The last time I went to the yarn shop, the owner suggested a sweater pattern. “You can do it,” she told me. “If you can do a hat, you can do this sweater. It’s a very simple pattern.”
I said I would look around at the yarn selection and think about it. Thirty minutes later I was at the counter with my usual one skein of yarn.
“You’re making another hat, aren’t you?”
“I’m into immediate gratification,” I told her.
Knitters make hats. . . and I make hats. There is a difference. Immediate gratification for me means finishing a hat before the grandsons go off to college. Here is my experience with the hat I have been making. It is a simple pattern, a pixie hat, and is one color with a little raised stitch row of a contrast color every four rows.
Start with pattern, yarn, needles. Pattern is one I photocopied from library book, but the first four letters or numbers on the left side of the page were accidentally cut off, so there is mystery to the project. It requires two skeins of yarn since there are two colors. It also calls for two sizes of needles but the first size is one of the missing letters, so I’m just skipping that part and using the other size needle for the entire hat.
The pattern is a stretchy rib band (Knit 1, Purl 1, fellow knitters) then four rows of stockinette, then two purl rows to make the ridge, then repeating that until I get to the part to start reducing it, then a cute little tassel. The picture shows blue ribbing and ridge, everything else, most of the hat, is white. I am doing it in the same colors as the photo so as not to confuse myself. The yarn is small; I had to cast on 109 stitches. Non-knitters, picture this: stretchy blue band with ins and outs, then some smooth white rows, then a ridgy row, repeated a bunch of times. Then a twisted cord and a tassel that I’ll worry about learning how to make if I ever reach the top of Mount Pixie Hat.
Here is what I have done so far:
Cast on 109 stitches, K1 P1. Realize that pattern was written for regular needles, but I have chosen to make on circular needles because I’m not good at seaming. Rip it out and start again, casting on 108 stitches, so that I will not have two knit stitches together. Put aside for two days while I finish mystery book overdue at library.
Resume hat. Complete ribbing band and begin body of hat. Knit hat halfway up and realize that I am doing the colors backwards, making the ridge row white and the rest blue. Even though most of the hat is white, pattern author refers to blue as the Main Color. If I’m counting correctly, there are about 70 rows of white and about 45 or 50 rows of blue. Was there a show of hands to decide on the main color?
Rip out totally. Put aside for two weeks and begin another hat , this one green, with simpler instructions. Work on hat until instruction magazine is accidentally carted off in recycling. Magazine is a discontinued French knitting magazine from 1975. Chances of picking up another copy are not good. Rip out this hat, rewind yarn, go back to pixie hat.
Cast on 109 stitches. Knit until I get to the two Knit stitches because I’ve cast on wrong. Rip out. Begin again. Knit band, switch to white, knit five rows because I forgot to stop but decide that is okay, then switch to blue Main Color (NOT!) and purl for the ridge. Since I am knitting in the round, that makes a line on my work which looks like a stitch line. If I were knitting per the instructions, it would be on the back, but I’m not and it isn’t, so I Tink that row (knit backwards) and try again, knitting the first blue row, then purling the next. I like it. Have two glasses of wine and knit until bedtime.
Next day: Resume knitting. . . on a roll. Ready to start decreases for crown of hat, then notice that I did NOT Knit 1, Purl 1 on the band at the beginning, but knitted it instead. Not very stretchy, so do not think it will fit anything but Cabbage Patch doll. Grandchildren have large heads. Ask their big-headed mommies. (Well, they were pretty darned big during childbirth.) Rip it out. Start reading a new mystery.
Two days later: Start green yarn hat with another simple pattern and run out of yarn on crown of hat. Yarn purchased at the beach, therefore must wait to purchase more on next trip. Put aside green hat. Start new bottle of wine.
Next day: Start blue and white hat. Forget that I must omit one cast on to make it come out right, take apart, rewind yarn. Start over. Make mistake. Start over. Make mistake. Start over. Make mistake. Rip out. Read wine, drink book.
Today: Try to salvage yarn. Difficult to work with because it has split from too much use. Looks like pile of poodle hair. Cast on 109 stitches, forgetting again, until I end up with two darned knit stitches together. Flop one stitch off and leave dangling. Will worry about what to do with later. Pour wine, keep knitting.
I will post photo upon completion, but I’m only on Row 3 and still have that hanging chad. . . er, stitch. Go have some wine. This may take awhile.