Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Kollage yarns
beauty shot


Jack-o-lanterns, Candy corn, Rockets and all that cool free loot we used to get at Halloween... and hoping The Great Pumpkin would finally visit Linus in the pumpkin patch. I was inspired by the spirit of my favorite holiday.

Using the traditional Shetland techniques and yarns, I created a hat that is offbeat, fun and colourful.

This is no ordinary Fair Isle Tam. Look closer, you'll see green worms, bats and skulls. It's a wonderful introduction to not-so-traditional colorwork. Go on, try it.  You're not afraid, are you?


spacer model: Laura Condotta spacer photos: Lorraine Condotta

One size comfortably fits heads 20 to 24 inches in circumference.


10.5 inches diameter across top, may be blocked slightly larger



Jamieson's Spindrift [100% Shetland Wool; 115yd/105m per 25g ball]
spacer [MC] Black 999; 1 ball
spacer [CC1] Natural 104, 1 ball
spacer [CC2] Granite 122, 1 ball
spacer [CC3] Chartreuse 365, 1 ball
spacer [CC4] Amber 478, 1 ball
spacer [CC5] Crimson 525, 1 ball
spacer [CC6] Violet 600, 1 ball

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 16 inch US #3/3.25mm circular needle
spacer 1 set US 3/3.25mm double-point needles
spacer optional: 1 32 inch or longer US #3/3.25mm circular needle for magic loop method

spacer Yarn needle
spacer stitch marker
spacer 10.5 inch dinner plate for blocking

24 sts/32 rows = 4 inches in stranded stockinette stitch after blocking


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

S2KPO (Centered double decrease): Slip next 2 stitches together knitwise; knit next stitch and pass slipped stitches over stitch just knit.

First Row: Instead of turning work around to work back on the WS, slide all sts to other end of needle, switch needle back to your left hand, bring yarn around back of work, and start knitting the sts again.
Repeat this row to form I-cord. After a few rows, work will begin to form a tube.

Instructions for Duplicate Stitch can be found here.

Instructions for Cable Cast On can be found here.

Instructions for Backwards Loop m1 can be found here.

The charts for this pattern are very large and fit on a letter-sized page.
Click here and print the resulting page.

Using MC and circular needle, CO 140 sts using the cable cast-on.

Place marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.

Ribbing round: [K1, p1] to end.
Repeat Ribbing round until piece measures 3.5 inches from cast-on edge.

Increase round: [K5, m1] to end of round. 168 sts.  Use the backwards loop M1 method.

Next round: Begin working Bat chart, working the 8-st repeat 21 times across round.

Continue until all 7 rounds of the chart are complete, joining and breaking off colors as indicated.

Knit 4 rounds in MC.
Increase round: [K14, m1] to end of round. 180 sts.  Use the backwards loop M1 method as before.

Next round: Begin working Border chart, working the 18-st repeat 10 times across round.
Continue until all 15 rounds of the chart are complete, joining and breaking off colors as indicated.

Knit 2 rounds in MC.
Decrease round: [K13, k2tog] to end. 168 sts.

Next round: Begin working Wheel chart, working the 24-st repeat 7 times across round. 

Note: Rounds 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26 of the chart start with a double decrease.  To accommodate the decrease, you will need to end the previous round 1 stitch early, and move the start of round marker 1 stitch to the left at the end of that previous round. As the circumference of the hat gets too small to work comfortably on the circular needle, change to DPNs or magic loop method as you prefer.

Continue until all 27 rounds of the chart are complete, joining and breaking off colors as indicated.

After round 27 of the chart, 14 sts rem.
Decrease round 1: [K2tog] 7 times. 7 sts.
Decrease round 2: [K2tog] 3 times, k1.  4 sts.
Slip these 4 sts to a single DPN and work 8 rounds of I-cord.  Bind off.


Neatly weave in all ends on inside of hat.  Fold ribbing inwards, and using a tapestry needle and MC tack down neatly, to form a double band.  Wet the tam and roll in a towel to squeeze out excess moisture.  Block over a 10.5 inch dinner plate.  Allow to dry.

For extra creepiness, duplicate stitch with crimson over the eyes of the skulls.


Lorraine has been designing under the name Twisted Traditions since 2004.

She and her friend Jax love a good schlock movie. She lives in the burbs with her family and pets, including a few Bearded Dragons.