Whenever I hear someone say, "I have no regrets!" I snarl a little bit to myself and think how amazing it must be to be able to take a 36,000-foot view of one's own poor behavior and decisions. Needless to say, I am not one of those people who claims to have no regrets. And as someone who poses a triple-threat in Worrying, Overanalyzing and Attempting To Affect Outcomes by Worrying and Overanalyzing, regrets are unsettling. Most of the things I now regret seemed like perfectly good ideas at the time.
On the other hand, some of my more rash, out-of-character decisions, ones where seconds later I wondered what on earth I had been thinking, have turned out to be some of my better calls. For example, take the time last spring when I was walking back to my car after dropping Wyatt at school and I saw his former nursery school teacher. She was walking with her friend who had recently started substituting for a teacher on maternity leave. Wyatt's former teacher waved exuberantly from down the block, and a few steps later, she exclaimed, "Good morning! We were just talking about you! Have you met my friend?" We exchanged introductions while I wondered (and worried about) what on earth they could have been discussing. She went on to gently pat the hat she was wearing, the one I had made her for Christmas the previous year, and praise it. She commented on how chilly it was when working outside with the children in the spring. And then she said, "My friend here doesn't have a hat." I practically heard the penny drop down a coin chute somewhere in my brain, plink-plink-plunk, as I heard myself ask the friend, "Would you like me to make you a hat?"
Let's be clear. I'm not a person who volunteers to knit for friends of friends. My offer to knit that hat is a testament to Wyatt's former teacher's particular brand of kindness and boldness. As I walked on to my car, wondering what had just gotten into me, I pretty quickly decided that I should treat this hat as a design opportunity: This hat would become a pattern. With that plan in mind, I went to Imagiknit and bought a skein of Sincere Sheep Cormo Fingering in St. Bart's (a light blue, because we had clarified that the hat shouldn't be too bright, too red, or at all pink). I started swatching that day. What eventually came out of my design process was The Tiny Bubbles Beanie.
A couple of weeks later, after I had delivered the hat, things got interesting. The teachers introduced me to a new friend, a formidable designer and sewist, with more knowledge in one tiny corner of her brain about fashion and the industry than I could research in any reasonable amount of time. She and I are convinced we will do something terrific together someday; meanwhile, we meet for coffee from time to time and inspire each other.
Around that same time, and also thanks to these teachers, I began to collaborate with the women behind Saans, a shop based in New York that features premium sustainable fashion with traceable origins. We are working together to create a line of sustainable knitwear, and we started with a hat. We debuted and sold out of our first run of this chic, playful beret (designed and knitted by me). More on the beret later, once they're available again, just in case you want to buy one...
But I am so not sorry I knitted that hat last spring. In fact, I'm so happy with how that decision went that I've started seriously to consider making more rash decisions in the future.