I need to create about a dozen gifts before the end of the year, and I would like to do it using handspun yarn.
I like hats because they dont take a lot of yarn and there is no second hat syndrome.
The basic tam shape looks terrible when you are making it, but really comes into its own after blocking. The Truth Finds Honest name comes from a modern-English translation of the epic poem, Tam o Shanter by Robert Burns.
Basics for ‘Truth Finds Honest’ Tam
Needles: No. 7 and No. 9, whatever style you like for knitting in the round.
Yarn: Slightly crazy handspun, that is something between heavy worsted-weight and bulky, but who knows, really. I got 13 wraps to the inch from it. You can sub Fishermans Wool by Lion Brand or Lambs Pride Worsted. Use non-scratchy yarn because the brim rests on the forehead. Yarns with a large percentage of acrylic or other synthetic material should be avoided, since they might not block out well.
Gauge: 4 stitches to the inch
Size: Medium womans hat size
m1 – Using the tip of your right-hand needle, moving it away from you, lift the running thread between the stitch you just worked and the next stitch; place this thread onto the left-hand needle. Knit into this thread.
ddc – Slip the next two stitches as if you were knitting them together, knit the next stitch, pass the slipped stitches over the knit stitch. Two stitches decreased.
What you do:
Using a temporary cast on and larger needles, start with 120 stitches. Knit every stitch for 5 inches.
Round 1: Knit 6 stitches; (ddc, knit 12 stitches) repeat 7 times; ddc, knit 6 stitches. (104 stitches)
Round 2: All even-numbered rounds: Knit every stitch.
Round 3: Knit 5 stitches; (ddc, knit 10 stitches) repeat 7 times; ddc, knit 5 stitches. (88 stitches)
Round 5: Knit 4 stitches; (ddc, knit 8 stitches) repeat 7 times; ddc, knit 4 stitches. (72 stitches)
Round 7: Knit 3 stitches; (ddc, knit 6 stitches) repeat 7 times; ddc, knit 3 stitches. (56 stitches)
Round 9: Knit 2 stitches; (ddc, knit 4 stitches) repeat 7 times; ddc, knit 2 stitches. (40 stitches)
Round 11: Knit 1 stitch; (ddc, knit 2 stitches) repeat 7 times; ddc, knit 1 stitch. (24 stitches)
Round 13: ddc 8 times. (8 stitches) (Knit 1, ddc) twice. (4 stitches) Leaving a 6-inch tail, break the yarn. Draw it through the remaining stitches, twice if you feel paranoid. Bring it to the inside of the hat, and darn it in.
Using smaller needles, pick up 120 stitches from your cast-on edge. Work (purl 1, k2t) around. Continue working (purl 1, knit 1) around until the ribbing is about 1 1/2 inches deep. Cast off, loosely, in a contrasting yarn, if you like.
Darn in all ends. Wash and block severely with a pie plate, dinner plate or other round object to create the tam shape. Enjoy.