Cotton Cap for My Cat
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