Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Poppy Beret

One of the girls over at TeamKnit was talking last week about her Ravelry Routine. I open up Ravelry more times a day than I'd like to admit, and I, too, go through the same process every time. First: anxiously eye the top right corner of the screen to see if the little envelope icon pops up. Next on to Forums to scan for yarn sales, new Obscure Patterns, etc. Then to Friend Activity and Friend Blogs to see what people are up to. That's how I discovered the gorgeous new Ysolda Teague beret Rose Red (Ravelry link here). I found this, bought it, and started it on Thursday and blocked it Sunday evening.

Beret Front View

Pattern: Rose Red by Ysolda Teague, size Large
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Poppy
Needles: Size 4 DPNs and 16" circulars

I can't say enough good things about this pattern. Ysolda includes the directions in both word and chart form, which actually helped me discover that I prefer knitting from a chart. This was a pretty big surprise for me because I cannot even figure out how to use the stove if it has those little diagrams that tell you which control goes with which burner (why doesn't it just say FRONT and BACK?!?!?). But I found I was making lots of mistakes when I was following the word directions, so I tried out the chart and the needles started flying.

I also figured out that I have become completely spoiled by my Knitpicks Options set- I used Clover bamboo needles, which used to be my favorite, and found them to be way too sticky and too dull.

Beret Side View

Whereas the pattern is written for DK weight yarn, I used the Shepherd Sport that's been sitting in my stash for a few months and made the Large size to compensate for the gauge difference. I think it worked to a degree, but I do wish my beret kept its shape a little bit more like Ysolda's original.

Beret Back View

When I finished knitting, the beret was more like a little kid beanie than a beret. I blocked it over a plate and it got larger, but not large enough. I blocked it over a bigger plate and it got big enough, but it lied too flat on my head. I blocked it a third time over a big bowl, and that gave it more of the shape I wanted.

I've always loved berets on other people but not so much on me, and I'm not sure this one is an exception. It was a fun knit and I'm glad I did it, but time will tell how much wear it will get. I feel like it makes me look a little pie-faced. But on those Sunday mornings that I just need to get to brunch without washing my hair, it may come in handy. Either way, thanks Ysolda!