I finished my mother's hat last week, on the plane ride home for Thanksgiving. (Have I mentioned how much more enjoyable travel has become since I've taken up knitting? It's really quite wonderful.) According to my Rav projects page, it took seven days to knit this project, but many of those days were spent doing other things. I'd estimate a real total of around six hours, false starts and all.
I presented the hat to my mother almost as soon as I arrived. She seemed to love it, though she was a little dubious about how a hat with "so many holes in it" could keep her head warm! She plans to sew a cloth lining for the inside.
Shown unblocked, because I am exceptionally bad at remembering to block things. I assume that after blocking it would stop looking so much like a beanie and more like a proper slouch hat.
Thoughts on the yarn and pattern: the pattern is clear and well-written (and well-charted), but I do wonder whether it was worth paying a whole $5 for - both Radiance and the Traveling Man sweater, which don't cost very much more, give you pages upon pages of instructions and progress charts, while Carina basically hands you a page and a half, most of which consists of the two charts. Maybe the price is why such an otherwise lovely and straightforward pattern has so few projects listed? I did deviate from the pattern, following the lead of one of the other knitters who had made this, by substituting ssks for k2togs directly following a YO. I think this change helps open up the lace pattern a little better.
The yarn I used, Road to China Light by The Fibre Company, is an absolute dream to work with. It's amazingly soft ("buttery soft", even) and held up to repeated froggings quite well, though it started getting pretty limp after around the fifth reknitting. However, it did have a tendency to shed long hairs while being handled - whether from the alpaca, the camel or the cashmere I can't tell.
(Photos by my father with his fancy DSLR camera. I may have to get him to photograph more of my knitting, since he actually has practice with this sort of thing.)