The 2 commission Hats I was working on? Well, they've arrived at their destination waiting to be gifted. The customer was none other than Susoolu and you can see her amazing photographs of the Hats here (which I have to say, are much better than mine)
My first commission in a fair while, and an interesting one at that. The friend they were requested for seems to have spent most of her adult life avoiding the camera which meant for some interesting questions... When you have a photograph of someone, it not only tells you what they look like, but also about their posture, which is an important thing. How folk hold themselves is a good indicator of how they will wear items, and which shapes will suit. I also asked questions about accents and manner of speech, to give a greater (imaginative) picture of the lady involved. Lifestyle, adventures and many tales were gained. To be honest, it was much more fun than just being given a snapshot, and I got a pretty good idea of what might be suitable (I feel like I know her myself, now)
A colour scheme was devised from hair and skin shades, and from her favourite travels and places. I spun two different yarns for the adult (mum) Hat, sent photos, and off I went. The main yarn was a single spun from hand-dyed merino, with added silk threads for texture. Lovely to spin, even more lovely to knit. I wanted this Hat to be versatile, to be worn in different ways when the mood suited and so it is longer, with a slightly widening body and a gentle peak - it can be rolled up or worn back, whichever. No pattern was written, just worked as I went, with only one lot of frogging ;)
The baby (daughter) Hat was the one I was initially more concerned with - having only ever made one baby Hat before (it's a size thing. Ever find that you just keep casting on the same sized garments?) This was made from some lush, lush cashmere that was dead scary to dye, and a major relief when the 2nd (and last batch) came out right. Again, no pattern just a tension swatch and the regular formula for crown shapings (which reminds me, I really ought to post all my notes on this)
As I'm sure I've said before, working to order is a completely different ball game. There's the constant worry that there's too much of 'you' being made, and not enough of the 'customer'. Of course that's all part of it, as anyone ordering a commission will be aware of the makers' style. Yet there's still that trepidation of handing over the goods, waiting for approval... wondering not only if you've got it 'right' but also whether your work is up to scratch.
And Susoolu is a happy customer. Which makes me very happy too (and a bit richer) Now, we just have to get the friend in question to break her camera shyness and pose wearing her new hat...
I feel really flattered to have been asked, particuarly by such a skilled knitter with an eye for detail and fine quality. Thanks Susoolu, for giving me a welcome boost :)