Yes, the answers to all the questions was Rose Red! (Hope it didn't sound like I was a bit full of myself - it really was a coincidence that I happened to be knitting the Rose Red beret and swatching with the Rosenrot/Rose Red wollmeise at the same time as my blogthday!!).
Thanks everyone who commented and had a crack at the questions! Sorry to keep you all in suspense all week about the winners (I bet you've all been SO EAGER to know!!) - I've been feeling pretty blah all week with the flu, and it's been hard enough keeping up with what everyone else has been blogging let alone thinking about blogging myself! Oh dear. Onto better things...
The lucky (well, I hope, anyway!) winner of the socks knitted by me is .................................
SARAH! (hope it makes up somewhat for the loss of the Ashes series. Heh!) (also, hope I didn't just put the kybosh on Australia by writing that!)
And the winner of the special prize is ...........................................
ANNA! (see, the Poms are winners somewhere, if not in the cricket!)
And because I expect you are all dying to the see what a finished Rose Red actually looks like, some actual knitting content:
Pattern: Rose Red by Ysolda Teague. What can I say, the lady knows how to give great pattern! Well written, clear and easy to follow, a range of sizes provided, clever and a great end product. What's not to love! I knit the medium size, and it was perfect! Although blocking was the charm with this one. Before I blocked it, it fit on my head, but really didn't have the requisite slouch. A soak and a dinner plate later, perfect!
(this was taken pre-blocking!)
I also love how the pattern doesn't have a ribbed band, but rather ends with large cables - really really pleasing effect.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in colour 340700 (red), 2 x 50g balls, held together with Madil Kid Seta in shade 459 (red), 1 x 25g ball. I was really pleased with how these yarns worked together. The Kid Seta was not as true a red as the DB, but the mohair halo from it gives a gorgeous effect to the whole. I couldn't have asked for a better combination. And, even better, the DB was from stash!
Sticks: 4mm bamboo dpns, to start the pattern - which is done from the i-cord outwards - so clever! And then 4mm KP Options fixed circular once the increases were almost done.
Time: One week! It didn't feel like a quick knit, because there is a lot of k2togs, ssks and psso's, but I was pretty pleased to have this knitted so quickly, as I've worn it quite a bit already! 21 June - 28 June 2009.(this was pre-blocking - a bit (too much) like a mushroom!!)
What I learnt: I've never started a beret from the crown before, so it was really cool to start with a couple of stitches and do the little i-cord thingy, then increased outwards to create the fullness of the beret. Very cool. Although I would have liked some guidance as to how to cast off. I figured from my experience with toe-up socks that my regular cast-off wouldn't be stretchy enough, so I thought either the sewn-bind off or the lace bind-off (I think that is what the k2tog, sl st back to L needle, repeat, method is called?) would be best. I checked Ravelry to see what other people had done but didn't find much guidance, so I decided I'd go with the lace bind-off, and I'm really happy with it.
I've save the story of the Rosenrot swatch for another day!