The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Hats from the heart

Rachael Conlin Levy
400Courtesy of wine me up.

I’ve made two hats in my life and given them to two of my favorite men.

The first was crocheted for my dad when I was a teenager. I took two shades of blue acrylic yarn and double crocheted back and forth, back and forth and didn’t stop because I didn’t know how. The result was a tall hat, warm and weird as any Dr. Seuss get-up, and apparently strange enough to be considered hip because my dad once was stopped by another skier wanting to buy the hat off him, right there on the side of the slope.

dad and his hat
Courtesy of Linda Conlin.

After creating such a thing, I picked up neither needle nor yarn for more than twenty years. Then, I decided to make my man a hat for the holidays. Again, I went for stripes, but this time wool in charcoal and tan. I’d been knitting it in front of Marcel the entire time and he never asked about it until Christmas Eve.

“What are you making?”

Stupidly, I didn’t have a pat answer, so I blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

“I’m making a pouch.”

“A pouch?”


“Huh. Well it looks like a hat to me.”

“No. It’s a pouch.”

This time around I thought I knew enough. I knew to think about gauge, how to carry the unused yarn from the inside, and how to bind off. But when Marcel put it on his head it looked like a bowl, a too big bowl. I considered frogging the whole thing and starting with smaller needles, but he refused to hand it over.

Pattern courtesy of brooklyntweed.

“It’s a hat for big hair,” he said.

I fuss around positioning it whenever he wears it and I notice when someone does a double-take as he walks down the street, but he assures me that he loves the pouch … er, hat. Then he went and cut his hair.

“Does this mean you’re not going to wear the hat?” I asked.

“Nah, I love the hat. It just sits a little lower on my head,” Marcel said.

So there they are. My two hats — too loose, too tall and calling too much attention to themselves — but, nevertheless, still doing their job of hugging the head.

2 responses to “Hats from the heart”

  1. Linda says:

    Rachael, your hat story is too much and caused your Dad and me to laugh uproariously. You just keep clinkin those needles and creating wondrous things for we love them and you!

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