(Pullover I knit from a vintage pattern, blogged here)
The green sample knit below went off to live with my lovely model and fellow knitter, Madison. But I love that palette so much, I may need to knit one for me at some point, too!
I also wanted to chat a little bit about the colorwork for Fayne. I talk about this in the pattern, but you’ll notice that in the inner workings of the colorwork, it’s made up of a lot of vertical blocks, which help build the illusion of plaid. Because of this, you have the same width of stitches with the same width of floats (stranding the unused color behind the other color being knit with), all the way up the hat. Depending on your knitting style and your yarn, this can mean each vertical block may end up looking a tad bunched up while you’re knitting. So I’m going to offer you some tips.
Four tips for knitting the Fayne beret
First of all, make sure that you have a nice, even tension while stranding. I offer some tips for stranded knitting in this post, and the best one I can give is that when you change between colors in a row, make sure that the stitches on your righthand needle are spread out. The below photo from that post shows what I mean:
Second, that’s the reason I recommend knitting Fayne with a yarn that has at least a bit of wooliness. The yarn I used for the sample and my own version, Quince & Co. Chickadee, is juuuust slightly hairy; in fact, picking something a bit woolier might be better, but I was really pleased with the performance of this yarn and the colors for this pattern. A wooly yarn will help the stitches grab each other, especially when blocking. Smoother yarns aren’t a great option for Fayne, so I really do recommend you try to avoid them. If you have a hard time wearing hardier yarns against your skin, I suggest you knit the ribbed brim in a smoother yarn that matches the darkest color in the pattern, and then when you’re onto the colorwork, switch to the matching woolier yarn. That way your head won’t itch, but the colorwork will look nice.
Third, sometimes you get a pattern gauge, but you kind of know in your knitting heart of hearts that you’re off a tad. Maybe you didn’t knit a huge gauge swatch, or you know historically you knit a little looser or tighter once you dive into a project, versus your swatch. If that’s the case, and you think you might be sliiiiightly getting too loose of a gauge (like getting 6.5 stitches per inch, instead of 7 stitches per inch), I would recommend going down a needle size, so that your gauge is a little tighter. It’s better for the gauge of Fayne to be a hair too tight than too loose, because when you block the hat after knitting, it’ll help you open up the stitch pattern and relax everything! But if it comes out too big, you can’t really do that, so you might not love the results as much.
Fourth and last… I’ve given you a lot of info to digest but don’t sweat the small stuff! You may not get the colorwork 100% perfectly flat after blocking. That’s totally okay! This is hand knitting and you are not a machine. It might have a little texture still (hey, mine does!), but it’s going to look amazing and plaid and adorable and you’ll love it. 🙂 Cue happy grin, see?