It would be safe to say that I always have a hat on the needles. It's my comfort knitting. I knit hats to take breaks from large projects, as stress-relief, or to try out a new yarn. There's something about a hat’s many creative possibilities combined with an end that's always in sight that make it the perfect project for me.
The Princess beret has a secret. In my struggle to knit the perfect slouchy hat, I’ve discovered two things. I like a wide band, but I don't like how the band bunches up at the back of my neck when the hat sits back a little on my head. So short rows to the rescue! Four short rows, worked over 60% of the stitches, are tucked in between the purl ridges of the garter band. The result is a narrow band at the back of the neck and a wider one from the forehead to the ears.
My second discovery is that when knitting in garter stitch, I don’t need to pick up the wraps with the wrapped stitches. If you just knit the wrapped stitches in the normal way, they’ll blend with the garter ridges and be nearly invisible.
Visit Melissa’s blog to see what else she's up to.
Princess 40% merino, 28% viscose, 10% cashmere, 15% nylon, 7% angora
Princess is an interesting blend of several fibers that includes a bit of cashmere and angora. The yarn’s round, multi-ply construction makes it great for highlighting texture stitches and lends strength and durability. The cashmere and angora content takes the crisp edge off the yarnit has a soft halo and gentle drape that develops as you knit with it. And it positively blossoms after its first hand wash or wet blocking (see below for more about wet blocking).
More good things about Princess: It’s reasonably priced, comes 150 yards in a 50-gram ball, knits up nicely anywhere from 4½ to 5½ stitches, and its 29-color palette is rich and lively.
Wet blocking evens out the stitches in a knitted piece and, given the fiber blend of the yarn, wet blocking encourages ‘bloom.’ Short, soft fibers like cashmere, angora, and camel tend to fluff up after a bath, giving the knitted piece a lovely halo and beautiful soft finish.
To wet block your project, place it in a basin or sink of lukewarm water and let it soak for a few minutes. Carefully remove the piece from the bath and gently roll it in a towel to remove excess water. Don’t try to squeeze out all the water or wrinkles will set in. On a flat surface, reshape the piece to required measurements and let it dry. A fan, aimed at your piece, will speed up the process.
To shape a beret after wet blocking, Melissa suggests placing the hat around a 10” dinner plate to dry.
Here is the free downloadable Princess Daisy Hat pattern.
If you have difficulty downloading or printing the PDF pattern above, try this: