Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to Knit a Beret-Type Hat

This is a child's beret Gena Greene made to match a child's jacket. (Bubblews destroyed the image.) Here's how it was done:

1. Choose yarn: This textured silk-blend yarn is no longer on the market. (Most very fancy yarns are available for only a few months.) Choose yarn that you can knit up at a gauge of 4.75 stitches per inch. You'll need about 150 yards to 150 meters for this small, plain beret; more if you use fancy stitches or add a tassel on top. Test and find out whether US#7 or US#8 needles give you the right gauge.

2. Choose the size: If you want it to fit well on a small head, use a #6 needle (or set of double-pointed needles) to cast on 72 stitches and *K 1, P 1* for 10 rows. If you want it to fit comfortably on a large head, use the same needle(s) you will use for the main part of the beret, cast on 72 stitches, and *K 1, P 1* for 12 rows. This headband is the only part of a beret that needs to fit.

3. If you've been using smaller needles, change to the larger size. Change from ribbing to stock stitch (K on the right side, P on the left side if using two needles; K every round if using four). Mentally divide the 72 stitches into 6 groups of 12. Increase those 12 stitches to 13, and repeat in each group of 12 around. If you increase by picking up the running thread between two stitches and knitting it through the back loop, the lines formed by the increase will be relatively inconspicuous. If you increase by (K 1, P 1 in the same stitch) or by (yo), the lines will form a pattern. Then work one row even.

4. Now increase each group of 13 stitches to 14. Work one row even. Increase each 14 stitches to 15. Work one row even. Increase each 15 stitches to 16. Work one row even. Continue until you have 6 groups of 20 or even 24 stitches.

5. You can accentuate the fold line by working four rows (two ridges) of garter stitch if you like, or continue in stock stitch.

6. Now decrease on every other row: 24 stitches to 23, or 20 to 19. Work one row even. Decrease 23 stitches to 22 or 19 to 18. Work one row even. (Note that, if you work three or more rows between decrease rows, you'll have a cone-shaped hat.)

7. Continue until there are 6 stitches. Run the yarn through them and draw them together for the final knot. Sew the sides together, and add a tassel if desired.

These also sell for $5.