I bought some very appealing Patons Bohemian yarn thinking it would make a nice chemo cap to give away. The cats thought it looked appealing too, just like a mousie, so they shredded the bag and were starting in on the first skein when I saved it.
I knit a swatch. Okay, I admit it, I'm weird, I like knitting swatches. I like seeing how the yarn feels and works and getting the hang of it without worrying about making mistakes. Then I usually frog my swatch and use it in my project.
Anyhoo, I knit a swatch on the suggested size 11 needles (ooh soft) and got the gauge - 2 stitches per inch.
To make the hat more one-size-fits-all, I decided to knit it in a 2x2 rib, so I cast on 44 stitches and knit a few rows. When I tried it on my head, it didn't seem nearly big enough. No way would it encompass my noggin -- and my head ain't that big.
So I frogged it and cast on 52 stitches.
Tried it on after a dozen rows or so and it seemed to fit fine.
Knittidy, knit, knit, knit. Try it on. Hmm... seems long enough, let's do the decreases and finish this puppy off. Once it was off the needles, I tried it on again.
Ever seen the old Cosby Kids cartoon? Remember Dumb Donald? Yep, that's how my hat fit. Less the eye holes, of course.
Crud. Shoulda believed the math.
So I decided to make it into a beret. I cast on 44 stitches. Since I'd found the yarn wasn't the least bit stretchy, I used the backwards loop cast on and knit several rounds in 1x1 rib. My yarn was running way low, so rather than casting off and sewing the band onto the hat body, I sewed it straight from the needle onto the hat.
Tried it on. The yarn relaxed, the ribs turned into ripples and it was still - too - big. Dang.
Guess I just learned to consider the yarn as well as the math.
Know anybody with a really big head who'd like a brown teddy bear