For the master knitter program, my next task is to design a hat in Fair Isle style with at least three colors. This will be the most complicated design I have done to date so I'm going to document my progress and approach through this blog.
First I have read up on Fair Isle knitting and tam design so I have a good technical background to draw from. I also found a great article by Alice Starmore on tam design and structure in Thread's Knitting Around the World, That was a tremendous help as was Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns. From these I developed a basic pattern for a woman's tam with the following measurements: 23 in circumference with roughly a one inch ribbed brim, 4 inches to the wheel shaping and 3.5 inches for the wheel itself.
Next I had to figure out gauge. I'm using Knit Picks Palette yarn which is a wool fingering weight in lots of colors that are perfect for Fair Isle.
So my general pattern is (caution, not completely tested yet, so I don't know that this is what I will end up with) is to cast on 128 stitches in circular knitting, work 2 x 2 ribbing for 1.25 inches, increase to 168 stitches and work in pattern for 4 inches. Then work seven spokes of 24 stitches (a spoke is a Centered Double Decrease).