Winter Edition of Knitty

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The Winter edition of Knitty was published in December and I’ve only just managed to spend some time reading through it now?  I say reading through it but that doesn’t seem the right turn of phrase, maybe it should be ‘clicking’ through it?  Anyway, as I settle down in front of my computer enrobed in as many woolly layers as possible – there’s a window in front of my desk, a big drafty one, but the view  (above) is beautiful.

I love the individuality of Knitty, which isn’t as reliant on the ‘big boys’ within the industry purchasing advertising and promoting their own agenda because it’s online, rather than in print.  Not that I’m against knitting magazines, far from it, a quick glance into my office would confirm that, it’s just that Knitty appeals to the more creative, experimental side of me I guess.

As usual it all makes for a good read and being the 50th issue it’s jammed packed with articles, reviews and patterns.

Cracking on then

In Cool Stuffs there are reviews for several of the most recently published knitting books and the good people of Knitty also have a look at the Double Pointed Knitting Needle Sorter and Gauge and the Eszee Twist Tool for Spinners.

Donna Druchunas Ethnic Knitting Adventures article on Fighting Prejudice in Knitting and in Life makes for an interesting read.  I shan’t go into more detail here in order to encourage you to take 5 minutes to have a read yourselves.  The piece works as a great introduction to The Slouchy Saami Hat designed by Donna’s friend Susan Santos which she created after a visit to the Nordiska museet — the Nordic Museum in Stockholm.

Saami

Susan took her inspiration from the exhibitions of Swedish folk art and fashion from the Saami (or Sami), the Arctic indigenous people of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia.  The traditional folk costumes of the Saami are often adorned with bright bands of weaving in geometric and floral designs,  if you’re interested in knowing more, pop over to Roman K’s fantastic blog dedicated to folk costumes.

glove

Franklin Habit’s Stitches in Time column has a pair of vintage gloves for us in the 50th issue.  Franklin has adapted the pattern from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, oh how I’d love even one of them.  Knitted in 4ply yarn the gloves are sized to fit a man, however Franklin explains that simply shortening the fingers should make them a better fit for women as the ‘hand’ part of the glove is quite elastic.

Amongst my favourites in the pattern section are

alice

Alice by Juliett Turjoman – a very unusual hat, knitted in aran weight yarn the hat is made in 3 seperate pieces. Juliett was took inspiration from Parisian designer Alice Bernard who was a successful couturière and hat designer during the Roaring Twenties

lean

Lean On Me by Anna Maltz – a dazzling, slim fit tank top which I adore.  It’s worked in double knit and has steeks, but could prove so tempting that it has to be knitted :-0

sloppy

Smithfield Pullover by Amy Christoffes – a cosy, oversized, top down, aran weight jumper.  No endorsment is needed as it obviously sells itself.  My only problem would be making sure it didn’t wander off with ♥ Dina ♥

Minetta

I also love Minetta by Kirsten Kapur but as beautiful as it is, there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s knitted in 4ply (sob), one day…..

Last but not least in Knittyspin there are a couple of interesting articles well worth a look at including one on jar dyeing by Laurie Osbourne.

Why not pop over to Knitty if you haven’t already and have a look for yourself 🙂

Happy Knitting!

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Magpies, Homebodies and Nomads

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♥ Magpies, Homebodies and Nomads ♥ from Cirilia Rose is a compendium of beautiful patterns designed by Cirilia herself and photographed by the exceptionally talented Jared Flood.  Within it’s tempting cover Cirilia explains that she has split the patterns in the book into three sections, each one accommodating the different parts of our knitterly personalities.

Magpies contains designs to utilise those beautiful small amounts of precious yarn that many of us purchase with no project in mind but know we just have to have.  Like Cirilia, I myself tend to buy a ‘souvenir’ hank or two and find each evokes a memory of a trip somewhere, time inevitably spent with my loved ones and I love the process of finding a worthwhile pattern to knit.

magpies

Within the Magpie section there are 8 designs, including one of the main reasons for my purchase and necessary addition to my fibre reference library.

The Isla Cardigan shown here with The Marion Collar is I think, a beautiful classic piece of knitwear.  Cirilia has used Zealana Rimu DK which is a blend of merino and possum fibre.  The deep rib creates an empire waistline whilst the slightly puffed shoulders and three quarter length sleeves add to the vintage look.  The cardigan is completely set off with the addition of the Marion Collar, but I think we could be forgiven for wearing it without.

