This summer we took a bucket-list trip to Kenya for a photo safari. It was a trip my mother-in-law had been anxious to take us on as soon as the boys were old enough for the adventure. We enjoyed spending the days searching for the animals, hoping to see a lion take down a gazelle, and just watching a giant herd of elephants be elephants.
One morning we visited the local Maasai tribe who live as they have for generations as ranchers in mud huts. They welcome visitors to their home to learn about their customs and to buy items they make. One of the signature items they make are beaded jewelry. Throughout Kenya you’ll see natives and tourists wearing these beaded bracelets and necklaces.
I was wearing the bracelets I bought and as I looked at the pattern I saw a knitting design. The beads easily represented a stitch and I was seeing knitwear designs with these patterns in my mind. When I searched Ravelry, I was surprised that we don’t have more patterns inspired by these beaded designs or many African style patterns. It gets cold enough in the winter to wear a knit cap in Kenya, so why not bring some Kenyan style to knitwear. I’ve started with this simple hat pattern. It uses fair isle techniques, but the style of the Maasai bracelets.
This pattern is a great stash buster to use up small bits of yarn for a unique design.
This hat is my first go at pattern design. Proceeds from the pattern will go to the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust which provides many services to protect the land, the animals, and the people of the area.
You can buy it on Ravelry. Can’t wait to see your color combos!