First birthday parties are tricky. In all reality, it's for the parents more than the kids. It's an excuse to hang out with friends and family. Sure, the kids can have fun too, but you end up inviting everyone you know who has children (whether they are anywhere in your child's age range or not), and just hope the tantrums are kept to a minimum. Particularly by the likely over-stimulated, over-tired birthday baby.
Then there's the gifting. You know the kid (read: parents) is going to be bombarded with toys, when everyone is fully aware that the toy-box is already overflowing. I come from a family of traditionally practical gift givers. Toilets, garbage disposals, and window screens are commonly seen at birthdays and Christmas around these parts. So I find it hard to reconcile showering a small child with things he or she doesn't need, but realize that giving a child, say, a box of diapers as a birthday gift is rather lame. (And here's where I am forced to admit to putting diapers on my daughter's Amazon wishlist last Christmas...)
So in my efforts to put the 'fun in functional' for my friend's son's first birthday, it was time to visit my new favorite community, Ravelry, for inspiration.
The clear answer: Suit Of Armor. I found this awesome pattern on Ravelry and figured for $2.99, it wasn't a big loss if I failed. I didn't go so far as to include the diaper cover, sword, or shield, as I figured those weren't good for much besides photo ops. But the hat is good for play time AND cold days, so I felt pretty good about that. I threw in the chain-mail vest for kicks too.
What I really love about this pattern is that the visor can flip down to keep baby's face warm, and buttons on so it's removable. My only complaint is that the size only goes up to 6-12 months. It stretches fairly well, so it ended up working fine in this case, but it's kind of a bummer to have to purchase another pattern if you're a newbie and want to make one for an older child.
Have any great hat patterns to share?