The Amy Irving Was Not Wrong To Put Her Faith In Richard Dreyfuss Hat

Not every hat name rolls off the tongue. I knit most of this while watching The Competition, a movie made in 1980 about a piano competition, in which Amy Irving and Richard Dreyfuss play rivals who fall in love. There’s a lot of romantic tension about whether the male lead can handle being a boyfriend to such a talented fellow piano player <eye roll> and there is definitely one unfortunate scene where Irving’s character tries to placate the guy’s bruised ego by pleading that she really isn’t as talented as everyone thinks <eyes roll back farther, circle all the way around, come back>, but other than that it’s not a thoroughly awful way to spend two hours and three minutes.

I get this nostalgia sometimes when I’m flipping through movie options, I’ll turn one of them on just because I know that most of the scenes will be filled with artifacts from days of yore, like cars with pop-up locking mechanisms, rotary phones (or phone booths!), stacks of books, desktop computers the size of our Labrador, or totally unlikely situations like where person A is at home and won’t be able to reach person B all day because B is driving. In a car. Somewhere. And there are no phones in cars. Back then we just had to hope people eventually decided to come home. It was a tense time.

Greg is making some weird sandwich with his own homemade mayo. I thought this was peanut butter toast but clearly I wasn’t paying attention, he has the pickles out.

Lol, I just realized in this photo you can see A PILE OF WATNEY BISCUITS off to the side, on the left, on the counter, just tossed in front of the toaster. Hahahahahaha.

ANYWAY, this hat: Same ‘ole, same ‘ole! I’m still doing the same thing, and it’s getting to be more meditative and enjoyable each time. Friends are starting to take note of the rapid pace at which I seem to be pumping these out. One friend asked if I’d knit her a hat, and I thought sure, until I realized she had been on Ravelry and was thinking maybe I’d make one of those patterns. I had to explain that I’m currently in this phase where I have created my favorite basic hat pattern, cobbled together from bits of other patterns and Kate Atherley’s book Custom Fit Hats, and that I’m just doing that one thing right now.

What I didn’t say, but what I realized later when I asked myself why learning a new pattern felt like such a giant, impossible task, is that I think we’re all doing what we can to hold ourselves together, and I think this is my thing. And it must be done the way I do it, it’s like casting a spell. On myself, on the world. I’m trying to calm down. I need consistency right now. I need to something to rely on, something to steady myself against.

I was asking him a question and he has to read my lips because his hearing aids aren’t in, so he is looking at my face, away from the camera. I mean I know I’m biased but he’s one handsome kid. His microphone was live, so all his friends got to hear about how adorable I think my hat models are.

It’s meditation, for sure. I love everything about it. I love that I can just pick up two sticks (well granted these are circulars so it’s really “pick up four sticks connected by two lengths of plastic tubing,” but that’s way less poetic) and walk over to my yarn stash, grab anything worsted, and just sit down and cast on. Whether I’m parking in front of the computer, the tv, or just sitting on the floor with the doggos, my hands know what to do. Cast on 8, join in a round, use the increases Kate taught me (in her book, we aren’t actually friends, although I WISH), until I’ve got a few rounds, and then put in my favorite stitch markers, and start knitting away.

As the crown takes shape, a lovely spiral forms by the increases (you can do increases so this spiral doesn’t form but I mean why), and I get pretty mesmerized watching that take shape – I have to remember to stop and check the measurement, which I do by laying my hand over the top. When it gets to the top of my ring finger, stop increasing, and knit on until morning. Or the end of the movie, or the end of the playlist, or the podcast, or until the dogs tell you there is someone at the door, probably a murderer. It’s definitely not someone delivering a package. Murderer, for sure.

I tried to put this on Cal and he jerked his head back and looked at me like, “What do you take me for, ONE OF YOUR DOGS??” So I just set it down in front him, and he sniffed at it in his usual attitude, and then curled back up.

This time I added in a purl in between each increase, just to see what would happen. It added a pretty little divide to each spiral. And then I got partway down and knew I needed some different colors, so I added in some of the leftover yarn from the Aracorn hat, and then some old blue Malabrigo, and then some soft blue stuff I don’t remember the origin of.

And then at the end is just this warm, fuzzy little hat-beast you can wear on your head, it will keep you warm and toasty. Yes, I adore knit hats. I have ideas for about three dozen more, all of them based on this one simple pattern. The next hat is neon orange, for a friend who hikes on trails in parks that allow hunting. Hers is the first hat I’m making for someone else, and her head is much smaller than mine (hello, ALL your heads are smaller than mine), so I’m hoping I can break out of casting my hat spell long enough to remember to shorten the diameter of hers up a bit.

This hat definitely looks best on Greg, and he really likes it, so now it’s his.

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