There's a big difference between knitting the Hannah hat with cashmere and knitting the Hannah hat with Cascade 220. For one thing, the cashmere was DK and C220 is worsted. Did I bother to change the needle size when I knit this new hat? No.

Also, cashmere is much softer than 100% wool (duh!) and wool has a certain body to it that when you knit it tightly (as I have done with these size 6 knitting needles meant for DK yarn) you end up with a tough hand. It's so tough that it could stand up on its own. Without starch.

The multicolored plies in the cashmere hide a multitude of sins. The single color Cascade... not so much. I increased incorrectly, I decreased in the wrong spots here and there in robin's egg blue for all to see, yet I can't bring myself to frog the thing.

People, knitters, friends and loved ones: I believe in making mistakes. It is my tendency in life to want to experience things so immediately that I really don't care whether something is the right or wrong decision. This attitude works better in some parts of life than in others.

Marrying the wrong guy because you don't believe in soul mates; that we're all just humans trying to get along on this planet and you might as well find the one who charms you and by the way he's immensly talented and successful, what could possibly go wrong? Yeah, that's a mistake. Especially when you discover three years later that soulmates do exist and that yours is sitting directly across from you and you're married to another guy. Then you just pretend that the guy you've always dreamed of isn't wearing that star tattoo at the base of his neck in the exact same place your favorite star necklace sits, the one your grandma gave you when you were 18. Yeah, you just pretend that the love bomb that went off in your head (didn't anybody else hear it?) never happened and hope that somehow the status quo works out.

That's the thing about mistakes. You can't pretend that they don't exist. You have to own up to them or else you'll never move forward. You'll be stuck living the wrong life, a life built on preconceived notions, fairy tales and cowardice. What kind of life can you live knowing that you're living in fear of the wrong turns you've made?

It takes bravery to fix mistakes. It takes a belief in a better life, acknowledgement that our time on this earth is too short to shortchange ourselves from living the best lives possible. It takes having to wallow in some of the darkest swamps of self loathing, guilt and uncertainty, unsure of how long it will take to feel better and how long it will take to get out.

I'm just going to have to remember that as I frog down to the brim on this thing. In the end, I'll end up with a better hat that I will appreciate more. For you can't understand how good you've got something until you know the other side of the coin, how bad life can be when you make a bad decision. That said, I'm still going to knit this thing until it's finished, just to see what it looks like.

Sometimes I never learn.

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