Skills needed: provisional cast-on, knit, purl, slip-stitch, working in the round, i-chord
So, it didn't seem like there was a whole lot of interest in the Phryne Beret KAL on Ravelry. Whomp whomp. I, however, did not let this dampen my fervor in completing the namesake project of one of my favorite fictional women. It was a fun little project, too, which was a bonus. It worked up quickly after I messed up once with the provisional cast-on. (I knew this but forgot...never use the same color yarn for your working yarn as your scrap yarn on a provisional cast-on. It makes picking up the stitches later near impossible because you can't really see which stitch is which.) I do love the turned band of the beret. It has a more polished look, I think, than if it had been worked in something like a rib. The end product really is a very cute and satisfying beret. My husband pointed out to me that I do not wear berets, nor do I know anyone who wears berets, but I think I might start. Is a beret ever out of style? I think not. It's the middle of summer now, so I'll wait a few months to avoid being that weird lady in a beret- but I have a jacket I think it will look perfect with. Perhaps I'll knit up a matching shawl before then.
I used the Berrocco Folio yarn, which is an alpaca/rayon blend. It took one skein, which means I have one left over (YAY!). The yarn is a heathered looking dark grey, colorway 4534. It made for a deliciously soft hat, but I think perhaps some of the stitch detail was lost with my yarn choice. From the picture you can see the purl stripes that run about every half inch...between those is a slip stitch pattern. You can definitely feel the difference, but I'm not sure my hat is as visually striking as the one featured in "Knit.Wear" magazine. The lovely thing about this slip stitch design choice is that it prevents the beret from being too dense.
Summary: I wish more people had hopped on this KAL bandwagon. Maybe some people will join late. It was such a cute project inspired by such a delightful character. Ms. Solomon did a wonderful job capturing the style of Phryne Fisher. I would say the pattern price is a little steep, but still worth it. It is much more cost effective to purchase the whole magazine so you get numerous patterns for only a little bit more than the price of just this one. If you are a beret wearer, you love "Miss Fisher's Mysteries," or you just want a cute little project, you should check this one out.