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.
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.