Happy Halloween!


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Lacy Scarf for Knitting Looms – a pattern

I’ve not played around with the knitting loom for quite a while and this poor scarf was left abandoned until recently. Here it is finally looking lacy and warm.Lacy loom scarf

After all the delay, it was actually really quick to make and once in the swing of things, the lace pattern is very easy to memorise.

You will need to use the red knitting loom with some chunky yarn – around 150 – 200 g.
Cast on all the pegs and start Rows 1 of the lace pattern.
lace patternLace pattern:
Row 1 & 3 E-wrap all pegs
Row 2 and 4 are worked making an eight figure between pegs, the following way:
Row 2 Skip first peg,e-wrap peg 2 ,back to peg 1 and e-wrap,with yarn behind pegs skip pegs 2 and 3 and e-wrap peg 4,back to peg 3 and e-wrap,with yarn behind pegs skip 4 and 5 ,e-wrap peg 6,repeat to last peg.Yarn will finish in the penultimate peg.
Row 4 E-wrap first peg,skip peg 2 and e-wrap peg 3,back to peg 2 e-wrap it,with yarn behind pegs skip pegs 3 and 4 ,e-wrap peg 5,back to peg 4 and e-wrap it,skip pegs 5 and 6,e-wrap peg 7,and so on to penultimate peg,e-wrap last peg.
Repeat rows 1-4 eleven more times.
Lace and e-wrap

Swap to e-wrap stitches for around 50 cms. You can purl, knit, purl on the first and last three pegs each time to produce a seed stitch. This will help the scarf from curling in the middle. I also added a hole in the middle of the scarf to tuck in the end rather than tieing it, but this is also not necessary. If you want to make the hole just work half of the loom for about 15 cms, cut yarn and go back to the other half of scarf, rejoin yarn. Work to the same length and then e-wrap all the way round the following rows.
Finished lace loom scarf

Knit rows 1-4 of lace pattern 12 times.
Cast off and you’re done!


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Light and Airy Easy Wrap

I firmly believe that each yarn was made for a specific project. I have some lovely yarns that have been sitting on the shelf for years as I’ve not quite found the right project. I know that I sound completely barmy but yarn “tells” you when it’s the right project. That feeling when you’re struggling and fighting to get something done and it just doesn’t look right in the end – it’s because it’s the wrong marriage of yarn and item. Stop knitting and wait for inspiration.

I’ve had this yarn for a while. It’s a scarf yarn from Adriafil called Wally. adriafil wally

I love the mid-blue and pop of acid green. There is a video tutorial on YouTube on how to make a cowl with it. It has great music too. But for some reason, I could just not follow it. My cowl just looked wrong and I ended up feeling really frustrated.

And then there is this yarn


It’s a mohair mixed with sparkly thread, and it’s the same acid green as the yarn in Wally. I’m not sure why it took me so long to marry the two, but I finally did it and I’m really happy with the result.


I loosely crochet the strips together on the wrong side


And left a gordian knot at the end to give the wrap some weight – this was created naturally from the process of crocheting the strips together.


I’m pleased that this has finally come together – it’s really simple and has opened up the strips to show the lacy ladder effect. Perfect for windy days. I’m sure you have some scarf yarn in your stash – let me know how you’re upcycling yours!

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A new stitch for me – Herringbone

I’ve discovered a lovely new stitch and I just had to share it. I’m sure many of you have seen it and even knitted it but here it is anyway:

herringbone It is lovely and tactile and makes the knitted fabric look woven, almost like a textile. It is perfect for slightly “thin” yarns, the ones that seem to lack body and knit up into floppy fabrics that don’t hold their shape well. As the stitch is made by knitting stitches together, it produces a thick fabric, so beware, if you’re using chunky yarn, size up your needles otherwise you will end up with a very firm fabric closer to body armour than knitting!

Here’s my version – a bit wobbly but it is the first time!

