Coming up with new hats for my little business causes me no end of grief....it's a process I hate to be quite honest.....I get excited about finding new patterns, but the work that goes into re-sizing, re-knitting, amending and a great amount of mathematics which I'm useless at drives me to despair at times.
Apart from a couple of hats that I designed myself, all of Dover & Maddens hats are derived from knitting patterns from the 1930's through to the 1970's.....I take vintage knits and adapt them for the modern bub....and I think I do it reasonably well.
For every 10 patterns I come across and re-knit I'm maybe lucky to find one that works and will make it to a usable style.
Whilst finishing off Etsy orders I'm also trying to sneak in some pattern re-designing at the moment....I'm revisiting a bonnet that I originally made a couple of years ago and then decided it wasn't for Dover & Madden. I've decided to revisit it and just do a bit more work on it.....the back of the bonnet is what I don't like so I'm going to play around with it so it's not so puffy and full as the picture shows....I want it to sit a bit flatter.....Here's the original one I made, and the re-knit on it's way to being complete.
I've named this the "Houndstooth Hat"....just because of the pattern, and as you can see I'm doing it with two shades of the one colour....I originally knitted this hat in pink and green, and I was asked if I had been smoking "crack"....It did look awful....I re-knitted it in the same tones....and it was perfect....so sometimes bright contrast is not always the best option for a hat....and it can be something as simple as colour that will make or break a hat for me.
I have another two hats on the go as well....both of these I have my fingers crossed that they work because I'm in love with both of them. They may not be both released as Dover & Madden hats at the same time....but I like to have the patterns altered and ready to go for a new knit when I feel like it. This little one is quite unusual.....so stay tuned....but I do love the coloured stripes that will run from the top of the forehead down to the base of the neck....and yes it is looking an odd shape but that's what will give it, it's final shape so hopefully it will look good enough once it's completed.
And finally this one....excuse the colour....funnily enough most of my prototypes I somehow always knit in blue tones....I don't know why but I'm drawn to blue, but this one I did think needed contrast, and I hate this contrast....again pink and green that in my book is two colours that are both too strong and end up fighting against each other....I should have gone with a leaf green and a hot pink rather than jade and watermelon pink. Anyway this one is the third prototype I'm working on and I really have my fingers crossed for this one.
I also find that knitting stitch books are a great source of knowledge for me....a simple hat can be transported from something quite plain to something quite fantastic, with a simple pattern....such as my Dottie Hat below.
Once the hat is knitted I send them to a wonderful photographer in the US who found me on Etsy (another blog post I think) Joy Wright Photography shes finds the necessary bubs in the size of the hat and sends me the most fab photos and then the hat goes up for sale.
So that's how things come about.....a slow process but a necessary process.....I like to keep evolving and changing, I too get bored knitting the same things all of the time....it also means that possibly a couple of hats will disappear for a time....maybe just a rest and a revamp.
Until next time