Hurrah for Interweave Knits. The Winter 2008 copy dropped on my mat a couple of weeks ago, and being a hat person, my eye was drawn to the Sweet Honey Beret. I had a couple of mohair balls of yarn, saved from a stash given to be by a friend which I have passed to a knitting group in Kenilworth. I thought the pattern was worth a try. TRYING it was for me. I have tried to think of the reasons:
Firstly - I had not bonded with the yarn. I did not truly love it. It was a 'mock' mohair, only 20% natural yarn. It was a lovely colour though, deep purple, a rich tone which sadly my camera was not able to capture. Had it been 100% luxurious natural yarn, I may have felt differently.
Secondly - the dark colour meant it was difficult for me to see the stitches, and if one was dropped it was pretty hard, given the lace pattern to make corrections. I very nearly pulled it out two or three times.
Thirdly - I found jumping from the stitch guide to the pattern hard on the eyes, and after some hard talking to myself, devised a chart of sorts, which was much easier to follow. Drawing this out helped me to understand the brioche stitches and the relationship of the stitches from one row to the next.
Finally - I swung from using double pointed needles to circular needles. The circular needles were probably the best, as there was less opportunity to drop a stitch! However towards the crown I had to change to the double pointed needles. With all the yarn overs, it was a tricky job to keep the stitches in the right order.
Gradually as I knitted, more positive feelings began to grow. I started to think about who I would give the hat to. I tried it on, and it would definitely look better on a blonde. When it was finished it looked lovely, and worth the effort, and I shall knit another one. Well I've done all the hard work of figuring out the pattern now. The texture which the Honeycomb stich is certainly worth the effort. I also mastered the art of using the magic loop with the circular needle.
I thought it would look nice on Veronica, but having tried it on, she decided that it would not fit in with other items. Again another eureka moment during the middle of the night: I thought of a friend at Pilates who had been admiring my own beret, which I knitted a few years ago. She really loved the beret and now it has a head to keep warm. The Beret is a top fashion item this Winter, yes I heard it on the radio, so it must be true!!
Whilst typing this out, I have now thought of another friend who would like a new hat, so I shall call her and see what she would like.