On Ravelry I call it Gaming Hat, but it felt a bit like a shaming hat. I haven’t really knit that much for my son. Maybe two hats and a stuffed dinosaur.
Oh yeah, and a scarf for Scooby Doo, but that’s about it. So when we actually had cold weather and ice the other day, I was mortified to see him pull out this.
It’s a Kmart beanie that he wore as a toddler in the days before I knit. It’s awful. I mean I graduated in ’92 and liked the grunge look as much as anyone else, but… I’m a knitter!
Then, to top it off, he asks my daughter to buy him a beanie with the remainder of his Christmas money next time she’s at work. She works at American Eagle. American Eagle?! That, my friends, is a Knitta Throwdown.
I dropped my Eastwood swatch and started digging for yarn that would live up to his obviously discriminating tastes. I had exactly two colors that weren’t too girly for him, no three: grey, gray, and brown. I went with gray. I actually alternated between leftovers from two different skeins so that the two different shades wouldn’t stripe. I used Wool of the Andes worsted and a bit of Patons classic wool with size 3s for magic loop. I think it turned out nice, kind of semi-solid, and used up more of those yarn bits. I think he was pleasantly surprised. Maybe he expected it to look more “homemade.”
The pattern is Skyping Hat by Halldora J. But he only Skypes when he’s gaming, his room ablaze with electronics and screens. (Yes, we limit his game time.) There have been times where I see his cell phone Skyping with several kids, our home phone on speaker with another, playstation headphones with only one ear covered, all in the warm glow of the blood-spattered Battlefield screen.
He doesn’t realize what a kick I get out of listening from the next room. I hear half of all kinds of goofy conversations. There’s him pumping himself up, much like Dwight, during an especially heated match, or the cries of his friends begging him to take the game more seriously as he flies their helicopter into a building saying “Whoa, dude” in some twisted surfer voice. There’s his uncontrollable laughter as he makes a MAV (some kind of remote, drone thing) buzz around like an annoying horsefly in an enemy’s face as they try to play, or there’s consolation for my husband,” No, Daddy, you’re not the worst ever at Call of Duty.” Sometimes I hear them laughing at someone’s Call of Duty badge, “Look…it has a pentagram and behemoth on it but it says, ‘Satin will fill your soul.’ Satin?!?”
My personal favorite was when some kid called him a loser, or something to that effect, and he followed the kid around narrating everything the kid did and how cool it was in his nerdiest voice, “Yeah..hehe… you are cool…hehe…I wish I could pwn noobs like you…hehe..” until the poor child quit the game.
I can overlook annoying behavior if it’s funny. There I’ve said it. I have to watch myself, that I don’t condone anything unkind just because it makes me want to laugh until snot comes out of my nose. It’s all about the entertainment factor for me. I knew that before I had kids and resolved, within myself, to not pass it on. I’m afraid I have failed. Look, he doesn’t talk inappropriately. He’s not a bully, a snob, or hurtful. He’s actually very sweet and loyal and creative. He just sees the humor in things, especially in the ultra-serious world of gaming. And now he’s a humorous gamer in a handmade hat. I can live with that.