Sunday, January 9, 2011

Knitted Beret

I love hats, especially berets. They are classic, easy to wear and warm. However it's really difficult to find a knitted beret that looks good and fits properly. They tend to be limp and slouchy (not a very flattering look). I searched several stores in my area for a knitted wool beret but was unable to find one. It looks like I am going to have to knit the hat myself. That's the great thing about being a knitter, you don't have to let the buyers for the stores dictate styles and colors to you. After a quick trip to the yarn store I found the hat pattern and the wool.

The pattern is Laurel from Made in Brooklyn by Jared Flood for Classic Elite Yarns.* The yarn is Ella Rae Classic Wool in a Merlot color. The entire hat was knit in the round on Denise needles. It was fun to knit and worked up quickly.

If you decide to knit this pattern there are some things that you should know. There are mistakes in the printed pattern. I suggest checking the Classic Elite website for the errata. My pattern book was published in November 2009 and it still contains mistakes.

Follow the chart closely, it's correct. For instance, at Round 32 the pattern instructs you to move 2 stitches from the left hand needle to the right hand needle and replace the marker while the chart shows you moving one stitch. Following the written pattern will cause the cables to be off. The same is true for Round 34 ( move 2 stitches instead of one stitch). Again the chart shows the correct placement of the stitches.

Make a full gauge swatch, especially if you are substituting yarns. The woman at the yarn shop also used the Ella Rae Classic Wool for her hat. She warned me that the hat once knitted is very large and that she used almost 2 skeins of wool. I had to knit on size 6 instead of size 7 needles to get the correct gauge. As a result I only used one skein of wool and my finished hat appears to be the same size as the model in the book.

Blocking is necessary if you want the hat to look like the one pictured in the book. I used a 10 inch plate (as suggested in the book) to block my hat.

My hat fits well, looks good and is very warm. Best of all it's able to block the icy wind. I plan to knit another in navy blue.

* This as well as Jared Flood's other patterns can be downloaded from Ravellry.