Pattern: Beaulieu Tam

Also available as part of an eBook, Whitework: Accessories inspired by medieval illumination

The “whitework” technique in medieval manuscripts is that of painting fine lines in white paint across a coloured background. Whitework was very much in vogue in Western Europe, starting about the 12th century, and was certainly in full swing during the 14th century. The opening page of the medieval manuscript Roman de la Rose, scribed by Girard de Beaulieu, contains a variety of whitework motifs which were adapted for the different sections of this beret. De Biaulieu was a cleric of St-Sauveur in Paris, and this popular poetic work is dated 1353.


  • Small: 10.25” diameter, 20” brim circumference
  • Large: 11.5” diameter, 22.5” brim circumference
Beret is expected to fit around head as shown with between 5-15% negative ease on the brim circumference. Model shown was made in the small size.

      Skills required

      • Knitting, purling
      • Increasing, decreasing
      • Stranded knitting
      • Chart reading
      • Yarnovers
      • Working in the round with DPNs (alternatives: two circulars or magic loop method)

      Materials needed

      • Yarn: DK weight or similar, as follows (all yardages are approximate):
        • Small: 130 yards of main colour and 75 yards of contrast colour
        • Large: 160 yards of main colour and 90 yards of contrast colour
      • Needles: 
        • Either 3.5mm 16" circular needle and one set of 3.5mm DPNs or (for two circulars) two 3.5mm 16" circular needles or (for magic loop method) 3.5mm 32" or longer circular
        • 4mm needle (for bind-off)
      • Stitch marker
      • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends


      • 28 sts and 28 rounds to 4" in stranded pattern on 3.5mm needles after blocking

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