If you want to get ahead, get a hat

My Ishbel beret is finished:

It’s ended up much slouchier than I’d expected, although looking at the photos on Ysolda’s blog I think it’s much the same size as hers really. If I make another one I’ll probably make the next size down (this is the medium), but I’m happy with this one and will definitely wear it.

The yarn is Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply. It’s not the easiest of yarns to work with; I found that it was quite loosely plied and had a tendency to split, but it’s gorgeously soft and shiny and I really like the way the variegation works with the lace of the hat. In places it’s ended up looking almost speckly, like a bird’s wing. More pictures on Flickr if you’re interested.

The hat took less than half the skein, so to use up the remainder I’ve cast on for a pair of Veylas:

And, to prove that I don’t only knit Ysolda’s patterns, I have also cast on for Perl Grey’s Imogen cardigan* in Lang Mille Colori:

The cardigan is knitted sideways, starting with a rectangle for the back which the sleeves and fronts are knitted on to from either end. To do this, the pattern starts with a provisional cast-on. For years, my favourite provisional cast-on has been the crochet chain cast-on; I tried the open cast-on over waste yarn and couldn’t quite get my head round it. When I came to cast on for the Ishbel beret, though, I was on holiday and didn’t have a crochet hook with me, so I had to use the waste yarn method and found that several years’ more knitting experience made it seem very straightforward, so I used it again for Imogen, except that as I was transferring the stitches from the waste yarn to a needle for Ishbel it struck me that it would have been so much easier if I’d just used a spare cable from my interchangeable needle set instead of the waste yarn. So that’s what I did here. It did make knitting the first couple of rows a little more awkward than it would have been with waste yarn, but not impossibly so, and when I come to work on that side of the cardigan I can just put the needle tips on the cable and I’ll be good to go.

I’m a little puzzled by the pattern, though – according to the measurements given even the small would be a generous fit on me, and I’m definitely not a ‘small’ normally. I suspect it may be that the pattern is written as a chunky jacket to be worn over lots of layers, and I definitely want a more fitted look. I have cast on according to the directions for the small as I certainly don’t want it any longer, and I’m planning on knitting the back until it’s wide enough for my back and then knitting the front until I get the fit I want – at least the design makes it easy to tweak the sizes!

*It was surprisingly hard to google this to find the link, as it turns out that there was a character in the Forsyte Saga called Imogen Cardigan.

2 responses to “If you want to get ahead, get a hat

  1. Your beret is lovely! I do find berets very difficult to size accurately – my Gretel was too small, and Rose Red a bit too slouchy.

    I’m planning a pair of Veylas very soon – looking forward to seeing yours!

    • I think it’s particularly hard with lace – I always underestimate how much it will open up with blocking. Also, I think berets look less slouchy on people with longer hair – having hair coming out from under the beret makes the size less obvious than it is with short hair!

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