Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Harriet's Tam

As you may recall, I am an avid fan of Masterpiece Mystery on PBS. One of my favorite programs is from the late '80s, the Dorothy L. Sayers mystery series set in England circa 1930. In the  *Have His Carcase* episode, the heroine, mystery novelist Harriet Vane, comes across a body on the beach while on a walking tour of England's west country. The body is about to be washed away by the tide. Harriet and the body are miles from a telephone, town and other people. Before the body is lost, quick thinking Harriet quickly collects some evidence and snaps a few pictures to prove what she found. Who is this unidentified victim and who is his  murderer? How does Miss Vane become a suspect in this mystery? You will have to read the book or watch the film to find out.

Harriet Vane's no-nonsense style and adventurous spirit are the inspiration behind my newest pattern: Harriet's Tam.  It is a classic beret with no-nonsense features. Worked in the round from the bottom up, this tam features a garter stitch rim and stockinette stitch body with swirl of decreases on the crown. On top, is a small loop created with an i-cord.

Harriet's Tam is available in two sizes: women's small/medium and women's large/extra large. The one in the photographs is the larger size (to accommodate my 22.5" head). Depending on the size of head, the smaller size may fit a child too. The smaller size fits both my mother and my daughter! There is plenty of stretch in this rim and it should easily fit up to 2" larger than the finished circumference measurements.

My tam was knit using Rowan Felted Tweed DK. This design was screaming to be knit up in an English tweedy yarn. After all, my inspiring protagonist was hiking in the English countryside. The beauty of this yarn is that although it is soft and quite warm, it is also light weight.  I'd love to see this hat made in a denser heavier yarn such as a Donegal tweed or even knit in a tonal dyed yarn like Madelinetosh Tosh DK?

This tam will be a staple in your hand-knit collection - one that you will reach for again and again, never going out of style.

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