Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Puzzlement

First there was some Shetland wool I liked very much.

What I Made It With

I recall distinctly that I bought this yarn from two different suppliers (Schoolhouse Press and Churchmouse Yarns and Teas) with the idea of combining it in a splendid new winter hat for me.

Next came notes and sketches and especially charts, because I love making charts. Sometimes I make charts in Illustrator, sometimes I make charts in my notebook. (Harry loves notebooks, especially Moleskine notebooks, and he gave me this one for Christmas.)

Planning and Plotting

Then swatches, calculations, more notes and more charts. All to make a new winter hat for me.

Then there was knitting, to make a new winter hat for me. Knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting. There was ripping, of course–because Life, as a wise woman once observed, is often Like That.

But there was more knitting than ripping. At last, there was binding off and blocking of the new winter hat for me.

So why, please, am I sitting tête-à-tête with what is plainly a roaring twenties-inspired woman’s cloche?

Cloche of Mystery

A hat that would, to put it mildly, strike an incongruous note if paired with my customary winter ensemble of biker jacket and jeans?

Cloche, Aerial View

That a meticulously planned piece of knitting should transform itself, phantomwise, between cast-on and blocking suggests either that I am prey to the twilight machinations of wool pixies; or that I am apt to veer wildly off course because I am easily distrac

Where Was I? Am I? Shall I Be?

One of the strongest knitting Podcasts out there is Mike Wade’s Fiber Beat. I’m honored to be the guest for Episode 14, and to have a signed copy of It Itches offered as the prize for the latest contest. Dolores was less pleased. Certain of her tastes and proclivities are given a thorough airing at the start of the program; she was going to sue, until her legal counsel pointed out that this would mean getting off the sofa.

I’m excited as a cat at a midnight mouse buffet to be heading to New York City next week to be part of the first-ever Vogue Knitting Live! (the exclamation point! makes it even more exciting!!) event, after which I bounce back home long enough to chuck clean socks in the suitcase before heading south to Houston, Texas.

In Texas I’ll be teaching and speaking at both the Knit at Night Guild, and at Twisted Yarns–please follow the links for complete information.

I have to go knit a new hat now. My head's cold. I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to do with the cloche.

106 comments:

SusieQ100 said...

What to do with the cloche?? Send it to meeee.......
otherwise use it upside-down as a cache-pot for a beautiful plant....

Eileen said...

Have a contest and give it to the winner.

Re-knit and re-size it in pink and give it to your niece.

Submit the pattern to IK and let us all knit it! (It's really lovely.)

p.s. I'd certainly be one of the third party, I wear the things.

Jill said...

I vote publish it. I'd wear it, but in red & grey. Safe travels.

mellenknits said...

I had a similar hat-hijacking incident once... I was clearly knitting myself a striped beanie shaped with shortrows, and somehow ended up with a striped fedora after blocking! Good thing I'm more of a 'process' knitter...

Anonymous said...

"So why, please, am I sitting tête-à-tête with what is plainly a roaring twenties-inspired woman’s cloche?"

Maybe because you're gay? (and I mean that kindly, not as a condemnation)

But do please publish the pattern.

Sara in WI said...

Gee, Franklin....How do you think that it would look on me? ;^)

JoVE said...

It is a very beautiful cloche. Tidy up the pattern and put it up for sale. Then give it to your sister. It isn't fair that that sweet little girl of hers gets all the lovingly designed knitwear ;-)

pencraftco said...

You've struck fear into my heart. I have been working on this hat pattern in my head. Soft, feminine, sort of an extended tam kind of affair. I have the yarn, Starmore none-the-less. I have the idea all pictured. I'll tell you what, if it ends up all manly-biker, maybe we could trade?

sprboston said...

I love it...love the post and love the resulting hat.

Mary deB said...

We need to see it on you before deciding. That little flip might be folded in another way and it could be one of those Aussie-guy hats...

Tallulah said...

I'll take it! It's gorgeous, and the Fiber Beat episode is my favourite so far, including the Dolores-handling sketch at the beginning.

Laura said...

It would make a lovely gift for someone who is knit-worthy in your life. And female.

Meredith said...

It's such a pretty cloche, though! At least your knitting was determined to become something lovely instead of, say, a horrible matted ball of wool completely unusable as anything except maybe a mop.

I think you should write and publish the pattern so I can have a pretty cloche too.

Janet said...

The cloche's gorgeous - you can add me to the list of people who say "give it to me"!!

soxanne said...

I'll take it ... I have a great face for hats ... unfortunately (for me) my hat factory churns out product almost exclusively for my son and his friends...or, since we all want the hat maybe you could just publish the pattern and then, possibly, some day/year I will make a hat for myself...

oh, and the captcha is "mingwot" which, I think, would make a great name for the hat pattern, don't you agree? Random and cool and totally unexpected, like the cloche.

