I've been a bit distracted lately. I'm not sure by what. That's usually the sort of line that launches you off into a litany of domestic disasters and life-and-death near misses and so forth but no, I really mean it. I'm not sure what. But I have been knitting.
The vital statistics
Pattern: Fern Glade by Megan Marshall from Knitty Winter 2008.
Yarn: recycled from a purple J Crew sweater that I bought at a garage sale somewhere in the back blocks of Issaquah not long after we arrived in the US. The yarn was pretty fine so I knitted with a double strand.
Needles: 3.5mm Addi Lace for the ribbing and 4mm Addi Turbo for the rest. Magic loop - love it.
Start to finish: 28 December 2008 to 10 January 2009.
Comments: There are two options for this pattern - fitted and slouchy. I cast on for the slouchy version but seem to have ended up with the fitted product. I attribute this to gauge issues - I'm still feeling my way around how to assess what weight my recycled yarn is and further what you get when you knit with a double or triple strand. So what I'm saying is that it's not quite as slouchy as I would like it to be. I did block it over a 10 inch plate (because that's what we have) rather than an 11 inch plate as the pattern suggested. Perhaps when it gets a wash I'll do another block although I'm still not comfortable with the effect that stretching the entire hat over a dinner plate has on the ribbing.
I haven't made much from Knitty and have certainly never before jumped at a pattern as soon as I saw it. This was certainly the right choice though; it's a straightforward knit - rib, increase, lace, decrease - and the fern glade lace is great. I particularly like that there are increases and decreases on every row as this gives a great effect. I'm also very happy with the slouchy beret style per se. I had been looking for something that was not a beanie and tried the wide-brimmed hat from Vogue Knitting but haven't felt that that suited me either. I now think that the issue is that I don't like something jammed down over my forehead cutting my face in half. With the slouchy beret I can push it back to my hairline so that it frames the face just so. This is important stuff, you know. Thirty-four years and I've finally worked out a hat to suit me.
Verdict: very happy and see more slouchy berets in my future knitting.