Although, I was hesitant to post my utter ignorance, I think it is important to note my perseverance. Thus, onward with our tale. First, the background: I have never knit anything in the round. I vaguely know that for a hat one uses circular needles and for socks one uses double pointed needles (which are scary).
Act One, Scene One: A sudden desire to have a handmade hat on my newborn baby (ETA: mid-April) overwhelms all other instincts.
Act One, Scene Two: Witness me dragging my husband (on Valentine's Day, no less) to the yarn store to buy some yummy yarn for the baby's new hat. I found the pattern online and it looked simple enough. There were a few words which I sort of figured out (dpns = double-pointed needles). Eek!
Act Two, Scene One: A happy, indie, young yarn store worker offers to help me. I ask for the natural fiber section and then see if I can get the run-down on the dpns usage.
Me: "I've never knit anything in the round before…why doesn't it call for circular needles."
Knitter: "Well, you could start on circulars, but then you would have to move to double-pointed needles because a larger circular needle would make it too hard to knit once you start decreasing." (Or, something close to that effect.)
Me: "Oh, I see." (I'm nodding my head, but I'm not really grasping the concept because I don't really have any reference point for the above-stated information.)
Act Three, Scene One: I get home that night and read through the pattern and cast on my 66 stitches thinking, "Wow, this 7-inch needle is kind of tiny for all of my stitches. Oh well…let's see – knit 10 rows. Great."
Act Three, Scene Two: After I've been knitting for a few hours and I'm feeling quite proud of myself for using size 5 needles (the tiniest I've used thus far), a feeling of doubt creeps in.
Me: "Hmmm, this isn't any different from using straight needles. I wonder why it calls for double-pointed needles. I mean, it says on the pattern to use a tapestry needle, I guess you sew up a seam at the end."
Act Three, Scene Three: Open the Stitch N' Bitch book which sort of explains knitting in the round as the immaculate conception and no pictures (quite unusual for such a great book). Start to get really depressed. Realize that there is not supposed to be a seam. The stitches should be connected. Rip out entire work after much contemplation and decision-making about above seam.
Act Three, Scene Four: Elation at remembering the knitting videos web site. Woo-hoo. The hat is back on. Well, sort of.
(the yarn is Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton. It's a brown color – not blue as seen here.)