Christmas time is here . . . or near . . . or not really

But I have finished my first gift for Christmas 2010! 

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Olive, one skein
Needles: Size 8
Mods: Eliminated some plain knit rounds on the top to flatten it.

This will be a Christmas gift for my mom, who will probably never wear it. Unless I wear it first, visit her, she sees me wearing and decides she must have one (because apparently she thinks a) there's nothing a knitter loves more than knitting the exact some thing twice and b) there's nothing her grown daughter loves more than wearing matching clothing.)

My mom is complicated.

Anyhow, this pattern was a little tricky. Usually I knit cables without a cable needle, but that wasn't happening, trying to cross 8 stitches over 8 stitches. But even though knitting with the cable needle made that aspect easier, it was still a tight, tight squeeze trying to cross those stitches. Using a size 9 needle probably would've been a good idea as well. Fortunately there was something like 8 plain rows between cable rounds, to give my swollen fingers a break.

The pattern lists a few size and "slouch" options, so I knit the larger size with the extra slouchy rows added in. When it was done, it looked more beanie-ish in shape, so blocking was necessary. Here were my materials:

That's a can of pumpkin, and a plastic dinner plate, probably about 8 inches across. If I'd had a 10 inch plate, I would've used that, but alas, no. And buying extra plates for knitting just seems . . . well, a tad over the line.

And here's a terrible shot of the hat blocking: 

 You can see the crown is stretched flat over the plate, and then the plate is balanced over the can so the rest of the hat hangs down and doesn't dry all squished.

And here's how it turned out:

I'm quite happy with it, and more than a little sad that I have to give it away. But there will be other hats. Even if  I do look darn cute in this one:

(Yes, I have a lot of hair.)

In other news, tomorrow is the first day of my very very favorite month of the year, October. And it's also the first day of Socktoberfest and the Through the Loops Mystery Sock KAL! I've wound up a lovely skein of Skinny Bugga! in Blue-arsed Fly, I can hardly wait!