Category Archives: Patterns

Published original designs

Pattern: Pipsqueak Shawl

My first shawl pattern! Another little milestone, and another step in my ongoing mission to put fair isle on everything.


I’m so pleased with how cute this came out! This is a bit smaller than a standard shawl, more of a shawlette, and is great as a wrap, or folded as a scarf. As of now, it’s a bit too hot (tropical almost??) in the UK for wearing such a thing, but I figure if you cast on now it’ll be ready just in time for the first Autumn breezes to hit.


As always, my patterns are available for sale on Ravelry, and you can buy Pipsqueak by hitting this button right here:

Pattern Details:

The finished shawl is intended to be approximately 160 cm wide and 30 cm deep at its deepest point.

3.0 mm (US size 2)circular 100cm
3.25 mm (US size 3)circular 100cm

Also required – tapestry needle

Matching gauge is not essential but recommended if you want to achieve the stated dimensions.
Garter stitch is 5sts/13rws per inch on smaller needles
One repeat of Chart B is 7.5cm/ 3” wide and 5cm/ 2” high on larger needles

Yarn Requirements:
4-ply wool or wool mix yarn in the following quantities :
Yarn A (Red) – 684 m/750 yds
Yarn B (White) – 184m/ 200 yds
Yarn C (Green) – 12m /25 yds
Yarn D (Brown) – 1m /1 yd

Sample uses Jamieson & Smith 2-ply jumper weight (114 m/125 yd per 25g ball)


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Pattern: Snowdrift Jumper


Another pattern unleashed on the world! It’s been a good year for my knitting and I’m happy to end it on a high note with this jumper. Fair isle as far as the eye can see! It’s an incredibly warm knit and it turned out even classier than I imagined when I started knitting it for the first time. Don’t you just love it when that happens?


Always being on the look out for new construction techniques, I can highly recommend the ‘fake’ tubular ribbed bind-off for the collar on this jumper. It’s dead easy, looks neat and has none of the stretch that a ‘real’ tubular bind-off has. This makes it ideal for pockets, or in this case, square necklines that need to hold their shape.

You can buy the pattern by clicking this handy button.


Pattern Notes below!

Sizes: To fit Bust Size 28 (30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50)”
Actual Bust Measurement is 28 (30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50)”

Yarn requirements: Very elastic DK yarn, preferably wool

Total: 941 (1009, 1076, 1143, 1210, 1278, 1345, 1412, 1479, 1547, 1614, 1681) yds
MC yarn: 561 (601, 641, 681, 721, 761, 801, 841, 881, 921, 961, 1001) yds
CC yarn: 344 (368, 393, 417, 442, 466, 491, 515, 540, 564, 589, 613) yds

Suggested Yarn

Excelana Luxury DK wool (126yds/116m per 50g ball, 100% Exmoor Blue wool)
5 (5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) balls in Persian Grey
4 (4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6) balls in Alabaster


3 sets of 80cm circular 3.75mm (US size 5)
1 set of 80cm circular 3.5mm (US size 4)


24 sts/ 28 rws per 4″ square on larger needles, in both Charts A and B.


Waste yarn
Stitch markers x 4
Yarn needle


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Doomvember, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Yarnbomb

Haven’t you heard of Doomsday Knits yet? It’s an awesome collection of knitting patterns based on the apocalypse and put together by Master of Sassy Hats, Alex Tinsley. But this is not the sad kind of apocalypse like in The Road, it’s the fun kind, where civilization is upended and your free-spirited self gets to strike out at last, relying only on your wits, gumption and knitting.

There is nothing about this that isn’t a good idea. I cannot overstate how pleased I am to be in this book, because if there’s one theme running through all of my knitting, it’s the nihilistic horror of the end times.
(It’s subtle)

Doomsday Knits itself is a hefty collection of 32 patterns, and will be fully released in December by the Co-Operative Press. In the meantime, there are 30 days in November which works out quite nicely for a pattern-a-day reveal and accompanying blog tour. Did I say November? Sorry. Doomvember. Today’s leg of the blog tour features the Desert Warrior gauntlets and matching legwarmers by yours truly.

Desert Warrior Gauntlets


Perfect for the lady that wants to maintain a hint of biker chic whilst smashing her way through foes in the anarchic new world. They have a textured knit and purl pattern that puts me in mind of checkerplate and armour.  That’s just on the front though, the backs have some contrasting horizontal ribbing which looks nice and subtle but keeps things interesting. GW4 Best of all, they’re made in really, really good-looking Madelinetosh Merino DK yarn. It’s superwash, so cleaning off someone else’s blood will be a snap!

It was a whole lot of fun making these, but it’s quite clear that no-one has had more fun putting this book together than Alex herself… IMG_1093 The Desert Warrior accessories can be found under the Global Warming section of the book, which covers a number of doomsday scenarios so you can be prepared no matter what. Robot uprising, nuclear winter, space pirates, etc. it’s all there. In fact the only scenario that’s missing is “all yarn suddenly disappears” in which case, I think you’re going to need a bigger book.

