I knit. I love colour. Two simple statements, but the fact is that my very earliest memories have to do with colour and with knitting. I was not yet three years old, gravely ill with pneumonia, lying on a bed in my grandparents’ home, while the doctor fussed in and out and my mother sat knitting steadily, reassuringly, by my side. Her yarn was brown, but the floor and walls blazed with the vibrant hues of kilims. I recovered; we continued our interrupted vacation and returned to Scotland.
A few years passed and I joined the Brownies, learnt to knit and got my badge. And no, the required knitting was not of the my-first-scarf variety, but a baby’s sweater, no less. I’ve been knitting ever since.
Knitting is not my Winter activity, it’s my constant activity. All kinds of knitting, all kinds of items, but hats are my default knitting. Hats in progress are scattered throughout the house to be worked on at any opportunity. By each chair, next to the bed, in bags hanging on available hooks and knobs, in the car, and always at least one ziplock bag with yarn and circular needles in my travel bag. You just can’t get into too much trouble with a hat. It will fit someone, for sure, and will never go wasted.
Hats are my gauge swatches where I try out new techniques. Hats allow me to indulge in wild colour. They never bore me as round and round I go on my circular needles. Hats are obligingly quick to knit, happy to use all my scraps of yarn. And they do pile up so cheerfully!
Silent and solemn as ever, my clear-headed Jason is very good about wearing a hat so that I have a record of it, as well as memories of the scene, something I’ve learnt to do in recent years, having failed to do so in years gone by.
And he’s not my only helper – various of the hairies and furries are always very eager to get involved.
This year’s hats are about to be sorted. Some will be gifts, but most will leave home to travel where they are needed to bring a little warmth and colour into lives.
Hats off to knitting!