12 February 2007

The P0rn Hat

Warning: Not really a G-rated post! I think my mom gave my blog address to our family’s minister, so Pastor Linda, if you’re reading this, you may want skip this entry. I swear I’m a perfectly innocent girl with no knowledge of boy parts, promise!

Thank goodness the Buffalo weather has chosen to cooperate with my quest for the perfect hat. Last week we had a lovely day of balmy temps running around 5 below so I got to take the latest creation out for a test run.

Let’s just say that true to any good adventure quest, the first attempt was, um, a little less than stellar.

I rooted around in the stash and found a skein of Victorian Pink Lamb’s Pride bulky, perfect for the Hot Head hat from Stitch ‘n Bitch. (For once I made the pattern as specified so no modifications to blame for the failure.) Easy, fast knit, and, despite being a smidge weary of the pink craze, I came up with plans to add some flowers and doo-dads to make a matching set out of the hat and a store-bought brown scarf.

And then I wore the darn thing…

I was first disappointed that it was too short to fold up as in the picture, but minor problem and one easily fixed by adding more rows to the bottom or even ripping back before the decreases and adding rows. I had some initial concerns that the hat was going to poof up to a point at the top and give me the conehead look, but of course, being an impatient person, I wanted to debut my debacle as soon as it was off the needles.

In the morning, I came in a little late and had to park in the far, far campus lot (which is so far I might as well have a spot in Iowa and hoof it to Buffalo, but not complaining…). No problemo, I’m super girl with mohair in her hat and I’ve dealt with frozen lattes before. (See last post.) Bring it on, Buffalo, bring it on. The morning air was a bit brisk and the large gauge allowed some air seepage, but nothing too terrible.

The evening hike, on the other hand, was grueling. I’d had a very busy, stressful day which didn’t leave me time to actually eat anything besides a wimpy little protein shake so I started my trek hungry, tired and wiped out. That state may have something to do with the following mental breakdown, but I’m giving the hat most of the blame here.

Leslie’s Mental Monologue

Holy $%#^@ it’s cold out here. Must. Fight. Wind. One foot in front of the other. Only 267 more miles to go.

This is why it’s so hard to lose weight in Buffalo. The body is programmed to store fat layers for warmth. Good thing I’ve only shed three pounds or I’d really be freezing out here.

Hmm, let’s check out my hat as I walk past the reflective library windows.

AAAACCCKKK!!! I’m not a conehead, I’m a pen1s. Pink poofs in all the wrong places. That’s sooooo wrong. Must. Remove. Pen1sheadhat.

Woah, too cold to go commando.

Hey, I’m cool. I’m hip. I can pull off the pen1s look… at least until I get to my car.

Oh, man, I know that undergrad there is laughing at me. I can hear her now, “OMG* I just saw a dorky grad student wearing a pen1s hat. I would never be caught dead in a hat like that. That’s why I’m strutting across campus wearing a freakin’ miniskirt and UGG boots with bare legs. I’m waaaaay too hip for Sienna Miller leggings or a Pen1s Hat. Frostbite be damned!”

I never liked undergrads anyway.

So is it more of a naked pen1s or a condom head? Knitwear which resembles (or cozies) prophylactics is just wrong on many, many levels.

I wonder if there will be knitalongs for the latest issue of the AntiCraft. Shoot, I could enter this sucker and be the first to finish.

I bet this pattern is featured in that book, “Not Tonight Dear, I’m Knitting.” Who needs a boy when you’ve got a pen1s hat?

Okay, um, that’s not funny. I need a date, not more knitting.

No chance I’m going to get a date wearing this hat though.

I’m going to freeze before I get to my car. No, can’t do that. I can hear the news report now. “Girl Freezes in Fraternity Hazing Scandal! Forced to Walk through Arctic Tundra Dressed as Giant Pen1s! Story at 11.”

Victorian Pink yarn… humph. This stuff should come with a warning: “Resembles flesh when knit in suggestive shapes. Cast on with caution.”

And what makes this pink so Victorian anyway? The contemporary vision of the nineteenth century aesthetic is so problematic. T.S. Eliot and BBC movies have really created a fairyland of chintz, haven’t they? All angels and tacky lace and pink innocence when really, most of the lower classes during the Victorian era probably hadn’t a stitch of pink in their presence. It’s a darn good thing I’m researching this. I should send my dissertation to the Brown Sheep yarn company when I’m done so their yarn namer can address this problem.

Okay, now I’m a total dork wearing a Victorian Pink pen1s hat. I think the cold is making me lose touch with reality.

Don’t look in those reflective windows there. You don’t want to see what you look like.

