Wherein I get more practice at ripping back, experience first-hand the difficulty of picking up more than a hundred loose stitches in pattern when working with a very dark yarn, doggedly knit for several hours and retire from the field having finally produced a hat.
When I woke Saturday morning my first thought was that I'd better get myself in gear and get going on this hat. Not that I was fooling myself about the likelihood that I could knit and finish a hat in time to post Saturday. And even if I did, would it go anywhere any sooner than if I mailed it Sunday or Monday? Probably not.
First, establish the pattern. And true to my usual form that took a couple of tries. After working 8 rounds I sat back to examine my knitting. Good grief, I thought, the pattern is completely lost in this dark colourway. Or maybe, upon closer examination, it was because I'd worked the C3Fs incorrectly. The rules are clear - any mistakes in the pattern stitch constitutes not following the pattern and is grounds for disqualification. Start again.
Happily, things went well after that. This second pattern was fiddly, though, especially when worked on dpns. Too much juggling of needles. The hat's ready to mail now. And I've acquitted myself honourably - knit diligently and correctly, to the best of my ability. Now the wait begins - somewhere, someone has knit a hat, aiming to eliminate me.