Monday, June 23, 2008

Fashionable Beret

Design: Portia Beret by Louisa Harding
Size: One Size
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino; Ankara Green
Needle: US 4 and US 6
Started: June 14, 2008
Finished: June 17, 2008

As you saw in my WWKIP Day After post, I cast on the Portia Beret while sitting in the hot sun at the Brooklyn Museum. The project came about rather unexpectedly, as so often happens with my knitting. Goodness knows, my Ravelry queue is full of projects - 3 pages long! But I was visiting Maxcine at Stitch Therapy one day after work. If I remember it correctly, I was there to pick up a set of #1 US DPNs for the Jaywalker socks.

She just finished up a store sample using a gorgeous Silky Merino from Malabrigo in the most vivid and wonderful bright turquoise. My eye was immediately drawn to the yarn's lovely silken sheen and the amazing cheery color. And the lace pattern was a bonus. To me, it was the perfect combination of color, lace, and slouchy beret.

Now, I've always loved berets and over the years I've worn many. In fact I knitted one back in 2006 but I didn't like the results, frogged it and re-knit and still didn't like the results. So that project has been simmering on the back burner forever. In the meantime I kept my radar on for a good beret pattern.

So I guess it was destiny that I walked into my LYS right after Maxcine finished this hat. I tried it on and decided immediately I needed to make one exactly like it. That did it: I bought my needles AND two skeins of this gorgeous Malabrigo Silky Merino. The pattern was free.

I can always tell I am really excited about a project if I wind up the skeins into cakes right away. Sometimes skeins sit in the bin unwound for awhile.

Needing a simple knit (and small - as in not too hot!) for WWKIP, I decided the beret would be perfect. The first several rows are simple 2x2 rib. How easy is that? I cast on as soon as I got there. Now I have to tell ya, this might be the best cast on I have ever accomplished. I don't know why, but for some reason, each stitch is PERFECT. They all match, they are all even, the tension is just right. I couldn't believe myself!

Then I started knitting the rib. And that was coming out just as perfect. Each stitch was even, there were no wonky loose ones. It was starting to look really lovely.

When I started in on the lace section, I had to really concentrate. And that surprised me because it's only a 4 row repeat. But for some reason, the pattern tripped me up a few times and I had to back up. No problem, the lace only goes for a short distance. And as I was knitting this up, I could see, this was turning out to be one fantastic project!

I started to get excited when I reached the stockinette portion and again, the stitches were looking as perfect as I have ever knit. I don't know if it's the yarn, but I do think it may have alot to do with it.

Portia Beret
Originally uploaded by knithound brooklyn

The hat is a perfect fit. It has just the right amount of slouchiness to make it really versatile. The color just slays me. The lace gives it a girly look, which I really like. And when I look at the project closely, I still think this might be the best knit I've done to date. Every stitch is perfect, I am happy with the seaming, I love the ribbing.

I am really really happy with this project. And the best part, it was completely unplanned. It wasn't in the queue, it was an impulse - a gut reaction based on seeing something while on a mission for something else.

I know what you're thinking. I'm thinking it too. It says alot about how life can throw you a curveball and it turns out just great!?! But remember, I'm the one who can be impulsive - even reckless. And I am also the one who loves spontaneity. I never said I didn't! And I've always known that the unplanned event can be the one that works out the best. Lordy I do love anticipation just as much as the next person.

But I also love unexpected delights. Just love them.


colleen said...

Oooh, that's so cute!

knithound brooklyn said...

Thanks! The great part is, I still have one more skein of the same yarn! I haven't decided if I want a repeat performance or make something matchy matchy to go with the hat. Maybe a cute little scarf in the same lace stitch?

Miss Mildred said...

what a beautiful color!