Cotton is King! This applies to knitting with cotton too. Cotton knits can be worn year around.
This unusual Anemone stitch is perfect for cotton. Cotton has a bad rap for stretching out of shape especially horizontally. Stitch patterns with manipulated stitches – cables, twisted stitches, bobbins, nupps, slip stitches – hold cotton in shape. Fair Isle does too.
The Beret pattern in Knit So Fine recommends a fingering weight yarn in Merino wool on a size 4 (U.S.) 16 inch circular needle. The gauge in stockinette is 28 stitches and 36 rows over 4 inches for a finished size of 18 inches brim circumference – nice for the slouchy effect in a beret.
My choice of yarn is 5/2 Mini Pearly Perle cotton for the shiny and intense colors. The 5/2 is lace weight – finer than fingering weight. The pattern will need to be altered for the smaller gauge. 5/2 Pearly Perle is also available on larger size and economically priced cones for bigger projects.
I checked the 5/2 cotton across the holes in the needle gauge until I found the one where the doubled yarn fills the hole without overlapping outside the hole. This is a good starting point for choosing a needle size. The 5/2 cotton filled the size 1 opening- the edges show on the size 2 opening. I used the size 1 needle for the ribbing and a size 2 for the hat. The slightly larger needle was better for working the anemone stitch.
Swaching Again: This little beret for my kitty was a swatch (and also fun).
- Knit with half the stitches in the pattern it worked out to one-fourth the size of the adult version.
- Another swatch is needed to resize it for an adult since the pattern only offers a stitch gauge in stockinette – not the anemone pattern.
- The anemone stitch requires four stitches, therefore the number of stitches to cast on needs to be a multiple of four. Perfect since the ribbing is also a four stitch repeat.
Some Tips for Ribbing in Cotton
- Use an elastic cast-on. I used the crochet cast-on – not the most elastic but better than the long tail cast on for cotton ribbing. Another option is to cast-on twice the number of stitches required. Then knit or purl two together every stitch on the first row. I use this cast on for cuff down socks sometimes.
- A knit 2/purl 2 ribbing is the most elastic of all the ribbing stitches.
- To make the ribbing firmer in cotton, knit in the back of every knit stitch. This twists the stitch so it holds its shape.
I can hardly wait to make this beret in my size.
Jill Holbrook, Brookmore Creations, for Cotton Clouds