Monday, April 16, 2012

Jayne Cobb and All Things Cunning

The biggest seller at Whitaker Knits is the Jayne Cobb hat. When my daughter first approached me about making a hat like the one Jayne Cobb receives from his mother in the Sci Fi series Firefly, I had no idea what she was talking about. I had to ask for a description and eventually for a photo. I did not understand that the hat was supposed to be badly done, so when I noticed that the ear flaps folded in on themselves because they were knitted in a stockinette stitch with no border, I altered the hat to make the flaps look nice. And when I couldn't see what kind of straps the hat had because of the way the photos were cropped, I invented my own.

My daughter was happy with the result and wore her hat often. She asked me to make more so that she could give them  to friends. One of her friends wore his Jayne hat when he proposed to his long-time girlfriend. Whitaker Knits has sold over 200 of these hats.

As I've learned more about Jayne Cobb and after seeing the episode myself, I began to rethink my design. Jayne's hat doesn't actually have straps. Should I stop putting the straps on the hats? And if I make that move to be more authentic, should I also make the ear flaps in a stockinette stitch with no border so they fold in? My daughter voted that I keep the hats as they are, and I have. But I also offer a more authentic version to anyone who wishes to be a more authentic Jayne. I can leave off the straps, and I can make a hat with different ear flaps if the customer so desires. Orders will decide for me which way I should make the hat.

Whitaker Knits also offers Jayne-style hats for infants, children, and men with very large heads. I've even made Jayne hats for dogs.

But if it weren't for fans of TV and movies, Whitaker Knits would have very few sales. The second-largest sellers are items in the colors of the four Hogwarts houses. That'll be the subject of another blog.

Winona Whitaker

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