I managed to lose my favorite hat. Again. Last year, I left my baby blue slouchy hat in a Red Robin. This year, I left the cream one on the MBTA, and I’m sure its fate will remain unlearned. I think I’m going to have to invent a way of attaching my hat to my coat, like a mitten string for little kids, because I do not want to lose the replacement hat I’m knitting.
When I realized my hat was missing, I decided to find myself a pattern and knit something up during the eternal stretch of winter break. Finding the yarn for the pattern was a bit of an adventure. I was going downtown to shop for new, lighter, warmer winter boots on Monday, so I decided to run into a yarn shop while I was in the area. I found an address online and checked to see that I could find it on the map, and when I had found my beautiful new boots, I confidently started off to find my yarn.
Windsor Button is on a street called Temple Place, and Temple Place is not a long street. You can stand in the middle and easily read the signs on both ends of the street. You would think I would have found the shop easily, but in fact, it took me three turns up and down the street before I realized that the sign was hidden behind a massive amount of scaffolding. One turn more, and the locals would have either thought I was clumsily casing the joint, or marking myself for a mugging.
Once I found my way into the scaffolding and determined that the ill-lit windows did not mean the store was closed, I found myself inside a store that quickly filled me with wonder and dismay. The wealth of lovely yarns was a marvel, but since they didn’t have the exact brand my pattern used, how could I figure out where to start looking for a comparable yarn?
I had thought to bring the weight specs on the specified yarn along, and after about twenty minutes of poking about (and probably looking like a shoplifter with my big shoulder bag and giant boots bag), I thought I had found a yarn that would do. Not quite certain, I asked the woman at the counter if she thought the yarn I had chosen would do as a substitute. She shook her head in dismay and started talking about acrylics and double knits and gauge so quickly that I was forced to correct her perception of me as a knowledgeable and experienced knitter.
She gave me a pitying look that suggested I might do better off spending my money on a pre-made hat, but she spoke more slowly and in simpler terms as she guided me to a bin full of yarns that, sadly, were twice as expensive as the one I had picked up and not available in the color I had hoped for. She left me to contemplate my options, and it took me another twenty minutes to find a single, bedraggled skein in the chocolate brown I thought would match my wool coat. The woman who had helped me obligingly disappeared into the storeroom to find me enough of the color when I decided that the more abundant and darker brown just wouldn’t do.
The problem with color memory is that mine sucks. I was wearing my thin black coat since it was a warm day, so I had nothing to compare the yarn color against. When I got home from my trip, I pulled out the yarn happily to compare it to my coat, only to find that my coat is the same color as the yarn I had turned up my nose at.
Somehow, I just can’t bring myself to go back in to make an exchange. The woman would probably ban me from knitting. Which might not be a bad thing, since I could buy a hat cheaper than that yarn. All the same, I think I will end up loving my just-off-enough-to-clash brown lace hat.