Oh thank the heavens there’s my car. Ditch this hat now. I must be more careful with my future knitting.

Pulled down tight it isn't quite so pornographic, but trust me, with a pink scarf and the right poof, wrooooong.

Needless to say, the Pink Pen1s Hat will be frogged and the Victorian Pink yarn repurposed into something which in no way resembles anatomically correct fleshy bits.

* OMG = Oh my god in txt** speak because undergrads really do carry on as if all of life was a giant IM** session.
** txt = text; IM = instant messaging. What can I say, I spend a lot of time with undergrads. Their ways infect you unwittingly.

05 February 2007


Two not very nice things happened this morning.

1. On my twenty minute hike to the office across the snowy, windy terrain of campus, my latte dribbled down the side of my coffee cup… and froze.

Seriously… ice crystals in the latte. Not nice.

2. In the middle of that twenty minute hike, I honestly had to stop walking and plant both my feet so the wind whipping around the buildings wouldn’t toss me on my tush. Now, I’m not a dainty little flower to be tossed about at the slightest gale. This was major wind.

Seriously… doing battle with the wind. Not nice.

I’m sure there’s some badge of honor to be earned by battling the elements when the elements are 15 below zero, but honestly, I could live without it. These are the days where the true Buffalonians show their colors with pride and the rest of us, well, we whimper and think about balmy days a wee bit south.

Sometimes I worry that I’m becoming too much of a local when I actually get the Yarn Harlot’s jokes about the differences between “warm” snow and “cold” snow.

I get really worried when I nod my head in agreement and think about telling her all the gory details of how the “cold” snow freezes into three foot drifts that you can walk on since they’re solid. Sure, “warm” snow may be prettier for posing knitwear, but “cold” snow is so solid you don’t have to worry about stepping into it and having it come over the top of your boots and making your feet wet.

Or maybe it’s just that my feet are so cold they can’t tell if they’re wet or dry…

Anyway, my ears do know that these store-bought hats aren’t cutting it so I’m on a knitting mission… to find the perfect hat… or hats, because really, just like purses, a Buffalo girl’s gotta have a hat wardrobe.

I’ve got one all ready to put to the test tomorrow. Will mohair matter? Will bulky knitting let in too much air in the space between the stitches? Will the pink be visible enough in case I do break through one of those snow drifts and end up under ice until spring?

04 February 2007

Awaiting Little Green Men

Just call my apartment Area 51. The UFOs are a-buzzing and replicating themselves as fast as Tribbles.*

In desparation, I brought in expert UFO managers Scully and Mulder for a consultation. They said the case was severe but they thought a two-pronged attack might tame the beasts.

1. Project Spectrum 2.0 to the rescue. Notice all the blue up there? So for the next two months, I'm going to focus my attack on the blue, grey and white projects in the basket(s). Trust me, there are many, many more blue, grey and white things waiting. Lolly kicked it off with my favorite colors so this should be an easy task to focus on this combo.

2. February Finishing: Since the Yarn Diet of '07 is working** I'm going to try to step it up a notch and not cast on any new projects until 1 March. We'll just ignore the fact that I cast on for a new hat last night and I'm itching for new socks on the needles. Before the month is out, I'm going to post something rare and mysterious around here: Finished Projects! I'm going to update my sidebar list of things on the needles as I find them and try for naked needles by March.

Projects Pictured: Amy Butler Sew-Along CD Organizer (the January project which still isn't finished!!); Baby hat for a nephew who came early and is going to be cold without some knitted love from his aunt; Clapotis that needs blocking; booties for baby feet; afghan for the Lone Knitter's charity collection; Fair Isle felted bag that's been waiting for a lining for, um, months and months

* I'm not much of a Star Trek fan but for some reason the little furrballs stuck in my head. I don't really remember watching the show, but I've heard that my dad used to be a huge fan, so huge in fact that the family story is that he left his own wedding reception in a hurry to get to the hotel… to watch Spock and Co. I really don’t want any more details about my parents’ honeymoon, but it's nice to get some evidence that Tivo has improved our lives at least in the romance department!

** I still haven't caved and bought yarn or new fabric, but whoa boy did I have my first challenge last week. The Knitting Guild brought in a speaker and the speaker brought in Koigu. Without even thinking, I was petting the yarn, looking for a colorway that I had to have. Thank goodness she focused on golds and greens, two colors that I'm not naturally drawn to. I was able to step back and talk myself down from the ledge before I pulled out the credit card. It's been a month since my Kaffe Fassett splurge and I think the cold is wearing down on my resolve. It's going to be a long, long time until those fall fiber festivals roll around!