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Behind the Scenes - The Big Dang Band Hat Journey

Creativity is a flow that is often hard to put a beginning, middle and end time stamp on, as when you really dive into can grow from a day out and about town, a conversation with friends, images that enter in the orb via various channels...and of course for me, there is always the influence of the yarn, the hook and the stitch.

As I think back on the road to the BIG DANG BAND Hat Pattern and all the Funky Head Gear Swag that comes along with it, I can place the beginning somewhere in the August of 2021 space. It was HOT outside here in the Queen City, but some how...wait...see I told you it was hard, it was more like January of 2021, yeah thats right cause it wasn’t as COLD as it should be in January. It was in the 40’s and 50’s and it would have been nice to have been out and about doing my thing, but we were all on self-imposed lockdown...and you know why.

Yup sittin’ up in the house with yarn and time wishing it was cold so I cld feel better about being stuck indoors, hookin’ was my panacea for all the ills of that time. Azure Heathers and Turqs that I had ordered from one of the only Yarn companies delivering quickly when Holiday packages were still being delayed, brightened my spirit. I guess it helped that Universal Yarn (UY) was located in Harrisburg NC, less that an hour from my home. In a world where I was taking what I could get, I was pleasantly surprised by the true to: color, anticipated loft and hand, the yarns reflected. Im sharing this part so that you know...I didn’t intentionally end up where I started, but sometimes the creative spirit, a chance engagement with a Guild, and a serendipitous job change (not mine) just makes yarn-ie magic happen.

This journey to this Funkdom, started out as a simple focus on shape and the physics of creating height, with interest added from a front cross stitch, color changes and the on purpose collapse five ways from Sunday when the hat was sported, styled, zhuzed. So funny that it ended up looking like a giant light bulb on the flat. Maybe that was kismet given the shape of my head if it was 17” long. Some may say my dome is indeed the shape of the illuminating development credited to Edison...but I digress and please note, I have an absolutely normal length and shaped head...I think.

Well I was digging this hat that not just based on the rib was aptly christened the BIG DANG BAND, but on the ensuing rows that made it look ever wider. Sharing the photos with my BFF and going through the name game, at some point I just said, we gotta find a name for this swag cause this BIG DANG BAND is going places...and that was it! I mean it just induced miles of smiles from the inside out.

Okay now we can progress to HOT A__ August, when Im eyeballing proto samples (the very first sample that is discussion worthy) I want to progress further, which includes shifting my hand written scribbles that may be on 3 x 5 cards to more neatly hand written text in my lime green notebook. All of this is in preparation to start typing it up, creating my own CAL (Crochet A-Long) that I do for testing...but in this case...I just pulled the Big Dang Band proto out and looked at it...for months.

An important part of this story to share the span of time of this journey, I joined the newly formed C.R.A.F.T CLT Guild here in Charlotte which consists of a an eclectic group of creatives (my kinda tribe) led by a lovely spirit, who when I met her was in education, but on the by and by, transitioned to a position with UY. Prior convos led her to know that if UY had a Yarn support program I would be interested. They did, I was, chit chat and all that, idea submitted and approved.

Also at some point, I began my CAL sample connected with the typed pattern that was to go to testers. It was in a riot of green with a bright Ivy being the dominant eye candy. Slimed down a little to @15 ½” cause I want the hat to collapse, not ones head, it was finger snaps and a dip in the hip gorgeous, sitting along side its Turq sister in tonal joy! Not even conscious or intentional was the inclusion of UY’s yarn on this sample, cause the selection of yarn was a color thing, but when I began documenting the yardage for the pattern, testers, as well as to place my order for yarn support for the final sample...there it was, UY’s Deluxe Bulky Superwash, the connecting thread to say a phrase.

Nov 2021, (still not cold y'all) I drive to Harrisburg NC to meet the UY team, see the warehouse and to and pick up my bag o’ goodness, which, ahead of my written intention for 2022, included colors that were not typically in my wheelhouse. I like Big bold, saturated colors, not always but often, bright. I like variegated, space dyed, transitioning color yarns. I like figuring out how to make them work with a stitch or shape ensuring they all have their chance to dance, shine, be noticed. The yarn-ie goodness picked up that day was UY’s Deluxe Bulky Superwash which was by then a stash staple, in Chocolate and Classic Pink. Not wow colors for me in and of themselves, but my oh my, when combined with Ricos Creative Melange Chunky in Pink/Brown, a yarn that UY distributes...I knew Everything in Funky Crochet Hat town would be alright.

With the test complete, pattern edited, it was time for the final sample. I cant quite describe the thrill I get seeing something that is now intentional come to life. The closest I can get is.. ....its the feeling associated with creating something that wasn’t there before, that you really like. Without input from the UY team on coordinating colors, Im not sure I would have gotten to this final version on my own but creativity sometimes needs to widen its aperture and let other thoughts flow in, then follow them...and I did.

It is now cold, I am now rocking it, even if its just for the double mask walk to the mailbox, waving at neighbors as if we are in Uptown checking out the new restaurants or the art scene. The testers are rocking it out as well as some live in the Bold North where 10” of snow inspired them to add on coordinating pieces🤣

So there you have it, a little behind the scenes insight to the BIG DANG BAND story a year or so in the making. Along the way new Fibers Arts friends were made, a Guild was joined, and a relationship initiated with a yarn company that has local presence. All of that wonderfulness, those steps and conversations, led to the publication of a Funky Crochet Hat pattern that be it in Bold, Brights, Solids or Textures, delivers on the Head gear Swag that I endeavor to create for here at YarnGoneWild - Yarn Craft.

So go on, get you Big Dang Band Hat groove on!

Yarn Deets - Click on the Affiliate links below for Yarns available through Universal Yarn

Creative Melange Chunky

Deluxe Bulky Superwash:

Note: In using the Affiliate link above, if you purchase this yarn via the link provided, I get a small percentage of the sale. 🤗

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