Out of Africa Hat
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. **
Finished Measurements (child/sm adult size shown in photo)
Finished Length: 9 (10.5, 10.5) in / 22.5 ( 27, 27 ) cm
Finished Circumference: 17 (20, 23.5) in / 40 ( 50, 58 ) cm
Note: The Lg Adult is very large, the Sm Adult size fits me, but I like hats much looser to keep from getting hat head, hence the Large size. Downsizing to a US Size 5 or 6 needle would also bring the circumference of the Adult Large size into the 22 in range. Gauge matters here.
Yarn Cascade 220 (100% Wool; 220 yards/100g): or any comparable worsted weight
Blue Band: MC (includes Rib Edge in Blue Hawaii)
Tonal: 17 ( 20, 22 ) yds / 15.5 ( 18.25, 20 ) m each Anis & Blue Hawaii
Plain: 34 ( 40, 44 ) yds / 31 ( 36.5 ,40 ) m Anis OR Blue Hawaii
Green Band: CC1
Tonal: 14 (17, 20) yds / 13 ( 15.5, 18 ) m each Citron & Palm
Plain: 28 ( 35, 40 ) yds / 26 ( 31, 36 ) m Citron OR Palm
Orange Band: CC2 (includes Pom Pom)
Tonal: 17 ( 20, 26 ) yds / 14 (18.5, 24 ) m each Bright Nectarine & Koi
Plain: 34 ( 40, 52 ) yds / 31 ( 36.5, 47.5 ) m Bright Nectarine OR Koi
Gold Band: CC3 (includes Pom Pom)
Tonal: 8 (10, 12) yds / 7.5 ( 9, 11 ) m each Goldenrod & California Poppy
Plain: 16 ( 20, 24) yds / 14.5 (18.5, 22 ) m Goldenrod OR California Poppy
Motif Color: CC4 Brown: 30, 35, 40 yds / 27.5 ( 32, 36.5 ) m
Gauge: 20 sts and 24 rows = 4” in stranded St st in the round, blocked.
US 7 (4.5mm) 24 inch circular needles, or size to obtain gauge
US 7 (4.5mm) DPNs or same size as needles above
Seam Needle, Stitch Markers
Thin fleece hat to line hat (OPTIONAL)