How to knit a hat

I didn’t make as much progress as I’d hoped on the sock last night (I want them done now, now, now)
For everybody who asked for details on how I handled the colours, I feel a little guilty, since it’s really Laurie who is the smart one. The roving weighed in at about 2oz each, and the colour changes evenly along the length. All I did was pre-draft the roving, leaving the colours in the order that Laurie dyed them. I had been clever enough (yeah…I know, a rare flash of brilliance really) to save a piece of the yarn that Laurie spun, so I knew what I was aiming for. I undid one end of the sample to see what the single was like, then matched it. When the singles were done, I put the bobbin on my lazy kate and did a poor imitation of navajo plying. (Note to self, consider reading the links you provide on the blog…could be helpful) This keeps the colours intact. Simple, yes? The cleverness is all in the dye job.
I also lost knitting time as I was very busy revelling in an incredible knitting birthday present from Chelsea
It’s coloured metal needles (oh, how I love thee), very cool little stitch markers, a very beautiful card, some relaxing bath stuff (Why Chelsea, do I seem a little high strung?) a gorgeous beaded bookmark and a letter with a very funny story about why chocolate isn’t a summer gift. Made my day yesterday. Thanks Chelsea!
As evening approached and the primo knitting time neared, Meg presented me with a knitting emergency. I responded and now bring you…
How To Make A Hat If You Are 12 And Not Very Careful About Stuff.
Step 1. Do a gauge swatch, then measure your head and do the math. Then have a fight with your mother who has knit like, 10 million hats, about who would know better about how many to cast on. Never…ever admit that your mother may know what is going on, but eventually cast on the number she suggests, but in secret. Do not speak civilly to your mother for some time.
Step 2. Begin knitting circularly, but pause to have a fight with your mother, this time insisting that you are knitting garter stitch, because you are knitting every row (and previously mentioned mother told you that garter stitch was when you are knitting every row), refuse to entertain the suggestion that circular knitting may be different from flat knitting, and again insinuate that your mother knows nothing about knitting. Maintain the fight until the mother looks sort of twitchy.
Step 3. Tell your mother (who is pretty freakin’ annoyed at this point, partly because of the repeated inane hat fights, but also because she has not been alone, not even to go to the bathroom, in days and days) that the hat seems “sort of twisty”.
Step 4. Even though you have not listened to one word the mother has said to you in days, and even though you have never, ever just accepted something that the mother has said without challenging it and asking for an explanation, even though there is not one molecule in your body that believes that your mother could be right about anything….when the mother tells you that stuff on circulars is like that sometimes until you get a couple of centimetres…
Walk away.
Step 5. Return to the mother the next day. Come to her when she is tired, has a limp from spinning and thinks that you have gone to bed. Come to her when she is weak and her resistance is low. Come hostile, and loud. Show her the hat.
When the mother bursts out laughing, trying to say something about “join, being careful not to twist”, darken your expression and scream “This is all your fault” and make all sort of statements that begin with “You Said….”
6. When the mother tells you that there is no way out of this, that it has to be frogged, threaten a meltdown that makes Hiroshima look like a minor problem.
7. Insist that your mother fix it or you will “NEVER KNIT AGAIN”.
8. Watch your innovative and clever mother thread the hat onto waste yarn, sew up and down a row of stitches, and cut between the lines.
(Refuse to learn the concept of “steek” if at all possible, even though it is right in your face) IMPORTANT NOTE: even if you think it is a good idea, resist the urge to say so. Try instead to insist that it will never work, even while it is working.
9. Refuse to participate as your mother threads the hat back onto needles.
Briefly smile for the camera, looking for all the world like a happy and content child, but hold the bitterness you feel for the mother deep in your heart.
10. Despite the fact that your mother has rescued you from your knitting disaster, immediately following the picture, begin another fight with her, this time about how you can no longer knit the hat circularly. Mock her during her counter-argument about how you were at the decreases and were going to have to switch to dpns anyway and maintain that as per usual, the mother has sucked the joy out of your life. Stomp away angry. Continue being a normal 12 year old, being sure to leave your mother emotionally tattered.

36 thoughts on “How to knit a hat

  1. BWAHHAHAHAHAH…love it…gee, and not even a teenager yet, LOL…
    *taking notes on how to torture future offspring with the horror of hat-knitting*….

  2. Oh my Gosh – almost identical scenario to my house! Only said 9 year old refused to accept the # of stitches needed to be cast on for the hat, yet insists quite loudly to anyone who looks like they might listen that mommy WON’T teach her how to knit on circular needles! sigh.

