Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hey Hey, Let's Knit a Beret!


Okay, so it all started three days ago when we were loading the kids into the truck for a jaunt up to chilly Port Townsend. Everybody had a warm hat except me. I was reduced to wearing the kitty hat I knit for my 10 year old when she was a toddler. This was ridiculous. I grabbed some yarn I spun and dyed with madder root and whatever needles I thought might work and knit my way up to P.T. and back. I kind of winged this hat at the beginning then when I got home I found a pattern I could loosely follow for the remainder of the hat (namely the decreases).


I must say, I have Elizabeth Zimmermann to thank for this fearless leap into knitting improvisation. I love that woman.
So here's what I did:
I did a gauge swatch (thank you, Mrs. Zimmermann) to figure out how many stitches to the inch I got from my yarn with my needles. 4 stitches to the inch. Okay, I knew I was going for a 21 inch circumference around my head so I just multiplied 4x21=84. That was how many stitches I cast on. I worked a garter stitch brim for about an inch then doubled my stitches all at once by M1 (knit in the front and back of the same stitch) all the way around . Now I had 168 stitches and I just knit in the round like crazy until I determined it was time to decrease. From then on I pretty much followed the instructions at Purl Bee.
When I was done the thing pretty much looked like a shapeless mass:
















So I washed it , spun it out and shaped it around a large dinner plate to dry into a beret-like shape. Here's a top view. I like the irregularities in the dyed wool:










Then I put it on a rack over the wood cookstove to dry more quickly. I'm impatient, I know.

I stuck a pin on the thing and viola! A hat! I may have to needle felt a flower or something to decorate it but for now this will do. And now I have something warm to wear that doesn't' have a kitty on it!

10 comments:

Storybook Woods said...

Okay you are the queen (and look fabulous by the way) LOVE, love the beret. I also love that you cooked your hat on your woodstove, So you. It turned out great. I will have to copy you xoxoxo

countrymouse said...

Is there *nothing* you can't do? If I didn't already love you I'd probably hate you and your creative/ambitious genius : )

Auberne' Rose Ancalimon said...

I LOVE IT!!!!! It's such a pretty color!!!! Your absolutely AMAZING!!!!! ^-^

Auberne' Ancalimon @-`---

Julie Leung said...

lookin' great! Impressed as always...

TroElli said...

You are beautiful and madly talented.. and I am so glad you are part of my world. I love you!!

Florrie said...

nice to see you back. love the beret.

Kim Scott-Olson said...

I don't think there IS anything you can't do. You are such a constant source of inspiration. As far as loving the beret goes...all I can say is Me Too, Me Too!! It's beautiful.

Gumbo Lily said...

So pretty! And so are YOU, Angie.

Jody

Susan L said...

Can I join your fan club here in saying that you are beautiful and that beret is *great*?!

I need to remember to check your blog more often... Good to see some posts, Angie! You've got so much to share.

Susan

Linda Kay said...

The Knitted beret is wonderful and looks great on you.