Make a Victorian Cap

The Oh-So-Popular Tam O'Shanter!

This Victorian cap,  known as the Tam O’Shanter, was quite popular. Easy to make and quite usable, they were crocheted for many years. The instructions that follow are as they were printed. Please note, because of this, the specific products used to make these caps are no longer available and you will need to substitute appropriate products in their place.

As you will see, the 1883 instructions are rather vague and the person crocheting must be rather knowledgeable with cap sizes. The 1899 instructions are quite specific and even state at the end they are sure the directions are correct in every point.

Victorian Cap #1

Tam O’Shanter Cap

The directions for this Victorian cap was published in the 1883 Manual of Needle Work, by Patten Publishing Co.

Cast on six stitches, and crochet round these stitches a flat piece, widening at intervals to insure this, and until this head piece is as large as you may desire it, when crochet one round without increasing.

Crochet the succeeding rows diminishing in the same proportion as you increased, and work the head band with either increasing or decreasing, taking the stitches through both edges of the loop. Nine or ten rows will be sufficient for this band. It should be crocheted tighter than the other part of the cap.

Victorian Cap #2

Tam O’Shanters for the Troops

The directions for this particular Version of this type of Victorian cap is from Embroidery Lessons with Colored Studies, Brainerd & Armstrong, 1899

Ladies, who wish to contribute their own handiwork toward the comfort and help of our troops in the field, should make caps for the soldiers. Physicians in the Army state, that a light covering for the head is very desirable at night, while the men lie out upon the field. A Tam O'Shanter cap, made of silk according to the rules given, has the following important advantages over any other material.

First - The silk will fold in so small a space, that a soldier can easily carry it in hi5 pocket, while the same cap made of wool, or of any heavy material, would be too cumbersome to carry.

Second - Every physician knows that silk is a non-conductor of electricity and it affords a better protection to the head, than any other material.

Ladies, who have sons or brothers, lovers or friends in the army, can show their sympathy in the cause, by sending one of these caps, made with Brainerd & Armstrong's Fast Color Silks, so that it will stand washing as often as necessary.

Materials - 4 spools of Brainerd & Armstrong’s Crochet Silk, either in Drab 2418, Dark Steel 2323, Blue 2277, Tan 2163, or any other desirable color.

Begin in center of top with 8 ch, and join in a ring. Now work in double crochet.

    1st row - 24 dc in ring.

    2d row - dc between each dc and widen in every other one.

    3d row - widen every second dc.

    4th row - widen every 4th stitch.

    5th row - widen every 5th stitch.

    6th row-widen every 8th stitch.

    7th row - widen every 15th stitch.

    8th row - widen every 16th stitch.

    9th row - widen every 18th stitch.

    10th row - widen every 20th stitch.

    11th row - widen every 9th stitch.

    12th row - widen every 7th stitch.

    13th row - same as last row.

    14th row - widen every 5th stitch.

    15th row - widen every 15th stitch.

    16th row - widen every 10th stitch.

    17th row - widen every 9th stitch.

    18th row - widen every 7th stitch.

    19th row - same as last row.

    20th row - widen every 10th stitch.

    21st row - widen every 15th stitch.

    22d, 23d, 24th rows - do not widen.

    25th row - narrow every l0th stitch.

    26th row - narrow every 9th stitch.

    27th row - narrow every 8th stitch.

    28th row - narrow every 6th stitch.

    29th row - narrow every 5th stitch.

    30th and 31st rows - same as last row.

Now make 15 rows of short crochet for the band, taking up the back loop of each short crochet.

The directions given above were taken directly from each row as it was crocheted and are correct in every particular.

Victorian Cap page.

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