Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Crocheted oversized beret

I have completed a Crafter's ADD project! What that is is a project that distracted you from another one you were trying to finish. I was trying to do a cross-stitch kit last weekend when I got a sudden urge to crochet a hat. Gotta keep that noggin warm, right - so it can get distracted faster and more efficiently. ;-)


Anyway, I wanted to crochet an oversized beret - these are poplular in Japan this season, and I found it is also popular here.


The Pattern


I found a very easy free pattern at Lion Brand's website.
http://cache.lionbrand.com/patterns/70053A.html?noImages=


The pattern calls for a much thicker yarn - 6 weight. I had 3 weight, and didn't want to buy new yarn. So some modifications had to be made. I also didn't like their ribbing. The first thing I did was double my yarn. Using a K/10.5 crochet needle, I got 11 hdc equal to 4", and did the rest of the calculations from there. If you want to try my version, here are my notes - I'm not going to write out instructions, so you should probably try a couple rounds of the original instructions just to get an idea of what it's suppose to be like (the numbers are the row number):



Basically, the hat is made up of 8 panels - my notes show one panel. The panels are seperated by 1 ch except around the band (rows 19-21).


To get the vertical ribbing on the band, I'm alternating 1 front post stitch and 2 hdc's. It's not a true rib (meaning, it doesn't have a lot of stretch) so you want to make sure the hole fits your head. On row 21, turn the piece over and do a row of sc's for a clean finished edge.


Once completed, there is a little hole at the top where the ring is:



I opted to cover it with a fluffy pom pom. See this site for instructions on how to make pom poms:
http://nabell1.tripod.com/nppp/howtomake.html


Another option is to add a brim to your hat - it would end up looking similar to the Newsboy Hat I made in the previous blog. Some tips on how to make a brim are over here:
http://mycrochetstuff.blogspot.com/2006/01/beret-cap-with-brim.html


Here is the finished hat:



How to Wear


Berets are very versatile hats. You can wear it low on the forehead, like what I"m doing in the picture, or high up like where you would put a head band. You could wear it flopped over towards the front, back, or one side, or pull the whole thing down over your ears so it looks like the little things they put on turkey legs when they bake them.



Conclusion


In all honesty, this hat was more trouble than it was worth. I like it, but it was time consuming because I didn't have the exact instructions for my yarn size and needle, and had to figure it out by trial and error. Even when I did the math ahead of time, the finished product didn't look right, and I had to take half of it apart.


I would recommend this pattern only if you have the exact materials required (so you don't have to modify the pattern), or want a specific color, or you just want to get rid of some stash. Otherwise, they sell similar hats at Forever 21 for very reasonable prices - under $10. Even if you got paid minimum wage to make a hat, it still wouldn't come under $10.

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