The Scatness Tam, designed by Kate Davies, was my second Fair Isle project. It was a new challenge because it required stranding. But I had been looking for a Fair Isle hat pattern that was not a simple watchman’s cap. I fell in love with this design. I was anxious along the way and moved through the project very deliberately.
Despite its complex pattern and multiple colors, this is a project for a new Fair Isle knitter. It is beautifully designed with a pattern that carries a huge artistic punch. It is looks fabulous and fits beautifully.
If you are a little nervous, take Kathy’s class on April 1 to get started, continue on April 8 and enjoy stranding. The whole Fair Isle world will open up to you! Class details are posted on our class page.
When finished, I feared that the hat was too small and I blamed my newly-acquired stranding technique. Then I blocked the hat by stretching it over a 10″ plate perched atop a mason jar. The plate forces the hat into the tam/beret form. And, OMG!!!!, the hat blocked to perfection – if I do say so myself – and I am over the moon…and shamelessly proud.
P.S. I wondered about “Scatness”. Kate Davies’ designs often pay homage to the Shetlands. Scatness is on the Mainland of the Shetlands and can trace human activity back 2000 years! It has medieval, Viking and Iron Age remains. Look it up. It amazes.
And fun fact #2: The term Fair Isle comes from the tiny island, Fair Isle, that is a part of the Shetlands. It refers to the knitting technique in which multiple colors are used to create beautiful designs. However, never more than two colors are used at one time. The projects are knit in the round using only the knit stitch. For more insight into J&S, see our earlier blog.
There seems to be a lot going happening on those remote little Shetlands – and, wow, are we happy we found them!