Embracing my inner silver and knitting berets

I hate dying my hair! I know it is probably the easiest way to hold on to that illusion of youth, but the earth mama that resides within me has always hated the maintenance and the idea that toxic chemicals are being absorbed by my scalp.

I have been dyeing my hair for at least ten years. I began dyeing it because my complexion looked really washed out when those stray gray hairs started growing in. For several years I dyed it myself but then the store bought dyes just did not cover the gray and I had to put my hair in the hands of a professional. As our budget became increasingly tighter this year I felt bad seeing such a big chunk going to my hair.

Before I made the final decision, I Googled “going gray” and came across this website and this blog. I was amazed to see that most of the women really looked better after they had gone gray. I think what is key, is having enough white so it doesn’t look steely. It looks like I am pretty white in some places and streaky gray in other places, so I think I might be ok.

Of course my biggest fear about going silver is that I will suddenly look 20 years older. My son told me he thought if I went gray Silver people would no longer mistake me for 10 years younger, they would just think I looked good for my age. That boy is pretty smart for his 15 years. I am trying to envision that all that silver is going to show my “wisdom” instead of my age, lol, so I am crossing my fingers and knitting berets to ease myself through this transition.

In my internet search for cute beret patterns I came across a couple that I really like. The first one I knit was the Gwen Slouchy Beret this is an easy 4 row lace repeat that looks great knit in a variety of yarns.
The first one I knit with Knitpicks Comfy in Seafoam, knitting the pattern with 6 inches of repeats. I love the beret but it feels pretty slouchy, so I tried a few more with less repeats.

The red/orange beret and the purple one are knitted with my friend Emily’s gorgeous Sophie’s Toes sock yarn. I wore the red one a lot in Houston hiding not my horns as Kristin alluded to, lol, but my silver roots. I love the way Emily’s yarn knit up a lightweight beret that could be worn year round. For these two berets I knit the lace repeat for 5 inches before the crown decreases. It has the perfect fullness for my taste.
This white one is knit with Cashmerino, it is so snuggly soft and warm, perfect for this cold Chicago weather. It sort of reminds me of a bleached sea urchin.
I found another pattern that I liked too. It is the Grace Lace Beret, I knit this olive green one with Knitpicks Shine Sport Leapfrog. I am not sure I knit the decreases quite right since it is a bit rippley but it knit up really fast and I really like the star design that happens on the crown.

19 Responses to “Embracing my inner silver and knitting berets”

  1. Gillian says:

    Hello Judy,

    Yes, I also hated the thought of dying my hair. So I didn’t. I felt kinda faded for a few years, especially as my early colour was a rich auburn. My solution was to wear brighter colours. That was kind of fun.

    I can’t count the number of times I have sat in a room and realised that I am the only woman who is not dying her hair. Must make me kinda special.

    Now days I have a enough white in the hair to feel that it is not just faded. I still try to wear bright colours!

    So, as you make the transition, maybe you could look at the colours you wear, and add a bit of zing!

  2. I agree with Gillian about looking at the colors you wear! Any time I wear gray or silver or even camel colors, it washes out any color in my face and then the wash out is accentuated by the gray *ahem* “framing” of my hair. I’m considering some colored frames for my glasses now, as my eyebrows seem to be disappearing into gray-whiteness too!

    I’ve never been fond of hair dying, too much of a tightwad, lol.

  3. Niki :-) says:

    You’re invited! To the LAST PUSH quilt-a-thon I am having . Come see what it’s all about!
    The more the merrier! Spread the word, and grab the button! Quilty hugs! Remember, Dec 13 is the special day! Niki in AZ

  4. Fantastic. Good for you. I’ve got tons of gray wisps and I am trying to resist the urge to dye. (It’s not easy in Dallas.) You’re an inspiration (in addition to Lesly Riley and Terry Grant!)

    That’s a lot of berets!

