Turns out, our foster beagle likes yarn. I learned this the hard way. If I were a better blogger (or a more patient person) I would have photographed the lesson of why not to leave knitting on the couch. However, when I walked into the room and saw the hat (still on the needles at least) on one side of the room and a ball of red yarn wrapped around two coffee tables and happily being chewed on by a beagle, it was all I could do to simply yell 'SAM, NO!' and try not to deafen my mother (I was on the phone with her when I walked in). It seems Sam thought the ball of yarn on the couch was a toy and jumped up to get it. I'm not sure how long he had it before I walked in, but it was either only a minute or two, or I just have really good luck, because the hat was still securely on the needles and the yarn, though no longer nice and tight in a center pull ball, was not knotted or tangled! How this happened, I will never know, but I was able to simply take the mess upstairs, grab the free end of the yarn and rewind it on the ball winder. The only real 'damage' was some extra dog hair embedded in the yarn (and ultra alpaca is hairy anyway, so who can tell dog from alpaca and wool fiber!)
So the hat isn't technically finished - I'm putting a knit lining, but I need someone with a big head to try it on to figure out where to stop the lining. (Damien self professes to have a 'bigger than average' head, so I don't want to end up with a lining that comes too low to where the bottom folds over on him) Hopefully either Jake's dad or David will do the trick. But the outside of the hat is all done and I love it. It's the Jacques Cousteau Hat.
I love the way the crown decreases! I would definitely make this hat again, though perhaps going up to a worsted yarn so it knit a little faster, though. This was my first time doing jogless color changes, and I think it looks pretty nice (though as Jake points out, very NY Giants - which makes me consider doing another with the same yarn and sending to my friend Kim's husband who is a HUGE Giants fan.)