About a year or two ago, I made the Husbeast a hat. I used the Ripley pattern by Ysolda Teague, and made it out of a dark grey alpaca blend from Michael’s.
It itches. And an itchy hat doesn’t make for happy husbeasts.
(This is not the first occasion when an alpaca blend has caused itchiness. I also find that the Berocco Ultra Alpaca Light that I used for a couple of pairs of handwarmers are also somewhat itchy. Makes me sad because they were nice and warm and pretty.)
So I sent the Husbeast to the yarn store with Very Specific Directions. He requires Very Specific Directions because the lady who tends the cash on the weekends likes to be Helpful, and while that’s something I might appreciate, it just confuses the Husbeast.
The softest merino yarn I know of is Malabrigo, and I know that it wouldn’t cause itchiness if it could help it. The yarn recommendations for the Graham hat pattern list Malabrigo Rios, so I figured we couldn’t go too far wrong. His other Very Specific Direction was to choose a colourway that he would like. Apparently the Kind Yarn Shop Lady tried her usual tactic of trying to confuse him by Giving Him Options, but he stuck to his guns and was very happy that the yarn seemed to be very soft, squishy, and non-itchy.
(Note to yarn store owners/staff: If the customer isn’t the Knitter of the family and he has been sent to the Yarn Store for specific yarns, please don’t try to offer alternatives. They don’t need to know all the merits of your favourite alternative. They are there to pick up Very Specific Yarn, and all you are doing is adding confusion and ammunition to the argument that they shouldn’t stop by the yarn store even if they’re in the area. You want to make a sale and I want my yarn, right? We copacetic here?)
I started knitting on Saturday evening after the yarn came home, and was done with the hat by Sunday evening in time for him to wear it to work. It’s a really simple pattern, and it’s totally reversible. In fact, I find it even more interesting when it’s reversed. It shows off the texture and colours really well.
So far, so good! He tells me that it’s not itchy at all. He wore it to the Nine Inch Nails concert that we attended this past Monday. All the pictures here were taken in the amazingly well-lit Calgary Transit LRT. No concert photos, though…I was too busy enjoying the experience of an arena full of people of various ages all singing along to “Head like a Hole.. 😉
(I did, however, wear the wrong shoes. Therefore, while he had a cool hat to mark the occasion, I got a pair of really bad blisters on my heels. Live and learn. Let that be a lesson: Sometimes the stompy shoes need to stay home. Sometimes the fully broken-in walking shoes are the better bet. Even at an Industrial genre concert.)