Now, for the knitted version of the vintage "Mushroom" Beret. This cover of Ladies' Home Journal, Fall / Winter 1975 shows the actual beret for this pattern which I will reproduce here because I like it so much.
Instructions for this beret are given on page 99 of this issue of LHJ
One Size Fits All.
MATERIALS: Worsted weight yarn (in your choice of colors and fibers -- they used Unger's Cozy brand); straight knitting needles, numbers 9 (body of hat) & 8 (for the band); aluminum crochet hook, size "G"; and a "large" plastic ring for the button (no bigger than ~1 inch in diameter)
NOTE: Beret is worked in Garter St, except for the band.
Starting at the center top [crown], with No. 9 needle[s]... cast on 9 sts. Knit 1 row.
Increase Row 1: K 1, (yo, K 1) 8 times [8 increases made]
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: (K 2, yo) 8 times, K 1 [8 increases made]
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: (K 3, yo) 8 times, K 1 [8 increases made]
Row 6: Knit
Continue to increase 8 stitches by yo [yarn-over] every other row, having 1 knit stitch more between increases until 16 increase rows in all have been worked -- [totaling] 137 stitches [at that point].
Work even in Garter St until 8" from center [measured along the curve from crown to bottom edge]...
Band: with No. 8 needles, K 1, * K 2 tog [decreasing]; repeat from * -- 69 sts [at this point]...
Work in K 1 / P 1 ribbing for [a total of 6] rows
Bind off in ribbing [pattern]
FINISHING: Weave [i.e. sew] back seam... Sc [with size "G" crochet hook] over ["large"] plastic ring until completely covered. [Size of ring is not given, but I assume it is the type of ring used when making crocheted buttons, so I will leave the choice of size up to you -- I would use one no wider than 1 inch in diameter]. Fasten off, leaving a long strand. Turn outer edge to inside and weave together [forming the crocheted button]. Sew [the crocheted button you just made] to top [center, or crown] of beret. DO NOT BLOCK OR PRESS.
As you can see, this is a very simple (although plenty charming) hat pattern. It is worked in rows with a seam at the back -- not rounds -- so you can make it easily on straight knitting needles... The original instructions provide for color changes which would duplicate the hat shown in the photo above, but I left the color choices and stripe patterns up to you.
I feel very fortunate to have found instructions for my favorite type of beret in both, crocheted and knitted techniques. I have also recorded the crocheted version here, elsewhere in this blog: