September 22, 2006

I love a beret! Or, 1 down, 3 to go...

Christmas started in September this year over here at chez Mind of Winter. I have realized that if I wait until I am in the mood for knitting Christmas presents there really isn't sufficient time to finish them all, and it becomes a chore to try to cram them all in at the last minute. This year I have six items that I'm making for family for Christmas. This may sound like a lot, but the family, it is big, so six is pretty minimal. Since my side got knitted gifts last year, this year I'm hooking up part of Moxie's family. It is simply not possible to hook up all of Moxie's side in one Christmas. That would make it not fun, and fun is really an essential part of the Christmas knitting spirit. The best part is that I don't have to finish anything, because all the gifts are for people who have stopped growing, so they'll keep. Plus I never let anyone believe that I am knitting a Christmas gift so that the pressure is off. Ah, the things we do to keep ourselves from procrastinating.

BronzeBeretCIMG5823.JPG BronzeBeretCIMG5814.JPG BronzeBeretCIMG5816.JPG

I feel so positively French.

The first knitted items on Santa's list this year are four berets. Which means a beret a month until the BIG DAY. I was inspired by this lovely beret, which was a knit cafe store model for about two seconds, before Suzan generously allowed me to keep it. (This might have had something to do with the fact that I kept trying it on and sighing "It's perfect.") The pattern is the beret designed by my friend Kat Coyle for Greetings from Knit Cafe. The yarn for this one is Katia Gatsby, which Knit Cafe carries in abundance, and which I plan to use in two of the four berets.

Here's the first one, which I just finished, in Valentina di Roma's Angora Print, an expensive little confection that I really enjoyed working with:

AngoraBeretCIMG5841.JPG AngoraBeretCIMG5843.JPG AngoraBeretCIMG5845.JPG

If you want to appear cold, bundle up, look serious, and pretend to be sipping hot tea!

I'm going to leave project notes on this one until all the berets are done, but I can say this: there are no mistakes in the pattern, it is simple and fun to execute, and the results are great. You might want to take the rim out a little further than the original if you are knitting, as I did, with a yarn that does not drape. The original and the Gatsby version are drapey, so the pattern is perfect for them. It works well for the angora, but it could be a teensy bit drapier and a wider circumference might accomplish that. I used US 3 needles and exactly three skeins of this yarn, which has rather limited yardage (55 yds/skein). Other than the snippets cut off from yarn tails, there was less than a yard left.

Posted by Julia at September 22, 2006 07:52 AM
In berets | christmas knitting '06 | greetings from knit cafe | main


Oh, you're going to inspire me knit a beret, aren't you? Kat's beret is so gorgeous in person- I'm so glad it may now live on your head. Can't wait to see the others you knit up, too!

Posted by: Nonnahs at September 25, 2006 02:35 PM

That beret is so nice, I am almost swayed from my steadfast belief that berets look awful on me.
But I'm not buying your pretending-to-be-cold photo shoot missy!

Posted by: Emily at September 23, 2006 10:01 AM

Now, how do I get on that Christmas list? The beret looks so soft and warm, you'll never want to take it off. Such a lovely gift!

Posted by: Leslie at September 23, 2006 06:13 AM

Welcome to the Spinning Wheel!

Posted by: Amie Glasgow at September 22, 2006 05:17 PM

Very cute. I'm not a big beret fan but I'm definitely sold on this one.

Posted by: sharlyn at September 22, 2006 02:28 PM

You look fantastic in both.

Have you seen the Louisa Harding beret? Cest Magnifique!! Here is a link:


Posted by: Amy at September 22, 2006 01:42 PM

Great berets! This project is now definitely on my Christmas-knits list too. My "Guido"--a part-time jazz pianist--luvs wearing berets (he always fancies himself as something of a Theolonias Monk), and so this is a knit item that I think he'll definitely wear!

And good for you for being so so so smart by starting the Christmas knitting early-- :)

Posted by: kodachrome at September 22, 2006 12:39 PM

Wow--I am not a fan of berets, and yet you've sold me on this one. Beautiful photography, by the way.

Posted by: Christine at September 22, 2006 11:03 AM

cute beret! You know I really like your shirt that you're wearing in the top photos. Did you knit it?

Posted by: Lori Z at September 22, 2006 10:53 AM

you look great in a beret (and believably cold sipping tea)

Posted by: kat at September 22, 2006 10:49 AM

You keep this up and I will have to buy this book instead of waiting to see if I get it for Christmas.

Too cute!!

Posted by: Leah at September 22, 2006 10:26 AM

Awww, you look great in a beret. You should move up to portland where it will be a nice winter accessory. ;)

Posted by: Marnie at September 22, 2006 10:02 AM

That Kat, she's a clever one. The beret is perfect on you, you're right! Looking forward to seeing your other versions!

Posted by: Mary-Heather at September 22, 2006 09:40 AM

You should be here in Utah for pictures...we're getting snow now! Cute Beret...someone will enjoy wearing it this winter!

Posted by: margene at September 22, 2006 09:32 AM