Saturday, May 29, 2010

Two of a Kind?

The other day my girlfriend posted photos of her daughter in her new birthday cupcake hat, lovingly knit by me, on Facebook. I chose the perfect pattern, knowing this would be Mary's hat as she celebrated her first birthday.

I ordered yarn from the US and when the brown colour wasn't quite right, I ordered more. The colour still wasn't right, so I made do with some lovely yarn from my stash. I knew Mary's birthday was at the end of June, so I chose to knit with cotton, even though it hurts my hands.

I knew this hat might not get as much wear with the warmer weather, but I still wanted to help celebrate the occasion. Since I have knit many hats for Mary over the past year, I knew a cupcake hat was the way to go.
The thing that leaves a sour taste in my mouth is a Facebook comment regarding the hat. Most people wouldn't take offense to the comment. Deep down I know that the comment wasn't meant to hurt me at all.

Camillia: "I have the same cupcake hat"

My girlfriend responded politely that the hat was handknit for Mary and that was the end of it, but it sure has left as sour taste in my mouth.

I'll be the first to admit that the colours I chose are not particularly unique, there are many hats on Ravelry that look just like mine. However, I chose the colours because they look nice together and I love the deep chocolate brown. I knit in corregated rib rather than 2x2 rib, because I thought it make the brim look more like a wrapper. I knit too many nubs, which took forever, but I liked the end result. I even took the time to sew on tiny beads for sprinkles.

Mary's Mom loves the hat, and even Mary got really happy and excited when I put it on and she saw everyone's reaction. I know whenever she wears it, she will get a lot of attention.

So why does it bother me so much that other people think they have the same hat? What they probably mean is, "I have the same type of hat only mine was produced commercially and is not nearly as nice as that, nor is my baby half as cute as yours...", Right? I'm sure that's what Camillia meant.

I guess it bothers me for all the reasons I listed above. I put time and energy and care into making sure that my knits are appropriate for the recipient in terms of colour, washability, size and preferences. I want others to recognize that hand-knits are not the same as commercially made assessories.
I know Mary's Mom knows the value of everything I knit for her and her daughter.  I know she cherishes everything I give to Mary.  I know Mary will grow up loving everything I knit and valuing it as well.  I guess that is the important thing in all this.  I didn't knit the hat for Camillia, or even for me.  I knit it for Mary, to celebrate her first birthday, I knit it with Love.
Mary doesn't turn 1 until June 26th, I hope to get a better photo or two before then.
More details on my cupcake hat here.


  1. Your hat is so cute, I love the sprinkles. I made the cupcake hat from Itty Bitty Nursery for my neice a while ago. She wore it once for the pic and I never saw it again. I know what you mean by being hurt about it, lots of times people make comments about things I've knit. Like one time Dylan was wearing some socks I knit him and they kept falling off. Someone said "Those socks are just awful, you should buy some that stay on." I didn't say I made them myself, but I felt really bad.

  2. For some reason, I can't post comments at work so I haven't had a chance yet to respond. I get Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's page-a-day calendar via my email. Shortly after you posted this blog, I received this:

    Even if two knitters go out and get the same yarn and the same pattern and knit up the same sweater, the two sweaters won’t be identical; the knitters are unique, so their sweaters will be, too. Admittedly, I wish my stuff weren’t unique solely because of my mistakes, but you can’t have everything.

    I thought of this post when I read it.

    Becky (gathersnomoss).