Sunday, 16 December 2007

Blue beret

I've made the blue silk I got at the iknitlondon stitch & bitch day into a hat. Here's the pattern, which I just made up. It's all crochet except for the ribbing at the end, which is there to give it a bit of grip. I decided on a beret because the trouble with silk is, it isn't springy and stretchy like wool, so most winter hat shapes just wouldn't work. But it what it does do, is drape.


Materials:
I skein Fluffenstuff hand-dyed "Aran" silk in "Aether" (I don't agree that it's aran - I'd call it double-knitting at most, and some experiment says that 4mm to 4.5mm is the needle size to use for a wearable fabric).

4mm crochet hook and 5 4mm double pointed knitting needles.

Procedure:
Make a loop and work 12 dc (or sc if you are American) into it. Join with a slip stitch and continue to work dc in a spiral, increasing irregularly as necessary to keep it circular and flat, until it is as big as a dinner plate. I do this based on experience with a little trial and error, but you start increasing every 2, then 3 and end up hardly increasing at all. Interspersing no-increase rounds works well. You have to mark the end of the round somehow if you're going to be that orderly about it: I don't bother, but just do it by eye with frequent checks.

When it is big enough, decrease every 12th stitch for one round and then decrease every 10th stitch until the opening is just slightly bigger than a good fit over your normal hairstyle - with enough room to get the fingers inside.

Put the last stitch on the first 4mm dpn and pick up all the stitches until you have a full cirle. Knit in knit-1-purl-1 rib for 10 rounds.

Cast off with a really stretchy cast off. I do it like this: k1, *return the loop on the right needle to the left needle, knit it again, knit/purl next stitch in pattern, cast off knit/purlwise to suit that stitch, repeat from * till you get to the end.

It is reversible: if you wear it inside out the texture is different, softer with a less obvious spiral pattern. The ribbing can be tucked inside or pulled down to keep your ears warm.

I have another skein, and a bit left over from this one. They might be a scarf or some fingerless mittens, which are very nice in a chilly office. Silk is surprisingly warm. There might even be enough for both.

5 comments:

raincitygirl said...

Hello Hedgie,
I do love the hat. It looks like it gets quite voluminous, yes? I've been knitting hats with lots of increases after the initial band of ribbing, and I've even thrown in a bit of lacework for the body, but I've not been able to hang onto any of them. It's my bad habit to immediately hand over anything I've made to someone who really admires it. So no hat for me. I'm lucky I've been able to hold onto my silk/wool lace wristwarmers. Someone DID ask me to make a pair for her - to match the hat and scarf she now owns (which used to be mine). Sigh.

Remember when you taught me to crochet?

Love love

msHedgehog said...

Yes it's quite big, bigger than the wool berets they sell commercially. I made it big so it would go over my normal hairdo, which can be quite bulky at times, and could still keep my ears warm. I also have quite a large head, even without the hair. You could make a smaller one and the procedure would be just the same.

I do remember that - it sounds like you're really creative now! xx

Nikki said...

That looks lovely. I'm so happy Aether found something so fab to become.

Any chance of a better graphic for the Customer Gallery at Fluffenstuff?

I'd also love to post this a Free Pattern? Yourself gets the full Designer Credit of course!

As to your feelings over the weight of the yarn. I'm inclinded to agree with you for this batch of the Silk. It was sold to me as an Aran weight yarn, but I think the spinner in India had a "thin day" and so it came out far nearer DK.

Still, that just means more yardage! :-)

msHedgehog said...

Hi Nikki,

Nice to hear from you. It does go a long way - I've still got the other skein waiting for inspiration.

I think I've got a bigger version of that photo, but not here. I'll have a dig around. You can use the pattern if you like - I'm a bit vague about the increases, though!

Nikki said...

Hi there,

I finally made the pattern page:

http://www.fluffenstuff.co.uk/free-patterns/sloppy-beret

Mostly motivated by a new batch of yarn selling and dyeing! Patterns required.

Did you even make the mittens/scarf?