Knitting Native Colombian Mochilas



Welcome to the "Knitting Native Colombian Mochilas" 5-week craft course! In this course, we will explore the beautiful and intricate art of knitting traditional Cogui Colombian mochilas. We will cover the basics of knitting a basic design, as well as the unique techniques and cultural significance behind this beautiful and functional piece of art. As this is a long craft, the course will provide you with all the steps in a mini mochila knitting, which will enable you to learn the process and scale it later.

Week 1: Starting Point and Base

In the first week, we will focus on the starting point and base of the mochila. We will cover the basics of knitting, including how to cast on and create a basic stitch. We will also explore the traditional patterns and colors used in mochila designs and learn how to incorporate them into our knitting. Additionally, we will discuss the significance of the starting point as a symbol of new beginnings

Week 2: Body and Closure

In the second week, we will continue working on the body of the mochila, as well as the closure. We will learn how to increase and decrease stitches, and how to create the unique patterns and shapes used in mochila designs. We will also explore different types of closures, including "El alma," which represents the soul, and learn about its symbolism and ritual significance in Colombian culture. By the end of this session, students will have completed the body of their mochila and begun working on the closure.

Week 3: Handle and Handle Fit

In the third week, we will focus on the handle of the mochila and how to create a perfect fit. We will explore the unique tapestry technique used in the "Gaza" handle, in which the frame and loom is the human body, and learn how to attach the handle securely to the body of the mochila. We will also discuss how the handle represents the connection between the wearer and the mochila. By the end of this session, students will have completed the handle of their mochila and attached it to the body.

Week 4: Symbolism of the Knitting Activity and Mochila Parts

In the fourth week, we will dive deeper into the cultural and symbolic significance of both the knitting activity and the mochila parts. We will explore the history of mochilas and their importance in Colombian culture, as well as the symbolism behind the patterns and colors used in their designs. We will also discuss the meditative and therapeutic benefits of knitting and how it can help us connect with our creativity and culture. Additionally, we will examine the spiritual and ritual significance of each mochila part and how it connects to the human life experience. By the end of this session, students will have a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of the mochila and the knitting activity for the Arhuaco people.

Week 5: Materials and Finishing Touches

In the final week, we will focus on the other materials used in mochila-making and how to add personal touches to our creations. We will discuss the different types of yarn and fibers used in traditional mochilas and how to select the right materials for our own projects. By the end of this session, students will have completed their mochila.

Overall, this course will provide students with a deep understanding of the art and culture behind knitting traditional Colombian mochilas. Students will learn the basics of knitting, as well as the unique techniques and symbolism used in mochila designs. By the end of the course, students will have created their own beautiful and functional mochila, as well as gained a deeper appreciation for the cultural significance of this art form.


Each registered student will receive all the materials necessary to create the mini Colombian Mochila during the 5 week course. 


Katherine Harper Hall Room 212. Take elevator or stairs to top floor, then turn right. 212 is  the first room on your right.

After 5:00 parking is free in the open lots. The buidling is opposite the Steam Plant and next to the John Thomas building and Rivers Street Parking Deck.


Course schedule subject to change for in-person offerings.

***All in person course registration is limited to maintain proper social distancing. All participants will be required to follow Appalachian State's "Return to Campus" protocols. In the event that Appalachian State University classes move fully online, all in person Craft Enrichment courses will be cancelled and participants will be provided a prorated refund. 

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Tuesday, May 30, 2023 to Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:00pm
Delivery Method: 
In Person
Katherine Harper Hall 212

Registration Information

PLEASE NOTE: Most classes meet over multiple weeks. Registration for each class is open until the class fills or until 2 days before the class begins, whichever comes first. If you miss the registration for this session we hope you will consider taking this class the next time it is offered. Please contact Kyndall Bennett at to be added to the mailing list if you would like to be notified when new classes are offered.

If you experience problems completing the registration, contact Kyndall Bennett at 828-262-2744 or email

If you need accommodations due to a disability, contact the Office of Disability Services at least two weeks prior to the beginning of your Craft Enrichment class. (828) 262-3056

Cancellation Policy: You may cancel a craft class up to two weeks before the class begins, with a $30 cancellation fee assessed. No refunds are allowed within two weeks of the start date, nor after the class begins.

Copyright © 2003 Michael R. Patricelli Craft Enrichment Program