Thursday, May 15, 2008

Crazy Aunt Purl's Beret for Worsted Weight

For those of you who are fans of Crazy Aunt Purl, you know that she published a pattern for a beautiful beret, which she recently wore on her trip to Rome. She's so lucky!

Her particular beret pattern was written for chunky/bulky yarn. My stash doesn't include a lot of chunky or bulky yarn, and so I transposed the pattern for worsted weight yarn. In the spirit of not reinventing the wheel, I thought it might be nice to share so that all of you out there wouldn't have to do the least fun part of knitting--the math.

Laurie, if you're not happy about me publishing this, let me know, and I'll take it down.

This is a variation of my watch cap pattern math coupled with CAPs design.

Tools and Materials

A 16 inch circular needle in size 8 or whatever size lets you knit at 4.5 stitches per inch.

You don't really need this, but if you have a 24 inch circular needle in the same size as the previous one, it's more comfortable for me to use this size, and it might be for you, too.

Either 5 DP needles in above size, or 2 circulars (for the 2 circular method of avoiding DPs) or a l-o-o-o-n-g circular (for the magic loop method) in above size.

a 16 inch circular needle two sizes smaller than the previous one.

About 200 yards of worsted weight yarn. Actually, 200 yards is cutting it pretty close. You'll probably have only a few yards left. It's safer to get a bit extra.

Stitch markers (you'll need 7 of these, plus a different, distinctive one to mark the beginning of rounds), a yarn needle, and scissors.

Start Knitting

Cast on 96 stitches using the smaller needle and long tail cast on. OK, if you think it helps elasticity, you can cast on with the larger needle.

Place the distinctive marker at the beginning of the round and work around in K2, P2 rib for 1.75 to two inches.

Increase Round

*K1, K in front and back of next stitch (1 inc made)* around. 144 stitches.


Switch to larger needles, and K even on every round for about 4.5 inches. Somewhere while you're doing this, place stitch markers every 18 stitches.

Decrease Round

*K2tog, knit to next marker* around.

Alternate this dec round with one round worked even until there are are 16 stitches. Work dec round on NEXT round. *K2tog* around on next row. Break (or cut) yarn leaving a long tail. Use the tapestry needle to pull the yarn tail through all the stitches. Then go through all the stitches again and knot. It goes without saying that you'll switch to the shorter circular needle and then to DPs or the circular method of your choice when there are too few stitches to fit on the longer circular.

I'm assuming here that you know how to use two circulars or the magic loop method to substitute for DP needles. These are both good methods, and I love the magic loop for knitting mitts. If you don't know how, use DPs or look on the net here for magic loop. This doesn't give you precise directions, just an overview, but it gives you a list of links for very precise directions. Good luck with that. It's very liberating.

Weave in ends.

If you think it needs it, you can block, but it may not need it.

That's it.

As CAP says, it's easy.

And it looks GREAT!

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