One of the problem projects I mentioned last post was particularly disappointing to me, because I loved the yarn, I love berets, I was excited about my idea for the pattern, yet when all the pieces were put together… yikes. I’m calling it the Ridiculous Rasta Hat (or the Bob Marley Beret– what do you think?).
It all started so innocently, with two skeins of Plymouth Boku (95% wool, 5% silk), purchased at Yarns Etc… on a whim.
See, I really like purple, green and gold. And I adore tweedy yarns, though because tweed yarns tend to be pricier, you won’t see them much here. So a tweedy yarn in purple, green and gold seemed tailor-made for my fantasies. I bought two skeins and dreamed about a hat for a while.
Finally, last week, I decided to go for it! I cast on for a beret. I’ve been trying to engineer a good-looking, nicely shaped beret pattern for almost as long as I’ve been knitting. The first few tries were disaster– I increased too much, too fast, and was left with a crumpled acrylic monstrosity that looked more like a shower cap than a beret. My next try ended up as a skullcap, go figure. But now…
Shape-wise, third time was the charm!
That looks pretty beret-like to me. (Size 6 dpns, then size 6 circs, in seed stitch.) But…
Well, that color’s looking pretty stripey. And is that… rose, in the middle of the gold sections?
Uh oh. Despite being attractively shaped:
And fitting perfectly:
It’s just not good. We’re definitely in Rasta territory:
My elegant purple, green and gold beret has become a four-colored, striped, clown-like monstrosity. I was hoping for a gentle, sophisticated gradation of colors, and instead I got stripes.
How could I have avoided this problem?
Well, with two balls, I could have alternated drawing from each ball as I knit. This would have at least made the stripes thicker. I could also have cut out the rose-tinged sections of the gold color and knit only with the colors I liked. I had enough yarn to do this.
I could also have checked online before I bought the yarn and seen a swatch of it knitted up in that colorway (#4). I would have seen the striping AND the hidden rose, and I could have prepared.
What do I plan to do with the hat?
I’m really not sure. The yarn has a great rustic feel that I like, and it fits me quite well. On the other hand… rasta stripes.
I might give it away when I travel home to the Frozen North for Christmas. I’m sure someone I know has a personal aesthetic that embraces brightly colored stripes.
Or I might overdye it. If I were very careful and mixed a dye color that was about the same as the shade of green in the hat, I might be able to overdye the gold and rose without reducing the green and purple all that much. In a perfect world, I’d end up with a purely green and purple hat, with colors muted enough that the striping isn’t obvious. In an imperfect world, there’s a large risk of ending up with a solid brown mess.
Or I might frog it and try one of the techniques I listed above to improve things. I’m not inclined to do that, however– this yarn doesn’t frog well. Also, I’m enough of a process knitter that, having figured out how to knit a good beret, I don’t feel any particular need to do so again.