Scarves and berets

Today’s eye candy is comprised of four fabulous Shifting Sands scarves:


These beauties are the first additions to the newly created Shifting Sands gallery. I’m delighted with how the pattern is knitting up in all different yarns! As always, I’m thankful for all gallery submissions – just e-mail me to have your FO featured!

By the way – although Shifting Sands is a stockinette-based pattern, I found that it did not curl into a tube when I knit it. Seeing four more SS scarves, none of which appear to be curling, leads me to believe that the cable-heavy stitch pattern keeps things nice and flat.

Allow me to switch gears for a second, and ask you for a pattern suggestion: berets. Someone very near and dear to my heart has asked me for a periwinkle beret to match her new coat (you have one guess to identify this mystery person, considering her love for periwinkle).

I requested Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Patterns from the library because I believe there’s a pattern in there. Where else should I look? I want to make a very traditional, non-slouchy beret (like this one from Nordstrom), all solid-colored, gauge between 4.5 and 7 stitches per inch. Hit me with it!


49 thoughts on “Scarves and berets

  1. Typesetter

    Yes, there is one. That’s the first one I made for my mom, didn’t have an occasion to take a pic of the beret on her head, just drying on a pasta dish. She like it so well that she requested I make her several others… So now I know I made a mistake…

  2. Ruth

    There was a “Nancy Drew” beret in IK sometime in the past year. I’m not sure what the gauge was, but it was very traditional-looking.

  3. Emily

    I love Ann Budd’s book – very helpful! However, beware the error in the beret pattern. She has you decrease too slowly so it ends up a bit coneheaded.

    I was unhappy with the point, but apparently too inexperienced at that point to realize I just needed to rip it out and do the decreases faster. So I went ahead and sent it to its receipient, my partner’s cousin in Germany, before I saw other blogs that posted the correction. I never heard a thank you or anything from from her, so I always wonder if she hated it because it was too pointy and didn’t know what to say!

    I have the correction written into my book at home. I’ll check it and get back to you.

  4. Claire Warren

    I would suggest a felted one. I’ve spent many hours with a felted one (the army now wears them and they pill to no end, so they have to be shaved and shaped) and they hold their shape great and look great. I know that I’ve seen a felted pattern some where, I’ll dig.

  5. Shana

    There’s a simple beret pattern in the latest Interweave Knits that just caught my eye. Its knit in Tahki Donegal Tweed which yarndex lists as having a gauge of 4.5sts/inch.

    Good luck!

  6. PJ

    There is a wonderful looking felted beret in Beverly Galeskas’ Felted Knits. I haven’t made it, but it definitely looks traditional.

    Have fun.

  7. Emily

    There’s one in Hats On!, but it isn’t felted. You could probably use the measurements to calculate a new gauge and felt it, though.

  8. Lori

    There is a beret pattern in Knit Hats (the little book shaped like a hat). It has directions for 3 gauges: 24st=4″, 20st=4″, and 16st=4″. One is shown in almost a periwinkle color (a sign, perhaps?), and has a picot edge. Obviously, the tighter the knit, the less slouchy the beret, even without felting.

  9. Jomy

    I love the cables on the shifting sands scarf. I used it as a center panel in some arm warmers I made. I love it!

  10. Rebecca Gordon

    Can’t send you a picture of my beautiful green Shiftig Sands, because someone stole my camera when he kicked in our front door on Thanksgiving. But it’s beautiful, knitted in Debbi Bliss Cashmerino on US 9’s. I found the edge was rolling after a few rows, so, not being a fringe fan, I ripped out and restarted with an inch and a half of 2X2 ribbing. By the time I realized it was coming out too wide (about 9 inches), I didn’t feel like ripping out again. So it’s wide but beautiful. Next time I promise I’ll swatch!

  11. Carolyn

    There is a Kate Gilbert beret pattern in the Winter 2005 Interweave Knits. Unfortunately, it’s not the right gauge, but it’s quite lovely.

  12. Debra

    “Tweed Beret” by Kristen TenDyke pg. 134 ofInterweave Knits, Winter 2006. I knit this one for myself, altering a bit to fit a 21-1/2″ head circumference, and was happy with how it turned out.

