A Warm Hat for Gabriel

The sky is the limit! Or so I thought. It is good to feel that way once in awhile and I was on a massive high from making Simon’s socks when I began this project. I embarked on this hat-making journey as a naive, hopeful character setting off into the world  just like in a fairy tale…

I am so happy that we have so many things to make. Now after knitting Simon’s socks, I have the fever. Knitting fever, that is. I decided for this project I would up the ante  and try my hand at some Intarsia knitting where you knit an isolated design into your work from a chart.

Our long list of things to make

But first I have to take a moment to ruffle my feathers and gleam with pride. I actually considered my gauge before beginning this project which is a major big deal for me. What preparation! I am using the same gauge yarn and needles for this project as I did with knitting Simon’s socks (why mess with a good thing, right?). So I actually counted how many stitches per inch I knit by using the 4-inch count method. Gabriel’s head measured 19-19.5 inches, I knit 5 stitches per inch therefore I needed to cast on 95 stitches.

This afternoon I had some time during Gabriel’s nap so I knitted for 2.5 hours straight. I only got up once to adjust the blinds so the sun which had moved far across the sky and was beaming in the window, wasn’t baking me. I am totally obsessed. Now I have gotten half way through my intarsia pattern and just realized I hadn’t documented anything yet. So I have taken a midway shot.

Snowflake design on multicolored background

It is the next day and I nearly completed the hat during Gabriel’s naptime! But since I wasn’t working from a pattern for the hat (just for the intarsia design), I had to make my decrease sort of willy-nilly. And boy did it look it! It was just silly and so after some consideration I pulled out all the rounds back to before I started the decrease. I decided I better do some research on decreasing for a hat.

Meanwhile since I decided it was better to do it right than not at all, I realized that I should just re-do the entire hat. The multicolored yarn I chose for the background was really pretty, but it really detracted from my snowflake pattern. I kept telling myself that it looked sort of “organic” and “cool” like that. Who am I fooling! So I pulled the rest of the rounds out all the way down to the band.

If you’ve never pulled out knitting before it is worth it…

Unraveled hat

So I’ve gone through my case of yarns and have decided on light blue for the background and white for the snowflake.

I have looked up some various hat patterns and have learned that the decrease is usually more integrated than what I did. Instead of decreasing in only three places such as I did (which made 3 stark and awkward ridges), it seems that it is more typical to introduce the decrease over the course of a round, say, knitting two together every eight stitches (k2tog k8) then seven, six, etc with a full round between each decreased round. Which makes sense!

My concern is that it isn’t possible to decrease within the borders of an intarsia pattern, at least not that my brain can figure at this point, which essentially makes it impossible for me to pull off an even decrease. I have spent a moment contemplating a smaller intarsia design, as well as ditching the whole idea of doing one on a hat.

Yet I really like the snowflake. And I want to put it on Gabriel’s hat. Stubborn? Yes. I do realize this attempt may also wind up in a heap of curled yarn, and I am okay with that. If it does then I think I will save the intarsia for another project and make Gabriel’s hat out of the original multicolored yarn.

New Beginnings

I’ve been thinking of possible solutions for my dilemma of decreasing. So far one solution I’ve come up with is to make the hat flat, not on the round. That way I can knit the intarsia design flat and shape the edges instead of decreasing every 4 or 5 stitches on the round…

Ah to be so full of hope! Well my second hat attempt also didn’t work. Nor did my third, my fourth… my blue sky was beginning to get a little grey. So I decided to save Intarsia as well as “winging it” for another project. I picked myself up, brushed myself off and marched myself back to the craft store to find an actual pattern for a hat.

Hello My Fair Isle! And thus the sun broke through the clouds and the voices sang! Gabriel’s hat would be a Fair Isle design and that was final. It would also have awesome ear flaps. And I would line it with fleece. So there!

After all the blood, sweat and tears it was DONE. I did it!!!!!

Pom poms
Standing Tall

I will also add a shot of Gabriel wearing it as soon as I can get him to wear it for longer than two seconds. And the hat saga continues…

Well here he is, wearing it for ten seconds!