Icy Seafoam Mandala Bound For Newfoundland

Most of the hats I make end up here in New England and the Northeast (although occasionally one finds a home in the Pacific Northwest or Alaska).

Last week, I shipped off my first hat ever to Newfoundland:

Freehand embroidery of French knots on icy sea foam felt hat by fiber artist, Carrie Cahill Mulligan of Canaan, New Hampshire.

Embroidered felt hat #82 of 2012.

Detail of freehand French knot embroidery on felt hat #82 of 2012

Detail of freehand wool embroidery on felt.

Detail of freehand French knot embroidery on felt hat #82 of 2012

French knots and split stitch make up the embroidered mandala design.

I’m delighted to have my work tested in the raw, wet winters of Newfoundland, and I love that the colors of this particular hat echo those of icebergs born of the North Atlantic. Seems particularly fitting!

Latest Freehand Embroidery: Red-Hot Denim Blues Mandala

Recently, I was contacted by Gayle in Portland, Oregon, who’s ready for a new hat.

She loved the original Red-Hot Blues French-knot Mandala I embroidered last summer. But that hat found a new home with Gwen at the 2011 League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair:

Gwen's New Felt Hat

Although not generally a “hat person”, Gwen’s blue eyes perfectly match her new felt hat.

I strive to create felt hats as unique as the wearer, so I didn’t want to re-create the exact same hat. Instead, Gayle selected several yarn colors she liked, and gave me her head-size measurements.

As luck would have it, I had a suitable hat, felted & ready for embroidering just waiting in my studio. And in between games at my 1st-ever coed hockey tournament this weekend, I was able to embroider it:

Red-Hot Denim Blues French-knot Mandala Felt Hat

Red-Hot Denim Blues French-knot Mandala Felt Hat (#114 of 2011).

Freehand French-knot Mandala Embroidery Detail

Macro detail of the 100+ french-knots in my new freehand mandala embroidery.

I’m so pleased with how this latest embroidery turned out. Now just cross your fingers that it fits Gayle, since she helped design it!

New Freehand Embroidery: Red-Hot Blues French-Knot Mandala

New Freehand Embroidery: Red-hot Blues French-knot Mandala

The 78th Annual League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair begins in less than two weeks, so I’m in embroidery overdrive.

Icy-hot french-knots (more than 150!) make up the bulk of this freehand embroidery.

I love the nubbly texture of this french-knot mandala design… it feels amazing to the touch! If you come by my booth in Tent 7, you can feel for yourself.

Silk & cotton hand-dyed yarns are doubled then knotted to form this freehand embroidery.

This is my newest design, and I’m planning on stitching a few more before the Fair opens on Saturday, August 6, 2011. It’s very meditative to build up the embroidery, knot by knot.

Each art-to-wear hat is signed, dated and numbered. "Red-hot Blues" is #65 in 2011.

There are so many amazingly talented craftsmen at this fair: from glass-blowers, to raku potters, to printmakers, to rug-braiders, and more. Not only can you meet these artists, you can also enjoy free daily craft demonstrations, and learn their secrets.

I hope you’ll be able to visit!