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Finishing an Imperfect and Perfect Chullo

Well, I went ahead and finished it.  I finished the Modern Chullo from Hats & Scarves.

Yes, the one that was incredibly messed up.

I was already hesitant about unraveling this since I was seriously one row from finishing the main part of the hat.  (Ugh.)

But then people left some really nice comments on this project.  And these crafters understood my troubles.  I know this because the phrase "I feel your pain" popped up a few times.  And because there were some stories to prove it, I tell you what: WIPs that were decades old.  Projects that were worked 2 or 3 times with different hooks and yarns.  So. much. ripping. back.

I really appreciated and enjoyed everyone's comments, but two in particular really got me. One was this:

Well, I like your "wrong" chulo. Most genuine chulos have lots of mistakes on them - they give them character.

And the other was this:

I was sitting next to my dad crocheting one day and ripping out a piece. He asked why I was taking so much out. I told him I made a mistake and had to fix it. He asked where it was and I showed him. Bless his soul he said to me that you know only you would see that or think that was a mistake. I looked at him funny and he explained the people who do not crochet or knit would not see any mistakes because they do not notice thing like that. Only you who do these beautiful things do because you are the creators. Geez I miss that man, he always made me feel so good about my work.

Well, duh.  How could I forget that flaws can be memorable--in a good way?  And how I could forget that most people are not going to be as critical of my work as I am?  My husband, who could tell where I messed up on the hat but wasn't sure why I considered it ruined, had already pointed out that this looked like something his little brother would wear.

(Because I still hadn't made all of my Christmas presents.  I KNOW, I KNOW!)

Between my husband's reminder that his brother would be enduring the third round of polar vortex nastiness bareheaded and everyone's sweet comments (but especially those two up there I just quoted), it was settled:  I would finish the hat.  Most of the work was already done, anyway!

So I did.

I crocheted the rest of the body.  And then I added the ear flaps. And I worked a gray border around the bottom edge and added braids.

Man, I love the braids.

And if you look at the hat as a whole, it looks fine.  Not amazing, and not exactly like the picture in the pattern book, but fine.

And actually, my brother-in-law thought it looked awesome. He didn't realize the hat was for him when my daughter first brought it to him, and later said his first thought was "Those colors are really cool.  I wish I had a hat like that."  Hooray!

The pattern calls for a J hook and worsted weight yarn.  I used Red Heart Super Savers and an I hook and still had a gauge to fit a pretty large adult male head.  The ear flaps are huge, which I think is perfect.  The top is pointy and goofy-looking.  The colorwork is my first ever, and I think I'm a little proud of it. 

And I think this is a great hat!

16 thoughts on “Finishing an Imperfect and Perfect Chullo”

  • kai

    The Navajos believe that every piece of work must have an imperfection."Purposeful Imperfections in Navajo ArtLorraine Yapps CohenThu October 6th, 2011In attempts to learn from the experience and draw some otherwise invisible insights, I dug deep into my thoughts and researched the literature on imperfections in art.Shih nih bi-teenTurns out, I already knew about the Navajo concept of including an imperfection in their art. Into the woven wool blankets and rugs for which the Navajo are famous are purposeful flaws."A blanket must have an outlet... a mere thread of a different color or a slight, apparently accidental, break in the border pattern, which looks like an imperfection. But if it were omitted, the woman might get the blanket sickness and lose her mind." --From www.navajopeople.org.The purpose of the purposeful imperfection is to allow evil spirits a place to exit the design. Its creativity is compromised without a hole or other imperfection to usher out the 'bad' built into the piece. Also, the maker--the artist herself--can become ill from the harbored evil.Shih nih bi-teen is the Navajo word meaning "mind my road" in a literal translation. The creative idea includes a part of the mind the maker has put into the piece. It apparently requires an outlet from the art, the "road," if you will. Block that road or trap your psyche inside the art and you're headed for creative insanity, perhaps." "I love your journey and your hat.

    Reply
    • Catherine A. McClarey

      I've heard a somewhat similar story about Persian rugs - that the handmade ones are intentionally left with an imperfection. In the case of Persian rugs, however, the reason given for including a mistake on purpose is that "only God is perfect". I remind myself of that story whenever a FO of mine includes a "design feature" I hadn't planned on! ;)

      Reply
    • Jen

      I had only ever heard it about Persian rugs as well. Thanks for letting me know about the Navajos, and for your kind words.

      Reply
  • danack

    I think it looks great! That part at the bottom of the striping actually looks pretty cool. I know wanting it to be right is important, but even knowing it's not what the pattern said. I still really like it. It has a uniqueness the pattern would not have given it.

    Reply
    • Jen

      Thank you! If I had realized what I was doing as I was doing it, I could have done it for a full round and made it look intentional, ha!

      Reply
  • zombiasnow

    I like it! I am tempted to try and start one of my own..but not quite courageous enough. Maybe, soon.

    Reply
    • Jen

      Thanks. You should totally do it! The ear flaps are so warm and in the increases are really simple. Plus, it would seem that a mess-up isn't that big of a deal. Do it, do it, do it! :)

      Reply
  • Cynthia Bishop

    Remember the Amish said that also when they pieced a quilt. There was always a square that was upside down, or another "mistake" because. . . . no one is perfect. I love your hat!

    Reply
  • 4bb8f248-a4a5-11e3-ad35-000bcdcb471e

    I think it looks fabulous! It is part of YOU! That makes it wonderful, whether it matches a pattern or not!

    Reply
  • Bad Kitty Knits

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply
  • Bad Kitty Knits

    I love your hat, I knit and crochet and would have never seen a "mistake". My mom would have told you, "if you don't tell anyone, they'd never know"...just sayin'

    Reply
    • Jen

      Thank you! Your mom and my husband sound like they have the same approach, and I like it. As luck would have it, I don't think my brother-in-law reads this. So I'm safe!

      Reply
  • savannahmarie

    thanks for a great blog - such wisdom and creativity. our irish grandmother said to leave a flaw (or three) to keep the evil one from trying to destroy it since he hates perfection. thanks again. karenb/fredw

    Reply
    • Jen

      Thanks for the kind words. I think leaving 3 flaws in a project is something I could definitely excel at! I'll have to remind myself of that the next time I start to get frustrated with a project.

      Reply
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