Well, really, it started because I want a new hat. My standard Beatles/Sandinista/Eastern-Bloc-Cutie hat is still great. And you can see it suits many of my moods. But it is black. And since we’re moving into spring, and away from the dark colours, I thought I would do a little research on hats.
I thought I could make one, so I went looking, in the wide Internets, for hat patterns.
There are a lot of hat weirdos in the wide Internets. There’s a fat guy with glasses and five o-clock shadow who makes puffy berets for other fat guys with glasses and five o-clock shadow. There are sites with hats ‘for maximum modesty’ done by women who still believe that showing their hair will cause Teh Mens to Lose Control. I even found a site that offered hat patterns alongside shroud patterns for babies and children and even adults. Hats n’ shrouds. Yikes!
Not so many years ago, if I wanted to make a hat, I would have to go to the library and look in books about millinery skills. But the world has changed, and now any old person can just go online and find out 137 different hats to make (or shrouds, should they need the info).
My students goggle at me when I tell them I am older than the Internet, at least in this incarnation. I tell them about modemming at 2400 bps, using actual dial-up lines to talk to people. Before Windows. Before mice. Before embedding images, before we even HAD images, other than smilies and ASCII. Then they ask what ASCII is and I subside into the corner, Geritol in hand.
No, really. When they understand that I grew up without Wikipedia (“Encyclopedias. They were like Wikipedia in book form, kids!”) they are amazed by the fact that I know anything! When they realize that I predate LOLcats, they wonder how I ever got a sense of humour.
I feel as though I am a part of a bridge generation. No, we are several generations, but we are somehow very different than those younger than us. We won’t adapt to new technologies as quickly as they will. They’re starting younger, after all. But if, for some reason, the technology fails us, we have the backup plan: We remember how to look it up in a book.
That said, and hat weirdos aside, there are some great hat patterns in the wide Internets.