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.
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.
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.
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.
Return to Victorian Crafts page.
The Last and Best Book of Art Needlework
Over 100 pages of authentic Victorian instructions and patterns from 1895!
Sign up for VEAC! Everything you wanted to know about Victorian embroidery, needlework, crafts and more!
Priscilla Bead Work Book
Make Beautiful Victorian Beaded Purses, Jewelry & Accessories - Starting