…and it was good..

My dad loved my gift!  He had it on all day, and even fell asleep on the couch with it snugly atop his noggin.

Two weeks ago I was scouring Ravelry for a pattern to knit up for my dad.  You see, he is not an average man.  He is very special.  So, naturally I had to find a pattern that would suit him perfectly.  I started brainstorming:  beanie and scarf set?  Nah.  Too typical, not “Dad” style.  Mittens?  Nope.  Just not his thing.  Fingerless mitts?  Close…very close.  But, no.  If I’m going to knit something unique for my pop, I am going to make it something challenging and new for me too.  (Maybe not the best idea two weeks before xmas)  I thought about this hat that I always remember Dad wearing when we were young, and even now.  It was made by Capo.  The design of the hat was much like a driving cap or Irish ‘newsboy’ cap.  Anywho, I found The Morgan.  With many new techniques to challenge and teach me, as well as a unique addition to my project portfolio, I knew it would be more than a perfect gift for my dad.  It would be a learning experience.  Understatement!  I have never counted so much in my life!  Because this hat starts at the apex and works out to build the crown, I was constantly counting stitches between random increases.  Not only this, but I felt that I started a little miffed that the designer listed the gauge at 19 sts/4 inches on a size 6 needle with a yarn that knits up 22 sts/4 inches on the same size needle.  I understand that all knitting styles are unique, but talk about frustrating.  I found myself having to use the knit cast on instead of the long tail cast on in order to get a looser knit throughout.  I ended up on a size 7 needle.

Because the pattern works many decreasing short rows to shape the back of the hat, in addition to a small ribbed band that gets folded up and under the back edge, my hat started to work up with too small an opening to fit a medium size head (22.5 inches) which is what I was knitting it to fit (after checking gauge and everything).  Sooo…at 11:30 at night on Christmas Eve, I ripped back through my bind off and back about 10 rows, removing the short rows and several decreases.  I placed the hat on my head, which is about 1/4 ” smaller than my Dad’s, and it fit nicely.  I questioned why the designer would add the extra rows…So I created a small ribbed band and bound off…too tightly.  The hat was once again too tight for comfort.  Errrr!  Back again, I ripped.  This time binding off loosely.  Et viola!  With a few changes to the original pattern, the hat was golden.  Finished it off with a nice steam blocking, wiped the sweat from my brow, and hit the sack at 4:30 am.  I could swear I heard the pounding of eight tiny reindeer on the roof….goodness knows it was the appropriate time of night!  Hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

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