Friday, April 11, 2008

FOs: Adventures in Beret Knitting

There are again birthdays galore 'round these here parts. I have no idea why, but most of my friends seem to have been born in April.

Eliza's birthday was Wed. and I wanted to give her a quick but pretty hat. Enter a random skein of Mountain Colors and a wonderfully adjustable beret pattern!

Eliza's Birthday Beret
Yarn: Mountain Colors New 3-ply Wool in "Glacier Teal"
Needles: US 9 DPNs and 24" circular
Pattern: Through the Loops! Beret Recipe (see above link)

It's a wonderful yarn, Mountain Colors. It was just terrifically yummy to knit with and I've decided that some sort of scarf is in order next fall. The pattern is also lovely. It's super easy, super quick and really delivers a great beret shape. You can make it with whatever yarn and needles you want. The 3-ply Wool needs a bigger needle, but I only had the US 9s available. I figured it would block out drapier. I was right. It's a bit bigger than I thought it would be, but it's still warm and slouchy.

I also fiddled around to make this:

Pink Hemlock Tam
Yarn: Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham Moss
Needles: US 3 DPNs and 24" circulars
Pattern: Fudged from the Hemlock Doily pattern made famous by BrooklynTweed's Hemlock Ring Blanket

Basically, after seeing everyone's gorgeous renditions of these blankets, I was jealous. Mostly because I knew I had no use for such a blanket, but it was so pretty that I wanted one anyway. I've been really interested in the center-out construction of berets lately (I can blame Ysolda for that). When this pattern wouldn't get out of my head, I wondered what else I could make. It finally hit me that since the pattern is from the center out, I could just knit out until about 8" in diameter and try to decrease appropriately to create the slouchy and brim sections.

In the end, I'm 80% satisfied. I don't think I knit it to be slouchy enough. I think I'll try fiddling with the numbers again and incorporating less even decreases for the beret part but more decreases right before the brim. Another idea is to knit it without the feather and fan part and just stockinette instead with YOs only outlining the Hemlock pattern. Argh, dunno yet. You know how Comedy Central's election coverage is called "Indecision 2008"? My life is Indecision Central.

Regarding the Moss, I'm not such a huge fan of it. It's soft enough in the ball, but working with it is weird because of the nylon content. When I blocked it, the wet fabric just felt gross and squeaky. It's terribly good yardage, however. I made the whole hat with one ball. And the colors are lovely. I doubt I'd use it for a sweater, but it probably serves well for items that require durable yarn.

4 comments:

said...

OMG! The Hemlock Tam is gorgeous! You totally need to write up a pattern for that. I'll test knit! :D Seriously though, it's awesome. I had the same feeling about the Hemlock Ring Blanket...what would I do with another blanket? We have tons! One can never have enough hats though.

yarnbeans said...

It really is beautiful and I'm so tempted to copy you! Great job! It looks really great on you!

tiennie said...

These are awesome and you can totally rock the beret thing. I so wish I could!

Sonja said...

I am totally drooling over this beret!!! I'm speechless; it's gorgeous!