Taranis Tam & Mittens


Photo courtesy of Knit Picks

Working with Knit Picks publication team is one of my favorite collaborations. They are incredibly helpful and professional throughout the entire publication process. They put the patterns through several editing stages to ensure the best-possible written pattern. This is great for me (on many levels), since I feel like I am still learning so much every time I publish a pattern.  I am so excited to have my tam and mitten set published in Knit Picks Celtic Journeys collection: Taranis Tam & Mittens. Both are knitted in Knit Picks Swish.

What’s with the name? When researching for this design, I looked through Celtic names and history to find a name that I thought would fit the nature of my design.  I came across Taranis, who is the Celtic god of Thunder. The cable pattern represents the heavens and the earth coming together, as thunder reminds us that lightning comes down from the heavens and touches the earth.  Maybe it is a stretch, but it made a lot of sense to me when I was writing the pattern.


Photo courtesy of Knit Picks

A little about the Mittens: Taranis Mittens are knitted using double-pointed needles (Although, I am sure you could use the Magic Loop method for knitting the body of the mittens. The decrease sections at the top of the mitten still require double-pointed needles). The cable pattern worked on the top side of the mittens is charted. The palm side is worked in stockinette stitch, with the exception of an afterthought Thumb, which has a simple cable stitch (chart provided for that as well). Typically an afterthought thumb is used for color-work (fair isle, stranded knitting, etc.) so that the color pattern can be worked uninterrupted in the round. I decided to do an afterthought thumb I thought it would look really nice and go along with the theme of knitting  a tam (which are also commonly knitted with color-work patterns). But because I added an afterthought thumb, I thought I would add a little ease to the mittens, since a thumb gusset wouldn’t provide room around the palm. So, the mittens are knitted with some ease (which translates to a loose fit), so keep that in mind when you decide which size to knit. I think most women will fit well in the middle size. If you have exceptionally long and skinny hands, here are some alteration instructions to help you customize a tighter fit.


Photo courtesy of Knit Picks

A little about the Tam: The tam uses the same chart as the mittens to create the four, repeated cable panels. Stockinette stitch is worked between the cables.  You will need a plate with which to block your tam. I made a tam “plate” out of an old card board box that I had.  If you decide to that as well, make sure the cardboard is fairly sturdy. And then I measured out a circle according to the tam size that I made (which was large and not pictured here). The recommended tam blocking-plate size is provided in the pattern. Due to the stockinette stitches between the cable patterns it is possible to alter the size of the Tam Body. I am currently writing alteration instructions and instructions on how to turn this hat into a beanie! Rnds 51-55 do have Errata, please see this post for the update.

Here are some alteration ideas for those interested.