I’ve been wanting to go to Morocco for some time now, especially since Bronwyn introduced me to the interesting tapestry crochet hats made and worn there. Fortunately, my husband and I were able to join Susan Schaefer Davis during “WARP does Morocco” and Noble Journeys added an extension so that we could also go to Essaouira, the town where Bronwyn saw a hat being crocheted. A future blog will feature our wonderful adventure in that seaside town.
Anyway – on the first morning of the tour, our accommodating and very well informed multilingual guide, Ismail Bourqqadi, brought us to a fortress that overlooks Fes to give us an idea of the city’s expanse and beauty. We were really lucky to have the best guide in Morocco! During the week that Ismail shepherded us to and through numerous interesting cities and towns, he taught us about Moroccan history, culture, politics, and religion. He also made sure that we learned a little bit of Moroccan Arabic.
As we walked around the corner to get another view of the city, we found a gentleman busily tapestry crocheting hats for tourists. I’m not sure who was more excited – him or me! He was more than happy to show me his slip stitch technique and I was more than happy to buy several of his hats. I also purchased the piece he had just started and one of his cast metal crochet hooks.
Like many Moroccans, Sherqi wore a patriotic baseball cap, but the hats he designed and crocheted with double strands of brightly colored acrylic yarn featured the national colors and symbols or names of several countries. Some of them included filet work and other crochet stitches, but most were constructed with slip stitches worked into the back loop.
Sherqi’s working method was quite different from mine. His left hand held the work and after inserting the hook under the back loop with his right hand, he let go of the hook and yarned over with his right hand like a knitter, then grabbed the hook again with his right hand and pulled the yarn through both loops.
Hopefully, you’ll make it to Morocco someday soon! Ismail explained that Sherqi is not always at Borj Sud – especially during bad weather – but luck was with us that warm, sunny day – and maybe it will be with you, too!