Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ceci n'est pas une toque

There's something to be said for instant gratification, but I'm certainly not getting any of it. My bit of secret knitting project #1 is done, but project #2 is still hanging around, and unlikely to go away soon. Same with project #3. That one's going to be a while.

And then there's the double-knit hat. The energizer double-knit hat. The hat that's still going.

For nearly 15 years, as long as I've lived in Toronto (and by extension, Canada), I thought I knew what a toque was. I understood that a toque was a kind of knitted winter cap that wasn't a tight-fitting beanie or skullcap. But according to DH, this and even this are not toques. Neither is this standard Seaman's cap, which I consider to be quite respectable and toque-like. DH was very specific: In a toque, there should be a gap between the top of the head and the crown of the hat. He says this pocket of air is warmed by the heat coming off your head, and this then helps keep your head warm, like insulation. Above all, it is not snug. Apparently, this is his idea of a perfect-fitting toque. The tassle on the top, says DH, is optional, though it's the only time that he will be willing to wear a tassle.

I was a little confused when he told me this, but then I started really watching guys old and young on the subway (all in the name of research, of course), and I realized that yes, for the classic "toque look," there is a gap between the top of the head and the crown of the hat.

I would call this a "badly fitting winter hat," but it just goes to show what I know.

So, the never-ending double-knit hat will be a DH-defined toque. Which means I have quite a few more inches to go.


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