Abigail said...

Oh that's lovely! I'm curious about the wonders of blocking and have a sneaking suspicion that I would need to greatly improve my ability to create jogless stripes.

Vanessa said...

However it came to be, I'm with the sell-the-pattern contingent. It's very attractive.

Riin said...

I think it would look just fine with a biker jacket and jeans. But, you know, that's just me.

hunter said...

Well at least it's an absolutely lovely roaring twenties-inspired woman’s cloche. Really quite smashing.

I have a tendency to knit what I think will be manly socks and then, when they are shown to the man for whom they were intended, come to the realization that they are actually purple lacy things.

Glad to know I'm not alone!

Rosi G. said...

:'-(

danielle said...

gift? prize? sell it and donate the money?

Anonymous said...

Give thanks it's a hat. I once spent hundreds - dollars and hours - on a mohair shawl done entirely in linen stitch, with visions in my mind's eye of the elegant Milanese woman I watched gliding through the Galleria in HER mohair shawl. When mine was completed I did not resemble said Milanesa. Big red furry Sasquatch is more like it.

Voie de Vie said...

Let's hope you're not knitting the socks before you chuck them in the suitcase for Texas. TPTB only know what might come out. And then there would be the issue of the stinky (and potentially cold) feet.

Great cloche. Great era. Sell the pattern and be done with it.

Patti said...

I love the hat. Unfortunately there is not hat out there that doesn't make me look even dorkier than I already am, but that doesn't stop me from knitting and wearing them

HipDroppedStitches said...

Oh, it is stunning!

All my ideas are already listed by previous commenters... Publish the pattern? Gift for your sister?

Selfishly, I cannot help but think that if it becomes a gift for your sister, I may be able to see it in person... maybe even try it on for just a moment... I think it would compliment my eye color quite nicely. ;-)

On the other hand, I hope the hat you dreamed of is in your very near future.

Kimberly said...

I LOVE that cloche.... go ahead and wear it! And then tell me how to make one....

Elizabeth said...

I can't help you with the cloche; they're not my style. Although it did occur to me that it might make a nice giveaway gift. But I see I'm not the first to suggest that. If you're passing over Lafayette, IN on your way south, look down and think of us, freezing here, while you head to Texas. I'm jealous!

Peg of Tilling said...

Does it look like a fishing hat if you have it on? Maybe you could add some lures or something...

Bonnita said...

Model it for us first! Then do as you wish with said cloche. Love the colors!

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

But it is a pretty cloche.

...taking selfish satisfaction that these things DO happen to the Best Of Us.

kim

dclulu said...

Hilarious -- and gorgeous. What to do with the hat? Give it to me! (Or any of the others in these comments who suggested the same thing...)

mbcrui knitting olympics said...

I don't know, Franklin, I think we need to see it *on* you to get the full effect.

only the dog farts here said...

It is a damn fine cloche. Thanks for sharing.

Seanna Lea said...

It shouldn't be that funny, but it is. Maybe your subconscious wanted you to make another pattern to publish and it tried to dupe you into it via a hat for yourself.

Jody said...

maybe you could gift the cloche to the woman who waited longest in line at Rhinebeck for your book two years ago. That MIGHT be me!!! I do love the shape and your workmanship ---yummy! Publish?

Jody said...

on second thought - let's swap! I'll make a hat for you - one to make your head and heart glad.

Mindy said...

so cloche, and yet so far...

Jeanne said...

Publish the pattern! I love it, and would be so tempted to make it, just to see how I do look in a cloche. I just want a warm winter hat that does not ride up over my right ear. Not the left, just the right.

Carrie#K said...

Wear it. Surely a man who learned to knit in prison could carry it off. (I know, I know but that was so crazy I can't ever forget it).

MEL said...

I like the cloche! I enjoyed your interview on Fiber Beat. I am signed up for one of the classes you are teaching in Houston. Can't wait!

Ken said...

Dunno. To be a cloche, it needs swag. Or a flower.

http://ethicalstyle.com/issue-13/on-trends/redux/

Jamie Knits said...

You are more than welcome to send the hat to me.

I had something happen to a tam I finished knitting on New Year's Day. It was Jared Flood's Beaumont design in the called for Fresco yarn, and it looked great before blocking (it matched gauge and was only very slightly puckered).

In blocking it grew dramatically (I could wear it as a ski mask if it had eyeholes). I'm not sure I can block it down to human sized.

Perhaps it has something to do with the colors I chose -- almost an exact match of the blue and gray you used for your hat. There may be a curse that neither of us is aware of.

Elizabeth D said...

Take it to New York and bestow it upon our Black Bunny friend.

