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…

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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!

This Weekend in Ottawa: CCM Felt Hat at Labrador Society Auction

Custom knit felt hat for the Labrador Society of Ottawa's silent auction.

Custom knit felt hat for the Labrador Society of Ottawa's silent auction.

Lately, I’ve been reading books about Labrador: Woman of Labrador by Elizabeth Goudie, Northern Nurse, and True North by Elliot Merrick being some of my favorites. These memoirs of rugged northern trappers and adventurers from a century ago are fascinating.

Labradad Reunion

Why the sudden interest in Labrador? Well, if you happened to read my 25 Random Things about Me, you know that I’m adopted, and that I was recently found by my birth father.

Who happens to be from Labrador. My Labradad, if you will.

Suddenly, I have a whole new culture to learn about and understand. (Although, having lived in subarctic Alaska for 10 years, I feel like I’ve got a head start!)

So, this Saturday night, May 2, 2009, I’ll be at the Labrador Society of Ottawa’s Annual Dinner & Dance. There will be the unveiling of the new Labrador tartan, as well as a silent auction.

And, just for the occasion… I’ve custom designed the above felt hat.

My Labrahat, if you will!

Great great grandfather, Joseph Michelin of Traverspine, Labrador, ca. 1910.

Great great grandfather, Joseph Michelin of Traverspine, Labrador, ca. 1910.

Great grandfather, Allan Goudie, near North West River, Labrador, ca. 1900.

Great grandfather, Allan Goudie, near North West River, Labrador, ca. 1900.