Are toques like security blankets?
December 17, 2012 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Are unraveled toques a thing? I saw a friend wearing a sad, sad hat, and am debating knitting him a replacement.

Said friend generally dresses well, and this isn't the first time I've seen a twenty-something guy wearing a knit hat with the crown/shaping mostly undone. Is there a practical reason people wear hats this way? Fashion statement?
posted by momus_window to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
When I have a favorite hat (or sweater for that matter) I will wear it until it disintegrates. While it's not that difficult to find a replacement, it's sometimes hard to part company with a well broke in garment. Like when the kid has to shoot Old Yeller...
Knit your friend a new hat. If he's anything like me, you'll have his undying gratitude.
posted by Pudhoho at 11:06 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

My knit toque (I've never heard it called that—I say 'beanie') has a few holes in its crown, thanks cats, but I like the way my curly hair sticks out of 'em and the garment still serves its one and only function: keeping my head warm. So... ? Does your friend know you're a toque-knitter? If a pal of mine saw my hat, called it sad, and offered to replace it I would take that offer in a heartbeat.
posted by carsonb at 11:09 AM on December 17, 2012

Fortunately a disintegrating sweater won't give you rabies :)

I've not seen that particular fad, but I do live out in the sticks. If you're so inclined, knit him one. I'll bet he'd love it.
posted by wolfgirl at 11:11 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Agreeing with the above...most of the ratty things I own are ratty because I love them and basically live in them. Like, sure, I could get a new hoodie, but this one fits me just like I like and is super soft from being washed a thousand times, and yeah it might have a few holes, and yeah I might have had to stitch the pocket back on a couple times, but damnit a brand new one from a store just won't be the same.

However, if someone were to knit me a sweater, that would probably become my new favorite thing ever. I have a pair of hand-knit fingerless gloves (that I got from a mefite during last year's craft swap!) and they immediately became my favorite gloves. Homemade things just have a way of doing that.

So, I think it would be lovely and very much appreciated if you knit your buddy a new hat. Unless the one he's wearing now was knit by his grandma who is now dead or something, my guess is he's just continuing to wear it out of habit.
posted by phunniemee at 11:21 AM on December 17, 2012

I've never heard of this as a fashion trend, and I feel like I run in fairly trendy circles. Also, I feel like if it were a bona fide trend, you'd see retailers trying to copy the look. Which I haven't noticed, though I guess I could have missed it.

One thing I'll say about knitting someone a replacement for a ratty looking item is that there can sometimes be a degree of denial about how ratty the item is. There's often also personal attachment -- I once hugely insulted a close male friend by offering to knit him a nice wool scarf to replace the skimpy big box store one he always wore. Turns out it was a gift from his grandmother.

So you're definitely going to want to avoid denigrating the item you're replacing, as well as trying to dial back the stereotypical knitter's feelings of wanting to see the person treasure the item you knit them.
posted by Sara C. at 11:31 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, knit him a new one!!
I haven't heard of any "ratty hat" trend and I can't think of any good reason he'd prefer to wear a (generic) ratty hat to a hat handknit by a friend. However, as has been pointed out, people wear things for reasons other than fashion; there's a faint chance that this particular hat is meaningful to him and he has exactly zero interest in getting rid of it.
Thus, when you give it to him, tell him, "hey, I made you a hat because I like to knit and I see that you wear knit hats of this general shape," not "hey, your old hat is awful so now here's a replacement." I can see him being insulted or sad to be told that his hat should be replaced, but "here is a hat for your collection of hats and maybe you'd like to wear it sometime" couldn't possibly cause trauma.
posted by aimedwander at 11:41 AM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Thanks, y'all, I'll make a new hat without suggesting the old hat is ratty. I love to knit hats, they don't take long, and I have the yarn on hand, so I'm not going to be upset if he doesn't lurve it and gush about it.

(That said, it warms my heart to see the hand-knit appreciation in this thread. I sometimes worry that people think I'm cheaping out by making gifts vs. buying.)
posted by momus_window at 1:15 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Carsonb, "toque" is what we call 'em here in Canada. "Beanie" is an American name for the same. Personally, when I think of a beanie, it's that silly hat with a propeller on top!
posted by fullerenedream at 8:13 PM on December 17, 2012 [4 favorites]

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