I FINALLY finished this celtic aran earflap hat I started in late December. For some reason it was one of those projects that just wasn't meant to get done when it was supposed to and that drives me crazy especially when it's for somebody else.
This particular project had many problems with it. I've knitted cables before but for some reason this particular pattern kicked my butt. I had to rip it out five times and restart. At that point I remembered reading something in a book about lifelines. Lifelines are a thread that's pulled through a row so if you made a mistake you only have to rip it back to the last lifeline instead of the whole project. They came in very handy and saved me at least twice. If you've never done cables it's easy to make mistakes and the problem is you don't see them sometimes for several rows.
Second problem I had was that I got sick with bronchitis & pneumonia back in January and wasn't able to work on it for nearly three months. The cable pattern was complicated enough that I couldn't follow it for any length of time without it giving me headaches. The picture on the pattern was done in a solid color and the cable pattern didn't stand out in the cap so I thought it was just knitted straight without cables - wrong - the whole thing was done in cables. Cables are time consuming.
Third problem was at the very end. I've done I-cords before but never the way they wanted it knitted as an edging. The directions were a bit confusing. I finally got to the point where I said enough was enough and it was getting done. I ended up going in to the yarn store this past Saturday and spending the day there while I finished it. The woman that worked with me, Lois, even had to play with it a bit to figure out what they were doing and then modified it once she figured it out. She'd done this type of edging before so she had at least an idea of where they were going with the directions. It required picking up stitches around the edge on a circular needles then using two double pointed needles to work the I-cord. Thankfully I'm coordinated enough to work with three needles.
It was finally finished Saturday night when I attached the tassles. The colors are dark gray and lavender. The woman I made it for was very happy with it when I gifted her with it today. She's waited a long time to receive it. It's a beautiful pattern. I'll probably do a solid color the next time. She wanted a two tone hat with these colors. If anybody is interested in the pattern it's a Knit Pick pattern that you can download. There's a small fee for it.