I'm not exactly sure when it all started, but at some point in my life I decided to NOT wear hats. Yes, they warm a body, but for me, hats cause claustrophobia and physical irritation. Besides the physical discomfort of wearing a hat, I don't like how they mess up my hair, cause static in the winter or frame my face so oddly (the classic tight stocking cap being my absolute nemesis). I remember from an early age noticing that hats and I just don't get along very well, so at some point in my adult life, I quit the hat. Not being a winter athlete of any sort, and living in the city bopping from one warmed place to another, I found I could survive just fine without head coverings. In fact, when I bought the farm, I hadn't owned a hat in years.
But, a few years ago I decided I wanted to be able to walk on the country roads around my farm in the winter, so I got myself geared up with super warm walkable boots, a maxi-fill down coat, lightweight ski pants, and shearling mittens. The hood on my coat kept me warm, but caused claustrophobia. I knew I would need some sort of headgear, but had enough experience with hats to know that they're not typically made loose enough to avoid that tight smothering feeling I so dislike. A hat for me has to be a bit lax, it has to frame my face in a way that accentuates my features and be really warm.
Having tried and rejected various hats over my lifetime, I figured the only option was to make one myself. I had been crocheting and felting wool for years, so thought perhaps I'd use that technique. Having had very little hat luck in my life, I really didn't expect it to work, but to my surprise, I was able to create a hat that fit the bill! My new hat had a squared off top that didn't draw my face, a wide brim to balance the jawline, thick wool unique and classy, and above all else, a loose comfortable fit. I was so excited about my hats that I decided to make them for the Farm Store as well, and over the years, have been honored to see so many of my "Farmtress Flossy" hats looking great on your heads, too. And, I have heard the requests to make some smaller for those of you who prefer a snug fit. If you have one of my hats and it feels too big for you, they can be hot-water washed and reshaped quite easily.
Now, with winter bearing down and the "cozy" season upon us, I've had the urge to experiment with a new hat design. Felting is a tricky process. Even with the same exact pattern, no two hats ever turn out quite the same as wool, tension, temperature and a whole host of other unbeknownst-to-me variables determine the outcome. It's befuddling to find that what seems to be the same exact process can lead to completely different results. So, once I landed on a formula that mostly worked, I've stuck with it to avoid failed attempts, lost time and materials. But, lately I've been itchy to for a new design and decided I was ready for some risk-taking in the crochet department. Happily, this fish-scale looking creation using the puff stitch works pretty well!
I'll have a few more new hat designs in the store for sale by this weekend. It looks to be a very busy Saturday with many winter markets and festivities in Maiden Rock, Stockholm and Pepin if you're looking for a fun adventure this weekend! Our self-serve farm store is open daily 9-5 through December 18th.
I'm sending all my love and hoping you have just the right hat to keep you fashionably warm during these next blustery months!