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the control hat

December 14, 2006

I made a sucky hat and boy does it really suck.

The plan was to make some Buffalo Bills hats for Dad and Eddie. They had seen my NY Giants hats and requested their own hometown version. Okay. I spent weeks and weeks planning the whole thing out in my head. Finally, I drew a chart, cast on, and finished the first one. It was to be for my Dad and it looked smokin’ hot.


I knew I didn’t want to make the exact same one for Eddie, because you know, they work together and I’m sure they don’t really want to be seen wearing the same exact hat. So I went to work planning another. A more complex, challenging, fantastic hat because of course I could handle the task.

It would have the logo going up the hat this time. How clever! And snowflakes! And trees! Sounded wonderful. And honestly, it really was wonderful.


I thought it looked pretty good. I kinda liked how the pattern came out. The hat was very very tall, but that wouldn’t matter much because so is Eddie. And the top looked funky, all in stripes because the navy blue was almost gone. The hem flared out almost like a ruffle, but it didn’t look that bad on.

So I blocked it. Let it dry. Hoped for the best.

The pattern was not actually good at all. Too much white space, or in this case, navy blue space. It needed more contrast or something.


The stripes at the top looked hideous. Not just funky. Hideous.


I suppose the top is not the worst ever, but I really didn’t like it at all. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted to look away.

And the flare.



I could, technically, fix this hat. I could go to the yarn store and try to find some more navy yarn to finish the top. I could undo the hem and try to sew it back on so it doesn’t flare as much. But it is still much too tall and I am SO OVER IT that I’m not even going to hardly look at it.

For now, I’m not going to unravel it either. I’m going to keep it around for a while as my control hat. A hat to compare all others to. A knitting project gone wrong to hold up to whatever happens to be on the needles and say, “Is it as bad as Eddie’s Unfortunate Bills Hat?” And if the answer is “no,” I will knit on. And if the answer turns out to be “yes,” or “well, maybe this loopy part will be better after I block it,” or “it seems okay but for this funny ruffle,” then I will accept it and move on to other projects.

The saddest part of the whole thing is that this hat was a pleasure to knit. I was proud of the design and I thought surely Eddie would love it. Ah well. Better luck next time.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2006 7:10 pm

    The stripes look good. The ruffle/edge is a little disconcerting (for a man’s hat).

    May your worst knitting never excede the Unfornate Bills Hat.

    Knit on babe!

  2. December 19, 2006 3:39 pm

    it’s not too bad. we’re always our own worst critic. and men? oh gosh, he’ll probably love it. most men are grateful that someone spent time to make/bake something with them in mind. the ruffle might ease it’s way out once it’s on his head, you know? at least give it to him, let him try it, and see. it may look much better on his head than on your form!

  3. December 19, 2006 3:40 pm

    i meant to say, i liked it all, the design was great. the top is a bit disconcerting though. kind of like a bulls-eye, which men dig, too!

  4. Carol permalink
    December 27, 2006 11:01 pm

    Hi Mandy,

    I met you in the book store in Greensboro today. I sure enjoyed seeing your wonderful hats in person!

    Have fun with all your knitting and my you have more time for it.

    I really enjoyed talking to you and your children are beautiful!

  5. January 15, 2007 5:37 pm

    My husband has an, um, overabundance of confidence at times. So, many years ago when he totally screwed up rebuilding his motorcycle engine — something about how .001 inch is really, really different than .01 inch — he hung the screwed-up engine block on the wall above his workbench. As a reminder that even The Great Ones screw up sometimes.

  6. January 18, 2007 4:24 pm

    I actually think the Control Hat looks nice. But it’s good to have a control item to compare to.

  7. January 18, 2007 6:13 pm

    I just found you via the Yarnival, and just wanted to say that the “control hat” idea iis brilliant. I often wish I was more sentimental about my failures, maybe just to see how I have improved. Keeping it around as an informational, almost scientific reason is great because it removed the emotion.

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