Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A New Knitting Project

Here's a new knitting project I completed this afternoon. In case you can't tell, it's a hat, but not just any old hat, this is a Tam O Shanter.
Amazingly enough, in the 40+ years I've been knitting, I've never made a Tam O Shanter. But I found this really cool pattern for Three Tams at Knitting Pattern Central. The patterns were designed by the very talented Angela Wu (see her blog here).

So I know you're looking at this picture and wondering, "how in the heck is she going to get that goofy looking thing turned into a tam?" And here's where the real magic comes in. After washing and squishing all the excess moisture out of the hat, you just stretch it over a dinner plate.

It's easy to center the plate correctly and evenly with this pattern. Isn't the top shaping beautiful?

Here's what the bottom side looks like. I love how this turned out and the really neat thing is that the contrasting colored yarn (Noro Kureyon) changes colors all by itself within the skein. Once the hat has dried, I just take out the dinner plate and it's ready to wear or more likely be given away as a gift.
I still have some of the contrasting yarn left and there should be just enough to make another tam using one of Angela's other designs. The next one will have a dark charcoal background, and I'll post photos once I get that finished too.


Lynne said...

That's just beautiful Ruthie!
But I really like MY Ruthie hat.
I found a beginners knitting class in Maple Grove that I'm signing up for starting in January.

Mama Pea said...

Wow, Ruthie! The decreases on the top of this tam form a beautiful pattern. It accents so well the colored knit pattern. And who knew you needed a dinner plate to knit a tam?!

Shellmo said...

I love the pattern! I'm so upset at my mother right now for not teaching me how to knit! I'm going to call her right now... LOL!

Kallen305 said...

I Love it! I have a thing for hand knitted items, especially hats. My neigbor has a niece that knits and she has given me a ton of hats and sweaters that I treasure. It gives me some joy in winter because I can wear them.

I tried knitting once but I was a disaster at it.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is very pretty and I think it looks soft and warm.

Debbie said...

Ruthie, that is amazing...you didn't have to change colors? I always have such a hard time with color changes.

Really great!

Anonymous said...

So that's how you make a tam, it's so cool. What would it look like if you wore it just the way you made it? Dinner plate and knitted hat what a combination. It is a very attractive pattern and the colors are so vibrant.


Maud said...

What a neat job! The symmetry of the top is beautiful. And amazing how the quite ordinary looking hat transforms into a tam by blocking.

Undomestic said...

wow it's beautiful!

Jayne said...

That is so pretty Ruthie! You are one talented Nature Knitter!!

She sure is strange! said...

Absolutely gorgeous!!! I wish I were a better knitter!

Love the wildlife pics you've been posting, especially the possums!


troutbirder said...

It is just gorgeous and I'll bet nice and warm for our Minnesota winters!

Knitnerd said...

You tam is really beautiful!

Heather said...

What a beautiful Tam, Ruthie. I used to knit, but gave it up years ago for various reasons. Between you and one of the ladies I work with who knits (who just made her husband a pair of knee-high socks), I almost want to take it up again. But where would I find the time. Anyway, I really enjoy looking at your knit items.

RuthieJ said...

Yea Lynne! I hope you enjoy knitting as much as I do.

Hi Mama Pea,
I borrowed the book "Knitted Tams" from the library a few weeks ago and just couldn't make heads or tails of it. Now that I've actually knitted one and know how the shaping goes, I'm ready to try one of the more complicated Fair Isle patterns in that book again.

Hi Shelley,
Winter is a good time to start knitting lessons and Interweave Knits also has a knitting series on PBS this year. You can order the DVD of the series at this link: http://www.interweave.com/knit/dvds/knitting-daily-tv-200/default.asp (or check with your local library!)

Hi Kallen305,
I have lots of stuff that I've knitted for myself over the years too--it's a good thing we get really cold winters here! Now my closets are full and most of what I knit is given away also.

Thanks Lisa. It feels very soft too and I can hardly wait for it to finish drying to try it on and see how it looks.

That's right Debbie--no color changes and only 4 ends to weave in (2 at the beginning and 2 at the end). That's my kind of color knitting too!

Thanks Mom. I don't think the hat would look very good as it is in the first picture (unless you had a really huge melon or an afro hairdo)

Thanks Maud. I love the way the top decreases made that nice star shape too.

Thanks Cari!

Thanks Jayne. I love a new knitting challenge--especially when it turns out this good.

Keep practicing Molly. If there's a beginner's two-colored knitting class in your area, and you're interested in trying it, that's the way to go. I was a very poor 2-colored knitter until I took a class at my local yarn shop and learned the technique from experts. With a little practice it became much easier (and quite addictive, as you can see)

Thanks Troutbirder. Will you get over to "Christmas Trees & More" at the Fillmore County History Center in Fountain this year? I have some hand-knitted hats on their silent auction that you might enjoy seeing (maybe a good gift idea for your bride!)

Thanks Angela for creating such well-written and beautiful patterns!

Hi Heather,
I don't have much time either (between my full-time job, blogging, cooking, housework, etc.), but that's why smaller projects are so great--even if you don't have much time, you can finish a hat in less than a week just knitting an hour or two each night. And because I'm a knitting addict, I need to get that "fix" every day!

Dana and Daisy said...


Mary said...

YOU are talented. I'll purchase some needles and yard and bring them to WVA. You show me what I have forgotten!

Mel said...

Beautiful Ruthie!
You are sooo talented!!

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Dana.

Hi Mary,
Needle Clacker is looking forward to the knitting lesson challenge!

Thanks Mel--it's warm too!

Meggie said...

Great looking hat, Ruthie! Love all the different stitching/patterns with different colors....quite cool!

Red said...

That's very beautiful! Great colors and cute pattern :)