Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Swatching for the Tam...

Swatch for tam before felting
Ahh, the joys of felting... I think I'm one of those oddballs that actually enjoy the swatching process.  I've done up the swatch in Firecracker Heather Wool of the Andes Worsted from Knit Picks (find it at: http://www.knitpicks.com/ ).

Before felting this swatch measures 6" wide by 6 1/2" high across the full swatch.  Just the stockinette portion measures 4 3/4" wide by 5 1/2" high and is 19 stitches by 28 rows.

The tam is an historically correct version from Piecework magazine (love that historical knitting!) and will be paired with a set of kilt hose done in intarsia.  I dyed the yarn for the yellow in the Wallace tartan since it wasn't available in both of the yarn types I was using and I wanted the pieces to match as much as possible.  The kilt hose will be done in a lightweight two ply yarn called Palette (also from Knit Picks).  Here are the shots of the yarn with the magazine photo so you'll have some idea of what I'm talking about.

Yarns and photo of kilt hose
Here are the kilt hose, very interesting pattern.  These are knitted flat and seamed, that will certainly make the intarsia easier, but I'm thinking that I'd be supremely irritated by a seam on the foot of my sock, so I'm going to modify the pattern to do the foot in the round so that there will be no seam to irritate the foot.  The tartan is Wallace, red, black and bright yellow although the photo doesn't show it well.  The yellow yarn is hand dyed by me in Brilliant Yellow acid dye from Dharma Trading Co.  It is a great way to get the colors I want for this project.  Fun to do too!

Then there is the photo of the tam along with the yarn, tartan and photo from Piecework - interestingly enough these both came from the same issue of the magazine, how cool is that?

Yarns and photo for tam
So, next thing is to go and felt the swatch and to re-measure and adjust the pattern for size.  Then I can start on the actual tam, I haven't done felting like this in years and I really enjoyed it in the past.  Did a pair of slippers as a gift for my brother years ago - styled like chukka boots, the two eyelet ankle high style.  Remember those?  The felted "fabric" turned out so thick and soft - the knitted stitches became nearly indistinguishable.  I have also located a neat felted pattern for slippers for myself.  It uses both a superwash and a feltable wool... more on that later since it is quite a way down the knitting queue.

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