A tale of three hats …

Hats are a great way to use up leftover yarn from jumpers, and to try out new techniques without wasting too much time if you don’t end up liking the final result.



Wurm Hat, made with leftovers from two cardigans.


This is my Wurm Hat – made with a very popular free pattern available on Ravelry.  I used aran yarn, leftover from my Miette Cardigan and my Myrna cardigan.  It has a nice thick band, made in the same way as a folded hem.  The ridges give it plenty of stretch to fit over heavy curls, or to fit different sized heads.  A very easy make that would be great for a quick present.


The next hat was made without any pattern – I made a guess at how many stitches after a quick swatch. Because I was using ribbing, it would be stretchy enough to make up for my lack of prep! I used fisherman’s rib* for about five inches – it’s the nicest squishiest rib – little pockets of air to add warmth to your hat.



I held two shades of grey sock yarns and treated them as one, so it gave a lovely marled grey effect to the hat.

There was a real difference in the warmth of this hat, and I’d recommend using sock yarn or something with wool for hats. The acrylic one above (Wurm Hat) was good to keep out the cold, but a hat with wool will hold in the heat much more effectively, and without being clammy.


I changed to a basket weave pattern and decreased a few stitches for a couple of rounds before gathering all the remaining stitches to close the crown.


lake hat

A seriously glassy lake in Killarney. (My scarf was made on my knitting machine – using black acrylic mixed with a colourful sock yarn)


The photo above was taken on a lovely day in November, I had a little time to kill so I sat by the lake knitting my red jumper.  The stone wall I was sitting on was freezing, so I took my hat off and sat on it instead – It was bizarre how warm it felt, completely insulating me from the cold stone!


The third hat in this tale was also made with the same grey yarns held double –


This was a beret shape – I cast on using a little guesswork again. I then worked it for a few inches, trying it on all the time.


When I reached the crown, I placed markers, roughly dividing the circumference by five, and then decreased at the markers every few rows.  I had every intention of writing the pattern as I was going along, but I just got carried away, with how quickly it was coming together!

If you’ve gotten this far you might want to hear the twist in the tale… ?

The one thing these hats have in common is that I have lost ALL THREE OF THEM!!! Seriously.. no idea where or when.  They all got worn for about three months each, before being abandoned or lost who-knows-where! I hope that someone, somewhere is enjoying them… as for me – I could get ahead of myself and knit some more in time for next winter..!

*Fishermans rib – similar to brioche stitch. For a video and pdf tutorial see newStitchaDay

Knitting – Sweet Jane

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any making…and this was finished (and worn) on New Year’s day, so it’s definitely time to show it off!


This is Sweet Jane, an a-line jumper with an asymmetrical hem. I managed to make mine longer than the original….I even considered making it into a dress as it wouldn’t have taken much more yarn to get there!


Above – Cloud reflections while Lakeside knitting in Killarney last November.  I was waiting around there for a day, and it was the nicest day, just drinking coffee, strolling around and doing some knitting ….  how middle-aged can I get!

Made from the top down in one piece. My gauge was pretty close to the pattern, so I didn’t make any changes except to stop increasing after the waist, so mine is a little less flared than the pattern.


Trying on for fit as I went along


I was working on this at a very busy/stressful time (apart from that one day above!) and it was a great distraction when I needed a minute of calm.
I’m delighted with this jumper – I can honestly say I would buy this if I saw it in a shop.   I’ve worn it at least once every week since I finished it in January. The yarn (Ella Rea cozy soft) has 25% wool making it warm but still lightweight and breathable.  I could do with making another in either teal or grey/black. The only thing stopping me is that even though it was an easy knit, it got boring!  All the stockinette was nice for zoned out knitting, but it did start to wear on a bit near the end.  If I was to make another, I think I’d work on a hat or scarf with an interesting pattern and swap between them, depending on my mood.

The only other thing to mention is that I’ve noticed it getting more out of shape around the neck and shoulders as I’ve worn it – because it’s made in one piece it doesn’t have the support of shoulder seams.  I did a little surgery on it the other day with a crochet hook – picking up stitches along the inside and crocheting a chain to hold the shoulder line and support the back neck. It’s made a noticeable difference, and I’ll be doing the same if I ever make another version.


