Living on a farm has uncounted benefits–free-range chickens keep the bugs down; there are always cats lolling in the sun, just waiting to be stroked; the sheep are never too far away to go hug. One learns to trust one’s reflexes when it comes to catching the greased lightning that is an escaped pig, and discovers the intricate and extremely delicate art of haltering a Llama in mid-field. Another benefit of farm life, and particularly fiber-farm life, is the fact that I can go out to the barn studio any time, any day, and create. I have several projects in the works right now, which I hope to finish before I return to School for summer research in a couple weeks. Some sewing, a needle-felted mural, embroidery. But today, I took a break from these larger projects to work on something a bit more exciting and immediately gratifying–hats.
I love hats, though until today I owned a grand total of just one of them. I wear my grey, semi-hipster fedora whenever I can (which is not incredibly often, as both Home and School are very windy paces, and it’s just not quite practical). My brother will tell you about my hat with chagrin, and probably provide several unflattering infographics on just what one looks like in a fedora. But I still find it highly gratifying. The fedora, I mean, not the infographics. But one can love without possessing. I appreciate hats immensely. And after the crafty endeavors of this afternoon, I actually have two of them.
I made my way accidentally into the fiber studio this afternoon, looking for (probably) a cat to stroke. Mama was there when I entered, flipping through a book on felting. Before I knew what exactly hit me, she and I both were measuring the circumferences of our heads (mine is 22 and a half inches of hormonal intelligence, in case you were wondering) and cutting resists out of yellow plastic.
I’ve never successfully felted a hat before, but I can tell you for certain I’ll definitely be doing it again. The entire process, from start to finish, took about three hours. At one hour, we had soap suds up to our elbows and were each rubbing an odd, bell-shaped mound of dripping wool. At two hours, we cut the bottom of the hats-in-progress open and pulled the plastic resists out. At two and a half hours, Mama’s hat made her look like a garden gnome and mine made me look like The Cat in the Hat. Which, now I think of it, is extremely fitting for both of us.
I have plans to embellish my lovely hat a bit further, but Mama and I were so pleased with our new headgear that we went ahead and did a photoshoot anyway. Behold, the fruits of our labor and the cause of much hilarity! Also, I think Mama looks like the Artful Dodger. Which is a compliment of the second-highest order (the highest being anything involving Tolkienian Elves). Who’s with me?