Urchin on the Couch! /
Dear Mom:

I made you a hat, but I just can't give it to you.

Instead, the Urchin On The Couch is going to my own little urchin on the couch.

Pattern: Urchin by Ysolda Teague
Started: April 21, 2008
Completed: April 22, 2008
Materials: My Handspun "Mom's Couch," 84 yards
Needles: US 11 / 8.0 mm

This pattern knits up super-quick, but I'm not sure I'd attribute that solely to its ease. Unless you're the type to write down rows while you work—which I'm only inclined to do on complicated Arans—there's a certain intellectual drive required for this pattern in order to keep counts going in your head. With such short rows, it seemed wrong to constantly pick up a pencil to make little tic marks. Bad enough that I was flipping needles so frequently. I probably should have tried knitting backwards to avoid some of these irritations, but truth-be-told, I quickly assessed that I just wanted it done.

Further evidence of my desire to finish as quickly as possible: I originally set out to work this project Continental (I'm a longtime thrower—which you know since you taught me how to knit—and I'm dying to get picky with it!). I even started the hat that way, and I was getting more comfortable with Continental style when my urge to get this pattern done quickly surpassed my desire for the learning experience.

As I envisioned this project, Urchin seemed the perfect match for this handspun, named for you. It doesn't require a lot of yardage (although it did use up every little bit I had), and it's designed to celebrate thick-thin yarns (a category for which this, my second-ever attempt at drop spindling, certainly qualifies).

Please believe me when I say I had every intention of giving the hat to you. After all, you are the "Mom" of the eponymous couch fame. But when I pulled the hat off the needles and tried it on my head, I went, "Ugh!" It looked absolutely horrible on me and should never again grace the head of a self-respecting adult.

The problem had less to do with the pattern and more to do with the color-striping effect. You see, all those nifty, vertical short rows that give this hat its interesting construction are fine knit up with solid-color yarn. But for anything that will stripe, the short rows look dreadful. You end up with weird poolings in odd, unflattering places on your head.

So, I'm sorry, Mom. The Hat That Would Have Been Yours would not have looked good on you at all. But on C, whose head is a smaller circumference, it can be a little more floppy and slouchy and, therefore, becomes more tolerable. Of course, this kid can wear paper bags and still look smashing.

C's thrilled because "Mommy made me something, FINALLY!" (Surprise!) She wore it all day at school and has set out an outfit that matches it again for tomorrow. So some good has come from it all!

We can probably chalk this experience up to good karma. Remember that for Christmas last year I sent you The Hat That Would Have Been Mine: the Kool Kool[river]haas, the third and final fling of my love affair with Jared's Koolhaas. Well before I had that one off the needles, I knew it looked like it belonged to you!

Now that's a good-looking hat for Mom! (Thanks, B, for sending the pictures!)

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