I’m in the middle of some big projects which need long bouts of knitting to see much progress. There’s not a lot to say about them yet and I’m struck with a sense some days of not much forward motion.
That kind of knitting is satisfying in its own way, but it doesn’t feed my deeply held need to be constantly finishing things.
Enter my own personal hat renaissance. Why have I never bothered with hats much? I’ve pondered this and I think it’s because I knitted beanies when I started knitting and while they were good to learn on, and always well received, I soon grew bored and have continued to see them as basic knitting without much oomph or fun.
Then I knitted a couple of berets. I decided I liked knitting them and, surprisingly, also wearing them. They were fast and fun and there were more possibilities out there than I’d ever really noticed. It sent me off in search of other hats.
I came across a collection of 20 kids hats by great hat designer, Woolly Wormhead, called Bambeanies. It’s full of great and striking patterns in a range of styles but the one that caught my eye from the start was a pretty little number called Queenie. It was, as you might have guessed, earmarked immediately for Alice, whose mum asked me for a new hat recently.
Here it is. Started Friday night, finished Saturday night, it’s a winner, made from a single ball of delicious Zara.
The other thing about hats that I never really factored in before is the way they use up random balls of yarn you have in your stash – the ones where there isn’t enough to make anything substantial so they languish. It strikes me as so astoundingly obvious now and yet I never looked at random balls of yarn and thought ‘hats’! Crazy. I don’t know how old this ball of grey Zara is – I’m guessing possibly five years. I had two balls and I’m so glad one of them is finally used up for Alice.
She calls it her Star Hat because of the way the crown looks.
You know the other great thing about this hat? I’d say about three of the stitches were made by Alice herself. Something has changed recently – she gets what I’m doing. She actually looks on and asks if what I’m making is her for her. She takes the needles in her hand (note to self: avoid this when knitting complex lace) and with my hands over hers we knit stitches. After a weekend of this, I half expected her to tell her parents today that she made it!
I think the knitting lessons can’t be far off. OK, maybe a year or two. I think I was five when I learned the first time and produced a crooked, holey scarf for my dad.
Part of the reason I rushed this hat was because she was here and I wanted to give it to her straight away. But I also wanted us both to have hats to wear to the Old Bus Depot Markets Celebration of Wool day today. She came along, draped in knitwear (as was I) and learned to smoosh skeins of yarn like a pro. ‘Mmm smooshy’ she’d say. Heart melting.
Just perfect. I have two more hats either on the go or lined up to go (for Sean and a friend). I just never thought I’d feel this way about them. It’s unexpected and rather nice!