Flying Saucer

That's what Phillip called it when he saw the Noro beret drying on a dinner plate.  He's not wrong:

It borders on unnatural, how much time I spend looking for weird household items for blocking.  I am the self-proclaimed Crown Princess of Making Weird Towel Shapes to Block Stuff With.  As a late-stage convert (I only began to understand the importance of blocking a couple of years ago), I have become a Blocking Zealot.  It's lame how long it took me to get a clue about blocking, having trained as a tailor.  Tailoring requires more than just a little steaming, thwacking, molding and otherwise sculpting of fabric, so you would think that knowledge would be more easily transferable to knitting.  But it wasn't until I had to study and write about it for the Master Knitter program that I really gathered brains.  Now I love to do it so much that no knitted item is safe, and no household implement, non-porus surface, or passing pet is sacred.  I'll block anything on anything.  My personal best was a combination of 6 washcloths and 2 balloons for a lace shrug with puffy sleeves.  Wish I'd had the presence to take a picture that time.

But back to the hat:  My kids are fighting over who gets it, which I take as a good sign.  I think it's okay as a first attempt, and I learned a lot about self-striping Noro.  There are things I will do differently next time, like chart a bigger, clearer motif.  I also would engineer a more interesting pattern for the crown.  I think I will also choose 2 really different colorways when I do this again, rather than two ends of the same skein.  I did myself no favors by going cheap on that one.  (Note To Self:  Since when are you scared to spend Money on Yarn?)  What I really enjoyed about this project was not having any idea what to expect as the colors changed on me.  I did not know what a control freak I am with regard to color.  I kept having to tell myself not to break the yarn and felt in a new color - MADE myself trust the progression of what was on the skein, just to see if I could stand it.  And I did!  I even was surprised by how much I liked some of the combinations that happened, notably yellow and burgundy.  These are two shades I almost never work with, and certainly not together.  But in context of the small space of a hat, I really liked the area where it happened.

Tomorrow I head for the garden spot that is Tacoma, Washington, for the Madrona Retreat therein.  I am so amped I can hardly keep it together.  My goal is to post on all four days, so stay tuned for reports on my adventures.  Reminders not to paint "Madrona Or Bust" on my car are probably needed.

In unrelated news, one of the projects has been cut from my book, and I am completely devastated.  I thought my skin was much thicker than that, but apparently not.  It's like loosing a toe.  I will live, but I think I will always miss it.  The good news is that the outcast project is going to be featured on my episode of Knitting Daily TV, whose theme, I'm told, will be "Fun With Color".  I think it will also be offered as a free pattern via the Knitting Daily Pattern Store, so it's future is by no means doomed.  Watch for it next November.  In the meantime I plan to Get Over It.  Knitting, after all, is not for weenies.  And wallowing in despair messes up your hair.