The orange hat was my first try at knitting a beret. As a beret, it failed! It’s baggy, so baggy that it flops off your head. But I learned!
What did you learn? you ask. Well, the shape of a beret. Also, I learned spots where I need to be careful to stick to the pattern, and that I didn’t particularly like that pattern. I learned what size needles I need to use and where to use them — because I’m not a standard knitter. I knit loose and with two hands at once. Also, one of my hands knits tighter than the other. So while I don’t have an orange hat to wear, what I do have is knowledge of a pattern and needles and some color ideas…
This led me to the next hat — the gray and orange-patterned one. I love that one. It’s even a wearable hat! But the yarn is made from Herdwick Sheep wool. (Yes, Beatrix Potter’s preferred sheep!) But Potter’s Herdwicks are so scratchy you could sand wood with their wool — which is yes, what you could do with the hat I’ve made (and which is why Herdwick wool tends to be used for rugs.) Anyway, I don’t mind scratchy wool, so I’m going to try wearing it this winter. It’s a hat for me.
But this is not a hat you could give as a gift.
The Herdwick hat led to the speckled hat. It’s softer wool and using a yarn that changed colors. I thought this was going to be wonderful because I wouldn’t have to choose color changes and color combinations. It would be a surprise! But it turned out that the yarn changed colors so quickly that what you got was a speckled hat. Still cute, and it works as a beret. So hey — a cute practice hat. …
And the thing is, these knitting experiments seem very similar to how I approach my writing. I try things. I find out what I like and I keep those parts. The parts that I utterly do not like get thrown out. And the parts that are working in some manner but aren’t right in totality, I question and think about and consider. I do more experiments and see if I can make them ‘sing.’
‘Singing’ is hardly a technical term, but I know it when I hear it. I’m sure you know it too, right?
So! My next experiment beret will be done using a yarn that changes colors much more slowly. I think that will work much, much better. And then after that? I’m thinking about choosing my own colors again — just to see if I can do it.
Happy reading, writing and knitting everyone!
P.S. I am hard at work on another writing project and I’m enjoying myself!