I have been knitting a hat. It looks like this:
Yes, I promise, it is a hat:
Really, a hat. In fact it is the Nautilus Hat pattern which I found a little while ago on Ravelry. I've been knitting this up over the past few days as H's post-Christmas hat in Rowan's colourscape chunky, colour 432 (Heath), a mixture of red, blue, green and all the purples and browns in between.
H choose the yarn a while ago and hinted that a hat might be nice, but as I couldn't exactly ask him to close his eyes while I pinned a yarn spiral on him to get the measurements right it was never really going to be a viable option for a Christmas surprise.
Without wishing to give away too much about the pattern, you knit a long strip of whatever pattern stitch you fancy and then sew it into a spiral to make the hat. The pattern recommends starting your pinning on a foam head but acknowledges that this isn't necessarily something that we all keep around the house. I went searching for something else similarly head shape and found:
A pudding basin. Just too many jokes about bad primary school haircuts come to mind.
I set to on the winding, although I found it easiest to start the crown flat on the table, and use the basin as a mould when I was spiralling around the head. A little while later I had a pinned sort of hat which I tried on to see how it looked. It did not flatter me. At all. So I called H to try it on. He delicately positioned the voodoo doll, sorry hat, over his head and stood in front of our mirror:
"It's not too bad. What do you think? Maybe 50/100 .... 40 ...... 30...."
At this point we both started giggling and took the hat off and apart as he finished his countdown. Suffice to say that this hat, while a great idea in principle, and fantastic in the other incarnations on Ravelry, looks, on my husband, like nothing so much as a giant multicoloured Mr Whippy ice-cream scoop. It is the picture to go with the caption "Dartmoor walker suffers a slight chill after close encounter with passing Molly Macs van" (and trust me, where I come from, that would be the news)
There is no photographic evidence of the poor boy in his swirling headgear; (a) I want to stay married to him, and (b) it didn't last that long.
As fast as we could remove pins I was back to this:
However, all is not lost. All hail Ravelry because after I spent a delightful half hour perusing the hat patterns and putting the ones that I thought might work into my favourites, H reviewed them and selected the Utopia Hat.
I've done two cable repeats so far and it looks great - gently changing colours and not an ice-cream van within jingle range.
All I can say is THANK GOODNESS I didn't sew it up before he tried it on!