If a Knitter has a minute

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.

hatsdone 2014-10-15

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.

beaks 2014-10-15

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.

sewingowl 2014-10-15

(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.

owlsdone 2014-10-15


Best part? We can make the tiny people wear them, for they have no power.

owlhat 2014-10-15

myriewont 2014-10-15

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?

owlsalldone 2014-10-15


That will be all.



110 thoughts on “If a Knitter has a minute

  1. Oh lord. I have two babies showing up in my family at Christmas (Thanks, both sisters-in-law… don’t drink the water in Colorado) and I now pretty much have to make those. It’s a biological imperative.

  2. Pingback: If a Knitter has a minute | Yarn Buyer

  3. Oh OUTSTANDING! No wonder I read your blog first every single day. You always make me guffaw. These made me wet myself. Sooner or later we gotta see one of those little wee ones with an angry owl hat on the head. Especially if they’re screaming at the time.

  4. This post has me making the crazy knitter eyes at work. I could probably knit baby hats for everyone! My coworker’s son just had a baby, and the janitor is preggers, and SO MANY LITTLE ANIMAL HATS.

  5. Okay, first of all, we need an “as rewritten by” version of that book from you (just the “and do this part this way” bits so we’re not taking away from the original author.) and then we need pictures of Lou in his owl hat!!!

  6. I’m definitely getting a Sam the Eagle* vibe from the hats. I might need to procure the book & some blue yarn…

    *From The Muppet Show? The blue eagle who was superseriousface about everything?

  7. !!!

    I love that Myrie’s face is disguised in that photo by the hat she’s in process of throwing on the ground. However…do you think you’d be able to get us a picture of Lou in his hat? Please? Because OWL HAT ON BABY.

  8. OWL HATS!!!

    (And you’re telling me one wouldn’t look great on Joe? Okay, he’s big. Someone terribly, in-law, Hispanic-polite, like someone adorable’s father? Daddy Owl/baby owl? Hmm? Hmm?

  9. OMGoodness! They are the best! I must make them, now to find the pattern. I can so imagine a screaming babe in an angry owl hat. Not that I’d feall think it good to laugh at them, but I’m sure that wee temper tantrum would make me giggle.

  10. Truly OMG, but guess what instead of “when I am old I will wear purple”, I am going to wear an angry owl hat!! It might require some math;-(( but I think I am up for it.

  11. Totally adorable. And I’m 100% with you on felt circles sewn on instead of plastic discs glued on. And on stuffing with wool, not styrofoam. Much safer.

    No wonder Myrie went after the beak–yellow, looks kinda like a partial banana (when taken by itself, not as part of the design.)

    Lacking young family members, I may have to make myself an owl hat, but with a flatter beak (just because I don’t want to give people handle to grab it off my head.) My alma mater’s mascot is an owl. Surely if I can make roll-top shorty socks I can make a roll-brim hat…and the rest is…um…intuitive, right?

  12. Ha, when my toddler was about a year old she got hold of a small wiggly eye at daycare without anyone realizing it… until I changed a poopy diaper that night and it looked back at me!

  13. I totally agree on the sewn felt vs. glued plastic thing. Every time. And those angry owls are cute (not to mention their owners). Thank you so much for the laugh today, I needed that!

  14. OWL HATS.
    Oh my gosh I love this so much. Words can’t even describe. I must get this book and figure out how to make angry owls. The nephew will love it. And he isn’t even born yet, so he has no power.
    Thanks Steph!! I’m inspired.

  15. Just when I think I’m alone in not resisting a crazy hat urge… I’m about to make a beard hat for my toddler. He wants a blue one. A blue beard that is 😉

    Love the angry owl hats!

  16. It wasn’t a super normal moment in our marriage.

    I have a feeling it was indeed a VERY normal moment in your marriage. Maybe not in anyone else’s. 🙂

  17. I ADORE these hats!! What a fun thing to make for any child! (Or any adult with good sense) It’s always better to use felt for eyes and yarn scraps for stuffing. While I don’t have a newel post to use I’m sure I can find a small ball in the toy section that would serve the same purpose. I’m going to have to put this on my list of must knits!

  18. So, well….YES! Adorable for the little people.

    I think I may “need” one of these, too, though!
    What does that say about my level of maturity!?!

