I found myself a little behind on Christmas knitting time last year. After finishing my traditional socks and a couple of extras, the last item on my list was still outstanding: a hat for Dad.
Dad had been hinting about a hat for over 2 years. I had knit stranded hats for my niece and nephew, and every time the subject came up, he’d inevitably utter the words “You know, I’d wear a hat like that…”
But it wasn’t to be. Because I ran out of time. Because I’m a good daughter, I printed out the pattern I had chosen and the yarn that the husbeast and I had bought at the yarn store, stuck them in a gift bag and let Dad know that a hat would be forthcoming.
Needless to say, the old man had reasonable doubts he’d ever see the hat. This wasn’t his first Rodeo. He’d been given the pattern and not received the finished product at least once before in the past. Possibly more, as I’m pretty sure my mother and grandmothers before me had likely pulled the same stunt. I’m pretty sure the same trick wears thin around the third generation.
He went back to wearing his usual toque and promptly forgot about the promised hat.
Until last week, when I dropped by the house to deliver the finally finished Native Winter Beanie I’d found the time to finish! The yarn is super-soft merino. Not sure about the lighter colour, but the ball band for the dark brown tells me that it’s a superwash in Black Mousse by Zen Yarn Garden. The yarns are, unfortunately, not from the same companies.
The brim was probably the hardest part. It’s a ribbed brim, and it seems to go on forever. It’s a 144-stitch cast on, and you knit for about 6.5cm (2.5 inches). I get tired of knit 2, purl 2 rib on a 64-stitch cast on sock after about 15 rounds! 144 stitches is pretty brutal. I’d say it took 11 months to recover from the trauma, but all I can really chalk that up to is a bit of knitter’s depression — things happening in your non-knitting life that keep you from picking up the needles. To be honest, I’ve been stuck in a place where I essentially only had the energy to play World of Warcraft and make sure I get my requisite amount of showers per week.
I’m out of practice when it comes to stranded knitting. My fingers hurt for about three days afterwards. I’d gotten the pattern colour and the background colour mixed up, you see, so when I realized that the background wasn’t the lovely chocolate brown, but the lighter gold…I had to rip back. I’d been in the middle of the decreases at the crown, so it wasn’t a small setback. Luckily, even my mildly arthritic fingers are nimble enough to catch up. It only took one afternoon to get back on track.
I’m glad I managed to get this project done and out of the way. I’m even happier that Dad now has a warm hat to wear on the cold days ahead! Winter is coming!