Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tam C

It's Friday, so that must mean it's time to roll out the latest installment of 52 hats-- queue the soundtrack of trumpets blaring, fireworks bursting, and crowds going wild. This is #5, so I'm nearly 10% done! Not that there's any turning back at this point-- knitting 47 more hats is my official 2011 Knitolution, and I risk severe shunning by my fellow knitters if I fail to deliver... a fate worse than death, it seems.

Drumroll, please:

The first hat of 2011 atop the first mountain of 2011!

Seems as though I'm keeping this one for myself. No offense to my other hats, but this one is my favorite so far. Would you like to see more of the top? I thought so.

The brim isn't half bad either:

I heart corrugated ribbing.

Here's the best part:

I already have the coordinating scarf! Funny story, actually, about that scarf-- my dear friend Emily and I must have had the same color brainwave back in December 2009, because she mailed me the scarf mere days after I purchased the orange yarn for my husband's sweater. I finished the sweater in February 2010, had just about enough yarn left over for a hat, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Project Notes

Yarn: The main color is Berroco Ultra Alpaca, and the contrast color is Plymouth Boku. As I mentioned, I knit a whole sweater from Ultra Alpaca, and it is terrific stuff. My husband has been wearing the bejesus out of it for almost a year now, and it has held up extremely well. I do recommend knitting it slightly tighter than the recommended gauge-- it will grow less with blocking and still drape well. Yes, I said "grow less"-- because with 50% alpaca content, it's gonna grow. This makes sweater knitting quite an, ahem, adventure. As for the Boku, I can't really comment on whether or not it accurately mimics Noro Silk Garden (I assume this is what Plymouth Yarns was going for) since I have never knit with the latter. It does have a satisfyingly nubbly, irregular texture from the silk content, which I thinks pairs well with the fuzziness of the Ultra Alpaca. And it's half the price of the Noro...

Pattern: Three Tams by Angela Sixian Wu, from the Winter 2007 issue of Knitty. Brilliant, brilliant pattern. The only hard part was choosing which of the three tams to knit-- I chose Tam C, but I will likely make A & B at some point.

Techniques: Stranded colorwork, again. This one calls for corrugated ribbing, which looks amazing, but is a bit fiddly at first. Centered double-decrease, which creates the "spokes" on the top of the hat. And I will get on my soapbox and say that this hat NEEDS to be blocked. The colorwork looks so much better, and the tam shape is non-existent before blocking. Alright, you may carry on.

The bottom line: More fun than a barrel of monkeys. Whoever first thought to combine stranded colorwork and self-striping yarn should win the knitting equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Someday I will get around to making a proper Fair Isle tam with a dozen colors and hundreds of ends to weave in... but right now, I'm more than content with Fake Isle.


  1. I love the shot of the star pattern on top. How fortuitous that your friend sent along the scarf. It matches perfectly!

  2. I love the way the colors change, it is so pretty.

  3. Oh wow, the variegated yarn is just brilliant here, the way it changes in that beautiful star/snowflake pattern is almost magical. And I'd never heard of corrugated ribbing before, but I'm pretty sure I heart it, too, based on the photo---what a cool texture!

  4. Wow, I can see why you're going to keep this hat for yourself. It's amazing. I have some Ultra Alpaca Fine in my stash and am trying to find the perfect project for it. It is one of my favorite yarns I own.

  5. Fake Isle is great. The colour of your tam is fab. I think even if you had only used two colours this hat would have worked really well.

  6. This one is a beauty! Love the effects of these two yarns together.

  7. Love it love it love it! It is so awesomely beautiful. The stranded knitting is impeccably neat and I love the color choice. Like the others I like how the blue yarn changes color symmetrically. Looking it up on Ravelry to fav it.

  8. @Vinita-- you seem to have found me anyway, but I should probably add my Ravelry name here somewhere... thanks for reading!

  9. Love it! I just finished what I thought was Tam B, but now loooking at your pictures, I realize I actually made C!!

  10. Love this hat, that Boku just glows!