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Ask Hattie

Dear Hattie

My daughter is getting married and she insists that all of us must wear hats. I don’t usually go in for such frivolities but she says that if I don’t come appropriately dressed she will bar me from the ceremony and the reception!

What should I do to get her to see my side of the argument?

Mrs. Doreen Shrubb.  Basingstoke

Dear Mrs Shrubb,

I can sympathise with you whole-heartedly. This is a deep rooted psycholocgical problem that plagues a lot of women at this difficult time of life.  Your daughter is Princess for the day and you are expected to be Queen.

With this role go an awful lot of responsibilities. As well as running the show one has to appear elegant, cool and totally in control. The last thing you want is to feel selfconcious because of a hot flush, odd shoes or an inappropriate hat.

My advice to you is to stop being such a silly goose. It’s your daughter’s day and you shouldn’t ruin it for her. Get along to Herald and Heart where they have hats with YOU in mnd. There is a whole section of the collection aimed at The Mother of The Bride who may not be au fait with wearing millinery regularly.

Yours – Hattie

Dear Hattie

About twelve years ago I attended Jane Smith’s millinery course at Morley College where I met a really nice young man who was in the same class. After a few weeks we started seeing each other and have continued our relationship ever since and at every opportunity.

My problem is that I am married. My husband thinks I have been going to these classes for the last twelve years to finish my hat.

How can I tell him that I have found someone else who understands me and who also shares my passion for millinery and fabrics and ribbons and antique buttons and wooden hat blocks and felt and feathers?

Yours sincerely – Mrs. Shirley Hillman-Minx. Fulham

Dear Mrs Hillman-Minx,

I can sympathise with you whole-heartedly. It is never easy when a relationship comes to an end, or in you case overlaps. Your letter tells me the problem without explaining the cause. This may be a deep-rooted psychological issue.

The correlation between hat making and extra maritial dalliences goes back to the beginning of time.Maybe the associaltion of the physical hat blocking mixed with the attention to detail plus the aphrodisiac qualities of the straw stiffener has a lot to answer for.

I always say that honesty is the best politics and you should talk to your husband and explain the situation like an adult. Do this somewhere public like in a restaurant where he is less likely to create a scene. Or you could carry on as you are but be discreet.

Yours – Hattie

Dear Hattie

How long does it take to make a hat?


Graham Hillman-Minx. Fulham

Dear Mr Hillman-Minx,

About 12 years.

Yours – Hattie

Dear Hattie

My boyfriend says that if he keeps his hat on when we make love, I won’t get pregnant. 

Is this true?

Miss Susan Nogg. Chelmsford.

Dear Susan,


Yours – Hattie

Dear Hattie

My Grandaughter is going away somewhere cold. I don’t want her catching her death so I’m knitting her something warm to wear. It’s a rather fetching beanie.

My problem is that I’m not as young as I used to be and have bad arthritis in my hands so holding the knitting needles can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. But with a lot of perseverance and the right medication and if I work through the nights I should be able to get it finished for her in time.

I was hoping that you might have some tips that will enable me to work more quickly.

Kindest regards – Mrs. Gladys Pipcock. Penge.

Dear Mrs Pipcock

I can sympathise with you whole-heartedly. It must be terribe for you. These youngsters don’t appreciate anything, do they? Are you sure you want to go through all this torment just for your granddaughter? But of course you are! You’re her sweet little old grandmother and she makes you proud and nothng is enough trouble for her. You actions are satisfying one of our most masic psychological needs, that of protecting our young.

I would suggest you use a double-knit or even a chunky-knit wool on a low number needle, possibly a 3 or a 4 gauge. 

Actually while you’re at it some of the girls here in the office are going skiing at the end of the month and ask whether you could knit something for them too. We need half a dozen in various colours and with a cable pattern too. Do this for us and we will definitely mention you in our next publication.

Don’t forget to hurry!

Yours – Hattie

How to photograph a friend’s wedding like a pro.