We make bun warmers at Pegasus, otherwise known as snoods or bun covers. They are crocheted circles that work like heavy-duty hairnets to help secure ballet buns. Lynda Johnson, my grandmother and the co-founder of Pegasus, used to make them ALL. She would sit and crochet listening to music or an audiobook. I still have a very special bun warmer she made for me when I was a young dancer at Pegasus. I had quite a lot of hair and Grandma made me a giant navy blue bun warmer to match my ballet uniform. I still have it tucked away in a safe place and it still works as a bun warmer and a memory charm.
The year before she passed away, I used bun warmers as an excuse to spend more time with my grandmother. Not that I needed an excuse to visit, but it made it easier to call and to show up at her door. So, I asked if she would teach me the pattern and I started going once a week for bun warmer lessons. Grandma had taught me to crochet many years before and the bun warmers are not the hardest things to make once you get the hang of it, but for a while we repeated her crochet chant that was passed down from her mother and her mother's mother. “Wrap it go down, wrap it come up, wrap it pull through, wrap it pull through. Wrap it go down, wrap it come up, wrap it pull through, wrap it pull through.” She would say “wrap it” like “rabbit” and the jingle still keeps my hand steady as I make bun warmers for the new dancers at Pegasus.
Our bun warmer lessons quickly turned into a one hour lunch and talking session with 5 minutes of crocheting at the end! I would bring her favourite lunch, salmon sandwiches and coffee, and she would tell me stories of her childhood in Toronto, or her years in the war. She loved to fill me in on all the goings on of my cousins, and hear all about my life and what I was up getting up to. Those are some of the most memorable moments I have of my grandmother and I am so grateful to have had that last year with her sharing stories and crocheting.
I've been busy all summer making a new batch of bun warmers and I can't wait to see them in action. It brought both of us so much joy to see all the ballet buns bouncing around Pegasus covered in the bun warmers we had made. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and that your bun warmer will continue to bring back your ballet memories as you grow up and move on from Pegasus.
By Lia Munro