This year, I decided I was only going to knit a Christmas present for one person. After a couple years of stress and last-minute (or more often, late) projects, I’m just done. It’s too much stress, and my knitting mojo was gone for months this past year. That being said, I chose my person wisely. I picked the one person who tried to teach me to knit ages ago and who I haven’t made anything for yet: my grandma.
After consulting my dad about what kind of knit product Grandma might like best, we settled on a tam or beret style. I’m not great with too many colours (I’m very impatient and too many ends to weave in would drive me nuts), so I wanted something basic. I chose Amaryllis Hat by Mary Ann Stephens after coming across another Raveler’s project. While many of the projects for this hat used a few colours (gorgeously, I might add), hers was beautiful and basic. In the end, because I’m rubbish at colour-selection went with the same colours she used, as her hat came out perfectly. I used KnitPicks Palette in Garnet Heather and Oregon Coast Heather.
The first go with the hat did not work out. It’s not the pattern’s fault at all. The pattern is very easy to follow, as is the chart. This whole hat just ended up being a big learning experience for me. I was knitting too tight, not giving the floats enough room, and everything was looking all squished and pinched. I was almost in tears with frustration on this. I ended up ripping back to the brim, the last point where everything looked nice, and started again.
I did some research and discovered the source of my problem. When I knit, I tend to work quickly and with the stitches near the tips of the needles. Somewhere I read to keep the stitches down away from the tips. It automatically stretches the yarn out a little bit to keep things from getting too tight. Combining that with slowing my pace down, things started to turn out better!
I’m now very happy with how the hat turned out. It’s my best colorwork yet, and I now feel more confident to try other projects. I’ve blocked the beret shape so far, but need to to do the brim yet. I only just got gauge, so I need to be very careful not to make the brim any wider. Otherwise the hat won’t fit at all, and I’ll need a new present for Grandma.
Are you knitting for the holidays?