I wasn't very happy with the way my last hat turned out, but I didn't want to post until I had really thought about what went wrong.
The hat is an entrelac design by Kathryn Alexander. You can see it on her at Rhinebeck last year here . I was thrilled by it & bought the pattern from her.
I want to make it in handspun, but couldn't really visualize the hat by reading the pattern. I didn't know how the bits went together and where the colors would end up. So I made a "test hat" out of commercial yarn.
The pattern calls for a very small needle -- 5 st/inch with worsted weight yarn on size 3 needles. Size 3 needles? That seemed nuts to me, so I used size 6 and got gauge just fine. I haven't knitted much entrelac, and I had forgotten that entrelac stretches. A lot.
As I was knitting I realized that the hat was turning out big. I couldn't really tell how big, because of the bumps, but pretty big.
I was right.
Here it is after fulling. It's still big, but it's wearable. The fabric is nice and dense and furry (the yarn is a wool/mohair blend).
Here's a back view, before fulling:
Turns out it was a mistake to change colors on the last two points of the center -- but I ran out of yellow. When I make another I'll do a whole round in one color.
So was this a success? A failure? Not exactly either, I guess. I'll need to think more about what I want to do differently next time. A smaller needle and thinner yarn, to start with.