While I was in Alaska last fall, inspired by their flag which had the Big Dipper constellation and Polaris, the North Star, on it, I had the idea of making a tuque with the same constellation and more. Namely, I was going to illustrate one of the more popular astronomical navigation descriptives that involved not only the Big Dipper, but also the Little Dipper. I was going to do this on a tuque because it’s generally spherical, like the night sky. There was no more perfect a garment canvas than a tuque!

From the picture at left, you can see the Big Dipper like in the Alaskan flag above. The second star from the handle tip has a mini-star very nearby in terms of visual placement, not actual spatial orientation. That’s what the button is for. Now, from the bottom of the outside of the pan in the Big Dipper constellation, if you trace upward to the furthest tip of the pan in the constellation, you would generally hit the North Star. Now, in my flattened hat, it doesn’t look like that. However, once turned into a globular shape as it would be when worn on my head, you would it the larger and silver star representing Polaris.

Turn the hat the other way, or seen from the opposite side, is the Little Dipper that has its handle tip starting from the North Star as shown in the picture at right. Being less prominent of the two constellations, and just to differentiate, I used round yellow buttons rather than the star buttons of the Big Dipper on the other side.

Now, what do I do with the other 43 star buttons I have in having ordered 50 as it was cheaper than getting someone else to order me less than a ten of those buttons? Probably more constellation tuques. Just which constellations is the only question I have to answer before next winter. 🙂

I LOVE this tuque despite some other pretty cool ones I’ve designed and sewn for myself. I have had a chance to wear it only a few times since it’s only been a few weeks since I’ve had it sewn, but it’s been fun and it has been the subject of a few astronomy lessons! 🙂


GOLD Rating

Do you have any idea how hard it is to map out a flat image that is from a spherical image, back on to a spherical surface, roughly accurately? This turned out well, as did all the other aspects of the sewing. Those buttons are sewn only to the outside of the two layers of this one fabric piece tuque! There was a small origami or topological challenge in that!

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