Ishbel Beret

Over the last few years I’ve attempted the perennially popular shawl pattern, Ishbel, twice. I love Ysolda Teague’s patterns but that simple little shawl just about did me in. Not because it was hard. It really wasn’t – it just didn’t gel. Twice. I swore off it forever after – even though literally thousands have made it – some several times. Sometimes a pattern just doesn’t work with your brain and you should admit defeat and move on.

So it’s curious that for reasons I can’t quite fathom, I set out to make the matching Beret pattern. The Ishbel Beret. I went in with some misgivings but four days later I had a rather lovely new beret to wear. I found myself wondering what on earth had been my issue with the shawl, because the lace pattern in the beret was a doddle. And I love it!

It’s made from half a skein of Madeline Tosh Sock in the colour Mica – my first time  using this widely loved yarn, which came to me as a birthday gift from a friend. The other half will become fingerless mittens.

Ishbel beret

It seemed awfully big after I took it off my biggest plate – a blue glass plate that looked rather pretty through the lace.

Ishbel beret blocking
It sat on my head at first like an oversized mop cap. After a bit of fiddling I worked out how to wear it. It’s unlike any of the other hats I’ve made in recent months and has become an instant favourite.

I’m still not making the shawl though.



18 thoughts on “Ishbel Beret

  1. It looks absolutley gorgeous! Well done! Its just beautiful!!
    Now Im wishing I had one (I can only knit scarves) or very plain blankets… Starting to think I need knitting lessons…..

  2. It looks really classy on you. I’ve never tried Isbel (I tend to stay away from patterns that “everyone” is making) but I love the hat. The lace pattern is beautiful and feminine looking.

  3. The beret looks great on you. I have knitted the Ishbel shawl twice & love it. Maybe you should give it a try since you are now familiar with the lace pattern.

  4. very sweet – glad you found the beret more enjoyable than the shawl. I’d get someone else to make you the shawl, if you really want it! No point wasting time on non-fun knitting, I always say 😉

  5. I’m loving your hat bender – more posts and more projects! Did you love the tosh sock? I am such a tosh hoarder I am afraid to “waste” it on things. I just keep it, half the time!

  6. That’s lovely, Bells. I think I was on my second or third Ishbel when you gave up in disgust. However. I’ve since made three berets and totally agree with you that the beret all falls into place easily. I noticed that myself and I had done the shawls, both sizes. I wonder what it is about it. Perhaps a different tech editor who has made pattern clearer? Anyway, I’m glad you’ve made your peace with Ishbel, one way or another.

  7. It is rather big looking, isn’t it! If it is loose, maybe thread some hat elastic through the ribbing? Looks like it will stay on well though! Great colour. It is very nice yarn, that MadTosh sock!

    • I should have added that it’s a really nice hemmed brim. It’s just stocking stitch, not ribbing – but it holds quite well. I can see it stretching though so I’ll keep the elastic in mind.

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