I’m also rather taken with the Breve Cowl which has been knitted with 2 very different yarns – Noro Silk Garden and Rowan Denim.  The easy 2 row lace pattern can be used effectively with most yarns and because it’s a wraparound cowl, the play with colours and textures of the layers created, is simple but effective.

homebodies

Homebodies is for comfort, feeding the nester in all of us.  Whether it takes the form of cosy slippers or comfy homewares, it embraces early evenings spent in by the fire.  Within the Homebodies section of 8 patterns there are some lovely designs including Heima Slippers, Borgarnes Pillow and the beautiful Loro Vest.  Heima Slippers to indulge my current sock and slipper knitting fetish and the Borgarnes Pillow appeals to the eco warrior in me as it’s knitted in t-shirt yarn.  The Loro Vest has universal appeal, looking great whatever the weather, layered over a summer dress, jeans or leggings.

nomads

It’s the Nomads section that has truly caught my eye and resulted in yet more additions to my ‘must knit’ wish list.  The first temptation comes in the form of the Gezell Coat made in Royalpaca from Schulana which seems to be a aran weight yarn, meaning it won’t take too long to knit 😉 Although hard to see in the photograph , there are little knitted bobbles adorning the hem and sleeve edges to add interest.

Next we have the classically shaped Coterie Cardigan with it’s double breasted, military detail and beautiful I-cord edging.  Once again I can happily say ‘it’s aran weight’ 👍

The kaleidoscope of colour that is the Studio Pullover is pure rainbow pleasure in a jumper, but look past the colourful heart and you’ll notice the jumper is a cleverly constructed, saddle shoulder, aran weight wardrobe staple (for me anyway).  I do love the multicoloured heart and have even had a look at Hippie Chix fibre Art locks  but I’m not convinced it’s me.  Sadly the Rittenhouse yarn from Manos del Uraguay has also been discontinued so I’ll have to look for an alternative.  How bad 😜

Cirilia has included the usual page of abbreviations and a couple of pages dedicated to ‘special techniques’ and this book does contain a few including, provisional cast on, applied I-cord, Kitchener stitch and short row shaping.  Don’t let that put you off though Youtube is a fantastic resource and Craftsy always has fantastic classes on offer and of course there’s always me .  If I don’t know, I’ll want to, so it’ll just be an opportunity waiting to happen.

One of the things I love about Cirilia’s book is that she’s also added a ‘recommended reading’ page or three, which includes several of my favourite books and one or two I hadn’t heard of.  Me thinks further investigation might be in order 😉

Happy Knitting!

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Still Trying To Catch Up Here

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I’m figuring that I’ll have caught up with my Christmas 2014 posts just in time for Christmas 2015 at  this rate.  In truth I could just post every day for a few weeks, but then I run the risk of boring you all to death, so I’m hoping that despite this being another ‘Christmas’ themed post, it’s still interesting?

It comes as no surprise I’m sure, to hear that I love all things fibre and have been fascinated by weaving for some time.  Rather embarrassingly, I actually own several looms, I say embarrassingly because I’m not sure who I was trying to kid when we purchased a giant floor sized loom years ago.  Truthfully, my intentions were good at the time and it was a complete bargain, but really???

My smaller, more manageable looms sometimes see the light of day and I was very lucky to have spent the day Tapestry Weaving with the very talented Pascale de Coninck many moons ago now, but lets face it, I’m more than likely to be found with my needles.

I like to get the children I teach to have a go at making a secret Christmas gift for their favourite person, but it can be difficult to come up with something suitable.  Some of the girls (they’re all girls at the moment) have been knitting with me for a couple of years now, whilst some are new to the hobby and need a little more time.

I spent ages researching different ideas and kept coming across weaving, particularly for wall hangings.  They seem to be everywhere at the moment Pinterest is full of them and they’ve even made it in to several magazines.

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Having taught weaving to a group of children before I dug around and discovered an old loom I’d made with strong cardboard years ago and copied it, cutting ‘teeth’ out every 1.5cms.  Ensuring you have an even number of teeth to give you an odd number of wraps will make things easier (we had 9 warp threads) .  I wrapped the warp threads and tied them at the back so the girls could crack on with the weaving.

Using a plastic needle threaded with the yarn of their choice, they wove a basic over and under weave, remembering to wrap the yarn the opposite way on each following row.  We had a couple of mishaps with un-weaving to begin with

 

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There were a few things I knew we’d struggle with, with the girls because of our limited time – namely the ends so I searched children’s weaving on Pinterest and happened upon artblog.com which used tape to secure the ends – perfect 🙂

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Every time we added a new colour we used masking tape to secure the old and the new ends to the board.  Try to make sure your masking tape is the easy lift decorating one or else you could end up damaging your fabric.

