Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stained Glass Beret

Hooray!! The stained glass beret is done. It was a quick & easy knit. I found the pattern extremely well-written & easy to follow. This is such a clever & elegant design, the way the fan shapes fit together to create the stained glass "rose window" effect...

Of course, with all the color changes, there were approximately 10,000 loose ends to weave in before felting. You cannot quite get away with weaving them all as you go either, because the way the fans are constructed in interlacing rounds requires leaving an open loop at the tip of each fan that cannot be tightened & tied down until 2 rounds later, but I strongly recommend taking care of them ASAP (as I did) rather than saving them all for the very end. Fortunately, once you get them into place, the felting process really helps hold them there.

Here are two photos: one (on the left) taken before felting, where you can still see the stitch definition, and the other (on the right) taken after felting while the piece was drying. Click on either one to get a closer look. I suppose it almost goes without saying, but the Lamb's Pride yarn felted *beautifully*. And I like my color scheme even better in the final felted version than when I laid out all the yarns side-by-side.

As I mentioned in my previous post on the subject, the pattern calls for a dinner plate to be inserted after felting to help ensure that the beret will dry in the correct shape. I knew instinctively which of our various china patterns would turn out to be the right size, but it took a bit of effort when the time came to get the object properly situated. I felt a little silly for a moment there, if truth be told, until I had won the wrestling match, and then my self-consciousness suddenly turned to instant triumph. To my delight, the "crown" of the beret immediately stretched into a perfect circle, and I believe the fact that the rim around the plate makes it slightly convex rather than strictly flat means that the finished object will more easily fit onto my head, which, thankfully, is also not flat on top. ;-)

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