I have knit another test tam of my Tartan & Tweed series, to get the numbers straight, the shape solid, and to see how well it scales into Shetland fingering weight. May I say most excellently! Tam pattern debut forthcoming, but I will not say much more, for next is the pattern writing (nerve wrecking & stressful) but as I was so excited to finish the design in Shetland Spindrift, I just had to show it off to feel a little nearer the end. Having a cup of tea and a relaxing feeling of accomplishment, and very pleased to see this tam in Jamiesons Spindrift !
I have finally settled on a second shape for my Dicey pattern, the lesser voluminous beret.
A smart rascally sort of cap, with a perky attitude.
It is a lot less hat, both in diameter and height, than the original Dicey Highland Bonnet .
Done & dusted , and the Dicey Highland Bonnet pattern is now updated to include the Highland Beret.
Two shape options in one pattern, and two flourishes to choose from (the toorie or the i-cord loop)
Now available~~~ Dicey Bonnet & Beret !
Frankly , I am so happyt to get this beret design outa my hair ,
and have you knitters out there knitting it ! 🙂
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Details of this project can be found on Ravelry HERE.
I’ve been busy making some shaping improvements to my Dicey Highlands Bonnet design. Here knit with Jamiesons Of Shetland Spindrift 2ply wool yarn, with my new favorite diced band style using three colors. I think this particular one is more a man’s cap, and there is a particular Scottish fellow who may just have his name on it come Christmas. About the design elements. I’ve come to the opinion that it should be blocked flat , with the diced band brim eased into flatness as well , instead of blocking it with faced-band standing up . . .
strong & good mannered too . . .
I am smitten already with this handsome creature . . .
My Dicey pattern is already a year old, and now I am only just now studying it’s many facets while trying out all kinds of yarns and test-knitting, for I honestly feel that the design is so deserving of every attention. This pattern will be having extensive test-knit samples knit up by myself and some friends, and is undergoing an update soon.
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Details on Ravelry HERE
Walking along the old mountain vineyards close by, I found inspiration for a design which I have named “Vineyard Rows”. A California Highlands Bonnet if there is to be one ! I chose four natural shades of Jamiesons Of Shetland Spindrift yarn, because I happen to love this black & white photo of the historic vineyard landscape I took a year ago. Near the highest vineyard knoll on the mountain perhaps, rows against an Autumn sky, leaves blowing off of the vines as a storm was brewing… it was a walk to remember ! So I came up with this . . .
Vines of grape leaves wind about the wheel, in borders and peeries, along with interruptions of bold checked dicing. To me this tam brings together California Wine Country with Scottish Highlands. Embroidered grape clusters adorn the rambling vines with French knots in wine tones, creating a spectacular and colorful needlework finish I think!
And on *moi*… straight up !
I really went wild with the notion of the toorie and decided that a tam must have accessory options ! Why not an accessory for the accessory ~~ why not tie one on for the mood you’re in ? Basic black, wine red, & marled toories !!!
But before I embroidered the grape clusters into the vines,
I took the hat Au Natural out into the woods…
Against the moss . . .
And lastly, against a blush of colorful Autumn leaves, showing how the tam’s outer most rim is traditionally useful in shading from the sun.
Well there you have it, my latest design of a tam named “Vineyard Rows”. I have created this tam for all the lovely walks I’ve enjoyed in the beautiful aesthetic of these old vines ~~ this tam is in tribute to them.
And folks …
Vineyard Rows pattern may be found here .
((as well as details on Ravelry here ))
Been knitting in a heat wave for a couple of weeks, thirsting for that which best expresses my summer blues, and so I’ve produced the latest . . . I call it simply ” Azure “. It is a perky beret shape that is less voluminous than the recent one’s I’ve been knitting up, narrower and vaguely muffin-shaped as are some of the Old World Scottish bonnets I’ve seen. Uh huh… (more photos upcoming).
But what I love most about this beret is the color-work in the band while the crown is a single complimenting color, don’t you? I tell you, in this particular knitted beret, it is all about the subtle Fair Isle motif that one can barely see, from the two shades of blue, one angle the motifs pop out, another they disappear into each other. Can you see the design in there? I have more photos where it stands out better, in different light, but will save them for Azure’s pattern debut, second in the series, which will be happening very soon !
With Dicey and Azure, I have learned how to make a lined band, concentric decreases, experimented with several shapes of varying lengths, and practicing my ‘new stitch’ , while also focusing the design into the band alone, in a Guarda Pampa sort of affect. Oh, and I’ve also been toying with the adorable thing which is a toorie !
