I am all about the turbans

Yesterday I finally finished knitting my difficult, difficult lemon difficult hat.

If I could have been bothered to make some, it would have been a hanging out the bunting sort of day. 

I wrestled with that hat. It has taken weeks.

To be fair, many of those weeks involved sulking profoundly with said hat, and ignoring it altogether until I could pluck up sufficient courage to approach it again. Some people do not really approve of sulking. I have complex rules about it. For instance; I totally disapprove of sulking in a fight situation. I am a bit of a shrieky, shrieky, pot smashing sort of woman when it comes to fighting. After which I feel much better and all is forgiven and forgotten. The thought of bearing a grudge and crashing around the house for a fortnight wallowing in it is totally alien to me. On the other hand I completely embrace it as an integral part of any learning/creative process I may be going through. I am fine to sulk with a) myself, b) my muse (ha) and c) whatever it is I am trying to make/do.

I know it doesn’t make sense.

I don’t make the rules.

Well, except in this case where I clearly do. But I like to think of this part of my unconscious as a sort of separate, Dolores Umbridge type woman.


There were issues with the hat. 

Firstly I had taken the pattern from a very glamorous book I found in the library. I found the pressure of working from a library book rather stressful as I had to keep taking the bloody thing back to renew it, thus reminding myself that I had failed to knit the hat. Not clever.

Secondly the book was so glamorous that even though everything in it was lovely, it was really for people who actually knew what they were doing. In fact, the first hat I picked to knit out of it was so complicated, even the lovely Fiona at Knit One, who is brilliant at encouraging you beyond your abilities to stretch you, and indeed reframing every mistake you woefully turn up at the door with as a new and exciting learning opportunity, shook her head.

This hat was the easiest of the bunch, and in retrospect, now that I know exactly what to do, it wasn’t particularly hard, except that as I was going along I didn’t know what to do, so it was very hard.

Thirdly, I cannot read good pattern. The language of knitting is profoundly algebraic in nature and involves all sorts of brackets and letter combinations. I do not do algebra, and it is one thing I am reconciled to never being good at and feel no desire to go back to school to learn.

Fourthly, there is a massive difference between UK patterns/knittese and US patterns/knittese, and I had picked an American book, so I had to learn English knittese and then learn US knittese and try to work from there. Which made my head spin around rather.

Fifthly, there were sums. Enough said.

So it is a wonder the hat got made at all, and indeed, on the final push this week I have haunted the wool shop. I am thinking of asking for an internship I spend so much time there, what with that and the crochet of doom.

Still, it is made, and actually I rather love it.



I appreciate that it looks a bit like a scary Tunnocks tea cake here, but it also looks like a knitted Tunnocks tea cake, so more power to my elbow and all that.

Here it is, in situ:


Which is much more the thing, I think you will agree. Apologies for the strange angle. I needed to show you the plaity bit and hence the selfie of oddness.

My friend Claire said it looks rather Mrs. Overallish, and I agree that there is a faint whiff of diva turban there, but I embrace that.


As you can see here, where I am modelling a Missoni Mrs. Overall turban in Liberty of London, which was a very reasonable £200 or so.

It is my destiny to embrace the turban.



11 responses to “I am all about the turbans

  1. I love your pictures. I bought 6 different coloured turbans and various coloured feather plumes all for about £40 in case I lose my hair to chemo so far touch wood and fingers crossed I have not needed them. Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Margaret all look good in turbans so if needed I may even be in fashion. Keep your stories coming they cheer me up.

  2. You made a hat with a cable, you brave woman! And a big dramatic cable at that. Well done and what pretty colors you chose. I just knit a hat that came out a bit small so will go to the 10 year old. Now I think I know how to adjust so the next one will be big enough for my bean. But I always think I can ‘adjust’ a pattern, ha.

    • It was a cheat’s cable to be fair. I will work up to real cable. And the wool was all one yarn. It just knits up like that, but still, I am very happy with it.

  3. I totally agree with Nimble…. a complicated and colourful making an elegant statement.

  4. That last photo is hilarious! Seriously good knitting, though.

  5. There, we just knew that you’d do it! Having completed that you can go on to something else, when you have recovered. Does your library not allow you to renew books on line?

  6. Finishing my scarf blanket now before embarking upon a jumper. The library does let you renew online. It was more the fact of renewing it whichever way made me realise I wasn’t doing it.

  7. You might want to look for patterns on the internet – then you can print out and write all over them, scratching out the sizes you aren`t making and the like. At risk of sounding commercial I would recommend Ravelry and Drops. Ravelry is a join-and-share sort of site for knitters with a lot of free patterns. Drops is a Norwegian yarn company that has patterns for their different weights and textures of yarn which are perfectly useful for other yarns as well. The instructions are in several languages – including English and American. They also have language-less videos showing various techniques.

    If you want to move on to something new consider mittens; you get to do a number of interesting things in a small project. You have a trio of recipients at your service,too. And if the results are not perfect they will at least be easily identifiable at play time!

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