Drink it or wear it? Knitted cork hat is oddly adorable

Just in time for national wine day (May 25th), we get the story behind Christine Long Derks' fun and funky knitted cork hat. Derks sells hand dyed luxury yarn and knitting patterns from her Etsy.com shop Treasure Goddess.  

Christine Derks models her Wine Lover's Hat
Christine Derks models her Wine Lover's Hat

What was the inspiration for the Chateau Chapeau hat?

This hat was inspired by the Christmas season when you float from party to party and everyone is giving the hosts bottles of wine. How unoriginal!  I designed this hat as a quick knit so gift giving would be joyful. And your gift would stand out and be remembered.

How did Treasure Goddess Get Started?

Treasure Goddess started out as a recycled clothing experiment. I would find unique clothes at thrift stores or estate sales, fix them up, dye them, and resell them. Sort of a trash to treasure mentality. I was a single mom at the time and it was a way to make extra income.I've always experimented with all sorts of crafts, needlepoint, sewing, and of course knitting. Hand dying yarn was a way for me to create something unique out of the ordinary. I love dying day. I blast music and clear the house of children. I start out using all my notes, being very precise, and then I push further and experiment with blending colors that shouldn't work together or overdying for the intense rich colors that I love. Now Treasure Goddess stands for using these hand created yarns to create your own treasures for the soul.

Describe your design process

I'm very much a knit by trial and error. I wing it then rip out and start over again … usually multiple times … until I like what I've got. I like designing simple patterns for complicated yarns and complicated patterns for simple yarns.  A complicated lace shawl doesn't need any competition from a crazy yarn. Where a simple hat can be made special using a unique yarn.The Chateau Chapeau hat is a simple pattern so it's perfect for showing off a special yarn. And then, of course, you get the flair of the corks shimmying around your head.  It's just fun!

Threading corks onto the hat.
Threading corks onto the hat.
A palette of wine colored yarns perfect for the Wine Lover's Hat
A palette of wine colored yarns perfect for the Wine Lover's Hat

If you’re ready to give the Chateau Chapeau hat a whirl, here’s a link to the pattern.  Although Derks used a band saw for cutting her corks, at Idea Decanter we’ve had great luck using a fine-toothed hacksaw and a small vice. You are going to need a few corks, but we have a feeling that’s not going to be a problem.