Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaKniSweMo: Day 4-7

Fuck intarsia.

I took a break on the shawl because yesterday was my brother's birthday, and I'd like to finish the hat I promised him back in August by the time he comes up here to visit me next Friday. It's a hat, a frigging HAT, knit in a bulky yarn. I'll have that knocked out in a couple of afternoons easy!

Let me tell you something, ladies and gents. The knitting gods do not appreciate cockiness. In fact, they take great pleasure in beating every last shred of smugness out of you, then they bludgeon out all your optimism just for good measure.

Hm, guess I should start at the beginning...

So way back in December, my brother decided that he wanted me to knit him a hat from a book of patterns I got for Christmas. It's a stockinette hat with earflaps and this fauxhawk made from felted yarn along the top. It's knit in the colors and pattern of a union jack. But he doesn't want it in red, white, and blue. Nope, he'd prefer if I knit it in red, yellow, green, and black. For the less mathematically inclined, three and four are different. Very different. Especially when we're talking about an intarsia pattern.

But, this is what he wants. And it's for his birthday. And I feel kind of guilty that I don't spend nearly as much time with him as I'd like to. So I rework the charts to have four colors instead of three. And then I swatch. And guess what! Cascade 128 and Brown Sheep Bulky aren't really the same thing! My gauge swatch came out waaaay too small. So I jump from size 13 needles to size 15. Still too small. In a stroke of genius, I hold my yarn double, and make gauge with the size 13s.

Fantastic! Except now I have to reskein all my yarn. Out comes the ball winder. I follow the pattern instructions, and divide it up into smaller balls. Midway through, I considered just floating the colors not currently being used along the inside of the hat, then realized that the finished hat would be way too thick. Finally got the balls divided up, and started knitting.

I had so many issues casting on for this stupid thing that after the third botched attempt, I gave up and just decided to use a provisional cast on for the whole thing since, hey, I'm going to be attaching earflaps to most of it anyhow, and I'll just bind off the extra live stitches later! I'm sure that'll be a disaster worthy of its own post, but we'll have that bridge collapse on us when we get there...

So, after an afternoon's worth of work, I get this:

But what you don't see is that it's attached to this:

As if this project wasn't already fucked from the get-go, I had a tiny feline helper decide that she needed to step in for some assistance when I got up for TWO FRIGGING MINUTES to use the bathroom.

As if that wasn't fun enough, while I was laying this out to take a picture of it I noticed that I completely botched the chart for the last bit of yellow before the red intersects. Rather than rip it out, I'm now trying to replicate my error on the top and on the left panel as well. (for what it's worth, it's not as bad as it looks in the picture, the stupid thing just won't lay flat because yay! stockinette curls like a motherfucker!)

Also, there are a bajillion ends to weave in, and have I mentioned how much I hate intarsia? Because I do. A lot.

Stay tuned for the further adventures of the hat from hell.

Oh, wait, what's that about a sweater? And something about the month of November and a big fat deadline on the 30th??


I have no idea what you're talking about.

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