What could be more essentially Canadian than a good old fashioned winter tuque?
Tuque is a French-Canadian word, likely derived from the Spanish word 'toca', which referred to a woman's headdress. The most direct precursor to the tuque is probably the Monmouth cap - woolen headgear associated with the town of Monmouth in southeast Wales, worn by sailors and soldiers and widely exported due to its popularity.
There's also a likely connection with the word 'toque' (a french name for hats worn by chefs) or 'tophue' (a Norwegian name for brimless winter caps with Viking origins).
The exact origins (and therefore exact history) is hard to pin down, but tuques have unquestionably become a symbol of modern Canadian culture as well as practical outdoor wear that keeps our ears from freezing off in the winter. They are a simple, reliable, fashionable and inexpensive garment worn by nearly everyone in the country at certain times of the year.
They are also notorious for getting lost!
Tuques are a great little project that everyone will always appreciate can help people feel connected. You probably don't need to start one this early out from winter, but it is definitely something to have on the backburner to have an an accompaniment while you work away at a more complex winter garment.