Monday, January 20, 2014

Godwin Cloche

Over the last few months I’ve been working a lot on my knitting and my pattern designing. I’ve been making my own patterns for years but have not written them down. I have a history of taking someone elses pattern and using the idea behind it and then completely changing it to fit me and what I want. So now it’s time to change that. When I have an idea in my head of what I want to knit, I search around and see if it exists. Lately, I’ve found that my ideas aren’t out there, but that’s ok. I’m creative. One thing I have discovered is that I’m a much better knitter and designer than I am a photographer. This seems to be important when I’m preparing to put patterns out there for sale. Up until now all of my patterns (all 2 of them) have been available for free, but I’d like that to change. I have a couple of patterns in the works that I will need some wonderful photography of the objects in order to help sell the pattern. Thankfully, I have a friend Jackie Godwin, who has a side photography business. Because having a full-time job and working her way through nursing school isn’t enough to keep her busy, haha. Here is her Facebook page. So, I’ve propositioned her to help me out. I know her time and talent are worth a lot, but I’ve been out of work for almost 3 months now and funds are incredibly tight. I asked her if I could knit for her as payment and I’m so glad that she was happy to trade skills. Now, what to knit for her. I thought I’d like to make her a hat. I’m completely obsessed with making felted hats lately. A felted hat is knit with 100%wool much, much larger than it’s intended size. Then you wash it vigorously with extremely hot water until it shrinks down and all the fibers of the wool blend together to form a strong dense fabric that is very warm and sturdy. I love hand felting in my sink with the washboard. It is a little more work than machine felting, but I love the control that I have over the shrinking and shaping process. Yes, imagine that, me wanting to have control over everything. But what kind of hat would she like, there are so many different styles I could try to do. So I started searching around google for different style hat pictures and sent a bunch to her. She really liked the cloche style hats. Cloche hats, named after the French word for “bell”, were very popular in the 1920‘s and in to the early 30‘s, it literally is a fitted bell-shaped hat. I’ve made a few over the years and have never been truly happy with the way they have turned out. They are either too small, too big, the brim is too floppy, or there’s no brim at all. So, this sounds like a great opportunity to create my own pattern...... And so it began. I found the right yarn, one of my favorite yarns for felting “Patons, classic wool, worsted”, grabbed my knitting needles, my little blue pad of paper and a pencils then got to work. I’m not going to post the pattern here, as I have it published on feel free to check it out. I welcome all comments and input anybody has.

So here it is. First, before felting. It’s huge, it fits completely over my head and the styrofoam head. Remember, I said you have to make it much bigger than intended so that it can shrink down.
And here is the finished “Godwin Cloche” named after the lovely lady it was designed for. See, I told you it would shrink! So far, she says she loves it. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to design and knit for a friend and publish yet another pattern. This is becoming quite the adventure.

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