Tam caps, rounded knitted hats that fit snugly, are ideal knitting projects. Besides being easy, they make practical gifts, especially during the winter holidays. A bubble tam cap is one that looks like it has bubbles plastered all over it. Bubbles are made by the bobble stitch, creating height. In addition to adding three-dimensional texture, bubbles decorate and liven up an otherwise ordinary piece of knitting.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 4-ply (medium weight) yarn
- Size 10 knitting needles
- Size 8 (5mm) knitting needles
- Measuring tape
- Yarn needle
Learn the bobble stitch. Bobbles use stitches to create raised texture. They're made by working multiple stitches into one stitch and then treating all of them as one in the next row as seen in the YouTube video (See Resources). They can be as short or as tall as you want them to be, although most patterns call for bobbles 5 inches high. You can choose from one of three ways to knit them. For example, one way is to knit 1, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, and knit 1 in the same stitch (for a total of five stitches in one stitch.)
Learn other ways to do the bobble stitch. Another way is to knit in the front, back, front, back, and again, in front in the same stitch. For a third option, you can knit, purl, knit, purl, and knit in the same stitch. All three methods produce five stitches done in one stitch.
Learn to make individual bobbles. Some knitters find it easier to knit separate bobbles and then attach them to their knitting. To make individual bobbles, take large knitting needles (about size 10 or 11) and cast on 1 stitch. For the first row, knit (in front, back, front, back and front) for five stitches and then decrease by five stitches. Purl across for all even rows. For row three, knit across. On row five knit 2 together, knit 1, knit 2 together. Cast off stitches and fasten off after completing six rows.
Decide on a pattern. Look for a knitted tam cap pattern using the bobble stitch, which can be found either online or in knitting pamphlets. If you can't find a pattern using the bobble stitch, you can always use a pattern for a knitted tam cap and then add separate bobbles.
Design your own pattern If you can't find a pattern for a tam cap, make your own. First determine head circumference and number of stitches to cast on, depending on the yarn label and gauge. Knit in the stockinet stitch (knit one row, purl the next), which produces a smooth surface on one side. Continue until the piece is long enough for a cap. Then sew up the ends, leaving one end open. Be sure the stockinet side is on the outside.
Cut a piece of yarn, long enough to thread through the cap and then tie in a bow. Then thread through (about an inch from the top, to gather, using as a drawstring, rounding the cap). Tie the string in a bow. Make as many bobbles as you want and attach them to your cap by sewing them with matching yarn.
Tips and warnings
- Use contrasting colours for individual bobbles.
- Make an extra cap to donate to a homeless shelter.
- Coordinate the size of the bobbles with the cap. In other words, you'll want to make fewer, as well as shorter bobbles, for an infant's cap (about three rather than five) than an adult's. For an extra-wide head, fitting an adult, make more than five.
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