Checked to see what sorts of posts I've left unfinished; the nucleus of this post is from June 7.
This is the story of my orange beret, shown below with incorrect color but the construction's shown off well.
My then-boyfriend (the Engineer) took me to the yarn store for Valentine's Day and told me to pick some things out for myself. He was a pretty awesome boyfriend while it lasted. We biked from campus to the yarn store, and stopped at a chocolate shop on the way. Also a RadioShack. He didn't actually buy anything there, but I get it. I go to this awesome crafty/"creativity-focused" store on my lunch break all the time, but the only time I've spent money there was on a journal over winter break.
Now I knew that the Engineer could certainly afford to buy me yarn, but he always talked bad about his exes (he probably still does, but now that I'm ex he'd rather talk about me than to me), and how it annoyed him so much when they expected him to spend more money than he could afford, but at the same time he wouldn't give me an upper limit. So I focused my search on the sale room, especially because that particular LYS had just decided to stop carrying Cherry Tree Hill and a few kinds of Noro. I actually focused pretty exclusively on the Cherry Tree Hill, which was all buy 1 get 1 free. There was some frustration, like a light fingering-weight semisolid silk which I really really wanted but would only have been affordable at 50% off. I ended up focusing on a variegated laceweight alpaca, but I find laceweight a little scary, and I was pretty sure I wouldn't like the color effects in anything I'd like the fabric for. But a yarn store lady helped me a lot in my indecision by suggesting that I'd like to double-strand it with some slightly-mottled orange worsted cotton.
I let the yarn sit around in my stash for a while; I'd already looked up worsted-weight cotton berets with some awesome fair-trade tweedy organic cotton yarn in mind, and I was leaning towards one of those patterns. But I left the yarn in skeins until about two weeks after Mardi Gras, the day after he broke up with me. The very next day, I was spending time with a good friend (the Seamstress; she gets a code name in case I ever want to blog about our affair, which is a whole nother thing) because I was hurting a lot and didn't want to be alone and sad. I'd been watching Dollhouse for a couple weeks, and convinced her watch the first episode to be my swift as I wound the laceweight. It's a good thing I chose a show with extra-long episodes; as it was, we watched through the "Grr Arg" before I could finish. I wound the cotton the next day, and promptly cast on. I didn't want the yarn to be a memento of my first "official" boyfriend and all the firsts that went with that; I wanted a hat for that.
I ended up using the Spring Beret pattern (Ravelry only) by Natalie Larson; if you want to see exactly what kind of yarn I used, here's the project on Ravelry. And all things considered, I think I'd rather have this gorgeous hat, which helped me heal, and which is associated with someone (the Seamstress) I was much happier with, and remain friends with, rather than skeins that remind me of a failed experiment and a man I unintentionally hurt. Wouldn't you?