When the temperature drops, I reach for a cozy cap to hold in my heat. My small collection of knit and crochet caps does the trick, but sometimes, I feel like just a big round head when I wear a beanie. Oh, how I longed for a cap that was more stylish and fluffier -- much like how we southern gals like to wear our hair.
I thought to myself, "French people seem to know what looks good, so I'll knit myself a beret!" After comparing a few patterns, I decided top-down might be better, since no gauge swatch is necessary, and I can tailor it as I go. I grabbed a ball of Bernat Soft Boucle, double-stranded it on 8mm needles, and came up with my own formula - knit a circle until it's 12" in diameter, knit a few even rounds, then decrease until it fits my head. I had a beret in 2 hours flat, so I rushed the the bathroom mirror to model it.
Eh. I'm not française, so maybe that's why the beret just didn't do it for me, or maybe it needed to be bigger, or maybe it was the yarn, or maybe....
Then it occured to me that all those stylish oversized newsboys caps I've been seeing around town were nothing more than a beret with a BRIM. So off I went, to look up the Cabled Newsboy Cap pattern in Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, because I remembered its cool little brim technique.
I traced the template onto some plastic canvas, made a few calculations to rework the brim pattern to my gauge, and in another 2 hours, I had a newsboy cap! It's big enough to pull over my ears when needed, but a little too floppy to sit neatly on top of my head when above my ears. Some elastic may fix the problem, and if another one does come flying off my needles, now I know it'll have to be tighter. Still, it's much more stylish than a beanie, and my ears are WARM!