I undertook to make a shark hat for my nephew Ben for Christmas this year. I had made an outrageous owl hat for Kira, and my sister let me know that Ben is “ok” with having animal hats. This was, of course, said in a totally nonchalant way but actually meant “You should definitely make my kid a cool animal hat for Christmas!”
I had seen some pretty cool crocheted shark hats on Ravelry.com and thought I could make one knitted. And, of course I figured I could do it without a pattern. That was a decision that was optimistic, but foolhardy. About halfway through, my mom bought me a pattern for a stuffed shark from which I took the tail technique (I didn’t actually follow the pattern fully, just got the general idea for how to make the shape), and I “winged it” on the rest. I spent rather a lot of time surfing the web for images of sharks and shark hats so that I could really capture the “essence-o-shark”, but it still turned out pretty cutesie.
You may be thinking, “I have got to make one of these!” and even thinking, “I think I could replicate this…” but please allow me to warn you that unless you are a very experienced knitter who really enjoys torture -I mean- designing patterns, then you should just swallow your pride and buy a nice little $6 pattern. I am pretty sure there is not a single part of the entire hat that was completed the first time, and most parts were put in and then taken out about 3 times.
It was so completely frustrating that I didn’t write down instructions on how I made it because I was so sick of the thing when I finished that I refused to count all those rows and stitches. I may also have given in to several fits of procrastination and not finished the hat until about 2 days before the Christmas party, eliminating the free time that would be needed in order to count all those stitches, but you must know that there were lots of frustrations, and it was very discouraging! I know, there is no excuse for my laziness, but I was certainly glad to be done with it.
It probably would have gone a lot faster if I were not a perfectionist, and if my husband were not suddenly very interested in the preservation of true-to-life shark characteristics when knit into hat form. I believe he was (and this is rare) my most severe critic, though, of course he’d say, with a slight shrug, “It’s okay, and you don’t need to change it if you don’t want to, but the tail is not proportioned very well…” knowing full well that I cannot let that sort of thing go uncorrected.
I was extremely glad it turned out as well as it did, and am also equally glad that I now know I hate making patterns for things that are expected to look like something other than a square when they are done. Dish towels and potholders are one thing, shark shaped hats are something completely different! I preserved a lovely picture of the finished nephew-eater though, and I hope my nephew enjoys being eaten for a few years. If you want to know in detail how to make it, let me know, and I will endeavour to write it out for you.