Monday, December 8, 2014

Here Comes Design Preview #4

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We were fogged in early yesterday morning, and this is what it looked like:

Since there's a body of water in the foreground just underneath the fog that Kenmore Air pilots take off from and land on, I wonder if that fog delayed any flights (it burned off completely about 30 minutes after I snapped this photo).

I have thought a lot about the impact of weather conditions while researching the female aviators for this book. The next design preview might not have helped them navigate the fog, but it would have kept each one stylishly warm:

The Leather + Lace Aviatrix Cap pretty much speaks for itself. I used leather shank buttons on both sides, and the double suede ties actually work in the attached d-ring on the other ear flap, so one could actually wear the cap with it strapped under the chin.

However, most wearers might want a more casual approach, and I think the strap looks super with the suede ties just hanging down. This one skein project (and I used this llama blend sock yarn from January Yarns) works up quickly; I use this pretty lace pattern in an additional design in the book, but with a very different outcome. In this cap, with its sleek edging, it's incredibly modern. 

This design is dedicated to all the pilots in the book via the first Women's Air Derby, coined the "Powder Puff Derby" by Will Rogers, who attended the take-off ceremonies on the west coast. For nine days in August,1929, twenty women agreed to the rules (yes, they all agreed) for the first transcontinental race in which women, not men, were allowed to participate (the male pilots, as Will Rogers sarcastically established, didn't think too much of females in the cockpit). Of the twenty that started the race, only 15 crossed the finish line; one lost her life. The big name, Amelia Earhart, placed third; Ruth Nichols (see design preview #3) came within yards of the finish line only to crash once on the ground (yup, weather conditions did her in). While I write more about the race in the book, it led to the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an international non-profit that survives today and promotes female aviation through a number of programs. It would also bring Earhart and Nichols together in real friendship; they were kindred spirits, each with their respective humanitarian streaks. Nichols would, regrettably, give a moving speech at Earhart's memorial service a year after her plane went missing over the Pacific. 

We're about at the halfway point in the design previews and I hope you are enjoying them as much as I am enjoying revealing them. Until next time ...

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