#100 is Fair Winds and Following Seas Beanie designed for Hats for Sailors by Deb Buckingham and is this month's KAL on Ravelry. It seemed appropriate for the finale. I knitted 100 hats from 100 different patterns in less than 100 weeks. I am very glad I did. I found great patterns that I really love. I learned a lot that I don't think I could have learned any other way. I am a rule follower and that makes me more inclined to knit anything strictly to the pattern. Even when my mind is telling me this won't turn out well, I just keep plugging along. It is challenging for me to knit outside the lines. I should probably say "was challenging" because it has made me far more willing to be creative.
Knitting all these patterns has made me realize that there are some generalizations to hat knitting. I wrote about them in this posting. I would add one more item to the list. I now always cast on one extra stitch. After I knit the first stitch in the first round, I pass the last cast on stitch over that first knit stitch. I think it makes for a more even brim.
I also realized that there is so much possibility within those guidelines. I knitted a lot of plain, simple patterns and even they had a lot of variation. There are so many different ways to make a brim or decrease for the crown. And then there is the body of the hat which is absolutely overflowing with possibilities! I plan on using this knowledge and newly found creativity for good for HFS in 2015.
Would I do it again? Absolutely!!! It was a great learning experience. Hats are small and a great laboratory for knitting experimentation. How wonderful it is that I can experiment AND provide a hat to keep a Sailor's head warm.
That said, I think I learned everything I needed to learn somewhere around Hat #67. I am so happy to have knitting freedom again! What do I do with that freedom? I'm not sure but I probably should start thinking about my Christmas knitting...