This week I actually managed to knit something, prompted by the imminent approach of the birthday of the intended recipient; and helped along by the fact that because she is only three, the project wasn't too large. And so, at the request of her mother, a hat - a cabled beanie no less; this one by Carolyn.
I'd not knitted any cables before but, as with most things, I found that when I sat down and followed the instructions the pattern appeared before my eyes. I am still astonished whenever this hapens, because somewhere in my brain still lurks the need to really understand something before I am happy with it. But with new knitting I find the only way is just to start doing it. And even with no real understanding, the cable starts to appear, and I am delighted.
The pattern suggested I used whatever cast-on I like, and as I very much like the simplicity and speed of the long-tail cast-on, this was my choice. However, I usually make a mess of the join when beginning in the round, so I found this tutorial for a 3-in-1 jog-less join by Techknitting. I have to say, for me, it didn't quite do it. It was a great deal neater than my normal attempts, but jog-less it was not. Sigh. Maybe next time.
I used Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Spirit which is absoutely lovely, but I found I had to go up a needle size and CO 126 rather than 108 stitches in order to get the right gauge. Of course I thought, having weighed several existing woolly hats at the 20-30g mark, that one 50g ball would be quite enough for one toddler hat. But no. How naive of me. It was only a little short, and so rather than go for another ball, I switched in a couple of bright pink stripes at the crown. I am still not sure if this was a good idea. My queries about whether or not I have made an ugly hat have met with telling silences and face-pulling. But I quite like it. I will have to wait and see how it goes down with the birthday girl.
Oh, and it's also big enough to fit me so, er, maybe I could have just cast on 108 stitches, and just used the one ball after all. Ho hum.