You see them sprinkled in a fan crowds everywhere, these ugly-but-cute orange-and-red woolen ear flap hats, even in the heat of summer. The Jayne Hat was where I lost my knitting virginity, and now having knitted about a dozen of them myself as charity items and gifts, I can attest to its heat-retaining warmth, having finally knit one for myself and test run it on top of Kitt Peak, Arizona, in November. Jayne hats have become ubiquitous – you see them at any remotely Whedon-verse fan gathering, at every fan convention of any kind. In the years following Firefly, Jayne hats sightings seem to have grown in numbers, and combined with the armies of knitters who can whip one up in a day or so of concentrated knitting, they have become the diy fan crafting choice among those who can wield knitting needles. There have been countless websites and even books about Nerd Kntting in general and Jayne hats in particular.
The Jayne Hat phenom was even brought up at the Press panel for the 10th anniversary of Firefly by Jayne his own self, Adam Baldwin, who put one on his mike, turning it into an effective and colorful windsock. Later at the press panel, CNN asked about the pieces from the show that have gone viral over the years, Adam pointed out that the hat appeared on an unaired show. “Here’s the thing about the hat – it’s integral, it’s D.I.Y., it’s not an entire (outfit) – you can have the hat and go to your day job. It’s everything that should work for cult.” Said Joss Whedon. It’s the specificity and had that homemade feel that people could make themselves, and “It’s cozy”.
Science Channel airs several Firefly Marathons this year, on July 4th, and once again at Christmas, all the episodes in order, with the 2-hour pilot first. Browncoats Unite, an hour-long special that will feature exclusive footage from the Comic Con panel, will air along with the Firefly Marathon on November 11. By that time of the year, you’ll need a cunning cozy hat.