Deep in my heart I knew that rowan cocoon was no substitute for a 3 ply non mohair yarn. But I had been drooling over the colors for months, fondling a skein or two when I made the drive to Woolgathering. It seemed like the perfect idea to buy a skein of it rather than another expensive skein of yak down. Then my honorary brother would get a nice brown hat, I would get to fulfill a desire and save some bucks.
As I went to take the ball band off the skein I heard the little voice in my head say, "This is a bad idea. Just leave that ball band on and we'll exchange it for something else." My Tarueen stubbornness kicked in and I screamed, "No everything will be fine! Cocoon and I will have a love affair of epic proportions and together we will make the most beautiful of hats. My honorary brother will let of a squeal of glee when I give the hat to him and then we will celebrate by eating donuts." (Note: the eating of donuts was the only thing based in reality) So I cast on for another Koolhaus and everything was find and dandy except for the really annoying splittiness of the yarn. This did not sour my enthusiasm though, because the ribbing looked fine and the color still lovely. I got to the lattice pattern and puttered along so well my husband was impressed with the progress I'd made. Then on a Monday (of course) I was sure I'd made a mistake and knitted a row of the chart twice. I checked three times and then ripped out a good two inches. As I picked up my stitches I looked at my knitting again and realized that I hadn't made a mistake. Two inches had just been ripped out for no reason, not to mention it was really hard to get this yarn back on the needles.
This was the turning point in my relationship with cocoon. I realized that this was a high maintenance, willful yarn that would not do my bidding. The mohair fuzzed out obscuring the lattice pattern, making me ask myself if it was worth doing a whole row of cable crosses if you couldn't see the gosh darn pattern. The hat sat for a week or two while I canvased ravelry for a different pattern. The solution seemed to be to rip back to the ribbing and knit a ribbed hat with a few cable twists. It was a classic look that should be simple enough for the mohair.
So I ripped (ya the mohair make that reallllll fun) and started re-knitting, making it up as I went. I worked on this for several days this week, enlisting my husband as my head model. Flat the hat looked no so great, but I told myself this was fine because it looked much better on my husbands head. Yesterday I finished it and threw it on my husband for a final fitting. He said, "Oh I like this," and sounded sincere. I asked if the hat felt like it was pulling up on his head. He hesitated and then agreed that it did feel like it was a bit short and that the bottom ribbing was too loose. I popped the hat on my head went to the mirror and said, "Oh crap."" Yes the scales fell from my eyes and I realized that this yarn was not going to make the kind of hat I wanted to give to my honorary brother. It was not the beautiful love child of a torrid yarn affair. It was a knitted turd. Sighhhhhhh