Recently, I opened my brick-and-mortar store. I had been running my longarm business out of my basement for years and now I am located at 128 West 2nd St in Chadron, Nebraska. After spending three weeks painting the walls from apple grren and brick red to cream, I opened with a quick Facebook post showing my art quilts, hand knitted items and homespun yarn.
One of the first people to visit the store was interested in a warm knitted hat. She tried on my “Rose of the North” Fair Isle hat and was not really interested in my “Baa-able” (flock of sheep) hat.
She wanted to know what else I was going to do in the shop. Of course, I showed her samples from classes I taught for the Happy Hustlers 4H Club and in the Tada! Quilt Shop. I showed her my double knitting samples, painting with wool samples, and my needle felted animals.
She was entranced by the needle felted paintings. The quintessential question was then asked – can you make me a hat out of that?
My first instinct was to say no, as I had never done it before, but then I said yes with no plan at all. I did make one stipulation, “let me make a mock hat out of quilt fabric for you to try on before I work with the wool.” With that statement the adventure began.
On the third pattern and mock hat, I had one that had the desired head circumference. I realized that if I had done a little math, I would have nailed the pattern on the first try.
After the fitting and a few more minor adjustments, it was time to make the hat out of wool. At this point, I looked for the sweater we agreed for this project. I placed the sweater in a safe place and of course it is so safe, that I have no idea where it is. Off to the Thrift store for an XL boiled wool coat.
During sew day, I cut four panels for the hat from one sleeve and added a band and two buttons to make the hat adjustable.
I then prepared my wool by deconstructing the burly yarn from Brown Sheep Company. The creative streak took hold and the hat painted itself through needle felting.
While making the hat, I had to try the hat on a few times to make adjustments. Out of all the hats I have made in the past few years, this one is the most comfortable, beautiful, and original hat I have ever made.
The most intriguing aspect of this hat is the inspiration for this creation came from a simple question. Could I make a hat like the wool painting my daughter made using needle felting.
Now, I just need to make one for myself and a few for the shop.