I used to sit on the beach in Laguna and watch the surfers come up out of the cold waters of the Pacific and pull on their woolen beanie caps. As hard as it might be to imagine wanting to wear a beanie cap on on the beach in Southern California, it made perfect sense as a way to keep your head warm after several hours of surfing. I also really liked the look and thought it might be fun to give it a try.
One Sunday morning I picked up a crocheted beanie cap in a surf shop in Laguna Beach and thought gee, I can make that. So to save myself forty bucks (and not wear acrylic) I walked a few blocks down PCH to the yarn shop and bought two hundred dollars worth of yarn and taught myself to make a beanie cap. In my mind it was really simple: I had to have some really beautiful yarns to do it with and not just that cheap synthetic stuff you buy at craft shops.
I started out making a few beanie caps for myself but as friends started seeing them they wanted one too and off it went!
Twenty years later I'm still crocheting and selling beanie caps and Nekkers but now with my partner Jed onboard. We do it all the old-fashioned way with a hook and some yarn. We only use animal-fibered yarns because they're warmer, they wick moisture away from the head, they're more durable and they're simply more beautiful. We sell online at BeanieCapGuys and in person at art fairs around the western US.
Laguna Beach has always been a source of contentment, adventure and inspiration. The luxurious beanie caps and Nekkers that we make today were directly inspired by my time on the beach there and by the surfers who just needed to keep their heads warm.