Mary Rowe's book Knitted Tams has long inspired me. But I never made anything out of her book. I used her methods and made many a tam. I have read my book so much, the pages are all bent and thin - well loved. So in my sock procrastination knitting frenzy, I decided it was time to pick a project.
I had yarn on hand, that is in stash, to make a charmer called Sweet Melodies. I had to guess at just what she did for ribbing, peerie and length. However, when I look at her blocked tam in the book next to my blocking tam, they are pretty close.
For those tam virgins, you will need a blocking board for this to make the shape stick. I use a very low tech item that I made 15 years ago or more when I first learned how to knit them. I got two disposable pizza tins from the grocer and a piece of cardboard. I cut the three to 11.5" and used masking tape on the edge. It works well and hasn't fallen apart yet. Fancy, eh? When I block, I first wash my tam to remove any hand oils and dirt from knitting and stretch it over the board. the ribbing will appear quite ruffled at first but I suspend the tam blocker over a can of soup and it pulls right in overnight as it dries.
One note, you will have ends to weave in, or at least, I will. I usually steek Fair Isle sweaters and hide my ends in the steek section. But here I weave into the floats. First, it is Shetland yarn, all clingy, and will hold the ends. Second, I don't weave as I go since it can show and the background is often dark. It only took about 45 minutes and I am so much happier with the product. I gently pull my ends to the left and right to see which way to darn them in that closes, not opens the hole made when I change colors. When done properly you will have a hard time figuring out on the right side just where the colors changed.