Launch Failure

It happens to knitters all the time:  They start out full of great expectations and positive energy, and before the cast-on is done, something's gone sideways.  At least, that is what I have been telling myself for the last two days, as I struggle to Knit A Hat.  Real rocket science, this.  Clearly I am in over my head.

The yarn, by the way, is Noro Kureyon Sock #180, which I finally looked up online because I wanted to be able to curse it more specifically than just "YOU @()(&!) **! hat".  Now I can say "YOU @#()*) Noro Kureyon Sock #180 !*&#@%^hat".  Not that it helped much.

Attempt the first had me working toward a simple watch-cap style, until a small bystander commented that "berets are way cooler, Mom".  Far be it from me not to be cool.  Of course, the change in shilloutte required math.  No problem.  I just needed a change in percentage, divisible by 10.  Only took me half an hour and two calculators.  I am seriously flummoxed by numbers, and I can't believe how often I have to dig my way out from under them when I knit.

Attempt the second began with two ends of the same skein of yarn.  Huge tactical error:  After the first color change on each end, the pattern disappeared when one strand changed to Orangey-Rust, while the other strand changed to Rusty-Orange.  Couldn't have done that on purpose if my life had depended on it.

Attempt the third commenced after re-winding one of my half-skein balls to the other end, and a brief entreaty Ombrella, the patron knitting god of color-change yarn.  Naturally I jacked up the pattern and worked four rows before catching it.

Attempt the fourth found me repeating the mantra "Yarn is my Friend" and rocking in place as I got the colors to contrast properly, the number of stitches right and the pattern to repeat:

No wonder people think knitting is hard.  Watching the gyrations knitters go through on the path to nirvana must be really scary for those on the outside.  I am telling myself that I needed more stillness around me than I had, to get this hat started in fewer tries.  Too much chaos does nothing to complement meticulous patterning on size two needles.  Being out of town, the rigors of attending my daughter's sporting event, and hotel-mattress-induced sleep deprivation are this hat's afflictions, not its maker's lack of skill.  Really.  I think.

Madrona is this week, and I am so stoked to be going.  I can feel the energy gathering here on the west coast as knitterati converge in Tacoma.  I am signed up for classes with Elspeth Lavold, Beth Brown-Reinsel, Lucy Neatby, and Stephanie Pearl-Mc Phee.  Something good has got to rub off in that kind of company.  Also, I get to go on a wee vacay, which is feeling a bit overdue.  Good thing I have this swell "@#()*) Noro Kureyon Sock #180$!" hat to work on.