Best Beret, James N Watt, Yarn Review, Onion Wool + Mohair

Knitting with Wool + Mohair: Eugenie’s Best Beret

Here is my Best Beret knitted in Wool + Mohair by Onion. Being both French and raised in Basque Country I feel very strongly about how berets should look like. James N Watts Best Beret is very simple yet it really has a the perfect shape and I like how the pattern can be customized in various ways. When we received the Wool + Mohair I couldn’t resist the idea of making a fluffy version as a present for a friend.

PatternBest Beret by James N Watts
Yarn: Onion Wool + Mohair
Size: Adult large.
Modifications: The fit is an hybrid in between the classic and dramatic silhouette.

PATTERN NOTES

PATTERN

The Best Beret by James N Watts is an easy and quick beret pattern designed with worsted weight yarn on a very tight gauge. This gives the fabric a beautiful felt-like texture as well as a lot of structure which is essential for the beret to hold its shape as intended. The pattern is very well explained and would be accessible to knitters of all level.

Best Beret, James N Watt, Yarn Review, Onion Wool + Mohair
© James N Watts & ©YAK

SIZING & MODIFICATIONS

The pattern comes in two sizes – adult small & large – and two fits – the classic and dramatic silhouette. It also gives you the option of having one or two stalks at the top. The size is determined by the length of the I-cord edging and can easily be adapted to various head measurements. The size large fitted perfectly but it took me a few attempt to get the right fit, i.e. the right beret circumference.

Part of the problem was that I couldn’t get to match both the stitch and row gauge exactly. Although I never bother checking my row gauge, in this instance it is important to get both right in order to get the exact proportion. The construction of this beret is divided in two parts: the increase section and the decrease section. The increase section corresponds to the width of fabric between the i-cord edging and the full diameter of the beret. Varying width allows for different styling.

I initially knitted the classic silhouette but my gauge got tighter as I knitted and the beret ended up being too small. I then went up a needle size and attempted to knit the dramatic silhouette which somehow ended up being too loose and floppy. That’s when I realised that my stitch and row gauge were out of proportion. My stitch gauge was on spot but my row gauge being slightly too loose. Therefore when I knitted the dramatic silhouette, the stretch of fabric in the increase section was too wide making it very difficult to style the beret exactly as I wanted. ⁠In the end I decided to knit an hybrid between the classic and the dramatic silhouette. I used one of my own beret to base my proportions on and decide when I should start decreasing.

The full diameter of the beret is still a bit small for my liking, but the extra fluff from from the Wool + Mohair makes it very cute. I made it for a friend with a slightly smaller head than mine so I think it should fit her just fine. ⁠

Best Beret, James N Watt, Yarn Review, Onion Wool + Mohair
© YAK

YARN NOTES

Ultimately it all comes down to the fact that the Wool + Mohair was a little too fine for that project. The label suggests using 5.00 mm to achieve 17 sts over 10 cm and therefore I assumed it would be thick enough to knit the Best Beret and obtain the tight tension it required. Although I was able to get the right stitch gauge on 3.5 mm needles my fabric still lacked density and structure. Had it been denser, I think the beret would have been to handle a wider dimension. ⁠

Like a lot of fluffy yarns, the Onion works well with a variety of gauges but we have found that it may be more suited to a standard DK gauge – 20 sts on a 4.00 mm needles. Knitting it at a looser tension will give you a beautifully drapey fabric which might not suit all types of patterns. All weight consideration put aside, the Wool + Mohair is lovely to work with. It is very soft and warm and the colours in the range are striking. ⁠I am even considering making a second Best Beret by holding the two strands of Wool + Mohair together…