“Braces. What an evil word.” Those are the first words I jotted down when I wrote this beanie pattern ten years ago. I completely forgot about this hat. I don’t remember making it, wearing it, or getting rid of it, but I remember this orthodontic appointment.
When I was sixteen, shortly after I got my license, I drove myself to the orthodontist’s office for one of my last appointments. When I walked in, all the lights were off. The only light in the room came from the large windows in the back by the equipment. My chart was out on the receptionist’s desk as usual, but no receptionist. I took my chart back anyway and took a seat on a plastic-covered mint green dentist chair.
Thirty minutes passed and no one came. I kept looking at the clock on the wall. I checked my phone, again and again, to make sure I had gotten the date and time of my appointment right. I had an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach and a nagging thought in the back of my mind that if I weren’t so creeped out would have been immediately dismissed; am I dead? But no. That was stupid. I wasn’t dead. I was just forty minutes into my orthodontist appointment… Sitting in the dark… In the eerie quiet… Not being acknowledged… After I almost had a car accident…
The entrance to my orthodontist’s office was situated right at what looked like the end of a right turn lane, which I followed dutifully right until it suddenly dead-ended at the bank. I was in rush hour traffic and had to hang out in the right-hand turn lane waiting for someone to let me in. Finally, I saw an opening and went for it, but I misjudged the speed of the 18-wheeler coming towards me. It was a closer call than I was comfortable with, but it wasn’t a bump in, and the truck didn’t have to slam on the brakes. No one even honked at me. It really wasn’t a big deal. But, being a new driver I was pretty freaked out. My hands were shaking on the wheel and visions of mangled bodies in drivers’ ed accident scenes danced in my head.
The longer I sat on that crinkly plastic the more freaked out I became. I texted my sister. I wanted to say something like “text me back so I know I’m not dead” you know, because that’s the test – if you can text people, you aren’t dead. But I revised it to something like, still waiting on the orthodontist. It’s been forever
I waited to hear back from her, getting increasingly convinced that I had hit that truck and was now dead. Not only was I dead, but I was forced to haunt my orthodontist’s office as a ghost where I’d be forced to listen to the sound of whiny dentist drills and the condescending hygienist I hated. Why couldn’t I haunt my room? My quiet room, filled with my stuff. I wondered if that’s what Moaning Myrtle felt like after realizing she would live out her afterlife in the bathroom she died in.
The only positive was that I had the forethought to pack a ball of yarn and five double-pointed needles to the afterlife.
About forty-five minutes after my appointment, one of the hygienists arrived, panicked. They had forgotten about me. The whole office had taken a long Friday lunch. This lone photo is all I have to show for that afternoon.
To update this look the first thing I wanted to get rid of is the 2008 beanie vibe. I may have overdone the oversized look, but it’s a hell of a lot cozier than the original. And I didn’t have to haunt an orthodontist for it.
Size: Women’s Medium
Needles: US size 6 DPNs
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted, 3 skeins in French Blue (225.0 yards/ 5.29 ounces)
11 stitches and 14 rows = 2 inches in ST stitch
Join in round
K in 1×1 rib for 4”
Rows 1 and 29: *p1, k13, p1; repeat
Rows 2 and 28: *p2, k11, p2; repeat
Rows 3 and 27: *p3, k9, p3; repeat
Rows 4 and 26: *p4, k7, p4; repeat
Rows 5, 11, and 25: *p5, k5, p5; repeat
Rows 6, 10, and 24: *p6, k3, p6; repeat
Rows 7, 9, and 23: *p7, k1, p7; repeat
Rows 8 and 22: Purl
Rows 12 and 21: *p4, k3, p1, k3, p4; repeat
Rows 13 and 20: *p3, k3, p3, k3, p3; repeat
Rows 14 and 19: *p2, k3, p5, k3, p2; repeat
Rows 15 and 18: *p1, k3, p7, k3, p1; repeat
Rows 16 and 17: *k3, p9, k3; repeat
Rows 30-31: Knit
Rows 32 and 41: *k7, p1, k7; repeat
Rows 33 and 40: *k6, p3, k6; repeat
Rows 34 and 39: *k5, p5, k5; repeat
Rows 35 and 38: *k4, p7, k4; repeat
Rows 36 and 37: *k3, p9, k3; repeat
Rows 42 and 43: knit
Row 44: *SSK, k13; repeat
Rows 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 59, 61, 63, 65, 67, and 69: Knit
Row 46: *SSK, k12; repeat
Row 48: *SSK, k11; repeat
Row 50: *SSK, k10; repeat
Row 52: *SSK, k9; repeat
Row 54: *SSK, k8; repeat
Row 56: *SSK, k7; repeat
Row 58: *SSK, k6; repeat
Row 60: *SSK, k5; repeat
Row 62: *SSK, k4; repeat
Row 64: *SSK, k3; repeat
Row 66: *SSK, k2; repeat
Row 68: *SSK, k1; repeat
Rows 70 and 71: SSK to end
Cut yarn. Thread tail through remaining 4 stitches and pull taught.
Weave in tails