Look- I made a hat!
Jakob is officially in daycare. Last Monday was his first day, and while there are still some kinks to be worked out as he gets used to them and they get used to him, all-in-all it has gone very well. Some mornings he runs into the class before realizing he’s not with me and starting to cry, and other times he cries and clings and reaches out so pitifully when the teacher manages to pull him away, that my heart hurts for a few seconds. When I pick him up he’s quick to adapt, crying at first as he runs to me, but the second he’s in my arms he turns on the charm, grinning and waving good-bye and blowing kisses to everyone around. He’s also been more cuddly than usual but I would never complain about that!
At his “school” there are cubbies for each kid where the parents leave changes of clothes, outdoor shoes, sippy cups, etc. I need to leave a hat for him. It occurred to me that I didn’t have a hat for him! Sure, he’s still got some baseball-style caps that fit him, plus that fisherman’s looking thing, but all his “Winter” hats he grew out of last year. So last Monday I went to spend some knitting time at Maaike’s and swatched for a simple ribbed hat.
Note to self: listen to Ann Budd. Ann Budd knows from what she speaks.
See, I’m a cocky knitter. Wait-that came out wrong. What I mean is, I’m adventurous. I’m bold. I’m daring. I’m not afraid of trying new things. I’m also not afraid of whipping up a pattern if it will be faster than trying to find what I want online or in print. So when I decided to knit Jakob a hat I didn’t go looking in Ravelry or in my vast collection of patterns to see what I could find. Instead I just swatched, made a plan, and cast on.
Let’s forget the fact that my first attempt had too many stitches cast on because I’d forgotten how rediculously stretchy a simple 2×2 rib is. I remeasured, restarted, and fixed the problem. I even tried the new version on him when it was about 2″ high, to make sure of the fit. He kept pulling it off and making angry faces at me, but the width was good, so I settled down to concentrate on the length.
This is where I should have listened to Ann Budd. A quick glance at the hat page in A Knitter’s Handy Pattern Guide (or whatever it is called) showed that for my gauge, and for a hat of approximately the same size, for a toddler of 18-24 months, I needed to knit until the hat was 7″ long, and then I could begin the crown shaping. However, my kinda-careful measuring of Jakob’s head told me that from the ears I only needed 4″ to get to the top of his head. So why would I knit an extra 3″? Especially in worsted-weight, mindless 2×2 rib?
Turns out, I should have. My hat is waaaaay too short on Jakob. I’d knit a 2″-ish ribbed cuff, then a double turning row, then knit until the hat was 4″ long. I did some funky decreases for the crown then gathered the last 8 sts and secured.
You can see here that the hat just doesn’t fit. This photo was taken with the brim folded down, and it is still too short. He also still hates it, and it took a lot of squirming, crying and trying to keep his hand away from pulling it off to even get this one crappy photo.
My original title for this post when I started typing up the draft last week was “an (un)finished hat”, because I had planned on cutting off the turning rows and brim, knitting downwards to get the extra 3″, then redoing the brim. I’ve since decided not to. Jakob really hates the hat. He won’t tolerate it on his head, and I’m not going to subject myself to knitting any more navy rib if he won’t end up wearing it. Instead it will go to the new baby, and if the baby is a girl then I’ll embroider some flowers on it or something.
I’m pretty sure it will fit the baby.
Pattern: Baby’s Blue Ribbed Hat, my own design
Size: Whatever you get with 108 sts. Around 18 months, but the ribs pull it in to fit a smaller baby, and stretch out for a custom fit.
Yarn: Patons Decor in Rich Country Blue, about 3/4 of a ball.
Dates: November 3 – 4 2008
Modifications: Um…everything, since there was no pattern to begin with. I did a double turning row to give the fold room to fit up around the thick ribbing. I also did a custom arrangement of crown decreases to get a star-type shape on top.
As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here.