Muratura is the last Hat of 2016 to be published, and I reckon it's a good finish to the year!

 
 

Muratura is knit sideways in aran weight yarn. The pattern is garter stitch based, and so the brim is ribbed (as that's what garter stitch becomes when it's turned sideways), and it uses a garter stitch graft to finish.

 
 

The stitch pattern is a variation of brioche, which provides warmth and texture without making the Hat too thick or heavy. And given that it's knit in aran weight, you can make one in afternoon - ideal for gifts! (worth mentioning, as gifting season is here ;)

 
 

The yarn the Hat is featured in is BFL Aran from Snail Yarn. I first met her at Swiss Wolle the other year, and her colours are gorgeous - she was fairly new on the scene then and did a roaring trade! It's worth having a browse through her Etsy shop.

 
 

If you're not able to get hold of any of the featured yarn, you can use any aran weight yarn that gives the same gauge - given it's texture I think Muratura will look just as lovely in a plain dyed yarn or lightly variegated colourway.

 
 

If you are thinking of subbing yarn, you might be interested to know that a KAL for this Hat starts this Friday (9th December) and runs through to 31st December! There'll be lots of advice on hand, tips and tricks, and adjusting the pattern for size or gauge is one of the things we'll be discussing. There will be a few special prizes, too.

 
 

The folks at Knitters Pride have very generously offered some prizes for the Muratura KAL! First prize is a Karbonz Deluxe Interchangeable Set and the second prize is an Assorted Needles Case in Aspire. Pretty tasty prizes, I'd say!

All you have to do to qualify is knit-a-long with us in my Ravelry group, post your project to Ravelry and tag it with 'knitterspride'. They're happy to ship internationally, and everyone is welcome to join in.

The code 'knitterspride' will also not only get you 20% off the pattern (applicable on my website in ££ and Ravelry in $$) but it will also give you 20% off any other single patterns you might want to buy at the same time! In theory, the promotion should also give you 20% off any single patterns you buy during the promotion period, even if you buy them after purchasing Muratura. Promotion is valid until midnight 21st December GMT.

Look out for the fresh tutorials that I'll be posting on Instagram, to the Tutorials section and on the Knitters Pride blog.

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesHats, Patterns

Our 9th annual Mystery Hat-a-Long came to a close last weekend when I was in Lyme Regis for the final stop of my teaching tour. Full copies of the patterns were duly sent out, and the name and photographs revealed to MKALers.

 
Armley Beanie, front view

Armley Beanie, front view

 

This year's MKAL consisted of 3 styles, split across 2 patterns. The first pattern consists of the beanie (shown above) and the slouchy beanie (shown below), which is best described as a comfort fit rather than full on slouch.

 
Armely Shouch, front view

Armely Shouch, front view

 

The 3rd design, and the 3nd pattern, is the Armley Beret, shown below.

 
Armley Beret, front view

Armley Beret, front view

 

The beret is the original design, and the beanie and slouchy came into being some time after. The name comes from the day I spent at Armley Mill with Ann Kingstone and Susan Crawford, on the photoshoot for Ann's Lace Knits book.

During this time, Babylonglegs was facing one of the hardest things life can throw at you. As most of you know we're very close, and she wanted to spend some time with woolly friends and I wanted to give the hugs I could offer. And so she came along to our shoot, and with her she bought the skein of Mesmerino DK that you can see used in the beret design above. It was a brilliant day. It rained some (hey, it's Yorkshire in October!), we laughed, and between us we took some great photos. The series of Hats is named for that day spent with 3 friends at what was once the world's largest woollen mill, supporting each other, and giving Sarah the love she needed.

As well as Babylonglegs offering yarn support, Fyberspates were very kind to offer support for the beanie and slouchy versions of the pattern. Their Vivacious DK is the perfect weight for the pattern and the colour blends lend themselves perfectly to the design.

The patterns are now available at the regular price, and if you put both in your cart (or if you've already bought one) the system will detect this and charge you the bundle price (if you've already bought one, the system will deduct what you've already spent - clever!)

This MKAL has been really enjoyable, and I hope everyone is happy with their new Hat - rather seasonal, wouldn't you say? I'll also add that Tom did the photos for these, and I think he did a cracking job (that beanie shot is my favourite :D)

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesHats, Patterns

I've been resistant to increasing prices on any of my products, but sometimes needs must. The single patterns will remain the same, and from the 1st January the eBooks will have a new pricing structure:

eBooks with >10 patterns: £15/$24
eBooks with 10 patterns: £12.50/$20
eBooks with <10 patterns: £10/$16
eBooks with <5 patterns: £7.50/$12

Single patterns will remain priced at: £3.75/$6

There are a few reasons for the need to increase - some of it is to do with the exchange rate and currency fluctuations, which doesn't look to settle or improve any time soon and this has a knock-on effect on my costs (sometimes this works in my favour, other times not). This increase also allows me to add in an extra price point, as I've a few collections planned that have less than 10 patterns and I want to maintain a good balance between value of the collection vs the value of the singles. I also want to keep my prices generally in line with market price, as I don't want to feel like I'm undercutting, underpricing or undervaluing. When the EUVat kicked in I didn't change the prices of the eBooks that much, and I'm now earning less on these as I was (eBooks are the most costly items to produce). And given my current health my costs are increasing overall, even without these additional factors, as I'm outsourcing more and more work, and I have to try to keep things balanced this end. 

Pricing is hard.