My herringbone

The herringbone is such a showy stitch, I just love it.

purlcity yarns

Purl City Yarns version – gorgeous

herringbone hat

Herringbone aviator hat on Craftsy


This is so special – wow

So, here is how to do it in the round:

Once you’ve cast on (even number of stitches)
Round 1: *K2tog and slip only the first stitch off the left needle, repeat from * until 1 stitch remains. Slip your stitch marker and k2tog, slipping only the first stitch off the left needle. Replace stitch marker to the right of the first stitch on the right needle.
Round 2: *K2tog through the back loop (K2tog tbl), slipping the first stitch off the left needle, repeat from * to last stitch. Remove the stitch marker and k2tog tbl, slipping the first stitch off the left needle. Place the stitch marker to the right of the first stitch on the right needle.
Repeat until you’re done. Cast off.

And here is how to do it flat:

Row 1 (RS): K1 (edge st in garter st), *K2tog through back loops slipping the first stitch off the left needle, repeat from * until 2 sts remain on row, K1, K1 (edge st in garter st).
Row 2 (WS): K1, *P2tog slipping the first stitch off the left needle, repeat from * until 2 sts remain on row, P1, K1 edge st.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you’re done. Cast off.

Let me know how you get on!


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Cowl, Poncho Cape and Skirt – in One

If you’ve visited my blog before, you will probably know that I really like statement pieces and versatile items. The latest thing off my needles is another 3 in 1. And it is also easy – a mix of stocking and reverse stocking stitch with bulky yarn and a few decreases. You can wear it three different ways, as a cowl, as a poncho/capelet and even as a skirt. And it’s reversible!
Textured pattern

I think the secret is to use one textured/self-striping yarn and one plain. Or perhaps lots of different colours. As a cowl it looks like this:


You will need three 50g skeins of Adriafil Alchimia (A) and same amount of another bulky yarn (B) of your colour choice.
8mm circular needles (can be knitted flat)

With A, cast on 80 stitches, place marker and join.
Purl 5 rounds.
With B, knit 3 rounds.
With A knit 1 round and purl 3 rounds.
Repeat until you have 10 knit 2 rounds with colour B.
At the same time, from the second repeat, reduce one stitch at a time at the beginning of every other round 12 times.
With colour B purl 3 rounds and cast off loosely in purl.

Then try to make your mind up whether you want to wear a cape/poncho
Cape Ponchoor a skirt.

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When a Scarf is not a Scarf – a Pattern

We’ve all been there –  most people start with knitting them. You can never have too many after all! Of course, I’m talking about scarves. But they can be a bit boring to knit and what if you want to use it to keep more of you warm than just your neck? I’m all for multi-functional items – see my 3-in-1 scarf and I wanted to make a more versatile scarf that could be worn in many ways.

Scarf done

Is it a scarf?

I used an aran weight self striping yarn with a little girlie glitter in it and started knitting 7 rows of seed stitches, keeping 7 stitches of seed stitch on either side, adding a YO, slip 2 knitwise, k1, slip the 2 stitches over, YO in the middle of the material – the total width is about 45 cms. I carried on for six 100g skeins of yarn. A long, wide scarf in fact. And then the slightly clever bit. I folded the scarf in half widthways and sewed six decorative buttons at equal distance along one half and matching hooks on the other side. When you button the scarf up all the way, you can wear it hanging.

What is it?

Or if you turn it round with the long side hanging at the back, it looks like this.
Back to front?Of you could wear it like a poncho
Poncho?Or a wrap

Is it a scarf? Scarf








And finally, I really quite like the asymmetric look.

Asymmetric scarf look

But more to the point – what do I call it?


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Knitted hats and more hats – Two Patterns

So last week I was crocheting. This week, I’ve been knitting. This is the result:

Knitted Pompom hat

Knitted textured Pompom hat


I love the colour and wanted to add texture to the hat (perhaps it’s a little over done now). The hat’s rim is double sided, with a smooth stocking stitch on the inside to keep your head and ears warm and cosy.
And then there is this one:

Knitted beehive hat

Knitted beehive hat

I’ve had this lovely wool yarn for a while and every time I looked at it, it reminded  me of beehives. I have no idea why but I knew that the hat needed to look like a beehive.

The beauty is that they are both really easy.

Knitted Textured Pompom hat

DK self-striping yarn about 150 m
3.5 mm and 4.0 mm DPNs or knitting needles to knit in the round.

