The boyfriend’s hat

February 14, 2013

Image of Adult's Simple Knit HatAs this is a Valentine’s Day post, or even the day after, I have decided this post fits here better than my second post, because after all, one of the best things to talk about on Valentine’s Day is a gift hand-made for someone they love and wish to keep warm. It’s also one of my favorite days, and a perfect time to keep warm because it is snowing outside. However, this year, my dear, sweet James is not getting a hat for Valentine’s Day. But since he checks these posts once in awhile, I will wait to mention what I did get him, though it wasn’t knitted this year. Now, back to the knitting world…as romantically as possible for my knitting experience, today.

I mentioned in my first post that I’d learned about double-pointed needles and knitting in the round while knitting my first scarf “panel” and my second scarf “panel” as well as a third and a fourth which are each waiting for me to dub them as end table decor or to sew them into a finished project. How did I learn about it? What does knitting on two straight needles have to do with knitting in the round and double-pointed needles?

Keep the questions coming, I’ll answer as many as I can. Feel free to add them to the comments. At that time, I had joined a fun website called www.knittingparadise.com. Knitting Paradise was my second internet home for a while, and some days my first. The photos there are beautiful, and they had a great concept a KP’er set-up and another continues to this day (I believe), its called a Knitting Tea Party that starts around 6PM on Friday and invites knitters, crocheters, seamstresses and anyone else who enjoys tea, coffee, carbonated caffeine or just plain ol’ water to come sit for a spell and have a chat. For a time, I even revolved my weekend computer time to catching up on this weekend long tea party. This is a great forum and worth some time. I finally came away from this forum but still check in from time to time.

I do recommend the knowledge and most of the people on Knitting Paradise. I don’t think anything like it can be found to match it on the internet, we could claim facebook…but that’s where I go to complain about my day, not learn about knitting, usually. Knitting Paradise is where we complain about husbands hiding stashes, or replacing them as you thought you were making progress and where we celebrate the wins–when the gift we just spent 28-32 hours knitting is adored and where we cry when kids or friends say, why don’t you just buy something? Not to mention the pictures…oh, the pictures…some days, when I need a break, I log in just to see the pretty knitted projects photographed so adorably.

So, as I was beginning knitting anew, I was looking for the next project as I often seemed to be, I found and would log into knittingparadise.com and get oodles of ideas. Now, the projects seem to be coming to me without much help…one day, I’ll re-learn the word “No,” with the same gusto of a toddler who’s just learned it’s meaning and is being offered something gross to eat. Okay, maybe not so emphatic, or at least with a “Sorry, but…” attached to it; but it’s easy to get wrapped up in making stuff for others and never knit anything for yourself. I think it comes from being a woman, in some cases.

But what does all this have to do with the second project…It’s how I came about it. I needed a gift for my boyfriend and after looking up ideas, I settled on a hat that he would need and would likely use, if the dog didn’t get to it first. She hasn’t (and lives), yet…though we still can’t find where he stored the darned hat until winter. I searched hat patterns and opted for a circular pattern at the time. I thought it would be easier to work than double-pointed needles. Sometimes, it is, but even in circular needle knitting, one must utilize dpns at the end. I used a size 8 circular needle with a double-strand of black acrylic that was gifted to me. I learned soon after why some people insisted they would not use black yarn again, or navy or anything that dark that didn’t let you see the stitch.

I had chosen a pattern that required two inches of ribbing as I began the hat. The first thing I learned about ribbing is that ribbing takes focus. If you are tired, you will make mistakes. Depending on where the mistake is, you can choose to fix it, or choose to ignore it and call it an angel kiss. I suspect this hat was made with more angel kisses than even I was aware. The second thing I learned about ribbing with black yarn is-its harder to detect mistakes. If you are a perfectionist, I recommend that you carefully choose your yarn color or make sure you have great lighting as well as a good amount of ability to focus as you knit. I was grateful at the time there was only two inches of ribbing as I began the hat.

Then I began knitting in the round, which wasn’t as difficult as one might think. There were, and still are, parts that seem cumbersome at first. But as you knit, they smooth out, or you get used to them and learn to compensate for those cumbersome parts. After a while, you find you are just knitting with two needles and a cable to hold your work so you don’t have to sew it together at the end. However, I did have to change to dpns for the last few rows, as with the decreases, it became easier to knit on the dpns. Later, I learned that dpn knitting wasn’t any harder to me than circular knitting. But that’s another post.

All in all, it was a relatively easy pattern to make. I do wish I had my own photos of this hat, but here is what it is supposed to look like:
http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L20403.html?noImages=

It very well may have been this Lion Brand Pattern, in which, yes, you do have to register to use Lion Brand, but they have never sent me anything I didn’t ask for. Now, simply imagine this in black, but a little thicker due to using two strands of acrylic yarn in worsted weight or 4 ply thickness. Since I had circular knitting needles, I made any necessary adaptations, which weren’t many and switched to dpns as it became tough to work with. I will go over dpns in more detail when I tell you about knitting my first pair of socks.

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2 Responses to “The boyfriend’s hat”

  1. Geraldine Says:

    and a hat that most men would actually wear too. 😉

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