I still believe the eBooks offer excellent value, given the amount of patterns and tutorials included, and especially given the market as it is. The current set up that allows you to buy the bundle and have the amount you've already spent be deducted will continue, and I will still continue to offer both currencies to give you the choice and best value for money.

I know I don't have to justify any of this, but I do like to be transparent so you can see how your money is being spent!

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
2 CommentsPost a comment

It can be pretty tough running an online business - there are so many ways to stay in touch and it quickly becomes overwhelming. I've needed to rethink how I run things, and I figured it'd be a good idea to run through again the best ways to stay in touch to help folks avoid disappointment and frustration.

Social Media platforms
I'm active on Twitter, Instagram and by proxy, Facebook (I don't have a personal account). That's only 3 platforms, and it's already too much for one person to cope with!

To make things manageable, I won't answer customer support on any of these platforms - it'd be impossible to keep up and help everyone if I tried. I won't answer emails or private messages through these platforms, either. If you need help with a pattern or anything Hatterly, the Ravelry forum is the absolute best place to go. There is so much knowledge and information there that you probably won't need to post to find the answer you're looking for.

If you really need to email, then please use the contact form on my website. That points you towards some very helpful links and gives you an idea of what to expect when you get in touch. Unfortunately the new Instagram business account requires a method of direct contact, and this is causing me to consider changing my account back to a personal one, as I can't turn off the email function.

Email
When I held the #bethechange promotion the other week, I had nearly 13,500 emails within a 24 hour period. That's not a normal thing, but it hints at how daftly busy inboxes can get. (it also showed just how quickly boundaries are ignored and any means possible are used to get in touch - I had to ignore the hundreds of messages that came through all the channels I ask folk not to use - which I'm sure was just as frustrating for them as it was for me)

If your question can be answered on the Ravelry forums, by the many tutorials on this website or even a quick Google search, then it will save us both time and energy. I'd hate for your email to languish in my inbox whilst I try and keep on top of things when there could have been a quicker way for you to access what you need. Similarly, a busy inbox sends me into meltdown - I am one person and can only handle so much.

With this rotten frozen shoulder I've had to limit time I spend at the computer, and have had to outsource many tasks (which is good, it gives me a break and time to recover, but it doesn't come free). With this in mind, ALL pattern support is now managed on the Ravelry forum. Doing it this way allows me to pop in everyday and help lots of people at once in a manageable and pain-free way. Community based knowledge is a brilliant thing.

Phone
Don't even go there; I don't answer the phone to anyone.

Firstly, I hate the phone. It's intrusive and when you can't/don't answer a call, the caller can often get impatient and demanding... who needs that kind of stress? A phone call interrupts my work flow and focus, and time is pretty precious. I travel frequently and if I'm abroad answering your call costs me a small fortune (likewise with texts). Phone anxiety or phobia is real, and I shouldn't have to justify why I don't and won't use it.

Viber & Whatsapp
These are preserved for friends and family, and are the best way for personal messages to come through. Way better than text and email, for sure. They are both light on data, making it super easy when I'm travelling (photos and videos wait until I'm safely in a free wifi zone; voice mail doesn't exist in my world - see paragraph above).

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As communication grows, especially online, no-one can be expected to be in the places all the time. That's ridiculous, and anyone who tries will quickly lead themselves to melting point. We each need to set our bondaries offline and online, in business or with personal, and it's up to us how we do that. Enforcing these boundaries is often a difficult path, as it isn't always respected and online comms has bred an expectant culture, where it's believed that everyone is contactable all of the time.

It's important to remember that behind each screen is another human being, with their own life and challenges, and that they cannot be there for you all the time. Setting boundaries is in everyone's best interest - you know the best ways and times to contact, and what to expect, and the person at the other end can get a little peace and time to sleep (because yes, time zones are a thing that's so easily forgotten in this instaworld)

At risk of sounding like a moany blog post, I want to thank and hug everyone who helps me by helping on the forums and by understanding that I can't be all the things!

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesIndie Biz
3 CommentsPost a comment

Earlier in the year I mentioned some yarn that was sent my way from a new indie dyer - this blog post might remind you! Well, during our travels over the summer I was able to (gently) knit a new Hat for Aran with the brightest of the yarns; a cosy comfy Hat that he could grow into, and the pattern is now ready.

Aran asked that we take a Wolverine shot, and so we did

Aran asked that we take a Wolverine shot, and so we did

 

A fisherman's rib Hat is the perfect Hat for a lively yarn like Marcin's Caterpillar, and it'll make for perfect TV or travel knitting. One skein is all you need for any of the sizes, and there's enough left in the skein to add a bit of extra length, should you prefer.

 
 

Fisherman's rib is very room and yardage thirsty, hence it'll make a very stretchy Hat - this one is a little big for Aran I think, and it fits me, so there's plenty of room for him to grow into it! And as Fisherman's rib naturally adds width, there's no need to add extra stitches to encourage the slouch - it does it all by itself.

 
 

I really enjoyed working with the Comfy DK from Martin's Lab - it has a generous yardage and is soft and pliable. I'm slowly hatching plans for the other skeins in my stash... I'm thinking something more for Aran and Ivy-Mae, given that the bright colours and superwash yarn hint towards kids Hats.

 
 

Don't forget though that even thought I design kids Hats and model them on kids, they nearly always go up to adult sizes! Aran will be 9 in March, and he has a 21.75in circumference head - that same size is the average adult female - so if it fits him, it'll likely fit you, too.

 
 

If you pop over to the Free Patterns page you can download the PDF from there.

Enjoy!

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
2 CommentsPost a comment