Knitting a Kepi Style Hat

Almost nothing puts a twinkle in a man’s eye better than a new hat.

It’s winter now and tis the season for knitting and writing blog posts : ). I’ve been playing with hat ideas again and not! for political reasons. I’m interested in Civil War hats because I think they are cool. I bought a Buffalo Soldier hat at a souvenir shop in Branson, Missouri, back in the 90’s and wore it until it fell apart. That was a good hat. In 2017 I looked through the shops at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and although I saw lots of souvenir kepis, I didn’t see any that were decent. Lots of replica kepis today are the “One Size Fits All” type and that is neither authentic nor reliable. Hats in the good old days did not have cheap plastic adjustable straps in the back.

knit kepi

I let my grizzled beard grow awhile before I took another photo, so I would look more realistic.

So these days, unless you want to order hats from Poland or pay way too much for crafted hats that might or might not be any good, you learn to make hats. I like this one. It was my first attempt at a Kepi and I chose black and gray because I’m from Arkansas and every military person knows that when you fight, you fight not for politics, but for home. Otherwise most of the military today would be rebelling against Trump’s government. This hat didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted because the old Rebel caps were originally taller and then developed that unique forward-toppled “90 Mission Crush” that experienced soldiers value so highly. I’m developing a knitted kepi design that will approximate that but I’m not doing this to encourage secession from the Union. Well, not yet. If Trump should win again, I would take that concept seriously.

Just in a practical appraisal sort of way, I can say that as this hat turned out it is a very good, very practical hat. Good for fishing off the dam in the winter when you might still catch a carp. Part of it was easy to do, part of it was not and involved doing Kitchener stitching on three edges of the visor, plus some other stuff I won’t get into describing. If I wear this outfit shopping I’ll find myself in the articles about strange things you see at Walmart, but it’s a good hat.

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About JTHats

Avid backpacker and outdoorsman with old skills and interests in old ways of doing things; equally fascinated by electronics, from the days of Sputnik, to the Zilog Z80A, to the present day of black box circuitry. Sixty years of experience with growing my own food and living simply. Certified electronics technician, professional woodturner, woodcarver, and graduate of two military survival courses -- Arctic and Jungle.

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