Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Natural Obsessions
beauty shot


You don’t need to have a “tête à chapeaux” (such an elegant expression in French, in English, this translates roughly to “the ability to look good in a hat”) to wear this tam. It can either be worn on the side, like a beret, on the back of your head or covering your ears on a windy day. Either way, it will be a stylish addition to your winter wardrobe.

My hat features the distinctive techniques of traditional Fair-Isle knitting updated with a modern twist. The pattern is wider than the usual “peeries and borders” and its inspiration comes from Asia instead of the British islands.
The chrysanthemum is the flower of November, my birth month, and in every civilization it has deep symbolic links to life and death. Ogiku is a chrysanthemum plant that has had outer buds removed in the Japanese style, leaving a single bloom. But I also love it for its perfect symmetrical structure, which seems to draw the eye into its fascinating pompon heart. Enjoy it both as a flower bud on the border of the toque and in full bloom on the crown.

spacer model: Marie-Emmanuelle Clain, Sarah Mombert
spacer photos: Sébastien Blanc
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One size fits heads between 20 and 23 inches (50-58 cm) in circumference.
Shown in handspun above left, commercial yarn above right

Diameter across top: 10.5 inches
Circumference of band: 19.5 inches



Shetland handyed and handcarded wool batts, made from Jamieson and Smith’s Natural Shetland Combed Top.
spacer One sample pack (0.9 oz/25 g in white, fawn, gray, moorit and black)
spacer 3.5 oz/100 g white for dyeing
Note: See my article “Spin your own Fair-Isle Kit” for explanations on how to dye, card and spin the yarn.

Handspun colors

Commercial alternative

Yardage used

spacer [MC1] Brown

spacer [MC1] 108 Moorit; 1 skein

17.5 yd

spacer [MC2] Light Brown

spacer [MC2] 107 Mogit; 1 skein

20 yd

spacer [MC3] Gray

spacer [MC3] 103 Sholmit; 1 skein

29.5 yd

spacer [MC4] Light Tan

spacer [MC4] 106 Mooskit; 1 skein

13 yd

spacer [MC5] White

spacer [MC5] 120 Eesit/White; 1 skein

11 yd

spacer [CC1] Orange Red

spacer [CC1] 524 Poppy; 1 skein

9 yd

spacer [CC2] Pink Red

spacer [CC2] 563 Rouge; 1 skein

6.5 yd

spacer [CC3] Red

spacer [CC3] 587 Madder; 1 skein

9 yd

spacer [CC4] Dark Pink Red

spacer [CC4] 580 Cherry; 1 skein

9 yd

spacer [CC5] Purple Red

spacer [CC5] 1260 Raspberry; 1 skein

11 yd

Finished Yarn:
spacer Ply: 2
spacer Wraps per inch: 17 as 2 ply
spacer Yardage used: see chart above

Drafting Method:
spacer Semi-worsted

Direction of Twist:
spacer Spinning : Z twist
spacer Plying : S twist

Commercial Yarn Alternative

spacer Jamieson’s Spindrift [100% Shetland wool; 114 yd/105m per 25 g skein]; color: see chart above


Spinning Tool: Ashford Joy spinning wheel; scotch tension; ratio 8:1 both for spinning and plying
Niddy Noddy: Ashford niddy noddy. Makes 5 ft (1.5 m) skeins
Lazy Kate: Built in Ashford Joy lazy kate
Drum Carder: Louet Junior drum carder

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 #1.5/2.5mm circular needle
spacer 1 long US #2.5/3mm circular needle for magic loop method
spacer 1 16 inch/40 cm US #2.5/3mm circular needle and
spacer 1 set US#2.5/3mm double-pointed needles

spacer Yarn needle
spacer 8 stitch markers
spacer 10.5-inch (26.5 cm) diameter plate for blocking



31 sts/33 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on larger needles
30 sts/32 rounds = 4 inches in stranded knitting on larger needles


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

Cable CO
instructions can be found here.

The charts for this pattern are very large. Each fits on a letter-sized page.
Click below and print each resulting page.



handspun version left, commercial version right

Using MC1 and smaller circular needle, CO 160 st. using cable CO.
Place marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.

Join CC1.

Corrugated ribbing round 1: [K2 color CC1, bring color MC1 to front, p2 with color MC1, move color MC1 to back] around. 

Continue working corrugated ribbing as per Band chart, changing colors where indicated.

Change to larger needle and begin Body Chart, working chart 8 times across round.  You may wish to use markers to divide up the chart repeats.

After increases in Round 1, 168 sts.

After increases in Round 6, 184 sts.

After increase in Round 11, 200 sts.

After increases in Round 16, 216 sts.

Transition to crown:
With MC3, P 2 rounds.

Work Crown Chart, working chart 8 times across round.
After decreases in Round 7, 200 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 10, 184 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 13, 168 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 16, 152 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 19, 136 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 22, 120 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 25, 104 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 28, 88 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 31, 72 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 34, 56 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 37, 40 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 38, 24 sts rem.
After decreases in Round 39, 8 sts rem.

Break yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread tail through the rem st and pull to close.


Weave in all ends.
Block the crown on a 10.5 inch (26.5 cm) diameter plate and steam the border under damp cloth. Corrugated ribbing is not as stretchy as standard 2x2 ribbing, so don’t iron it!


designernamespacer Sarah Mombert teaches, spins and knits in Lyon, France, under her childhood nickname of Olympienne. On Saturday afternoons, she loves hanging out with her spinning and knitting friends from Le Lyon qui tricote.

She wants to thanks her friend Yvette Campbell (andsewtoknit) for helping her with her writing in English.