Long before I heard a publisher was looking for someone to design hats for Animal hats to knit, I was sitting in a cafe with a friend discussing future projects and watching a parade of animal hats pass the window. By the end of the afternoon, I was trying to persuade my companion that there was room on the market for a less cute and fluffy approach to an animal hats book. A book full of hat designs that were decorative and quirky and did not look like toy carcasses had been turned into a hat. My friend had other and better ideas, but I remembered this photograph.
It is a photograph of my mother when she worked as a keeper at Köln Zoo during the 1950s and early 1960s. It was on my grandmother's wall, and I remember clearly the day when, as a small child, I saw the monkey for the first time. I decided I wanted to design animal hats with the same element of surprise. That book concept is still waiting to be written, so if you feel inspired to write or design it, go for it. I will buy it. But the willingness to explore the possibility of designing animal hats and a series of chance encounters led me to design the hats in Animal hats to knit.