  3. hey it is memegan the hat gurl i would like to say that yes all the fights did happen and that i did say that i would never knit again but i did not mean it and that the hat will soon read rock on and mabey dudes what do you think should it say dudes or not???????

  4. Step 11. Publicly yell and scream over the fact that your mother has made you some sort of laughing stock of knitters world-wide, but secretly relish the fact that you have made “blog worthy” news.
    I’m loving those socks….

  5. That hat is going to work out beautifully, Megan, and all your friends are going to wish they could do that, too. Cool.
    My mom once started knitting my sister a sweater in the round that turned into a mobius strip, too–and it was pure angora yarn she’d bought in Paris, which turned into felt just from her fingers knitting the stuff. It did NOT want to be frogged. And she was a pretty experienced knitter when she made that mistake! So you’re not the only one. (Mom did finally manage to frog it and start over, but then my sister turned out to be deathly allergic to the stuff anyway, and guess which lucky little sister got to keep that frog-green sweater! I’m the lucky one!)

  6. Hi Megan – this is Elizabeth – isn’t it a pain to have a blogging mother? I am 14 and live in NY. I think that your hat should say Rock On Dudes

  7. Stephanie, your daughter may torture you, but at least she continues to knit. My daughters only bring out their knitting when visitors are here to show off what clever girls they are. My seven-year-old has been working on the same scarf for nine months, and my 11-year-old has a severe case of startitis.

  8. See, there’s more proof to my theory: They’re just put on the planet to make our lives MISERABLE. 😉
    It gets better. I find that 19 is a very good year so far–except for the crying jags (from a girl who has previously never shed a tear in her LIFE — not even in the movies, when her mother has been known to become a blathering idiot just to see somebody kiss one’s puppy) — over the MISSED BOYFRIEND.

  9. OMG. Is this really “being a normal 12 year old”?
    (Note to self: maybe *I* was a “normal 12 year old.”)
    (Note to Steph: You are probably saving your readers–parents, children, former children–thousands of dollars in therapy bills as we realize that We are Not the Only Ones; maybe we should ALL start sending you fibery tributes!)

  10. You know, you can just wear those socks as they are, with the dpns sticking out. Makes you safe. Sort of like a bodyguard, that the muggers don’t see coming until you’ve kicked them…
    Voila! On to the next project!

  11. Beauty sock and BEAUTY Megan. (sorry, Steph)
    Megan: I am WAY older than you and not very cool, but let me say that if you put “Rock on, Dude” on your hat you will very soon think “what was with that? How could anyone who loves me let me do that, or yet wear it out of the house?”
    It will be rather like getting a tattoo (well, at all) of Bob the Builder or Hello Kitty or some other embarrassing thing.
    For me it was the sort of David Bowie blond spiky hair around the time of Diamond Dogs.
    Yikes! Did I have no friends to tell how dopey I looked?

  12. Hey, Megan, what if you duplicate stitched the “rock on” symbol (the hand with the two fingers extended) instead? There are some charts out in blog-land which would help you (or your mom, if you ask reallly realllllly nicely) to stitch it on. Then, of course, you could always take the duplicate stitching *off* if you decided you didn’t like it any more.
    What do your friends think about the words?

  13. Megan,
    As I recall your fingerless glove thingies said “rock on,” therefore I suggest “DUDE!” for the hat. It would make a perfect ensemble. In reference to Kathy’s comment about looking dopey, well, she has a great point…so just don’t let your friends take pictures of you wearing your stylish (?) knitted things that might end up in the yearbook or something.

  14. Page One in your autobiography. Okay, now tell us, which one was you?
    Thank you for the link. That’s an excellent resource.

  15. This describes many of the not-twelve-year-olds that I am continually teaching to knit. I may have to print this up and carry it in my yarn bag. You should give her a chance at a rebuttal on the blog though – it’s only fair and the humor value would be priceless. (I’m guessing that she has her mother’s wit. I’m also guessing that she wouldn’t attribute that wit to you-know-who!).

  16. It is a rule of the universe that girls treat their mothers like that. AND, it gets worse when they are 15, 16, 17… But, I am proof of survival and my 22 y.o. college graduate wrote a poem for me the other day. Hallelujah !!!

  17. Don’t be ridiculous. That beautiful girl is at least fifteen. Who knows what else her mother lies about?
    (Don’t even ask me about my daughters and knitting — though the college sophomore has suddenly decided to knit a gift scarf and is over halfway, hallelujah, hallelu.)
    My favorite chilrearing line is from Lanford Wilson’s play Fifth of July. The thirteen year old daughter has just stormed out. Her mother starts after her, stops, turns and says flatly “Men and women aren’t strong enough to have children. Trees should have children.”

