it’s a bird! it’s a plane! it’s our super speedy sheep of steel beret! we opened our box of sheep of steel twisted bobbles handspun yarns yesterday and got straight to work. we knit the entire 36 row beret in about 2.5 hours — no doubt less time than it would take to walk to madison avenue, battle the crowds, and buy a beret (much needed these days, given that it’s FREEZING in NYC!). irem, the british textile artist that spins each skein by hand, has pretty much done all the hard work for you. we think the resulting fabric is intensely mesmerizing!
knitting with sheep of steel’s handspun twisted bobbles yarn is a sensory pleasure. it’s soft to the touch, lushly coloured, and has got these overtwisted bits that are just a lot of fun! the trick to knitting with the yarn is to not straighten the yarn out as you knit it; rather, keep the little twists whole, letting them add bits of squiggly delight to the finished fabric. we paired it with our clever camel yarn, as the contrast of uniformly spun yarn underscores the strange and beautiful texture that flowed from irem’s hands.
best of all, the beret is entirely reversible! you can wear it on the stockinette side on the way to work, and then flip it inside out and wear it on the reverse stockinette side for the walk home! it’s like 2 hats in 1!
we had about 39g of sheep of steel yarn left over, and are working on another quick knit project! read on for the beret pattern . . .
sheep of steel super speedy beret
- Sheep of Steel Twisted Bobbles (100% south african merino wool; 100g): shown in Red Aberdeen
- Clever Camel by Jones & Vandermeer (100% baby camel; 50g/110 yds per ball): 8g (18 yds), shown in Poppy.
- US7 (6.0 mm) 16″ circular needles
- US11 (8.0 mm) 16″ circular needles
- US11 (8.0 mm) DPNs
- Crochet Hook to weave in ends
- Stitch marker
finished beret size 22″ head circumference when stretched
gauge 10.5 sts and 16 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch with US11 (8.0mm) and Sheep of Steel Twisted Bobbles
P2tog: Purl two sts together.
P1 F&B: make 1 increase by purling into the front and back of the same st.
A: yarn A; shown in Clever Camel Poppy
B: yarn B: shown in Sheep of Steel Twisted Bobbles Red Aberdeen
the beret pattern!
CO 80 sts with A, using US7 circular needles.
Round 1: *(K2, P2)*, rep from * to * until end. Turn the piece. Do not yet join to knit in the round.
Round 2: *(K2, P2)* , rep from * to * until end. Now, join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist. Place marker to indicate beginning / end of round.
Rounds 3-8: *(K2, P2)* , rep from * to * until end.
Starting with the next round, knit using US11 circular needles and B, i.e. the US7 circular needle would become your left hand needle and the US11 circulars would be your right hand needle. Break A, leaving a long enough tail to weave in later (about 3 inches).
Round 9: *(P2tog, P2)*, rep from * to * until end. [60 sts]
Round 10 and all even rounds thru round 34: P all
Round 11: *(P1f&B, P14)*, rep from * to * until end. [64 sts]
Round 13: *(P1f&B, P15)*, rep from * to * until end. [68 sts]
Round 15: *(P1f&B, P16)*, rep from * to * until end. [72 sts]
Round 17: *(P1f&B, P17)*, rep from * to * until end. [76 sts]
Round 19: *(P1f&B, P18)*, rep from * to * until end. [80 sts]
Round 21: *(P2tog, P8)*, rep from * to * until end. [72 sts]
Round 23: *(P2tog, P7)*, rep from * to * until end. [64 sts]
Round 25: *(P2tog, P6)*, rep from * to * until end. [56 sts]
Round 27: *(P2tog, P5)*, rep from * to * until end. [48 sts]
Round 29: *(P2tog, P4)*, rep from * to * until end. [40 sts] (NB. you may need to change to DPNs at this point forward).
Round 31: *(P2tog, P3)*, rep from * to * until end. [32 sts]
Round 33: *(P2tog, P2)*, rep from * to * until end. [24 sts]
Round 35: *(P2tog, P1)*, rep from * to * until end. [16 sts]
Round 36: P2tog all remaining sts [8 sts]
Break yarn, leaving a 6” tail. Thread the yarn through the 8 remaining sts, and pull tight to close the crown of the beret. Weave in all loose ends. To make the beret reversible, weave the yarn so that it is well hidden on both sides. Sheep of Steel yarn is very well suited for camouflaging the woven in end parts!