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Out of Africa Hat


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One of the most underrepresented ethnic areas in the knit world is the African Continent. It is home to some of the most colorful and artistically rich areas I have researched. When knitting, we often stay with motifs of areas with rich knitting traditions, Fair Isles, Scandanavia, & South America to name a few. These motifs are the basis for many of our hand knit items, as they should be, but the world is rich with ethnic motifs whose time has come. This hat pulls in two Adinkra motifs from the west coast of Africa along with two other African tribal motifs and surrounds them with the saturated colors found in many printed African fabrics. To the best of my knowledge, the figures meanings: the green band figure looks like an animal, a gazelle? wildebeest? and represents energy. The orange band mimics an hourglass and represents time. The blue band shows arrows or spear tips; the yellow, a scale representing the need to strive for excellence. This is a stash busting hat. Use 2 shades of the same color if desired (keep the shades close in tone - eg: not a light blue & a dark blue) & alternate a row of each shade in the color band. It gives a controlled tonal effect & allows small amounts of each color to come from stash yarn. This is completely optional, a single background color can be used for each band. Yardage amounts are given for both scenarios. My disclaimer: I am not of African Heritage, nor is this hat a cultural or history lesson. The stories behind the motifs go much deeper than is represented here. I am a designer taken with color & shape, I choose the motifs that catch my eye and which I can translate into knitwear. My hope is that what I put together is not the cultural equivalent of putting mustard on my plate of spaghetti marinara (I grew up in an Italian neighborhood outside Boston!). If it is, you have my apologies now...but I still love the hat. Three Sizes: Infant, Child/Sm Adult & Lg Adult. Worked in worsted weight wool - Use stash leftovers or splurge and buy the colors desired. ** Many thanks to fellow Raveler BREEZYANN for inspiring this design. ** BASIC SKILLS NECESSARY knit in the round knit 2 colors on a round GAUGE 20 sts and 24 rows = 4" in stranded St st in the round, blocked. SIZING / FINISHED MEASUREMENTS infant, child/small adult, large adult SUGGESTED YARN 250 yards of Worsted weight PREFERRED BRAND/YARN Cascade 220 or Knit Picks WOA COLORWAY multiple bright colors

Recommended with this pattern

  • US size 7 circular or DP needles
  • worsted weight yarn
  • optional: thin fleece cap to line hat

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Lisa McFetridge
Lisa McFetridge
Lisa has been knitting all her life, Hats and Mittens, Cowls and Doll Sweaters are favorite things to design. They are fast, easy and visible. Color brings joy to the eyes. Knit. Shop. Love. The secret to life! Lisa had an AMAZING time as the knitting instructor on the SHEEP AHOY Knitting Cruise to Canada from Boston in October 2014. Lisa teaches Hat Design Classes and has created finishing videos to help bring any project from "homemade to handmade". This link connects to the videos. Enjoy!