Crochet chain at shoulder on left –  before going across the back of the neck and over to the other shoulder


Right now I’m working on two different cardigans, but I’m thinking of undoing at least one of them – it’s the Myrna Cardigan from Andi Satterlund.  I’ve made it before in green (see below) and it’s gotten a lot of wear – over dresses and shirts.

Myrna handknit

Green Myrna cardigan – before buttons were attached

The problem with the latest one is that I just couldn’t concentrate, so the armholes ended up too long. I carried on, thinking I’d figure a way to make it work, but really I need to undo it and decide whether to re-start or pick a new pattern.  So that’s my plan for this week 🙂


Knitting – Intarsia Design

Hi there:) It’s a long weekend here in Ireland, and for once I don’t care that the weather is dull and dreary – I’ve spent it indoors, studying (or cramming to be more truthful!).   I have exams coming up and I cannot wait for them to be over, and for normal life to resume. Sorry if you come here for sewing – it will resume soon -I promise! Unfortunately, the only sewing I’ve done lately has been in my dreams.  There are a few knitting projects on the go – very slowly though – they were a way to unwind over the last few months.

I have a knit tee that I have wanted to copy with a while.(It’s the larger orange top below).  I made an attempt once before , but it derailed into a completely different top – (that would be the much smaller yellow top below!).   The yellow top is still being worn – sometimes knitted clothing magically grows along with the child wearing them!



I’m planning a second attempt, this time with better calculations and more suitable yarn!

Intarsia designing


These are some of the colours I’m going to use –



I’m going to do some type of intarsia design on the front (mixing in different coloured yarns). A quick guide to doing intarsia can be seen here – Intarsia instructions . If anyone has some links to modern/geometric intarsia patterns, please share – I haven’t been able to find any beyond some dodgy eighties styles!

I haven’t found any charts online that I like.  So in typical D.I.Y fashion… I’m attempting to make my own chart. First I knitted a sample swatch using some of my yarn – and counted my rows and stitches over 10cm.



I used my knitting gauge to choose the best size paper.  Ordinary graph paper isn’t suitable for making Intarsia charts, as knit stitches are short and wide instead of perfect squares. Knitters Graph paper can be downloaded for free here- Sweaterscapes Knitters Graph Paper . .

Intarsia design on Knitting graph paper

Intarsia design on Knitters graph paper

It’s a very rough draft – I want to knit a sample to see the actual scale, before I plan it properly.

Plotting an intarsia design

Adding more colours

I’ve cast on another swatch to try out the triangles and see if I like the size – hopefully when I get some time back, I’ll start to make some progress.

Ps – I’m not the only one working on an Intarsia design of my own – another example can be found here 🙂

Finally Finished – Chunky Cardi

Since I last posted, I did manage to find my needles and finish my Chunky Cardigan …..



So far it has only been worn a couple of times.  It’s cosy, but it feels like the neckline needs a bit more height, or a collar maybe.  I made the sleeves extra long as always, to cover my freakishly long arms! I’ve noticed my long-sleeved tees wear out at the cuffs from my constant tugging at them, so I always make sure to add extra length to any tops.



Extra-long sleeves are my favourite ! 


As far as my knitting goes, I’ve only just started to get a good idea of what I should be making for myself.  I prefer looser styles, and although I have avoided knitting with light weight yarns, I think I would get more wear out of lighter knits that could be layered up. So that’s what I’m going to focus on if I ever get time to knit again!



Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone,  I hope your 2016 is off to a good start.  My year is off to a very slow start, I spent the first week mostly sleeping as I had the flu. In a positive light, maybe I’m just getting any illness out of the way early!

Being confined to bed, I thought it would be a good time to work on any unfinished knitting – like this cardigan I started in August:



The safety pins are holding it together so I could try it on!


It’s a chunky knit, made with 10mm needles and Byzantum Double chunky yarn. The pattern is from an old Woman’s Weekly Magazine:




The reason it sat unfinished for so long, was that I thought I’d lost the pattern. It turns out that I had put it away safely inside a large book on knitting….and then forgot completely! But now I’ve lost the needles I was using……ffs!  So while I try to remember which safe place they’re hiding in, I started an embroidery…….




Yep it’s a cut-up shirt…..times are tough!

It’s ages since I hand embroidered anything, but I have a ton of embroidery transfers from old magazines (this elephant must be twenty years old!)

So that’s my New Year off to a thrifty start, I look forward to seeing what everyone else makes this year. xx