The making of a knitted Flamingo Hat

When the Breien! (Knitting!) exhibit at the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden opened I immediately wanted to jump on a train to the far north.

But..hold it...
They announced there would be a competition for knitted animal hats!
Entries before February 29th 2016, and a selection will be on display for 2 months from April. So I will go later this year, when the hats are in the museum, hoping mine will be among them. :-)
(Dutch readers: so you can still enter the Beestenboel competition!)

In 2003, when I got back into knitting after decades of non-knitting it all started by making kitty hats as Miss Minoes on Etsy to raise money for the Stevenshage animal shelter in Leiden. Some other animals have popped up in that parade: a bunny, a donkey, a mouse and even a cow.

So, having made so many hats with ears already, I really wanted to approach this from another angle.
I made a secret Pinterest board (now public) to find the elements I wanted in my design.

Follow Ama's board Inspiratie voor de Flamingo muts on Pinterest.

Key words that came up were:
Extravagant - - Voluminous - - 1920's - - Cabaretsque - - Not carnaval - -Drama - -
Stephen Jones - - Alexander McQueen without the real feathers - -  Natural Material

So, I decided: not an animal with ears. What then? A fish? A bird? A peacock!!

But the peacock didn't work.
Why are so many sculptured hats crochet and not knitted? Because with a sturdy crochet stitch it is so much easier to create shape.
Of course you can make shapes in knitting by increasing and decreasing or layering (and I love it when designers do that!), but it is much more challenging to keep something from drooping down when it's knitted.
Somehow the peacock design I drew always ended up more like a shawl than a hat.

Then I spotted Moeke's eco yarn, naturally dyed with madder root (or "meekrap" in Dutch). And it screamed to me: a FLAMINGO!
And here it is:
I used laced knitting in the body, short rows in the neck and double knitting for the feathers. My ambition is to get the pattern on Ravelry some day, but bear with me as I have to figure out what the hell I all did exactly.

Firstly I have to send the flamingo to the museum, secondly: hopefully my hat gets selected, thirdly: I will be back with you in a follow up when I visit the Friesmuseum. Because selected or not: I am really looking forward to the exhibit BREIEN!

Bonus: insta-moi with flamingo hat

Een foto die is geplaatst door Ama (@missminoes) op


Annette F Tait said…
what a wonderful fun fun flamingo hat!! you are so creative Ama! just wonderful :) xxx

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