Old Friends

This is a story about a hat and friendship. Nancy and I first met at a trade show in Las Vegas where I was selling hats for my knitting company Mountain Ladies & Ewe. She owned a shop in Virginia and became an enthusiastic new customer.

Fast forward about 10 years, long after I’d sold my knitting company and Nancy had sold her shop. Nancy moved to Vermont, about 20 miles down the road from me, and we become fast skiing, paddling and hiking friends.

Fast forward another 17 years. One day when we met to go skiing Nancy surprised me by showing up wearing a vintage Mountain Ladies & Ewe “Llama” earflap hat! She was distressed that her old favorite had acquired some moth holes and asked if I could repair it.

It’s taken me about a year to get around to it, but over the holidays I rummaged around in my old bags of knitting wool and found the exact yarn that the hat was made from and fixed it.

As I darned it back together I remembered how the design was from a hat that my father brought back from a ski trip in Portillo, Chile, how I’d figured out how to knit the earflaps on a knitting machine sparking a fad among skiers, about all the wonderful knitters I had employed, my funky wood-heated shop, and how I still never want to use a hand operated knitting machine ever again. But mostly I thought about all the fun outdoor adventures that Nancy and I have shared, and the long friendship that started all because of a hat!


The well worn Llama hat before repairs



I still have the original graph work for the design in an old notebook!

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One comment on “Old Friends

  1. Liz Rice’s avatarLiz Rice on said:

    The first cold snap and frost came to the Ligurian coast, so I dug down in our basket of hats, and low and behold, an appropriate phrase for the holiday season, I pulled out my Llama hat (DOC like the wine….original) from the Mountain Ladies & Ewe days. Henry loves to wear it now too!!! I will send you a photo of him wearing it for your blog.

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