A Tale of Two Hats
This first hat was started last Sunday, using Rustic, a DK weight Shetland wool yarn from Elemental Affects. I described the pattern earlier this week, and was really enjoying making it, so I was a little dismayed when it seemed to be a bit on the loose side as the construction unfolded. I had measured my head and decided on the large, since for years I have fussed with hats that were just a bit (or maybe a lot) too tight, and wouldn't come down over my ears, choosing to slide up my thick hair and expose my poor little ears to the cold winds of winter. My head measurement was only 1/2 inch short of the pattern's measurement for large, and my gauge was continuing to match the pattern, so what went wrong?
I like this hat a lot. I love the colors and the feel of the yarn. It comes all the way down over my ears, and has a pretty and soft inner band, but should I rip and shred and make it a size smaller?
I stayed up a bit later than usual Thursday night, determined to get the hat off the needles so that I could work on my son's while visiting him and my DD on Friday. I stitched up the top and wove in the tail and went to bed. I put it on when I awoke and wore it around for an hour; my husband admired it but asked if it would blow off in a good wind. I decided to take the hat with me and get my DS's opinion, since he is the beanie king in the family. He liked it too, but my DD pointed out that it was really more a casual hat, and not the kind that would serve me well riding on a lift.... which made me consider that the design was probably intended to be more that of a bucket hat than of a beanie (or skullcap/watch cap). I am holding off from frogging just yet, and am going to make up the same design in a different yarn combo in size medium for my son, and see how it fits me.... and in the meantime, moved right along over lunch to starting my son's hat.
The black was his color choice, and I was trying to duplicate a hat we had found made up in Bling Bling at the Chico LYS for him. He had selected Rowan Cashsoft Aran for his, and I had bought black/silver Berroco Bling Bling for one for my DD... when I was close to completion and had him try it on, it became obvious that the knit was too loose, and it was flopping around on his head. Back to the frog pond, then on to smaller needles. Lucky for me, there is only about three hours of work into this, all while visiting my two adult kiddos at their apartment in Chico Friday night.
Why am I not succeeding with these hats? Hats are a relatively simple knitting assignment, but I am insisting on finding my way with different yarns. With the hat for my kiddos, I had simply measured the hat, counted the decreases, and forgotten that I knit much looser than average. I will redo his, following the directions I "wrote as you go", but dropping down a needle size. With mine, I think I just didn't "see" the pattern's final outcome; in my mind's eye, I was making a snugger-fitting hat than the pattern intended. There is room in my wintertime life for several kinds of hats, and I may just leave this one the way it is....