This afternoon I was sitting around with chums from all over who had gathered in New York to celebrate the precocious retirement of one of our number. The milestone had been marked, the previous evening, by indulging in the mass humiliation known as Old People Dancing. We want your ugly, we want your disease, and we can write a bad romance, as much as the next person. (Yes we can. Shut up.)
Anyhoo. As old times were revisited, the topic quite naturally came up of When Did Kay Start Up With All The Knitting, Again? And Katherine said, ooh-ooh! I was cleaning out a closet the other day and I found That Hat!
That Hat she made for Annie when she was a baby, and gave it to us all wrapped up like a Precious Relic, and we put it on infant Annie and it covered her entire head, down to the shoulders, like a grocery sack—THAT hat.
[Hoots all around. Good times.]
[Hat fetched by the all too willing Katherine.]
Now I ask you: is there anything funny about this hat? Is this hat not to be admired, especially when one considers that it is probably among the first 5 things that I knit in my life? This would have been the mid 90s (Annie was born in 1994).
The pattern is in Debbie Bliss’s catchily-titled book, Kids’ Knits for Heads, Hands and Toes. (Now sadly out of print, this book lives on, on Ravelry, where it continues to generate FOs.)
Look–it’s the cover hat.
I was new to knitting, and wildly enthused. I saw the hat, I loved the hat, I knitted the hat. The yarn store didn’t have the specified yarn, so I just picked out another yarn. I had no clue what that “tension” business meant. This was a detail that did not trouble me at all. I bought the yarn, I bought the needles the Yarn Store Lady told me I needed for the yarn. I cast on. I squinted at the charts for the reindeer and the pine tree, and kept picking up one color of yarn and dropping the other, by any means necessary. Innocent of all knowledge of Fair Isle or intarsia, I sort of “fintarsia’d” the thing, and it came out just fine.
Or so I thought until we put the hat on wee Annie’s head. Whereupon Katherine laughed, harder and longer than could be considered good manners.
I don’t mind telling you that I’ve been mad about it since the mid-90s. Hell hath no fury like stranded knitting scorned.
But hey–Annie grew. The hat fits. Katherine saved the hat.
All is forgiven.