How NOT to knit a hat

DSC_3874I often feel like I’m the only who has knitting projects flop, so I was relieved to read this blog post on frayed at the edges, about a project gone meh.  It turns out I’m not the only one who is sometimes disappointed by my projects… this weekend, I definitely suffered one such disappointments (or in this case, one such totally frustrating wastes of time).

This toque was supposed to save me time.  About a week ago, I realized that I had not allowed myself time to finish my ambitious holiday gift knitting (which, at the time included 6 pairs of light weight socks and a couple of toddler sweaters).  I flipped through my pattern library and rifled through my stash, hoping to find a lovely, faster gift that I could make with yarn I already have.

I landed on the Chunky Dean Street hat, which is available as a free ravelry download.  I’ve

My son in his chunky Dean Street hat, in Dream in Color Groovy

made the hat twice before, for myself and for my son, and I knew I could complete it quickly.  It’s warm and cuddly, and I had a gorgeous little ball of leftover Dream in Color Groovy in purple. I even had a touch of the Dream in Color in a complementary pink, if the purple didn’t make it.

Of course, I ran out of yarn, just before starting the crown decreases, so I went back, unravelled several rows of the hat and started to add pink stripes.  Everything seemed to be going well, and as we sat and watched a movie this weekend, I finished about half of the crown decreases before looking down at my ball of yarn.  I ran out of yarn 9 rows from the top.  At this point, I had to declare defeat.  Sure, I could have pulled out some random wool and completed the tip of the hat in a different colour, but this was a gift – it’s supposed to make the recipient feel special, not lead to awkward “Umm, gee, thanks. I love it?”s around the Christmas tree.

Fortunately, this clever little hat was there to help me out of a knitting jam. I had stashed the blue-green Dream in Color Classy years ago for a sweater I never made, so it also helped me fulfill my promise to my husband to work on those bins of yarn under the bed.  Now that I have a toddler, who outgrows shoes every 3 months, I rarely buy this wonderful $20/skein yarn, so knitting with it felt decadent.

The hat is based on an eighty stitch repeat, across eighty-one stitches, so the lines of purls twist becomingly around the hat.  I can’t wait to experiment with this idea (perhaps with some cables?) after I work through the rest of my holiday knitting.  Until then five gift projects down, four to go – next year, I’m starting in August!

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