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It was really fun as a prototype knit, (and while I was initially worried the cables wouldn't show, well, that got proven wrong and I'm thrilled about it!) I absolutely plan to do a second prototype, and even have yarn ideas for it
This yarn, though, is Fleece Artist's 2/6 Merino in "Spruce", which is now discontinued. I actually won the game of yarn chicken with enough yarn to a) rip back and lengthen the ribbing, and b) add a (slightly demented, because the yarn was kinked up from being unravelled) pompom - as per the request of my giftee.
However. . . .
When I washed and blocked this, the cable pattern tension wasn't impacted by blocking and washing, but the ribbing for the brim grew. A lot.
It's exactly the same problem I had with the hat I unravelled (hat body was fine after blocking, ribbing was ginormous), and I wonder if it's something about the twist of yarn? Or maybe about how I knit my ribbing? I don't know, I've never had this happen with another yarn! I've had things grow substantially after washing and blocking sure, but I've never had just the ribbing grow, except with this yarn!
So, at my giftee's request, I'm going to sew in a drawstring along the ribbed brim (in the same way you would sew in an elastic). I asked if she wanted elastic, or an adjustable drawstring, and she voted for the latter. I'll knit up an I-cord out of some leftover stash (I won't have enough of the 2/6 Merino to make a long enough I-cord, so I'll go stash-diving instead) and stitch it in so it can work as a drawstring.
As for the rest of the hat details, I used my *Knit Picks Nickle-plated 2.25 mm circulars,
and the hat came to a tight tension (9 stitches per inch for this prototype for the cables), so I'm not surprised the cable pattern didn't really grow with blocking/washing - it's basically a 'bulletproof' gauge - I've yet to have anything at that tight a tension really change much with washing.
So yeah. The Christmas Tam is done and off the needles. . . but not quite 'done.' Anyone else ever had this one happen? I'd love to share stories in the comments or on the discord!
P.S. My music training keeps trying to insist that I-cord is actually spelled 'I-chord'! I keep having to fix it after I type it. (I didn't even notice that it was a common error for me until my tech editor pointed it out in a pattern; now I keep an eye out for it!)