As much as I’ve been enjoying designing this past year, I really miss my “free” knitting time. Don’t get me wrong, I like making money. And I love developing new ideas. But sometimes, I dig on the relaxation of picking up somebody else’s pattern, one that she or he spent many hours on crunching numbers and ironing out wrinkles, and just follow instructions. I know that most likely I will not have to bother myself with the pesky task of thinking. I can just focus on important topics such as, “What kind of pizza should I have tonight?”, or, “I really should focus on adding more clothing to my wardrobe that is not black.”
A few months ago, my mother in law asked if I could make another fish hat for a friend’s grandson. You know, the uber-famous Knitty pattern, Fish Hat (Dead or Alive)? I was finally between projects and had some spare time this past week to whip up Fish Hat #3. Fish Hat is an ideal fun knitting project. It’s small and uses worsted weight scraps. There are no charts to follow. You, the knitter, get to make design choices regarding stripes and/or patterning. It’s a fish. It’s a fish hat. Freaking awesomeness.
Just like thousands of other demented knitters, upon first discovery, I was instantly drawn to the fish-shaped hat with x’ed out eyes. I made my first one a couple of christmases ago for my niece, Madelyn. I was unsure at the time about the appropriateness of gifting a dead, mutant fish hat to a baby. After careful pondering, I decided it was really the perfect gift for a young child; kind of a first primer into the sick ways of the world. (Actually, in the year since, I’ve noticed that babies don’t pay attention to such oddities nearly as much as uptight grown-ups do.)
Madelyn’s cousin, Drew, reportedly had a serious case of fish hat envy after seeing it on a visit one weekend. Upon hearing this, it immediately became clear to me what Drew’s x-mas gift would be the next year. Drew is very hyper, so I decided the most appropriate version of fish hat would be the craziest I could muster.
Back at that time, when I was pretty new to knitting, I was using a lot of upcycled (fancy way of saying “used”) yarn. This was also before the time when I owned a swift and ball winder. My OCD tendencies really thrived on the time-consuming activity of picking apart seams of a thrifted sweater, unravelling, washing, and rewinding the yarn into balls. All by hand. Very time consuming; I loved it! But then, I discovered it’s actually much easier and more enjoyable to knit with yarn that has some twist in it. So I made a homemade drop spindle out of a dowel, a CD, and a hook, and started twisting my used yarn. Much better! And it only took, like, a thousand hours! So, yeah. That obsession didn’t last more than a year.
Um, anyway, maybe I’ll get back to the topic of reusing yarn at some point; I could go on and on. And on.
So, for Drew’s hat, I grabbed every crazy thrifted, unravelled sweater yarn I could find, and combined them all for the hat I called, “31 Flavors.” It actually has 31 different yarns in it.
And now, after revisiting the chronicles of the three fish hats, I’m having some pretty serious fish hat envy, myself. Next time I have a lull in knitting, I think I’m finally going to make one for myself.
And you-how many fish hats have you made?