 

 

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Having filled their looms we worked on securing the warp thread ends.  Firstly I ran a line of tape up along one side of the warp threads on the back.

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Before cutting them straight down the middle.

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Flipping the work over to the right side, we knotted the warp thread ends into bunches of three.  Then lifting the tape on the back off we did the same at the other end.

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The tricky part was removing the weaving from the board, ideally when you weave the ends are woven in as you go, but that would have been far too time consuming.

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I had the wonderful task of peeling of the little bits of tape so we could lay the ends flat against the back of the piece.

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After a little trim, here’s where the magic from Bar Rucci’s post comes in handy – Gaffer Tape 😍 Using the super strong tape I obliterated♦ the ends.  The tape also made the weaving firmer and less likely to sag.  Win, win 🏆

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You can never have too many pompoms, so we added three to our wall hangings, which we tied to one end of the warp threads.  Covering our ends with a little more gaffer tape.

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Lastly, we ran a stick through the top set of warp threads to hang our wall hangings with.

 

Pausing here to thank my ever suffering sons – Durahn and Kye 👼 👼 Who kindly went off hunting high and low for suitable branches, which they then cleaned and de-barked for me.  Not that they had a choice you understand?

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Weaving is a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn and you can add lots of interest with funky fibres or strips of material.  Each of the girls chose their own colours and textures making each piece individual.

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At the back from left to right we have Megan & Katelyn and at the front there is Clara, Lucy, Uainionn, Aoife and Rinoch
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At the back from left to right there is Katelyn, Molly, Miriam, Rose and Sophie. Down the front we have Aoife, Rinoch and Hannah.

I think you’ll agree the girls wall hangings turned out lovely and festive (even the ones that are back to front 😶)

I think they all enjoyed it?

Happy Knitting!

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Stylecraft Yarns Winter Catch Up

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I’d started to write this post in mid December when I ordered the new shades in Stylecraft’s Swift Knit and Senses yarns.  Unfortunately, there were some issues with obtaining the digital images at the time and I’ve only just received them and I thought you might still like to have a quick look at them.

swift

There are 3 new shades in the Swift Knit and a few new patterns to tempt you too

 

9071.cdr

Dina has already put in a request for the hat 😯

Crocus 2481

In the Senses I chose two of the new shades for the shop to compliment the colours we already have.  Again there have been some lovely patterns released too.

Senses

 

I wouldn’t mind at least one of the hats and the cowl/neck warmer myself if I could find the time to knit them.

Thinking about it the Swift and the Senses are two extremes when it comes to yarns.  The Swift is very much a super chunky yarn whilst the Senses has been designed to be used as a laceweight.  (I find it knits perfectly to a 4 ply too)

The Swift is €4.99 per 100g whilst the Senses is €4.20 per 50g.

Happy Knitting!

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I’m Thoroughly Enjoying Myself

 

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There have barely been two weeks pass in January and I feel like I’m flying with the knitting and crochet 😎

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I’m currently working on the sleeves of the jumper Cobblestone for my son Du.  The pattern is worked bottom up in the round and I’ve reached the part where the sleeves are joined.  I had promised to concentrate solely on the jumper, but I just can’t do it.  I need the satisfaction little projects bring 😉 So I’ve set my deadline to the end of January instead.

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So… I’ve also managed to get a quick hat for Kye, my youngest knitted up in the specified burgundy colour as requested.

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Using my latest hat pattern Toasty & Textured, I whipped up another hat, this time in Twilley’s Freedom Wool.

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Feeling inspired by the yarn I put in the sale I quickly (and it was, even for me) crocheted a half granny square shawl in Rico Creative Galaxy Chunky yarn using a 7mm hook and 3 balls and I lve it!

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Drum roll please…

I’m also happy to announce that I’ve completed my first pair of socks for 2015.  To be fair, I’d all but knitted one of them before the end of 2014 but it still counts towards my goal of 6 pairs for the year 😉

I’ve also started working on my next pair too, that’s what the pretty piece of knitting is at the beginning of this post 

Happy Knitting!

