I used the same yarn I'd loved using for two of the successful Christmas hats: lovely, warm, wooly Lopi. I used the same needles. I have not suffered any major blows to the head since knitting those hats. I don't know why I'm suddenly incompetent. So anyway, I ripped at least 3 inches (yes, 3 inches. This was truly Giganto Hat.) and started decreasing. I finally finished it tonight. It's still pretty big (I'm telling you, you have never seen anything like the Enormity that was this hat), but I'm not putting any more time into this Hat of Doom.
Another problem is the striping. I was all whimsical and devil-may-care when I cast on. I loved both the yarns and I was excited to play with them and design a delightfully unique yet classic striping pattern. What I ended up with… well, it looks like an experiment I guess. The brim is oatmeal with single rows of cranberry. The body (head?) of the hat is the opposite. I thought I'd let the spacing be random, but once I got going I had trouble envisioning my charming folksy spontaneity on the head of my sartorially conservative uncle, whom the hat was meant for. So I reigned in my entropic impulses and made regular stripes of one row of oatmeal for every 3 of cranberry. Or every 4. Which was it? 3? 4? How many has it been, anyway? No big surprise, I was unable to remember or recognize or stick to my regimen. So mostly it's every 4 rows, but not always.
Then there were the jogs at the beginnings of the rounds. I have more experience with socks and mittens on small needles, where the join is much less obvious, so I didn't do anything to correct the stair-stepping, and I didn't notice it until I was halfway done, by which point I wasn't going to rip.
So, it's done (except for weaving-in), but I don't know what to do with it. I don't think I can stand to give it to my uncle. He might wear it, but… probably not. Maybe he could wear it only on the farm, for mucking out the horse barn or something. I'm not sure. It's lovely and warm and cozy, and I did spend a bunch of time on it, but…
Oh, and what with global warming and everything, it's really too warm for what seems to be the climate here now. Seriously, we haven't had more than a week's worth of Warm Hat Weather yet this winter.
If I manage to blog again soon I'll try to provide photographic evidence.