I've been having trouble making a hat which fits me. The first time I tried it, I measured my head, got a 22" measurement, and proceeded to make a lovely black lacy beret in that size. It was too big. "Fair enough," thinks I, "I'll just make another one smaller next time."
So I had this pattern, and was using it to make a hat for a friend. She has a small head too, so I made the 20" size, which turned out lovely. I tried it on, and found that it, too didn't fit me, but since it wasn't for me, it didn't matter too much. I was going to make one for myself, though, so I went for the next size up - 22". Different type of yarn, you never know, right?
Well, I screwed up the needle size. You start this hat on DPNs and then move to a circ when it gets bigger, and I started it on 4mm needles instead of the 4.5 I knew I should use. Then I couldn't find the 4.5 circ when I went to use that needle, and thought that I had decided I wasn't going to be using that size, but the size 5. It wasn't until I looked at the Ravelry notes for the first hat later on that I realised I probably should have used the 4.5mm needles throughout - but by this time I was pretty well into the project, and really, really didn't want to start over. The beginning of of this pattern is really tricky, since the stitches are very tight from making new stitches off them to increase the size of the hat.
To make a long story short, I made the hat on the 5mm needles, and it turned out huge. And I mean HUGE. It really does cover my whole head, but is a floppy beret, so it looks like some oversized nightcap with holes in it. On the plus side, it will keep my ears warm this winter.
Today's lesson? Always, always check you have the right needle size. I didn't have to gauge swatch this as making the other hat gave me a good idea of what I needed, but I allowed myself to be stupid enough to assume that because I couldn't find the right needle, that I had decided I didn't need it. I have to date made one thing too small by using smaller needles than called for, and now one thing too big. I'm tempted to give this one away as well, but it's got a fairly major mistake, with the icord that starts it on the inside instead of the out. Not exactly my proudest creation, but it will keep my head warm while I find another pattern to try again on.