I’m a little exasperated, but in a good-natured way, if that makes sense.
I am knitting a hat for myself right now, and I’m just not that pleased with my progress. It is my first knitted hat (I have crocheted many, but always sort of preferred the look of knit hats) and I have had some ups and downs. The hat is in a lovely midnight blue colorway of Malabrigo, one of my favorite yarns. I’ve had the yarn since October, and I have been dreaming of this hat since then, and how soft and gorgeous and warm and perfect it will be, and how I will captivate everyone around me when I wear it because it will make my eyes look even more lovely than usual. Ha.
So, I figure it can’t be that hard to find a free cabled hat pattern on the web. Actually, it kind of was. But I did find Chunky Cabled Beanie. I figure since I’m using worsted instead of chunky weight yarn, I’d cast on 99 instead of 66. (Gauge swatch? Huh?)
First I tried it on DPNs, as I kind of like working with them and had them in the right size. That was a little unwieldy, since I had to employ all five. So, I went out and bought a 36″ circular in that size (US8), thinking that I could magic loop it and then have a circular that was long enough to use for other, bigger projects, thereby saving money in the long run and not duplicating circs because I need them in different lengths. (Maybe I should have asked for a set of interchangeables for Christmas. Recommendations? It may not be too late.)
When I got to the first row after the cable row, it was apparent that something was wrong. I’ve cabled before, and it makes a lot of sense to me. Some thinking and looking revelealed to me that apparently “C4F” – cable four forward – really means “cable two forward, knit two, then knit the two on the cable needle.” To me that should be written as “C2F,” but what do I know about cable notation? (Nothing, since I couldn’t be bothered to look it up anywhere. Another reason why I’m not going to be a reference librarian when I grow up.) OK, easily enough remedied. Tink tink tink, try again. Beautiful.
I do a cable row, and then think to myself, this seems like a big hat. I “try it on” by holding the circular around my head at the bottom of my ears (while sitting on the couch, with a mirror nowhere to be seen). Yeah yeah, too big. Decrease methodically by 18 because that’s the easiest thing to do. The plan is that the bottom will either be folded up inside for extra ear insulation or will fetchingly frame my face.
I knit up past another cable row, and now I’m not sold on this pattern at all. The cables looks great, but I don’t know that I like the ribs in between; I think I’d like it better if it were all cables, all the time. I squint at the photo and decide that I especially don’t like the way the ribs decrease at the crown. I have the sneaking suspicion that my sudden early decreasing won’t really work out all that well in the end. Hmm. Also, the fabric seems really loose. In some places I think it’s from having the circular magic looped-through. But I also think I’d like this better on US7 instead of US8. What to do? I have been so excited to make this soft and gorgeous cabled hat for myself. I have already frogged it once and tinked a bunch. But the more I think about it, the more I think I want to frog it, find a plain hat pattern, use it to chart my own cable pattern (or solicit knitting friends for cabled hat patterns they’ve seen in their knitting books and magazines?), and try again. On US7s. That don’t have to be magic looped. (Oh, so that’s only $20 worth of needles to try again, since I don’t have size 7 DPNs, only straights. No problem!) Or, I could knit a cabled hat flat, seam it up the sides and have one of those square hats with tassels on the two points.
Oh wait, I’m not six.
As if that is not enough, I just realized tonight that I already have a 36″ US8 circ . . . I didn’t need to buy another one the other day. They’re not returnable. Do I keep them? Do I try to sell them to someone at my SnB?
Do I use them to cast on for another hat (for the Gentleman Caller) while this hat sits in the stash and thinks about what it’s done?
Like I have to ask.