Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not quite ready for prime time

Being a grownup in a city where it gets cold every year I'm a little amazed that my existing and vast supply of hats, coats, and boots isn't cutting it all of a sudden. 

On the other hand, it's also years and years since I've had to commute several days a week for about 90 minutes on and off public transit and then stand in the cold for 15 or 20 more.  Think about it: you gotta be warm enough for the outside, with shed-able layers for the all-too-brief inside periods, and your boots gotta not cripple you.  Which in my case is a tall order, what with the whole orthoticky thing.

Add to that: a coat that is super lightweight, because you know I'm not just frolicking for the duration of this long haul.  I'm carting stuff.  And it's heavy.  I tried it one day with my existing long wool dress coat and whoa: never again.

So I bought a new down coat from Land's End.

It makes up for being fairly shapeless and puffy by being super warm and incredibly light - and I know the picture is a bit pale owing to the sunshinyness issue,  but isn't it a pretty colour?  I could have ordered black, but I thought it might be nice to have a steely blue-grey to stand out a bit this year.

The catch: this coat clashes with Every. Hat. I. Own.

All of them.

Even the plain black felted one I bought 15 years ago, which implies a kind of 1930s style and therefore just looks horribly wrong.

Is this sinking in for you too?  All those luxurious hats from hand-dyed fibers on my shelf are crying while I go out hatless, totally warm apart from the top of my head.  This can't go on!!

Fortunately, I have more raw hat materials in the house, including some Malabrigo Silky I bought before I knew how hard variegated yarns are to work with:

I don't know how the picture shows up on your screen, but in real life it is a perfect match.

The second catch:  Malabrigo Silky is known for stretching and sagging out after you knit and block your project.  So I'm being a smarty smartpants.  I have knit a long strip of garter stitch and blocked it:

and at some point I am going to wrap it around my head to see how tight it should be, then stitch it into a round band with a decorative button on the fold before I pick up stitches from the top edge and knit the warm part of a hat.

If I don't freeze first.


Unknown said...

You are a smarty smart pants! It looks perfect on my monitor, which is a first. It usually never shows colors well.

Mary said...

What an ingenious idea!