New pattern: Corona Beret

I have just released my Corona Beret, a slouchy, warm ray of sunshine for Winter.

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Corona Beret is available to for £3.

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This oversized regal beret in gorgeous Skein Queen Blush yarn is slouchy, soft and warm. The interesting stitch pattern is made using just knit and purl stitches. The textured effect on this hat will look especially well under oblique winter light. From different points of view, the Corona Beret can look like a star, a crown or a flower.

The gold colour of this skein of yarn inspired this knit. The idea was to create a crown of stitches, but to emphasise the softness of the yarn I made the beret oversized and slouchy. It was only when I started the decreases that I realised the back was going to look like a multi-petalled flower. I’m delighted with the end result and I hope you are too.

Sizes

Head sizes vary widely. These measurements fit average sizes for Baby (Toddler, Child, Small Adult, Medium Adult, Large Adult).
To Fit Head Circumference
35.5 (40.5, 45.5, 51, 56, 61)cm/
14 (16, 18, 20, 22, 24)in
Finished Circumference
34 (38, 42.5, 46.5, 51, 55)cm/
13.25 (15, 16.75, 18.25, 20, 21.75)in
Finished Length (Brim to Crown)
14.5 (15.5, 19, 19.5, 23, 26.5)cm/ 5.75 (6.25, 7.5, 7.75, 9, 10.25)in

Tension

28 sts and 38 rows to 4in/10cm over stocking stitch using larger needles.

Yarn

Skein Queen Blush (4-ply (plump); 80% merino, 20% cashmere; 400m/100g skein)
Gold 1 x 100g skein

Needles and Accessories

1 set 2.75mm (UK 12/US 2) circular needles
1 set 3.25mm (UK 10/US 3) circular needles
1 set 3.25 (UK 10/US 3) DPNs

Abbreviations

DPNs Double pointed needles
inc Increase/increasing
K Knit
K2tog Knit the next two stitches together
Kfb Knit into the front and back of the same st
P Purl
Pfb Purl into the front and back of the same st
rep Repeat
Rnd Round
st(s) Stitch(es)

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An interview with Skein Queen and some yarntastic events

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In anticipation of my next pattern coming out, Corona Beret, I got in touch with Debbie Orr of Skein Queen, who dyed the yarn for it.

Debbie’s yarns are dyed with beautiful depth of colour, I fell absolutely in love with this gold Blush when I was at her open house over the summer. It was a particularly unsummery day, but we were safe from the rain with a load of scrummy cakes and even scrummier wool.
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Debbie has just opened a new workshop in Newbury. Go check out the pics on her blog, it looks lovely! Here’s one I copied…

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Here are a few question I asked Debbie about her new space and her plans for the future.

1. First of all, how are you? The pics of the new space look fab, has the hummingbird landed on her feet?
Thank you, you’re very kind. It’s been hard work, but I think the hummingbird has finally nested. The new studio space is the attic area of an old barn above a craft shop and is basically all my show stuff permanently set up along with many yarn storage shelves, product displays, electric skein winders and a whole area dedicated to packing parcels (plus a sofa for added comfort knitting). The dyeing is still done from my old workshop at home, about a mile from the studio.

2. What are you going to do in the new space that you couldn’t do before?
The biggest change is that I have a bit of space dedicated to retail, so if customers want to squidge the yarn in person, they can now do so. Although I have an employee a couple of days a week, it’s always best to make an appointment in advance as I might be dyeing in the workshop or away at a show and wouldn’t want to be the creator of a wasted trip.

3. How has 2014 treated you so far? I see you’ll be at the pom pom quarterly Christmas party, any other plans for the rest of the year?
It’s been a year of changes. We launched a jazzy new website at the beginning of the year, got my first proper staff member in April, have introduced much new non-hand-dyed stock, held the first ever SQ Open Studio at home in June and now have another Grand Open Day planned at the new studio on Saturday. After that is the Pom Pom party – which was a lot of fun last year – looking forward to seeing the new venue – and then dedication to clubs and shop updates for the rest of the year. And then a large glass or two of mulled wine over Christmas by way of celebration.

4. Are you planning on going to any yarny events in 2015?
So far, have only booked my perennial must-do show and that’s Unravel at Farnham. In my head I’m planning to concentrate on more shop updates to bring more hand-dyed yarn to those who can’t shop in person.

5. Finally, what’s on your needles right now and what’s in your queue?
Just cast off the bottom edge of the Lush cardigan by Tin Can Knits leaving only the sleeves to do and then… oh I think maybe a Corona Beret!

Thanks for your time, Debbie, it would be great to see another Corona Beret in your gorgeous yarn!

Skein Queen is hosting a workshop-warming party on Saturday, I can’t make it myself unfortunately, but I’d love to hear from anyone who does go! Here are the details

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Then the Pom Pom Quarterly Christmas party is on the 6th of December and I’m definitely going to that! I think a whole bunch of us Harrow Knitters are, in fact.

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But in the meantime, I have this beauty to work with

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200g of “Oosie”, a 100% Scottish Down Cross Dk weight. Sumptuous berry-burgundy in colour. Itching to cast on, but have a few other things in the queue to get through first!

Would you like to Test Knit my Corona Beret?

Corona Beret

Hello! I have a new design coming out soon, and I’d really appreciate some help in the form of test knitting.

Corona Beret

This is a slouchy, textured beret in a plump 4-ply. The yarn I used is the stunning Skein Queen Blush, which is crazy soft and warm. Even if you don’t try it on this project, get some to play with, you won’t be disappointed. I fell in love with the colour in this skein when I went to Skein Queen’s Open House during the Summer. There was no way I was leaving without it, even though I’d already filled up on Jamieson’s of Shetland (which Debbie also sells). (You don’t have to use this yarn if you’re doing the test knit, you can sub in a different yarn. The tension to get is 28 sts x 38 rows per 10cm over st st).

Corona Beret

This hat is all about the texture of the star pattern. The coronal pattern under different lights and points of view, can look like a star, a crown or a flower. The texture is created just with knit and purl sts – no cabling or slip sts here!

Corona Beret

If you would like to test knit for me, just get in touch. I’m catchloops on ravelry, twitter and gmail, so drop me a line!

Test Knitting is: you get the pattern for free, but it might have mistakes in it. You agree to knit it by a certain date, tell me anything that jars you about the pattern and put up a ravelry project linked to it when it goes live. Since there’s a group of us doing it at the same time, it feels like a KAL. I update everyone with any changes along the way and help out if there are any ambiguities or techniques new to you.