Holy guac! What's going on with that hat? It's like a cross between a beret and a little elfin magic.
For about a second I thought that I could keep that wacky shaping. It is cute in its own way. But stupid cute's not what I'm going for here. I want a little ooh-la-la on Kate's head this year. "Ooh-la-la" on a one-year old is cute in a way that "What's up with that crazy hat someone is making her wear?" is not cute. After all, if she's getting a French coat (oh yes, nothing but the best for our girl Kate), she needs a little beret to go with it. Non?
What went wrong? There's obviously too many rows for the hat to lie flat. I'm using the tam pattern from Ann Budd's book. Those patterns are pretty basic as basic goes, and I couldn't believe that I had messed that up. At first I thought that there was a mistake in the instructions. Perhaps Ann didn't test knit every gauge. Then I realized that there's some confusion (for me, at least) when it comes to following the instructions. Which instructions to follow? The shaping instructions in the pattern body say to decrease six stitches every other row. This works fine for the basic shaping. But I want something different (of course! Me? Follow a pattern as written? How long have you been reading here?): a swirling decrease pattern given as a modification. To my reading, the main pattern indicated that one should decrease (SSK) one stitch at each marker every other row, and the swirling decrease will result.
As the photo shows above, that's sooooooooooooo not the case. In my confusion, I reread the modifications section. Those instructions indicated that one should decrease one stitch at each marker EVERY row. Ah ha! That would work.
Let me distract you from my knitting disaster with a picture of my neighborhood:
It's the Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch at Grand Army Plaza, all decked out for Christmas.