I love to make things. You might have noticed. I make things for myself, of course, but I really like making stuff for others – especially kids. The problem I face is that people – especially kids -come in all sizes.
Take hats, which I have been making a plethora of this year. Giftees range from infant to old, cover both genders, and encompass a dizzying variety of taste and style differences. This leads to plenty of knitting pleasure, as I don’t often make the same thing twice, but also leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling: what if the hat doesn’t fit?
Last night I knit a hat that is intended for a pre-school girl. She is petite, and the hat I picked for her is excruciatingly girlie. It looked good as I cast on and knit the first 4″. And then doubt crept in. I forged on (stubborn much?) and finished the hat, wove in all the ends and everything. Then sat there holding this adorable little topper and trying to envision it on a 4 year-old’s head.
And that’s when panic set in, because it looked really, really small.
Problem is, having all teens in the house has super-sized my perspective. All the menfolk tower above me and their shoes are big enough to double as emergency shelter. I can’t accurately remember what size they were ten or fifteen years ago. I watch Jordan inhale a 2-pound hamburger and then dive into the fridge looking for more and can’t envision him ever being a tiny boy that picked the crust off his sandwich because it was too much to eat. It seems he has always been able to touch the ceiling. Size denial, that’s what I have.
Add in that most of my giftees are not local and I feel the need to knit multiple sizes of each item, just in case. I spend far too much time measuring hats and socks, having the kids try them on so that I can try and gauge if they will fit. I’m sure they get tired of being my human photo props, too. I have modeled hats on mixing bowls, cups, stuffed animals, and even balloons to try and figure out if I got it the right size before I bundle it off to the post office. Still, I anguish.
I need a range of mannequin heads that I can test-fit hats on, so I can rest easy knowing it won’t be grandpa that ends up wearing the pink sparkly hat and that the young niece isn’t stuck with a fishing toque.
Santa, are you listening? I don’t know if I can take it, knowing this cute little pompom hat might not fit the wee elf it’s meant for.