Good morning! I’m feeling festive today and have released a new pattern – the 101st that I’ve designed and published.


Its name is Hat 101, and appropriately, it is a sort of sampler of many of the things I enjoy about making and designing hats.


Hat 101 involves simple, rhythmic two-colour knitting and small, interconnected motifs. I’m also particularly fond of centred double decreases as a shaping method for hat crowns as well as sweater yokes. Hat 101 features such decreases, which resolve into a pleasing pattern when the crown is blocked.


The tam is one of my all-time favourite hat types, and Hat 101 is blocked over a 10 inch plate to achieve the tam’s characteristic shape.


I couldn’t resist adding a jolly pompom to finish the hat off.


We shot these pictures out at Loch Voil, on a rather windy day. The breeze seemed to enjoy playing my fiddle just as much as I did!


I have recently taken up playing the violin again after a very long hiatus. Tom bought me a violin shortly after my stroke, which, as well as being something he knew I used to enjoy was partly an incentive to try to strengthen my left arm and hand. At the time, I found learning to play again far too difficult – my arm was too weak to support the fiddle and the effort of lifting the instrument shut off the dexterity of my fingers. I put the fiddle away.


But a couple of months ago, I was reading At da Croft Museum – a favourite Stella Sutherland poem – which features the playing of several familiar Shetland fiddle tunes. I was gripped with a sudden urge to try to play Da Mirry boys o Greenland, dug out the fiddle and gave it a go. I can’t say I’m any good at all, but I can at least lift and play the instrument, and can now enjoy exploring fiddle tunes once again.


Hat 101 is now available here on Ravelry.
Hope you are all enjoying the festive season!

58 thoughts on “Hat 101

  1. You, your designs and his photos are breathtaking! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us. I enjoy both the knitting and the beauty you both bring through the blog, instagram and Ravelry.


  2. Congrats on # 101. Don’t know how you manage to crank out so many beautiful designs–I’m crawling along on #41 and seem to spend most of my days dealing with mundane things like cooking dinner and shoveling snow. As someone with two degrees in violin performance, I’m so happy to see you with your fiddle. It’s so good for the brain and the body. And the coat is fantastic. You have the best wardrobe! Happy New Year from Canada!


  3. Would love to play Da Merry Boys o Greenland with you. Or just about any Shetland tune. Current favourite- The West Side Bride’s March. I also stopped playing ( for thirty five years) and struggled mightily when I restarted. But it is so worth it. Making music is a joy. Making music with friends? That is heaven on earth. Xx


  4. I love the hat and have yarn and needles ready, but can’t access the link for Islay club members.
    So great that you are able to play your violin again.


  5. Happy Christmas and a peaceful new year. Feels a little churlish but I can’t actually access this lovely pattern on ravelry. Would love to knit so great if you can help me to access – no rush whatsoever so enjoy your break xx


  6. I love everything about this post so much (I mean more than I love your usual posts) – that first photo, your coat, the story of your return to fiddling and of course the hat! Thank you for bringing so much beauty and inspiration into my life, Kate!


  7. Dear Kate,
    thanks for the lovely pattern. Unfortunately, I couldn’t open the link although I am a member of the Islay Club.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


  8. Thank you Kate , the hat is beautiful but I wasn’t abe to access the pattern through the link. I’m a member of the club. Am I too late?
    You are an inspiration to me!


  9. Thank you so much for the lovely Christmas present! I’m digging through my wool stash as we speak to find yarns suitable for the tam. It can’t be a coincidence that one of the things I planned for the holidays was to find a pattern for one!


  10. Merry Christmas Kate, Tom and Bruce from sunny Ontario, Canada! Thanks you for the lovely Christmas present; what a lovely tam!
    Having a wee cuppa Scottish Tea and reading yet again, my lovely Shetland Oo. I love each time I open it is smells so wonderful (that real booky smell) and the feel of the paper is devine…and my most favourite photo(so very, very hard to choose) Emma Ibister’s hands…that picture talks so clearly and serenely of wool and life and all that that encompasses and holds within it. It really speaks to me!!
    Wishing you all things good in 2017!


  11. Beautiful hat, Kate. A perfect Christmas present. I’m just learning strand work and being red and white with a delightful design, this is a perfect place to start! Love the photographs, Tom and Merry Christmas to you both, Bruce and Jesus.


  12. Hi Kate,  Thankyou for the unexpected and much appreciated gift.  I hope you have had a very enjoyable day so far and best wishes for a happy, healthy 2017. Sally

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


  13. Merci pour ce beau modèle
    Je vais prendre plaisir à le tricoter pour celle que j’aime:Ma maman

    Joyeuses fêtes de fin d’année


  14. thank you very much for the great pattern. Merry Christmas and those pictures are more
    than fantastic. Have lots of fun with your fiddle. Christa


  15. I got a lovely mustard duffle for Christmas, which means, of course, I need a new tam! Thanks Kate, wishing you all a very merry festivus!


  16. Happy Christmas, Kate, Tom, Melanie & Bruce. Can’t wait to cast on. I’m not good at colour work, but hoping for the best.

    Pam x


  17. What a bonny tam. I’ve been searching Ravelry for just this sort of colorwork beret (although my pompon-making skills are dismal). Happy Christmas to you and Tom!I hope 2017 finds you increasing in health. Perhaps next Christmas, you’ll play us blog readers a tune on your fiddle!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It’s a lovely hat & it’ll be perfect for knitting up a late Christmas gift! Thank you from an Islay club member. Merry Christmas to you all at Chez Kate!


  19. Wow!! Fantastic photography, hat, coat and fiddle!! Such a romantic scene.
    Wishing you, Tom, Bruce and Jesus good health and happiness in the New Year!
    Merry Christmas and gentle reflections on the holiday.


  20. This lovely hat pattern might be the one to get me to try fair isle again. So pretty. Regaining a skill after a stroke is a gift. I couldn’t knit for 3 years after my stroke. Working to regain that skill gave me hope. Keep working at your violin.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Congratulations, Kate! What a milestone it must feel to you to be able to lift your fiddle and play again. A wonderful Holiday and wintertime moment. And thank you for being in a festive mood this morning. The hat is beautiful and I am very much looking forward to casting on. What a wonderful way to wake up! Best wishes of this holiday season to you, Tom and Bruce

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh, I love the hat!!! A bright spot you are there, my dear. You are a beacon of light and inspiration to us all – knitters and otherwise!
    Thank you ;) Great photos.
    A very happy Christmas to you, Tom, Bruce & your kitty (forgot her name). May you fiddle your way into the New Year with a dancing jig ;-0!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thank you Kate, the hat is beautiful and whimsical! The photos are lovely, dreamy…and I can almost hear that fiddle playing off of the Loch. Merry Holiday wishes to you! Best, Elizabeth

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Happy Christmas to you Kate and Tom and Bruce. I have so enjoyed your posts, photos and everything this past year,
    thank you.
    Also thanks for your wonderful new book Shetland Oo.
    I am making Cranachan today to Tom’s recipe.
    I hope that the weather is not too wild where you are.


  25. Hello Kate and Merry Christmas! Thank you for the lovely jolly hat pattern. Such a happy design just like the little jigs you are playing on the fiddle!


  26. Beautiful! I can’t wear tams myself (they just won’t stay on my head as they usually slip up the back of my head…not enough shelf back there, I guess) but I have to make this for someone else for sure! I am so happy to hear that you are making progress with your violin. It means you are getting stronger! Yay! Merry, merry Christmas to you and yours. God bless us, everyone!


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