Gayle’s Custom Dragonfly Hat

I shy away from most custom orders.  Felting is unpredictable.  It’s tricky to shrink a knitted hat to the right size for a specific head.

However, if the person is easy-going, not in a hurry and willing to risk shipping hats back & forth, I’m happy to try a special request.

Gayle was just that sort of person!

Yarn color combinations for a custom felt hat request.

Gayle’s custom hat color combinations, with possible embroidery yarns, side-by-side

Gayle knew she wanted a dragonfly hat, probably in purple. She chose several yarn colors which I photographed, along with various embroidery ribbons, so she could choose her favorite.

Colors selected, I set about knitting, felting, lining & embroidering Gayle’s hat.

Carrie Cahill Mulligan's knitted felt hat #20 of 2012, purple with turquoise dragonfly ribbon embroidery.

Gayle’s custom felt hat with dragonfly ribbon embroidery.

Generally, I gravitate to tone-on-tone designs, so I suggested some purple-y ribbons for the dragonfly embroidery. Gayle really wanted the dragonfly to “pop” though, so we went with her first choice, turquoise.

Embroidery Detail of CCM Felt Hat #20 of 2012 - ribbon dragonfly with turquoise & jade gemstones.

Turquoise and jade gemstone beads are the focal point of this dragonfly embroidery.

I’m so glad we did! I love how this hat turned out. Gayle deserves all the credit.

Have you ever helped create a custom design? Did you enjoy the process? The results? I’d love to know your experience…

11 thoughts on “Gayle’s Custom Dragonfly Hat

  1. It’s everything I expected. I can hardly wait for it to arrive…even though it’s much too warm now to wear it for a while. But I can put it next to my other CCM hat and admire them both until the cold and grey come back later this year. Thanks, Carrie!


    • Oh, thank you, Janet!

      I just checked out your amazing embroidery site & I have just one quesition: “40 count silk guaze”?? WOW!

      I’ve worked cross-stitch in 22 count linen before, which I always thought was fairly tiny… Do you use a magnifier for that?? You must, right?

      Thanks so much for enjoying Gayle’s dragonfly!


      • Yes, I do use a magnifier when I work on the 40 count silk gauze. And I only stitch during ‘proper daylight’ too (daylight bulbs are good, but not quite good enough, when working on really small counts)! I’ve got a really good floor-standing frame that has an attachment of a swan-neck with a magnifier attached, which is brilliant to use.


      • Wow! I can only imagine… I’m glad you’re good to your eyes. I’m guessing you have enough south-facing windows in your house to manage.

        May I also ask what sort of chair you sit in? And how many long do you commonly stitch at a go? Do you give yourself lots of breaks, or do you find yourself sucked in for hours at a time??


      • Well….I *should* sit in a nice upright dining chair, or something, but I don’t – I sit in a wing chair that’s quite old, but very comfortable! But the light is good – I like to stitch in the conservatory.

        On the fine counts of silk gauze, I don’t stitch for more than an hour at a time, or it wouldn’t be good for my eyes. On larger counts (say, 18 canvas, or 28 evenweave), I can stitch all day. In fact, that’s what I did today (the ironing can wait…).


      • Oh, you paint a very welcoming view of your surrounds, Janet!

        I, too, can get lost in stitching for hours on end. I used to be the same with knitting, but am finding I need to take more frequent breaks for the sake of my knuckles.

        For my felting & shaping, there are only so many wet hats I can handle before the skin on my knuckles protests… I think 16 – 20 hats in one day is the max for me.


      • It’s funny – I’ve been doing embroidery since I was four, and really love it, but I’ve never been able to do knitting. My knitting is so tight, it can stand up on the needles on its own! It squeaks when I’m doing it, it’s so tight. Haven’t tried felting yet, but I love the look of the finished things 🙂


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