Perfect smiles unaffected

Pattern: Three Tams10 by Angela Sixian Wu (Tam A)
Yarn: Classic Elite Bazic Wool (100% wool), colorway Citrine; Ella Rae Classic Print (100% wool), colorway 77
Needles: U.S. 5 and 6 Harmony wood Options 24″ circular (magic loop style)

When you’re not a very adventurous dresser, it can be mighty hard to imagine how an unfamiliar style — no matter how classic — looks on you. My decision to knit this tam had more to do with frustration about what to do with two pesky yarn purchases, both impulse buys from the last year or so. After I got tired of staring at them during my periodic attempts to turn my stash into knittable packages, I hit upon the idea of using the variegated yarn for “fake isle,” the practice of using a multicolored yarn to produce the illusion of complicated colorwork. I wasn’t really sure the green wool would compliment it — the two yarns have a completely different construction and texture — but in the absence of any other ideas, I thought I’d give it a shot.

Turns out that the combination of colors lends the bluish variegated yarn a jewel-like brightness. The whole effect is of harmonious colors that are nevertheless quite distinctive, given how rarely they’re seen in accessories these days. While reminding myself how to do colorwork, I learned (or made up, I’m not sure which) how to twist floats when the contrasting color had to be carried behind more than five stitches. And although there were a few places where the plies of the Bazic Wool had separated, I only had to cut it once, leaving a minimum of ends to weave in.

Not only am I thrilled with the knitted results, but the way I wear this little tam is a happy surprise, too. If I’ve ever sported a hat of this shape, it was back when I was a girl. Now I see that there’s a reason it’s a fashion perennial. It combines crisp structure with a casual slouch, creating a hat that can go from dressy to weekend with style. And I’m emboldened. If I can wear a tam, who knows what else I can pull off?

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One Comment on “Perfect smiles unaffected”


  1. Fair Isle or not–I have no clue–it looks impressive and very difficult.


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