On the "Apollo 8 anniversary," (we're always creative about what to call 25 December), my mum showed me a hand-knitted beret she had bought recently, and asked me if I could make her another one of a similar size, any appropriate colour or style I wanted. What she liked about it was that it was a bit wider than a standard beret, which suited the way she was wearing it (back of the head instead of to one side).
Rowan Magazine's 30th anniversary issue had a vintage-style beret I wanted to make, and I had three balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze given to me by the ever-inexplicable J-A. The colour is ashes of roses — pink with a lot of grey in it, almost like cross between burgundy and lavender. I started it on the 27th and had it finished last night, the 28th. That's including the time I took to calculate how to give it a wider circumference without messing up the lace motifs on it, so job well done if I may say so myself.
The pattern called for Rowan Wool Cotton, which also looked very nice in the magazine photos. Fortunately, the Kidsilk Haze knits up to almost exactly the same gauge. Of course, it gives a very different look to the beret — soft and floppy instead of crisp and sculpted.
The colour turns out to be even harder to photograph than it was to describe above (it's colour 600 if you look on a Rowan shade card). When the flash went off, the silk in the yarn reflected the light and made it look like it was made out of cheap wire. With the flash off, I could get a relatively sharp photo, but the yarn came out a scary shade of light pink. I opted for monochrome photos, since in this case the point is to talk about the knitting:
I don't know why, but I really enjoy it when berets are divided into an odd number of sections.
Note that this beret was knitted straight and then seamed (the original pattern is written that way, but die-hard in-the-round knitters could convert it in a jiffy). The seam is at the 5 o'clock position in this photo in case anyone is looking for it. All of the motifs match up, so it's not especially noticeable unless you hold the beret up to the light.
Here's the bottom half (seam at 5 o'clock again, and this time you can see it from the inside a little):
Yes, the band stretches to fit a human head. I tried it on my head, and it was very comfy.
I think the part I enjoy the most is that the entire finished beret only weighs 14g (that's about half an ounce for people on imperial measure). I started with a part-ball of the Kidsilk Haze and expected to need part of a second one, but I didn't even finish the first!