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Toasty & Textured

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I feel like I’ve wasted so much time this week trying to post here, Ravelry and Facebook without any success because our internet has been so poor 😡  So the first thing I did when I arrived at the shop this morning was upload lots of photos to store in my various media libraries, ready for the next few posts.  I also managed to get the pattern for my latest hat Toasty & Textured up on Ravelry at last too ⭐

The hat is knitted in 1×1 moss stitch with Rico Essentials Big on 7mm needles.  I’ve also knitted up a couple with Rico Flame and will try and persuade Dina, to let me take a photo or two 😉 at the weekend to post here.

January can be a difficult month for some after the extravagances and the build up of the festive season, even the most positive among us can feel like the wind has been knocked out of us a little.  I’m fortunate in that Dina’s birthday is on the 16th, which gives us something to enjoy and this year she’ll be 25!!!  So to ♥celebrate♥ I’ve made the pattern for Toasty & Textured free to download until the end of the month with the coupon code 25. 

Be sure to enter 25 before you checkout and remember to share you’re projects so we can see.   The hat is super speedy to knit and will work for both men and women.  I’m hoping to find a couple of sneaky hours to have a play with combining some of my stash yarns and will post photos of the results here if they work.

Happy Knitting!

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2014 & One Day

Hello 2015

Why 2014 & one day?  Several reasons really.

1)  It was a bloody awful start to 2015 here.  It was blowing up a gale and raining and the sun was obviously nursing a post New Years Eve hangover and didn’t seem to show her face all day.  Unlike today which is a much prettier and heart warming (so far).  Don’t get me wrong, the sun’s not out there splitting the stones, this is winter in Ireland after all, but the day is full of expectation and anticipation for 2015 🌻

2)  I’m sure I’m not the only person guilty of this…. I went into a bit of a cleaning frenzy.  It’s come to my notice that I actually spend very little time in my house and thus far have been able to remain blissfully unaware of how much clutter we have accumulated.  🆗 Cards on the table time, it’s not going to change, but I do think I need to address the situation.  So yesterday I tackled the fridges and the kitchen, there’s still the oven to do, but I forgot to slather it in bicarb again last night 😖 and next it’s the living room 🆘

3)  I wanted to start as I mean to go on and cook more, so I did, at least for the men folk as I wasn’t hungry and ended up wolfing down something later.

4)  My internet connection was horrendous, probably because of item 1 on this list or maybe there were other 👽  cosmic forces at work?

5)  I went to see The Hobbit 🎥 which I thoroughly enjoyed, regardless of how true to the book it was.  Pure entertainment, although I did shed a tear or two 😢

2014 was a pretty good one, yes there were a few moments of yuck there however, I woke up every morning so it can’t have been that bad and I laughed a lot, there is always room for improvement on that front though.

2014 was a busy year though as you can see from the photos.  We had our year long charity campaign Knit Happens (more info soon), knitted Shamrocks for Age Action, the first Yarn Shop Day and made crochet critters for The Craft Club’s Guinness World Record Yarnbomb attempt in aid of The Little Haven’s Hospice add to this our refurbishment, it’s no wonder I’ve felt a little overwhelmed at times.

Happily 😄 I’ve managed to knit loads and have been trying to perfect my crochet skills too.  I think my favourites this year have been my shawls of which there have been five, one of which was for a good friend.

I won’t bore you with the list, actually lets be honest, that would mean I’d have to have stuck to my original plan at the start of the year.  Ever the positive, I did manage to upload more items on Ravelry and I kept a knitting journal until the end of April and I also posted here 60 times  (pausing to bow).

Looking forward, all of the same things apply as before

🌻 More organised

🌻 More exercise

🌻 Eat better

🌻 Feed my brain more

🌻 Relax more

🌻 Enjoy life

🌻 Laugh as much as possible.

🌻 Need to knit more socks too  🌻

Could possibly be a mini New Years Resolution…. not a pair a month though, more like a pair every 2 months maybe?

Happy 2015 to you and yours.  May all you wish for yourself and more come true ✨

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Look What Durahn Made For Me

 

Top 64

As some of you know my son Durahn, has developed a love of sewing, he even saved and bought his own machine this year rather than continuing to use mine.  (note to self, maybe he’s broken it)

He has already made me a couple of things including my fabulous grey, pinstriped apron and my lovely and very useful Sew Together Bag, which goes everywhere my knitting bag goes.  I’m not even sure how I managed before without it.