Link time!

– You can buy the entire book in both physical and digital form at the start of December here. Go pre-order it. Now, before we all blow up.

– My Desert Warrior patterns will be up on Ravelry here, along all the others that are up so far.

– Last but not least, the next herald of Doom on this tour is… Alex! Who will be revealing another pattern over at A Dull Roar tomorrow.

This is the way the world ends. With a knitter.


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New pattern in The Knitter!

Issue 63 of The Knitter is out on the 17th September and…(drumroll please)…I’m in it! My latest cardigan pattern is now yours to own in a delightful papery format. (The Ravelry page is already up and located here.)

(C) The Knitter

(C) The Knitter

This is a modern twist on the classic Tyrolean cardigans of the 50s. Whereas traditionally these cardigans had embroidered flowers running down the front I elected to knit them on instead. I will put Fair Isle on literally anything if you give me half a chance.

The body is knitted with DK weight yarn and flowers are knitted on sideways in 4-ply. Because they’re knitted on last, you could basically use any pattern you want. Hey, I included a few variant charts in the magazine just in case! It’s a cardigan of possibilities. I can see it in white with an eye-popping traditional fair isle pattern, or in red and white for a Christmassy theme, or in bright yellow or icing pink if you want to look like a delicious knitted cupcake…I’ll keep quiet for now!

As well as this, Issue 63 contains Faye’s latest hat pattern and a massive tutorial she’s written on designing a hat of your own. Do you want to be awesome at hats like Faye? Then you have yet another reason to buy an already great magazine. Get on it! This week will we mostly be chinking glasses and basking in our statuses as Published Knitters. These are heady times for knitting indeed. Maybe there will even be fistbumps, who knows?


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Pattern: Sashiko Cardigan

Exciting times! My first cardigan pattern is now up for sale on Ravelry!

Sashiko Cardigan

Just think, a year ago this was merely a doodle on paper and I was dithering about making it into a published pattern at all. There’s a lot to learn when first writing a pattern on this scale. The main lesson for newbies is this: Marnie Maclean is your new god! Her tutorials are fantastic shining diamonds on the knitting-net. Thanks to them I can now make the swishiest stitch charts without batting an eyelid. I’m so pleased to have this pattern out at last!


Pattern Details:

Size: To fit 34(36, 38, 40, 42, 44)” bust with about 0.5” of positive ease. I’m between sizes and wearing the smaller one in these pics.

Stockinette gauge:
22 stitches, 30 rows to 4in (10cm) on larger needles
Pattern stitch gauge:
18sts, 32 rws (one repeat) = 2.5” x 3.25” on larger needles

3.75mm (US size 5)
3.5mm (US size 4)
Cable needle

Also required:
8 buttons, 22mm in diameter
Yarn needle
Sewing needle and thread for attaching buttons

935(990, 1045, 1100, 1155, 1210) yds of smooth, elastic DK yarn in a solid or semi-solid colourway, preferably merino mix.

Suggested Yarn:
8 (8, 9, 9, 10, 10) balls of Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK (126yds/116m per 50g ball, 100% merino wool).

Intermediate (cabling)

Pattern Style:
Written instructions plus chart for Sashiko motif.


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Pattern: Yellowhammer Hat

Yellowhammer Hat

Just in time for Christmas! You can’t go wrong with a beanie hat. I’m very pleased with how the plaid turned out. Not only do those black columns hide the unsightly colour jogs you can get when knitting in the round, it gives you lovely neat decreases too!

Yellowhammer Hat

I’ve already reviewed the yarn, Cornish Organic DK, but it can’t hurt to repeat my opinion of it being a delightfully sturdy wool yarn to work in. Any other decent wool should suffice though – I know I have fancy tastes.

The pattern is now available to buy on Ravelry! It’s knitted in the round with fully charted decreases for your convenience – hope you enjoy it!

Pattern Details:

Size: To fit average adult head circumference of 22”

Gauge: 22 sts/ 24 rnds per 4in(10cm) in plaid pattern.

Tools: 1 set of 3.5mm dpns (US size 4), 1 set of 3.75mm dpns (US size 5

Also required: a tapestry needle for sewing in ends.

Materials: Warm DK yarn with high wool content – 103yds/95m in Main colour (Charcoal), 50yds/46m in Contrasting colour (Amber)

Suggested Yarn: Cornish Organic Wool DK -100% wool. 251yds(230m)/100g. 1 skein in St Just (Charcoal), 1 skein in St Hilary (Amber).


Additional notes: Taking these pictures was fun, but I would like to solemly remind you that swans are unreliable modelling props.




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Pattern: Blue Hour Gloves

I am very pleased with these latest gloves of mine. Looking at the pile of leftover yarn from my last fair isle project, I started thinking that the colours reminded me of a certain time of dusk, when the sky is both deep orange and blue. Hence: Blue Hour gloves.

