I am shamed to say my toddler child had been zipping about in a too-small hat and was in need of a new hat with proper fit to keep his head smuggled and warm during this dreadful winter weather.
It seemed simple enough at the time.
- Day 1: It’s New Year’s Eve. Decide to knit needed toddler hat. Quick and easy project. Surely mother will be done by midnight.
- Honoring New Years resolution, scour yarn stash for the one remaining ball of yarn color appropriate for a male child, left over from holiday’s past (like, way back) when an intended Man Hat never quite got knitted. Apparently the ol’ stash leans more toward the female-colored palette. Who knew “neutrals” could be so, well, gender biased. Select singular skein if Tahkin Yarns Tara Tweed in a sort of turquoise/navy color (surprisingly soft 80% wool:20% nylon).
- Browse patterns on Ravelry. Quickly become overwhelmed. Decide to make one up instead.
- Read yarn label for stitches per inch and recommended needle size en lieu of swatching. Place child in front of the Lion King II (not age appropriate, BTW…found that out too late…) and measure child’s head. 19 inches. Decide to cast on for 20 inches, fearing a too-small hat that would defeat the entire purpose.
- Cast on 90 stitches and knit happily for an hour. Child goes to bed. Knit more. Three inches or so at this point. Fret a bit that the hat looks a wee bit big. What was that I read a while back about Negative Ease? Might have been important…
- Go to bed exhausted at 9:30. On New Year’s Eve.
- Day 2: Child awakes. Place in front of Dinosaur Train (PBS cartoon about dinosaurs…much more age appropriate). Set hat (still on needles) atop child’s head. Surmise, yes, it does look a bit big but surely he’ll grow into it.
- Continue knitting for 30 minutes. Gut instinct is still saying The Hat Is Too Big!!!!!! Ignore gut instinct. Set project aside. Do something else. Denial is always a suitable solution.
- Day 3: Another episode of Dinosaur Train. Take deep breath, slip hat entirely off needles and place upon child’s head. Hat is so large it quickly slips down over the ears and onto shoulders like a cowl. Humph. Hat is also too big for mother. Not a good sign.
- Take note of the number of stitches that need to be reduced (18). Unravel project. Mother seriously questions overall brain function and wonders if she has forgotten to count.
- Day 4: Cast on the revised number of stitches. Knit for one episode of Dinosaur Train (30 minutes) and again in freezing cold afternoon outside while child digs in dirt with glee. Fingers require one hour to defrost after coming indoors. Well worth the sacrifice. As long the fingers don’t actually fall off.
- Continue knitting after child goes to sleep. Begin reducing at 4 inches, noting mother typically reduces an adult-sized hat at 5 inches. This makes perfect sense at the time. Again ignore gut feeling that hat seems oddly too short. Finish hat. Go to bed.
- Day 5: Child awakes. Full of hope and pride, place hat on child’s head (while child is distracted watching Dinosaur Train). Feeling not unlike placing crown upon a prince. Hat lands awkwardly more than an inch above the ears.
- Child goes to bed. Mother unravels top of hat. Continues knitting another 1.5 inches before reducing (again!!!), plus an extra round for good measure. Then reduces, binds of final stitches. Goes to bed.
- Day 6: One final fitting. At last. It fits. Now mother just needs to weave in ends. And drink wine. (Possibly tequila…)
So much for a project by New Years.
Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along and reading How To Knit A Heart Back Home.