Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hats are difficult

I don't mean that they are difficult to knit, although they can be very challenging ... but putting something onto ones head and to be able to walk around in public with this thing on one's head, makes hat different from any other knitting in my mind.  Socks, put shoes on and no one really knows. Mittens, tuck your hands into your pockets and that's that. Sweater, ok, wear a coat in public, and you really don't need to make a statement. One cannot go totally wrong with scarves and shawls. But this hat thing... You put a new creation on your head, and your spouse looks at you a little longer and you get worried. Just a little too enthusiastic smile from a co-worker and you are going to get rid of the thing very fast.  See what I mean.

Then there is this fit factor, it needs to stay in its proper place. It cannot keep dropping over your face or keep sliding off your head to make you look like a sugar loaf ... or if it does look like sugar loaf, then it needs to be intentional and that needs to be obvious. 

Hats can make a statement - and can tell much about their wearers and opinions. They truly are interesting, necessary but extremely difficult things. 
 So, I am guessing you have a favorite hat or at least a strong opinion what kind of hat fits you best. I have knit many hats during this long knitting career but all of them have been little bit "off" and I have given away almost every single one.
 But last spring I knit a cloche-kind of woollen (coarse Finnwool) hat, lined it carefully with cotton fabric and intended to give it to my daughter. The fall came with the cold weather, and I still had the hat lying around and while going out one windy day with the dogs, I put the hat on. And I loved it. The fit is perfect, it keeps my head warm plus it has this girly swirl to it. And it totally did pass the spouse thing.  

Now that Christmas is coming and red is just the color for this season up here, I am knitting myself a red one. 

I sincerely hope you have found your favorite kind of hat.  Keep looking, it only took me forty some years to find one. 

Happy Thanksgiving and wool, as always,

(PS. I have this annoying piece of knowledge in the back of my mind that with age, one loses self criticism, so I am truly hoping this is not that.)


  1. I love hats myself they can provide some instant gratification when I'm working on a larger project.

  2. I know what you mean, i never look good in a hat, and I do get those looks from my man. But I just don't mind any more, I'd rather look stupid or funny and not freeze :)
    Knowing how much selv criticism I had when younger, it feels great to have lost some!
    Have a lovely week :)

  3. Every time I see your banner I feel a kindred spirit (I am the little black sheep myself!).
    I could not tell you how many hats I have knitted for 'Heavenly Angels in Need' and 'Seamen's at Church - Christmas at Sea' programs but I just realized I never knitted one for myself!
    Self criticism? I have not lost it, sad to say even with old age creeping up! Then again senior moments is sure to help in some way...
    Blessings on Thanksgiving!

  4. Lene, the idea of looking like a sugar loaf has me laughing. Personally, I like the getting older and less self critical, I can whatever I please now!

    Linda in Dayton Ohio

  5. I would love to see you wearing your hat! I have mine on right now - in this cold drafty old farmhouse - its a necessity.

  6. Anonymous02:56

    Ugh-I hate hats. They just look funny on me. So I have a coat with a hood! Haha!

    But that red one you are knitting looks very nice!

  7. Anonymous04:29

    I agree with your sentiment. I've made hats and discarded them as well... Did you use a pattern for the winning hat? I'd love to see it on you.

  8. Thanks for that lovely post about hats. Myself, I hated them for, say, 20 years. I'm now 25 ;)

    My mother was always concerned about my head and ears and I had to wear hats or headbands from september to april. Other kids were wearing t-shirts. Even worse, my mom had a talent to pick "nice" (that means, embarrassing) ones, which made me the object of lots of teasing from my class-mates. As soon as I was able to decide for myself what I wanted to wear, all things head-related went into the trash.

    It was only last year when I discovered that head accessoires are really fun to knit and I have to admit, they are practical. But my hair is so voluminous (it's kind of a hat itself!) that I look like a clown with most hats.
    Finally I found a design that fits my head and hair.. or at least I hope so! It's still a difficult topic for me, but after that first hat, I am sure there will be others to follow it.

    That's the thing I was talking about:

  9. Gail H.12:02

    This post is so funny and true! Happy Thanksgiving Lene.

  10. I enjoy knitting hats, but most of my friends and family don't care for knit hats. And most hats give me the worst hair you've ever seen, so I have some store-bought hats that one could wear to work, but I wear them everywhere.

    But I do like knitting them, and I can hardly wait to see what yours is like.

  11. Oh, Lene, what a fine humour you have!

  12. I'd say rather that with age comes the willingness and/or the ability to value your own opinions more than those of others. Wear what you like because you like it, not because it makes you look the way other people expect you to look.

  13. Just yesterday I spent hours looking at hat patterns on ravelry before admitting to myself that I simply won't wear a nice hat. There are two times I wear a hat: when doing barn chores in bad weather and when shoveling snow. All that's needed is something that can get horribly dirty and covered with bits of hay, but that will keep the snow or rain from falling into my eyes, my ears from freezing off my head. So I wear a cap with a long brim for chores, and an old fleece cap with a brim and earflaps (and a lining chewed up by my naughty dog) for shoveling snow. With luck, neither of these hats will ever, ever be seen by anyone but the livestock! Every now and then I knit a simple hat just for variety, but socks seem to be my most useful knit-for-me projects. And as you say, almost no one ever sees them...although I rather wish they would! :)

  14. Oh, Lene! I do love your blog! Your creativity, talent and honesty are without peer. As always, you have gone right to the heart of the matter regarding hats: proper fit and right 'look'. It is a relief to learn that I may actually knit a hat that I will enjoy wearing at some point in my knitting career.

    Just yesterday, I hit the wall with my most recent attempt at a hat for me. Elli Stubenrauch's Bird on Wire seemed like a jaunty choice in double-knitting for double warmth, and I was happily half way through the chart before I suddenly allowed myself to admit that my gauge was way off: huge! This led me to the conclusion that I may not actually want to succeed in knitting a hat for me. After all, denial about gauge is one of the most basic of knitting boo-boos. One that generally stems directly from the subconscious - deliberately setting oneself up for failure.

    Wear your new hat in good health! At my latitude 'kaamos' disappeared under a foot and a half of snow, then reappeared after two solid days of warm rain.

  15. Hat...the only type of hat I wear is berets... that is the only one I think suits me. Thankfully they can come in many shapes, sideways, lacy, fair isle...

  16. Anonymous08:17

    I look like an idiot in any kind of hat, and I am so envious of people who can wear them and look so nice! Otherwise, I would love to knit myself a hat. Thankfully, I live in Texas where wearing a hat is not a necessity for staying alive in the wintertime. (My ears do get cold, though, because my hair is kept very short.)

    Mary G. in Texas