Decreases on pompom hat

With 3.5 mm DPNs, cast on 100 stitches with long tail cast on and join.
In stocking stitch, knit 10 rounds.
Purl 1 round.
Knit in 1 x 1 rib 10 rounds.
Pick up one cast on stitch per one live stitch on the needle and k2tog.
Change to 4 mm needles.
Knit 20 rounds of seed stitch.
Knit 10 rounds in stocking stitch.
Continue in stocking stitch decreasing one stitch every 10 stitches every other round until you have 10 stitches left on the needle.
Cut yarn leaving a long tail, thread through remaining stitches and finish off.
Add pompom.

Finished pompom hat

Please note that I didn’t start with a seed stitch but with the ribbed stitch I used on my son’s jumper and then changed my mind half way into the hat. I think it looks fine but you may think it’s a little busy. It is also a good idea to try the hat as you knit to make it fit your head perfectly. The row count in the pattern fits my head!

Knitted Bee-hive Hat

DK yarn about 200 m.
3.5 mm and 4 mm DPNs or ordinary knitting needles.

Beehive hat

With 3.5 mm needles and long tail cast on, cast on 100 stitches.
In 1 x 1 rib, knit 11 rows/rounds.
Change to 4 mm needles and knit one row, increasing 1 stitch every 10 stitches.

If you’re knitting in the round, purl 5 rounds, knit 4 rounds.
If you’re knitting flat, knit 5 rows reverse stocking stitch and 4 rows of stocking stitch.
When you’ve repeated the pattern nine times, continue in pattern, p2tog every other stitch every other row/round three times.
Cut yarn with a long tail, thread through remaining stitches and work off.

Wear with pride.


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Crochet hats and more hats

I don’t know about you but I quickly feel the cold. I’m sure I’m more suited to living on a tropical island with ambient temperatures all the time rather than seasons. Although I would miss seeing Nature change her look, I can really live without wind, and cold ones at that. Since autumn has most certainly arrived, I think it is time to start making new hats for the new season. And since I’m a little short of time right now, I turned first to crochet.

His and Hers Crochet Beanies

His and Hers Crochet Beanies

The one on the right is made with Adriafil Navy which is a chunky cotton yarn and the one on the left is made with the leftover wool from my 3-in-1 scarf from last year – also chunky. Both beanies were made in one afternoon, so definitely quick and with 6mm crochet hooks. They are crochet in the round not in the spiral. This is what they look like close up – the difference between the cotton and the wool mix yarn is quite obvious:

Crown of Her Beanie

Crown of Wool Beanie

Crown of His Beanie

Crown of cotton beanie

They were such a fast make that I carried on with the beanie making:

Glow in the dark Beanies

His and Hers Glow-in-the-Dark Beanies

These were slower process but still comparatively quick. Same rule – chunky/aran yarn and 6mm hooks. The one on the right is a seashell pattern the one on the left is a spiral pattern. I wanted to beanies that were easy to spot in the greyness of autumn mornings and late afternoons. I’ve got a thing about fluorescent colours and hats are the perfect project to use these. These are a little more intriguing than the plain beanies:

Fluorescent Seashell Fluorescent Spiral Beanie







So we now have a family of beanies and warm ears!

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Crochet Circles Rug – a Pattern

It’s been a long time coming and my son has been more than patient – I have finally finished the rug that I promised him for our move out of London. In time for our second house move. Well, better late than not at all!

2014-06-29 19.15.42

I promise I have now worked away all those ends!

I have learnt much along the way not just about crochet skills but also about my ability to multi-task (I’m not as good as I expected). On the whole I’m happy (it’s finished!) and I know that it will be used well which is the main thing. HOWEVER, if you want to use the pattern, please do not make the same mistakes that I did and your rug will be perfect.

This is a very versatile pattern and you can use scrap yarn, yarn held double/triple or like I did, very chunky yarn (Cygnet Seriously Chunky in Just Denim, Cream and Macaw).
Using Seriously Chunky, you will have a rug about 125 cms x 75 cms when you crochet 67 circles of about 10cm diameter (12mm crochet hook).
48 meters of Seriously Chunky (100g) makes two and half circles so I used 27 skeins of Just Denim and five skeins of Macaw. A lot of yarn!
Of course you could make each circle a different colour (scrap) and just use one colour to join them all together. You create your design!
You can make a much smaller rug by making less circles. This rug is also ideal for bathmats if you use chunky cotton yarn.

