Tag Archive: tam

How Many Hats Is Too Many?

I finished yet another hat! This is a gray alpaca version of the first tam I made. It’s knit from KnitPicks Andean Treasure. Baby alpaca, sport weight, great stuff!

Technically this is the second time I’ve finished it, as I had to knit the ribbing twice. The yarn just wasn’t elastic in 2 x 2 ribbing form! That, and it draped so much it would have fit Barney the Dinosaur. Enlarging the rest of the pattern has definite drawbacks. I solved the problem (with help from the knitting sister!) by raveling back — which was painful, but not too scary — and then going to size 1 needles, as well as decreasing a little more. It worked very well, and I had hoped to deliver it to the recipient at church today, but she wasn’t there.

And, lest you think the lack of recent posts means I haven’t been doing anything fiber-related, let me inform you that I have enough material for two posts now. Part B will go up tomorrow.

The spinning front had been deceptively quiet for the last week or so, and I was getting to feel like it was just lurking around the corner waiting for me to come by so it could jump out and trip me into paying it attention.

In Which Nothing Really Happens, But I Get A Lot Done

This is a post of “finally”s. I finally got around to taking a picture of the progress I’ve made on my cowl. It’s a good five inches long, and I’m coming up on the end of yarn ball number one. The question is whether to continue on and make it really big, or just have a second ball of navy mohair laying around for who knows what.

I thought about making a matching hat out of it. One of those things that are sort of like tams, only a bit more floppy and mushroom shaped. Possibly with the same lace pattern so it will match!

What with the cold weather lately I’ve been wearing my merino/oppossum tam a lot, and I’ve gotten quite a few compliments on it. Enough to make me wear it every time I stick my head out of the door. And it’s nice and warm, too. I don’t notice it when it’s on my head, but when I take it off I get colder.

In Which I Learn the Proper Way to Bind Off

Last night I finished the ribbing on the tam! Whoo-hoo! We were watching a movie at the time, so rather than check with my knitting sister before binding off, I confidently plunged ahead. Doing all “knit” bind-offs on a knit two purl two ribbing.
Give me credit, though. I did realize that it didn’t look so good after binding off about twenty stitches. The movie was almost over, so I carefully raveled back and rescued whatever had been messed up.

That took awhile, I can tell you, because I hadn’t mastered the art of using the needles as needles. I was stuck in crochet mode, so I would knit a stitch, pick up the back loop with my fingernails, and pull it over the new one.

Some of you are probably wincing. It made for very splitty yarn and very messy stitches.

Soysilk Sonnet

“Oh, I could write a sonnet about my Easter soysilk. . .” Wait a minute. That doesn’t rhyme.

Well too bad for the song because this soysilk is the coolest thing since sliced bread. It’s a bit of a challenge to spin up because it’s clingy like silk, but it falls apart easily. Explain that one. I’ll be holding a chunk of roving and blop—half of it falls to the floor. And the other half sticks to my shirt and jeans. But I learned its wily ways fast!



Okay, so that has a double meaning. I’ve made good progress on the fifty gram skein of sport weight. In fact, it’s done. HandspunBlankYarn

And I’ve made really good progress on the tam. Just an inch and a half of ribbing to do. Someone remind me when I get around to trying socks to pick a pattern that’s more interesting than “knit until piece measures six inches.” Call me picky, but when you’re not good enough to knit without looking, it gets rather boring.

What IS Beginner's Luck?

I’ve heard the phrase “beginner’s luck” a lot. And I’ve thought I’ve had it several times. But this project is proving something to me. Beginner’s luck should be beginner’s pluck. It’s our drive to try something new and our passion to create that helps things turn out well. Whether on the first try or the hundredth. circularpartial

What brought this sudden rumination on was the apparent desire of my tam to inflict me with every single mistake known in the world of knitting. Which is okay. It gets them all out of the way faster. But if I hadn’t have been so excited about knitting my own hat I would have thrown it out the window long ago.

I’ve had to cast on twice, because we thought I’d twisted the stitches on the first round. I’ve done a few rows over three or four times. I dropped a stitch and didn’t notice until I’d knitted another four rows. (Thank you, sister of mine who can rescue lost stitches.)
I have a yarn over in the wrong spot. I’ve popped multiple stitches off the end of the double points. I’ve knitted the stitch marker into the hat. Twice. I used the wrong k3tog method. The only things I haven’t done yet are break a needle and cut through the hat.


Alright. So the question is, “Are you officially a knitter when you get a wee bit giggly, adrenalin rushy, and over-the-top over whether the gauge with turn out right?” If the answer is yes, I’m officially a knitter. So I really like the yarn and the pattern. I tell you, this tam might be the death of me. If I got that excited over the swatch? This doesn’t bode well.

Not to mention I’m suffering from a little beginning knitter’s naivety. On being told that my gauge was seven and a half stitches per inch instead of eight, I promptly thought I would have to knit more loosely. Because, as everyone knows, if you want seven and half to become eight, you have to add.

I’ll just leave that one alone for awhile.

Yarn Shop Stop



No, this isn’t about my potential yarn store. This is about a great little yarn shop in Winterset, IA. Honestly, it’s so small I wouldn’t have noticed it if it hadn’t have been for this rack sitting outside the door.

The shop is called Heartland Fiber Co. (Yes, they have roving.) And it’s run by two nice ladies who are great encouragers. They’re very ready to see whatever project you might be working on. They were so nice, and the yarn was so pretty, I was in serious danger of walking out with half of the store. All that yarn on the rack is beautiful thick and thin stuff. And you can see the saturation of the colors. It set the tone for the entire visit.