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Archive for December 11th, 2005

Hat Week

Sunday, December 11th, 2005

Shepherd's Hat from Northern EthiopiaI seem to be knitting at least four hats at a time again. Some are experimental, where I’m making them up on the needles. That means I’ll be ripping out a lot of hats at a time again, too. For a hat, it does not upset me much to rip. They have so few stitches, even when using DK weight yarn, that I can reknit in a day or two or three.

It means, however, that there are not many photos for you. I have my new hard drive mostly working, my PhotoShop is up and running, and now the challenge is to figure out where in the heck the computer downloaded the photos I moved off my camera a few days back. It was not where I thought! Normally I can search the computer for something by date, but the conversion to the new hard drive means that all my folders have the same date on them. Aargh! I’ll get there…

Meanwhile, here is perhaps the prize purchase of last year’s trip to Africa. It’s an Ethiopian shepherd’s hat. Yes, for a real shepherd, that’s a current real job in rural Ethiopia.

The hat appears to be woven like a basket, from rope of some sort. At the hotel gift shop where I bought this (in Gondar/Gonder, Northern Ethiopian historical area), they told me it was wool. I’m thinking that was the best word in translation, and perhaps it is really goat hair.

The fiber is incredibly coarse and incredibly scratchy. I can wear scratchy wools that others can’t touch, and this hat can stay on my head for a maximum of maybe 5 seconds before I need to take it off. Woohoo, they must wrap their heads underneath the hat when they wear these (which they really do, we saw them in action in some parts of our travels).

It is very densely woven. It would definitely keep off rain and sun. And isn’t the horsehair tuft a wonderful decoration?