Monday, January 18, 2010

Sparkle Fresh Beret Pattern

This is a beret of my design. It was a really fun one and the process was a good one for me too.

I originally made it out of Louisa Harding Mulberry which is 100% silk. The fabric had amazing drape and it looked really good but I should have thought back to my fibre training and known that 100% silk doesn't have memory. It's a long fibre that's slippery and stretches and stretches and stretches with no "snap back" like wool. I thought that adding the Katia Pailettes (which is a thread of nylon with sequins threaded on it) would give it the body it needed but I was still very unhappy with my baggy, streatched out hat.

So, I remade the beret with a silk wool blend. I stuck with Louisa Harding because I'm a fan (hee). This time, I made it with her Grace which is a hand-painted silk/wool blend. It has a beautiful sheen, it's warm, springy and the colours are amazing. I, of course, still used the Katia Pailettes because it wouldn't be "Sparkle Fresh" otherwise.

If you make the beret please feel free to substitute yarns, any DK weight should work (check your guage though!!!). And please add sparkle - beads, Katia Pailettes, sequins - anything to make it sparkle FRESH!

Sparkle Fresh Beret
by Alisa McRonald

This beret was inspired by glamour, texture and luxury. Pop it on your head and you are ready to go out for a night on the town! So simple you can start it with your morning coffee and have it done for your evening cocktail!

One size fits most, approximately 10” in diameter once blocked.

Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rows = 4” (10 cm in Stockinette Stitch
(k every row). Please always check your gauge!

Materials: Two balls Louisa Harding Grace yarn, one ball Katia Paillettes, 3.5mm, 16” circular needle (for brim), 4.5mm, 24” circular needle for hat,
4.5mm set double pointed needles for finishing, darning needle to weave in ends.

Stitches used:
kfb = knit into the front and back of st (increases by 1 st)
ssk = Slip, slip, knit. Slip next two sts as if to knit, one at a time, to right needle; insert left needle into fronts of these 2 sts and k them together.

Using Grace and with 3.5mm circular needles, cast on 80 sts. Mark beginning of round and join. Work circularly in k1, p1 rib for 1 1/2”.

Increase Round:
Switch to 4.5mm circular needles. *K1, KFB repeat from * around – 120 sts.
Continue to knit all sts until piece measures 4 1/2” from beginning. Place 5 more markers evenly spaced around (place marker every 20 sts. Make sure marker at the beg. of round is a different colour or easily identified from the rest.)

Rnd 1(decrease rnd): *Ssk, work to marker, slip marker repeat from * 6 times.
Rnd 2: Work 1 rnd even. Repeat last 2 rounds until 48 sts remain (carefully switch to double pointed needles).

Repeat Rnd 1 only, until 6 sts remain (note: decreasing every round).

Gently remove/cut paillettes from 6” of yarn. Using darning needle thread both ends through 6 remaining sts. Pull extra to inside and secure. Weave in all ends remembering to remove paillettes from any Paillettes yarn that needs to be woven in. Lay hat flat and pin to blocking area in desired shape, mist lightly with water and allow to dry.

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