  13. Enjay

    Jackie E-S at Heartstrings has a beret pattern. It’s felted, but in my opinion if you want a beret that has enough body to stand up straight and resist the slow descent into a slouch, felting is the way to go. Also, felting can be done without a washing machine. Pop the hat in a pillow case to trap all the loose fiber, run a little water into the tub, drop in some soap, put on some good fast dance music, galoshes to protect your feet from the hot water, and stomp on it. Or, use not so hot water and longer sets of music. A felted hat AND a great cardio workout, what’s not to love?

  14. KarenK from OR

    I’ll second (or third? whatever) the recommendation for a felted beret. The Nordstrom beret is felted, and it’s hard to get the structure you need in a not-felted beret. There’s a pattern in a long-ago issue of Vogue magazine that may be available somewhere in someone’s magazine stash… or was it Knitter’s? Geez, I’m such a help.

  15. Bridget

    There’s a great (and pretty quick) pattern from Rosie Knits – it’s part of the Project of the Month at their website (, but I am pretty sure you can just buy the pattern.

  16. anne

    there is a fibertrends pattern for a felted beret that works up very nicely! the picture on the pattern sheet looks a little geeky, but it ends up looking more “french” than the picture allows in real life!

  17. trudi

    There’s a tam pattern in many different gauges in The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns. I haven’t knit one myself, though.

  18. TheAmpuT

    Elizabeth Zimmerman has “tam” patterns, but I did the “Last Minute Purled Beret” recently (mentioned above) and it actually looks good either side out.

  19. pamela wynne

    I also recently had a friend request a beret. I ended up making a felted one because (as many smart folks have already noted) the others I tried were too slouchy for her taste. The finished product was shaped much like the one in the Nordstrom photo.

    Here’s the recipe I used — I also imagine you could use these basic proportions and teeny needles to make a somewhat stiff, unfelted one:

    – With worsted wt wool and 5.5mm (US9) needles, CO 80 stitches in the round. Rib for 2 inches.

    – Increase round: inc every 3rd st (120 st).

    – Work in stockinette for 7.5 inches.

    – Next 11 rounds: Double decrease evenly around all odd rows; knit all even rows (24 st).

    – Next 3 rounds: K2tog around (3 st).

    – Knit i-cord with 3 remaining st.

    – Weave in, felt, give to fashionable friend.

  20. bunjie

    I knit 4 berets from ‘ Where did you get that Hat ‘ by Patons, in Classic for my kids 10 years ago, felted & fit perfectly, which is suprising as it was my first felting attempt & the instructions were brief & simple ( haven’t managed to felt anything to fit since! )

  21. Dianne

    I’ve made 3 berets from the Patons pattern listed above. All finished beautifully. Any worsted weight, feltable yarn will do. I used both Patons Classic Wool & I believe that other was Knit Picks.

  22. Susan

    Look over at Knit and Tonic. She has a gorgeous 1 skein beret pattern on her free patterns list. I knit one up last week out of the Kochoran and it’s gorgeous. The pattern is well written and comes out great–as all Wendy’s patterns do!

  23. Julie

    Hi Kathy, you might want to see Hip Knit Hats: 40 Fabulous Designs by Cathy Carron, she has included a section of berets. There is a nice entrelac one. Thanks for all your inspiration!

  24. Lotta

    I don’t exactly have a pattern, but I have an idea, if you want to try something a little different. I made a beret in entrelac, and I really like the result. You can see a couple of pictures of it in my blog (I’m sorry I don’t have a really good picture of the finished product, but there is one in the next post.) I started with a 7-stitch square and when I decreased for the top, I went to a 6-, 5-, and 4-stitch square. If you’re interested, I can give you more details. 🙂

  25. Mitty

    I just finished the tweed beret from the Winter 2006 IK and I love it. It is nice and stiff. I used Skye Tweed. It is not completely plain; it has some ribbing in a decorative pattern. I stay away from Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Patterns (the one for hats, mittens, etc.) because I have found errors in a couple of patterns. Very carelessly edited, which is ironic, when you think about it.

  26. fleegle

    This comment has nothing to do with the beautiful knitting, but you might be interested in seeing how I fitted my Boye NeedleMaster tips to the KnitPicks cables. The hybrid makes for a set of totally perfect lace needles. The procedure is on my blog. Enjoy!

  27. Trico

    IF you are Rowan member, there is a nice beret pattern for November 2003 in the member free pattern section. the gauge is off from your plan though….and you have to be their member first, so it’s just an idea. It is a simple mohair beret.

    BTW, I have finished my Shifting Sand scarf for my DH at 4:53 am today. I will send you a photo soon.

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