After years of enjoying knitting hats, I’m happy to say I’ve finally made one that I can actually wear! ( I guess I have a strange shaped head because most hats don’t fit, sliding off my head or making me look bug-eyed. ) The assembly of this beret is unique because instead of standard ribbing, it uses an elastic edge band. If I had read the instructions fully before starting this beret, I might not have made it because I usually stray away from this much “finishing” on a knitting project. But I love this beret! It has fullness around the edge, the yarn is soft and feather light and more importantly, it stays on.
Instructions for Knit Beret
Here are the knitting instructions and materials for my new favorite beret – heavily modified from the Berroco pattern book #330, pattern #7 “Potrillo”.
- 2 skeins Cirrus by Berroco (the pattern called for 3 skeins)
- 16” circular size 10 needle
- double points size 10
- large eye and regular size eye yarn needles
- 22” of 3/4” wide black elastic (I used a soft stretch elastic, not the non-roll kind.)
- safety pin
- sewing needle and thread
- tape measure
Cast on 74 stitches and place a marker at the end of the row. Knit stockinette in the round for the height of your elastic, plus 1 more row. Knit 1 row of purl. (This will create a ridge to help form a casing for the elastic.)
Continue to knit stockinette in the round until you have 15” completed from the purl row to the top of the beret and then bind off.
You will be making 6 i-cords at 12” long each.
Using double points, cast on 3 stitches and leave an 8-10” tail. Knit 3 stitches. At the end of the row, slide the stitches back to the right side of the double point needle without turning your work. Pull the yarn from behind and start knitting the next row. (Here is a tutorial if you need help with knitting i-cord.)
Continue knitting until your i-cord is 12” long and bind off. Weave in one end of the i-cord, but leave the other end loose to use to sew onto the hat later.
Fold up the bottom of the hat on the purl row to make a casing for the elastic. With a yarn needle, hand sew the cast on edge to the hat, leaving about a 2” opening to insert the elastic. Cut elastic to 21” long. Attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic and insert into casing. Pull, but be careful not to pull the end out or twist the elastic. Overlap the ends of the elastic about 1 to 1-1/2” and hand sew the elastic ends together. Finish sewing the casing closed. (Note- This is where I began to get worried this was all a big mistake, but the yarn hides these stitches wonderfully. Although I tried to be tidy, I didn’t really need to be. I was also very glad I had picked a black elastic because it blended into the blue yarn color. I’m not sure white elastic would have looked as good.)
Using the loose yarn from the end of the i-cord, sew the end of the i-cord securely to the inside of the beret starting 5 1/2 inches from the bottom of the hat. With a large eye needle, weave the i-cord in and out through the hat using 2-2 1/2” long stitches. Sew in the rest of the i-cords, trying to evenly space the remaining 5 i-cords around the beret. Now, pull the i-cords gently and gather the beret. To close the top of the beret, hold 3 i-cords in each hand and tie a bow.