Just finished, and modelled here by Mlle. D., is a little hat for new baby Zafar.  As Zafar’s name is Arabic, I thought it would be appropriate to incorporate the word baraka (blessing) into the hat.  I have been wanting to do this ever since I saw it charted in Richard Rutt’s A History of Hand Knitting.  The original source of the chart is a 13th century Spanish knitted cushion cover from the tomb of Fernando de la Cerda (knitted at a much finer gauge than mine).  I also incorporated a small animal motif from a similar cushion from the tomb of the Princess Mafalda.



I love this book so much.  I first borrowed it from the Darwin library when I was getting back into knitting just over 10 years ago, and loved how it ennobled the craft with a rich history.  It includes many charts for historic textiles, a source of great inspiration.  After fruitlessly searching for the out-of-print edition, I was thrilled when Interweave re-issued it.  Unfortunately Interweave’s edition doesn’t seem to include the colour plates of the original, even though these are still referred to in the text.

Zafar’s hat is knitted from this basic pattern by Laurie Kynaston, the one I have been using for all my baby hats.  Thanks Laurie for generously sharing this versatile pattern for free.  (Ravelry page for my hat here).

Welcome and blessings to little Zafar, stay warm!