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Two PDF files are: (1) Instructions and charts for this tam with zinnia motif in seven-part symmetry; (2) 11 illustrated pages of tam tips for casting on, making decorative double decreases, changing colors and much more. The photo of the tam on the needles here, for example, is one of a series of six that take you through the steps for the decorative centered double decrease. This is the introduction to tam knitting I wish I had been able to find before struggling through my first few tams.

The tam is knitted with fingering weight (jumper weight) yarn in the round from the ribbed brim to the center. After knitting the ribbing, you increase the number of stitches, then knit a cylinder in a simple stranded design. Shaping by double decreases forms the circle in the center. The tam is blocked over a disc or plate to create the traditional shape. Tams can also be worn pulled straight down like stocking caps or can be oversized to make slouchy caps.

The size of this tam is greatly variable depending on the size of your needles and on how it is treated after knitting in washing and blocking. Tams can be stretched to a large size or can be shrunk by vigorous hand washing in hot soapy water.

I blocked this tam to this size:
• Diameter = 10 inches (25.4 cm)
• Ribbed circumference of opening = 19-26 inches (48-66 cm) relaxed to stretched

This is a guide to tam construction that includes a chart, but the chart is not color coded to correspond to certain colors that you can plug in as with needlepoint pictures and paint-by-number pictures. The chart shows where the motif stitches go, not any particular colors. You will be determining your color choices yourself.

Materials :

• Approximately 53 grams/1.86 ounces; 240 yards/219 meters fingering weight yarn plus a few more grams/yards for joining in new colors.
• Size #1 or #2 dpns for ribbing
• Size #2 or #3 dpns for body of tam (circular needles if you prefer these to dpns for the wide part of the tam; the interior of the tam cannot be worked on a single circular needle)
• Rubber bands or tip protectors, if you need them to keep your work from sliding off the dpns
• 1 darning needle (rounded tip)
• 1 sharp needle
• Highlighter or magnetic ruler for marking chart
• Scissors
• Crochet hook for dropped stitches
• Plate for blocking

Please note that the chart for this tam is shown in black and white. Because the yarns I used are not exactly reproducible, you would select your own colors. In case you want to follow my color selections approximately, the instructions provide a closeup photo of the actual knitted color wheel.

Additional PDFs are included: Fair Isle Design Guidelines and Getting Started with ColorShift Yarn.

If you have any difficulty downloading your files, please contact me by clicking on the Etsy "contact" link on your invoice, and I will send you the files by email. If you need assistance before I have a chance to respond, please consult the Etsy help FAQs on digital downloads.

Zinnia Tam Instructions

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