Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chunky Beret = Epic FAIL

I've been gone for long, long times. I know this. And I am sorry. I've been busy. Working, and sleeping. Pretty much in that order, over and over again. The sad truth is that after 10 weeks off, it's taken me about 4 weeks to get back into the swing of things and not feel like I need a 40 minute nap every day when I get home from school. I mean, I still take one, but now I don't feel like I "need" it, you know?

So anyway, all that napping has given me lots of energy to do some knitting! I have found some cute little Christmas patterns to knit this year for gifts, and though I can't post pictures of them here (oh, who am I fooling? does anyone really read this blog anymore or am I just tooting my own horn?), I can assure you that they are super adorable and have been well received by both myself and Sam, who chewed up my prototype. Bad Sam!

Oh who the hell am I kidding? I can't even pretend to be mad at this dog.

I was stash diving the other day to see if I had any orange yarn (a hint!!! one of my Christmas crafts involves orange yarn!), which as it turns out I did not, but I found this bad boy in my stash and got all excited.

This, my friends, is my hank of Farmhouse Yarns I am Allergic to Wool. I have had this yarn in my stash for about a year and a half. Sometimes I would take it out and touch it or smell it. In a completely non-yarn-porn kind of way, of course. I bought it because I fell in love with it in the LYS, and I had no idea what I would do with it. I figured maybe a garter stitch scarf, since that's what becomes of 87% of my yarn.

Well, the other day I got this hank out and it spoke to me. It told me it wanted to be a hat. But not just any hat. No, it wanted to be a super-simple fast and easy chunky hand-knit beret, pattern courtesy of Crazy Aunt Purl. I've been wanting to try this pattern for awhile, and I reviewed it, decided I could do it (once I'd purchased size 13 DPNS), realized that this yarn was chunky (which the pattern calls for) and decided to go for it.

It's a really easy pattern, and it was (can you believe this?) my very first hat knit in the round. I've made plenty of hats on my Knifty Knitter, and I've even made a dozen or so baby hats on straights, but I have never knit a hat in the round. Socks? Yes. But for some reason I thought a hat would be hard. I was wrong. This pattern couldn't have been easier. I got it done in 2 days, and would have done it faster if I hadn't had to go buy new needles. The yarn is fabulous. Love love.

So why, in the name of all that is holy and woolen, did it turn out like this?

GINORMOUS. This picture doesn't even do the largeness of this hat justice. It's huge. It actually hangs down over my eyes. I just pushed it back for the picture. And let's not talk about my hair, ok? I am getting it done on Saturday and it can't come soon enough. It is out of control. My hair that is. AND the hat. There is nothing good on my head these days.

I am a knitter, but also somewhat of a perfectionist. A wee bit anal, if you will. I have, however, somewhat, on some level, come to terms with the fact that knitting is an art, not a science, and it's not always going to turn out exactly how you had planned it, or how you'd hoped it would. This isn't the first time I've knit something that didn't turn out. See: Sunday Market Shawl.

So no big deal, right? Wrong. This yarn was $30. Yes, that's right. $30. For one hank of it. That is not a small amount. I am a cheap, cheap lady. And I want to get my money's worth out of this yarn. This hat will not do.

If you click on the link to CAP's pattern above, you can see pictures of her hats that turned out super cute, and what it's supposed to look like. Mine looks like a giant mushroom cap. What went wrong? Who knows. I used the correct needle size, so I know it can't be that. Possibly the yarn was TOO chunky. Perhaps I am too "loose" a knitter. I don't know. But here is what I do know. I am knitting this hat over again. I am going to frog it and re-do with smaller needles. I will not rest until my super simple fast and easy chunky hand knit beret (anyone else think that's too long a name for a pattern? love you, CAP, but it's too long. too long.) is perfect. Just to clarify, though, when I say I won't rest, what I mean is that I won't rest ABOVE and BEYOND my 9 hours of sleep a night and daily 40 minute after school nap.

The Cowboy, upon seeing my hat and choosing to always look on the bright side, pointed out to me that all I needed were some fake dreads and a Bob Marley CD and Poof! I have a Halloween costume. That is why I love him.