Friday, 14 September 2007

Wherein We Learn Not to Anger the Pink Gods

Now that she finally has them, I can post about the very first Coronet Hat and Cowl I made for thepinksheep as “revenge” for the load of tea she sent me (Still hoarding/lovin’ it :0).

Note to TPS: This is meant to be funny. Even when I was knitting this hat I though it was funny, well mostly. OK, occasionally. Well, after I finished anyway :P It is also proof of how much I really do value your friendship, because trust me, there aren’t that many people I would have finished this hat for. What am I saying! It’s pink, there are even fewer people I would have started the hat for, let alone finish it :P

First of all, I should have done mine, (in blue - oh the surprise), first. That way I would have known what I was doing when I was making hers.

Secondly, NEVER, EVER ANGER THE PINK GODS or any other colour gods for that matter. Never thinking that I would ever knit anything in any shade of pink whatsoever, I have razzed TPS over her choice of favourite colour for ages now. This was a mistake. As soon as I decided that I would give in and knit something in pink because it was the only colour for TPS, the pink gods decided to take this rare opportunity to take their revenge and wreak havoc with me, in a big way.

Problem #1 – Finding pink yarn. They don’t make decent yarn in pink, at least not in wool. (I am soooo refraining from asking if they make anything decent in pink. *whistles innocently*). As it is cold where TPS lives, I wanted wool. Nope. That wasn’t going to happen. Not unless I wanted her to look like a human being wearing a pale pink flower on her head in the middle of winter. Needless to say, I didn’t. Some poor unsuspecting bird, thinking it had struck gold in the middle of winter, might have tried to suck her hat dry of non-existent nectar, pecking and pooping away in anger and disappointment . Since we do really like TPS and don’t want her full of bird poop, we decided it would be a fall hat and switched to cotton.

Problem #2 – Gauge. Shut up knitters. I hear the collective snorting. Gauge, schmauge. A: it never works anyway. B: The only decent pink, cotton yarn they had was in aran weight and the pattern calls for worsted. OK, we calculate. I am not good at math. Three hours later, I gave in and just started knitting, figuring I would just stop when it was just short of fitting around my head – the coronet part is knit in a band which you mattress stitch together and then pick up the stitches for the top from the “side” of the band.

Problem #3 – The yarn was STIFF. My fingers suddenly knew that they really never want to have chronic, acute or even mild arthritis. A few minutes into knitting and I wasn’t sure which was stiffer, the yarn or my fingers. I couldn’t / didn’t want to stop and rest because I really needed to get the hat done and sent before the last leaf fell off the last tree. Finally. The band is finished and is looking GOOD. Woot, I think. The rest will be easy. – This is proof that sometimes even I’m an optimist, rarely, but it happens. Shit happens too…

Problem #4 – Gauge. (alright already!) Since I didn’t get gauge, I didn’t know how many stitches to pick up, so I just went along picking them up happily and then suddenly realized that I would have to figure out how to do the reductions evenly. Whoops. OK, no problem, I think. I counted the stitches and made a reduction or two in the first round. This would work. (oh the misplaced optimism!)

Problem #5 – Happily knitting along, I’m just about to finish the crown when I turn the hat to look at the back . At this point, hat, needles, dogs, cats and other random objects fly. There was a big, humongous, gaping hole at the back of the hat. I must have done something seriously wrong with kitting in the ends because the whole hat was coming apart on me. This is where I began to suspect the pink gods. Only they could want me to have to knit this hat twice.

Deep breath. Much frogging of crown. More expletives uttered. I pick up the stitches again and restart the crown.

Problem #6 – The realization that I have indeed picked up too many stitches and the crown is going to be huge. Decision time: Knit pink hat a third time or make emergency reductions. Hmmmm…me and my multiple personalities opted for the emergency reductions to save what is left of my sanity.

I continue knitting, making the reductions as attractive as possible, and finish knitting the hat without too many more difficulties (note the Not Too Many. There were, but only the boring kind), whilst my hand continues to wither in arthritic pain. I finish the hat. I throw mini-party including dancing around room and mad, cackling laughter. Dogs learn to dial 911and bark for help (they can be quite clever when desperate).

