I like knitting new things - new patterns, new items, new techniques. Yes, I knit for charity and so knit some items over and over [like beanies and scarves] but every now and then [or more often as the whim might take me], I want to knit something new, something different, something I haven't tried before.
So, there I was, looking for something I could knit for charity from the one-of-a-kind hand-dyed 50g balls/skeins of 8ply/DK acrylic, preferably something in stocking stitch which would best show off those recurring colours, when my eyes, strolling through Knitting Without Tears for the umpteenth time, 'found' the pattern for a tam o'shanter. Seemed straight forward enough, and I had about 75g of yarn that would work together. Surely, a tam wouldn't need more than 225m of acrylic? And. I was right; a tam can be had from a mere 50g [155m] of acrylic.
I cast on 90 stitches, with my never-before-used Knitpicks 3.7mm needles on 60cm of cable. I had to use the magic loop technique for the first few rows but after that everything was fine. I had finished the base and decided that next time I would just do a rib not a folded back double layer for the base [waste of yarn knitting twenty rows when I could settle for ten!] I knitted on, increased to 120 stitches, knit for another 25 rows, and did a beautiful seven-point-star cast off [thank you EZ].
With two dpns still attached to the crown, I tried it on - what a shapeless bag my tam turned out to be!! Now, EZ does warn about this - but she blocks her tams. I have learned from experience that acrylic will not be blocked - not for love or money. It has great memory and goes back to its original shape as soon as it is dry! Perhaps, if I'd known what was coming, I would have done one purl row when I did the increases so the tam knew where it was to fold! But it was too late for that! I was at the end, finished, finito, finis!! [except for “cut the thread, draw it through the last seven stitches, pull it tight, sew in the end”!]
Everything may have been okay, if I was knitting it for myself or if I could be there to explain it to its new recipient. Even so, I still thought that, maybe, I could get away with it … but WM laughed once too often. Now, don’t get me wrong, he’s very supportive and just two days ago, talked me out of frogging the too-narrow scarf [again] but this was the final straw!
Can you imagine some homeless person at the food van late one night, looking at a shapeless blob that looks like a handle-less bag, recognising it as an article of headwear, and choosing it over other offerings [like practical, sensible beanies]? No, neither can I.
So, to save my poor tam from humiliation and the pain of rejection, I did what every good creator does - consigned it to the frog pond. No, not the sometime-in-the-future pond, the right-here-right-now pond. What had taken hours to bring into being was gone in a few minutes, just as if it had never been. But I remember -- adieu, Tam, we knew each other so briefly but I enjoyed the encounter except for your last few moments here.
And no, there won't be another; but I did go to bed re-designing Tam as a beret! Do you think a homeless person would want one? Perhaps someone staying in a women's refuge might appreciate one as a Mothers' Day present!