Azure & Dicey are knitted from Virtual Yarns Hebridean 2ply , a yarn with which I am totally smitten, but which substitutes excellently with renowned Shetland wool yarns of Jamieson & Smith, and Jamiesons of Shetland for those who prefer them. Coming up soon is the pattern for Azure, yeah sure, but maybe I’ll round-up the tam-o-shanter inspired series for an e-book sort of thing. Everybody is doing e-books, why not run with the herd ??? I’ll be hunkered down with the last one in the days ahead. More wool bonnets mean still more wool bonnet knitting in the heat of Northern California summer ! Have I gone insane?
Well, there you have it, the blue has taken hold of me. This is the fifth post in a row about blue …. and I have not even done this consciously ! Fortunately, as of this morning, there has been a significant drop on the thermometer, and I’m writing this while overlooking dense fog in the valley and 56 degrees Fahrenheit. Going to cast-on this very minute for another !
” 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 . . .
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 . . .
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’ .
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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This is a Balmoral style bonnet style, nothing really unique about it. In fact, it’s not quite there, this is a design in progress. Though by knitting it, I’ve experimented with shaping, improvised and learned how to ‘line’ a band seamlessly by doing a provisional cast-on, improvised a horizontally ‘travelling’ i-cord (I honestly don’t know what to call it)…. and learned concentric decreases!!! Oh what fun it’s been figuring all these things out.
I made a fast & flimsy toorie (pom pom) and popped it on it just for the photos. Overall, I’m wondering if the rim is a little too wide, and thinking it’s definitely a little on the floppy side (okay, a lot)… having done a deal of straying from a ‘written’ tam shaping. But, with this experiment I am striving for the classic Balmoral bonnet – slash – Tam O’ Shanter shape.
What do you think?
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Details about project on Ravelry HERE
I am very proud to finally show you the tam I made !!! It goes in a set with my Really Red Cardigan. I had knit the tam before the holiday gift-knitting crunch set in, then put it aside to be photographed after the new year. New year … check. Photographed…. check.
I am over the moon about having this particular cardigan & tam ensemble finished because only a couple of months ago ~ after having hibernated well over a year~ the cardigan was doomed to die a tragic death of getting unraveled out of existence ! After much persuasion from a friend, I committed & cut the steek, finished the cardigan, then surprisingly soon after, decided to knit up this tam to go with! Maybe it was meant to have waited until now, as the rains of the season has made the moss so verdant ~~~ and just look at how well the moss sings praise to the red wool !
I improvised the cardigan yoke motifs into a simple 8-point tam, and being that it’s sport weight yarn and not fingering, it’s a slight bit larger and floppier in contrast to the ones I’ve knit up with finer gauge yarn. I think it’s ‘ Tam O’ Shanter-esque ‘ personality, with wider brim, is actually a look I really am drawn towards. Very old-world Scottish in my thinking.
If you look closely , you can see the same moss stitch rib with vikkel braid edging on the tam that the cardigan has got . . .
. . . as well as an applied cord edging (to snug up the band), raised double decreases , and a beret loop flourish. I am pleased with its wider-brimmed shape and I feel it is pretty darned smart!
A birds-eye view of the wheel . . .
. . .well, because garnet is my birth-stone .
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Details found on Ravelry here.
. . . This truth fand honest Tam o’ Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,
Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses
For honest men and bonnie lasses. . . .
(excerpt from Robert Burns Poem ” Tam O’ Shanter “)
The ” Tam o’ Shanter ” is a name given for the traditional Scottish bonnet which was born from a character in poet Robert Burns’ imagination, and comes to life in his epic poem Tam o’ Shanter. Also called a “Tam” or a “Tammy”, the hat is flat on top, usually made of wool , and has a pompom on top called a “toorie”, or pom pom, even a tassel, but also they are made without any. There is in fact, an actual arithmetic equation of the popular design, that the crown is twice the diameter of the head , but I’ve noticed many of the bonnets in different sizes and shapes. Originally, having only plant dyes available, the hat was made only in blue, but they are now popular in many colors, as well as tartan plaids. Tam o’ Shanters, the Balmoral bonnet, and the even the somewhat military Glengarry cap all are worn either formally or informally in Highland dress, as well as in uniforms of a number of military units. (I personally suspect the Glengarry evolved from the Balmoral Bonnet, as a scrunched or folded version, the advantage being that it can be folded flat and tucked into the waist of the kilt). These Scottish bonnets have been worn by men in a traditional sense ~ however, it is quite obvious that the Tam is popularly worn by women in modern day, especially the knit versions, having endless designs and motifs.
