Cape Carnival, or also called "Tweede Nuwe Jaar" (2nd New Year) is a day that is unique to Cape Town and stems from practices associated with the slavery. In the mid- nineteenth century, the Cape slaves were given a day off from their duties on 2 January every year. During this alternate New Year celebration, the slaves would dress up as minstrels and dance rhythmically to the sounds of banjos, guitars, ghoema drums, whistles, trombones and tubas. Cape Carnival is a celebration of a community's survival. It illustrates the continuity between its past, present and future. It is a day when the local working class community which survived slavery, segregation and Apartheid celebrates its existence and perseverance.

The braid stitches are a symbol of the minstrels who march to the Greenpoint stadium for the competition.

The hat is worked bottom up with an elastic cast-on. It's is worked in garter stitch and in rounds. Shortly before the crown is closed, the braid stitches are worked.
The pattern is made for highly variegated yarn. Since the plait stitch is produced by means of falling down stitches, I recommend a smooth yarn that does not get caught so easily.

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Cowgirlblues Merino DK (100% Wool superwash; 170 m / 186 yards per 100 g)
For short version:
• 1 [1, 2] skein in Cape Carnival

For slouchy version:
• 1 [1-2, 2] skeins in Cape Carnival

100 g / 170 m / 186 yards used for the sample size M, slouchy

Cape Carnival is a collaboration with Cowgirlblues.

The yarn is available through Neustadtgass13.

4.0 mm / US #6 circular needle (80 cm / 32” in length) or DPNs
4.5 mm / US #7 circular needle (80 cm / 32” in length) or DPNs, or size to obtain gauge

20 sts x 42 rows = 10 cm / 4” in garter stitch after blocking, with thicker needles


  • tapestry needle
  • 9 stitch markers
  • crochet hook size 5.0 mm / US #8
  • 3 pieces of smooth waste yarn (each around 30 cm / 12” long)


How to work the German twisted cast-on

knit and purl, increases and decreases, special techniques are explained (by video)

The pattern comes in written instructions.

head circumference:
S [M, L] / 51 [56, 61] cm / 20 [22, 24]”

height: 18.5-22.5 [21-25, 23.5-27.5] cm / 7.25-8.75 [8.25-10, 9.25-10.75]” tall from CO to top
circumference: 44 [48, 52] cm / 17.25 [19, 20.5]” unstretched

Shown in size M on a 57 cm / 22.5” circumference head.

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