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Archive for October 3rd, 2003

Felted Machine-Knit Beret

Friday, October 3rd, 2003

Well, I hand-fulled (felted) the beret by hand today and it turned out better than I expected. It’s almost round (rather than having obvious points at the corners of the six knit sections). It fits my head. It is almost too small on top and that is perhaps my fault being so thorough with making the texture of the top and sides match. The brim/headband looks nearly identical to those on my factory-produced hats, and is pretty comfortable.

All in all, I think I’ll wear this hat. What about that??! However, there is room for improvement, as expected. The black ones are still much better. For one, they are half the thickness. They are soft. They are drapeable. But I am delighted to be this close to my ideal.

I will try this again. I’m not sure what to try next, though, as I think I will want to try two strands of a light fingering coned yarn I have (Brian got it for me in Toronto when he got me the Fortissima Colori). I know it will felt, but I’m not sure what gauge/size to knit pre-felting, in order that the lighter weight yarns would be the right thickness and width. Perhaps I’ll contact the guys at Threadbear fiberarts, because they do a whole lot of felting/fulling knitted items.

No doubt it will be my luck that I’ll have to make my own pattern for my ideal machine knit hat. That would be my style. I insisted on making up my own sweater pattern, for the second sweater I ever knit. It took me forever (well, one year) to finish that sweater because I had so many decisions to make, when I hit snags or questions. (That sweater is the one I’m wearing in these pictures, actually… I’m wearing it much more often than I had expected.)

But this hat I made with the lovely free pattern, not only taught me a lot about machine knitting but made me a wearable hat. And it perhaps gave me a better shape for a hat than any I’ve knit before (as I said previously, so often a pattern is called a beret but is really a tam, which has a different shape). It’s only the second hat I’ve made that I would wear, so that is a good sign.

I’m wondering if I make the next one with more sections, if it will show the corners even less. I mean, a hexagon doesn’t look like a circle at all, but a shape with 100 equal sides looks almost like a circle. So the more sections, the more round it will appear. I wonder how able I will be at this early date, to create my own pattern to make it that shape?

The next hat project is definitely not for today… I’m really tired and I have to teach at 9am. I’m not a 9am sort of person, so I need to go sleep very soon!