The Scottish Bonnets I think are smartly fashionable, and though some styles have a bit of a regiment look, I think any excuse to wear one is acceptable !
Originally a soft, knitted blue cap with a flat voluminous crown, it gave the Highlanders their nickname ‘Bluebonnets’. Here the Balmoral style of Scottish bonnets appears in a 16th century portrait …
The band was sometimes checked, or ‘diced’, and sometimes plain. A diced band, with a feather placed into the band, is shown in this illustration …
Now , in case you’re wondering about all this hullabaloo about bonnets, well, it is because I am going to make one ! Perhaps several. I am keen to also try sewing one from felted wool cloth, either or both solid and plaid, which I will no doubt over-dye for a signature color affect. Of course I’ll include the grossgrain ribbons on the band, and make a cockade on which to fasten one of my lovely pins . Whichever I decide to do, I’ll keep you posted !
Here I am wearing Beet Heid on it’s maiden voyage down the mountain and into town. This tam makes me feel my Scottish roots right there in the wee beet roots.
I love this pattern, and have made two of these tams so far!!! It just knit so intricately, yet the pattern was so well written it just made it seem somehow easy. I was really blown away at how it came together ~~ I made that ???
Shown above is the one made with mostly Virtual Yarns Hebridean 2ply , and also Elemntal Affects Shetland. The pattern suggests for a red rooted version, this colorway is called ‘Beet Heid’ as as the neeps are more deep maroon or crimson. The red color for beets = Elemental Affects Shetland “deep garnet”, background = Virtual Yarns Hebridean 2ply “mountain hare”, and the greens are Virtual Yarns “bog bean and calluna”.
Another below, made of scrap fingering weight yarns I had on hand, just to sketch out another colorway (it ended up more a child size with the very fine yarn and needles I used). I am somewhat of a gardener, and in a family of obsessive gardeners, so I very much connect with this clever designer from Edinburgh, named Kate Davies. Well, here is my second Neep Heid, folded in quarters to see the full profile of the motif:
Below it is shown blocking out on my ironing board. Oh, what is that cheerful flowery thing to the right? That little pin cushion is the embroidery sampler my grandmother taught me when I was 10 years old. I found it in a box recently, of bits from my childhood, and decided to actually use it, to hold blocking pins, and not having tossed it in the years of my disregarding youth.
~ Here is Kate’s pattern for her Neep Heid Tam.
I LOVED KNITTING THIS !!!! This tam was a free pattern I found on Ravelry.com , here. When I saw that sweet wall-paper pattern, it became instantly a must-do for me who wanted to learn how motifs can seamlessly work in an all-around pattern, up and down. I really enjoyed it !
I still have yet to add a beret loop at the top in the middle, as I really think it needs something to finish it off, don’t you? When and if I ever give it to someone, I will put on a more personalized accent.
The yarn I used was Knit Picks “Palette” that I had in my stash, which is a fingering weight yarn , and thus it knit up so fine that it is a very small tam, say for a child-sized head. I think the pattern followed needs a sport weight or DK to fit an adult sized head . Oops. I just will keep it in my cedar chest until the right ‘child’ happens to come by.
My first tammy ~ and my own design ! This little tam I made for my girlfriends’ birthday, last year in September . It’s significance is huge because it launched a sort of knitting rennaisance in my life. I had been for the first time become aware of traditional Fair Isle knitting, and had just checked out in the library a heap of books on the subject, including a few of Alice Starmore’s . I have just bought my first knitting book, the reprint of Alice Starmore’s “FairIsle Knitting”. In the years before this project I hardly knit much, save for a flurry of projects in my first years of spinning, however, in all the years not knitting, I yearned and yearned. Yearning has became the word which best expresses my feeling about knitting (when I was not knitting), and from which I entitle this blog ‘Yarnings’ . This here little Tam O’ Shanter was my first stranded color knitting ever, and it has lured me down a one-way road into yarn and needles and designing the next Autumn or Spring sweaters for my nieces. Knitting has grown in a very short time into a passion which has overtaken all else.
I used the charts provided in Alice Starmore’s “Book of Fair Isle Knitting” which are for the most part, traditional motifs. I used Jamiesons Shetland Spindrift yarn ~ so light and fluffy, I absolutely fell in love with Shetland wool !
Finest yarn I knit to date. Ever !