Ringed Dragon said...

Oh, oh...Pick Me, PICK ME!!! I'll also add my voice to those saying to publish, as I need that hat!

Benita said...

Sell the pattern, man!! I'd love to make one because I want a hat my husband can't steal.

PICAdrienne said...

Publish the pattern dear Man, it is wonderful, even if it doesn't really fit the mood of the biker jacket.

verification word is ragst. Is that what you experiencing? Clothing angst?

Angela said...

'Tis lovely, but 'tis not you, to be sure. The best-laid plans of mice and men... I heard the Fiber Beat podcast and you were great! Have a wonderful time on your trips.

The Foggy Knitter said...

Thank you for helping me to laugh and recover from the trauma catching up with Nigel's funeral on the radio.

I say hang corks off it and see if you could pass it off as Australian. Oh and definitely publish it, whatever it was supposed to be, it's certainly beautiful and a lovely piece of knitting, if that's any consolation?

Ariana said...

Auction it and use some of the money to buy some new yarn for a manhat (currently lusting over Jared Flood's Turn A Square) and donate the rest.

And then post the pattern. Because it is lovely, even if not very manly.

Sahar said...

I imagine that cloche would look positively charming on your sister. But what do I know?

tamara said...

I say, felt the cloche, upside-down it...nice little catch-all for a table somewhere...or donate it...or give it away to a twenty-something inspired by the twenties...or, hell, will it go with The Poncho??

Marushka C. said...

Wool pixies - now you tell me! I have been reading the Ravelry forums (fora?) for years, faithfully, and no one there ever warned me about the wool pixies. That must be what happens to my spinning... such drastic changes between vision and results can only be explained by pixies. Now, how do I get rid of them?

Gail (nosenabook) said...

Gift? Contest? Whatever you want.
However, I would pay money for the pattern.

Your turn on Fiber Beat was much enjoyed.

Em said...

As for the Cloche, you shoudl publish that pattern on Ravelry as soon as possible -- it clearly has a destiny far beyond your own head! Good luck with the next hat --may it be actually for yourself this time :)

Lokismom said...

Last time I knit a hat that didn't work as a head covering, it made a very nice tea cozy.

Gretchen said...

Just listened to Fiber Beat. Great podcast. I had to laugh about the New Yorker cartoon fears. For Christmas my brother gave us a bound copy of all the cartoons he had had rejected by the New Yorker. They send a very polite rejection, by the way.
The cartoons by George Booth are my favorite.

undeadgoat said...

I am beginning to see the myriad advantages to my knitting of my personal style which runs the gamut from very feminine to not at all feminine, also my brother is a good place to put any accidentally masculine hats.

Lisa said...

Face it, we Chicagoans will wear anything if it keeps our heads warm. I suggest you keep it for that special blustery snowy day when you need just that special bit of wimsy and warmth. I suggest it for tramping down Michigan. Tramping as in walking ;-)

FiberQat said...

What JoVE said. Give it to your sister. She's in Maine. Her daughter gets all the goods. Mom deserves pretty stuff too.

I agree as well that it should be called Mingwot because it's shape came out so arbitrary.

Anonymous, too said...

Everyone seems to think your sister deserves the hat (and she probably does) BUT. . .

. . . if cloches or the colors are not her style, I suggest frogging the darn thing. Reuse the yarn to knit the kind of man's cap for which it is obviously well suited: a striped, rib-knit ski cap. Pom-pom optional.

Anonymous said...

I did not expect to see that hat. It could work...sorta...what does the brim do, once on? Love the pattern.

J. Kwiatkowski said...

It's a hat, just wear it. Say you were inspired by Peruvian weavers, no one is going to research it.

Phyllis said...

A lovely hat, please do publish the pattern. The brim is great, and I think the colorwork would be fun in two shades of blue.
And get out some nice sportweight wool so you can knit yourself a simple ribbed cap for New York City. It's cold here.

Rusty B. said...

Having met you in person, I don't think this will match your trademark ensemble. However the hat is truly an excellent piece of work and I would love to have the pattern. Thanks for the humorous take on your newest creation.

scifiknitter said...

Ummmmmmm - publish the pattern?

Great hat, but I don't think it's you.

Anita said...

Wear it with the motorcycle jacket and jeans. That would be seriously cool.

Anonymous said...

Why publish the pattern of course so we can all sport a Franklin Hat!

Krispian said...

Publish the pattern, but add a couple of knitted flowers and a riboon band and you will have a nicer hat.

Nonsensible suggestion: felt it and use it as a fruit bowl.

Anonymous said...

The cloche is beautiful!! My suggestion is either wear it with Big Pride or force Dolores to wear it!

Tressa in NC

Janet said...

