I love where I work. Although my home base shop is in the city, I’m working at one of the suburban ones while I’m out here wrapping up school. It’s a barbershop that unapologetically blasts its music, executes borderline (stretching that border quite a bit, actually) illegal marketing campaigns, and is filled with a bunch of pierced and tattooed freaks.
There is no dress code except for the “no frump” rule, we get to take great continuing education cutting and coloring classes, and we firmly believe that if we’re having fun in there, customers do too. Like Saturday morning when this came on the radio (did I mention we have our own radio station?) – dudes are literally grooving in their chairs, which is really a bad idea when you’re getting a haircut, but alas.
So while I was working down in the city shop, I was KIPing, as I tend to do when I have some time to kill, and two of my coworkers asked me if I could make them something. I did charge a little bit of money, but it was at the super friend price, about $20 in addition to the materials. Nowadays I would get a little better return on investment, but I was still very new with pattern reading, didn’t have the yarn called for, and heavily improvised, so these took me forever.
S. asked me to make her a beard hat. She had seen the Beard Head website, and had gotten an idea for the weirdest seduction plan I may have ever heard. Her explanation was something like as follows: there is this dude who while not a teacher, is on staff in the wood shop at Columbia. He has a Viking-sort of name, a long, big red beard, was super cute, and taller than her. She is incredibly tall herself, so this is not something that happens often.
So as an icebreaker or whatnot, she decides she wants a beard hat. Keep in mind that the Helmet section you now see on beardhead.com was not around at the time, and as this was in the dark ages before anyone had clued me in to Ravelry, I had to go the old fashioned google search route. But I did manage to find this Dwarven Battle Bonnet elsewhere online. I ended up going with a wool/acryllic/nylon bulky yarn for the helmet, which actually worked nicely – the seed stitch looked nicely defined – and I had it on hand already. I did buy a cashmere/silk/merino blend for the beard though. If it’s going to be on your face, it has to be super soft. Due to the kitten freaking out on the bag I keep all of my tags from previously-used yarn in, I now totally couldn’t tell you what those yarns were.
Then there was the Bobby toy. There is another dude that works there, J., who is a large and burly man, completely covered in tattoos, with mid-neck length Layrite pomade slicked hair, and a beard I was in charge of grooming for some time which he directed me to shape “like a Civil War general.” J. is a fantastic stylist, which I always found just delightful, because he is the last guy on earth you would picture in cosmetology school. He is of course a biker as well, who in the profile of his ride in a chopper magazine is described as particularly liking those “cinnamon-skinned Latinas” riding on the back at all times.
So J. has this friend Bobby who is just like him (except for the job), but with a pompadour. I had been knitting the Dave Monster for the little one to help her with potty training (look, Dave wears big boy underpants!), and J. wanted me to knit one that he could give Bobby for his upcoming birthday party. So I knitted a beard, a pompadour, stuffed the pomp and the crotch of the underpants, and embroidered little tattoos, including and actual one Bobby has on his chest – and eagle that says “Made in the USA.”
When J. called Bobby a few days after the birthday party to ask how he was liking his little dude, Bobby replied, “He goes where I go.”
Apologies for the poor quality of some of these pictures, I’ve gotten better at this since then.