Am I a glass-half-full kind of gal or simply delusional? I pondered that question multiple times while knitting my impromptu ski hat.
I kind of disregarded all rational knitting guidelines in my eagerness to get yarn in hand and stitches flowing. I had the basic concept sketched on the back of one my daughters algebra papers (it seemed appropriate) and knew I wanted a true winter hat, super warm and dense, so my gauge would be tighter than recommended. Four stitches per inch sounded reasonable, so I dropped a needle size and knit a super small stockinette flat swatch again disregarding the fact I would be knitting in the round with cables. All in all it would be hard to think of additional ways to guarantee a screwed up a project.
The first test to my optimism came as I stuck to my plan for the decreases at the top of the hat. I knew just how I wanted the cables to flow together, so I methodically decreased various parts of the cable design with confidence that the end result would also somewhat resemble the shape of my head. The slight similarity to the top of a volcano didn’t trouble me at first, I was sure my newly planned bind off methodology would flatten out beautifully when worn.
The next bit of questionable thinking came as I fell into a common knitting trap … can I finish this piece or project without starting a new ball of yarn? I was so close, I could visualize that nice 6” tail waiting for me at the end of my last stitch but in my heart of hearts I knew I wouldn’t make it especially with an i-cord bind off. I even declared out loud to my kids, “Mommy’s going to be pretty mad at herself in a few minutes!” but on I went with the tedium of the i-cord bind off only to miss by a mile.
I could have also used my daughter’s help with the stitch calculations; "if x equals the circumference of the head and y equals the percent of gauge reduction due to cabling what are the number of stitches required for the hat to actually fit on mommy’s head?"
So here’s a picture of my Mt. Vesuvius hat on it’s way to being frogged. Do I consider this project a failure? Absolutely not! It was the perfect prototype. Now I know not only my gauge and cable issues but remembered that I knit looser in the round (duh), have a better idea for the types of decreases I want to use and have even more nifty ideas for the i-cord bind off. I’m off to frog with a smile on my face. Really.
What about you? Are you optimistic or not in touch with reality? How long will you go before crying uncle and what's your worst "I should have known better" story?
p.s. My poor snowman nutcracker looks a bit scary from this angle. It's hard to get into the holiday spirit in California after all those years in cold weather climates. Mowing the lawn before you put out the lights is still a bit bizarre to us!