You have to imagine the coldest winter you have ever experienced... got it in your mind?
Now, minus another 20 degrees.... ok?
Add a horrible biting, blustering wind.....
This was January and February 2014 in New York City. -17 degrees celsius with the wind chill - that is just 1 degree fahrenheit.... well, the kids wore their ski pants more or less 24 hours a day for 2 months, it was crazy!
I had made a hat for myself out of the extra thick merino that the 2014 Winter Collection is also made from, and I decided that I would make a matching one for N. Well, we walked around NYC with our matching hats - which saved our lives - and random people in the street stopped us to ask where we got them. Not just once, but at least once every day!
I love that about New York! Perfect strangers will stop you when you're rushing to get the kids to school, running for subway, when you've got your hands full with grocery bags and your only focus is not to slip on the black ice - and people complimented me on my hat. It happened a lot and it made me think....
Lots of people have said they like something that I make - if only I had been able to give them a card, so that they would have been able to contact me. Maybe I should start making them for others?
Another thing about winter hats that I found frustrating was that I wasn't able to find one that held it's shape. They would all stretch out and after a few weeks would not sit properly, or they would fly if the wind picked up. This is an important design consideration of a l.a.n.a. hat. Merino wool holds it's shape and the stretch, and loss of shape is minimal and the beauty of it is that when you wash it (strictly by hand only) it goes back...
(Note to self: write a care label, and do a page on washing instructions for the website...)
So midnight, February 2014, and I am finishing another hat, everyone has gone to bed and there is (finally) peace in the house, and the name for the business comes into my head.
I had been knitting hats for all the members of my family since October. They had been the ones who graciously wore hats that were too short, too wide, too ugly, until I got the design right. So it only seemed fitting that their contribution to the R&D was recognized. And playing with the initials spelled "lana". We are half Italian and "lana" means wool - it just worked! It was a sign - and that is why I decided to give it a go!!