Archive for ‘Original Patterns’

December 30, 2010

Codename Wintergreen

What can I say, I like the spy-fiction feel to the name, and there’s already a Wintergreen on Ravelry. So here goes: Codename Wintergreen.

What started as a desperate trip to John Lewis to avoid a knit-free Christmas became a swatch, then a cabled cuff, and eventually a pair of fitted fingerless gloves with a slightly silly name. I’m wearing them everywhere at the moment – they’re perfect for this cold-but-not-that-cold weather when you need something to stop draughts getting inside your coat .

They’re made up of an ornate cable cuff with aran braid, twist and twisted rib features, and a stockinette hand with individual cutoff fingers and thumb. Full instructions are given for working the cuff, the increases and the fingers, so they are suitable for an advanced beginner. They’re knit out of a plump, tightly plied sock yarn but I also think they could be knitted at a slightly looser gauge in manly colours with a slightly shortened cuff and make a nice present for the man in your life.

I’ve had great fun making them and I hope you will too. As always, I’d love to see finished objects (either on Ravelry or by emailing and whilst I do the absolute best I can, I design and publish all of this stuff myself so if you spot any errors, let me know ASAP and I’ll try to fix them.

The Ravelry page can be found here.


A couple of points on the design; I made them long cuffed on purpose because I want them to plug the gap at the end of my sleeves. But you could easily shorten by removing a couple of repeats of the pattern.

These are made for my hand, and fit snugly throughout. My wrist is about 6.5 inches at the narrowest point, and about 7 where the cuff starts. My thumb is about 2.5 inches round and the my hand excluding thumb is around 8 inches around. There’s plenty of stretch in the cuff but the final decrease row is quite tight when stretching over my hand. Instructions for avoiding this are given in the pdf.

I’ve put some suggested modifications for bigger or smaller hands below, but please note these are just suggestions and I haven’t tried them out. Also remember if you edit the total stitch count, you’ll need to account for this when working the fingers. Please let me know if you have suggestions for modifications, I’m always happy to hear your ideas.

Smaller wrists: Cast on 57 stitches [19,19,19], and follow the directions for the pattern substituting a p1 for every p2. Then ignore the double decreases in round 1 of section 2, and continue as written. You may wish to reduce the total number of decreases for the hand.

Bigger wrists: Cast on extra purl stitches so the aran braid and twist are further apart, and only work the decreases if you need to. Amend stitch totals when increasing or add extra length to the hand to make up the difference.

December 18, 2010

Berry Brambles

This is such a quick knit I’m wondering if it might just solve someone’s last minute present dilemma. (It solved mine!)

So I give you Berry Brambles – the little sister of Blue Brambles! (Please excuse the slightly dorky photo of me in an airport departure lounge.)

This super quick, super-easy scarf and it only takes two balls (just under 160m) of Big Wool. If you’ll excuse the silly phrase, it has just the right amount of squish to it. I decided to adapt Blue Brambles as a last minute Christmas present for my Grandma but I know she’s not a cowl person, so I made it a little narrower and a lot longer!

I’m so delighted with the way it came out, and she loved it too.

ps. If you’re sharp eyed, you might notice I originally called it Blackberry Brambles … It turns out this is a well used phrase already on Ravelry so I had to do a swift name change!

November 22, 2010


Two patterns in two days – I’m on a roll!

This is the former unsizeable hat. And I am so pleased with the way it came out in the end! So worth the effort.

In the end I decided to name it after Elvira from Don Giovanni. It’s just a bit of a co-incidence that I went to see it at the weekend, but a few years ago I played a role that was certainly not the title role in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, so I’ve always loved the name. I don’t think I would have made a very good Elvira, but I played the role of dinner guest pretty well. Going round to someone else’s house and eating their food? It’s the part I was born to play.

The link for Elvira can be found here.

My project page on Ravelry can be found here

And my other designs can be found here!

