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November 12, 2008

Cat Bullet


Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions — Cat @ 10:23 am

Petra donkey

You know the expression “Do as I say, not as I do?”

Well, I fell victim to that on Friday evening.

I am constantly telling my students and employees to READ THE MANUAL!!! Read ALL of the manual, and if something doesn’t make sense, figure it out before you start to work. You will be happier in the long run.

So, on Friday, I was definately in the mood to start a quick and easy project. I had in mind the Noho Boho hat from Shear Spirit. For those of you who don’t have your copy of the book handy, it is a rolled brim hat, vaguely shaped like a “bucket hat.” It requires two colors of worsted weight yarn, and has some purl ridges along the stockinette sides.

I had this lovely black alpaca handspun with rainbow silk that I picked up at the Taos Wool Market and some leftover Alpaca/silk/wool in cobalt blue (left from my friend’s Koolhaas hat. I think the two yarns go together really well color wise. Although there is no blue in the alpaca/silk handspun, it is of the same “tone” (or is that “hue”?) and accentuates the silk colors very well.

As a dutiful knitter, I checked the gauge recommendation and saw 18 stitches. I proceeded to sit down with alpaca handspun and cast on for my swatch using the recommended size 6 needles.

Hmmm. My 18 stitches were something like four and a half inches. Hm…. So, I pulled it out and tried on the next size down. Only got to 4.25 inches. (insert head-turning inquisitive dog noise here).

What the heck is going on???? Out of desperation, I swatched with the blue alpaca/silk/wool. Not much better. Worse, in fact – 18 stitches were back to 4.5 inches on the size 5 needles.

A quick calculation showed that I was going to be knitting this worsted weight hat on size TWO needles.

Something is rotten in Denmark (or Denver), that is for sure.

Folks, I’m not kidding. I fussed with this for a couple of hours and couldn’t figure it out. I must have swatched three or four times. I finally gave up and cast on the hat on size 5 needles. Surely, I had just messed up counting or something.

You know that big muddy river in Egypt? Denial??? I was stuck in it up to my neck, that’s for sure. And I’m pretty sure that there were crocodiles nibbling on my toes the whole time, too.

After about an hour of hand-cramping knitting with worsted weight yarn on size 5 needles, I finally had to admit the fact that the hat I was making wouldn’t even fit PURRCY, much less myself. Not only that, the hat texture was so stiff, it felt like cardboard.

Finally I put it down and stood up to refresh my glass of water (and perhaps take some advil to relieve the hand cramping). As I stood, the book fell out of my lap and landed open to the page with the pattern.

And there it was……

Gauge: 18 stitches to FIVE inches (I had assumed four).

After some very careful breathing in and out, I pulled out the ridiculous start of the micro-hat, calmly got up and got my glass of water, then found my size 7 needles (you know – the ones I always use with worsted weight yarn), and re-cast on the hat.

Gosh, it looks so much better.

pitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patter


  1. Can’t wait to see what it looks like!

    Comment by Monica — November 12, 2008 @ 2:57 pm
  2. You crack me up! Can’t wait to see the hat!! :)

    Comment by Nachaele Olson — November 12, 2008 @ 4:48 pm
  3. Oops :D Glad it’s working out now! Can’t wait to see how it looks.

    Comment by Terrie — November 12, 2008 @ 5:50 pm
  4. Good job. I thought maybe is was going to be one of those trick patterns. Hope the rest of the hat goes well. Last night I attended an inaugral knit gathering of some south-end Colorado Springs knitters. The meeting place is on my way home, so easier to convince myself to stop. It was great.

    Comment by Donna W — November 13, 2008 @ 7:36 am

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