Gaugey gauge gauge. Poo on gauge. Or, why gauge is important, even though you're just knitting a lousy hat.Yes, I know everyone knows this. I know this. It's in every single knitting book you buy--the author either strikes this conspiratorial tone, like, I know we all hate knitting swatches, but let's just do it for shits and giggles. The other approach: you can hear the crack of the whip as the author lays it down, in no uncertain terms, why you must always do a swatch because you'll be a BAD knitter if you don't and you'll never ever knit anything worthy of her patterns if you don't. She's all, don't even tell people you got that pattern from my book, you lazy knitter, if you're not on gauge.
I didn't work up a swatch for the Chameleon Hat. Silly, naive, gullible me. I had the exact yarn, and the exact needle size, the pattern called for, so wasn't it guaranteed to come out?
Huh. You all know the answer to that. Just because I have the same flour and chocolate chips that Mrs. Field's uses, does not mean that there aren't other variables that are going to make my cookies somewhat less appealing than Mrs. Field's cookies.
Pattern: Chameleon Hat, from Encyclopedia of Knitting
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Superwash Wool, color 21
Needles: size 8 Inox circular, size 8 Boye dpns
This is the hat I knit for my dad's Christmas gift. It is somewhat big on me (hence the aforementioned gauge rant), but there's a good chance that it will be OK on him. And, because there's so much brim to fold up, the hat is thick and weighty, and probably won't fly off at the first strong breeze, even though it's not exactly snug. This Mission Falls is a joy to work with. Which, of course, means that it's being discontinued. (Can we start a letter writing campaign? I've never written a letter to my congressperson, but YARN...well, that's something to get worked up over.)
(Speaking of politics, I feel a rant coming on. I'll save that for the end.)
The pattern is called Chameleon because there's supposedly four or five different ways to wear it. You can roll the brim, or you can fold it twice, or you can pull the brim down in the back to approximate a cloche. You can also wear it like this:
Here's a close-up of the diagonal stitch:
You will notice that the outfit I'm wearing is a tad incongruous, given the headwear. December 3, kids, and it was in the mid-80s today in Austin. Although, later this week, the forecasters promised, promised an Arctic blast. (I do not embellish--these were the weatherman's exact words.) It'll be in the 50s. Get out your snowsuits and your sleds!
Tonight, I started on another Christmas gift, for my SIL. I picked up two skeins of Noro Lotus on sale at the LYS the other day. Isn't it cool? It's got the signature color shifts, but it's also got a hollow core, which is threaded with multicolored rayon.
I think I have just enough for a scarf. I borrowed the rib pattern from the wrist warmers in Last Minute Knitted Gifts (an early holiday present, from me to me!). The rayon thread shows up in the knit like tweedy flecks.
We watched Mad Hot Ballroom tonight--it's my second time watching it, and my friends' first. The film made us laugh out loud, holler and cheer, and bite our knuckles as we waited for the judges' decision. What an awesome film! It's a documentary that follows two groups of New York City kids preparing for a citywide ballroom dance competition.
Some of these kids, who face all kinds of economic and social challenges, find self-esteem and acceptance through the dance program. The girls and boys have such charisma, and a few of them are, quite frankly, amazing dancers. It's wonderful to see the final competition--the parents' faces shine with pride as they watch their children literally growing into themselves onstage.
Lefty Political Rant:
My friends Veronica and Cristina and I were talking today about how our fearless leader has chosen the past week to make some remarks about border security. Regardless of how you feel about immigration, isn't it interesting that our president, who in the past took a decidedly laissez-faire approach to the whole thing, is seizing this particular moment to make a strong statement about this? When your poll numbers are low and you've got all kinds of headaches, ranging from White House leaks to DeLay's misbehavior to the New Orleans cleanup (or lack thereof), to that little mess in the Middle East...what's a better way to regain your country's confidence than to come out against illegal immigration, the one issue that almost everyone can agree on? Weird, because it wasn't a problem before; George is a businessman, after all, and knows what would happen to the economy without that cheap labor. Can anyone say...flip flop? Ha! Wonder what John Kerry's thinking.