2014-06-29 19.16.08

Round 1: Using magic circle, 8 dc in the ring and slip stitch to join.
Round 2: Chain 1, 2 dc in each dc from round 1 and slip stitch to join (16 stitches).
Round 3: Chain 1, *2 dc in first dc, dc in next dc*, repeat from * to * to end and slip stitch to join (24 stitches).
Round 4: Slip stitch VERY LOOSELY (I didn’t) in the back loop of each 24 dc. Slip stitch to join. Leaving a long tail, cut yarn and fasten off.
If your slip stitches are not VERY LOOSE, you will end up with cups not circles. A bit like me!

Make another 66.

When you have all the circles you need, lay them out in rows of 10 and 9 circles as it’s time to join!

Joining circles
With contrasting yarn (Macaw) slip stitch into 12 slip stitches i.e. half way round the circle. Join the next circle to the first the same way. Repeat until you have 10 circles in a row. When you get to the 10th circle, continue slip stitching all the way round and then finish slip stitching around all the other circles you have joined. Once you are done, you will have a long thin strip of joined circles.

And now looks like this

Repeat three times and then another three times using only 9 circles. You should end up with four strips of 10 joined circles and three strips of 9 joined circles.

You are now ready to join the rows!

Joining rows
Turn all rows to the WS. Take one 10 circle row and using contrasting yarn (Macaw) join to a 9 circle row with slip stitch into Row 4 slip stitches NOT the slip stitches you made to join the circles. This will make your rug more sturdy.

Keep on alternating short and long rows of circles until you’re done. Use your long ends from each circle to join the circles more firmly to each other as you work away all the ends. There are a lot!

Slip stitch around the entire rug to give it a nice finish. Depending on the yarn you used, this may not be necessary.

2014-06-29 19.15.55



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Lace Knitting: Do’s and Don’ts

Over the last few months I’ve done a fair amount of lace knitting. It’s all been fun and I love how lace patterns all make sense from a maths point of view yet create something ethereal. However, I have heard a lot of “I can’t do lace knitting” from people too.

Lace Knitting - Vogue Knitting


Not all lace knitting needs to be fiendishly complicated. In fact quite a lot is repetitive and once you’ve memorised the pattern, you can knit in front of the TV just as if it were stocking stitch flying off your needles. On the whole however, you do need to start somewhere undisturbed. And depending on the pattern you pick, you will need a glass of wine or a darkened room and some headache tablets!

This is my humble advice to anyone attempting to try lace knitting:

stitch markers

  1. It is not surgery. If I can do it, you can do it.
  2. READ the pattern all the way through to make sure that you know all the stitches.
  3. Swatch. And swatch again. Some lace patterns just don’t work if you knit too tight/loose. It’s better you find that out before you invest too much time in your project. And of course the yarn that you picked may not be shown to advantage.
  4. Have plenty of differently coloured stitch markers to hand and make sure you use them. Don’t wait for the pattern to tell you to insert a marker. Just put one in where it makes sense to you – at the beginning/end of a pattern. Anything to help you with the counting.
  5. Learn how to put in a lifeline. I’m currently working on a simple lace pattern on a jumper. I’ve had to rip back to the beginning twice now because I found it impossible to pick all the stitches up correctly half way into the work. Third time round, I learnt my lesson!
  6. Anyone who tries to interrupt you when you’re finding your feet with a new lace pattern is asking to be barked at.
  7. When you’re done. BLOCK your work.

The only other thing about lace work is the charts. All odd rows read right to left, all even rows from left to right. The chart is invaluable to show you what the knitted lace looks like – a bit like crochet charts.

knitting lace chart

However, unless you have the eye-sight of an Olympic archer, you will need to increase the size of the chart provided in the pattern using a photocopier. If you only do this for your personal use, it is OK from a copyright point of view. And I’ve got to admit that I write out all charts in longhand. Yes, I do. Somehow, seeing it in print not just visually, helps me to knit quicker. Plus, if I’m very lucky, my youngest will spend half an hour or so reading it out to me as I knit. I’ve even been thinking about putting lace charts on to audiotape. Like books! There must be a market for that surely? Don’t forget, I had the idea first…

light as air lace

I hope this has given you some confidence to try lace knitting. It’s doubly rewarding when you see the finished item.

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