~ CROCHETED "MUSHROOM" BERET ~
The crocheted Mushroom beret looks very similar in shape to this knitted one from an earlier issue of LHJ. I also love this knitted pattern, and have included it in a subsequent post here, on this blog:
However, my favorite crocheted Mushroom Beret pattern is actually from this issue of Ladies' Home Journal Needle & Craft (Fall / Winter 1978 -- Vol. 9, No. 1):
The actual crocheted Mushroom Beret is shown on page 80 (I don't have a picture of it for here, yet), and the pattern is found on page 110... On page 80, they called it a "Mushroom Beret"; while in the instructions they merely referred to it as the "Crocheted Beret"...
SIZE: One size fits all.
MATERIALS: Stanley Berroco "Zoom Zoom", Color No. 2777 -- 4 skeins. No. "J" hook OR SIZE YOU REQUIRE TO OBTAIN GAUGE.
**Note: They used a Bulky weight yarn for this project. Berroco no longer carries that brand, but they still make fine yarns and have a great website online:
GAUGE: 5 dcs [double crochets] = 1 inch
NOTES: Ch-3 at beginning of each round counts as 1 dc. Join with slip stitch at end of each round. If circle becomes too full, work 1 round even between increase rounds.
TO INCREASE: Work 2 stitches in one stitch.
TO DECREASE: Yarn over... insert hook into next stitch... draw up a loop... yarn over... draw up a loop in [following] stitch... (5 loops on hook [at this point])... yarn over... draw through 3 loops... yarn over and draw through remaining loops -- 2 dc's have [thus] been worked as 1 dc.
Beginning at crown, chain 4, join with slip stitch to form a ring.
Round 1: Chain 3, work 7 dcs in ring ((8 dcs total, counting the ch-3))... Now join the round with a slip stitch.
**Note: Do not turn your work, just keep going in the same direction.
Round 2: Ch 3, 1 dc in first st [i.e. increase there, at the beginning of the round], work 2 dc in each st around [i.e. increase on each stitch] ((16 dcs total now))... Join the round.
Round 3: Ch 3, 1 dc in first st [i.e. increase there, at the beginning of the round], * work 1 dc in next st, work 2 dc in following st [i.e. increase on every other stitch]... repeat from * (24 dcs total)... Join.
Continue to work in this manner, having one more stitch between increases on each round... until circle measures 14 inches across [diameter. In other words, measuring along the curve from the crown to the edge of the hat, it should measure about 7 inches at the point where you will cease making increases].
**Note: This means that you will only be adding a total of 8 stitches per row of increases. Also, when you measure your work across the diameter -- do not flatten the piece out; instead, measure it across -- along the curve -- from edge to edge while maintaining the hat in its natural shape. This is why it is called the "Mushroom" Beret: the shape will naturally mushroom outward in a sort of spherical fashion as it grows larger. This is much different from the typically flatter shapes of most classic berets.
Also, I took the liberty of changing the wording on Round 3, to make it more comprehensible for me. Just always remember the important fact that the initial ch-3 counts as a dc, and follow the general principle of adding 8 stitches evenly on each increase round, and you shouldn't go wrong...
First Decrease Round: Ch 3, * 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, dec over next 2 sts... repeat from * around... Join.
Second Decrease Round: Ch 3, * 1 dc in next st, dec over next 2 sts... repeat from * around... Join.
Now try on the Beret and if necessary, work a "Second Decrease Round" once more.
**Note: Since you can't really predict how many stitches will finally be on the round when you get ready to start decreasing, it is quite possible that there will be an odd (or extra) one or two stitches at the end of at least some of the Decrease Rounds. In other words, the decreases will most likely not be spaced perfectly evenly every round. That's okay... it shouldn't make much difference, certainly not enough to be noticeable or detrimental -- since that is exactly the spot that you will most likely prefer to wear at the back of your head, anyway.
Next Two Rounds: Ch 1, work 1 sc in each st around... Join.
If more depth is desired, work 1 or 2 more rows of sc... Join and fasten off. [Another place to add depth to the hat if needed, would be by adding a few of the afore-mentioned, optional 'no-increase' rounds in between the Increase Rounds above.]
Tie Cord: Make a chain to measure 40 inches [about 200 chains]. Work 1 row of sc [or, just slip stitch them] across the chain and then fasten off. Fold cord in half and at center of chain, make a knot 2 inches down to allow for a loop. Sew center of knot to center of crown.
**Note: I omitted the "Tie Cord", since I wanted a simpler, more practical type of Beret. This sort of pattern works very well with a showy, soft yarn, such as a Mohair fiber, a Slubbed yarn, some combination of specialty yarns, etc.; because most of the beauty of the hat will result from the choice of fiber, rather than from the very basic stitch pattern itself.
Also it is worthwhile to point out that the finished hat should probably measure at least 18 inches in diameter (measured along the curve, of course), depending on your head size. I need a minimum of 9" to a maximum of perhaps 11" (for a slouchier fit) from crown to lower edge, in my berets. Around 11 inches is actually a more suitable radial measurement for the shape of the Mushroom beret, since it fits kind of like a bubble on the head.
That would make the total diameter around >18 to 22 inches total, depending on how much you allow the shape to balloon outward as you work -- and also depending on how you prefer to wear your berets (I like for mine to easily cover my ears and thick hair).