A Different Sort of Hat

At the ripe old age of 8, my sweet niece Natalie is already more skilled than me at most things. Verbal sparring, cooking, being kind to fellow human beings – you name it, she’s better at it.  Recently, she has taken to crocheting with a ferocious appetite. Everything from baby booties to cowls to dish clothes have been emerging from her soft little porcelain hands.

I recently celebrated my birthday (yay, me!). As is true of most 8-yr olds, Natalie does not have a lot of discretionary income. I’d been hankering after Billow hat in my favorite color, Comfrey, so I casually dropped a subtle hint. “Hey Natalie, make me this hat for my birthday! Do it.” I would provide the yarn, she the manual labor. Everyone would be happy…

Oh, how happy I was when I saw the finished product. A different sort of happiness than what I was expecting … more along the lines of, “Oh my gosh that is so hideous and cute that I am almost crying with joy!” sort of elation. Not only did the hat not fit, but it didn’t appear to be made for a human head. Unless my head is shaped like a gnome’s head – and this is her gentle way of breaking the news to me after 29 years of ignorant bliss – that hat was not going to fit as is.

Gnome Hat
(The fine art greeting card I am holding is from my 3-yr old nephew, Jack. On the back, it says, “I want to love you, but it is too hard.”)

Thankfully, she thought ahead and included the remaining lump of yarn, still attached to the hat (as you can see by the string hanging down the side of my face in above picture) and a note that stated peremptorily, “Please take this to your coworkers so they can fix it.” I guess working at a knitting company obligates my co workers to fix my birthday presents. Sorry, guys.

The next day, I learned all about decreasing crochet stitches. With much patient guidance from my co worker, Jenny, the hat resembled a human-head shape by the end of the day. Natalie was elated and impressed with my magic fix.

fixed hat

Of course, you can’t do magic crochet hat tricks without excessive brain power, and a big brain means you usually feature a prodigiously large head. The hat was much too small for me, but fit Natalie just perfectly. With a sly twinkle in her eye, she wagged her finger at me and said, “Maybe I did this on purpose, so I could get the hat in the end!”

natalie hat

See, she always wins.


  1. patricia / May 3, 2013

    This is one of the cuttest stories ever. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Lisa S / May 1, 2013

    So…YOU never got your birthday hat?

  3. Teresa K / April 30, 2013

    I think it’s pretty cute before the repair work.

  4. Jacqueline Hickey / April 29, 2013

    Your story and your hat are precious! Thanks for the smile.

  5. Kelly / April 29, 2013

    “I want to love, you but it’s too hard.” Priceless! That little guy could make it big in the greeting card business. I would buy this card for oh, so many people I know!. 🙂 Sweet story.