Making Dad look Scandinavian
I wasn't even looking for knitting patterns when I recently stumbled across a picture of a knitted hat on the Internet (https://halcyonyarn.com/knitting/2580001P/checkerboard-hat-_-bulky-weight). It looked so interesting and beautiful that I just had to make one. My father is the perfect victim for projects like these--I knew he would look so dapper in this fair isle/stranded colorwork checkerboard and that he would wear it and love it even if he thought it looked dorky. He appreciates everything I make for him.
The knitted braid is really cool. It wasn't hard to do; it just required some concentration and a lot more time than techniques that I have already mastered. I love how it looks and am amazed at the different effects that can be achieved with simple needles and yarn. I will definitely use knitted braids again.
The yarn that I already had was perfect for this project. The red and blue yarns are Paton's DK 100% wool, and the green is a wool/acrylic blend that I have a lot of. It's a high quality vintage yarn that I found at a flea market; I really like it, though it's not 100% wool. I think I used U.S. 5 needles and practiced the magic loop technique using two circular needles (it works great and is easier to put down and pick up, though I like using double points).
I would do a few things differently if I make this hat again. It's a tiny bit too snug, so I think it should have a few more stitches. This version is about 112 stitches in circumference. It's also a little short. I should have added a few more rows of plain stitching in the green yarn before I started decreasing the crown, or possibly another repeat of the fair isle checkerboard. I love colorwork for warm hats and mittens since it makes the finished product thicker and warmer.
I had no trouble finishing Dad's hat in time for Christmas as it was really fun to make, though it probably took more than a few hours--maybe 5 hours total. Though I have some minor complaints about the overall look, I love it and would make it again! Dad likes it too and even showed it off at work, despite some teasing from coworkers.
P.S. I'm terrible at taking photos. These look kind of blurry. Thank goodness for editing programs to adjust the lighting!