Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's a hatstravaganza - needle and wet felted hats!

So my latest craze is learning to make felted hats. I'm trying several methods to find out what I like best and what produces the nicest results. This includes needle felting and wet felting techniques. Thus far, I've found that a combination of methods seem to produce the best quality hat while allowing for the most controlled design.

Reversible hats is also another goal of mine. I would like to make hats that can be worn inside-out or outside-in to give the buyer more options for their wardrobe. Of course, this means that not all styles of hats will work well as a reversible hat, but a form of the simplest cloche style hat seems to do quite well and be very versatile. It is also a little easier to make than a brimmed hat which is good since I am still very much learning. I do plan to make non-reversible hats as well. Really, I'll just be making whatever style of hat suits my fancy at the time and that I have the courage to attempt.

I'm posting some photos of two different hats that I've made over the last couple of weeks. You can also see more individual photos on my flickr account. The light blue and white hat is 100% Merino wool and soft as a baby's bootie. I think that it is also quite feminine and stylish - almost reminiscent of the 1920's and 30's cloche style hats. It was created through a combination of needle and wet felting. The decorative trim around its base is actually some yarn that I had spun on my drop spindle.

The yellow and blue-green hat should look somewhat familiar to those of you that have read some previous blog posts. It is made from 100% Romney wool that I hand dyed myself. You can see it here. I've also previously posted photos of it in its needle felted stage, before the finished wet felting stage as seen here. Partially due to the type of wool used, it is a thicker, more rugged hat, but I still think that it has a feminine charm about it. Depending on how the brim is shaped, it can be more casual or stylish. It would be a nice hat to go with a coat and wear all Fall and Winter long.

So there are two of the six hats that I've made in the last two weeks. I would like to try making some men's hats and children's hats as well. I'd love to know your suggestions for hat styles and colors that I could try. Any links or photo examples would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to post them as a comment or email me via my website. I'm also working on other things besides hats so stay tuned. I'll reveal some of that work later on in the summer. Right now, I'm a little hat crazy!

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