I am often asked how I dress (block) the hats I make. I made this Polar Star Tam by Outi Kater sometime last year to match the Polar Star mittens and have taken some pictures to show how I dressed it.
After all the ends were sewn in I ran a thread of green yarn through the ribbing at the edge of the hat. I am not sure what type of yarn it is (probably acrylic), it is from a cone I inherited and I use if for holding stitches and for pulling in edges when dressing garments such as this.
It is strong, doesn't stick to the Shetland yarn and it is colour fast - all important points to consider when choosing a yarn for this job.
I soaked the hat in warm water with some wool wash for half an hour or so, gently wrung it out and then pulled the hat over a plate. The plate is I use slightly smaller than a standard dinner plate, which allows the crown to be stretched without making the finished size too big. I then drew in the green yarn to pull in the ribbing and tied it. Once the hat was dry I removed it from the plate. Many people would leave it like this but I feel it makes me look like I am wearing a flying saucer on my head. I removed the green thread and dampened the sharp folds created by the edge of the plate, and then stuffed it with a few muslin cloths (you could use a towel or any fabric). The hat was then left to dry again to give a nice rounded shape. Some might say I could have just done this stage, and you could, but placing it on the plate first means you can really flatten out the crown and even out the stitches.
Then it was ready to wear. You can see more photos and read the pattern notes on Ravelry here.
I was really pleased to have the hat and mittens earlier today -
its freezing out there!