This is done:
It was a quick knit, about five days of neglectfully allotted time. I went exactly with the instructions without (!!!!!!) making a swatch. Only because ribbing stretches and brioche stitch is the alpha and omega of stretchiness, and so I was fairly confident that whatever I made would fit.
The key to working the brioche stitch in this pattern is: Do not treat a yo like a usual stitch.
This is quite the opposite of regular knitting; normally, a yo formed in one row is treated as a proper stitch in the next row and included in the stitch counts as well as stitch manipulations that form the pattern. In this case, however, one has to ignore the yos and only deal with them when specified. For eg: “k2, slip yo” actually means “knit one stitch, then push the yo back to access the next stitch, and only then slip the yo”. Once I figured this out, the knitting was easy. Before that, I’ve started this hat a couple of times years ago, but always gave up because I couldn’t produce the required pattern.
The brioche stitch makes it drape really beautifully; unfortunately, the only photos I managed to take of it being worn were at night in yellow light. They were so bad (dingy/yellow/blotchy) that I had to resort to lomo-ization to make them passable. Thank goodness for special effects!
There is also a rather visible line of error about 2″ away from the edge, where there seems to be a line of plain (non-brioche) knitting. However, my brioche reading skills weren’t too great at that stage so I didn’t dare to unknit it! It’ll remain.
I used about 75% of the skein for the hat, and used up the remainder on a gigantic pompom, which had been my plan all along. None of those fancy pompom makers or painstakingly cut concentric circle templates for me! I wound the yarn around my foot (since my palm was too narrow for the gigantic pompom I wanted) until it ran out. Then I slipped the loops off, and tied them tightly around their ‘waist’ (forming an 8 like structure) with a previously set aside length of yarn. Then I cut the loops of the 8 and shook them out. Finally, I spent a considerable amount of time trimming the pompom to make it spherical, but that was fun!
Pattern: Sweet Honey Beret, Interweave Knits Winter 2008
Yarn: Madelinetosh DK Twist; 100% merino; 229m = 100g; one skein; “Copper Penny”
Needles: 3.75mm for rib; 5.5mm square for brioche
Mods: None, added pompom
Also, I’m travelling now, so this post is being brought to you by the magic of Scheduled Posting. Replies to questions will appear only when I’m next near an internet connection!