Lockdown Hair Issues
I’m writing this post seven weeks into the UK Covid-19 lockdown and in our household I am relieved to say that so far we are fit and well. As an artist and designer, an excuse to sit around in my PJs all day making stuff and drinking wine was kinda my dream job so I adapted quite quickly to the new way.
However, a month in to social distancing and a few weeks past my regular hair cut appointment, a minor problem arose and some choices needed to be made:
- wear a hat (yep, always!)
- let it grow and use elastic bands (least favourable as most annoying and time consuming)
- shave it off (and we have a winner!)
Wear a Hat
I did, with the help of Mr B, clipper it all off in the end.
But I do like a hat. I have an assortment of knitted beanies, baseball caps, boonies, a tweed flat cap, and a fedora.
And as the lockdown hair crisis options, listed above, are not mutually exclusive, and in my opinion you can never have too many hats, a bit of knitting was in order.
I am a huge fan of 1940s knitwear and have an ever growing collection of books from that era. I am particularly interested in the innovative use of stitch type to create garment shape, and the economical use and reuse of yarns. While I was flicking through one of my favourite books the other evening (the hand written dedication in the front was dated 1943) I came across a section on hats. While the beautifully styled black and white photos showed dewy faced models in tailored outfits and serious expressions, the hats themselves were pure comedy.
It’s foolish but it’s fun
I was particularly drawn to the “Three-cornered Hat” described in the title as “It’s foolish but it’s fun” and had to have a go. Not least because the three styling options presented in the book (and notated as “there are three angles to every triangle you may remember; so there are three angles from which to consider this enchanting trifle of a triangular hat”) looked like some serious photo shoot fun.
I knitted my hat striping odds and ends of sock yarn (4ply) on 3.25mm needles. The instructions were simple (particularly when I had translated them to modern knitspeak):
CO 286sts, placing a marker to highlight the half way point (143sts), and work thus:
Row 1 and every row thereafter: *K2tog, work to 2 sts before the marker, k2tog, SM, k2tog, work to last 2 sts, k2tog. This is repeated until 6sts remain.
Nxt row: K2tog three times. 3sts.
Nxt row: K3tog.
Once finished the fun began in constructing the hat.
The CO edges were folded in half and sewn together (the original pattern suggested crocheting them together). I then used a 3mm circular needle to pick up and knit 138 sts around the head opening and worked 7 rows of garter stitch before BO. (Again the original pattern suggested working a crochet border).
The result was indeed a foolish but fun hat.
When I showed it to my Mum she laughed out loud as apparently her Mum used to make her and her sisters this type of hat when they were children.
I can throughly recommend taking some time at the moment to create something whimsical and foolish. If the knitters of the early 1940s could maintain their sense of humour during a World War, then I think we can too.
I hope you are staying safe and well, wherever in the world you are.
Until next time…..