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  20. This hat is hilarious….I am very tempted to put a beak and frowning expression on the baby hat that I am knitting….wait, uh, hmmm…maybe that would not work since it is already half way done–in variegated pastel yarn.

  21. Let me start by saying that I am 100% behind your crafting choices when it comes to the angry owl hats, which are quite possibly the cutest thing ever. Ever.

    I can even understand your feelings about dogs, even if I can’t exactly sympathize. But apple pie? Why, Steph? How has it wronged you? Inquiring (and pie-loving) minds want to know.

    • Leave off the inquiring and snaffle her piece of pie is what I’d do!

      Totally with you on the no gluey thing. I use crocheted circles instead of felt – that way I don’t have to remember to buy felt!

  22. OMG!!!! How could your forget all that you learned while your daughters were growing up???

    Lou and Myrie will hate your guts when they see photos of themselves dressed that way. They will hate your guts even more if younger siblings &/or cousins see those photos. Those photos could do way more harm than the standard “bare-butt baby” photos when those are shown to the first serious romantic interest brought home to meet the parental units.

    Start working NOW to someday convince them that those hats were drop-dead COOL, even if you have to hold a gun to Joe’s head to get him to wear one! It would help if you managed to get Bruce Springsteen, Prince, George Clooney, Kanye West, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Takei, and Prince William to all get together and be photographed wearing similar hats, with Joe wearing one also.

  23. Oh. My. Goodness. The owl hats have forced me out of my lurking ways and forced me to comment 🙂 You crack me up and I love every post you write. You’re amazing and talented and I hope you never get blogger burnout and leave me.


    I wonder if I made them for my family if I would be disowned…. I might have to try… so adorable.

  25. I needed a gut laugh…these are now my screen-saver. yep, she’ll wear it when her noggin freezes. You made those hats perfectly!!

  26. Well a woollen hat is a whole lot better than putting a baby in a scratchy nylon lace dress – can you guess I loathe doing that to a baby.

  27. Newel post is FANTASTIC for this and will become normal. I think hubs has actually come to think that this is some sort of bizarre seasonal decor thing for the autumn/winter months.

  28. My grandgirls are getting fussy about their clothes lately (not that pink grandma, *this* pink) but I have 2 20 something nieces who love weird hats and mittens and are cute enough to carry them off… They would rock those hats 🙂

  29. Those are ADORABLE! But my husband saw the pictures and said “Why?” I said “Because you can make them wear them!”, and he said “That doesn’t make it right”.

  30. all cap’s are required. I LOVE THOSE HATS!! for folks without a post. a 5″ styrofoam ball (in the plastic it comes in) is a great substitute for a baby head. I stuck mine on a piece of broomstick so I can hold it between my knees for adding ‘attachments’.

  31. OMG! OMG! OMG! These are SO FRICKIN’ ADORABLE! You’re right…there’s no denying the need for capital letters when expressing love for them! Little people are very adorable in hats and should Myrie ever decide to keep in on, I’m sure she’ll be the envy of all other wee ones she meets. As will Lou…although as I’ve come to know him via your posts, he seems more compliant in keeping the knitwear on.

  32. OMG – I can’t even stand myself when i see these – a must have and agreed that we can always improvise a pattern – wish I had more littles ones to knit these for.

  33. Too cute! I can see one in red (Angry Birds).

    Oh my goodness you have tiny feet. I thought you had man-size hats on them, but it’s a wee hat for a 1-year old!

  34. So wishing I had a little person for whom I could knit one of these. Those little owls are absolutely adorable! We need some babies in our family but not really seeing that as a possibility in the near future, so I may have to “adopt” someone who has babies! Haha!

  35. Love your hats and suggestions (felt and sew-on rather than glue).
    Someone from Ravelry recommended your website.
    I am trying to make the Rabbit hat. The hat was the easy part. I got stumped on the cheeks and jaws. I will use your suggestions and see if I can finish this hat.
    Thank you!

  36. I gave up on the Bunny hat…couldn’t figure out the directions for the cheeks and jaw.
    …thought I would try the Owl hat…
    The pictures and directions in the book are so confusing. With the help of your pictures, I might get this one finished if I can get the ears attached.
    If anyone else makes these hats, I could use some help.

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