I love Mary Rowe's book on Knitted Tams. I borrowed it from a friend, and knitted up the first tam which I wear a lot. I used leftover sock wool for that one. My mother liked it a lot, and asked me to make her one too. So I did, with a slightly different design. You see the result in the top left of my blog's banner. Then I bought my own copy of the book. I knew I was hooked on knitting tams.
My cleaning lady spotted one of them and liked it a lot. She asked whether I would make one for her daughter, and offered to pay. She said she would like bright colours, and I was inspired. I trotted off to Tapestry Craft and bought five balls of wool. Pale blue, dark blue, purple, white and red. Much reviewing of patterns ensued, and I worried about the combinations. I finally opted for four of the colours, and chose the two border patterns and the central wheel pattern.
They don't take long to make - only a couple of weeks, and that interspersed with boring black sock knitting. The four colours presented a slight challenge, especially when all four appeared in the same round. Two colours around each hand plus five needles meant that a small dog jumping in my lap could lead to catastrophe.
You never really know what a tam pattern is going to look like until it is properly blocked (involves being washed, then stretched to dry over a large dinner plate.) I am just thrilled with the result.
This is a side view before blocking. You can see the border OXO pattern quite nicely here.
And this is a view of the top with its second border pattern (a garland) and the central wheel pattern. It is just lovely, and I am almost tempted to whip up another one immediately. They don't take much wool either, so I have lots left to try all kinds of different patterns and combinations.
It is much more exciting than boring black sock knitting. The man likes his winter black Patonyle ribbed socks and has requested more. Not patterns? Not colours? No, exactly what he has. So I have a stock of ten balls of trusty black Patonyle and I will continue knitting clones of these socks until I run out of wool. He has VERY large feet, so I don't know how many socks I will achieve. These will be my veggie knitting for a long time.