The book She Makes Hats by Robyn Devine (Asymetrical Press) is a wonderful true story of a woman's search for her own knitting niche. Robyn started out learning to knit from a co-worker, and was immediately drawn into the fabulous world of a yarn shop. Along the way, she discovers the reason why she likes to make hats: it was her watching her little brother Dan in a hand knit hat, though she didn't know anything about knitting at the time.
Soon she decided to work on a goal, inspired by watching her husband reach his goal of completing a triathlon, and also being inspired by The Art of Non-Conformity, a web site by Chris Guillbeau who challenged himself to visit every country in the world by his 35th birthday. What goal would she choose? To knit a hundred hats in a year, of course!
This was a big goal for a relatively new knitter. You have to knit a little every day. She started a blog, www.shemakeshats.com. Starting out slow, she found that she was quickly turning out hat after hat at a surprisingly easy pace. She finished the goal in far less than a year, and she kept on going.
Robyn knits other things, but always comes back to hats. Hats are her knitting comfort food. She especially loves to knit for babies and kids. She knows that hats she gives to friends who have had a baby will be appreciated, and their child will be loved by a circle of people. But some babies come into the world in a different circumstance:
"But the other babies, the ones born in the hospital down the street to mothers who didn't want to be pregnant, to families living below the poverty line, into houses full of a lot of things that aren't warmth or security or sometimes even love? The babies born on dirt floors to mothers who don't yet know they are HIV-positive, supervised by midwives with little to no training, their umbilical cords cut with rusty knives, and wrapped in dirty rags because that's all there is? Those babies are really the ones I want to knit hats for, the ones I end up buying extra skeins of baby-colored yarn for." -- Robyn Devine. She Makes Hats (Kindle Locations 409-413). Asymmetrical Press.
We have all been there. We knit through the things that tear us apart, we find solace in the repetitive motion of our hands, dancing tirelessly with the yarn and needles. It gives us a chance to be with others, yet not talking. Just being. Robyn Devine understands this, and she goes further -- she makes hats, for all sorts of people, and in doing so, she changes the world.
"Something amazing happens when I knit. My love becomes something tangible. All the negative thoughts that barrage me fall away and I am left holding a hat that will be placed on the head of an orphan somewhere in Russia, or on the head of a homeless vet somewhere in Omaha. And suddenly the breadth and scope of my life seems enormous." --Robyn Devine. She Makes Hats (Kindle Locations 623-625). Asymmetrical Press.
Every knitter strives to knit, first of all, but then what? What direction do you go in? I knit lots of things, but nothing in particular. I could never knit a hundred of any one thing. I think what I liked best about knitting was teaching it, every day bits of learning that occur when a knitter needed help. I don't get to do that very often anymore, and that's okay. I still knit.
She Makes Hats is a short book that you can read in a couple nights, or one night if you are obsessive about it (I know who you are!). Robyn Devine's book is sold as a paperback ($10.80 USD) and as a Kindle edition ($4.99 USD) through Amazon.com. I also urge you to stop by her cool web site, www.shemakeshats.com!
I am offering a free e-pub copy of She Makes Hats to give away. Just leave a comment either here on my blog or on my facebook post about it by midnight EST on May 4, 2014, and the random number machine will pick a winner!
She Makes Hats is being published by Asymmetrical Press, a publishing house in Missoula, Montana run by indie authors, for indie authors—publishing for the indie at heart.