I’m kind of astonished that this hat has worked out. I made Sally Melville’s Canadian-Winter Hat for the first time a number of years ago. The simple term for that first attempt is “failure.” I actually managed to make it too big, both in circumference and in depth, which takes some doing since I wear a 24″ hat. Certainly the project was educational: this was the project in which I learned that it’s a struggle to frog knitting from the bottom edge. I eventually just got so tired of trying to make it fit that I gave up, patched it up, and donated it to charity. Hopefully some guy out there has been wearing it happily.
With that history, I’d probably be forgiven for never trying the thing ever again, but I do think the pattern is attractive, and anyway, I hate being defeated by a comparatively simple pattern. So I tried again. Frankly, it’s amazing that it worked out, because I did it all “wrong.” I only had a single skein of Lamb’s Pride Bulky to work with. It had 125 yards and the pattern called for 114 yards. I remembered from knitting a sweater in Lamb’s Pride Worsted a few years ago that this yarn grows after its first wash. This is definitely the sort of yarn where you should not only knit a gauge swatch, but wash it as well—except to do that, you should have more leeway than 11 yards of yarn. So, no gauge swatch. Instead I hoped that making the hat one size smaller would make up for the yarn’s inevitable growth. It was a little nerve-wracking knitting something that was clearly too small, just as it had been when I knit that sweater. But it did grow in that first wash, and now fits me just fine.