I knew he was planning on making me a top for Christmas because we had to take measurements and then discuss why my back is a size 12 but my boobs are a size 16 😳

When I opened my pressie on Christmas morning I was blown away by his choice of pattern and fabric.  The pattern was from Merchant & Mills and is called Top 64.  Totally me, I’m already planning the material for my next one 😜

Tweed

He made it using beautiful Donegal Tweed, 100% herringbone wool from Donegal.  The shade is described as being ‘like a biscuit dipped in honey’ on the Merchant & Mills website.

I’ve interrogated him about making the top but, he’s not too well at the moment so the words are few….

Pattern was nice and clear, material was good to work with and the trickiest part was putting the yoke in.  Think he means on the reverse?

Apparently, he thinks it will be ideal for work as there’s a pocket for my tape measure and one for my phone – he’s deluded if he hasn’t realised by now that I’ll have to have both items spring loaded so they’re returned to the afore mentioned pockets, rather than left somewhere 😱

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I love it!

I hope he doesn’t object to making me a load of them in different materials and different colours now 😇

Happy Knitting!

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The Madness Has Been & Gone

By the madness I mean the build up to Christmas Day, which I convince myself every year that I’m not going to buy into, only to find on Christmas Day that I have 😞 Maybe though, that’s part of the fun?

Unlike previous years I really didn’t manage to get as many presents knitted or even generally handmade as I would have liked to.  The year seemed to rush by faster than a speeding car and before I realised it it was the end of November and I’d only knitted the one gift, a Hitchhiker for a friend of mine.  Of course I’d forgotten to take a proper picture of it before I’d mailed it, so this is one I’d posted on Instagram whilst I was knitting it.

hitchhikerI used a ball of Rico Poem Superba in green and a ball of King Cole Merino 4ply.  The Poems Superba is variegated, so the greens change as the scarf grows.  I found it a really lovely pattern to follow, with only 8 rows and by using 2 colours, the stripe effect meant I really didn’t have to concentrate on which of the rows I was on.  A lovely happy accident.

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Nearly everyone that would wear one received a knitted hat of some kind, mostly these ones though.  The pattern is very basic and I should be able to get it up on here over the next couple of days.

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Nostrils shouldn’t be that big should they? It’s obscene 😬

 

I liked them so much that I’ve even made one for me.

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Tate looks rather fetching in Leann’s one too, bless him.

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Some friends including my Secret Santa recipient received my crochet baubles, which I loved making once I’d figured out what to do.  I used several resources to help me, but the circles kept getting bigger because of the trebles.  After trying a few different things I decided double crochet was the way to go.  A couple of you have asked for a pattern already, but I’m not sure if I can write it up as a ‘proper’ crochet pattern, so it might end up being more of an instruction sheet?

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Last but not least was the jumper I’d been making for my hubby Con in secret.  Many of you will have seen me trying to get a few rows done in the shop; especially if you popped in the few days before Christmas when I was frantically trying to get the sleeves finished.  I’ll write up a separate post to tell you all about it and I might even be able to get a photo of the man himself wearing it 👨

Cobblestone

Since finishing the jumper I’ve cast on and started knitting Cobblestone by Jared Flood for Durahn my son.  I’ve also been sticking to my morning walk everyday, regardless of how cold it is and both Kye and myself have been going a bit photography mad with our phones.  This morning’s walk produced some beautiful snaps, all with no filter too 📷

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He pinched my hat.

 

 

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2 of my dogs trying to drink from one of the frozen troughs. The black one usually dunks her head in, but even she’s not daft enough to do it when it’s this cold, right?

 

 

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No wait…. She really is that daft.

 

I’ve also been watching far too many cheesy movies including the must see Guardians of the Galaxy which inspired me to make my own mix tape on Spotify.  If you fancy having a look at what tracks I’ve included my profile is lmillar72.  More mix tapes to come me thinks 🖭

Happy Knitting!

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December Chill

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Following on from my Ophelia post, a good few of you asked about the pattern for the hat Dina was wearing.  Ever organised 😕 I obviously had the pattern written up.  To be fair I did, but it was on Post-it Notes rather than on the computer and it was no where near ready for anyone else to have a look at.

Since then it’s been typed up, test knitted and corrected and is now up on Ravelry Here for €2 but it’s free to download on Ravelry until Midnight on Christmas Day with the checkout code Ophelia.  (Enter it before you checkout.)

It only took the one ball and a couple of hours to knit up and should work with most chunky yarns or even 2 strands of double knit yarn held together like this one.

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I used 2 strands of King Cole Galaxy Double Knit.

Happy Knitting!

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