I took the evening off and went to knitting night last night. Knitting night totally rocks--it is so great to have a whole three-hour block reserved for knitting or crocheting while hanging out with a bunch of interesting people. I'm really glad I found it.
I had planned to finish the yellow thing, but I just couldn't resist the hat. I was knitting pretty slowly and taking lots of breaks, but the thing about huge yarn on huge needles is that you still make a lot of progress, even when you knit really slowly. The hat has grown considerably.
I love it. And I can't believe I was thinking of undoing the stockinette stitch and redoing it in garter--duh! The other side looks like garter anyway! I'm really not sure which side I like better. Here's the "back."
The fact that I could probably finish it in two or three more hours blows my mind and makes me wonder why I have never made a hat before--talk about instant gratification! Oh wait, I did try to make a hat when I first started crocheting. I made a disk but never got any farther. I was using black cotton yarn--the hat was for my husband, so it had to be manly colors and something guaranteed not to be scratchy--and I just couldn't overcome the tedium of that yarn. I knit or crochet mainly because I fall in love with a certain yarn and want to make something out of it, and I derive most of my joy from seeing and touching that particular yarn and watching it materialize into my vision for it. The black cotton just had nothing going for it. Plus I didn't realize black yarn is bad for a beginner--it makes it harder to see the stitches. So I guess I thought based on that project that it takes about two years to make a hat (and still not finish it).
So I've gotten to the point where I'm starting to think that maybe it's time to start decreasing. I know I could just make a rectangle and gather it at the top, but I'd like to do better than that. I've been studying three different patterns, and they call for anywhere from five to 11 inches of width (which will become height when the hat is turned sideways and sewn up). I like hats to cover my ears, and I don't want one of those surprises where you lose a few inches of height to gathering it on top of your head or something. But here it is with a good hat.
I think it's long enough that I can do a few rows with decreases, gather what's left, seam it up, and call it a hat. Yeah.