Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A bear hat for Ernst and a bear hat for Ernest 

Using patterns from Repeat Crafter Me, I've crocheted my fair share of animal hats over the past few years. Bears, pigs, foxes, puppy dogs and monkeys, in the end they are fun to make, even if the feature placement causes me to tear my hair out. Where to put that nose? Are the eyes crooked? Will the ears flop down or stand upright, or worse yet, will one ear be stubborn and make the whole thing look whacky? A lot of worries over a hat, I"ll admit, but they seem to stare at me wanting to be perfect.

When my husband requested a hat he could wear to Sacramento Republic FC soccer games, a bear hat to be exact, I figured I wouldn't stress too much. This hat would be all in the family, super easy! We went to the yarn aisle at our local Joann Fabrics together, and he decided on a brown multi-colored yarn I'd used before. It's always nice to use up yarn that's lying around. He chose the accent color (didn't have that color lying around) and we talked about the general look. Cute but not silly. Got it.

I used the basic pattern from the dog hat on Repeat Crafter Me, but decided to finally branch out and make my own design for the face of the bear hat. I wanted a big white area on the face so the black nose would stand out, plus it would give me a place to sew on a smile with the burgundy yarn And then I got the grand idea, because the ears always give me such stress, to make some pom pom ears. They would be so cute, and would tie in all the colors of the hat, the brown and white and burgundy, all in a happy little pair of puff balls right on the top. You know, just like real California Brown Bears have.

I made the hat while working my night shift job, taking care to do my work first and foremost of course. But since the goal of this job is first and foremost to not fall asleep, crocheting is allowed. The puff balls, or rather pom poms, turned out so cute fierce and menacing looking, ready to strike fear into the opposing team's fan base. I took a picture of what the finished hat was going to look like, for approval from the guy who is willing to wear a crocheted bear hat in public.

The reaction? Tepid, most certainly tepid. "What's with the ears? Those don't look like real bear ears." Hate to tell you this, but that's not a real bear, Buster. I was crushed. My Pom Poms got a big No No from the Big Bear, and that's unbearable. But I pushed through the pain, and made him some boring old true-to-life bear ears fit for a Grizzly.

But I had those pom poms left. What's an animal hat maker to do?

Enter Ernest. Not Ernst, that's my husband's name. We now had an Ernest with two E's on his way, and I saw my perfect opportunity to palm my pom poms off on the new kid!

Ernest was the expected baby of a new couple in our congregation. Without giving any details, I'll just say they just moved here, were very brave in the country they just emigrated from and put themselves at risk under a regime that has made life miserable for many in the last few years. There, that's all I'm saying, besides that they are cute and she was so hardly showing when I first met her I kept accidentally touching her pregnant tummy as I tried to not botch her language too much. She didn't make me feel dumb about either the tummy bumping or the language botching. I loved her right away. When my husband heard of their bravery and then when he heard they were planning on naming their baby Ernest, he was positively smitten. It doesn't matter to him the baby's name was chosen before they arrived here, or that there is an extra E in the name, Ernst was very excited to meet baby Ernest.

He told the couple he would come to the hospital when the baby was coming if they wanted, and they said yes. Don't know if they were aware of this man's fear of birth, small detail. The plan was the baby's two aunts would be there for most of the interpreting, and Ernst for if anything major went wrong.

We got the text on New Year's Day that mom was in labor since 4:30 am and that they were now at the hospital. Wow, this was amazing, a baby coming on the first day of the year, a gorgeous blue sky day when we both had nothing going on whatsoever.

It was a pretty amazing experience! I kept wondering what my role there was, it turned out to be chief photographer of a lovely and beautiful birth. The peace and love and calmness and serenity between mommy and daddy was almost more of a miracle than the birth itself. Ernest was here, he was healthy, everything was beautiful. What a way to start 2019.

A hat for Ernest.

Welcome to California, little guy!

You are in good hands.

No worries.

Yep, smile away!

Your mommy was amazing before, during and after.
Daddy too.

Ernest :) Boy

Ernest and Ernst.
Ernst and Ernest.

Should I crochet some bear booties?