It's not enough to have finished a couple skeins of yarn during the Tour de Fleece. Now that the yarn's finished, I want to play with it.
When I say "play," I mean play. I don't mean hunt around on Ravelry for a suitable pattern and knit that pattern. I mean wind up the skein...
...and get excited all over again about the gradual color changes. Then pick needles that look like they might work well enough, cast on some stitches, and see what the hell happens.
I can hear teeth grinding out there. I understand. Setting sail without a destination isn't everybody's idea of a swell time. Some folks prefer to pick a destination, then get to it via the most direct route. That's fine. Knitting's a big tent. There's room for everybody.
Me, I like to play.
I have a vague notion for this yarn: a hat. Worked top down without much detail, since the yarn is the point. I want to watch those colors change. I want to see what my amateur's thick-thin-thinner-THICK-thin-thicker-thick-THIN-thick two-ply looks like in plain stockinette.
Judy's Magic Cast On makes top-down circular hats a treat, so that's how I began. I chose US size two needles, and produced a scrap of fabric so incredibly dense it could have run for Congress on the Tea Party ticket.
I ripped back and tried again with a pair of size four circulars. Much better fabric–firm, but supple. Since I'd begun at the crown, I knew I needed to increase a great deal and quickly to get the proper shape. I probably ought to have sat down and reviewed the formula for these increases–how much and how often–but I didn't. I was playing.
I was also talking to people.
In a dark sports bar.
With loud music.
During a bingo game.
You sense where this is going, perhaps.
At the very beginning of a top-down crown it's good to throw in fifty-percent increases every other round. You knit a round, you double the number of stitches, you knit a round, you double the number of stitches.
Then, if you intend to do things in a sensible fashion, you tap the brake and slow down either the frequency or the rate of your increases. I know this. I have known this for years.
But I was not feeling sensible. I was feeling annoyed, since two of my tablemates had achieved a bingo and I had not. I don't even like bingo, and there's nothing that frosts my cookies like losing at a game I didn't want to play in the first place.
I kept knitting, and increasing, and knitting, and increasing, and didn't notice until the next day that my stitch count per round had grown from
to something in the area of
That is rather more stitches around than you probably want in a hat for a human being.
Not to mention that the work was extremely bunchy on the needles. It looked like a bruised cauliflower.
So I slipped it off to see what I'd got. Here it is.
Not what I have in mind for this hat. Disturbingly reminiscent of the ruffled table mats my grandmother's friends used to churn out. But the color changes–those are pretty. And the ruffling–I don't want to use it now, but I'd be surprised if I won't find a reason to use it some time.
Still don't have a hat, but I'm having fun. And I learned something. Which for me is often the same thing.