Celtic Fair Isle Beret (with Latvian Braid)

IMG_2423I finished the beret last evening. Here’s the pattern for it. I didn’t use the recommended Patons Classic Wool Worsted, I used Smart Double Knit (a wool yarn of approximately the same weight) using 4.5mm needles as the pattern suggested. However, using the number of stitches recommended (128 after the band) I could see I would end up with a toque rather than a beret, so although I was already into the decreases for the crown, I unravelled the hat back to the band and added a fifth repeat to the hat (170 stitches). I kept track of the repeats by using small plastic rings to indicate each repeat (I used a larger one to mark the beginning of the “row”).

I used the two-hand technique to knit the beret (one colour in my right hand, the other in my left), making sure to cross the yarns every three stitches or so (when the pattern called for 4 or more stitches in one colour). I knit the body of the hat on a short circular needle, did the decreases for the crown using double pointed needles as the round became smaller and smaller in diameter.



These are a few of the pysanky (Ukranian Easter Eggs) I have done. Painstaking work even with an electric stylus. This is a collection of eggs I did a number of years ago to showcase the better executed ones. Most I simply gave away.

Haven’t done any for several years – stopped making them (although I still have all the supplies, including the dyes) for two reasons: first, working with the stylus had become painful – my right wrist would ache when I attempted the small movements required by the designs; and second, the shells of local eggs in my supermarkets seem to have become much more brittle than they used to be. The last time I did pysanky I managed to bring just two eggs through the entire process out of the dozen I began. Hairline cracks destroyed the eggs in the heating process to remove the wax – so I gave up.

Maybe this spring I’ll have another go at making pysanky – it’s always so interesting to see how they turn out.

Here’s some information on pysanky.

This is the book I have used.

Here is a YouTube video showing the process.