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Monday, February 22, 2010

Crochet Hipster Hat

It has been a long time since I've been to an indie rock concert. Last week's Tegan and Sara show was one incredible power-hour of girl rock, and made me realize how much I miss, well, music. The scene surrounding the music, however, is another story entirely. I once belonged to the cult of flannel shirts, and going to this concert was a  bit like attending a high school football game after two years of college and wondering how it was possible that I felt so incredibly cool back then.

It was slightly dispiriting to be one of the oldest people in the room. My hangups, however, were short lived and K. and I entertained ourselves during the mediocre opening act by composing an ethnography of haircuts, tattoos and fashions inspired by Williamsburg on a Saturday night. We were surrounded by pale 22-year old girls in ankle boots and tight jeans, many of whom were wearing some variety of the hat pictured above. Like an indie-rock grandma, I found some comfort in knowing that that the half-crocheted hat I was making for my sister had the widespread approval of hipster fashionistas, but I mostly felt sad for these girls, who seemed to be engaged in some perverse "American Apparel" ad look-alike contest. Despite my best efforts (halter top!), K. and I both felt judged and out of place.

I'm certainly not exempt from my own era of snobbery, be it music, craft or otherwise. In my own early twenties, I subscribed to the belief that any music that wasn't indie music was trash, and if it wasn't sung by breathy, whining white people, it wasn't worth my time. Likewise, there was a time I considered crochet to be a lesser art form, about the same time I scoffed at anyone who listened to pop music. An aspiring knitter, I thought crochet was one step-up from macrame; maybe something to try while at summer camp, but not worth $15/skien. None  of the fancy knitting stores I loved to browse had anything nice to say about crochet, and I think I absorbed this crafty form of false hierarchy.

But, if my post-modern, cultural relativist Antioch education taught me anything, it's that no one form of art, music,or literature can be elevated above another: as such, I've adopted a Margaret Mead approach to craft. Assata Shakur learned to crochet in prison, and if I ever needed a reason to take up a new hobby, that is one. I have seen some beautiful crochet work, mostly by an old colleague of mine, but it took a couple of years to get over my bout of elitism.

The instant gratification factor is huge. Last year, I knitted a double-thickness cap on size 2 needles, and people, it took me a YEAR. This cap is warm, pretty, and came together in a week, rosette and all. I like the durability of crocheted fabric and will keep it in mind for textile  projects that require a bit of heft. Best of all, the pattern is hardly a pattern at all, and requires no counting, gauging, or measuring, making this the perfect hat to make while on a road trip or while in the midst of delicious conversations.


Chain 5. Join in ring with slip stitch. Single crochet for 5 rounds. Double crochet until hat reaches desired length. That's it!

For a great tutorial on how to make a little crochet flower, visit Little Birdie Secrets. 


Sarah said...

My newborn has that exact hat, but with scalloped edges. It looks fabulous on her too.

Wild Thyme Kitchen said...

cute, cute. Did you make it? I would love to know how! This hat is about the extent of my crochet abilities.

"Bookish" said...

You make a mean sweater, too!