Hat in Bloom

January 28th, 2011

What do Princess Ella (the sweetest girl on the Central Coast), Zelma’s tea cozy, D. H. Lawrence, and Katherine Hepburn have in common? They are all responsible for my winter hat this year.

My Winter Hat

Yes, it does have a pixie-ish top — as Richard Diamond (my favorite radio detective) would say, “bless your little pointed head.”

See, what happened was this. When dear Ella was just a wee thing, I knitted her a baby pixie hat from a pattern that I found online. Ella’s Mammy, Mme. Zelma, was very taken with the little pink pointed chapeau, and jokingly made me promise to make her one too.

Last fall, I was trying to use up yarn from a large stash of acrylics that my grandmother passed along, and managed to crochet a spur-of-the-moment tea cozy. I mailed it Zelma, as my contribution to her legendary salon. She wrote back wondering if I could make a hat to match the cozy (you have to admire a woman whose millinery matches her tea service).

In the process of making said hat, it somehow morphed into a long-overdue adult version of Ella’s hat. It was a misty green, lined with pink and white stripes. But it still lacked quelque chose. So I crocheted a leafy vine with darker green wool and made it grow ’round the hat.

While fitting the hat before sending it off, I realized that the cloche shape suited my face, and suited my new resolve to dress like a character out of D.H. Lawrence (think early 1920s eccentric artist). So I made myself one in grey (also from Gram’s stash). Because the leafy vine took forever to crochet, I decided to decorate mine in tribute to my favorite Katherine Hepburn line: “the calla lilies are in bloom…” Yes, I swear those purple things are calla lilies.

So now you know. Unfortunately, when people stare at me on the street, or stop me to ask about my hat, I don’t have the heart to make them listen to the entire explanation. I’m sorry I wasn’t so kind to you.

And to make matters worse, I have just finished knitting yet another of these hats. It’s a dark Wedgwood-ish blue and only wants a lining and some decorative touches. Then I may give it away (if I can find anyone to appreciate it), or sell it for an exorbitant amount of money. Interested?

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