Friday, December 20, 2013

Rudolph Hat

Sorry for the two posts in one day but wanted to share another hat.  This afternoon, despite feeling more like the Grinch (Milo's been playing up being "sick" off/on all week in order to get out of school and I'm fed up with it), I wore Rudolph on my head while out doing errands.  Several people commented on it which was fun.  It's always interesting to get a reaction from people like that.  For a person who is naturally reserved and quiet (for the most part), and who pretty much shuns social interaction / despises starting up small talk- it often takes plain old looking funny to get anyone to say something, you know?  A guy at the bank said he liked the antlers and then paused and said, or is it a rat?  Ha ha, a xmas rat with antlers. 


I basically started with a base cap that I'd had worked up to make another buffalo hat, and then used similar techniques from that pattern to create reindeer parts and pieces.  For the nose, I googled how to make amigurumi balls.  For the antlers I just adjusted the pattern for the buffalo's horns to have a round top (started a half ball shape but then just spiraled it out however long I wanted it) and then yarn stitched various lengths into place.  The eyes I just used the same idea for the buffalo ones but made them bigger and more "caught in the headlights."  Ears are basically the same but maybe a little bigger. 

Other influences were a Google image search for "rudolph reindeer crochet hat" to see how people were doing their snouts.  I wanted mine to have a snout that stuck out like the buffalo hat's does, so basically used that same shape but made it a little longer and changed colors halfway through.  Could probably get away with shortening it a few rows and maybe it would look less rat-like.  I got the idea for the simple black line mouth from this one (although I did a row of small stitches and looks like hers were long ones).   I would have bought a pattern from her but she didn't have any for sale that I could see.   Also I don't think she is charging enough for the ones she sells.  Only $26?  But sadly the $20 - $30 range is probably only what your average person would be willing to pay, even though it takes at least 5+ hours to make hats like these.  So at minimum wage, w/ materials cost and upcharge for, you know, skilled labor... I'd think it would be closer to $40 - $50.  But again, who has that kind of money to spend on a hat? 

Also I'm curious if  frankensteining a hat like this, i.e. based off one pattern that I bought, but then cobbling together techniques & shapes/styles from other visual resources, to make your own interpretation... does that still fall under the realm of "copying a pattern" or "knocking off" a design?  I don't think I'll be selling these anyway so I'm not too worried.  As long as I give credit here for my sources I feel okay about it.  Also isn't something like Rudolph sort of enough of a shared memory that who can say who really came up with the original look of it anyway?  I'm sure somewhere there is a copyright, like maybe on the '64 Rudolph TV movie version (which admittedly I had in my head at the time, but didn't quite copy since I wanted more mature antlers than the animated one had).

For comparison, here is my hat in progress, with the big strip of single crochet mouth I'd stitched on originally, which I ended up tearing out because it was looking too clown-like or penguin-y.

Anyway, here is the first time the completed hat was worn out in the wild, at the Christmas parade last weekend.  With guest appearances by Crazy Eyes Bear & Photobomb Wolf, the parade heads I worked on last year around this time.

Cute photo by fellow Scout Leader
For the Christmas Parade, I also made a tail, which Stew pinned onto my ass in front of everybody waiting for the parade to start.  That resulted in several "nice tail" comments, ha ha ha ha.  So far nobody has come forward with pictures of my butt from the parade day.  So I purposefully pinned it on just now, and took a picture of my own ass to upload to the internet!  Just to document the tail for posterity.  Please note, for authenticity, I was not wearing the tail during errands today.   

Lastly here is Wiley wearing the hat at the Pack's Christmas Party, this past Monday night.  Another change I'd make would be to put the shorter snout a bit further down on the cap so it wouldn't be pointed upwards as much.  But when I mentioned that to Stew he said that it was OK for Rudolph to be looking skyward anyway because he's meant to be flying.   

Wiley had put this on for maybe 5 - 10 minutes during the party and then I think he went to the bathroom and came out with it off, handing it back to me and saying it was my turn to wear it.  I think hats like these are kind of more fun to see someone else wearing, rather than to see yourself wearing.  Unless you are in the mood to be given second or third glances.   I guess today I felt like putting up with attention in order to force some festive vibes and/or bring some holiday cheer to the local town people, ha ha.  Even though at the WalMart Express I did tell the person in line in front of me that I really did feel less like Rudolph and more like the Grinch...  hmmm, maybe that's a hat idea for next year.  OMG look at all the cute grinch hats!  

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