I originally designed this beret to be knitted from commercial DK yarn, but when I came to knit it up I discovered the perfect fibre right there in my stash. So I thought, why not? And then I realized that it’s actually a great project for showing off your hand-spun yarn. You could even knit each segment in a different yarn if you like; you just need a complementary yarn as the contrast colour to tie the whole thing together.
To get the vertical segment thing happening, the beret is fashioned sideways using short-row shaping. Simply alternating reverse stocking stitch with stocking stitch makes your feature yarn ‘pop out’ to be admired. Not a spinner? Not to worry – it works just as well in your favorite shop-bought!
Child [Adult] (shown in adult size)
To fit head circ: 16-18 [20-22] inches
Yarn: MC Hand-spun DK weight yarn (I used hand-painted tussah silk roving from Fyberspates, plied with coordinating merino roving) approx 80  yards; CC Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK (80% alpaca, 20% silk; 116yds/105m per 50g skein); 1  skein
Needles and notions: one set 4mm straight needles; one 40cm/3.5mm circular needle; crochet hook and waste yarn; darning needle; one stitch marker (optional).
22 sts/30rows = 4" in stocking stitch
Tips for a neat wrap-and-turn
To wrap on a knit row: knit to the point before wrapping, slip the next stitch purl-wise onto the right needle. Bring the yarn forward between the needles, slip the stitch back to the left needle and take the yarn back between the needles.
To wrap on a purl row: purl to the point before wrapping, slip the next stitch purl-wise onto the right needle. Take the yarn back between the needles, slip the stitch back to the left needle and bring the yarn forward between the needles.
Use the very tips of your needles and avoid stretching the stitches or the wraps.
Picking up the knit wrap: knit across to the stitch which has the wrap around it – it looks like a little horizontal collar – insert the tip of the right needle upwards through the front of the wrap and then into the stitch knit-wise. Complete the knit stitch, knitting the wrap and the stitch together.
Picking up the purl wrap: Purl across to the wrapped stitch, insert the tip of the right needle upwards through the back of the wrap and then purl-wise into the stitch. Complete the purl stitch, purling the wrap and the stitch together.
Using waste yarn and provisional cast-on, cast on 35sts on 4mm straight needles. Join MC and knit across.
Row 1 (ws): sl1, k to end.
Row 2: p to last 2 sts, wrap & turn (see pattern notes).
Row 3: k to last 3 sts, wrap & turn.
Rows 4, 6, 8: p to last 2 stitches before wrapped st, wrap & turn.
Row 5: k to end, picking up wrap (see pattern notes).
Row 7: knit.
Repeat rows 3 to 8, shortening the row by 2 sts at the crown edge each time, and by 3 sts at the bottom edge every 6th row, until 17 stitches remain to the right of the collection of wraps.
Next row: k17.
Next row: p to end, picking up all wraps.
Next row: sl1, k to end. Break yarn.
Row 1: k to last 6 sts, wrap & turn.
Row 2: p to last 3 sts, wrap & turn.
Rows 3, 5, 7: k to last 2 stitches before wrapped st, wrap & turn.
Row 4: p to end, picking up wrap.
Row 6: purl.
Repeat rows 2 to 7 until 17 stitches remain to the right of the collection of wraps.
Next row: p 17. Break yarn.
Next row: k to last 5 sts, picking up all wraps, p5.
These 2 sections form one pattern repeat. Complete a total of five repeats, using a variety of yarns for MC if you wish.
Undo provisional cast-on and place live sts on a spare needle. With right sides together, join seam using a 3-needle bind-off. Using MC, run a gathering thread around stitches at crown edge, pull tight and darn in ends.
Using CC and circular needle, pick up 88 sts evenly around lower edge of beret (approx 3 sts for every 4 rows), mark beginning of round.
Work 8 rounds of k2, p2 ribbing.
Bind off using a stretchy method, the edging shown is a cast on 1, cast off 5 picot.
Once done, darn in all those ends and block your beret. I topped mine with a CC daisy but feel free to pick up stitches for a little i-cord stem, or add a funky button.
More of Diane's writing and designs can be found at www.dianemulholland.com