Toner Tam

My Toner Tam is a cross between a French beret and a Scottish tam


No.s 1-3 The Fibre Co Cumbria Yarn Tam pattern and wool available from 


The classic French beret became synonymous with bohemian artists and writers in Paris. But, it was really the 17thcentury shepherds from the Basque region of France who were early adopters. They used the felted wool from their own sheep to keep their heads warm and dry. The classic French beret had a little tail from the end of the knitting which came out of the crown, the hat was knitted then felted on a wooden disc. In the 1930s Chanel adapted it for women, maybe after seeing Marlene Deitrich wearing one on stage. This made it a fashion statement for other women, including movie stars such as Greta Garbo and Brigitte Bardot. Parisian artists of the Left Bank imitated the great artists of the Renaissance, adopting the beret as part of their arty image.

Kangol hats

I grew up near the Kangol factory, where 80% of all French berets were produced. They used wool, angora and thermoplastic fibre, to help the beret keep its shape in the rain. My Tam (above) is knitted with Cumbria Fingering yarn, kindly donated by The Fibre Company through their yarn support programme. I chose the beautiful ‘Appleby Castle’ red as I felt it had the rich and confident quality which matched the style. The fibre is 60% merino wool, 30% masham wool and 10% mohair, which gives a lovely bloom, warmth and softness to the finished product. Knit using increases, decreases, 1 x 1 Rib, from the bottom up on circular needles with a back seam, but can also be worked on straight needles if you prefer.

 4. Photo of white Kangol beret   5. Collage of films stars and revolutionaries

The name Kangol (started by Jakob Spreiregen), refers to the ‘K’ from Knitting or Knitted, the ‘ANG’ from angora, the ‘OL’ from wool. The textile industry in the English/Scottish Borders where I live was a big part of my history. Kangol was the reason why I first became interested in millinery. Their knitted and felted berets: an iconic fashion piece were manufactured in Cumbria from 1938-2010 by Kangol. The tam/beret remains a symbol of French and Scottish culture, youth, rebellion, revolution, defense of freedom and country due to its military traditions.

                           6. Example of Scottish Military Caps, the Tam o’shanter

Tam o’shanter hat

My version of the beret is crossed with the Scottish Tam o’shanter. (A name derived from the character in a poem by Robert Burns from Dumfries, in the Scottish Borders.)

But pleasures are like poppies spread:
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snowfall on the river,
A moment white – then melts forever,…” Robert Burns, 1790.

There was a white moment, with a light fall of snow as Beth modeled the hat. The Tam was used as a Scottish military cap and was called the ‘Blue Bonnet’, due to the natural dye colours used, indigo and woad. They wore the tam band an inch above the eyebrow and pulled down over the right ear. You can wear yours any way you want, pulled right back, on the top or side, over your ears, or  like a slouchy beanie. I have blocked mine into a traditional disc shape for a slanted chic style.

On this occasion, I didn’t use traditional tartan, tweed or pom poms. Instead, I took the baggy shape and deeper headband of the Tam to add British style to the French beret.  As for decor, I added the insignia of a yin yang badge as its balance sums up the concept of the beret, perfect for young and old and male and female alike. It is a practical hat, warm and can be tucked in your pocket when it’s not needed. But it’s more than just a head covering. The Toner Tam is meant to be a statement to add attitude, that adapts to anyone’s personal style. Wear your own personal brooch or badge. It is the perfectly inclusive hat, from performers to shepherds, rebels to artists, casual to couture the Tam can identify character and convey the mood of its wearer.

Go to  for the pattern and wool.

Happy knitting!






49 Replies to “Toner Tam”

  1. I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site.
    I’m hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own website now 😉

  2. Thanks for this article. I might also like to convey that it can always be hard when you’re in school and just starting out to establish a long history of credit. There are many college students who are simply just trying to live and have a protracted or good credit history can sometimes be a difficult thing to have.

  3. Hey I am so excited I found your blog page, I really found you by error, while I was researching on Digg for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don抰 have time to browse it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.

  4. After reading your blog post, I browsed your website a bit and noticed you aren’t ranking nearly as well in Google as you could be. I possess a handful of blogs myself, and I think you should take a look at “seowebsitetrafficnettools”, just google it. You’ll find it’s a very lovely SEO tool that can bring you a lot more visitors and improve your ranking. They have more than 30+ tools only 20$. Very cheap right? Keep up the quality posts

  5. I am not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  6. Hi are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  7. Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any suggestions for inexperienced blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  8. Thank you, I’ve just been searching for information about this subject for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

  9. Excellent blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any tips? Thank you!

  10. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

  11. I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this information So i am happy to convey that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to don抰 forget this website and give it a glance on a constant basis.

  12. Thanks for revealing your ideas on this blog. In addition, a fable regarding the banking companies intentions when talking about foreclosure is that the loan company will not have my payments. There is a degree of time which the bank is going to take payments every now and then. If you are too deep inside the hole, they will commonly desire that you pay the payment entirely. However, i am not saying that they will have any sort of installments at all. When you and the loan company can be capable to work a thing out, the actual foreclosure procedure may stop. However, if you continue to miss payments wih the new system, the property foreclosures process can pick up exactly where it was left off.

  13. Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thanks However I’m experiencing challenge with ur rss . Don抰 know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting an identical rss drawback? Anyone who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  14. I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for starters. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

  15. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I抣l learn plenty of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  16. I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it抯 rare to see a great blog like this one today..

  17. I was just seeking this info for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your web site. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this kind of informative websites in top of the list. Generally the top websites are full of garbage.

  18. That is very attention-grabbing, You’re an excessively professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look ahead to searching for extra of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  19. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I抣l be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  20. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, awesome site!

  21. Hey very cool site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also厈I am happy to find so many useful information here in the post, we need work out more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  22. If you are seeking for the top service to get website visitors to your web page, i advise to use seowebsitetrafficnet. I am using it with a great result. Simply just type “seo website traffic net” in google, yahoo and bing.

  23. The very crux of your writing whilst sounding reasonable in the beginning, did not work properly with me personally after some time. Somewhere within the sentences you actually managed to make me a believer but only for a very short while. I still have got a problem with your jumps in assumptions and you might do well to fill in all those gaps. If you actually can accomplish that, I will definitely end up being fascinated.

  24. *Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I?d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  25. *Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

  26. Thank you for another informative site. Where else could I get that kind of information written in such a perfect way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such great information like yours. Thanks!

  27. I blog frequently and I seriously thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

  28. Wow, superb blog format! How lengthy have you been running a blog for? you make running a blog glance easy. The overall glance of your website is magnificent, as neatly as the content material!

Leave a Reply