I saw my brother recently and he presented me with a very sorry looking hat. It is one of the three scrap hats I have given him over the years (he wears a hat most of the time, even in the summer. No, I don't understand it either). One of the yarns I had used had started to disintegrate with the result that the hat was developing organised holes in various places. I say organised because the fabric and stitches around was intact, so picking up live stitches seemed fairly straightforward.
Here you can see one of the smaller holes.
This hole was a bit more dramatic. As there was a complete round or two of dodgy yarn here, it soon parted company with the rest of the hat. It looked very scary, but I did my best not to panic. I cant possibly comment on rumours about gin.
Anywayz, I made a start with some duplicate stitch over the top of some of dodgier areas, and to fill in the gaps in the smaller holes near the top of the hat.
Once that was all fixed, I moved onto repairing the body of the hat. I ripped out the dodgy yarn and picked up stitches around the bottom of the hat. I needed to add some length back in to compensate for the bits lost through dodgy yarn and felting. It was all going so well. I was bossing it big style. I added a few more rounds and then set about grafting the new live stitches to the old live stitches of the brim.
Me and old Kitchener are great friends, and I am sure (although I have never tried) that I could successfully graft a sock toe in near darkness. I set about the great graft. I took it steady, working on groups of 10 stitches at a time just to break it up a bit, and allow myself an opportunity to drink tea, wrangle children or put it down occasionally. I didn't think I would be able to guarantee a whole 6 hours of uninterrupted grafting that this would surely involve.
I did half of the grafting and then stopped for some family event (dinner maybe). After bed time, I picked up the hat again. I was going to nail this mother. I grafted and grafted and grafted. I sipped my drink, I admired my work. It was looking so good. I was down to the last 30 stitches, the last 20, the last ....
Um. Something didn't look right. I looked again. I stopped. The knitting demons laughed and laughed.
The remaining numbers of stitches did not match. It wasn't a fudgeable 1 or 2 stitch discrepancy it was EIGHT - 8! Eight whole stitches had somehow disappeared between the brim and the rest of the hat.
I should have counted my stitches. I should have counted my stitches.
There endeth today's lesson.
to be continued...