Tuesday, April 1, 2008

How To Make A Hat

1. Finish a project you really wanted to be able to wear when you were done (see: slouchy beret, last post.) Notice that it is way, way, way too big. Accept roommie's suggestion that it might felt, but feel too nervous to actually go through with the felting process since you invested so much time and energy into the project, and the only thing worse than a too big hat is a too small hat. Decide instead to stall for time, and to cast on another hat. Put on Firefly to watch while you're doing that.

2. Figure out what was wrong with the pattern you used last time. Determine that the rim had too many stitches, and that the body was too long, with decreases too slow. Decide to cast on fewer stitches.

3. Pick a yarn. Any yarn. That nice gray one will do. Sure it's much thinner than the one you used before, and it'll make for a totally different tension, but it's sooo pretty! Use same needles anyway. Gauge? We don't need no stinkin' gauge!

4. Cast on 60 stitches instead of the 66 the pattern calls for, on a 60cm circular needle. Realize there is no way in hell that will ever make it all the way around the cable, and that 60 stitches in that small a yarn might make a good hat for... oh... a two-month-old. Decide (rightly enough) that your head is not two-month-old-sized, and go for more stitches. Pick an arbitrary number - 80 sounds good, right? Sure.

5. Mutter and curse when you see that even 80 stitches ain't making it all the way around that circ. Make a mental note to buy 16" circs at some point in the future, and why make 24" circs anyway when a regular adult head is 22"? Take out the DPNs (thankfully the same size as used in the casting on), and divide the stitches onto three of them.

6. Realize you are totally clueless as to how to join something in the round on DPNs. On a circ, the concept is pretty dumbass-proof, but on DPNs? Um. Stare blankly at your pretty bamboo needles with the pretty, pretty yarn all cast on and ready to go.

7. Go to knittinghelp.com. Watch the video for circular knitting on DPNs. Boggle a little bit, then try what you think it is she's doing. Fiddle with that for a while, then poke yourself in the eye with a DPN while trying to join. (That last bit is optional, but loads of fun!)

8. Throw DPNs across the room Put DPNs gently aside and rewind your yarn. Pick up a scarf you've been procrastinating on, made with pink bulky yarn and crappy plastic straight needles. Pine for a gray wool beret the whole time you're working on that. Optional: chant 'Learning curve. I'll get better. Learning curve. I'll get better.' to keep from flipping out.

9. Look at your computer and see that it is 11:30. Feel better that at least it's not too late and you'll get a full night's sleep. Then open up your phone to check your messages, and see that the computer has once again switched the time back an hour. Curse loudly and violently.

Okay, so that last step isn't part of the hatmaking "process" (such as it is). But goddamn, am I getting sick of this happening. My computer is still on the old daylight savings schedule, so no matter how many times I fix it, every week or so it'll go, "Hey! I have the wrong time! Better fix that!" and changes back an hour. And I can't download the patch to fix that, because Windows doesn't recognize my version as genuine! It's enough to make me foam at the mouth. Stupid piece of go-se.

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