Mushers’ hats

 

Last weekend’s M.U.S.H. (Mid-Union Sled Haulers) dog sled race at Clear Lake State Park, near Atlanta (Michigan), caught me unawares in the adventurous hat department. This musher wore a knitted hat with dog fur spun into the yarn. Siberian Huskie, I believe.  It works for the athletes doing all the pulling, so why not also for the musher?

These Samoyeds donated their hair to be spun and knitted into another warm hat:

Samoyeds go through a massive twice-yearly shed (they “blow hair”) and also basically keep up a steady supply of tufts that a dedicated dog hair spinner put to good use in this hat. Its owner told me that there’s nothing warmer. This hat looks like it’s felted and molded itself to its owner’s head. The Samoyed has longer guard hairs but it’s the shorter, softer undercoat that sheds seasonally.

This musher looked so perky in what might have been a synthetic fur, I thought I’d show off her hat for its inspirational value. It takes a confident woman to pull off this look. (And she does!)

Finally, there’s this gentleman. Yes, for me, at first there’s a strong gross-out factor. But that wears off. Mushers have very strong bonds to their dogs. Since this was an event celebrating dogs, I assumed this was one (and not a coyote, for example). And I’m imagining that this was likely a very special dog. Maybe a team leader. Maybe he had heroic moments somehow. Maybe he spent tons of hours by his master’s campfire. Or I suppose maybe his master just decided he’d make a nice hat. Waste not, want not. Anyway, here they are:

I thought the races would be interesting and they were (see my previous post). But I was surprised that the day also provided some knitting inspiration.

6 thoughts on “Mushers’ hats

  1. WOW!! Thanks for posting about the M.U.S.H.E.R. hats … I’ve always wondered about dog fur and, more specially, how about cat fur? My cats definitely produce enough fur for me to knit all of our winter essentials. If only….

  2. @Evelyn…knitting with cat hair. Hmm, unfortunately, I do that all the time…inadvertently. I’m always having to pick Hoover’s hair out of my knitting!

  3. So interesting. I’d read about knitting with dog fur, but how cool to see the mushers (I think right word?) wearing the hats. We had a Siberian Husky who sadly died last year. I would find a Timber hair here and there for a long time. I wish I’d taken enough from his blown coats to make a hat to remember. Now that last hat – I can understand but I am still thinking about that one. It disturbs me a little, but not in a bad judgemental way, but in a I just never thought about doing this before! Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. @Christina…Howdy…hope you are well. I agree that the last hat is disturbing in many ways. I wasn’t even sure about posting the photo. As for the other mushers’ hats…way cool, including those knitted with handspun.

  5. I bet those all are incredibly warm hats, especially the fur ones 🙂 The last one is creepy though…but –to each his own I guess 😉

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