A Tip of the Hat

In the springtimes of my childhood, there was the odd Easter where my sister and I would get a hat that didn’t do much more than sit there looking pretty.

In the wintertimes of that same childhood – those ones capped with six-foot snowdrifts and walking paths to school that tilted uphill on the way there and by the time we were homeward bound had mysteriously tilted uphill for the return – my parents made it very clear that hats were not optional.

“Half your body heat escapes through the top of your head!”

“You’ll catch cold.”

“Frostbite!”

Perhaps it was their warnings and extra diligence that had me rebelling in my teen years against any sort of chapeau covering my head, giving me that dreaded hat hair, generating static electricity and just generally messing with that fragile self-esteem just about every teenager is blessed with.

I disliked hats. Avoided them. Tried to find a middle ground and use an earband instead.

Then I became a parent. To a child who enjoys the outdoors all year round. And from time to time, as we bundled up to venture forth, he would notice something was missing from my outerwear collection.

“Mommy, where’s your hat?”

Now, metaphorically speaking, I wear many hats. But it’s been a long time since I put thought into actually wearing a hat.

After taking a hat-making-how-to at my local yarn shop this summer, I “practiced” with hats for my son and husband. With their heads sufficiently protected, I turned to my own noggin to figure out what would work.

And while I was at it, why not throw in a scarf too?

Out came the knitting needles, and away we went – for half of October and much of November, knitting, purling, twisting, increasing, decreasing until…

It's a beret! Or at least, it started out that way. Now it's my hat.
It’s a beret! Or at least, it started out that way. Now it’s my hat.
IMG_5728
Snug, peeking out from under my coat, with just a hint of ruffle. Same yarn as my hat, but a different stitch for a very different texture.

Mother Nature, with her usual sense of humor, has made our cold season so far unseasonably warm. There haven’t been as many opportunities to wear the hat yet, but I can say I noticed how much warmer I feel when I do. There’s still some work in the “don’t feel self-conscious about wearing a hat” department that I assume will fade with time and wear.

But I do like them both. And tip my hat to the person who figured out how heat escapes, and how to keep it better contained.

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