If you’ve called into our shop on King Street you may well have met Louise Bird Lou and Pearl (wo) man the shop for much of the time. What you might not realise is that she is also one of our talented designer makers. She particularly loves crochet and makes the most fabulous hats. These, created under her label of ‘ A Bird Made This’, can be found in a corner of Found and Seek where they make up the ‘Smallest Hat Shop in Town’.
Lou’s love of colour and texture stem from her degree training in fine art and from the early influences of her artistic family where she learnt many of the textile skills she uses today.
These are not just any old hats! All the wool Lou uses in her creations is natural, including Shetland, Merino and Jacobs wool. She also sources local wool from rescued sheep that reside on a friend’s farm. Many of her hats are dyed with natural dyes,including wode,which produces the most beautiful vibrant blue. Lou’s hats have become a favourite with customers. They are also incredibly warm.
Dyed with wode
The crochet guild of America has an interesting history of crochet https://www.crochet.org/page/CrochetHistory No one is entirely sure how crochet started but research suggests that in Europe crochet developed from ‘tambour’ work which in turn developed from Chinese methods of embellishing fabric. Over time the fabric itself disappeared and the hook produced stitches began to be the focus, linking them to form a material in itself. Crochet as we know it today did not really appear in Europe until the early 1800s. (According to the Victoria and Albert Museum , There is evidence of knitted goods in Europe from the 14th century. https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/the-history-of-hand-knitting)
Hand dyed and hand crocheted by Lou Bird
Lou also teaches a wide range of textile skills and will be running workshops (including crochet) in Found and Seek later on in the year. She and Pearl have been working together on developing a long term and very exciting textile project – watch this space we’ll tell you more when we are ready to reveal this.
In the meantime, call in and visit and why not treat someone to a unique gift of a handmade, naturally dyed hat from the smallest Hat Shop in Town.
You can follow Lou on instagram where she often posts 'hats on welsh blankets' , her hats and our vintage blankets seem to go together particulalry well. Here's a few......
Hats on Welsh Blankets