More Morocco

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.

WARP tour group overlooking Fes while learning about Morocco from Ismail.

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.

Sherqi Said showing me how to do a yarn over. Part of my blue and purple tapestry crocheted camera case is on the ground in front of him.

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.

Patriotic acrylic hats designed for tourists by Sherqi Said of Fes.

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.

While holding the piece with his left hand, he inserts the hook into the back loop of the stitch below, then does the yarn over across the front of the hook with his right hand, then pulls the loop through both loops on the hook, producing a slip stitch.

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!

5 Responses to “More Morocco”

  1. Jill says:

    I just came across your site and and was instantly drawn in by this post. I am an avid crocheter and have never seen hats quite like these. They are beautifully made!

  2. […] tapestry hats – these are COOL! […]

  3. vashti braha says:

    Hi Carol, I love this post! I found it via Jennie Gaskin, who mentioned it in the Crochet Partners Yahoo group.
    The crochet hook Sherqi is using looks a lot like the kind of hook used for traditional slip stitch crochet!

  4. He’s doing slip stitches – but with more than one color – switching when needed. My next post is about another wonderful and talented crocheter I met in Essaouira, Morocco, on the same trip.

  5. […] then began another style hat with┬áchunky cotton yarn. Like the Fes crocheter that I met earlier on the trip, he held the piece with his left hand, inserted the hook with his […]

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