An Unplanned Tutorial of Sorts

We constantly battle the toy game in this family. First of all, we have on old, not so big house. This means we do not have a large playroom in the basement that we can fill up with whatever toys should come our way; I’m not sure we would want that anyway. We try hard to keep the toys in our house to a manageable amount, and those we have we try to keep high quality: no plastic, (except Legos), no batteries, and only things that encourage creativity. We also try hard to make as much as we can ourselves when Little Man shows an interest in something (and then hope that no well-meaning relative then buys him the same store-bought version later on). The result is usually that Little Man gets what he was wanting, learns something in the process of getting it, and feels an immense pride in the toy when it was done.

I came home on Monday to find the Skeptic and Little Man had come up with the best version of this philosophy yet. Little Man and his friends like to play “swords” and I often tell him stories about kings, dragons, knights, and whatever crazy fairy tales I can come up with that involve him and his brother. The whole “do we let him play with toy weapons issue” has plagued us and is something for another day, I’ll just refer you to this issue of Mothering for now.

Anyway, I walked in and found a heroic little knight wearing this:

He didn’t want to sit still to model for me, so you get the display version.

The hat is one I made Little Man for Christmas last year. It is a Minnesota winter hat, which means it is thick, heavy, and made for the toughest winter. I knit it tightly on size 15 needles on some very thick hand died yarn from Blackberry Ridge. The yarn is very similar in thickness to Lamb’s Pride Burly Spun. I pretty much measured his head, got my guage, and threw it together last minute. Somehow, they got the idea to turn it into a knight’s helment.

The Skeptic took a cereal box and cut it into the shape of a visor to go over his face. The Skeptic was going to decorate the plain side, but Little Man liked the outside of the box, which is why you see cereal on the front of the helment. He cut out three slits, and taped one longer piece of the cardboard under the middle slit.

He then attached it to the hat with two bolts, so the visor can be lifted up and down.

He then attached it to the hat with two bolts, so the visor can be lifted up and down. This is why you need a thick, heavy hat. Anything thinner will not hold the bolts on.

Once you’ve got the visor attached, your helment is ready to go!

This is not a finished product (or tutorial)by far. As soon as it get’s cold we’ll need to get the hat back for winter use. But, I envision this as a great project that I’d like to make with a much better tutorial. I imagine knitting this up and felting it to make it even heavier, without the tassles and pom-pom so it looks more like a helment. Then I’d make a more decorative visor by painting the cardboard with silver paint and embroidering some sort of insignia on the side of the helment. Add a cool cardboard or wooden sword and your little knight is ready to go!



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8 responses to “An Unplanned Tutorial of Sorts

  1. Guinifer


    Too bad we didn’t get to see it on the LM!

  2. Anonymous

    That is quite ingenuious- you have some future engineers there!

  3. Sheepish Annie

    Seriously…that is the coolest thing I have seen all day. I want to make one and play knights and dragons this weekend!

    I think the cats will enjoy that. Somewhat.

  4. Kate

    So cute. We had the whole debate about toy weapons and then one day my son starting using the long tube from the canister vacuum as a sword. What are ya gonna do? Won’t it be nice to have an official dragonslayer around the house?

  5. Anonymous

    I love it! You are very inspiring. I am forwarding this to my husband to tuck away in his idea file for our future little dragonslayer.

  6. Beth

    I LOVE the helmet. Very creative.

    As a mom of three boys, let me assure you that the weapon debate becomes much easier as you either have more children or the children become older. We were a “no war toys” family for many years and then slowly, without me really noticing, we became a family who owns many, many weapons and whose children play exciting adventure games like “World War II” (don’t ask, I don’t know the rules).

  7. irishmama

    That is so cute, what a great time they had I bet. I did the no weapon thing too, until I found my son with a stick pretending he was a cowboy with a gun, I think I finally gave in when I saw he had made his own sword with lego!!!

  8. Gretchen

    I love the hat! So bright, and looks so warm! Did you make up a pattern for it, and did you post it?

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