Blue Hour Gloves

They are just the thing for using up scrap yarn! These thrifty little gloves have an original stranded pattern over the main body of the hand to pretty them up. There is also an afterthought thumb for simplicity.

The pattern is now on sale on Ravelry, for £2.50, and can be bought here:

Here are some useful tutorials that may help you with this pattern:

Pattern Information:

Size: To fit an average women’s size hand (7.5” around the knuckles).

Yarn Requirements: Warm 4-ply yarn with high wool content –

150 yds in Natural
30 yds in Dark Blue
20 yds in Yellow
20 yds in Deep Red
17 yds in Burnt Orange

Suggested Yarns:

Jamieson and Smith 2-ply Jumper weight (equivalent to 4-ply) -100% Shetland wool. 125yds(114m)/25g.

2 balls of 01A for N, and 1 ball each of: 031 for O, 028 for Y, 043 for R and 021 for B.


1 set of 3mm dpns
1 set of 2.5mm dpns

Gauge: 32 st / 36 rws to 4in (10cm) in stockinette stitch.

Also required: Stitch holder, a small length of contrasting waste yarn, and a tapestry needle for sewing in ends.


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Free Pattern: Houndstooth Handwarmers

Hello 2012! Let’s start you off right: With a free knitting pattern!

These are some lovely little fingerless mitts I am very pleased with. They’re knitted in DK yarn which makes them both warm and super-quick to make. The yarn is Sirdar Balmoral (which is selling for a song over at Black Sheep Wools) but really, any lovely woolly DK yarn will do.

Houndstooth Handwarmers

The handwarmers have a proper thumb gusset so as to keep the pattern going over the entire main body. I’m also pleased with the resulting little faux-seam that forms where the increases are made. Plus, though it may not be immediately obvious, the handwarmers are mirror images of each other! As a maths nerd, I pretty much insist on symmetry and pattern continuity. Does anyone else feel the same? Do off-kilter number sequences make you feel a bit uncomfortable? Like some natural order has been put out of balance? No? Well then you may be less of a nerd that me (highly probable).

Houndstooth Handwarmers Thumbs

I’ve also used some fancy cast-on/offs here. Regular readers might have started to suspect that the tubular ribbing cast-on/offs are my favourite methods for finishing ribbing. They absolutely are! Of course it’s not essential to the pattern that you use them too, but if you fancy levelling up your knitting there are some excellent tutorials here and here.

As a bit of an experiment with pattern distribution, you can download the .pdf pattern for these handwarmers from two places:

This blog –


Or if you’re a Raveller, try this link:


Houndstooth Handwarmers Pattern Information:

Size: To fit an average women’s size hand (7.5” around the knuckles).

Needles: One set of 4mm dpns

Yarn: 135yds in main colour, 70yds in contrasting colour.

Gauge: 28st/29 rws to 4in (10cm) in Houndstooth pattern.

Also Required: 2 stitch markers, stitch holder/ waste yarn.

Happy knitting!


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Free Pattern: Cowl à la mode

I have very poor impulse control when it comes to new yarn. Putting two balls of fat squishy merino yarn in front of me is just asking for it. Sure I could have continued with the projects already on needles but it’s just two balls of yarn how long will that take to knit up?

And so! I have whipped my winnings into a cowl!

Cowl a la mode

Isn’t it awfully fashionable? It’s the ideal length for wrapping double around my neck and it’s as thick as I could want. No wind is getting through this cowl thank you very much.

I wanted a sort of herringbone effect and after messing around for a bit it turns out that chunky yarn just needs the simplest of broken ribbing patterns to look good.

This uses almost all of 2 balls of Sublime Chunky Merino Tweed and it’s such a nice quick knit I thought I would share it! I like my cowls on the loose side, so if you want something tighter, just cast on fewer stitches (in multiples of 4).


Materials: 174 yds of Chunky(sometimes called Bulky) yarn.
Suggested Yarn: Sublime Chunky Merino Tweed! 2 balls of!

Needles: 10mm circular needles (80cm cable)

Gauge: 8st/4in (10cm) after blocking

CO 112 sts , Place marker to indicate beginning of round and carefully join without twisting to start working in the round.

Round 1: [K1, P1] to end

Round 2: [P1, K1] to end

Rounds 3 & 4: Repeat Rounds 1 & 2.

Rounds 5 & 6: P

Rounds 7 & 8: K

Rounds 9 & 10: [K2, P2] to end

Rounds 11 & 12: P, [K2, P2] to 1 st before end, P

Rounds 13 & 14: [P2, K2] to end

Rounds 15 & 16: K, [P2, K2] to 1 st before end, K

Rounds 17-22: Repeat Rounds 9-14

Rounds 23 & 24: K

Rounds 25 & 26: P

Round 27: [P1, K1] to end

Round 28: [K1, P1] to end

Rounds 29 & 30: Repeat Rounds 27 & 28


Weave in all ends, block by gently washing in lukewarm water, squeezing out excess water and laying flat to dry.

Update: The Ravelry pattern page is HERE!


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