Despite my promise to myself to start taking it easy in any number of ways, I find that I've gone off again and done something the hard way.
This time, its a hat. A simple stockinette watch-cap with a 1x1 ribbed cuff.
How hard can that be?
Well. ... evidently I can make even simple watch caps tricksy.
Time was that my father could pop into the ArmyNavy store and pick up a simple watch cap (a knitted tube with an X seam across the top), and the seam was even and the hat was roomy enough, and it all worked out fine. Lately, however, my father has complained that when he buys watchcaps these days, he finds that they'll start out fitting nicely around his head, covering part of his ears, just the way he likes them. At least they sit that way when he first puts them on, and pulls them down into place.
But then, as he wears them, the slowly creep up until his ears are more exposed than he'd like, and there's a funny pointy peaky thing going on that he finds ... unattractive.
So, I said I'd knit him up a custom cap.
I could have simply measured his head (which I did) for it's circumference and the optimal rise for his size, and cast on, knit a lovely tube (with a cuff his preferred length), and then done a nice seam -- or even a nice kitchenered cross on the top. Yep, I could have simply tried to replicate the Army Navy watch cap that worked just fine for all these years.
Instead... I measured his head six ways from Sunday ... and started making a hat that will fit him precisely.
I measured from the line on his brow where he likes the hat to start over the top of his head to the place at the back where he likes it to end. I measured from the place on his ears that he likes it to reach over the top of his head to that same spot on the other ear. I noted that those numbers do not match.
I measured around his head at the place that he likes the hat's bottom edge to sit.
I measured from the bottom edge on the back to the spot at which his head starts reducing in circumference -- and then measured the width across the back of his head and the depth -- from front to back at that spot. (Those numbers don't match either).
See ... six.
I cast on, knit the rib to his depth, knit a turning row (wow, sounds like the start of a regular watch cap to me). Then, I reduced by 4 stitches to keep the outer ribbing from stretching too far over the inner ribbing (cause I'm a little OCD).
But to get the hat to shape exactly right -- I worked short rows along the sides (cause his ear to ear distance is longer than his brow to occiput distance). And I did short rows all the way around because the rise in the front
And eventually worked kitchener seams across the top for that x seam,
yielding a hat that is exactly his measurements.
And learned that all he really wanted was the replica of the Army Navy Hat.
So I'm knitting one of those too. (So, hard way first, easy way next)