Sunday, January 16, 2011
Pictured above is a prototype for a new skull cap to replace the one that I had previously sold. Disregard the mismatched colors. This is just me using scrap wools to create the prototype.
The skull cap I had been selling for the past couple years was simply a thin single layer knit cap that was just 2 panels sewn together. I wasn't really satisfied with the look of it and not many sold. I still get requests for these however and feel that it would be a worthwhile addition to my line of caps. This design is basically my Alpine cap but without a bill and including a headband that wraps all the way around.
Although I don't have these pictured on my hats page, I do make my Wheely, 3 panel and 8 panel style wool caps with added earflaps as an option. How is this different from my Alpine caps? Alpine caps are made from knit merino wool that is stretchy like a beanie. My Wheely, 3 panel and 8 panel caps are made from woven wool that doesn't stretch, however the added earflap is ribbed merino wool that stretches. Why order the earflap option over an alpine cap? Some folks like the style of the wheely, 3 panel or 8 panel better. Some prefer the Alpine cap's one-size-fits-most design.
For years I have wanted a better option for the plastic bill insert that I use in all of my bills to stiffen them. I have searched for 100% recycled plastic and have been told that it doesn't exist, that it is all sent to China to be melted down and made into plastic junk to sell back to Americans. The plastic I use may have a percentage of recycled content but there isn't any way for me to know how much. Anyway, wouldn't it be better if I didn't have to use plastic at all? Some other cycling cap makers out there don't use any plastic in their bill but a fabric stiffener instead. The bill isn't quite as rigid and doesn't always hold its shape or stay flipped up if you wear it that way. So I've been considering doing away with the plastic and instead inserting a heavy piece of wool or something and doing some stitching across the bill to stiffen it. Any thoughts from you all about this change would be appreciated.
As you can see from my moldy Brooks saddle, I haven't been on the bike in quite some time. The mold is from my bike being stored in a barn during the damp, sloppy, wet Oregon winter. I don't ride as much as I used to when I lived in the city. Running errands for me now often involves driving 50 miles into the city. I bike it occasionally but this can be rather daunting when the rain is pouring down and the sun doesn't rise till 7:00am and sets at 4:30 and I have to travel on Rt. 30 to get there! Living in the country, I've been able to change some of my lifestyle to save more energy, water, etc. by using a compost toilet, having grey water systems, growing, hunting and foraging for more of my food, but I spend way more on gas to drive into Portland than I ever did before.