Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hat, but for another reason

I don't know how it got to be Thursday.  All I know is that I just finished my last pile of grading (for the nonce; the gradeless state never lasts long around here), and I have ten minutes I didn't think I'd have, so I thought I'd better take this chance to share my latest hat.  (Actually, not my latest; I've got two more to show off this weekend, but this is the one for which I have pictures.)

This hat is not knitted for Warm Hats Not Hot Heads (although that project is continuing and even expanding its scope - check it out, there's something for everyone!).  Instead, it's for a friend of mine, with whom I work in Tehachapi (in fact, she's the fabulously talented grantwriter who keeps language revitalization projects going across the state).  She puts me up in her home (puts up with me, perhaps?) whenever I'm able to stay the night up there, and spoils me with good beer, good pizza, and excellent company.  (Not to mention lovely hikes in the morning.)  Someone like that most definitely deserves a hat, don't you think?

This yen to knit her a hat coincided with my desire to try to knit a version of a California basket cap; Native Californians traditionally wove wonderful baskets to wear as hats - very different versions exist all across the state.  The ones from the region where I am working now tend to be twined (rather than coiled), and to have a conical shape (rather than a flat top and not very deep sides).  So I went through a wonderful book that I have, sketched and drew and dithered, and finally came up with something I liked (not to mention the several other ideas that I now want to try).  I headed off to the store and got some yarn (the name of which I canNOT for the life of me remember right now, which is sad, because I love this yarn so very much that I bought enough to make more hats plus a little sweater for myself - oops)(edited to add: it's Plymouth Vita - such a gorgeous yarn, it's 85% recycled cotton, 15% recycled cashmere, and 100% wonderful), took the beads that my friend had given me to experiment with, and cast on.  The results?  Well, I like them.
That's fairly true to the colors, there.  Those beads are red, and they're placed around the rim the way a lot of basket caps put dark stretches in the final rows of a basket.
Here it is on my head.  It fits very much like a cloche, which is different from Northern California caps (although just about right for the Owens Valley, which is what I was aiming for), and I like it enough that I'm thinking I might need one myself...
My friend graciously agreed to model it for me.  There were requests from others at our work session, too - I may be slowly knitting a cap a month for quite some time.
I'll end with a picture of the amazing clouds that were boiling up over the hills on my way into Tehachapi on Sunday morning (those are clouds there, not snow-covered hills behind the front hills).
And I'm off and running to get the next pile of papers!

9 comments:

Laurie said...

I love the hat and am fascinated with this bit of folklore about different areas of your state wearing different styles of hats.

KnitNana said...

Lovely!
:)

Willow said...

I too am completely fascinated with the hat. Is the motif distinctly 'Tehachapi' in origin?

EGunn said...

That's a great hat (and a great reason to knit a hat). It's fun to see those ancient designs translated into knitting! =)

Good luck with that pile of papers. Surely spring break is coming soon?

Miss 376 said...

Love the history to the making of the hat. Looks like you will be busy with hats for some time

Lynne said...

I just love the way you can take one craft idea and translate it to a whole different craft - well done!

Mary Lou said...

Great project. I like that it isn't 'exact' like a conical basket. Fun.

AlisonH said...

Love it and I love the connections to the people and the land knitted into it.

twinsetellen said...

I took one look at the hat and thought "wedding basket". No, not exactly, but it evokes that image for me. Well done!