Friday 15 April 2022

The perfect, ruined, somewhat salvaged hat

Do you ever make something really amazing and then completely ruin it with one last little step? A step that turns out to have been completely unnecessary anyway.

Well I do. Surprisingly frequently.

Here's the only in-progress photo I have of my LUCCA hat. The pattern is by Susanne Muller, here, on Ravelry. I had, I thought, just enough of the lovely tan Modofil paper raffia in my stash.

I made the larger size and it was coming along really well. The instructions for steam shaping are great, I was getting excited.....

And then I got to the point photographed above and realised I didn't have enough raffia*. I spent a few nights scouring the internet and the only place I could find it available for sale was in the states and a $25 cone of raffia was going to cost me another $40 to post. Despair.

* to be fair, the pattern does state that for the larger size you'd need more than one 100g cone of raffia.

So I sent a begging email to Cass at String Harvest and, HOORAY, she did have a cone in her own stash that was not on the shop's website. Glee! She posted it to me, it arrived and was even the same colour batch number, and I was off and crocheting again.

The brim is supported by some plastic hat wire that I got from The Millinery Hub along with some Petersham ribbon to sew a band.

It fit perfectly. Securely enough not to blow off in a wind, but comfortable enough not to stretch or distort when worn. I am so awesome. My hat is so great.

Then came that "extra bit"....

I decided it needed to be stiffer and so I carelessly started slapping hat stiffener onto it. It instantly stained a horrible dark, uneven colour. Aaarrrgh.

Nothing to do but keep going and give it enough coverage to be at least a somewhat even, horrible dark stained colour.

Now it was perfectly stiff, and thus completely inflexible and too small. Real tears.

I set it aside for a few weeks and wallowed in my self pity. 

Eventually I decided to try washing it. Theoretically the hat stiffener shouldn't wash out with water, but it kind of did. At least all the stiffness part of it did. The uneven staining remained.

It's never quite gone back to the sizing it was pre-ruining and washing and so it needs a hefty bit of steam ironing to achieve the shape in these photos.

The tendency is for it to be a bit small and so it looks rounded where it sits around my head and then the top part appears like a shrunken souffle hovering above the crown.

Can you tell I'm still a bit sad? I mean I'm laughing at myself as well, and I'll definitely have another go at it one day.

But meanwhile, this one is still perfectly wearable and at least I won't be too precious about it getting dirty or stained.

And it can be scrunched up and shoved into a bag and then it (sort of) pops back into shape. At least the shape that it now chooses to be.

It's all about knowing when to stop.


  1. I love what you make. Your hat looks great.

    1. That's very kind, thanks! I mostly love what I make, just not when I stuff it up! :)


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