Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Historical Knit

This week I finally finished up a new knit!! I knit a Voyageur hat for a friend of mine. This hat has a French-Canadian history. I had no idea what I was getting into, but it seemed easy enough and it was a chance to learn a little history.

For this particular knit I learned a great deal about hearty life of a voyageur. These men were part of the fur trade in Canada. Their first leg of the route was from Montreal, up the Ottawa River and across to Georgian Bay. This required thirty-six portages, ranging from a few hundred yards to several miles. Most voyageurs preferred to avoid portaging and chose to run rapids if at all possible. Amazing, makes my past canoe trips seem so wimpy.

This hat was traditionally made in red wool (or they wore fur caps) and looks like a long Santa hat. In my pursuit of some yarn worthy of this particular knit, I found a wonderful heather red from cascade 220. A heather look to the yarn keeps the red from being to bright. It also gives the hat a more authentic look. In those days the yarns would still have some of the natural fibers shinning through the dyes. Here is my work in progress with a picture of the yarn.

I have to admit that I really enjoyed knitting this hat. It was a great experience to try to recreate something from history. This piece served to keep some very hardy men warm while they lived a most dangerous and adventurous life. Now you can take tours that follow the Voyageurs travels. For those of us in the States, the Boundary Waters would be one of the best routes to try.

Here is the final product!!

Now I am off to put this in the mail and hope that my friend enjoys his hat and that it keeps him warm for a long time to come!!!



Rebecca Burch said...

How neat! :)

Stormy Designs said...

Great read. I'm sure your friend will love the hat :-) Thanks for participating!

Joey & Aleethea said...

That's really interesting stuff - and cute hat!