The Red Beret

or the hat that got frogged not once, not twice, but 4 times....!

In the beginning, there was the yarn. I found this at Ullcentrum's stand at the Syfestivalen fair in february 2011. It had my friend K's name all over it. I wasn't sure what I was going to make from it, but I was certain it would be something for K. 

Round about August, she told me she needed a woolly hat for the coming winter.
Great, I said, I got just the yarn for it, and started to look for a pattern. I wanted something that was knitted with cables, and also was a bit slouchy, so went crawling through Ravelry for berets and tams and suchlike.

I found the Flavia. It was just what I wanted, with its little serpentine cables weaving in and out, enough slouch but not really a beret.

I cast on for the first time and immediately got it wrong, there is a lot of counting to do with the pattern from the beginning, if you forget to use markers, like I did. Knitted the whole of the brim and was just about to start on the cabling when I realised my mistakes.

Rip it up, start again.

This time I used markers for each section of the pattern to simplify counting each stitch to match up with the cabling in the body of the hat. All went well, it is a fun knit with all the little cables swirling around, in and out of eachother.
About half way I started getting suspicious that the hat was getting to big. I knitted on in the belief it would be alright on the night. Until I was almost 3/4 done, then it was becoming quite obvious that the hat was going to fall down around my ears and neck if I tried it on. And it did.

Rip it up, start again.

I gave up the yarn.  By now there had been another Syfestival fair, and I had found some more delicious yarns, this time from Islandsgarn.
Lett-LopiIt is called Léttlopi, and is a wonderfully squishy aran-weight Icelandish wool yarn that was sold really cheap at the fair. I bought red, blue, a heathery pink and a lilac purple, completely without projects in mind.

Since this yarn was thicker, I needed a new pattern. I had previously favved The Druidess Beret when I was looking for patterns and decided to give it a try. This time I used markers from the beginning, even if this one wasn't quite so dependent on counting in the rim. I also bought new needles to fit gauge. I thought.

The thicker yarn, and slightly simpler pattern made this hat a really fast and fun knit. About half way into the body of the hat I realised I hade made a serious mis-thinking in needle size and had knit with the wrong size needles all the way.

Rip it up, start again.

Started again with the right size needles ( 4 & 5mm). Knitted all the way to the end. Blocked. Too big.

Rip it up, start again.

Getting desperate, and time starting to be a factor since it was now November, I decided to simply cut one section of the repeating pattern. Knit 5 sections instead of 6. And that finally did the trick! It felt better even as I was knitting, and was even able to try the hat on K before I finished it to make sure. Then I was able to finish it, block it and wrap it up for K for Christmas. Luckily we have had a quite mild winter so far so she hasn't been freezing her ears off in waiting.

I believe she was really happy with it, but last I saw,  her daughter has hi-jacked it for herself.

Me in the finished hat, but before blocking. Awful pic but there you go. 

What I learned from this hat: The Importance Of Knitting Swatches. Gauge may not be vitally important in every thing I ever knit,  but, in things that should fit something specific, like a head, it really is important to take the time to knit that little square up before you start on the project itself.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Blomma till nyckelring

Jag har varit i New York!

Banansilke