been anticipating and avoiding this magical skill. Don't wait 20 years.
So when I was about to start the 4th repeat in the pattern to make what I thought would be the slouchier version of the hat I was blown away to see that my hat was already QUITE BAGGY and wide. So I stopped at 3 pattern repeats and switched to my DPNS and voila! I had a hat. I had a baggy hat. I had a hat that I loved because I took the time to invest more in yarn than I usually would and was so happy to knit alongside others. BUT I HAD A DAMN BAGGY HAT.
What a beautiful and lovely lesson in patience. In slowing down. In that it would have taken me under and hour to swatch and then a lifetime with a hat that now is baggy to wear. I mean I like the baggy look, but I'm more interested in cultivating a knitting practice that I can understand (at least a little bit)