Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Blame Erica

I blame Erica...or should I say, "I blame adult Erica."

Little Erica had no sense of style - Little Erica was willing to wear a pink princess nightgown with fairy wings to the grocery store. That was a style I could connect with.

Adult Erica is a totally different person...not a slavish fashionista but she could be if she made more money. The change started when she hit puberty...a trip to the Bobbi Brown counter in Fashion Valley (why didn't I make the connection to the name then???). Then a subscription to Glamour and now she lives in the heart of San Francisco...

She has taste, I'll give her that.  And heaven knows I don't have much fashion sense when left to my own devices (I am typing this to you while wearing pink plaid pj bottoms, a grey flowered t-shirt, a plastic headband and fuzzy black slippers in case you doubt my assertion).

So we met in Vegas for lunch. And we happened across the glove, hat, and scarf section of a store. She found stylish curry-colored leather gloves within seconds. I found a kelly-green beret that made me look vaguely seasick (although the shape was pretty - after Erica had rearranged it on my head of course).

I like berets but apparently choose to wear them like every cartoon French painter which is not the best look (according to my "personal shopper" anyway). These days, I am informed, they are worn on the back of the head which I have to admit is an improvement.

I don't like hats across my forehead - they itch. Then I scratch and by the time I arrive anywhere I look like I have a fever or at the very least an odd forehead rash.

I wanted to buy the beret...but I'm trying to be frugal and they only had it in green. I examined the hat and determined that I could easily knit one out of a better color...

I was mistaken.

I unraveled a shawl I had knit last year because I loved the yarn but NEVER wore the shawl (perfect for a photo shoot out on the moors but you can't actually move your arms while wearing the dang thing so it sat in a basket all year).

It turns out that what I can knit is a sad looking toque.

The ugly "no pattern" wool cap I made.
Okay, I could have used a pattern as my knitting-spatial-relation skills are decidedly lacking.

So I looked online (thank God for Lion's Brand Yarn free patterns) and found one that didn't look too hard.
The evil heavy metal double pointed needles
At least it wasn't hard until I got to the "can't use the nice circular needles anymore" stage. Those double pointed needles are specially coated with an extra slippery blue metal that is heavier than normal metals and so are sucked to the ground almost magnetically (just imagine a substance the exact opposite of what would be suitable for space flight).

They slid out of the cap so many times the dogs stopped sitting in my lap for fear of puncture (or maybe my cussing scared them away - I'm not sure).

But the final result was worth it...I think...look...a lovely mass of turquoise and navy.

It was a bit like putting a sweat sock on my I went back online to read the pattern again...I'd done everything they said to do.

Then I caught sight of the pattern reviews and started reading. Aha! It turns out you have to block the darn thing to give it the beret shape. One reader advised using a dinner plate.

So I placed a dinner plate upside down on another serving plate and that helped the edges but it still had that pointed toque like top that I've grown to hate.

So I wet it down and placed a heavy object to weight it.

Finally the poochy part in the center lay flat!

And it fits perfectly!

Even though the boys don't seem to notice my stylish chapeau...


  1. Holy crap Mum! That looks awesome! You should make one in a neutral color too. If I remember correctly you like oatmeal colored things. Gray would be nice too. Thank you for blaming me for your fashion inspiration, hopefully I live up to your praise. I would really like some nice knit sweaters this winter.... Maybe Banana Republic will have a sale... sigh.

  2. I do like oatmeal...and gray...thanks for the tip little girl. And don't think I didn't notice the fact that you said you wanted a nice knit sweater and quickly added "Banana Republic" before I could even get my knitting needles warmed up!