I ran into my friend Kate on Main Street in Rockland today. “Only you would wear a wool hat on a nice summer day,” she said. Yes, I am proud to be quirky that way. No matter the weather, it’s layers of knitwear for me. Anyway, it may not have been obvious, but it’s actually an ice cream hat. That makes it warm weather wear, right?
Perhaps the two things that inspire me most in the world are hats and painfully adorable things that make you go squeeee. I don’t typically jump up and down with excitement, but I’m squeeing on the inside when I see things like pastel rainbows, baby animals, and highly decorated cupcakes.
I’ve gone on a dessert kick before when I decided to make miniature dessert sculptures out of polymer clay a few years back. I made donut earrings, ice cream cone necklaces and cookie pins. I mashed together my loves of kittens and desserts and made a kitten head ice cream cone necklace. I even sculpted a 3-inch tall layered wedding cake with sunflowers and purple icing pearls.
And lately, dessert is on my mind again. I’ve been knitting ice cream themed hats like a madwoman. It started with a mint green and chocolate brown yarn that simply called to me for non-dessert-related reasons, and proceeded with the absent-minded knitting of a hat. I didn’t intend for it to be a mint chocolate chip ice cream hat. I think it decided that for itself. Have you ever met an author who claims the characters speak for themselves? It’s like that, except a hat.
The ice cream hats are knit in Malabrigo Worsted and Juniper Moon Farm Moonshine, two gorgeous and well-matched yarns that I can only describe as buttery-soft, which seems appropriate. I needed a huge palette to knit all the flavors, so I’ve stocked up on all the colors (not quite all of them, but I wish) and set them up in my living room. It feels like being back in art school, sitting in my apartment with colored pencils and little cups of ink and paint brushes sprawled across my oversized coffee table. I usually kneeled on the floor and worked at the coffee table because I needed so much table space for all the colors.
So far I’ve achieved a neapolitan hat, a mint chocolate chip hat, a peanut butter cup hat, a rainbow sprinkles hat, a pumpkin spice hat, a cotton candy hat, and a hat that simply can’t decide whether it’s a candy cane hat or a strawberry cheesecake hat. Pistachio and Rainbow Sherbert have been teasing me while I’ve been distracted with other knitting projects for the last few days. I think I’d like to write, design, illustrate, and self-publish a book of ice cream hat patterns. I think I’d like to drive around hunting for photo backdrops that match every hat. It remains to be seen whether I’ll see all that through, so stay tuned.
I am grateful to all the folks I encounter at the yarn shop who either share my excitement about this silly project or humor me warmly. How lucky am I to work with a bunch of knitting enthusiasts every day? During Stitch ‘n’ Spin last Thursday, Kelly told me a story the other day that made my heart swell with pride and joy. She encountered a random stranger who was in a knitting rut, so she whipped out her phone and shared my recent Instagram post about the ice cream hats. The knitting rut was resolved immediately with daydreams about strawberry shortcake! Who doesn’t love desserts?!