The Koolhaas Hat. By the indomitable Jared Flood. To be fair, it’s a super-de-duper cool hat. I guess it should be called the Coolhaas.
Yes, yes. I know all about why it’s named Koolhaas–its orgins in architecture. Blah, blah, blah.
But coolness aside, quite simply, this hat is an incubus.
You know, I’ve been knitting on and off for nearly 40 years. I can’t even believe it’s that long! Yikes.
Anyway, I am a fairly (and only fairly) confident knitter. I say fairly because it’ll take lots of internal debate and many changes of mind before I’ll jump in and change a pattern. No, my BFF Meg is infinitely more confident about things like waist shaping and changing a boring old straight sleeve to a graceful bell. And she’s been doing brave stuff like that from the day she began knitting. I admire that kind of bravery. But show mea cardigan that might benefit from a lil’ old bust dart (and lord knows I could use a bust dart in everything I knit for myself) and my WIPgoes into a holding pattern until I decide I can handle the skills to do it.
But I digress.
My point is, this hat didn’t look like something that would haunt my dreams. Sure it has cables. Lots and lots of cables. But oh my goddess!
All I wanted to do was make a birthday present for Captain Romance. Just a little hat to cover his ears when he goes hiking.
I was a good girl. I shopped my stash. I poured over the posts (there are nearly 3400 of these hats marching through the project lists on Ravelry–forget the 3000 queued.) (No, I did not read all 3400–but I did read all those made of my beloved Mmmmalabrigo, my yarn chosen from my stash). The hats were gorgeous. I even asked for and got help from a fellow Raveler who was an expert making these hats–she had at least 4 in her finished projects–before I started. I was hooked, er, set on making this for Capt. R. since I knew he’d love the geometric pattern.
Now let me also say that I know better than to use 2-toned yarn with a pattern. Yes, I realize the pattern would show up better in a solid. But I did see a Koolhaas in Stonechat (what I’m using), and it was fabbbb! And I was determined to use up some stash yarn.
So, after casting on and doing the ribbing, I started the pattern with much excitement and anticipation. ARRRRRRRRGH!
In my entire life, I’ve never made anything so fiddlely and annoying as this hat!! While extremely inventive, I cannot tell you how soul-eating it is to make the 2-stitch cables every 2 rows. Not to mention moving the row marker back and forth one stitch at the ends of pattern rows 6 and 8.
Okay, yes, I did start out by using a cable needle. Then I quickly found all the posts on how to cable without a needle and taught myself how to do this. Again. I recall learning this when I was in college, but, well I don’t have to say how long ago that was.
Anyway. Someone please tell me why I had absolutely no problem getting this trick to work on the rows where the cables were only knit in the back loops, but on the knit in the back/purl rows, I had funny lumpy strands of yarn on the back. I know you can’t see the back.
But this was a gift. TINK.
This is a humongous pain in the a** to tink.
Tried again. Still the same problem. TINK.Followed the written out directions word for word in complete silence–no tv, no music. Still not right. TINK!!!!
Now my Malabrigo is beginning to have that soft, halo kind of look that it gets after a few wearings. And I’m not talking about the row I’m knitting, ’cause that’d be easy to fix. Just cut the yarn and use fresh. Nope. It’s all the yarn below this row that’s getting fuzzy, because I’m holding onto it so tightly as I’m passing the stitches from needle to needle.
I’m starting to think I need to call the guys from Paranormal State to come bring me an exorcist…