Do you know what a pierrette is? A female pierrotte of course!
Here are a couple of charming old photos. What attracted me of course were the pom poms.
The key feature seems to be a jaunty brimmed hat that slopes away to a narrow (if not fully pointed witchs’ hat shape) crown.
I found the early 1960s pattern in a Cirencester homeless charity shop. Originally sold by a wool shop in Northwich, (not too far from Liverpool), and I was pleased to discover the shop, now called Crafty Stitches (get it?), still exists. Naturally punning is still popular in the knitting community, with references on the booklet cover to the “hat” parade and “knit them for six”. Inside it says “whether you are young or not so young, fashion says knit a hat and wear it as you like!”. Clearly the two larger photographs feature a young model with her eye liner flicked up and pale, shiny lips, and the older lady, with her grey hair clearly visible, has a more 1950s look with deeper lips, made up eye brows and pearls. Interesting marketing, and of relevance to the discussion of age and clothes (see Americanagefashion, and the latest Instagram group (@sewover50).
I picked up the pattern for the hat bottom left – the others did nothing for me. I liked the elongated and rather angular look of the hat, the contrast and of course the pom poms. Fairly new to knitting I could not immediately “read” the pattern and understand how it was made. Few patterns actually explain what you are going to make and how the shapes fit together, they just launch into the K.1 P.1 etc.
So if you are like me here is a description that may help. The crown is knitted as a ribbed rhomboid strip, with a decrease at the start, and an increase at the end, of every other row. This means if you use a varigated yarn as I did you get a nice “bias” look to the knitting. However because the strip is a parallelagram the slope towards the crown is not real. The styling in the photograph makes it appear to be narrower at the top but it is not. You would have decrease more often to achieve this look I think. The crown is a separate moss-stitch piece, that is oval rather than round, as it should be for a hat. If you narrowed the top of the crown this would need to be smaller. Finally the brim is made by taking up 89 stitches along the long side of the crown strip and knitting in moss stitch for one and half inches. The pieces are pressed and joined up. The pom poms are sewn along the seam.
If you would like to make the hat here is the pattern. You will see I looked up the needle sizes. It is suggested to knit the hat on 3.5 or 3.75mm needles, with the brim in 4mm, in DK yarn.
And just for Jess here is the little dress I saw last week: