Sunday, January 2, 2011

Of Millinery and Men

I like hats.  In fact, I like them rather a lot and have quite a few.

I'm not exactly proud of it, but if I'm honest I have too many hats.  I haven't ever counted the total, but can say with certainty that I have eight in my office alone.  Well, eight on the wall.  Three or four more are on bookshelves, with a handful on the coat rack and maybe one or two just lying around.  Then there are the hats at the house, and the hats that live in the car. 

Did I mention I like hats?

Well, this year I decided to share my love of millinery with a few relations and make some hats as Christmas presents.  In each case, I started with the same basic template, a wonderful felted beret pattern that was developed by my favorite LYS.  But, with each hat I made a few specific changes to reflect the needs or characteristics of the recipient. 

For my one and only brother, I wanted to stay relatively simple - so far as I knew this would be his only beret.  And seeing as how he lives in a part of the country that isn't exactly cosmopolitan, I didn't want people seeing him to think he was getting too uppity. 

So I went for basic black in Jamieson Shetland Spindrift - but with a single thin stripe of white to set off the band. 

The photo isn't great, but I'm hoping he will send me a shot of the finished item being worn.  And if he does I'll post it here.

For my middle son, I scaled down the pattern.  He, like his mother - Mrs. TSMK - has a head roughly the size of a peanut.  But in addition to scaling it down, I knew I wanted to do something that would just be fun for the sake of fun.  So for him, the beret received a very small ornament, a very small amount of i-cord at the top.  When felted, it makes a very slight nub.  His is in  Spindrift as well, but in his (and my) favorite color: blue.

Although there are three years between my youngest son and my middle son, their heads are almost the same size.  Yes, that means what you think it does.  My youngest guy has a melon perched atop his neck.  He gets that from his dad.  So I didn't need to scale down the pattern any more for the little guy.  But he has almost no hair - so I was thinking that the warmer the better.  Rather than using the Spindrift - I went to the Shetland DK for this one.  I don't know if it is his favorite color, but do know that it works well with his complexion and the blue in his eyes.

Of course, all this hat making had me feeling a bit left out.  And seeing as how I had recently given away one of my favorite hats, I felt like I could use another.  True to form, I used the same pattern for my hat.  And I went back to the Spindrift.  But I've never been particularly worried about people thinking I'm too uppity and so mine is a bit fancier than the others. 

You just can't top a great hat.



  1. Love the berets, and your middle son has the exact style going. I must find this pattern for me, and deal with the felting fears, because it it just great!

  2. I love me a hat too. I need to make more of them, but when ever I get the urge to make one, I put it off until the urge is gone.

  3. And #1 son? Did he get a hat too? samm

  4. They all look great! Can you ever have too many hats?

  5. Samm -

    The oldest guy did get a hat, but he actually wanted a specific hat that I wasn't sure I could make - a bright red flat cap.


  6. Absolutely adorable children. The baby is particularly scrumptious.

    I have a husband with an affinity for I understand the obsession. Well, as much as one who stands outside of the obsession can.

    Your hats look great!