Malacatl hat & cowl

I’ve been a little absent lately, distracted by preparations for traveling to a family wedding. (It was a great time, by the way. A personalized wedding, but not pretentious. Very moving and happy all at once!)

I have some thoughts in mind for future posts, but the agenda for today includes two patterns that I’ve released for sale on Ravelry:

malacatl cover

Malacatl hat & cowl, inspired by a Mesoamerican spindle whorl. The hat pattern is US$5; the cowl is US$3. If you buy the set, it’s US$7.

People have made many beautiful ceramic spindle whorls over the millenia. Once, somewhere between the 9th and 15th centuries AD, a potter in Mesoamerican Mexico made a particular one with a motif like a flower, and I expect it was used with pleasure. This ceramic disk would most likely have been used as a low whorl. Centuries later, someone bought it and gave it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Later, the museum put a picture up on their website. When I saw it, the design struck me and kept coming back to mind. Once, I woke in the middle of the night and realized that it reminded me of a tam. The idea of wearing a hat made to resemble a tool used for making yarn felt satisfying, just as spinning and knitting yarn using methods known to many generations of skilled hands feels satisfying.

Take the flower petals from the Malacatl hat and set them on a straight line; this makes the colorwork pattern for this buttoned neck warmer. Buttons help the cowl fit snugly, so it is worked in the round and then steeked.

Malacatl is a Nahuatl word meaning spindle. I do not know if it was the word used by the people who made the original spindle.

You can purchase the patterns on Ravelry (where you can also find more information about the patterns): cowl, hat. Login not required.


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