From the sound of your schedule, knitting is alive and well - even if the top of your head is cold.

Anonymous said...

your sister?
margieinmaryland

Anonymous said...

your sister?
margieinmaryland

Anonymous said...

The same thing you did with the Travelling Cap? Only this time with pictures, please.

=Tamar said...

Felt it down to a smaller size? or turn it into a beret - 160 stitches around is a lot.

Yvonne said...

My birthday is the 24th. . . Just sayin'
Yvonne in Bellingham WA

leslie said...

Put it on your head, stride out of the front door with purpose, and wear it with pride! It's beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Please publish the pattern! It will become an instant favorite.

Maureen Moran said...

I'd love the pattern... but I'd suggest that for yourself you snip a couple threads about 2 inches from the edge (more or less depending on your taste in ribbing), separate the two, pick up the live stitches and do a k2, p2 ribbing, then cast off.

meezermeowmy said...

Both publish the pattern AND give it away in a contest. It's GORGEOUS!

Elizabeth said...

Honey, as a longtime lurker, I just had to emerge to say that you could so pull off that cloche avec biker jacket.

redsilvia said...

I guess it all depends whether you've got a matching purse?

Why not use that lovely stitch pattern for a top down beanie creation and sell the set as his/hers patterns. That way there'll be less to rip should 1920s Madge rear her head again.

Anonymous said...

I love that Harry gave you a Moleskine notebook.

Gerri in St Paul said...

Right, Redsilvia, right. If he has the correct purse, the biker jacket is not an issue. I'm with you.

Will try to find you in a hallway in NYC and get your autograph on that great ad. My studio needs a boost of power. Didn't get into any talks/classes but that's ok.

Jolanda said...

Actually, just the type of cloche I'm looking for. Will there be a pattern?

SallyT said...

Can't wait to take your photography class here in Houston. BTW, it is not snowing here and it is way abouve freezing. You won't even need the hat!

Liberty's Yarn said...

LOVE it! Please publish!

FlyKytten said...

Wear the cloche anyways! ;) Or, as Eileen suggested, CONTEST!

And definitely publish the pattern. It's so purty!

Moondancer5 said...

I'm here in Times Square and my head is cold!

Please bring it to the Hilton and I will relieve you of the angst of having it and not wearing it outside. Unless you're thinking of ditching the leather for an nice low-buttoned flapper coat...

Zaz said...

looks like you been to watch the change of guards at buckinghams?!

RuTemple said...

Having just seen and enjoyed The King's Speech, we wonder whether you might have inadvertantly been channeling your inner Queen Mum, or for that matter, channeling Helena Bonham Carter *swoon* and much more regard for TQM's heretofore overlooked by us wit and verve: once strolling up a staircase lined with bright young guardsmen she turned to Noel Coward, strolling with her, and murmered, "I wouldn't, Noel. They count them before they place them out."
Another vote for publishing the pattern please, and either giving your sister or a random-drawing winnner the hat as she currently is.

Anonymous said...

I love the cloche! It would make a splendid gift and/or a door prize. Perhaps auction it for your favorite charity. And, of course it just pretties up wherever it sits.

viruletdew said...

Um. My birthday is January 21. I am obsessed with the 1920s, Erte, and most recently Boardwalk Empire.

But, yes. Please publish the pattern. It looks lovely. Or at least publish a photo of you, in the hat and biker jacket ensemble. Please. For my birthday ^^

Linda said...

"Excited as a cat at a midnight mouse buffet"? You are so funny!

Ditch the biker jacket. Find a corduroy jacket for a "professorial look" and the hat works just fine. (Love it, BTW!)

PS Remember helping me in Eureka to get close-ups of sterling pcs? Finally got my camera to do it. You helped me to not be afraid to play around with it. (Now if I can only remember which buttons I pushed ...) :>

Lester's Mama said...

Whatever happened to your Ethel Doll?

When last heard from, you had stitched the body but not yet attached it to her head. Has she any clothes yet?

Inquiring minds need to know.

Leslie said...

The hat was just meant to be and willed itself into existence through you. You can't fight it!
I agree with those who suggested publishing the pattern. It's a very lovely hat.

Anonymous said...

if you're ever in the position of having to plead insanity in court, just wear the hat...

Janet said...

I've just been reading the program for the Vogue Knitting Weekend - all I have to say is WOW. Wish I could be there.

Julie said...

Wouldn't it be lovely if moleskine made knitting graph-paper notebooks? Then, maybe, some days wouldn't be Like That.

Anonymous said...

I hope you decide to sell the pattern. I would love to knit that hat. Your designs are beautiful, and the cloche is no exception.

Anonymous said...

Yes please share the pattern, it is a very beautiful cloche and shetland wool are wonderful

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