November 21, 2010

Take a bow

I’m being kept busy by a few too many knitting projects at once at the moment. One of these is the Saucy Librarian jumper with a lovely, if tortous, moss stitch neckline. The pattern suggests covering the seam with buttons but I decided to go one better and make this to cover it.

But now I look at it, I think it would look good on a Christmas Tree, or an embellishment on the scarf I keep wanting to make to go with Hermine (a Pickles style set that goes together but doesn’t feel obliged to match).

This takes scraps of yarn and not a lot of effort!

The gauge isn’t very important for this, but if you find the ribbon of fabric you’re knitting is a lot narrower than 1.75 inches (which is how wide mine was), then make sure to reduce the size of the ring of fabric that covers the centre of the bow.

Take a bow

Using 4mm needles and dk weight yarn, c/o 9 stitches and knit in moss stitch for 21 inches. (You can cast on any number you want really, but I chose to use an uneven number because then I never have to question whether I should be starting a row with a knit or a purl stitch).

Cast off and sew in all ends neatly.

Lie the piece flat and fold into 3rds (See below pictures) and tie a bit of waste yarn around to hold the centre together. Dress it by pulling the ends down and opening up the loops.

Using some waste yarn, put a few stitches through the centre to hold it put.

Then to make the centre, c/o 5 stitches and work in moss stitch for 3 inches. Cast off and sew the edges together (this can be messy – you won’t be seeing this bit). Slide this loop over the bow and sew in all ends.

October 17, 2010


In february of this year, I went ski-ing for the first time. I’m not the wealthiest of people, so I went wearing my boyfriend’s dad’s ski gear, six of us stayed in a room the size of a playing card and I didn’t get ski lessons.

On my first day on the slopes, before I’d learned how to stop, steer or even fall without landing on my face, my friends decided the thing I needed to do to learn to ski was to go down a blue (moderately challenging) run on my own. The run was called Hermine.

This was, without a doubt, the worst experience of my life. After walking most of the way down and taking a few pretty nasty tumbles, I vowed never to ski again and forced my boyfriend to take me to a cafe to calm down. Here I am being cheered up by a really cute dog in that cafe (seriously, what is that dog? It’s adorable), and here are my friends without me having a great time while I was back in the lodge knitting some stripy mittens.

I christened the mittens ‘Hermine’ after the infamous run in Val Thorens that destroyed my desire to ski for at least a day. (Eventually my kindly boyfriend taught me the basics of steering and stopping and I managed to conquer Hermine by the final day!)

Anyway, These cute little mittens sat in my knitting basket until yesterday when I realised I was 80% of the way through and had far too many works in progress. A flurry of stockinette stitching, sewing in ends, writing up the pattern and bribing boyfriend to take photos by promising coffee ensued.

I was pretty new to knitting when I made them so I’m sure there are loads of ways they could be improved, particularly the wrist shaping, but I think they’re just about cute enough to share with the world. Hope you enjoy!

The pattern for Hermine can be found here.

October 4, 2010

East Coast hat

The name makes this pattern sound a lot cooler than it really is. I’m from England – the East Coast means a shoddy nationalised rail service. But it’s where I knitted this.

I’m moving this pattern and its sub-par photography over to my new blog.

Original blurb:

Simple, cosy hat with a ribbed brim. I designed this to practice knitting in the round, and enjoyed it so much I made two of them!

Each individual hat took less than 1 skein of yarn, so I have scraps I don’t know what to do with!

Here’s the link.

October 4, 2010

How about now?

I’m just swapping this over from my previous blog, which I couldn’t think of a name for.

Here’s the original blurb:

A pair of cute, comfy herringbone/zig zag mittens, made in easily adaptable dk wool. The pattern contains loads of suggested modifications – I’ve got loads of ideas for how to make them better, and not enough time to knit them up again!

Two colour knitting in dk wool and 3.25mm needles makes lovely thick fabric. I designed these in the middle of a cold snap in London, and I can testify that they work!

Next steps – create some string, and thread them through my coat like a toddler. It’s the future.

You can find the pattern here.

