In my last post I mentioned some of the things that I am making for Christmas. One of those was a knit hat and cowl set using a free pattern from Red Heart's website. You can find that pattern here.
At the time that I wrote that post I was probably a little over halfway finished with the cowl and had not yet started the beanie. Now they are both finished so I thought I would post about them. I had to be sneaky about taking pictures so that none of my kids saw me with them but I think I managed to do it.
I used Red Heart Super Saver yarn for both of them. Black for the hat and Zebra for the cowl. I kind of wish that I would have switched them because I think the cable may have been easier to see in a solid color, although maybe not in black so I guess it doesn't really matter. I don't know if it was the cable pattern or something else but I felt like the cowl took me forever. It took me several night of working on it to finish. I am a really slow knitter which is a big part of why I prefer crochet. I could have crocheted a cowl that size in minutes but knitting it took days. The hat on the other hand I finished in one night. It didn't take long at all. I think for me a big part was not needing to count stitches and switch between knit and purl in a row, at least once I got past the ribbing, it was either a knit row or a purl row. I didn't have to think so much about it and I think that made it go faster.
I started the hat last night and probably finished it in an hour or two. I worked on it while we watched TV. Much quicker than the cowl. I did have a couple of issues with the pattern. They might be my own issues because I am not great at knitting but one I think is an actual mistake in the pattern. It says in the first row to knit 2, purl 2 and then in the second you purl 2, knit 2 and then repeat those in order to make the ribbing. That kind of makes sense except that you finish the first row with a purl 2 so if you start by purling those two stitches on the next row I don't think you would end up with ribbing. I just repeated row 1 to make my ribbing. It ended up looking right the way I did it so even if that was the wrong way it worked. The other issue that I had was that when they have you switch to stockinette I started with a row of knit on an odd row but then when it came time to decrease the knit row was an even row so I had to work an extra row to be on the right side. Is there a right way to start stockinette? Maybe I was supposed to start with a purl row, it didn't specify in the pattern and I didn't know so my hat is one row longer than it should be, and actually that kind of bothers me a little because I feel like it is a little too big. Oh well, hopefully my daughter is less picky than I am. I also realized on about row 19 of 24 that I am pretty sure I was wrapping my yarn around the wrong direction when I was knitting and I think that caused my hat to be a little bumpy on the outside. 19 rows in I wasn't about to unravel all of it so bumpy it is. It is far from perfect but I am happy with it and hopefully my little monster will be too.