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A Knitted Hat (that looks good on me!)

Nov 21, 2012

I finally found a hat style that looks good on me: It's the tam (or beret? or slouch?). Whatever, the designer calls it, the loose, flowing style looks good on my round face. Hoorah!

I just finished a hat like this and I've worn it almost every day for the last week. I've gotten so many compliments on it, which never happens when I wear a hat—even a beautiful handknit hat. I know that I don't look good in beanie-style hats, but there haven't been a lot of alternatives until the last couple of years, as looser hats have become popular again.

Here are some tams/berets/slouchy knit hats I love from the Knitting Daily Shop:

     Holiday Lights Tam by Catherine Sheilds

A simple slipped-stitch pattern with a twist drapes glass seed beads across this hat like strings of twinkling lights.

Careful shaping within the bead pattern creates a generous, slouchy-but-sleek tam shape without interrupting the placement of a single bead.

Faded Splendor Tam by Janine Bajus

This classic tam includes traditional Fair Isle motifs and muted colors inspired by the lovely shades of faded Persian rugs.

A tam has three parts: the band, the body, and the wheel at the top, which is formed by seven double-decreases every other round.

Halesia Hat by Catherine Sheilds

This hat was inspired by the leaves on a Two-Winged Snowdrop tree; large sketch-like leaves taper into the crown shaping of a slouchy hat.

Organic cotton makes for a light knit hat, but this patterns would be just as lovely worked up in wool, alpaca, or even cashmere.

Linocut Hat by Quenna Lee

This beret is brimmed with yarn held double, which gives it great stability and keeps in in place.

The Linocut features an adaptation of the ogee lace pattern. This lace patterns is an exaggerated leaf design framed by undulating lines.

It's beautiful and addicting!

Linocut Hat in blocking position
I blocked my hat by wetting it, putting it on a dinner plate, and letting it dry completely.

Tams and berets are larger than beanie-style hats, and it's important that the brim is a little snug so the hat stays put. So, when you're blocking your hat, make sure the brim isn't stretched at all.

The photo at right shows the Linocut in blocking position (pretend there's a dinner place inside the hat). You can see that the ribbed brim isn't pulled apart. That's the way to do it. Oh, and I put the dinner place on a mug so that both sides of the hat got air while it was drying. Voilà—my new favorite hat!

I hope you'll try one of these knitted hats. I think this style is flattering on everyone.


P.S. Do you have a favorite hat style? Tell us about it in the comments!

Featured Products

Holiday Lights Tam Knitting Pattern

Availability: In Stock
Price: $6.00


Light up your wardrobe with this beaded tam.


Faded Splendor Tam Knitting Pattern

Availability: In Stock
Price: $5.50


Classic tam with traditional Fair Isle motifs.


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AnnD wrote
on Nov 28, 2012 1:39 PM

See Rebecca's comment about running a line through the brim --  I do this too.  I start with 2 yards of #10 crochet cotton, unknotted, and a tapestry needle to pick up every stitch (loosely!) at the very edge of the brim and loosely tie a bow.  Wash, press out as much water as possible, insert 11" dinner plate or, for very large slouchies, a 12" charger, then use the cotton to draw up the brim.  This will not only keep your brim trim, but  will open out the lace pattern.  Leave until completely dry, pull out the cotton & enjoy the compliments!

KMaldonado wrote
on Nov 28, 2012 8:12 AM

Tams are definitely the way to go and so in fashion for most age groups. I had to have the Holiday LIghts Tam when I first saw it.  Magazine...check.  Needles...check.  Yarn....check.  Beads...check.  

Knit time was a breeze and the result is a truly lovely tam with a little bling.  Just enough slouch for me after wet blocking over a plate.  Could add a couple more rows for more slouch but not my style, or my teen age daughters either apparently.

