My mother has been diligently learning to knit. I asked her why, since I know she prefers to crochet. Her answer was, "Because I love you and I listen to you." I didn't realize how influential I could be. I do both but far prefer knitting. I must have mentioned that to her at some point. Mom is making great progress. The blue swatch is a pattern for a square that will be used for a charity blanket. Notice the nice even tension? Notice the complicated pattern that she followed?
The purple is a hat I was helping her with. We found a pattern generator on the web, measured her head, swatched and voila, a hat that is well on its way to being too big. It seems I have a big hat curse. Of all the hats I've ever made only one one fits right. That includes the hats I've made for other people. All too big.
In the case of my mom's hat, it wasn't clear until well past the increasing was over (this hat is knit from the center out) At that point, being a new knitter, she certainly didn't want to go and undo all that work. If it really is as too big as I think it will be, I'll have her do some decreasing toward the end and work a rib ending so it will be a little poofy but still wearable. On a positive note, she did an excellent job with the increases - note the nice swirly pattern on the top.
As for my latest too big hat...it was a Foliage Hat made in Malbrigo. I really, really wanted that hat. Every night I worked on it, I'd think this could be it, I could be done tonight and wear it tomorrow. Then I'd mess something up and have to go back and fix it. And yet, I persevered. I love the pattern. I learned a lot. The yarn is a delight to work with. The day finally came. I was done. I put it on and... too big. It's my own fault. I didn't really get gauge. I just bumped down a couple of needle sizes and hoped it would work out. It didn't. In hindsight it's clear that what I should have done is used the pattern for the bulky weight. C'est la vie.
Plan B for the hat was to felt it. I'm sure you can see already where this is headed. Malabrigo is a great yarn. It felts really well. It felts really fast. In no time at all, I had a great looking hat that fits my 5 year old. The felting eliminated most of the lovely foliage pattern. All that's left are subtle diamonds around the leaves. I don't mind too much because she looks so gosh darn cute in the hat. The only problem has been convincing her to wear it.