If you're not a Firefly fan (or if you've just never seen/heard of the show - c'est moi!), you might not know what a "Jayne Hat" is. I know I didn't until very recently.
My brother-in-law is a HUGE Firefly fan and he introduced my husband to the series (on DVD) a few months ago. When it came time to make our Christmas shopping lists, DH suggested that I make BIL a Jayne Hat. "A what, now"? DH explained: Jayne Cobb is a beloved character on the show, and in one episode, he receives a gift from his mom. Yes, you guessed it - a hand-knit hat.
Actor Adam Baldwin
as Jayne CobbAs you can see, it's cute and floppy and silly and I know BIL really wants one. He's hinted a few times (asking if I knew how to knit/crochet), but he never got around to asking me -- which is good since this will be a huge x-mas surprise for him!
First thing's first -- can I crochet this? Answer: NO. Some clever Crafty Craftersons have created their own crochet versions, but it's just not the same. And since this was to be a gift, I wanted to get it right. This hat needs to be knit. Right off the bat, I'm nervous since I've not yet attempted knitting in the round or picking up stitches (for the ear flaps), but, since it's supposed to be floppy looking and imperfect, I figure this would be a good first (forgiving) project. (If the whole thing goes to pot, I could always just say I meant to eff it up!)
I immediately Googled "Jayne Hat pattern" and to my surprise, this thing is Freaking.Everywhere. Dozens of patterns at hundreds of sites. And my biggest problem? No yarn stores within walking distance.
Then, a small miracle. I came across this website run by a crafty gal named Heather, who not only created her own pattern (which also happens to be the best one I found), but she sells complete kits (pattern, yarn, even needles and stitch holders if you need `em - which I did) AND she ships to Canada. Halle-freakin'-lujah! For about $40 CDN, in a few short days, I received "the kit". I will admit that I was a hesitant ordering (from a complete stranger) over the internet, but I was blown away with what I saw when I opened the package.
First, the pattern, in all it's glory, was printed in colour and presented in those handy-dandy plastic, hold-punched, sleeves. It was detailed enough for a beginner (again, c'est moi) and a surprisingly fun read (paraphrasing): "Ma Cobb didn't worry about precision, so neither should you!" The yarn, bamboo needles, tapestry needle and stitch holders were packaged neatly in separate bags. I honestly could not believe the care that went into this kit.
And the most important thing? The result! G'head and see for yourself:
It ain't perfect (but, hey - it's not supposed to be! Have I mentioned that yet?), but for my first attempt at knitting in the round and picking up stitches, I think it turned out pretty damn fantastic. (Ifidosaysomyself!)
There's a bit of leftover wool so I decided that I would make a mini version (for use as a tree ornament) and wrap that up and give it to BIL first.... THEN I'll bring out the big guns!!
Thanks SO much to Heather for her terrific pattern and kit. I couldn't have done it without you!
Update: The mini me version of the Jayne Hat turned out better than I expected. I decided to crochet it (since I have yet to attempt knitting small objects in the round) so I was able to whip it up, from start to finish (including the tiny pom-pom), in about 45 minutes. I'm sure I would have been done faster had I not been just "winging it". (I dc'd the yellow portion and sc'd the orange and red earflaps.) It looked so cute that I decided to do a SUPER mini version (with the leftover wool) for our tree. Now all I have to do is watch the damn show!
Update #2: It's April 2nd, 2008 and I *finally* got around to watching the show... it was fantastic! Really, really enjoyed it (especially the episode where Jayne receives the hat.)