Very pleased with myself, I try the hat on and become even more pleased with myself as it fits perfectly. Even more misplaced optimism.

Still pleased, I wash the hat and immediately notice that Sod’s Law, a.k.a Revenge of the Pink Gods, struck again. It grew. OMG, the bloody hat grew! It was too big. I cried. Then I tried rewashing in hot water. Then I tried drying it with the ceramic fan heater (heating is not yet on and nothing dries in my house at the moment). Then I tried rewashing and scrunching in front of the heater. It was still too big. I begin to pray that TPS has a large head. She doesn’t. We know that now.

Still having yarn left over and thinking I could redeem myself by making her a matching cowl, which I already knew she wanted, I sat down to cast on the cowl – five times. First it was too big, especially seeing as how the yarn would grow when it got wet, right? So, I cast on afresh, knit for a while and noticed that it was still too big, we still know it’s going to grow. I re-cast on and suddenly couldn’t get it over my head and even with growth it wouldn’t be big enough. I re-cast on, again, but it was still too small. Finally, I re-cast on and it seemed to be just the right size – namely slightly too small because, yes, you know it, it would certainly grow, as shown by the hat, when washed, oui? Woot! Success! The rest was easy peasy! Knit away, got the cowl done before the hat was dry for the final time, and revelled in my success.

But the Pink Gods were not done with me.

I finished, I tried on, it was slightly too small, I enjoyed the glow of a job well done, I washed.

It stayed Exactly. The. Same. Bloody. Size. Namely slightly too small. I banged my head against the wall until I couldn’t remember why I was doing so. It didn’t help. The cowl was still the same bloody size.

So, once again we transfer our hope to blocking. I stuck the thing over a large jar to see if I could get it to stretch, alas, the jar was not wide enough and I had nothing else appropriate. As already mentioned, absolutely nothing dries in my flat right now as the heating is not on, but it’s not overly warm out. The average temperature in the flat is 65°F (18°C) with an outside humidity of 68%. Nothing dries. It’s all just a different stage of damp. Ergo, blocking and pinning on a towel was not an option or it’ll would have been next fall before she gets the hat. So, I finally gave in and just dried and sent it. Poor TPS will have to block her own cowl.

Pink Gods - 1
Melinda – somewhere in the region of negative with triple digits.

Fortunately, the combination of being too big and the emergency reductions gives the hat a sort of cloche look that both TPS and I agreed would look good anyway. She’s also going to re-block the cowl and get it to stretch just a little so that it’s easier to get on, even though it does apparently fit - hallelujah. (See, the pink gods like YOU). Then she’s going to put the ensemble on and take pictures, Oui chérie?


  1. They really had it in for you, huh? :)
    Well, in the end, they look great.

  2. OMG that has to be the most hilarious story ever. Or hilariously written anyway, as I could totally feel your pain. *commiserates* You know, in my ignorance (aided by Google), I've always thought aran and worsted weight were the same. :S New York Knits tells me differently though. Woe. Anywho, I think the hat turned out snazzy cool anyway (despite teh growing!) The bunny was a hilarious touch. And are those crossbones?! LMAO!

  3. Wow. That's a crazy amount of knitting. I'm glad you got through -- it looks great!

  4. Yup, really hot.
    We bought and drank many Sweet Leaf Teas.
    We were good and stayed hydrated with my Camelback and stayed clear of the alcohol.
    We are so old and no fun. :)

  5. LMFAO. Oh dear. I do love the hat and cowl very much if that is any consolation. :D

    I laugh with you, not at you, of course (and I'll give the Pink Gods a stern talking to).

    Oh, and? I really think the Swiss must just not like pink because there is PLENTY o' pink yarn here. ;D

  6. Oh, and yes! I will take photos! (It may just be a bit)

  7. LOL Thanks for the giggles. I'll be around...


  8. Harrowing story! You'll have to appease the Pink Gods by buying more pink yarn. Really, there's lots of gorgeous pink yarn out there--my stash proves it!

  9. pink gods? now that explains many many things in my darkest knitting past of which we will not speak...