felted toque

This is another prime example of me doing something without a pattern and then regretting it later. Why do I never learn?!

For Christmas, I wanted to make my brother-in-law a really warm toque, because he works outside in the frigid temperatures of the Yukon. So, I went on ravelry and searched the patterns for “man toque” (I believe that is the technical term). The thing about ravelry which I love and sometimes hate is the sheer volume of patterns available at my fingertips. When I am searching for something obscure, there is a good chance something might come up, but with something like a man’s toque…there were endless pages to go through! When I finally did find the one I wanted, the pattern was 5 bucks! And, I being the cheapskate that I am, looked at the toque and decided that I didn’t need a pattern but I could do it myself. Famous. Last. Words.

The toque in the picture was reversible so I figured I would just knit an oblongy-circle and then push one side inside the other. Simple!  Well, I knit my little fingers to the bone trying to get this project done in time for the big Christmas Eve gift-giving ceremony. In fact, I got a blister which has left a little pink circle on my palm still. My first knitting war-wound. When I finally put the finished casting off it was only hours before the evening gifting was to commence and instead of breathing a sigh of relief or raising a triumphant fist-pump to the air, I realized that the toque was waaaaay too big. With no time to fix it, I begrudgingly wrapped the toque and prepared a post-gifting apology and explanation that I would find a way to fix his toque.

Since at this point I would rather move heaven and earth than reknit the toque I devised a plan: this toque is wool, and wool shrinks when felted, so I would purposely felt the wool and all would be well again. Only issue was that the toque couldn’t shrink lengthwise, because then it would be too short. After a brief scuffle of researching on the world-wide-web, I took the toque back and began the fixing process. Only issue was that I had never done something like this before and I was kinda freaked out. What if I ruined it and instead of being too big the toque would only be able to fit my one year old niece after I was done with it? Oh the humanity!

Well, this story has a happy ending. After two delicate wash cycles and a whole lot of stretching, the toque was finally wearable! Check it out:

Look! It’s Ben’s blue steel:

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