Maiden Voyage

Gosh, I wish my camera and/or phone had been charged on Friday. Friday was my first trip on the CT DEEP research boat. We went out and sampled water quality in Long Island Sound. It was… less interesting than it sounds, I suppose, but still a good experience. There’s not too much to do on small boat when you’re just observing, you pretty much stand out of the way on deck or sit out of the way belowdecks, but I did get to help lower and raise the water sampling apparatus into and out of the water. Woo! Also, it was cold. Way cold. So I made sure I had a new hat for the trip:

Ignore the face, please. I’d been up since 4:30 am and had just spend 14 hours either on a boat or in a car.

I finally finished my Here Be Blues hat, a heavily-modified version of the Here and There pattern. I finished this hat three times before I finally liked the look of it. I made mine smaller and much less slouchy, which improved the way it sat on my head. The yarn I used was fairly dense and heavy and with the way it was written there was just too much fabric flopping around behind my head. My version took about a quarter skein of the pale blue Fleece Artist Blue Faced Leicester Aran (which I really really really loved and want to knit more out of) and a bit less than half a skein of the dark blue SG QED (now discontinued). The two different BFL yarns played nicely together and made a wonderfully squishy garter stitch fabric. I love garter, I really do. I think I prefer the fluffier, softer Fleece Artist BFL to the denser, smoother QED version, but they are both nice. The QED is a tad bit itchy on the forehead, though, as I had suspected. Consider yourselves duly warned.

Overall, I’m happy with the hat but really did not like the way the pattern did the decreases. I did not understand the directions well and they made no mention of what you are supposed to do with the cable stitches (decrease them away?) which made it difficult to knit the hat with a modified stitch count. I ended up decreasing after the hat measured 6 inches, then decreased at 8 points ever other round for a while, then every round until the end. When it comes to the cable stitches, I did decrease them away but I did this all pretty late at night on the fly so I didn’t take good notes. I can tell you that right after the third cable cross I purled across the few remaining cable stitches I had, and ended the hat 3 rounds after. Here’s what it looks like from the top:

Bullseye!

I know the lack of details is less-than-helpful, but that’s basically what I did. Anyway, all’s well that ends well, right? The pattern is super cute, I love the cable traveling over the stripes like that. And it felt appropriately nautical to wear on a boat for its maiden voyage. (See how I brought it back around? Oooh yeah.)

Do you have a favorite hat pattern or a favorite way to decrease your hats? I’d like to hear.

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