Teal alpaca blend ... yummy!

darle wrote
on Nov 24, 2012 11:51 AM

Regarding another comment about non-slouchy berets:

My fairly large head resulted in many tams being beanies on me. I started making the top diameter about 11 inches to solve that problems. I block them on dinner plates. Mine are 10 1/2 inches in diameter with enough cup to accommodate the the rise from the band to the broadest part of the hat. Of course, this is easier with a hat worked from the top down. Check any schematics.

ihopson wrote
on Nov 23, 2012 2:40 AM

Which one did you make, where's the photo of you in it! I have same problem with knitted hats as they cling to the head and make me look like I am wearing a swimming cap

dfm wrote
on Nov 21, 2012 8:36 PM

As a novice adding beads to my knitting, can you tell me the actual beads that were used in the Holiday Lights Tam? I would really appreciate it.


on Nov 21, 2012 4:14 PM

I would wear any of those you have shown. I wear my hair short and apparently have a large, high forehead, so I want some of my hair to show when I wear a hat. I'm in the mood for a new hat this winter. The one with beads is especially appealing. I will have to see if I can find that magazine. There was one on the front of one of your holiday magazines a couple of years ago, but I could not find the yarn to make it (after looking in Spokane). Still on my wish list.

jxrose wrote
on Nov 21, 2012 3:39 PM

Thanks Kathleen.

I had looked at the store, but neglected to look at the pattern details.

on Nov 21, 2012 3:02 PM

JxRose: If you want to see where the original pattern came from, click on the link that goes to the store, and then click on the "Pattern Details" tab (under the photos). At the bottom of the info in that tab, it says where the pattern was originally published.

Hope this helps!


Lace8849 wrote
on Nov 21, 2012 2:48 PM

Kathleen, most of us look terrible in beanies!  Not to mention that they totally smash my fine hair & create static electricity.  I have one ribbed cashmere beanie I can wear, but it only works because it's large on me.

Thanks for all the beautiful tam patterns.  I especially like the Holiday Lights pattern --  the beads are fun and minimal at the same time.

jxrose wrote
on Nov 21, 2012 2:37 PM

If the pattern has previously been published in one of your publications, I wish you would indicate that (and which issue.)  As a long time subscriber to many magazines, I really don't want to purchase a pattern I already own (but might not recognize immediately.)

BillieW@2 wrote
on Nov 21, 2012 2:35 PM

All the hats are great.  Hard to decide.But...I have several men on my list.

How about one for men ?

olliedog wrote
on Nov 21, 2012 1:26 PM

I am looking for a men's toque (yes, I am Canadian!) pattern that can be made out of Buffalo wool or Lopi type wool - The Cowichan style is great but I want something that is plain and not hard to knit. I prefer i not to be a skull cap. Does anyone know where I can get such a pattern? Would prefer free.


SallyT wrote
on Nov 21, 2012 1:25 PM

I have tried knitting some hats that are not tams, but they look so awful on me.  I have figured out that they look great if you have long hair, and I don't.  (Check out every hat pattern you have; all the models have long hair!)  So when I need a hat, I do make a tam or something slouchy.    They are cute perched on one side so that some of your hair shows; and if slouchy enough you can pull them down over both ears and stay warm and not care how you look!  

Rabecca wrote
on Nov 21, 2012 12:36 PM

I have made a bunch of different berets, and I love them all.  Most flattering hat on a wide variety of faces.  My blocking trick is to run a length of cotton through the ribbing before washing, to hold it tight.  I use an overturned bowl under the dinner plate, and sort of shape the ribbing over the sides of the bowl.

I usually do my hats bottom-up, and I add a row of eyelets to the first increase row after ribbing.  If I don't have gauge exactly right, or the yarn stretches during blocking, I can use these to run an i-cord or other cute drawstring through.  If I don't need them, they don't really show.

on Nov 21, 2012 12:36 PM

I've done the Holiday lights tam--very pretty, but even on my smallish head, nowhere near as slouchy as this shows (and yes, I made the adult size).  Hmmm.

As for blocking--don't just imagine a plate in it.  Hand wash the hat, squeeze out most of the water, and then PUT a plate in it and let it air dry.  I've done this with a dozen or so berets, and it's fail-safe.