After I finished Myrie’s sweater, I decided to follow in the grand tradition of knitting the littlest cousins matching things. (It’s not actually a tradition. I just made that up.) it seemed a waste to not make the most of the 24 hours I had free before Thanksgiving/Myrie’s Birthday gathering to make her and Lou more knitted things.
Last week, a promo copy of Gramma Nancy’s Animal Hats arrived here, and at first glance, I thought it was perfect. A lot of the time when things arrive here without me asking for them, they get passed along to a knitter who will really use and love them, but this book reflects a deep truth that dwells within me.
One of the things I like best about little kids is that you can put whatever you want on them, and this book totally feeds that bizarre urge to dress a little baby up like a chicken. (Or a pig. Or a BEAVER. See? It’s totally normal.) On second look, I wasn’t sure the book was for me. The hats are all knitted out of Vanna’s Pride (a yarn that I’m not a huge fan of, I like natural fibres for the very young. Get them while they’re little, I say) and more than that, all the parts of the crazy cute hats were supported with styrofoam (no thank you) and put together with a hot glue gun. (Would that really work?) While it’s totally fine for you to like those things, I don’t like those things (also I dislike apple pie and mistrust most dogs) so I almost put the book aside, then got a grip on myself and realized that I could change the yarn, and stuff things with wool roving, and sew wherever she said “glue”. Once I had that idea sorted I was on my way to hat town, and there was no stopping me.
One evening had the simple roll brim hats finished, and I thought once that was done, that would be the bulk of it finished. Wrong again, knitter. It took longer to knit all the little bits (beaks, ears, etc) than it did to knit the hats.
I thought that was time consuming, and then things got wild. I’d decided not to glue anything, and so I embroidered the yellow onto the black for the eyes (8mm felt disc) and then sewed the black to the white, then sewed the white to the hat. (The original pattern suggested that I was to disassemble a wiggle eye, and glue the parts together, then glue it onto the hat, but I kept imagining Lou chewing off the plastic discs – which are totally too small to block an airway, but still make me nervous. I feel better about a sewn on disc of felt than a glued on disc of plastic. There’s no accounting for it.)
I found it easier to get the beaks on if I put the hats over the newel post for the stairs, I used it like a huge darning egg.
(Let us gloss over the part where Joe came home from work, and I had a baby hat over our stair-post, and was sewing an upper beak on while clutching a lower beak in my teeth. It wasn’t a super normal moment in our marriage.) The wee hats, when they were finished, were a thing of beauty. I love them. No, wait, that needs all caps. I LOVE THEM.
LOOK AT THAT. THEY ARE OWL HATS. TINY LITTLE ANGRY OWL HATS.
Best part? We can make the tiny people wear them, for they have no power.
Ok. Maybe they have a little power. Myrie tried to eat the beak off hers, and then threw it on the ground. I believe she’ll feel differently when the snow flies. There’s nothing like super-cold weather to bring a kid round to the power of hats. She’ll get there, and even if she doesn’t?
That will be all.