Saturday, May 8, 2010

Floppy beret with brim, not shown

I finished a knitted cap yesterday. I am not showing a picture of it because it would not photograph well. I did it in a dark green chenille yarn which doesn't show the stitches well, and the shape is basically circular. So what you would see would be a fuzzy green circle.

I could wear it and photograph my reflection, but that just sounds like too much work. It's a winter cap, so I won't be wearing it any time soon, and I haven't decided yet whether I like it or not. I may end up ripping it out after a couple of wearings, not sure yet.

It is basically a very large floppy beret with a brim on the front. I like the look of floppiness but I think it might not stay on my head very well because of its floppiness. Also, I was trying for a hat with a brim to protect my glasses from falling snow, and had a hard time finding a pattern for a cap with a brim that I liked. I finally decided to combine two patterns, the floppy beret and a kind of knitted baseball cap.

After several goes at it, involving much ripping out and reknitting, I think I finally got the hang of how to knit a brim on a cap. The instructions I was following were overly complicated, I followed them anyway because I thought there might be a good reason for the complications, but it turns out there wasn't.

So in the future, here is what I would do.

Start the cap or beret with a provisional cast-on, using a crocheted chain in scrap yarn. When the cap is done, remove the crocheted chain and transfer all of the stitches to a circular needle one size smaller than the size you used for the cap. Bind off half the cast-on stitches in the following way: *k2tog, k1, move the stitches back to the left needle*, repeat until all desired stitches are bound off.

With the remaining stitches you will start the brim. Essentially you are knitting a very large sock toe in the toe-up short row method; you knit progressively shorter rows with wrap & turns (W&T) each time you turn a row. When the brim is the desired length (i.e., distance from the cap outward), you knit progressively longer rows until you have a brim-shaped pocket attached to the cap along one side. Cut out a piece of flexible plastic (a cheap plastic kid's placemat is perfect for this) to fit the pocket. Cut the yarn leaving a 20" tail. Insert the plastic stiffener into the pocket and sew up the pocket opening with the 20" tail.

This is not how I did my cap, the instructions I followed left me with two holes to sew up and a little more length on the cap at the brim than I really wanted. I am not sure what the purpose of that was.


Barbara Anne said...

Hi Anne,

I don't knit so these instructions are not helpful to me as they would be to more coordinated people.

When I was a child, I remember seeing my father wear a knit cap from WW2 that he got when in the army or the signal corps. It had sloped sides, a flat top, a small brim, and was US army green. I wonder if a pattern from that time is available? Sounds like you've found a solution to your need.


Annie said...

Very interesting Barbara, I looked up that knit cap on the internet and found some websites that describe it here, here, and here. There's an entry in Wikipedia for it under the name "Jeep cap".

Its official name is the M-1941 Knit Wool Cap, nicknamed the Jeep Cap. One of its design features was the ability to wear it inside a helmet. "Radar" wore one in "M.A.S.H."

I have a cheap version of one and I did consider it as a model for my cap, but my cheap version is ugly and not really what I was looking for. Now that I have seen the real M-1941, I am a lot more interested in it.

Thanks for that!