I was thinking that this year, people may be sick of knitted gifts for their birthdays. I made them for almost everyone, and you must understand that my sisters all have their birthdays in the summer. So this year, I am just asking what people want, and not pushing anything handmade/knitted. I went with a suggestion from my sister, and bought my dad a vintage train set – he loved it. First birthday of the year, done. Will – my brother-in-law – was next. And you know what? He wanted a hat. I didn’t even suggest it to him. No volunteering my skills needed – they were requested. I was kind of happy about that, you know – I’ve made him fingerless gloves before, so it’s nice to know they left a decent impression.
On to the hat. What kind of hat? He had a picture of one that was lost a long time ago. Hmmm. It looked all tricksy and fancy but thanks to the wonderment that is Ravelry, I actually found a matching pattern really fast. Kismet, no? And I had some lovely dark, very soft yarn on hand. Good to go.
And then everything started taking lots of downhill turns. I had to frog (completely rip out…rrrrriiiip, rrrriiip) it twice, and then a member of my knitting club found out what kind of yarn I was using and warned me against it. She said it would stretch and just isn’t the best for hats. Sigh. Frustrating, yes, but very happy to have been told the information before I was even halfway done with it. I wasn’t loving how it was looking anyway with fuzzy yarn where the stitch definition wasn’t so hot – I’d rather notice the complicated pattern than have it blend in. One final frog, and a hastily placed order for some Malabrigo Rios, and I was back at the beginning.
With the right yarn, I cast on once again, and got down to work. This pattern…oh my holy-mother-of-alpaca – it is crazy! Teeny tiny cables every other row. If you don’t knit, you don’t know how time consuming cables are. Just trust me. They are. And if you made a mistake in this hat, there was no fudging it. A lot of careful tinking (knitting backward) was done, in-between grumbling curses. There was also the pressure that if it didn’t fit, he would have to mail it back to me so I could try to fix it. My option was just to measure it on Tom and hope they had similar sized heads.
Finally – it was finished. I even got it mailed off right before his birthday so that he would only get it a few days late. It was a giant pain-in-the-butt, but it turned out amazing. I love, love, love the way the pattern looks – all those crisscrossing cables – fantastic.
For all the trouble it gave me, it was worth it, and I can actually see myself making it again, but only for someone I really love because – man…did I mention how many cables were in there?