I've been thinking about this post for a few weeks now following a teeny tiny finish that I had recently.
The project was a simple modification to a store-bought hat. In 100% acrylic. Eep! I can hear you all cringing now (I'll tackle my belief that sometimes even acrylic has it's place - but another day!). Certainly, that was the reaction of a friend who saw me carefully unpicking the hat for it's modification: "but WHY would you do that to yourself?!"
Backing up a bit: I was approached by a non-knitting friend who received the high street hat for Christmas from her sister. She loved it, but not the bulky turned up ribbing. The hat was uncomfortably bulky when she wore it, and far too long to get away with being a slouchy beanie if she turned the ribbing down.
Remembering that I was a knitter, she pinged me on Facebook to see if I could do an easy mod to remove the ribbing entirely or make it smaller, so that she could actually enjoy this hat. It seemed really straight forward and I said sure. Otherwise it would be just a waste if she never got to wear the hat and enjoy it, right?
While unravelling the brim ended up being more of a pain than I anticipated, it did cast some insight into a machine knit garment knit flat. Not sure how the yarn ended up getting so looped up around itself but I was able to get there in the end. The yarn was also held double to make it even bulkier. After inserting a short 6mm needle through the live stitches I knit the brim back down a modest few rows and cast off. And then did it again with a stretchier bind off when I couldn't get the hat on myself!
As I worked on the hat I had the time to reflect on my friend's reaction, and that I was taking time away from my own projects too. The space my thoughts ended up in is that for me, knitting is knitting. The rhythm, the gentle click of the needles, the pleasure of making something with my own hands. And the pleasure in having that skill recognized and that a friend would ask for help when they need it.
I'm pretty pleased with the results, and my friend was well chuffed too that she had it back in time for a snowboarding adventure. Comfort and joy comes in many forms in my making and I'm thrilled to have found it in this project too.
Even if it's just a hat.