We spent the afternoon and evening today with our lovely friends Kersti and James today. This involved spending the afternoon hanging out in the kitchen chatting, laughing, drinking tea and watching Steve cook; and the evening chatting, laughing, drinking wine and eating Steve’s amazing meal (he truly is the king of the English roast dinner!). It was about as good as Sunday can get.
Kersti kindly agreed to let me use photos of her to illustrate my almost-ready Druidess beret pattern. The pattern is being test knitted as I write by some generous knitters from the Testing Pool on Ravelry, after which it will be available on my blog and as a Ravelry download.
I think I am going to use quite de-saturated images, like the one below, on the pattern. I like how subtle the colours are, and how the picture looks rather as though it has faded with time.
But I love the photo below just as it is.
Kersti is my running inspiration – she is taking part in the Bath half marathon next weekend, and ran for 2 1/2 hours this morning before coming over. She started from scratch last year and it has been wonderful to see what a positive effect it has on her. I’m not quite (ha ha – for this read ‘anything-remotely-approaching-anywhere-near’) her level – yesterday I ran for 28 minutes , with a couple of short walks in the middle – my best so far. But her support and enthusiasm have been key in helping me believe that I really can do this previously unimaginable thing. I’m very lucky to have her as my friend.
Remember the Druid mittens I made just before Christmas?
Well, now they have a beret to match!
I decided a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to turn the mittens into a set, particularly with the cold weather we’ve been having here recently. So, I ordered some yarn from Jamiesons of Shetland to match the mittens, this time in a DK weight (the mittens are made in 4 ply). While I was waiting for it to arrive I started playing around with chart paper and a pencil. I wanted to use the cable-and-bobble and plaited cable patterns from the mittens, and incorporate them into a slouchy beret.
The beret flew off my needles in just a few days, and I am thrilled with how it has turned out. Two things in particular please the maths nerd in me. Firstly, I love how the 2 x 2 ribbing around the rim runs smoothly into the body of the hat:
Secondly, I am really proud of how the decreases on the top look so polished:
I am planning to write the pattern up and share it as a free download on Ravelry. I will not be making a charge for this design, as I see it as riffing on Jared Flood’s theme, rather than creating something from scratch myself.
However, I’ve got a bit of a problem – I need to find a (mac-compatible) knitting chart program. For basic charts I use a knitting font in Word, which works fine. But there are all sorts of stitches in this pattern that aren’t covered by that program.
I could write the pattern out line by line, but I know that my preference is to work from a chart, so I would prefer to provide one for other knitters to use. If you know of a charting program, I would really appreciate being pointed in the right direction for it.
Finally, I just wanted to share another detail that I love about this beret – it is finished off with a bobble!