This is the story of how a hat evolved through blocking. Everyone -- myself included -- has waxed poetic about the magical powers of blocking. What I forget sometimes is that those powers can be used for good or for ill! Let's start with the hat:
The pattern is the Picholine Hat from the Tunney Wool Company, with a few modifications in stitch count based on the needles I had on hand. Now, at the end of the pattern you're supposed to block the hat over a plate. I soaked the hat in warm water, stuck a dinner plate in the middle of it, and then balanced it on top of a tall glass so that the ribbed brim wouldn't be smooshed.
It took two days to dry like this. And it looked strange, very strange indeed. Not unlike a UFO, especially with the trippy tree shadows stretching and waving across the backyard.
And the result? Dreadful. I may look happy, but that's only because I'm laughing at its absurdity. It was like having a dense pancake attached to my head (and, yes, I did remember to take out the plate).
I had to re-block it. I'd just seen a blog post from Stephanie Japel where she blocked a hat over a bowl, and I decided to give that a whirl. This time the set-up involved an upside-down bowl balanced over a very tall glass bottle, and I pinched the spiraling lines to help them "pop" a bit.
Still looked strange, strange enough that the neighbor's cat came over to investigate it ...
But it did the trick. Brought it back to a rounded, casual, slouchy shape.
It's easy to wear and will be a nice splash of color and warmth for my sister, who's enduring a dreary late winter in DC.