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Archived posts from December 2006 to December 2008 are missing their photos. Key posts will be updated as soon as I have time!

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Say hello to Banksia & Darkke

How did it get to late August already?

You may be surprised to hear that I've been busy on the pattern front behind the scenes over the last couple of months, and there's a whole host of patterns queued up for release. I don't think this has ever happened before (or should I say, I've never been this organised before) and given life of late, I'm feeling a little bit impressed with myself. And I'm also kinda wondering how this all happened.

The first release today is Banksia:



Josie's wonderful suggestion won the naming competition, and Banksia it is. Describes it pretty well, no?



There are 3 sizes in the pattern, and due to the change in yarn and gauge, those sizes are a little different to the original. A slight adjustment in yarn/gauge/needle size will provide even more sizes, should the one you need not be listed.

The pattern has been tweaked and tidied a little, but is essentially the same in nature. An illustrated tutorial for the cast on is included, and the charts are large and clear and on a page all of their own.

What really makes a difference though is the yarn. The Langdale Superwash from Eden Cottage has such luster and drape and deep, subtle colourways that make the Hat look so very different. The Hat to hold is wonderfully soft and it wears so well - it really is the right yarn for the design.


The second release today is Darkke:



And here's Mr. Tom looking rather dashing with his beard! (not that he'd agree, mind)



Darkke was originally published in Simply Knitting no.115, which hit the shelves last December. It's been revamped and reformatted and of course, rephotographed and it's there for the taking. With 3 sizes included and instructions in both written and charted format, you get  a fair bit for the price. There's also an illustrated tutorial for the cast on, and feedback from knitters says this helps a lot.

The recommended yarn is Semi~Precious DK from my buddy BabyLongLegs. It's a strong, structured yarn that gives brilliant stitch definition and you really can't go wrong with it. Gorgeous stuff.


Both of these will be featured in the Newsletter which will be going out later today, so if you've not signed up yet now's your chance! Invariably I'll offer a promotional discount that's exclusive to subscribers, so it'll be worth joining for that alone.

Hat season is almost here...


Checking in

I'm home from a fantastic weekend in Cambridge, which was the last of my (our) travels for work and play. While I recover and get my head back together, I thought I'd share a few favourite shots that I took on a photoshoot last week.

I've been asked by a fellow designer to be the photographer for their next book. This was both exciting and daunting at the same time, as I've never worked for anyone else - only for my own business or for family - and I still struggle to see myself as a photographer, or at least, as a professional photographer. Guess that's changed then!

The shots below naturally aren't from the new, secret project, but as is my way, I took the opportunity to shoot a few of my own Hats in need of fresh photos. I tend to be an opportunist photographer - I've a rolling stock of Hats that I reshoot on a regular basis, especially if I'm working with a new model or new location or have a new design to shoot. Not only does it help me practice and improve the presentation of my patterns, but it also gives me the chance to get new shoots of the Hat on a different model, which is something I value greatly as you know.

I'm especially chuffed with these shots. I spent a fair bit of time researching light and methods for this shoot, as I new I'd be working with skin colours and light tones that I've not had that much experience with. And despite having got myself into such an anxious state about it, the 2 day shoot went well. 



Here we see Traversa, which is in desperate need of fresh photos. The pattern isn't ready for the new layout yet, as I need to calculate yardages (all patterns going into the new layout will have this info added) and I may well add an additional size, so I'm ahead of myself getting the photos done first! But that's no bad thing, right? 



Next up is Cabled Cap, and the photos for these are probably my favourites from the first day. The pattern itself doesn't need any work and I don't think it will be too long before this one is republished in the new layout. Doesn't this Hat look so elegant? It's one that does well when I take it to the Hat Clinics, as it suits so, so many people, but the older photos didn't seem to do it justice.



The last photo for today is of Bellefleur. The astute will notice that this has been reworked, and that in turn means that the pattern will have additional notes and details added, which will require a glance over by my tech editor. The long Brim option will remain, but I felt that a shorter Brim bought it up to scratch - the long Brim is hard to wear and this option makes it more accessible.

We did shoot more Hats that this, and there are many, many more photos but this is all I've had the chance to go over in the last week! These are all unedited shots too, and I'm very happy with the light and framing of them. Our model Tracy really suited this beret style and I couldn't resist shooting as many of these as I could on her - isn't she just stunning?

Right - I need a few more days of quiet then I'll be back to share some more of our travels. We've some great non-Hat photos to share, too. 

ps/ thank you for all the well wishes for Aran! He's improved greatly and the rapid bounce back from this relapse has been very reassuring!


