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Home : Patterns : Gretchen's Easy Tam

Free Knitting Pattern: Gretchen's Easy Tam

Lion Brand® Heartland®
Pattern #: L40074B
Rating: ****4.0 (based on 2 reviews)
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SKILL LEVEL:  Beginner (Level 1)

SIZE: One Size

Finished Circumference (at ribbing) 20 in. (51 cm), will stretch to fit a range of sizes

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Image of Gretchen's Easy Tam

Practice your Fair Isle technique with this elegant, easy-to-knit tam made with Heartland. Click here to see it in another colorway.

*P.S: Check out this great video tutorial by iKNITS, which shows you know to knit this specific pattern.

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Color (A)

Click here to enlarge image and see more about item 136-109: Heartland Yarn: Olympic
Click here for larger swatch

Color (B)

Click here to enlarge image and see more about item 136-189: Heartland Yarn: Isle Royale
Click here for larger swatch
To change colors, simply select color name from the drop-down above or else click the swatch you want to change and then click a color below
Acadia Denali Glacier Bay Olympic Lake Clark Redwood Grand Canyon Big Bend
Mammoth Cave Sequoia Bryce Canyon Yosemite Kenai Fjords Hot Springs Great Smoky Mountains Mount Rainier
Katmai Black Canyon Yellowstone Shenandoah Cuyahoga Valley Everglades Joshua Tree Kings Canyon
Isle Royale Biscayne Glacier Bay Tweed Mount Rainier Tweed Black Canyon Tweed Shenandoah Tweed Everglades Tweed Isle Royale Tweed
Acadia Tweed
*Heartland (Article #136). Solids: 100% Acrylic
Tweeds:  94% Acrylic, 6% Rayon; package size: Solids: 5oz/142g (251yd/230m)
4oz/113g (200yd/183m)

You can also buy materials separately
To change colors, click the drop-down list or swatches above
•  136-109 Heartland Yarn: Olympic
$ 6.49  
Note: (A)
•  136-189 Heartland Yarn: Isle Royale
$ 6.49  
Note: (B)
Lion Brand Double-Pointed Needles - Size 7   $ 5.95  
Lion Brand Double-Pointed Needles - Size 8   $ 5.95  
Lion Brand Split Ring Stitch Markers   $ 2.49  
Lion Brand Large-Eye Blunt Needles (Set of 6)   $ 3.59  

Gretchen's Easy Tam

Lion Brand® Heartland®


16 sts + 21 rnds = 4 in. (10 cm) in St st worked in rnds (k every rnd) with larger needles.

When you match the gauge in a pattern, your project will be the size specified in the pattern and the materials specified in the pattern will be sufficient. The needle or hook size called for in the pattern is based on what the designer used, but it is not unusual for gauge to vary from person to person. If it takes you fewer stitches and rows to make your swatch, try using a smaller size hook or needles; if more stitches and rows, try a larger size hook or needles.

Making a Gauge Swatch


kfb (knit in front and back) Knit next st without removing it from left needle, then k through back of same st – 1 st increased.
sk2p Slip 1 as if to knit, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over – 2 sts decreased.

K2, p2 Rib worked in rnds (multiple of 4 sts)
Rnd 1:
*K2, p2; rep from * to end of rnd.
Rep Rnd 1 for K2, p2 Rib worked in rnds.


1. Tam is worked in the round on 2 different sizes of double pointed needles.
2. Lower edge of Tam is worked in ribbing, on smaller needles, to create a stretchy fit.
3. Body of Tam is worked in St st worked in rnds (k every rnd), with larger needles and a stranded color work pattern.
4. The color work pattern uses 2 colors per rnd. When working stranded color work, carry unused color across the WS of the piece.
5. The color work for the body of the Tam is worked by following Chart 1. Read all rnds of chart from right to left.
6. The crown (top) of the Tam is shaped with decreases. Follow Chart 2 for the decreases and color work on the crown.
7. Tam is wet blocked over a dinner plate to create a traditional shape.

With smaller needles and A, cast on 80 sts. Divide sts onto 4 needles, with 20 sts on each needle. Place marker for beg of rnd and join by working the first st on the left hand needle with the working yarn from the right hand needle and being careful not to twist sts.
Work in K2, p2 Rib worked in rnds for about 1 1/2 in. (4 cm).
Change to larger needles as you work the next rnd. (To change to larger needles, simply knit the sts off one needle at a time, using the larger needles.)
Increase Rnd: With A, *k1, kfb; rep from * around – 120 sts.
Change to St st worked in rnds (k every rnd).
Begin Chart 1
Chart 1 shows a 4-st rep, this means that you should work the 4 sts 30 times on each rnd.
Beg with Rnd 1, work the 4-st rep of Chart 1 around.
Continue as established in St st worked in rnds and changing color following Chart 1 until Rnd 20 of chart has been completed.
Shape Crown (top of Tam)
Begin Chart 2

1. Chart 2 shows a 20 st rep, this means that you should work the 20 sts 6 times on each rnd.
2. Chart 2 shows both the color changes and the decreases needed to shape the crown (top) of the Tam. The white areas of the chart represent the decreased (missing) sts.
Beg with Rnd 1, work 20-st rep of Chart 2 around.
Continue to follow Chart 2, changing color and working decs as shown until Rnd 18 of Chart 2 has been completed – 12 sts rem.
Cut yarn, leaving a long yarn tail. Thread tail through rem sts and pull to gather. Knot securely.

Weave in ends.
Stretch Tam over a dinner plate, then spray lightly with water to block.
Allow to dry.

Click for explanation and illustration
beg = begin(s)(ning) k = knit
p = purl rem = remain(s)(ing)
rep = repeat(s)(ing) rnd(s) = round(s)
St st = Stockinette stitch st(s) = stitch(es)

  Learn to Knit instructions:

Ratings and Reviews
Pattern Average Rating: ****4.0 (based on 2 reviews)
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Gretchen's Easy Tam Reviewed by JEB O'Barr on 2014-12-18 *****
While probably not for an absolute beginner, it makes a great first fair isle project and comes together quickly. I finished my first in three days and am now making another. I love it! There is also a helpful youtube video on iknit.

When you are in New York City, visit the Lion Brand Yarn Studio at 34 W. 15th Street for a one-of-a-kind yarn lover's experience. For more information, visit the website,
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