  5. luanne says:

    good for you judy. and such cute berets, you’ve been busy creating your transition wardrobe.

    i’ve been coloring for probably 18 years, first just highlights for distraction, then eventually full head color. i’m 54 and not only gray underneath the color, but also plagued with ample midlife flab. if i could just shed the extra pounds, i’d love to go gray and super short, but for now i’m much too round to carry off that look.

    plus there is my vanity factor of not wanting to look (or is it feel?) older than my husband, who is neither flabby nor slightly gray yet, darn it.

    so props to you, and maybe you’ll inspire us to embrace our inner silver in the new year.

  6. StrawBoss says:

    Hooray! I sometimes feel very alone with my gray, it’s good to know there are others out there. If I colored, I would be the one with the gray constantly showing at the hairline-now that’s a look! I just don’t have the time.

    Judy (Another one)

  7. Lol…..still say there might be horns under there but if not there looks like there is a lot more gray than in Houston. Maybe by the Chicago show you’ll be almost all the way gray!!

  8. Emily says:

    Those berets are adorable! I just made the Rose Red beret. I’m trying to decide if I can pull it off or if I just look like a chef.

  9. The hats are great, I like the star one too. Gray hair? You betcha…I told my husband that I earned every darn one of them and I wouldn’t color them for anything….unless they come out with a really good turquoise [did I spell that right?]

  10. I’ll be watching to see how it goes! ;-))

    I keep waiting to get to the point of having “enough” gray to make it work, but mine is mostly right on top in front. Underneath is still all dark. And I have a LOT of hair!

    The berets are cute, but I’d like to see how they look from the front, too!

  11. Lavon says:

    I love gray hair. However I do not love the transitional phase of going gray.

    I want all my hair to be gray at the same time. So I dye my hair until my roots will show a true salt pepper look.

    Your gray looks wonderful and will be beautiful once its grows out. Until then you have some beautiful berets.

    I recently crochet a had and it is a little bigger than I wanted it to be but it keeps the ears warm and I have lots more to make.

  12. susan says:

    my hair is past my waist and wear mostly in braids and is dark brown with greying at temples…i see lots of grey, but most people laugh
    i cherish every grey hair i have, i feel i have earned them but they are weak and fall out more often than not. my younger sister is a slave to the hairdresser and dyes her hair way to frequently i think…sadly, she went way gray in her 20s. it is “distinguished” when men get grey but why is it i a crime for women. i guess i have never really cared what other people thought…as a distinguished fibre artist i think you are entitled to some grey here and there…the color was drained onto your work

  13. Susan,I love it, the idea that my color has drained into my work, is such a fun way to think of it.

  14. Plain Jane says:

    wild applause!! Hi Judy. I love that you’re letting your gray show, I LOVE that you’ve knitted a bunch of adorable berets for the transisition! fabulous. Before I turned gray, I had my hair highlighted for fun. Once I started going gray, I just felt it was false to dye my hair. So, I’m content with my hair color and gawd knows it saves money and time.
    On the other hand, I am thinking of a chin lift…:-)

  15. Lauren says:

    It’s so awesome that you knitted my pattern so many times!! It looks great.

    I’m 27, but I am already going grey. I dye it regularly, but hope to one day have the strength to just let it GO like you are doing. 🙂

  16. Hi Lauren,

    it is a great pattern and fun to try out in the different yarns.

    Maybe by the time you are in your 40’s you will be so tired of it you will go natural too. Although I am taking it slow by putting lowlights in so it is a softer transition.

  17. Those are silver sparkles Judy! I call mine my sparkles and crinkles (don’t do wrinkles either… I crinkle instead!). I have earned each and every sparkle in my hair, and now there are LOTS of them.

    When I started getting gray hair, my hair looked kinda drab and yucky, but the more gray I get, the more I sparkle… it’s like a natural set of highlights LOL! Plus, I couldn’t afford the cost of dye and I am SO not a fussy sort about hair and make-up and all that… I’d rather be in the studio!

    So celebrate those sparkles (and every time one of the kids acts up, just remind them that they GAVE you all those sparkles… you had dark brown hair before they arrived!).

    Cheers, Sarah

  18. I love the pattern for the green beret, but i also found it a bit confusing. Is it in order? o_O

  19. I did fine with the pattern until the decreases, I found it confusing too and I either did not read the pattern right or it isn’t written right because I don’t think it should have the ripples.

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