Last winter I lost my favorite hat. One minute it was in my pocket, the next it wasn’t. Darn! I really loved that hat.
Since I’ve been working with beads on various projects, it seemed that a hat with beads would be the perfect choice for a replacement.
But which pattern? I like tams that don’t fit too tight because there’s nothing worse than hat hair! At a local bead show, I stumbled on a vendor selling beaded tam patterns. She had the sample there and it looked perfect. So for $6 the pattern was mine.
Now, I’m off to The Tangled Web to choose the perfect yarn. After consulting with Mary, I decided on Plymouth Select in Mystic Purple, a beautiful, soft DK Merino Superwash. I then bought some clear lavender beads, (Yes, The Tangled Web has beads) that I mixed with some already on hand.
So there I am sitting down in my favorite chair feeling excited to be casting on after pre-stringing 400 beads. But hold on, I think, it might be prudent to read through the pattern. Uh oh! Halfway through the pattern I have no idea what the designer has in mind. Not only does it not make sense, the symbols don’t make sense either. Not good.
Now what am I going to do. I’ve already got the yarn, the beads are strung and I’m ready to begin. Without missing a beat, I dug out the pattern I used on last year’s favorite hat, the French Beret. It’s a Louisa Harding design from her book “hatsglovesscarves.” Find it here.
The only change I made to the original pattern was to knit the hat in the round instead of sewing up a side seam. Of course, I had to use some math skills to figure out bead placement. Here, I was on my own because the bead placement on the now rejected pattern wouldn’t work on this one. I decided to start the beading on the first row after the ribbing, every other stitch, and from there on I just winged it, deciding as I went where the beads would go. It turned out to be great fun. I thought I’d be anxious about it but I felt incredibly free and creative!
I don’t know why I didn’t just start out with the French Beret pattern. Probably because it didn’t have beads and it didn’t even occur to me that I could add them on my own.
I think I may have learned my lesson about buying patterns from people I don’t know or have never heard of. This is not the first time I’ve gotten tripped up. But hopefully it will be the last. But it all worked out. I now have a hat that no one else will have. Plus I learned that I, too, can get a little creative with a pattern.
contributed by Donna Heron