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Monday September 10th 2012, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,Life,Warm Hats Not Hot Heads

I had wanted to do this ever since the first time I heard him play: the gifted pianist I’ve seen a few times playing in the atrium at one of the Stanford clinics, creating a place of peace for all who come into that medical building whatever may bring them there.

Wait–you MADE this?!

I designed it, I answered him, as he looked back down at the piano hat in his hands in wonder. I told him the Malabrigo merino was superwash, but I’d put it in a pillowcase before putting it in the washing machine, and his expression was, Oh no, I’m not doing that to it, as he explained he would just handwash it with a bit of soap. With a look of, That’s okay, isn’t it?

Absolutely. Cool. He totally gets it. He was so thrilled. He was so not expecting that. I wasn’t really expecting it to be so appreciated, but he did and he gave me back more than I gave him. Whoever he is, he’s such a good soul.

The man over at the reception desk had his own big smile going on; he’s the one who, after I showed him last week what I was working on and why, told me what day the pianist would be back so I could do that. Clearly he had kept the secret. Clearly he was taking joy in his friend’s joy.

I had knitted it a tad loose, having once knit a piano hat too tight; fair isle work is something I just don’t do all that often and I was trying to keep the floats from turning it into a tourniquet. I wanted it to be able to stretch to fit someone who was bigger than I am.

I didn’t say anything about all that, but there he was, flipping it over to see what the inside looked like and going Oh! at the floats. I don’t know if it was a so-that’s-how-she-did-it, or if he’d seen knitting being done before. He put it on without turning up the ribbing so that it bagged just a bit, and admitted he used to have dreadlocks. I tell you, he was totally rocking that look and will however he may wear it.

I forgot to tell him, if the tag bugs you, it’s just me showing off, feel free to clip it–but don’t clip the yarn holding it on, that’s the cast-off end right at where I started to work it into the fabric. So I’m mentioning it here.

And then I listened a bit till someone else stopped to talk to him, and it was time to beat the start of rush hour. Went off to the post office and sent off a baby alpaca hat to someone facing a life-changing diagnosis and also the now-finished one to Representative Cleaver, with a note of thanks for his shout-out during the Democratic National Convention: he had noticed our group’s efforts to promote peacemaking in Congress, even though he hadn’t gotten one of those hats; I had noticed his recognition of what we were trying to do.

Some days are simply what yarn was created for.

10 Comments so far
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What a sweet story. I can feel the emotion of his excitement at having received such a wonderful gift from the heart. Thanks for sharing with us.

Comment by Jody 09.11.12 @ 5:07 am

ah yes, it is Alison, “trailing clouds of knitting” — giving people joy — so awesome

Comment by Bev 09.11.12 @ 7:16 am

And no picture! Shame on you.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 09.11.12 @ 7:24 am

Is there anyone in the Universe for whom you would NOT knit something? I doubt it. I don’t know what a piano hat is (obviously not a hat for the piano). Maybe I’ll find out some day.

Comment by Don Meyer 09.11.12 @ 9:07 am

What a beautiful day. I enjoy reading your joy. Thank you for celebrating and sharing the moments with us!

Comment by Channon 09.11.12 @ 9:09 am

Great story … thanks for the follow-up.

I’ve finished one tweedy black wool ribbed cap, to go to the male Congressman who didn’t get one. I think I’ll make something blue for the female … she’s a Republican, I wonder if she’d ever wear a blue hat? =)

Comment by Debbi 09.11.12 @ 10:07 am

I, also, appreciate the follow-up on this gift. 🙂

Every little bit of extra joy helps in this world.

Comment by Suzanne from Montreal 09.11.12 @ 10:51 am

Cool! I was certain you’d get around to making the mystery piano player his own hat eventually. And his appreciation makes it even sweeter.

Comment by DebbieR 09.11.12 @ 4:03 pm

And that makes me think of the article I read today (which actually made me think of you in the part where they talk about early musical training helping people to cope with hearing loss).

Comment by RobinH 09.11.12 @ 6:37 pm

You gave him so much more than a hat. I’m sure it was a really great hat that anyone would appreciate, but you gave him concrete evidence that his playing made a difference. Well done!

Comment by twinsetellen 09.11.12 @ 7:20 pm

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