This weekend I made a beret and I am going to share with you how it was made. You may be wondering why I made this? (or if you have followed my blog maybe not… to quote a previous comment I “do weird shit“). It may become even more puzzling when I confess that I am not a fan of the beret.
So why?…. Let me try to explain… In early posts of this blog I confessed to having “urges” and well… here is another great example of me following an “urge”. I don’t want to sound completely out of control so I will try to better justify this project.
My motivation for this project was more about the “how” than the “what”. I have been fascinated with weaving and I read a blog post that showed how to “weave” a hat. I was drawn by the way that it was woven and the design of the loom. I am sorry that I can’t remember the blog and worse I can’t find it. If you are reading this and it is your blog please let me know in the comments so I can edit this post and give you credit!
I will start with the wool… I have been spinning black wool for a rug I have been slowly weaving (Weekend with the Loom). I have extra black and have been wondering what I would do with this black yarn.
I found by happenstance the design for the hat loom and was curious about how it worked and the thought process for “inventing” this loom. (People can be so clever...). Above is the design for the loom and the numbers represent how the loom is warped. I was fascinated with the warping (putting the initial strings on) and that you would weave on both sides of this loom. I quickly got an old cardboard box and recreated this. I was not sure how well this would work so I didn’t take the time to make sure the circles were well drawn and that the holes were evenly distributed. This is a mistake if you want a well crafted hat at the end. I was not to worried about the lack of uniformity since again I was curious about the “how” and not so much about “what” I was making.
Looking back I am a bit embarrassed. I can hear my father saying “anything worth doing is worth doing well”. If I could go back in time I would to a better job of creating and warping this loom.
You can now see both sides of the cardboard and the warp strings. You can also see how quickly and sloppily I did this. (Post process I find that despite the poor craftsmanship the result is acceptable and shows how forgiving this loom can be)
Once the loom was warped I started weaving the weft from the center in a circle around and around. I started with some left over black bean dyed wool since I didn’t have enough to do it all in black.
Here you can see that I started adding the black. I realized that I was going to run out of black and decided to “cheat” a little and use some blue yarn that I had purchased instead of making. (I think I am starting to sound really lazy… ). I also did not follow any pattern… just let it happen as I went.
I don’t have the final picture of this side of the loom but here is one that is close. You need to weave the weft all the way out to the edge and it gets a little tedious at the edge.
Once I had one side done I flipped it over and started the other. The only way I could make it work was to start from the inside and work out again. I also modified the weaving a bit because I was not sure that I had the “head” size correct. I left a gap by turning the weft back onto itself as you can see in this picture. This is definitely a fortunate happenstance not a well thought out design decision. This allows you to adjust the hat to fit exactly the way you want. I haven’t decided if I should sew this to fit or add some kind of fastener.
Here is the second side completely done. You will note that since I was sloppy that some places the warp is completely covered and other there is a small gap.
I cut the cardboard away carefully so that I didn’t cut any of the weft or warp. I was surprised that despite my sloppy loom creation I had a hat that look well… “good”. Here is a picture of me wearing it.
Boy… I hate taking pictures of myself and worse I look so “tired” kind of sad…and a bit (maybe more than a bit) dorky in this hat. This is definitely not a hat I would wear in public… But an interesting project. I think the hat would have turned out much better had I done it all in black. I also believe that if one took their time to create the loom correctly the beret would have turned out excellent… This is a great project if you are looking for something to weave… and if you are into berets.
That is all for this week… but please stay tuned… I had a wonderful gift sent to me from England and I will be blogging about that next week. I promise it should be better than this hat project.