  18. I think I’m going to shuffle off into the corner and just start crying right now. I get a healthy dose of this from my 8 year old. I can’t even imagine what Kaelyn, The Teen Years will be like.

  19. I am 13, and I feel like I know what Megan’s talking about, really who wants to say “Ya Mum, sounds like a great idea”? The only big problem when knitting is when you’re knitting from a pattern!!:D
    p.s. I love the sock

  20. Ouch! What is that? Oh, it’s my Fallopian Tubes tieing themselves. Thanks for Reminder #105 of why I am not cut out to be a mother.

  21. It helps when the parent of any girls under the age of 25 or so to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and repeat: “I know nothing, and today I won’t learn anything, except that I know nothing. I will be reminded often and at regular intervals, by angry screaming teens or tweens that I know nothing.” Then it isn’t such a surprise. It helps, it really does!

  22. Yet again, you have me rolling with laughter….
    My 15yo recently compared herself to Cinderella (seriously, no less)..complete with teen-style eyerolling, body language and much bitterness.
    That also made me laugh….ahem, not her however. 🙂 Lisa in OR

  23. Hilarious! Well, to read, not so much to live through, I’m sure. I was just explaining to my beginner’s class this evening about being careful not to twist the stitches and the whole moebius issue – and here’s the lesson in full color. I’ll send them here if they don’t believe me!
    (Gorgeous yarn in your last post, by the way. Wow!)

  24. Thank you for reminding me why I’m glad to have only boys.
    God truly does only hand out what one can handle and I obviously wasn’t meant for girls.
    Note to Megan:
    You’re doing a great job on the hat and you get extra points for having to learn from your mother.

  25. Oh. My. God. I could not stop cackling as I read this. This story made me so grateful to have survived the emotional teen rollercoaster. Now the Communal Child is a Mom herself, while we get to sit back and say, “Well, we *could* tell you what you’re in for…but why spoil it?”

  26. See, this is why I have pets. Pets do not require therapy. Pets will not, at some point, turn on you and claim you were an awful parent. When they are being especially fractious, one can say ‘I wanna make you into a *rug*’ and as long as you say it in the upbeat happy voice, they’re none the wiser and think you are, in fact, giving them praise.
    Of course, they also never mature into neat and interesting adults, which most kids (blessed with great parents like you) *will* do.
    The socks look completely beautiful by the way.

  27. Harlot, you captured it so well – LMAO!
    Thank gods, the child of mine would rather blind herself than pick up knitting and concentrates her artistic endeavors on fashion design, thereby wrecking havoc with her art instructor and not me. Because there would ensure the same scenario you just wrote about 🙂

  28. Heavens…I have three girls, almost 7 and a pair of 5 year olds and was wondering how it could possibly get worse! Yikes!!

  29. The road to indepence is so hard for both parents and kids. She has a beautiful smile and I’m sure you’ll all survive the summer intact. 😉

  30. Teenagers can knit. I think I started morgen on slippers (which were never finished). She was very proud of understanding how to work with dps (people would stop her and ask how the hell she did that).
    She then finished a boring afghan and sold her first shawl. She has made a couple of tank tops which I cannot improve upon. She just dyed some cotton chenille that was in my stash and is making a jacket to die for.
    She is probably doing a lot more knitting then I am at this rate. I have been either working, reading or killing off civilizations.
    They do grow up. I still want to kill her occasionally – and then she does something real nice like make me chicken piccata.

  31. Stephanie,
    I am a bit late on this one, but anyone who has seen a pattern for intarsia socks (for example from Grace Ennis) knows that you can start knitting the foot in the round after knitting the top back and forth. In fact, a standard “cheat” to avoid the twisty problem ever arising is to knit the first “round” or two back and forth, then you can see clearly that your knitting is not twisted. At the end you sew up the gap with the tail.
    In knitting these things happen – and you will probably invent your own great rescue methods in time, if only in order not to have to learn them from your mother! If you ever need a word to use when these occasions arise that will not call down the wrath of the “elders”, I know a very satisfying one in Finnish.
    I vote for “dude” for the same reason as Amanda, and I look forward to seeing a picture of the hat when complete.

  32. I recently found an old diary of mine when I was going through my school papers at home. You should have heard me ranting about how I hated my family because they made me go see the Mutant Ninja Turtles, and then did not respect my well reasoned opinion afterwards that it sucked.
    I’m not sure how old I was then, but probably under 16. 🙂
    (And dammit, they didn’t respect my opinion. So there. :))

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