It always feels like I have way more hat ideas than I have time to try them out. Trying out an idea is a big investment for me, because
a) they often don't work out (I have many, many hats that I've finished but never posted about, because I consider them unsuccessful), and even though I do gain information from a failed idea, it's still a lot of time and yarn spent on pretty much nothing, and
b) I have very limited knitting time, and - particularly this year - things that I need (OK, want very badly) to get finished. Like my hat collection.
However, when I get an idea it tends to plague me mercilessly until I try it out. I am currently being plagued by a host of ideas, so I thought I'd temporarily appease the Furies by posting about them, since I can't knit them anytime soon.
1. Felting/fulling. I have a two-color Fair Isle stitch pattern I made up that looks like zebra print. I would love to try a felted cloche using this stitch pattern. Unfortunately, this is the last thing I would ever try, since it would be my first felting attempt and pretty much a certain disaster.
2. Earflaps. This idea is not plaguing me too badly, so I'll probably leave it alone for a while.
3. SHORT ROWS. This baby has had its claws in my back ever since I bought Loop-d-loop and saw that short row Fair Isle pullover. I already have several unsuccessful experiments under my belt, so I have pretty low confidence with this idea. However, the plague factor is extremely high, so I will try again. This is one that I probably won't let go until I make it work. Especially since most of the problems seem to come from my crappy technique rather than my actual ideas. Eventually I'll be a good enough knitter for this idea!
4. "Freeform" hat made out of a bunch of knitted flowers made separately and then sewn together. Low confidence factor + low plague factor = not anytime soon.
5. High-confidence idea: More Recipe Cloches! There are stitch patterns I know will work (Wavelet, certain ribbing variations, etc.) - some of these are already in progress and some are on my short list. There are some other stitch patterns where I'm not quite sure how to do the decreases and/or the eyelet round (knot-type stitches, or this one stitch pattern I've got a hankering to try where you just cast on an odd number of stitches and keep doing right twists until the thing is done). Those are of course lower-confidence and will have to wait. (I've actually got a few failed twisty-all-over hats. I've tried some different things for the decreases and they all look terrible.)
6. Colorwork. This is pretty low-confidence in general, although the plague factor is pretty high so we'll see. I've never attempted intarsia or mosaic knitting, and my few attempts at Fair Isle have had very wonky tension. However, the Kyoto hat came out really well, so I just might try some of the very simplest FI patterns, where you change color pretty much every stitch like in Kyoto - the tension doesn't suffer as much when the floats are short. In particular, I have one idea for a hat that is entirely 2x2 corrugated ribbing. Two colors per round, but there are color changes throughout, so six colors for the whole hat. I've already ordered the Spindrift - when I receive it I'll probably cast on right away.
7. I-cord hat. This one requires two colors of the same yarn, and a head form (I've got my Styrofoam mannequin). With MC, knit a super-long I-cord. Pin it onto the head form, starting at the top of the crown, into a big spirally hat shape. With CC, slip stitch crochet the thing together, removing the pins as you go. Medium confidence, medium plague factor - maybe I'll get to this one after some recipe cloches and the corrugated ribbing hat.
8. The Frankenhat. High confidence, but low plague factor. I should do this one, though, because I think it will look cool. It's basically a plain stockinette hat, but in random places a random number of stitches would be bound off and then re-cast on the following round, creating what amount to large, various-sized buttonholes all over the hat. These "buttonholes" would then be stitched shut on the right side in a contrasting color, using a very noticeable stitch, kind of like Frankenstein scars.
9. My last idea is the Turban. I've got a neckwarmer I made out of Classic Elite Montera. It's 48 stitches, and three repeats of a giant ribbed cable. (Every row is 2x2 rib, and every 23rd row the center 40 stitches are cabled.) I used a provisional cast-on, and grafted the two ends together to make the neckwarmer. I never posted about it (or wear it) because my grafting was really, really bad. However, it fits very nicely on my head and (except for the fact that it has no top) it looks just like one of those early 20th century turban-style hats. Now that I've got that finishing class under my belt and can graft properly, I'm thinking I could make another one in Manos, then pick up stitches for the crown to make a proper hat.