Introducing Woodland, Let's Knit

We've been around and about these last few weeks; travelling for work and pleasure, and I've fallen behind a little. It can be hard to keep up, especially when the internet is involved! One new pattern to be published recently is Woodland, in the latest issue of Let's Knit.


© Let's Knit! 2014


The Woodland Slouch is knit in Fyberspates Vivacious DK, and you can read more about the yarn and find stockists over on the Fyberspates blog. The pattern includes 5 sizes and makes good use of a single skein.

The pattern can be obtained digitally by following this link. Alternatively, the rights to the pattern revert back to me 3 months from the publication date, which in turn means I can republish the pattern as a single from late October.

I'm really pleased to see this one published, as it's path wasn't a smooth one! This was one of the few patterns I was working on when Aran was taken seriously ill over Xmas, and I hate to let anyone down, even with the best of reasons.


Talking of the wee man - Aran fell ill again 2 weeks ago, when the HSP returned. We were worried that things would get worse and that we might not set off on our travels, as test results showed worrying blood, protein & ketone results. But our boy is a fighter and each relapse is proving less problematic than the last. In no time at all the protein and ketone levels dropped right back down, and in fact the protein levels are the healthiest for months, which indicates the chronic kidney disease might never be a thing.

We met with the consultant in mid July and they're keen to investigate just why Aran's immune system behaves the way it does. Both of the diseases he has are less than common, and it is rare to have both, and with that in mind it wouldn't hurt to investigate what's going on (we do know it's a Type 3 Hypersensitivity - his immune system isn't weak; on the contrary, as it over-reacts). The consultant does feel that despite everything - despite having gone into renal failure once already and despite the frequent relapses and despite having both diseases, Aran's prognosis is good. And that's such a relief to hear.


Introducing Asymloche

Unwind Brighton is just around the corner, and it's now time to reveal the brand new design for the show! Exciting!


Let me introduce Asymloche.

Asymloche is an asymmetrical sideways knit. And I'm really rather happy with it.


The crown is off centre and can be worn in a number of different ways. It doesn't follow the standard Hat construction in the sense that the crown isn't flat and sitting on top of a tube. It's curved all the way through and fits the head beautifully. The angle of the curve alters across the Hat, too.


The structure is emphasised by applied I-cords, and that's where all those extra tutorials will come in handy.


Because of it's construction, and the formula for the shaping and short rows, sizing is achieved through gauge. Two sizes are included in the pattern, to cover the most common Hat sizes, yet it's not too tricky to achieve a different size through variations in needles and/or gauge. Row gauge is the important factor for circumference fit, and stitch gauge affects the depth.


Asymloche is designed for a new yarn by Juno Fibre Arts, and in a new colour, too. The development process has been interesting, and it's been a great experience to collaborate in this way. It's also a little daunting, as I've no idea if anyone else will like the colour as much as we do.


After all the samples and models and reknits, I think the finished Hat is worth the effort. Yes, there's a fair few techniques in there but it's simpler than it looks, I promise. There are fiddly bits that will test your patience but I think you'll find it a worthwhile challenge.

Don't let the fact that my tech editor described it as a 'brain bender' put you off.


And of course, it's a sideways knit. Who doesn't love a sideways knit? A sideways knit cloche, at that.


The yarn is Buffy Pure DK and is also launching at Unwind this weekend! A new pattern and a new yarn - cool, no? Asti has dyed up a whole host of colours for the show, including this one. It's a really lovely yarn to knit with, and has all the warmth and woolliness you'd expect from a 100% BFL yarn. It's a purely British yarn, too.


Asymloche will be available to purchase from tomorrow morning, and will also be available from Juno Fibre Arts throughout the weekend. The Hat will be on the stand - please do come along and have a look at it; explore it's construction, and then by some yarn to make it!


There is an awful lot of buzz about Unwind this weekend, so why not follow Unwind or myself on Twitter to find out the minute Asymloche is published! You won't be disappointed, I promise :)


Sample Sale!

Having had a good hunt through all of my Hats recently, most of which I need for trunk shows and exhibits, I found myself with a small pile of duplicates. And seeing as it's the summer, when pattern sales are slower and we want to run around and visit a bunch of sorely missed friends, I figured I'd have a wee sample sale to raise some extra diesel money.

I don't have all the original ball bands for all the samples, but I've added what I know for certain where I can.

I can tell you that they're all wool unless otherwise stated, and it's safest to assume that they're *hand wash only* unless otherwise stated.

