Although I finish a goodly number of projects in the course of a year, the bulk of them fall solidly into the category of 'things I've done before and can knock out with a minimum of grief'. The challenge lies in tailoring the project to suit the taste of the recipient, trying new patterns using known techniques, or figuring out useful and attractive ways to use up materials on hand. But from time to time, I want to try out something new and see if I can add another useful trick to my repertoire.
Thus, when one of my coworkers was describing his ideal sports-fan winter hat, I thought, 'huh, sounds like a good beginner intarsia piece'.
After poking around, I couldn't find any patterns that suited the weight of yarn I had available, so I took an image of the Boston Bruins team logo, spent an eternity fiddling with it in Paint, and generated a pattern that would fit into the number of stitches I estimated would be available on the front of the hat. I found that having prior experience with stranded colorwork was a help. After approximately 10 milliseconds of messing with bobbins, I went with the online tip about just cutting a yard or two of yarn and letting the ends hang free. They tangled, but it was easy enough to free them up periodically, and much less annoying.
Results- acceptable. The hat surface was reasonably free of puckers, the back was messy but not completely chaotic, the ends were numerous but not overwheming. My coworker is delighted with it. And I'm filing intarsia under, 'useful but not worth seeking out unless a project I really want to do absolutely demands it'.
And that makes two of the three projects I wanted to have done this week complete. Yay! (The first one was Secret, so I won't be showing it off until next week.)