Pattern: Stars and Diamonds Hat (Raverly, designer Emily Dormier)
Yarns: Berroco Vintage DK in Dark Blue (2185) and Charcoal (2189)
Needles: US 6 circular, short and US 6 10” DPNs
Notes: Bottom-up, ribbing, two-color, Fair Isle
Thoughts: Pattern is difficult to get used to for the two-color section, and the provided gauge is for a preteen rather than an adult (See picture below, and pardon my forehead. My lack of a smile was very telling and unflattering so I opted to crop). This is particularly important as Fair Isle patterns cannot be easily stretch. I tried it on two adults of fairly different head sizes and it looked absolutely ridiculous.
What I liked: the pattern is well-written and easy to follow. I definitely would not caution a knitter new to fair isle against this pattern, especially if (s)he has previously knit hats in the round. I also have a feeling this hat would be fine knit flat and seamed as the pattern breaks at an awkward point in the round, it would most likely not be noticeable.
I also liked how the patterned section was laid out in a grid. I could visualize what the hat was going to look like row by row, and that really helped me move forward. I, however, did not like that the sections were not evenly spaced (some were five, some were two, and I believe one was six), and not all of the boxes were the same size. I have a fairly good eye for spacial details and this threw me off quite a bit at the beginning of the pattern.
What I didn’t like: My choice in yarns. You know how some places are well-lit to show off colors? That was the yarn store and not my house. It was hard at times to distinguish which yarn I was picking up, which slowed me down. I really like how the two colors go together, even after I have a finished product, but maybe I need a new knitting venue and/or a new fancy lamp. Maybe I’ll put the lamp on my wishlist. *Scheming face*
This was the first project that I have ever gotten a gauge this closely on the first try. I have a pretty good idea of how I knit with certain yarn weights so I usually choose the needles closest to the correct gauge, but that does not mean it is always perfect. The one time I do get it pretty perfectly, the finished product doesn’t fit. Definitely not instilling confidence in a novice knitter, and I hate that. If a pattern is easy, I do like it to be characterized properly because I know how disappointing it is to work on something, particularly as a gift, only to find out that it isn’t right.
Summary: I would not recommend this to a friend, unless that friend was good at adjusting gauge. I have not decided if I will be making another one in the right size, I certainly have enough yarn left but I worry about increasing needle size on the warmth of this hat. It’s a shame, because both myself and the intended recipient were very excited about this pattern. I was actually so disappointed about how this turned out that I found I needed a break (24 hours) from knitting. I just couldn’t bear to be disappointed again.