eight questions for Liz
1. Have you always made things?
I have always done something with my hands, my mother was an unbelievable knitter and that's all I saw. She always felt you should do something if you were sitting down. She knit us all sweaters and hats for skiing and just for everyday Maine weather. Of course, we wanted the store-bought machine-knit kind.
2. What is your first memory of making something?
Not sure, probably a really long scarf -- we all start with a scarf. It was just fun to make things. Over the years I made dozens and dozens of sweaters, hats, bags and clothes. Mostly I gave them away and then this crazy hat thing happened to me.
3. Why did you start this hat thing?
I love hats and, frankly, living in Maine you need a good one. We wear hats so often I felt they should be fun. I grew up skiing before helmets were a thing. To the chagrin of my daughters, I'm really not concerned with hat-hair.
4. What was your first hat in the Bespolk line? What was the first word you used?
I'm embarrassed to say, it was "shit." I needed a hat to wear to the barn when I visited my horse, Jacque. I hadn't imagined that anyone else would see it or care what it said. He certainly didn't. Then, my kids went nuts for my hat and wanted their own special hat with their own special word. The rest is not quite history.
5. Besides your three beautiful daughters, what inspires you?
My three beautiful dogs, George, Dora and Francine (my spirit animal). I guess, also, I'm inspired by remembering a simpler time, before we all kept our faces glued to screens, when you would put yarn on two sticks and something fun and practical would come out.
6. How long does it take to make a hat?
Forever or superfast. It depends on my mood and when you need it.
7. Is the wool you use 100% wool?
Yes, 100 percent wool from a mill in Maine. It doesn't itch, I swear.
8. Last words?
My dad Bud Leavitt was a pioneer in promoting outdoor recreation in Maine -- a conservationist before it was trendy to be one. He was the state's default spokesman for the outdoors with his own TV show (starting in 1953) an outdoor column that he wrote for the Bangor Daily News, and a radio show. He hunted and pecked nearly 6000 columns about the outdoors on his Smith Corona typewriter. Because of his work, we traveled throughout the state. Making a warm hat with a message seems like a fitting tribute to him. And, I really like having a template to voice my humble opinions, :-)