The Worst Hat Ever has never before been seen by human eyes — unless you count mine, that is. Too embarrassing to ever be posted to my Ravelry profile, it lives in a dark corner of my stash drawer whispering warnings about the dangers of Fun Fur. Like so many of the worst projects ever, it was originally intended as a gift. Why is it, fellow knitters, that our generous impulses sometimes blind us to the realities of texture and palette that make some yarn choices objectively terrible? He loves the LA Lakers, so I will make him a purple and yellow scarf. It will be so fun and different! Ahem.
If you’ve been playing along at home, you’ll remember that when we last left our heroine (five years ago), she had just learned to knit and had successfully made a cabled hat and a drop-stitch scarf in addition to her first lovable-mutant garter scarf. Well, I got so high on those successful projects that I immediately decided I was capable of designing my own damn hat, and returned from the local craft shop with a skein of Lion Brand Homespun, two skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease, and one hideous skein of Fun Fur. I made a gauge swatch like a good little monkey, cast on an appropriate number of stitches, and improvised away. I even attached a little flower to the thing, following the instructions from the Head Huggers pattern in Stitch and Bitch Nation. Et voila:
It doesn’t look that bad, lying there demurely next to my toaster oven. It was envisioned as a gift for A., my best female friend from college. The qualifier “female” is important, because I was (and still am) one of those girls who has a million male friends and only a handful of female ones. (My knitting circle injects the largest single dose of estrogen into my social life most weeks, which is one reason that I love it so.)
The whole idea of the hat was to be ridiculous, and I certainly accomplished that aim. A. has a, shall we say, unique sense of fashion that juxtaposes thrift-store finds in unlikely combinations, and I thought that a wacky, one-of-a-kind hat with a flower on it might be exactly up her alley. But the Fun Fur was my downfall. Observe:
Though endearingly wacky in principle, a hat made with Fun Fur when worn on an actual human head causes one to look like a deranged Muppet. Even through my generosity-clouded eyes, I was able to perceive this more or less immediately. I had completed the hat just in time for a camping trip that A. and I had planned that summer, which would be our first significant time together since I had graduated the previous spring. The camping trip was great — in addition to successfully climbing a mountain, successfully lighting a fire, and successfully not getting eaten by bears, we also successfully crashed a motorcycle convention by jumping the fence and successfully got served free whiskey at said convention by the bartender we’d met at a local saloon earlier that weekend. Throughout this entire trip, The Worst Hat Ever lurked in my backpack, waiting for the right moment to be unleashed on the unsuspecting recipient. Ultimately, I decided not to ruin A’s weekend by forcing her to accept such a questionable gift. After all, it’s tough to fit in at a motorcycle convention when you look like an escapee from the Sesame Street Psychiatric Hospital.