Thursday, October 02, 2008

A study in berets . . .

So I wanted to make the cute Bohemian Beret from Casual Elegant knits. The pattern calls for Cascade 220, of which I have none, but I do have tons of Crystal Palace Yarns wool. I choose some Aran Marl and set to work on the first beret to see how it would knit up and felt for me.

I was expecting to have my own unique results, knowing that so much about felting is just a pure and simple crap shoot. I knitted the pattern exactly as directed, and felted it as specified as well. The top of the beret felted very well and evenly; however, the band didn't and was quite large. No problem . . . I basted a nylon thread through the band, gathered it to my desired finished size and felted it some more. The band did come down to size, but then the top became just a smidge smaller than I'd wear. Although, it would make a great beret for a guy or someone who likes to wear a head-hugging style of hat.

So, next I made modifications to the pattern to see if I could get something that worked with both my head and my yarn. I decreased the number cast on, thus reducing the band circumference. I increased the number of rows in the band and just before the increase round so that there would be a bit more "forehead coverage". And I knit the hat 1" higher than specified before beginning decreases. This worked much better for my yarn, and I really love the results I got with the Crystal Palace Yarns Fjord in Periwinkle.

I'd definitely make this hat again, with the modifications. It's just too cute!

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