Sunday, January 20, 2008

Shall I Knit You a Hat?

Hi Knitters,
Have you ever been inspired to knit from a picture book? I am all of the time. My daughter and I share a serious love of picture books. Every week she brings home a variety of carefully selected books to read with me and I look forward to it every time. At the end of last week she introduced me to one of the sweetest picture books I have ever read. Shall I Knit You a Hat? is written and illustrated by sisters Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise. I love the sister connection. The text is wonderful and the illustrations transport you to the home of two bunnies, a mother and child.
The mother notes that a blizzard is coming their way and she offers to knit her little bunny a hat. The bunny loves his hat but then he gets concerned about his friends being cold as well. The mother agrees to knit them hats, too. They start off on an adventure to sneakily measure the heads of all of their friends. The friends consist of a horse, deer, squirrel, cat, goose and a dog. Each hat mother bunny knits is carefully designed to meet the various needs of that particular animal. For example, the goose's hat has a long scarf attached to keep her neck warm, the horse has a blanket attached for sleeping in the snow and the reindeer hat accommodates his antlers. This is my favorite hat as each antler has a pom-pom hanging off on a string. Love it!
The ending of the story is so tender and true. The story isn't so much about Christmas, it is about giving to others and spending time together and the wonderful feelings all of that brings. The last page of the book is a hat pattern for making little rabbit's hat with the wonderful long rabbit ears.
Just look at rabbit's fantastic stripey hat. The pattern offered in the book is a perfect pattern but it didn't include ear flaps and ties. My daughter had to have the flaps and ties just like the picture so certainly I added those on. We carefully selected the yarn and although it isn't exactly like the hat in the pictures, it is reminiscent of the hat in the book. We finally concluded that my stash of Blue Sky Alpaca cotton would suit us fine.
Of course I added a little fleece lining for that extra comfort. I made the ties about a foot long and just braided the strands together with an over-hand knot at the end.
I started it yesterday and today she is wearing it proudly. The extra-special treat about Shall I Knit You a Hat? is that it was her teacher's book. My daughter wanted to borrow the book for the weekend so I could see the pictures to knit up the hat. When she asked her teacher about borrowing it she told her she had bought the book with us in mind. Isn't that cute? She gave the book to my daughter to keep. The smile on my little girl's face when she was running out of school on Friday was priceless. She couldn't wait to tell me about our gift. I started knitting right away.
The littlest things can mean so much.
I hope your hats are keeping you warm on this bitter cold weekend.
best, susie
p.s. Thank you, Sylla, you are a wonderful teacher. We are lucky bunnies.
p.p.s. The book was published in 2004 and was just released in paperback in October 2007.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I bought this book and knit my Godson/nephew a special hat for Christmas -- love the story, and so do his parents!

Warm wishes, Jo

Emily said...

So sweet!

Knitting Mama said...

I just added that book to my amazon shopping cart! Can you share the pattern? That would make a great gift for my nephew as well as for my son!

peaknits said...

How sweet is this - what a great way to combine a special handmade gift with a nice book for a child - what a thoughtful combination. I'll be off to Amazon as well. Thank you to your daughter for sharing this with you and subsequently all of blogland! And thank you Sylla-teacher for being so incredibly special, those teachers are never forgotten! Lucky bunnies indeed!

Wool Winder said...

What a wonderful, thoughtful teacher!

Debbi said...

I received this book as a gift as well, from a fellow knitter for a christmas swap. It is adorable. Thank you for sharing with us how cute it is knit up on a person, not a bunny.

Heather L. said...

How fun to see your post today! My children and I discovered that book this Christmas, and, since we have a very avid knitter in the family (their aunt) we were absolutely delighted with it too! Although, I'm afraid I did not go so far as to knit up such adorable creations for my kids.

tracy said...

I just bought the book for my 3 year old hoping it would inspire him to wear the sweaters I knit him, given that for some reason he won't...I must have missed the pattern. I love it!

Annie said...

I love this post! As an elementary media specialist (aka Librarian) I LOVE to use props with the stories I read aloud. The kids are so much more engaged. Now that I am knitting I always think "i should knit one of _____(insert object)to use with this story." If only I had more time! I can't believe you knit that hat in a day!! Very sweet pict of your daughter.

amy said...

I, like you, collect books for the season. So, this past Christmas, I bought this book to add to the Christmas book stash. I love the story, mother and child sharing and making things for others.

...can't wait until MPLS
amy

michaele said...

Hi - I am making the baby's txture blanket from itty-bitty nursery. I can't find errata. I'm making the "White Square with Rings" and it seems that the yo row is in error. If you follow the instructions as given, they only cover 29 stitches, but the row has 30. Could you please clarify? Should the final instruction be k5, or is there a bigger error in the instructions? Thanks!

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

What a precious book! And hat! And teacher! A very sweet post, all in all. It makes me want to go read to my kids. And knit. Of course, I always want to knit :) I think we may need a copy of that book for our family!

Knitterella said...

Susan that is so cute! Your daughter is just adorable too - love that you share a passion for beautiful books.

Thank you for this post. I think my niece would just love this book. She is 6 and she is all about knitting. I've been teacher her since she was 5 and she is starting to become obsessed just like her Auntie :)

Susan said...

Michaele,
Thank you for spotting that typo. It should say knit to the last 5 stitches, k5.
I have made note.
susan

melanie said...

I bought that book before Christmas, and read it to my class. I teach grades 4-7, and I also have a knitting club at school. I bought it with those students in mind, and I would have given it up if one would have showed interest...Maybe they were too tired from the concert the night before!

hook & needle said...

What a fabulous gift pairing that would be! I shall have to add it to my list! Thank you!

Betz White said...

that is one gorgeous little girl you have there...so sweet.

Kristin Nicholas said...

I love that book too! Your daughter looks so happy in your creation. Aren't the illustrations just wonderful? and colorful?

I'll see you soon in Minneapolis! xo

Dianne said...

I found that book sometime before Christmas at Joseph-Beth and could not resist it. Supposedly, I bought it to read to my grandkids, but I have a children's book habit! Your daughter has the sweetest, happy smile. She must know she has a special mother who can knit up a new hat in a flash!
So glad to hear you tried spinning. Very brave to try with so many people around. A little practice in private and you will be on your way.

Janelle said...

Oh, I, too, love this book! I discovered it last November and it immediately became my gift book of choice for Christmas 2007. I think I bought 6 copies for various children (including my own).

I love that you made the hat that you saw in the book.

Anonymous said...

What a special book. Will have to get this for my daughter. Thanks for providing the idea for a precious experience with my daughter as well. Love to see your work.
yomamaknits

Tif said...

What a fun idea. I LOVE this hat!

Siri said...

Our 5 year old son has been requesting and describing a hat JUST like this, with "two pointy rabbit ears that stick up like this" and that "ties under here".
We've checked that book out from the library before so I'm not sure if that's where he got the idea from or not.
Well, remembering your post here, I just checked it out again today, so I'll read it to him tonight and see it this is what he means.
I love your version here. It really does look so much like the one in the book.

Kelly said...

I am a beginning knitter and would be thrilled if you would post instructions for your adaptations. I want to knit this up for my nephew and he will notice immediatly if it is not exact.

Thank you so much. I love the pictures.

Kelly

sarahlou said...

I just got this book to give to my niece and I'm debating whipping up the hat before I gift it... I also noticed just glancing through the pattern that it wouldn't match the pictures and Zoey certainly would catch it! I'll look for your project on ravelry and hope to find your adaptations there! Your hat turned out so cute and your daughter is a doll!