Best laid plans

Last week I finished the striped gloves, and they turned out suitably pink and brown and stripey:


They’re perfect for our current temperatures which are hovering in the just-below-and-just-above-freezing range. Not quite as warm as mittens but they’ll do the job nicely for the time being, and are darned cheerful too. I do love that Patons Classic Merino.

After that I did indeed succumb to the Noro sock yarn on Wednesday evening and started in on something with stripes and the Silk Garden Sock, but then the next day I convinced myself it just wasn’t working out and so I pulled it all out only to start on something else on Friday.

This is the Inga Hat, a very attractive free pattern that I noticed last winter but never got around to making. After finishing my gloves I wanted to make a hat with the remaining half-skeins, and since there are many Ravelry users with Inga Hats made out of Patons Classic Merino I thought I’d give it a shot. I wanted something in the same colours but not a repeat of stripes – I’m okay with matching hat & mitts, I just don’t quite want matchy-matchy, if you know what I mean.


It looks pretty, doesn’t it? The pink and brown are still very nice, and I’m pleased with my selection of red for the stripe at the brim. I’m also pleased with my execution of the braiding at the edge there, since I’d never done that before and it’s nice to build skills every so often.

Well, pretty isn’t everything, sadly. I should have seen Warning Flag #1 when reading the pattern and it said “one size fits all”. Ahahahahahahah. Nothing in knitting is one size fits all, least of all hats, surely we have all learned this by now. I blythely increased my needle size to go from an intended head circumferece of 21″ to 23″ to sit comfortably for me, except I should have known this would alter other things about this hat.

Warning Flag #2 which I completely disregarded until it was too late was the fact that this pattern does not tell you the intended row gauge, only stitch gauge. So while it is entirely possible that if I had not increased the stitch gauge I would not have ended up with a hat 2-3 inches too long, I will really never know for sure since I’m not very clear on how long it was supposed to be in the first place. If you’re familiar with the pattern you’ll know that the decreases mirror the decreasing slope of that diamond pattern, and are thus embedded in the pattern repeat itself which makes it nearly impossible to simply decrease earlier without completely disrupting the pattern.

So at the moment I am stopped here, having just begun the decrease-every-row decreases, and have discovered a sad fate. This lovely project which was going to use up the Gloves leftovers, has eaten through the Chestnut Brown at a faster rate than the Petal Pink, and if I am going to contemplate finishing the hat, I now have to go off and get another ball of Brown of which I will probably end up with 95% still leftover – thus defeating the purpose of using up leftover yarn in the first place.

Sigh. Why, knitting? Why must you come around to kick me in the shins like this? And on a nice weekend no less.

As I see it, I have 3 options:

1) Get more yarn and finish the hat, and if it does not fit never speak of it again.

2) Get more yarn and finish the hat, and if it is too long attempt to block it with a slightly wider brim to achieve a “cloche” hat effect. (This would seem like a good option except for my fear of ending up looking like I am wearing a carpeted lampshade on my head.)

3) Pull it all out and knit something else. (This would seem very reasonable also except for my woe over having spent 2 days’ worth of knitting time only to have it erased.)

None of these options are particularly appealing to me, especially since it is now cold and snowy outside and I still have no hat to go with my gloves. I may have to just stuff it back in its project bag where it can think about its crimes, and hope that my start-itis returns to vanquish the where-is-my-knitting-motivation-itis that seems to have taken its place.

But in good news, it IS Sunday. Pass the hot chocolate.


  1. Hey, I’ve got several skeins of that brown (sort of a chocolate truffle color, yes?). Want one of them? I’m not sure what to do with the yarn anyway. Then you don’t have to go buy another….

  2. Or you could turn it into a very pretty felted bowl…

  3. Oh yes shove it in the bag and take up with something new to ignore it – that’s what happened to my ‘use up the leftovers’ mittens that turned bad

  4. Looks like I’m not the only one with delinquent projects. I hem and haw over mine for a couple of days and then with the utmost pleasure, rip it, forget it and replace it. Life’s too short.

  5. I have half a skein of Chestnut brown Classic Merino from a soaker I made for my 5 month old – its all yours if you want it! (It would be a shame not to finish that hat – it is beautiful! (and if it doesn’t fit, maybe you know someone it would fit – cross one off your Christmas list?)

  6. You know I have a HUGE amount of PCW… And you are always welcome to raid it. I can’t believe I have to even remind you of such things.

  7. I think I have a partial skein of that brown. I can check and let you know, but shipping from Seattle to Ontario may be too long to wait. Let me know.

  8. It’s funny how the pinks and browns are such a lovely shade of purple and black on my computer monitor! LOL! That is a very pretty hat, it would be a shame not to finish it…….although if you do decide to rip it out, look at it as two day’s worth of entertainment. 🙂

  9. Bummer. It’s such a pretty pattern. Looks like you might be able to find the brown you need among your blogging friends. I vote for finishing it. Those gloves need a pretty matching hat. 🙂

  10. It’s so pretty, I hope you finish it… if it doesn’t fit you in the end, I’d be willing to try it on *my* head so it wouldn’t just go to waste… 😉
    Happy Sunday, Cheers! (she said, clinking cocoa mugs…)

  11. Oh good, looks like there’s a few who’ve got your brown PCW to finish up, I was actually hoping for a head and hat shot to see where the ‘fit’ is. It’s a Beauty of a hat!
    Love the braid, well knit!

  12. What about Brooklyn Tweed’s Turn a Square hat?
    It might end up being a little matchy but I thought it could be an option. Plus it would probably knit up fairly quickly and then you’d have the hat you need for this icky weather.

  13. If worst comes to worst, you can felt it, cut a slit on one side and it’s a lovely tea cozy!

  14. […] the hat front, I did indeed manage to finish the Inga Hat of previous posting, with some extra yarn that reader Robyn handed off to me last week when I handed over her blog […]

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