Wool Hatter

The Port Townsend woman sitting here surrounded by her handmade woolen creations is our Northwest People portrait because of a particular hat and a series of surprises last weekend. My sweetheart tells the story:

Surprise 1: As I stood on the sidewalk window-shopping and finishing up a snack, Steve came out of a store to tell me he had just seen a hat that was very “me”. I can’t recall him ever doing this sort of thing before. I mean, he’s rarely wandering through artsy stores on his own! But he was so very right about the hat!
Surprise 2: There was an entire collection of adorable, whimsical, artistic, and practical felted wool hats that actually looked good on me.
Surprise 3: The artist just happened to be in the store. It’s one of those gallery/stores where the artist members work there. This fiber artist had just become a member and was in the store that day to set up her hats for the following day – her true “first day.”
Surprise 4: I invested in one of the hats. My only regret was not buying it immediately so I could begin wearing it that night. Instead, I weighed the decision overnight. I couldn’t get the hats off my mind. We went back to the store so I could try on more hats, get input from Steve, and talk a bit more with the artist. [In the end I bought] one of the most ‘me’ hats I’ve ever seen.”

The hat she bought was the very one I had spotted during my solo browsing that first day. It’s not in the photo (Why not? How did I miss that?) but it’s nearly identical with the one shown here on the far right — just a more textured, lighter shade of purple. The hat made such an impact on my sweetheart* and the artist was so intriguing that I asked if she’d pause for a portrait. She agreed. I posed her sitting among her artwork and asked her to dim a few ceiling lights that were good for business but distracting to a photographer. She picked up a woolen mask and donned a hat so new she hasn’t offered it for sale yet. After five photos, we had the one I liked. I hope she thinks it’s so “her.”

*She’s still talking about it.