The first beanie I ever made was a knitted one. After I finished it and proudly showed my wife she declared that it was very nice, and by the way I looked like a crazy cat lady. I’m going to assume this is attributed to the selfie I put up on facebook.
My selfies are never that flattering, particularly of me proudly wearing homemade yarn crafts.
Anyway, years ago and slightly off topic I had heard of group of Indigenous women in the desert who were getting together and crocheting beanies (something like this) and how it was part of a healing initiative, building community, and also practical – it gets cold at night in the desert! ** Crocheting was accessible because of the simplicity – all you needed was a hook and a ball of yarn (and I guess a pattern). The thought of making something so useful with such simple tools pinged my interest. The only trouble was I couldn’t seem to get my head or hands around the technique… So after a few terrible attempts at trying to crochet ‘in the round’ I decided to turn to youtube. Turns out it was quite simple. Once I worked out the secret it was all on. Beanie number 1 was produced. All in about 2 hours. Given my knitted beanie took me about a month or so, where I got lost in the pattern several times, I was pretty impressed with this swift result!
Then there was THE GREAT FLOOD of beanies. It turned out that my son, Master twin, in particular was quite keen on them. He would come up to me with a combination of coloured yarn from my overflowing drawers and ask for new ones on a weekly basis. His sister, not to be left out would start doing the same. I felt like a sweatshop worker (NOT REALLY of course, I had meal and toilet breaks…), pumping out the beanies for my demanding twins. Of course I loved it really – a child endorsed reason to craft!
Now our whole family has a large collection for every occasion, and Master Twin is rarely seen without one. I often find myself staring at their fuzzy crocheted heads thinking about the stitch work (that’s normal isn’t it?). Sometimes we’ll be in the shops and they’ll spot a nice looking novelty beanie and ask to BUY one! I quickly steer them away from such things… I’ve moved on to more interesting patterns since that first one, and occasionally people even pay me to make custom designs. I still love the simplicity of making something so useful from a simple hook and ball of wool. And being a last born Gemini, I need projects requiring a short attention span 😀
**Note: The Indigenous Beanie making story is far deeper than this and worth a read. And their beanies are amazing!
Here is a gallery of some of my homemade favourites 🙂