Hi everyone. I'm a guy who decided to pick up knitting, and I've been having a great time with it so far. Yesterday, I decided to go to the fancy knitting and pick up some decent yarn, now that I'm comfortable with the basic patterns and stuff.
I decided to make a ribbed hat with foldover brim in k2p2 ribbing on #8 circular needles (and double points). I used a 100% merino wool (forget the brand), worsted weight, superwash. Cast-on 88, knitted about two inches of ribbing, finished with straight knits up the circular needles (for stockinette pattern).
As I was knitting (this was only my second time with the circs), I was thinking there's no way this hat is going to fit my head. However, when it was all finished, it fit fine, albeit perhaps a hair loose. I don't know if I stretched it out putting it on or what, but it loosened. Now, I wore it earlier today, and it feels like a good couple of inches too loose. From what I've read, because it's superwash wool, there's not much I can do to shrink it down at this point.
No matter, I'm happy to frog the work and start again, all part of the learning process and all. In the meantime, I have enough left in my ball for another hat. I'm tempted to go down to 72 or 76 stitches and was about to cast on (in fact, I did, only to realize I pulled out the 10 needles, and had to rip out my cast) and started thinking:
Was my problem really that my hat was too loose to begin with? Or did I somehow stretch it out? Will I have the same problem if I start with 72 or 76 stitches instead? Cracking out the stitch counter, it looks like I'm at 3.75 stitches per inch, which seems a good bit looser than when I started. Am I doing something wrong? Should I move down a needle size? Or is the problem the opposite, that I'm knitting a hat too small and stretching it out too much?
Any help would be appreciated, before I invest another 4-5 hours only to rip out the project and start again.