It’s Dollheid prize time! Congratulations to ten randomly-selected commenters: Celia, Luisa, Arndis, Lillicroche, Yulian, Maaike, Lizzi, Pat (J) and two Marias (one German, one Canadian) to whom I’ve just emailed a copy of the pattern. And thanks for all your comments, everyone, which I enjoyed reading: I was thrilled to discover that dollheid translates into Dutch as ‘frolicky madness’, and particularly liked Kristi’s tale of her psychedelic dream knitting — a phenomenon strangely familiar to those of us who Dream in Wool.


For those of you who are interested, here’s a little more about the design. The shaping is that of a traditional tam, but with a greater number of crown-points than is usual (eighteen dolls = eighteen points of decrease). I began with stitches to fit an average head circumference of 21 inches (those with very wee heads might knit the edging on a 2.5mm rather than a 3mm needle). The brim edging is worked in corrugated rib, and then stitches are increased rapidly to the finished diameter. Despite the relatively long areas of colourwork, I didn’t weave my strands at all — and found that the yarn stabilised quickly at the back of the work (warning: this will only work with a very even tension and a pure-wool yarn!). My finished dollheid is ten inches wide and eight inches deep – a roomy fit that would enable you to wear this tam in a slouchy fashion on the back of your head, as well as pulled down over your ear-tops (as I like it). Knitting towards the top of the crown, paired decreases are worked in the spaces between the dolls, and then in corresponding sets up through the crown pattern, until three stitches remain, which are finished as an i-cord stalk. Finally, I blocked the tam by pinning it out — rather than stretching it over a plate. This is simply because I find that putting a tam onto a plate over-stretches the ribbing, and I like my ribbing to stay as ribby as possible.

Well, dollheid is now “live” and if you are interested in the pattern, you can find it here or here. But I want to conclude this post with another congratulations — to Tom, who ran the Islay half marathon on Saturday in a speedy personal best.


Look at him go! More about our weekend on Islay shortly.