Often I plan patterns, but upon stitching, they do not turn out how I'd hoped. They'll be too small, too big or the pattern will be stretched out in some way that doesn't display it the way that I'd hoped. Fishy Hat is the second hat I tried to make for a friend. The first - which was to have curling cables and be made of squishy Malabrigo Worsted, fell by the wayside when I realised that I hadn't planned how to do the decreases properly, and had started them too early - ending up with more of a scull cap than an ear covering hat. For my second attempt, I decided I wanted to have a go at stranded colourwork, and the Whale Watch Hat from New England Knits caught my eye.
But I didn't have lots of different colours of yarn, and really I wanted to make a beanie not a beret. So I looked up some simple beret patterns, realised that I had eight inches or so of the same number of stitches before decreases and then found a knitting chart. Armed with the fill bucket on paint, I set about creating my pattern.
I decided to have 80 stitches in the round, which would be subdivided into a repeated pattern of 20 stitches. I decided to have a zig-zag along the bottom and then some squares and pluses. I was in an irregular mood, so I made it so that they did not fit exactly into the zig-zag. Then the whales from the Whale Watch Hat, which I squished together into 20 stitches. Originally, I was intending to have two rows of whales, facing opposite directions. However, once I'd done the first row of whales, I was already at 5 inches and decided for space reasons that a single row of whales would be fine.
Above that I did a dividing line, and then the fish! I spent quite a lot of time looking at other colourwork charts of fish, before making up my own. Now I wonder if I should have made the fish bigger - it is a little unclear what they are. However, in comparison to the whales, these are HUGE fish. Above that I did a triangle pattern to look a bit like waves.
To finish off with (and because I hadn't charted a pattern for the decreases), I decided to do stripes of grey and blue while decreasing. I like how they turned out.
The blue and grey yarn came from random stash diving. The blue is Palette Vintage in Enamel left over from the Skaði Fingerless gloves I made last December. This is the yarn that goes on and on - I bought three skeins to make the gloves. Used one skein. Since then I've used it to make various squares on my blanket, as well as this hat. I still have one and a bit skeins left. It's soy and wool, so is shiny and pretty. The grey is the Debbie Bliss Fez left over from the swatch I made from the Fairfield Cardigan, so it has camel hair and merino, fluffy and soft. They make a good pair.
Anyway, I've sat on this pattern for a few days and finally given it to its recipient (after a Bible study on Jonah no less, not planned but quite apt), and I still like it. I'm still very happy with it - the whales and the fish are just so cheerful, and the colours, despite being bought a year apart with very different intentions in mind, work so well together.