Our newest knitting pattern is perfect for blustery days in the depths of winter. The brushed-wool Cobertor Cap is inspired by the weather-proof warmth of Portuguese Cobertor de Papa blankets. These traditional, utilitarian blankets have been used for centuries by transhumance shepherds in the Serra da Estrela mountains. You can read more about transhumance shepherding here.
Cobertor (Portuguese for blanket) yarn from Retrosaria is used in the weaving of these traditional brushed shepherd’s blankets. Rosa Pomar of Retrosaria shares, ‘‘Spun from the fleece of native long-wool sheep breeds, papa blankets have a distinctive faux-fur look, obtained through fulling and teaseling. The dense nap creates an exceptionally warm blanket. This same look and feel is achieved on knitted garments made with Cobertor yarn by gently teaseling them with a flick carder or a dog slicker.’’
During a visit to Portugal, we were able to experience these amazing traditional blankets and their unparalleled warmth. This unique yarn supports the local shepherds, heirloom Portuguese sheep breeds, and cottage industry of Portugal.
A solid hat can be made from a single skein of Cobertor, but we love to mix and match a few colors for a striped style inspired by the Cobertor de Papa blankets.
The Cobertor Cap is a fun, quick project to try your hand at brushing, or teaseling, a knitted project.
If you make a striped hat, find a few friends to share your skeins between—you can get 3-4 hats out of 3 skeins of Cobertor!