I was going to write about my Fidra hat last weekend, but in the face of so many fantastic pussy hats, it felt weird to write about anything else. And, honestly, I was so busy trying to keep it together in the face of such beautiful, strong, thoughtful protests that I didn’t have time for much else.
Then, I thought I’d write about it this weekend, but after the unconscionable travel ban Trump instituted it felt insignificant. In the face of all the news we’ve seen in the last week, thinking a new hat is consequential is pretty laughable. But.
This week I have spent more time wishing for the blogs I follow to post content than any week I can remember. I am desperate for inconsequential content — something small to make me feel like there are still good things happening, little blips that remind me that beautiful things are still being made and put out into the world with love. Protests do that for me, but so too do the smaller things like a post about new socks, or a finished sweater, or just a #makenine collage that represents a hopeful vision for the future.
In the last couple of years, there have been a few discussions about the slow but steady drop off in blogging. Instagram is often cited as the reason (it’s so much easier to just post a picture with a long caption), but I wonder if part of it was just that we didn’t need them so much. When the news is good (or, at least, better), we don’t need the same kind of distraction as we do when times are bad or hard. It’s okay to furious and upset about what’s happening in the world and be proud of the new thing you made. We need to take care of ourselves even as we take care of others.
Last night, I emailed my MP* to call on him to demand action from Canada to help immigrants and refugees affected by Trump’s travel ban. Today, I’m going to tell you about my hat!
I kind of missed the chunky yarn craze that started last winter (maybe earlier), but when these skeins caught my eye during Tanis’s annual Boxing Day sale. I don’t usually go in for impulse purchases (anymore. ahem.) but I can never resist the TFA sale, so I scooped up two skeins of their new PureWash Chunky in Meadow (not a regular colourway, I’m sorry to say) to knit Fidra.
I have come around to hat wearing in the last couple of years and while I agree that I might not need more than one, it is fun to have choices in the morning! Plus, Fidra is an irresistibly quick knit — I whipped this up in an afternoon and then made that enormous pompom the next morning, just in time to combine this photoshoot with the one for my Halligarth shawl (another Gudrun Johnston pattern). I have worn this hat pretty much every day since then and I remain completely delighted by it.
The colour is exactly what I need at this time of year, and goes perfectly with both my bright red peacoat and my dark green parka. I even had enough yarn leftover to knit a quick little pair of mitts (I bought two skeins, so didn’t have to hold back when I made the pompom, but if you wanted to get this out of one skein of PureWash Chunky, you definitely could). This is pretty much my ideal Boxing Day yarn purchase: Fantastic colour, immediate execution of a plan, no leftovers. It was also the perfect palate cleanser between Halligarth (which took forever) and my next longterm commitment, Oda, which I am dutifully working away on now.
As the Yarn Harlot often says, knitting is a reminder that actions can lead to results. Sometimes the results are quick and satisfying, other times they take concentrated work over a long period of time, but there are results nonetheless. The work matters. I’m going to email my Prime Minister today, and after that I’m going to pick up my needles and knit.
*To find out who your MP is and/or to get their contact info, you can search by postal code here. If you want to get in touch but aren’t sure what to say or what concrete action to suggest, my friend Ned recommends focusing on the Safe Third Country agreement. If you live in a Conservative riding, please also consider voicing concerns about the xenophobic and racist rhetoric coming out of Kellie Leitch’s campaign. Most Conservatives aren’t bigots, and the party needs to be reminded of that — loudly.
I love your hat and even greater than that, as an American, I am grateful for your thoughtful words and your support of immigrants. Everyday here the news is worse and there is nothing left to do but be loving and kind and pick up those needles. Knit, breathe, knit breathe…
Fantastic set. The colorway is so fun.
I really appreciate your comments on the value of making during these times. You said what I have been feeling so thank you. Hope you don’t mind that I’ve quoted you in my own post about the subject.
Awesome set. I would never be drawn to yarn in that colourway but the knitted up garments look great!
I think you might be on to something with the reason blogging has dropped off. But in the sea of bad news, it is really nice to read about little successes, like finished knits. Thank-you for sharing.
Beautiful hat! And you know, you can’t have too many options for accessories in the winter, when it can feel like the longest season.As a Canadian, I have found that I also feel galvanized by what has happened politically in the US, and have subscribed to The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and donated to ACLU, and planned parenthood here in Canada, as well. I also called my MP for the first time, it was so much easier than I thought it would be! If there is anything positive to say about what’s happening, it’s that t has mobilized a lot of previously complacent citizens, like myself.
I love your hat and I agree a couple of months back it was all about the pussyhats and the marches going on. I agree with you that Instagram has become a place people can post their knits and this might take away focus from visiting blogs. I hope that blogs make a comeback and I will keep blogging because I love my followers and feel more of a connection to them than people on my Instagram. I feel like we see more of the whole of someone’s life in a blog and maybe not as much on Instagram.