Friday, December 12, 2014

DIY: a felted beret

Paris calls for a beret!

I was in Paris in the past few days, and started to knit a beret: because when you're in Paris, you bet chances are you get taken by the Parisian mode!

I got home last night, finished the last few rows with the DPNs, felted, blocked and placed on the heater to dry! It was ready this morning and wore it already!

I sort of followed a pattern on Raverly: the Preyarn Beret by Elena Berezinskaya - this is a fast knit, very well detailed, free pattern. As usual, (I'm bad at following patterns) I made one modification on purpose and one by accident. Anyway, it worked out well and I'm really pleased with the result!

The "on purpose" modification: the pattern calls for 6 rows on stockinette stitch for the brim: I casted on with a provisionally cast on, and actually knitted 7 rows on stockinette, 1 row of purl stitch, and 7 rows of stockinette, this way, once the beret was done, I folded the brim in half and sew down the live stitches from the provisional cast on to have a thicker, fitted and slightly more defined brim.

The" by accident" modification: I did all my increases and decreases stitches stacked on top of each other, with the result that the hat has defined "slices": while felting and blocking, though, the slices get smoothed out and the result is a perfectly round beret.

from my instagram account

I used my set of Boye interchangeable circular needles: because I have a tight hand, I always put a tip of a smaller size on the non working needle, this makes my knitting much easier.
I used the smaller size connecting cable for the cast on, and later the 24 inches cable; while decreasing I knitted until I could (about 81 stitches) with the circular needles, and then I switched to the Boye 7-Inch Aluminum Double Point Knitting Needles (size 6US - 4mm).

The yarn I had is the same yarn I used for the felted clogs I made last year, I know it shrinks a lot once felted, so I decided to knit the bigger version of the pattern, even if my head is 54cm/ 21-1/4" diameter. 

Once finished, I felted the hat by hand rather than in the washing machine: it's a small item, and the hand felting took me about half hour, much faster than a cycle in the washing machine: also,  by hand felting I was able to keep the felting process under control. Really happy with the whole process and result! 

Now... I'll be busy making a matching scarf!

xox, d.

keep in touch! 

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