Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hat... boring... losing... consciousness...

I've been trying to finish the double-knit hat that I started for DH here, then ripped out and started again here. Yes, that's right, I've been working on this damn thing since March. We're into the cold weather now, so I've been thinking he could probably use it before, say, next spring.

I feel like, for a "simple" hat, I'm not getting very far. I was trying to turn it into my "subway project" at first, but with my transit ride into downtown only about 15 minutes, I could barely get around two rounds, which on this hat, being 2-layer double-knit, is really a single row. Every time I try to sit down and knit on it in the evening while we watch TV, I doze off. Not even a steady stream of old X-Files episodes (we're on Season 4 now, working through the series) can keep me awake while I knit this hat. So I haven't been progressing very quickly.

I have no idea how close this is to being done.

Last week, I had him try it on, and thinking that it looked to be about the right time, I spent a day or so on decreases. When I had him try it on again, it was pretty clear that the hat wasn't actually deep enough (by at least a couple inches), so I ripped out the decrease rows. But at least now I know how to do them.

Faced with the prospect of more tedious solid-colour double-knit stockinette, I became a little crazed. For yuks, I tried putting in some simple colour work, thinking maybe that would spruce it up enough to keep me interested. It kept me interested all right - and frustrated enough with how it was turning out to rip it out after five rows of hell. I was trying to do it without charting it out, and I had what barely passed for my "pattern" thoroughly screwed up. And to be honest, the two colours don't have enough contrast to make a pattern worthwhile anyhow. So this will be a 2-solid colour hat, despite my best efforts.

Now, I'm working out various ways of doing rounds that will allow me to keep the two sides separate, yet not have to knit each round twice to finish a single row. It's not crucial that the two pieces remain separate, it's not like it will matter for this hat, but I feel like I have to find some challenge to keep me interested here. Since I moved it over to a long cable in order to magic loop the decreases earlier, I've left it on the long cable and will just continue to magic loop it the rest of the way.

For a while I was doing a half-round of one colour (i.e. knit or purl one colour, slip the other colour the whole length), then I would transfer all the stitches back onto the left needle and do the other colour before moving the cables around to do the other half of the round. Then - and this was very exciting, to be sure - I figured out how to hold and carry both colours of yarn and work with them together without twisting them so that I can alternately purl with the one, then knit the other. That way I can do a single round of both colours in one pass, but the sides remain separate. This trick is not letting the threads twist.

Yes, I know, it's amazing. I've re-invented the wheel.

And then... then? Wait for it... I figured out how to do it while riding the subway and bus!!

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Tomorrow, I need to put up the Hell Hat and do some swatches for a new super-seekrit joint project. In other words, I might get the hat done by spring.

If I don't light it on fire first.

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