Jane Makes Hats

Remember when I said I’d be sharing with you, my favourite creative people?  Here’s the first!

I met Jane when I did the ‘Confidence is Beautiful’ shoot for Euphoria Design. She works for the marketing company who devised that project; Identify Marketing. In her own time, she is Jane of Jane Makes Hats. She and I bonded quickly over our physical similarities, it’s not every day I come across someone tall like me, same age, same shoe size, same colouring!  But we differ greatly when it comes to knitting talent!  It’s been lovely getting to know her. One day, I told her I had been oogling her amazing hats on instagram. We we got talking about them. I told her how long I have been looking for the perfect Rachie hat, eye-colour-green, soft and slouchy. She said, let me knit it for you! And she did. I adore it so much!  Here it is. And here she is, because keeping Jane a secret would be too mean. You are welcome!

 

Q: Jane; your hats! Every one is a work of art. As a beginner knitter I have enormous respect for your skill, before we even talk about your talent!
Please tell us how it all began?

Well thanks! It’s a subject dear to my heart – my skills were passed to me via a very patient Nana and Mother. My Nana was an amazing knitter, her tension was so tight she often bent the needles (I still have some of her wonky needles in my collection to prove it). My sister and I had matching knitted poncho’s we would wear with pride and we always received compliments on them. My Mum still knits and donates loads of wee teddy bears to charities all around the World and NZ (St Johns in Pirongia just received a bunch for the sick kids who ride in the ambulance).

 

Q: Tell us about what inspires your projects?

Each person I knit for inspires me. I hear their story, I find out what they want, and I get so excited about each project. I loved creating your hat Rachel, you wanted a hat that matched your eyes (and personality). I still get nervous when I deliver the finished project – I want people to love them!

 

Q: What is your creative process?

I find out what the recipient wants, I go through my massive stash of donated wool (given to me from Mum’s, Nana’s and Great Grandma’s), and scour the shops for the perfect yarn. I usually create a pattern from scratch, so the maths skills come into play. I knit at night to wind down from the day.

 

Q: What would you like to try next?

I like small projects as my attention span is a wee short, I have 5 projects to complete then I want to make a few squares for my blanket. I like to make squares from the wool of hats I have created for people, it’s like a happy memory blanket.

 

Patchworking. Using up my scraps on a blanket for my boy. It will grow as he does.

A photo posted by Jane (@janemakeshats) on

Q: You once told me, when talking about Moss stitch, that it was “fun”! Is challenge or difficulty a motivating factor in your knitting? How important is the fun factor for you?

I do like nutting out a pattern, This week – for a new challenge – I offered myself up to be a test knitter for a talented knitter in the States. It was for this amazing pair of cable gloves, I re-did that first glove about 10 times because I couldn’t figure out the pattern (I usually just create cable without a pattern). I eventually googled it, slapped my forehead at how easy it was, and made a fab pair of gloves.

 

Q: What has been your favourite project?

The Dinosaur Hats, they take a long time but are so exciting when they are finished. So far I have made 3 for boys, one for a baby girl (not yet born) and one for a cool lady in Wellington (I just loved that she saw the baby hat and said “I can rock a hot pink dinosaur hat with multi-coloured spikes”).

 

#regram @_cubaka_ getting all growly in his fab #dinosaur #hat. #knittingforkids #knittersofinstagram #grr

A photo posted by Jane (@janemakeshats) on

Q: How important is having a creative outlet for you and why?

My job is creative and I love it, but I think doing something with my hands and producing something with love is so important. I like to give every baby born in my circle, a new hat as a gift – I really can’t explain why, but I have done it for around 10 years. I really want to pass my skills onto the next generation and love the craft movement. These skills are not lost, they are being used and re-invented and cherished – it makes me smile and think of my Nana and her wonky needles.

 

Ah, Jane, thank you so much for sharing your creativity with us. If you want to follow Jane, you can find her here, on instagram.

  • Are you a knitter?
  • Have you been taught a special craft that you plan to hand down to the next generation?
  • What kind of creativity floats your boat?

create, if…

 

Create, if …you are feeling dull. Or yearning to be transported away from your troubles. Create if you’d like to have that old feeling of personal growth, inner joy, childlike abandon. Create if you know what is good for you, because creating things surely makes us hum from the inside out. It’s in the making from nothing that we discover that long forgotten something about our human state. We need to create to feel content.

Maybe it is food, or babies(!) or lasting love. Maybe it is macrame, or dresses, or miniature worlds. Maybe it is art, or an approximation of art. Whatever it is; making something from the uniqueness of yourself and letting it exist in the world is creating. It’s a magical thing. Within the experience of creating there is soulfood and education for life itself. When I create,  I learn about myself. Go create, if you want to know what I am talking about. Just find your thing, and begin to do it. Create something.  Even if it’s not up to your own standards, let it be just as it is. There is a lot to be said for being kind to yourself about your own creations. What follows is kindness to yourself about other things too, and we all need that.

The last few weeks I have been loving Pip Lincolne’s series for slumpy creatives. She is so good at bringing out the best in people.  And so kind. Reading her words is like listening to a friend talk. All kinds of good.

It has coincided with a new thing I am doing. You may have seen some of it on my instagram feed. I’ve joined the #drawsomethingeveryday movement. Not because I necessarily have the time for it, or the even the desire to do it every day, but because I need it.  When I draw, it distracts me from pain and helps me hold out longer between pills.  When I draw, I remember that I have a natural ability that I haven’t been using. It’s good to no longer be neglecting it. When I draw, it gives back to me. Repose, reflection, peacefulness. It gives me a little circle of calm. The process of creation interrupts the noise and pressure of life. I like that very, very much.

 

Starting something new today….

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Over the next wee while, I’ll be featuring a few creative types on my blog. They’ll talk about why they create and how the process works for them. Watch this space…

Do you create?  Are you creative?
(PS. I love the way my title, “create, if” sounds like a German person saying the word “creative”, hehe.  I LOVE accents)

 

A picture of pain #drawsomethingeveryday

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Teacher tools. Not all are created equal! #drawsomethingeveryday

A photo posted by Rachel Cox (@rachelfaithcox) on

#drawsomethingeveryday Still in progress. …. but dinner prep waits for no mumma. …

A photo posted by Rachel Cox (@rachelfaithcox) on