From Disaster Hat to Bump Hat

As it’s the very end of winter here in Edinburgh (and indeed in many other places too) it is rather cold. It’s a biting kind of cold and the wind when it blows is icy. I need a new hat. One that covers my ears! And so it was that I found a cute little pattern for an ear-flap hat called Boreal. The bonus being that it includes sizes for wee ones as well as adults. I admit that the image here attracted me, most likely due to the colours. I’m a sucker for pretty colours.

Anyway, I pulled out my favourite Mirasol Akapana with all it’s llama/merino slubby squishyness and cast on with reckless abandon. After all, I’m rarely out that far with gauge and the last hat I made complete with gauge swatch ended up a bit smaller than I would have liked. After a couple of evenings of knitting it occurred to me to try it on and just see.

Disaster! I pulled out the hat I had made last year for Katja to check what gauge I had achieved on that and compared to the pattern. Way off. In fact, so way off that I estimated I’d need to drop from 5mm down to 3mm to get close and with this yarn that would result in a hat with all the squishyness of cardboard. (I’m quite proud of myself for figuring out that the fabric will not work, that’s what I would have called “advanced” knitting only a few months ago!)

So, back to the drawing board. I have my socks languishing, I could pick those up – but brain isn’t really up to it. What I need is a quick fix. And then I decided that I would knit a hat for Bump. I’d been avoiding it, partly because there’s no real need – we were given a gorgeous little handknit hat for Katja when she was born at the hospital, apparently they have a supply of them. It’s acrylic lemon and plain and part of me thinks it would be unfair on Katja to give Bump something in a quality yarn and made by me when she has something so simple, but then again, it’s also unfair to deny Bump the fruits of my improved skills. Plus I have to sit in waiting rooms a lot in the next few weeks and need something to do!

Eventually I settled on a sweet little lacy leaf hat pattern and decided to frog a project that had been sitting at the bottom of my stash drawers for 5 years going nowhere so that I could reuse the lovely lilac alpaca yarn. Very proud of myself for that, felt liberating as I pulled out the crochet rows.

But then I looked more closely at the pattern – gah, nightmare! It was the PDF equivalent of that poster that someone has photocopied the photocopy of the photocopy of and put up in the break room. Impossible to read, and stuck in the middle of the text. Why do people do that? I can understand that if you’re giving something away for free you don’t want to spend too much time on it, but surely a knitter has pride in their output, even the paper kind? I cranked up StitchMastery and got to work. In no time at all I had a lovely easy to read chart and a set of written instructions that were also much easier to follow. Do other people do this or is it just me?

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