HSM “Blue” Challenge Inspiration


It’s been very cold in NYC this winter, which means I’ve had lots of opportunity to wear one of the coolest pieces of clothing I own: a vintage WWII RAF officer’s greatcoat!  It’s the heaviest piece of clothing I own and it’s usually too warm for average winter weather, but since it’s been EXTRA cold, this baby’s seeing the most action it’s had since I bought it in 2012.  I’ve discovered, though, that I don’t have any warm hats that look good with it! (Surprise surprise, rainbow beanies and Gryffindor-coloured earflap hats look very silly with badass 40s coats).

So for February’s HSM challenge, “Blue”, I’m going to make a 1940s-style tam to go with my awesome coat.


“Tam o’shanter” is a nickname for the Balmoral bonnet, a traditional Scottish hat which was adopted as part of the Scottish regiments’ military uniforms in WWI.  Fashionable hats of the same shape were worn by women from the mid-19th century on.  They can be made with millinery techniques, sewn, knit or crocheted.

This is the main inspiration for the tam I’m going to make: Tasha Moss’ “Victory Beret” from her awesome site By Gum, By Golly:

Victory Beret

Isn’t it beautiful?

I love the idea of a multicolored fair isle tam, but five colours in fingering weight yarn is a little much for me right now.  I’ve found a pattern for a worsted-weight fair isle tam, though:

Yarnspirations’ Fair Isle Tam

Still five colours, but in a worsted weight, which seems much more manageable!  I’m going to change the colours and use a more period palette, of course heavily featuring blue – I’m thinking burgundy, hunter green, and white as some of the contrast colours.

1940s Paint Palette from Retro Renovation

Well, I’m off to the yarn store!


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