When my younger sister asked me to knit her a hat for Christmas, I knew I had to find a pattern that suited her young, vibrant personality. I had to step away from my tendency to knit the warmest, most practical hat imaginable, and look for a pattern that reflected current trends, namely slouchy berets and tams. I came up with three ideas.
The Meret is a free Ravelry download from one of the most interesting and well-known hat designers out there, Woolly Wormhead. This pattern appealed to me not only because of the loose beret shape, but because the stitch pattern would be suitable for a number of worsted weight yarns like Malabrigo Worsted, Rios, or even Twist, or Dream in Color Classy. The pattern is also easily adaptable for a number of sizes, and it’s easy to make it more or less “slouchy” depending on the number of pattern repeats completed.
The second candidate is the Brambles Beret from the Deep Fall 2010 issue of Knitty, again a free pattern. The cable patterning adds warmth to the slouchy shape, plus the cables would showcase a plied yarn like Madelinetosh DK or Cascade 220 perfectly.
The final option is the (again, free) Grace Lace Beret, and this is the pattern I ultimately chose. I was drawn to the way the ribbing flowed into the lace pattern, and I adapted the provisional tubular cast on here and simply substituted casting on 120 stitches with the long-tail method, making an easy pattern even easier. The hat took less than one skein of Malabrigo Silky Merino, and I finished it in less than three days.
I hope you find some inspiration for the young trendsetters on your holiday gift list!