Here is the final (I think) swatch for my tam. As you can see, I have vastly simplified the color scheme by sticking with the medium purple color throughout for the background. While some might find this not as visually exciting as using a range of colors, I prefer the unity that it provides, which focuses the attention on the stitch patterns. I didn’t change the ribbing at all from the previous swatch (in fact, I ripped that one back to the ribbing, then picked up the stitches to make this one).
I think that I have figured out the wheel section, although this swatch illustrates a couple of problems. Notice how the two large black crosses collide with the decrease line; I have now adjusted the spacing on the chart so this won’t happen in the final hat. I have also reconfigured and simplified some of the smaller black crosses and added a row of purple between the black line and the start of the cross designs to give them a bit of breathing room.
Finally, I’m not entirely sure about the use of black for that section. I really like the contrast with the purple, but the black dye seems to make for a slightly heavier yarn, which makes the stitches a tiny bit larger than the purple ones. I think this effect may be exaggerated by the fact that this hasn’t been blocked yet and by the way I am swatching with cut lengths of yarn, so I am going to see how it goes in the real hat when I get there.
I need to make and block a small swatch using fresh yarn to confirm the gauge and then I’ll be ready to start knitting at last!