September 19, 2010



Vallombrosa is a great simple scarf. The ribbed texture makes it feel deceptively thick whilst being reasonably yarn-efficient. This is a great sitting-in-front-of-the-tv knit, because it doesn’t demand a lot of attention and it grows satisfyingly quickly due to the big wool and needles. It’s quite wide so perfect for cold days when you want a scarf that’s big enough to keep your ears warm too.

It has a great structural quality due to the twisted rib stitches, and I love the way they look like a series of little braids running down the length of the scarf.

The beauty of the wool is the transition from shade to shade (the charcoal to cream transition inspired the name Vallombrosa – which means Valley of Shadows) so colour matching the end of each ball of yarn with the beginning of the next is vital to avoid any sharp lines. Be aware that not each ball is made up of one length of yarn and the occasional knot can scupper your otherwise perfect transition.

I didn’t make this scarf very long – under 5ft – so it’s not a hanging to your knees kind of scarf, but I’ve given an idea of how far a ball of yarn goes so you can estimate how much you’d need to do this.  To my mind, it’s about the right length for tucking into a coat, or at this length, you could try joining up the ends to make a twice-round-the-neck cowl.

Here it is in progress, and in action! (Excuse the messy hair, but I needed to show how wide it is because I can’t seem to find my tape measure.)

For day to day wear, I’ve taken to folding it in half lengthways – that way when I speak, it doesn’t come out as a muffled squeak.

Here it is folded, and tucked into my coat. This photo also serves as proof that I do occasionally brush my hair.

Vallombrosa Pattern

Gauge: 40 stitches in ribbed pattern makes a scarf around 9 inches wide. Row gauge is really unimportant for a scarf but see the yarn section for approximate yardage requirements.  

Notions; I set straight 6mm needles (I used an old set of bamboo needles I found lying around) and crochet hook for weaving in ends.

Yarn; Patons Shadow Tweed, 3 x 100g balls in shade “grey, undyed, charcoal”. Each ball of yarn makes just over 30 inches of scarf and is made up of about 130m of yarn. Shadow tweed comes in a whole range of colours.


c/o 40 stitches (this is a ribbed scarf, so you need to use a flexible cast on. I used a long tail cast on).

Then repeat:

Row 1: Sl1, p1, then repeat *k1tbl, p1* until end of row.

Row 2: Sl1, p1tbl, then repeat *k1, p1tbl* until end of row.

When it’s reached the length you want, bind off loosely and weave in ends.

And … that’s the pattern! I didn’t block it because it’s plenty wide enough at the moment  but if you wanted to, a bit of gentle width-ways blocking would really bring out the twisted rib pattern.


September 11, 2010

Vauxhall Park

Quick update – Vauxhall Park in Salzburg in December 2010!

Keeping in the tradition of naming things after places where I’ve worked on them, here’s my latest project. I actually made this a while ago, but it’s taken me so long to finish another project that I’ve only just written it up.

You can find the link to Vauxhall Park here.

Update: I used 4mm needles for the brim, but I’d really recommend using a smaller size. If in doubt, try on just the brim before you start the main body of the pattern.

It’s perfect to start in the middle of September – if the climate’s like London, it’ll be ready for when the cold really starts to bite.

Ps. The scarf I’m wearing in the photo on the left is a future project inspired by the gorgeous and hugely expensive scarves in the shops at the moment. It’s 4ft and counting. (I hid the knitting needles behind my head to take the photo.)

September 8, 2010

Blue Brambles

Update from December 2010: Berry Brambles, the little sister scarf of Blue Brambles, is now available!

In the midst of winter 2009/10, I got a bit obsessed by cowls. Maybe it’s because they’re shorter than scarves, so they take less time to make. I also had a bit of a thing for gigantic knitwear (more on this later) and when I found the pattern for Maximus I couldn’t wait to make it. I’ll upload some photos at some point. I loved it. But my first reaction was now I know how to make a cowl, can I design my own? The answer was Blue brambles.

Blue brambles in progress

This pattern gave me the inestimable joy of seeing the first of my creations actually being made by someone else!