Please also bear in mind that these are samples and have been worn for photographs and such. I've kept them in the best condition I can, but they're not hot off the needles. They are sold as seen :)*

* If you are in any way not satisfied with the purchase then let me know within 14 days and we can sort something out. But I'm afraid I cannot pay for return shipping costs, and I will also need to deduct the original cost of shipping from the refund amount - thanks for your understanding!

And yes, I'm selling them cheap because I want to sell them quickly! The prices shown *include* postage and packing (to anywhere in the world).. anything still available come mid-July will be listed on Etsy where p&p will be *extra*. 

We'll be offline for a few days whilst we drive back to the UK, so leave a comment with your preference, and do include your email addy in the relevant field (will be kept private), and I'll send you a PayPal invoice as soon as I'm in wifi range. First come first served; please reply to the PayPal invoice within 48 hrs, else it'll go the next customer.


The first of two Elfdans samples in Red & Yellow, knit in Rowan Fine Tweed (pure wool; handwash only). Finished size is 17.25in, to fit size 18in head. £15 inc p&p. Sold!


The second of two Elfdans samples in Burgundy & Yellow, knit in Rowan Fine Tweed (pure wool; handwash only). Finished size is 17.25in, to fit size 18in head. £15 inc p&p. Sold!


The original Staggered sample - I believe the yarn is Rowan pure Wool and *may* be machine washable but I can't find the ballband to confirm this. Finished size is 21.5in, to fit a 23in size. £12.50 inc p&p.  Sold!


One of the original Forestry samples - this is the smallest size I knit. Made from Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply (silk/merino, handwash only). Finished size is 15in, to fit 16in - 18in (plenty of stretch, this one!) £12.50 inc p&p. Sold!


One of the original three Bubbles samples - knit in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes (handwash only). Finished size is 16in, fit up to 19in. £12.50 inc p&p. Sold!


A Freccia sample, in what I believe is Rowan Pure Wool DK and *may* be machine washable, but I'd handwash to be on the safe side. Finished size is 15in, fits up to 18in. £15 inc p&p. Sold!


A fabulous Selkie sample, one of 3 original samples knit in Lornas Laces Shepherd worsted (machine washable). Finished size of 16.75in, to fit 19in head. £15 inc p&p. Sold!


One of about 5(!) original Sproutling samples, knit in Wendey Merino DK (machine washable). Finished size is 16in, will fit up to 18in or 19in. £12.50 inc p&p. Sold!


A previously unseen Mushroom Cap sample, worked in 2 wools, one of which is hand dyed, and I believe the other is a discontinued merino, and I'd suggest handwashing only. Finished size is 17in, will fit up to 20in. £12.50 inc p&p. Sold!


A previously unseen Tudor Cap sample, knit in Dream in Color Groovy (says it's machine washable, though I haven't tested this) Finished size is 18.5in, will fit up to 21in. £15 inc p&p. Sold!


One of the original Filigree Beanie samples, knit in J&S Shetland Aran, and is very much *not* machine washable! Finished size is 16.75in, will fit up to 19in head. £12.50 inc p&p. Sold!


The original Symetrie sample, knit in Trekking Hand Art, machine washable. Finished size is 19.25in, to fit size 21.5in. £12.50 inc p&p. Sold!


The original Pinwheel Beret sample, knit in Trekking Hand Art and is machine washable. Finished size is 16in, to fit up to 19in. £10 inc p&p.


The original rasta sized Marina sample! Knit in Araucania Aysen (merino/alpaca/silk) and isn't machine washable. Finished size is 20in, rasta length, to fit up to 24in. £12.50 inc p&p. Sold!


One of the original Concentricity samples, which I believe is knit in Rowan Purel Wool Aran but I don't have the ballband to confirm that. Finished size is 17.5in, to fit 20in. £12.50 inc p&p. Sold!


A re-knit of the Whirly Rib Cap pattern in Malabrigo Merino worsted (handwash only) Finished size is 18in, fits up to 21in. £12.50 inc p&p. Sold!


A re-knit of the Pleated Beret pattern in an unknown Italian Merino DK (ballband missing; presumed handwash only) Finished size is 19.5in, fits up to 22in. £12.50 inc p&p. Sold!




Please do read through the details above, and if any of these Hats takes your fancy, leave a comment below and I'll be in touch! (you can email too, but leaving a comment lets other folk know which ones have been bagsied :) Don't forget internet access will be limited as we travel, so don't panic if you don't hear from me for a couple of days.




ps/ thank you so much for the sales so far! The first invoices have gone out before we've even set off - brilliant! Don't forget to include your email address - there's a field for it in the comment box, where it will be kept private - I'm afraid I can't get in touch with you without it :)