The Three Kings dropped off a cable-knit hat for each member of the family last week (because someone hadn't quite gotten them done in time for Christmas).
When I was in Ireland two summers ago (how can so much time have gone by already?), I picked up several skeins of Donegal Studio Aran Tweed yarn, each a different color, with the intention of making a hat for each member of the family, each in a different cable-knit pattern, because Ireland. And also because I love the way cables look and wanted some practice knitting them (in case I ever get really wild and crazy and knit a cabled sweater).
I started knitting the first one while I was still in Ireland, but as it turned out, it took me several months to almost finish it (didn't I say I'm not a summer knitter?), and then I ran out of yarn after the first few decrease rows. I tore the whole thing out and started again, knitting it with one less cable section than the pattern called for, and still ran out a few rows before the end. So I gave up and turned it into a headband.
I then found an online source of the very same yarn and was able to get another skein in each the teal, light green, and dark red colors.
I wasn't able to match the dark green or light red, so I found a pattern that included both cables and color work. It doesn't look terribly Irish, but it was a lot of fun to knit.
I discovered along the way that the disadvantage of using free patterns that I find online is widely varying inconsistency in sizing: the teal hat came out tiny, the light green enormous, the red-and-green a bit big, and the red just right but not quite long enough. If it were just my loose knitting to blame, they would have all been huge, right?
When I made my order for extra yarn, I bought two skeins of purple that remind me a little of the heather that grows on the hillsides of County Kerry. I also moved down a needle size, because I really do knit loosely and I don't want an enormous hat. Although this one is intended to be a bit slouchy, I don't need a shower cap.
It's keeping my hands busy these winter evenings as we work through a season of MI-5 that I got for Christmas, our weekly NetFlick (last week: Little Women), and, of course, Downton Abbey. Maybe that's why winter is my knitting season: it's also my TV-watching season!
Pattern names and (minimal) notes at my Ravelry page.