” Dicey ” is a simple and fairly traditional Scottish style bonnet. It has a checked, or ‘diced’ band as it is called.  It has come to me in a sort of time capsule of  childhood memories of Peter Rabbit . . .

Benjamen Bunny Tam
as well as my present-day intrigue of a name by “Tam O’ Shanter” . . .

In a poem by Robert Burns  ‘Tam O’ Shanter’ tells a story of a farmer named Tam,  who  gets drunk with his friends in a public house and then rides home on his horse Meg, enduring a night of terror and misfortune. (click to go to resource)

The Scottish forename “Tam” (for Tom) followed by “mishanter” (misfortune, ill-luck, the devil) =  Tam of shanter .   Coincidental how the name for the style of Scottish bonnet which Tam wears is what we think today of the voluminous hat with a pom pom on top of it.  Its evident that the hat called a ‘tam’ came from Robert Burns’ character.

Oh, and check out this old tobacco label ! The dicing on the band is rather vaguely penned . . .

Tam O Shanter Pipe Tobacco - 1932

Actually, as far back as 1500’s the bonnet was a popular thing to wear throughout Europe, and the diced or checked band is a motif I find very timeless and yet fashionably dynamic !

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Dicey is knitted with Virtual Yarns Hebridean 2ply  shown here in colors “Selkie, Red Deer, and Sun Dew” (with a few rounds of Jamieson’s Spindrift black).


A small semi-felted pom pom, or “toorie” which sits on top, makes Dicey just a little bit whimsical, with real ‘sassitude’ .

jenjoycedesign©Dicey-sassitude (2)

Dicey has a sort of horizontally ‘incorporated’ cord stitch ( i-cord) bordering the diced motif either side . . .


Dicey has a built in ‘cord’ stitch knitted right into the fold on the band, lined with more rounds of knitting, then the turned hem is knit into the fabric with no stitching afterward, very  neat and tidy !


Dicey is very much the traditionally inspired bonnet I wanted it to be.


Dicey has been undergoing many designerly changes since its beginning in this post .  I feel I’ve finally arrived with the right motifs, the right techniques, the right yarn, the right gauge, the right shape  (with much feedback, knitting, and knitting over from Carol  I thank you !).  I am very pleased it is finished, and the pattern soon available !

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jenjoycedesign©Dicey-Bonnet - Copy


21 thoughts on “Dicey

  1. This is just right and I love it! I will start another as soon as the pattern is ready. I love the special construction features that you created for this dear bonnet. I had so much fun working on this project, I felt very privileged.

    • Well, you and I just think alike Carol, as what pleases me seems to please you as well ! Thank you so much for your test knitting the prototype ! xxx

  2. Well! I thought the last one was ‘awfy braw’ (awfully beautiful) but this is a different class. The i-cord (I love i-cord) incorporated within the body of work is very appealing. And I am also a sucker when it comes to a turned in hem. I particularly like the yarn used for the main part of the ‘bunnet’. It is a subtle shade with so much colour and depth within it. Great choice.

    And you look great wearing it. (I look like an idiot wearing anything like that).

    Nice work, Jen.

    • Oh Lizzi , I learned a new Scots word !!! THank you!
      The cord edging makes me a little uncertain, as I’m not sure folk already do this by another technical name, so I just call it ‘incorporated cord stitch’, hoping that won’t cause a problem. I’ve rather fallen in love with the stockinette front & faced band , and there’ll be more of the same on its way soon. Oh, and I figure if I hide myself in my hair, which I like to do, being very camera shy… I can’t chance looking too bad at least. 😉 xx

  3. Love love it. I like a nice good and broad tam. I like to take the excess and pull it to the front as a brim to shade my eyes from the sun on sunny days, pull the whole thing down low over my ears in the wind. A real tam has all this excess fabric to do so much with, but you’re also has style, panache. Love the incorporated cording for hem turns too!

    • Me too, love the traditional things in life and intend to revive the traditional aspect of ‘ Tam O’ Shanter’. I believe what you say, about the excess rim of the Tam O’ Shanter / tam/ bonnet evolving to shade the eyes! Thank you Morrie for your education and praise. xx

  4. I love it! The colors, the style, and the name! Its a gorgeous bonnet. I never know what to call things, so glad you have a name for it. Its much more my level of knitting than the sweater, I might have to knit the bonnet first. Or… Its so hard to decide! I love your style, though, and want to knit something! As soon as I can……hopefully sooner rather than later………….:) Seems I spend every weekend resting up from work, and then during the week its work work work! xx

    • Martha I understand your predicament. I found that if I started a project on the weekend I could pick it up even when tired during the week and make a little headway on it. Somehow the setting up and starting of a project takes an alert mind! However, I could work on gauge swatches on the week night which then made starting on the weekend easier!

  5. Love the Tam! Love the colours!

    The bonnet is indeed named for the character Tam O’Shanter in Burns’s poem, but his name means Tam of Shanter, not Tam Mishanter.

    ‘Shanter’ is Shanter Farm just south of Maidens in Ayrshire and some dozen “lang Scots miles” from the Auld Kirk of Alloway where Tam sees the dancing ghosts and ghouls. It’s where Tam lives.

    In Burns’s time folk were often referred to using where they came from rather than their formal family surname.

    Ayrshire Lad

    • Thank you very much Ayshire Lad! I think that is fascinating how these stories are told and the facts stray… will have to edit the post ~~ 🙂

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