Finally, the hat I've been planning to make myself is well underway.
The pattern I'm using is called "Carolina Jasmine Hat" by Katie Rose Pryal. Isn't that a beautiful title? I've completed the rather long ribbing section and the first row of increases-- my first time doing an increase, yay. The pattern also calls for several different types of decrease, so that will be more skills I get to learn; up to now, I've only knit 2 together.
My one beef with the pattern is that it gives neither a gauge nor a finished circumference. I know that I tend to be a fairly tight knitter, so I went up by two needle sizes while sticking with a similarly sized yarn. Hopefully it will all work out. Sitting flat like in the above picture, it doesn't look like it could possibly fit my head, but the ribbing is so stretchy I think it will work.
The only other difficulty I've had so far was with my needles. I started with size 6 needles and moved up to size 8 near the end of the ribbing. But when I first started knitting, I wanted to try out needles of various materials to see what I liked, so I bought size 6 dpns in metal. It turns out I don't like metal needles; the stitches just keep sliding off of them. It made for very slow going the first couple of inches of ribbing. So yesterday I went out and bought some bamboo size 6 dpns (I already had size 8 in bamboo) and was able to finish the rest of the ribbing in no time. It's amazing what a little friction can do!
The TIAS starts today, but I haven't gotten around to winding my shuttles yet. I'll try to do it this afternoon. It's a good thing Jane gives us several days between pattern sections.