Well, we all know how that line ends, don't we?
We may have a problem. I've actually known this since Monday night, but haven't quite brought myself to face it yet. See, the problems involves UFOs. Not the Unfinished Object kind; in fact, the hat is pretty much finished. No, the UFOs I'm talking about are those big huge things flying around in the sky. And folks, if I were to throw that tam up in the air, that's exactly what we'd have. It's huge. I've been kind of knitting along, concentrating on following the chart, and on getting the tension right so there'd be no puckering and no loose floats, and wondering whether I'd finish in time, and whether I'd be left with enough yarn to make a tam for me (that would be a no), and I just never really noticed that I was making a manta ray sized hat until I got to the plain black bit and had time to stop and breathe for a minute.
I knew it was bad when Rick asked me whether I mightn't be able to decrease a bit faster towards the end. Since I'd already been wondering the same thing myself, I decided to go for it, and decreased three stitches (instead of two) at every decrease point every other row. Of course, this brought its own complications, since it means that the top of the hat is just a titch smaller than the bottom. I had two "solutions" in mind, and if they don't work, then there's always Plan B: frog and reknit the decrease section (this doesn't solve the essential hugeness issue, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it; horrible ideas like "slightly felting" come to mind...).
Solution 1: Block it. I don't know where I've picked up the idea that blocking cures all ills (probably from lace knitting; I've gotten so used to counting on the miracles that occur when blocking lace that I'm starting to assume that blocking will always perform miracles), but that was the first plan. So this morning I duly soaked the tam and laid it out to dry. It is so big that I have neither a plate nor a pot lid big enough to block it on (see why I have this nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach?), so I pinched the edges and flattened it out and am waiting to see what happens.
Don't get me wrong. I truly adore the colorwork in this hat. Doesn't it look like stained glass cathedral windows? The top is beautiful, too (although I don't have any pictures right now). But to give you a sense of scale, check it out with a coffee mug next to it.
Is it just me, or is that big? Maybe it's because I don't wear tams?
So you can see in that picture the other part of my potential solution (part 2), which is to fold the entire ribbed bit under, and to treat the first motif of colorwork as the hat band. This helps to even out the top and bottom, and I'm hoping it will solve at least some of the size issue.
And that motif does look nice as a hat band, no? Look at the pretty colors again; they're the perfect distraction from the general ginormous nature of the whole thing.
I'm starting to formulate alternate plans at this stage. Like, get a pattern and some yarn for another tam and give them to my mom and then take them back. Or, maybe, felting it just slightly? That would work, wouldn't it? Because what would I do with a giant UFO of a tam if I can't make this wearable? I'm not the only one having this problem this week; maybe it's an epidemic. Thoughts?
On another topic entirely, I'm still plying up the Bunny and the Beast fiber on my spindle (the first little bit of it, that is; the batt has plenty left to spin). I've been having so much fun playing with my spindles lately, and reading about spindles, that I may have accidentally gotten myself a supported bead spindle (oops). But seriously, how great is this?
It's from The Bellwether, and it came like that, in a little box, with a bowl for spinning in, and a bit of fiber to play with. Of course, I dove right in to try it out before realizing that I should probably spend some time just spinning it to get the hang of that. What I've found is that it's incredibly soothing to have it next to me as I'm reading (and struggling to write) on the computer, just flicking and spinning, flicking and spinning. I haven't even gone back to the fiber yet (part of that, to be fair, is that I'm still not spinning counter-clockwise as well as I'd like). This may have to come to work with me when I go back next fall.
In other knitting news, I'm working on the shawl. Because it's a bottom-up construction, the rows are currently taking me about a half-hour each, so progress is slow and not very photogenic. I'm about to say something that I know you'll all remind me of next fall when I'm griping, but I kind of miss meetings. I don't knit during the day at all now, and I used to get to knit during at least one, and usually two meetings during the week, which was rather nice. Somehow I don't feel justified in calling for a mid-day "meeting" by myself and knitting, so it's just in the evening, which means less shawl progress than I'd like. I know. I'm going to regret ever documenting this sentiment when I'm back in stressful budget meetings in the fall, so please just remember that I probably don't entirely mean it. I just need another excuse to knit during the day, that's all.