I sort of think of this set as the wallflower of my Penguin: a Knit Collection book. While the other patterns are busting out some crazy moves in the middle of the dance floor, Pinglette Set it watching from the side lines: the quiet hot chick.
You can magic loop or DPN this baby round the dance floor, it’s up to you. The fun of it is you get to use a lot of different needle sizes. In the book, I use this as a moment to reflect on how much we have grown and how far we have come during this current knitting renaissance. Just imagine if I’d suggested a hat pattern using 4 sizes of needle a decade ago? Some might still balk, but many of us have them in our quiver of needles and I wanted to provide a good opportunity to get them out. I see it as a total celebration of the fact that this wave of knitting seems to be rolling and rolling with no shore in sight. And that’s truly a reason to get up on the dance floor.
The deep cowl and matching beret are knitted from a single skein of Snældan 2-ply (which is like a 4ply/sport weight in 100% wool which gives you 360m / 394yds per 100g). You will need approximately 35g of yarn for the hat and 65g for the cowl. I was a little torn whether to suggest knitting the beret or the cowl first. If you knit the cowl first, it will allow you to get the rhythm of the stitch down, before you need to work decreases in it, BUT then you wouldn’t be able to engage in the utmost satisfaction of knitting the cowl as long as you can until you have just enough yarn left to cast off, which you can only do if you have already knitted the beret.
There’s something really supple and springy about the stitch/tension/yarn combo that is just dreamy and quite unexpected and it feels really appropriate that the shade of grey is called, Cloud. It’s one of the joys of Snældan yarn that it comes in 5 natural, undyed greys. You can get them all from The Island Wool Company. Both beret and cowl are fully reversible if you are neat about how you sew in the two ends you’ll have for each (one from casting-on, the other from casting-off). I highly recommend spit-splicing if you come across an unexpected knot in your yarn or are working from smaller balls/skeins. It’s nicest to not have any unnecessary ends poking out to disrupt the flow, especially since they reversible. Reversible, not because the stitch is identical on both sides, but because it is interesting on both sides – little ‘v’s and dashes on one side, moss stitch-esque on the other. Held up to the light and stretched a little, it looks a bit like honeycomb.
For the beret you start with smaller needles to achieve the density you will be used to seeing Linen Stitch in and work up in needle size to uncharted lace territory (hence I’ve called it Expanded Linen Stitch). You might recognise that it’s a method I’ve used for my Treble Linen Cowl, a cowl with totally different proportions and suggested fibre, because, yes, the Treble Linen is made in linen. It is long, so you can wrap it twice (or even more), whereas the Pinglette Cowl is more like a long funnel.
Pinglette is my made up word for a baby penguin, because there isn’t a specific one, unlike, say, swans who hatch cygnets and geese hatch goslings, while ducks hatch ducklings. The top of the hat is a bit like a sea urchin, which I bet a penguin wouldn’t turn its beak up at as a snack.
And to end again with my wallflower analogy, the Pinglette Set is photographed against the amazing, geometric, black, white and yellow mural just off Columbia Road on the side of Clutch, a posh chicken joint. Just after I did the photoshoot for the Pinglette Set – they were the last knits to be captured for the book (with a sick child in the car and fading light) – I found the exact same wall being used as a backdrop for another beret, this time in crochet, in another craft manual type book, by another Anna… spookey.
This beret is in Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet by Anna Wilkinson. You can find the pattern details for my Pinglette Set on Ravelry. Soon you’ll be able to purchase it from your LYS (you might need to ask them to order it in, if they haven’t already arranged to stock it). You can order the book here, from me.