Really, the power of the interwebs. Not that I shouldn’t have contacted the hat maker, but the hat is soft and lovely and looks just like one in a painting at work. And I so readily saw it ornamented with ostrich plumes that would have made it twice as pettable.
But the hat maker emailed and recommended a technique I will call “steam and cram” but which involves the judicious application of steam followed by placing the hat on the head. So I pulsed steam into the crown of the hat, avoiding a) the neat label pasted on the top and b) the sides, which have such a lovely feel and verticality. And then hat was then placed firmly on Mr S’s head.
Felt is such amazing stuff: I love the way the wool changes as you felt knitting. There is a moment when the fibers change– it’s hard to describe, exactly, but there’s a feeling of release, and then the knitting as a whole becomes more plastic and malleable.
The same thing happened with this hat: while atop Mr S’s head, he felt it relax, and voila! Hat! Fitting!
He looks pretty happy about it, doesn’t he?
I did find an article comparing Concord and Lexington in the pre-Revolutionary period which included a statistical analysis of the Lexington Militia with a small number of non-tax payers and men with small holdings, justifying the appearance of the two this household will provide. Apparently they do not have my same need for fully-researched, found-it-on-JSTOR fantasies.