I’m ready to talk about the hats.
A few weeks before Christmas, I noticed that the Tiny Lumberjack hat that I’d knit for Elliot was too small. (He’s really a rather petit little fellow, but growing like a weed.) Meg had it on him with the brim folded down and well… it triggered some grandmother knitting.
I decided he should have a new, bigger one for Christmas. Easy enough. I mucked around with the pattern, changed it to worsted weight, and made it big enough to last him a good long time. One evening while I was knitting it, Joe looked over and complimented the hat and said he’d really like one just like it. Then Pato said the same thing, and then I started thinking about how much Sam loves it when people have matching clothes, and an idea was born. It was a crazy idea – I see that now. I decided I would pound out eight of those hats, one for everyone* knit in time for Christmas. This idea, as mad as it was, had a lot going for it.
a) this is a very cute hat.
b) who doesn’t need a hat, also they are faster to knit than socks.
c) Sam loves matching things so much that I imagined that when she figured out we all had matching hats, she would probably go bananas.
I started. I bought the yarn (then I bought more yarn, seeing immediately that I didn’t have enough**) and then I just kept knitting them. At every occasion I pulled out a grey cabled hat with a red and white striped brim, and nobody said anything.
Nobody in the family caught on that there were multiples of this hat…
and as the hats waxed and waned across my instagram feed, progress gained, lost, then gained again… not a single person left a comment that said anything like “Wing of moth, how long is it going to take you to knit that hat”
or “Did you have to rip back? Were you not almost done that beast?”
or “Is this all you knit now?” (Which would have at least been accurate. It was all I knit. Me. That hat. Morning. Night. By the fire. By the tree. On buses. On airplanes. Everywhere. That hat. All the time.
By Christmas morning I had (almost) all the hats knit. I wrapped them all up, with a label that read “For Joe (and Sam)” “For Meg (and Sam)” “For Alex (and Sam)” and I handed them all out at once. Sam was enchanted and excited….
It was as awesome as I thought it might be, and everyone was so happy, so delighted to be like each other – it got me thinking about teams and uniforms and that maybe Sam is onto something with the matching stuff – maybe it’s comforting to know who’s on your side at a glance.
This was confirmed for me the other night, at our regular dinner with Elliot (and it’s nice to see Meg and Alex too) when Joe wore his hat, and then Ken arrived wearing his, and Elliot looked up at the two of them and you could just see his little mind processing the fact that they had the same hat on, his eyes flicking from pom pom to pom pom. Ken noticed him looking and leaned in. “That’s right” he said. “It’s the same hat….”
“It’s how you can spot your people.”
*I look pretty phallic in most hats, and this one is no exception. I skipped the one for me.
**Wrong again. I have heaps of leftovers. Yarn insecurity is a terrible thing.