Sunday, November 7, 2010

Beret Bonanza

I don't know about you, but whenever I see a beret, let alone hear the word "beret," I think of that French girl in European Vacation trilling the name "Rusty" atop the Eiffel Tower. (Roooosty...) Classy, I know.

Aside from bad 80's movies references, I happen to have an immense love of berets. Even before slouch hats came to Forever 21 and lady folks of all ages began to sport this new incarnation of the classic, I loved me a nice beret. So it was with mild disappointment when, as you saw a couple of weeks ago, I completed my massively cabled beret only to discover that I had made a beanie. After reading that post, Melanie called me up right away and asked, "have you thought about blocking it?" She even offered to let me borrow her beret blocker, to which I replied, "wait a minute, there's such a thing as a beret blocker?" And yes, there is! Melanie's is a big wooden disk from some fancy place where they wear berets a lot (I'm gonna say Scotland, or maybe Nova Scotia?) Because my hat was so teeny tiny--more like a baby hat than a beret--we determined that her beret blocker would be too big. So instead I doused my blue hat in water and wrapped it around a small dinner plate.
Et voila! It became a nice little discus, and the stitches finally stretched out so that you can really for reals now see the cables. It's still a snug fit when you put it on, which is just fine with me. But boy oh boy, this little beanie grew up to be a very jaunty little tam. And it almost doesn't need the pompom on top anymore. Does anyone want to cast a vote on that? Is it, like, sacrilege to remove a pompom once it's been attached to a hat?
The red beret was the hat that I made when I was feeling blue about the blue hat not turning out to be a beret. Which it is now. (I know, it's so confusing!) As you may recall, I got out my needles the day after finishing the blue hat and cast on with Classic Elite Fresco--one skein of which made the beret shown here. This one, ironically, turned out a tad too large. I think I might have been overcompensating. (Will I ever get it right??) I will probably string a little elastic through the brim at some point since I'm fairly certain I will experience wind this winter. In this photo, I'm enjoying my new beret in our backyard as Robb pulls up and re-pots our pepper plants and I enjoy an espresso. (I wore my gardening gloves to give the illusion of helping.)

This hat--as far as tactile deliciousness is concerned--is one of the most pleasurable hats I've ever made/worn/swooned over. It's like wearing a kitten on your head. Or maybe, more accurately, an angora bunny. But not so itchy or squirmy (or clawy). The thing is pure fluff, through and through. Love it. Love them both, for that matter! I like to think that these two berets will live on together in accidentally patriotic harmony--the two berets that begot one other. One small, one grande, both yummy.


  1. If you want to give me a bunny for my head for Christmas, I won't object. (I'd rather have a kitten in a box, but I'm not sure how you'd make that by hand.)

    I love that Melanie has a beret blocker!

  2. Erin, it's so weird...I wrote a comment this morning about how I'm going to make you a kitten for Christmas, but then it disappeared! I guess I am NOT going to make you a kitten for Christmas. Sorry!

  3. Berets do look good with a Pompom I guess so no point pulling it off LOL

    I wear a Beret with a PomPom (uniform at my Military College) and I'm Male! (Mind you my college is an All Male one anyway).
    I do think women look better in a Pompom Beret mind you , a definite Head Turner (pardon the pun).