Four Hats To Cool Heads

Warm Hats Not Hot Heads

I’m finishing up my fourth hat this week, and you might wonder why…

It’s not a charity hat per se, although I’ve knitted many of those.  It’s not exactly a gift, although I know who the intended recipient is.

I’m knitting in the hopes of facilitating a bit of civility in congress.

It’s an idea that Alison at SpinDyeKnit and my friend Ellen at Twinset had, and it’s explained in greater detail here at facebook, and on Alison’s blog.

I’ll write a letter to put with each of my hats, which will read something like this note by Ellen:

Dear Congressperson,

This hat was hand knit with care for you.  Many of your colleagues will also be receiving hats from knitters of all political stripes and from all around the nation.

Why a hat?  Knit hats meet a simple need for warmth.  They are an every day comfort.  Everyone can use a good hat.

Civil political discourse also meets a simple need – the need for our government to have the best information and insights from many viewpoints.  It would be an every day comfort to me and many other Americans if the airwaves were free of hate-filled rhetoric, and it would lead to good government.   As I’m sure you agree, everyone can use good government.

Thank you for your service, and best regards,


P.S.  More information about this effort, Warm Hats, Not Hot Heads can be found at or  If you can not personally use this hat, please donate it to a worthy charity.

I’ve chosen a few congress folk with whom I agree, and some who I don’t, because that seems in the spirit of the whole thing.

Ellen’s keeping a tally of who has agreed to knit which congress critter a hat, and whether they’re sent off individually or together is still being decided. 

I like to think of this as a knitters version of Senator Franken’s Hot Dish Cook Off a few weeks ago.

It’s a small thing, but sometimes the softest gesture can have the firmest impact.

If you’d like to be a part of this effort and knit up a hat for a congress person to express to them your hope (and expectation) that they engage in civil dialogue while working on our behalf, contact Ellen via Ravelry (she’s twinsetellen) or leave a post here and I’ll get the information over to her (don’t leave your email in the actual comment, just type it in the email box and it will be hidden from the world but visible to me!)

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9 thoughts on “Four Hats To Cool Heads

  1. Elizaduckie

    Oh totally agree with this. Heated and honest debate is one thing but the political ads running all across this nation during the last election made me lose any respect. Disgusting ads which told me nothing about what a candidate stood for but plenty about their disconnection with their potential constituents. Those ads simply added to the body of general misinformation and negativity already running rampant. Quite depressing actually…

    Civility, as Miss Manners used to say, allows us to get along with people that we’d really, under normal circumstances, rather avoid, like the plague. I’m paraphrasing her and not quoting.

    Perhaps the simple gesture of a knitted hat and a request for civility will make a big statement.

  2. Kate

    I forwarded this to my sister-in-law, who reminded me to make sure to leave holes for the ears, since they have a hard enough time hearing others already….

  3. Pam

    Annie – thanks so much for telling us about this. I’ve signed up for 2 – one of my senators and my congressman. When perusing the list I saw a congressman from California I remember from when I was growing up. If I have time I’m going to knit one for him as well — don’t know if he’s smart enough to figure out what to do with a hat but he could sure use the letter!

  4. Debra

    Before knitting a hat, I was wondering if arrangements have been made to get the hats to the Congressfolk? I know with the increased security that delivery of items to our reps can be an issue.

    1. Pam

      Debra – the suggestion is that you send the hat to the district office of the congressperson. I looked on the websites for the people I’m knitting for and they had their’s listed.

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