Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Jayne Hat

It's no secret that I'm a devoted Browncoat. I've been a fan of the short lived sci-fi series Firefly for years and years. Not as long as some, but just as dedicated. Once you're a fan of this little show, you're a fan for life.

Interwoven in the show's plots and fantastic characters is a certain sort of handmade charm - It's there in the wooden table where the crew takes meals and in Inara's lush, fabric-draped shuttle. An undercurrent of every episode is that these folks are cobbling a life together from the wreckage of a recent war. Every little bit of their space traveling home feels like salvage put to the very best use. It reminds us that a family lives aboard.

In the episode The Message, the crew heads to a way station to pick up their mail. Among these items (notes, notices, the body of a dead friend, etc.) was a letter to the ship's gun hand, Jayne, from his mother. Jayne Cobb, played by Adam Baldwin, is a large, surly, somewhat dim, rather crass man, who's really only good at violence and weaponry. Jayne's mother, naturally, is an avid knitter.

Well, "avid" might be a stretch, but she did design and make an icon...

She writes him a note and sends along a multi-colored hat, ostensibly to keep him warm in space.
"How's it sit? Pretty cunning, don't ya think?"

Over the years, I've made about 20 of these hats for my fellow fans. I learned to knit on this hat. My first attempts were given as gifts, and then replaced years later, when I realized how terrible they'd been and how much I had improved. The Jayne Hat is the most recognizable costume piece from the show and a must have for Browncoats everywhere. Some people love this hat so much, it kinda takes over...
"Man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything. "

Last night, I attended a play. Because I know this pattern backwards and forwards and enjoy multi-tasking, I spent the show knitting a Jayne hat commissioned for the holidays. I had a few strange looks and a few asked what I was making. So here is the story and the completed hat.
It's a different yarn and a slightly bigger hat, I'm sure. There are so many patterns out there, of varying degree of accuracy. Mine isn't perfect, but it's knitted with love for show and fans alike. I really do hope it keeps you warm in space.

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