Winter Woollies

Last week was a serious uphill struggle. I have the January blues, or rather, so what better way to cheer myself up (and hopefully you!) than by looking at the lovely woolly items I have knitted for winter!

Last winter I remember enviously looking at all of the glorious knitted accessories that came out with a flourish during the cold months, and was determined that next year I would knit some of my own, so I did! As a newish knitter I hadn’t quite fathomed that you always need to be knitting a season ahead if you ever want to wear it during weather appropriate months!

Black PomPom HatThe first item I knitted was this lovely Debbie Bliss cabled pompom hat. I knit this using my seemingly never ending supply of Drops Nepal that I used to knit The Black Cardi. It was my first attempt at knitting cables and I’m completely hooked! They’re so fun to knit and actually quite simple, but the end results look really impressive! I had originally planned to finish the hat in time for Festival No.6 in Wales, which resulted in me frantically trying to find a fake fur pompom at the last minute, but in the end I didn’t need it as the weather was GLORIOUS!

 I really love this hat and have worn it every day since my ears got cold. I’ve had so many compliments too and a couple of requests which is really nice!

Pink Pompom HatThe only downside to the hat is that it’s a bit large, even for my massive heid! I didn’t use the wool in the pattern and also the first part of the rib is done on the larger needles. I knit the same hat for my niece as a Christmas present, but this time knitted the whole rib on the smaller needles, removed one of the cable sets and stopped before the last decrease row. I also used Drops Alaska (in Grey Pink) which is 100% wool, as opposed to the much softer alpaca wool mix of the Drops Nepal, all of which resulted in a better shaped and better fitting hat. I knitted the pink hat in the round too which means no annoying seam down the back!

I purchased the wool for the second winter woolly en route to the festival in Wales. I somehow persuaded J to have a slight detour so I could stop off at a wool shop! I wanted to buy some Welsh wool if possible and the lovely lady at KnitOne suggested I try Colinettes Hullabaloo.  It has a streak of Welsh black wool running through it which creates a lovely tweed effect.

Hullabaloo Scarf

I decided to knit a scarf and it wasn’t until I’d finished that I realised just how beautiful this yarn is! There are so many gorgeous colours running through it, and different ones are accentuated depending on the light! I decided to knit the scarf in seed stitch and actually did the majority of the knitting on the flights to and from Mexico (distant dream!). Due to the scarf being on the short side and also the springy nature of the stitch, I decided that it would actually work better as a snood and so sewed the two ends together. I now wear it every day and its so warm and snuggly, which is a good job seeing as the weather has taken a definite cold turn!

I hope you like my winter woollies! I’m currently in the process of knitting some houndstooth mittens too, but that’s a post for another day! Hope you have lots of lovely winter woollies to keep you warm too!

A Trio Of Hats

2013 was the year that I finally gave knitting in the round a try, my verdict? Hmmm the jury is still out.

I bought some really beautiful Knit Pro Symfonie circular knitting needles, and whilst at the beginning it was all great, trying to then do the decreases and carry on knitting with fewer stitches was really difficult. I tried the magic loop method, but I still found it very difficult. When I researched the problem, it was suggested to use double pointed needles when you start the decreases, but as you can knit in the round with double pointed needles anyway, why would you not just do that? What’s your preferred method for knitting in the round? I think next time I will try just with double pointed needles and see how that turns out.

So what did I knit? My first effort was a hat for J. I amended this Schachenmayr pattern slightly, and used Rico Design Creative Melange Chunky in Blue-Berry (019). For my first attempt at knitting in the round and also knitting a hat I was reasonably happy, although the decreases at the top of the hat weren’t as neat as I’d have liked, and the size was also a little big.

J's hat

My second hat was meant to be for me. Again I used Rico Design Creative Melange Chunky, this time in Berry Turquoise (009). I wanted a simple hat with a turn up at the bottom. I used the same pattern as before for the sizes, but I basically ignored the pattern and did enough rows of rib stitch to create a decent turn-up, and then switched to stocking stitch.

Hippy HatWhilst I was mostly happy with my knitting efforts, when the yarn was finally knitted up, I really wasn’t keen on the colours. I had been wanting a burgundy hat, and the yarn had turned out much more turquoise, far too bright for me! All was not lost though, as this made a good early Christmas present for my step-dad, who as luck would have it, was in the market for a new hat anyway, hurrah!

The third hat is definitely my favourite. I’d had in mind, since declaring my love in a previous post for Schachenmayr’s Lova yarn,  to knit a hat for my friend. Whilst I adore the yarn I thought the style would suit my friend better, and after a quick consultation we agreed on Beige-Orange Spot 00087. For the sizing I used this Schachenmayr pattern, but again I ignored the stitches and decreases and created my own pattern. I finished it off with an orange fake fur pompom, also from Schachenmayr. My friend has the smallest head in the world, which was lucky as through my invented decreases the hat turned out smaller than I had originally intended! Still, she loved it and so did I, winners all round!

2014 LovaHatOrange5- cropped

Gotta ‘Lova’ That Yarn

The Knitted Jumper and Co were at the 2013 Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally, London on Saturday and we loved it! All that yarn and fabric in the same place, amazing! It also gave us chance to get hands on with some of our favourite yarns, such as Drops and Rowan, and also to find some new ones, such as Schachenmayr Lova. This chunky, acrylic/wool blend yarn is bang on trend with its neon spots and I can’t wait to get it on my needles. If you go along to the Schachenmayr website they have loads of free patterns including this ladies cowl and on the Stitch, Craft, Create website they’re selling Schachenmayr pompoms to match the neon colours of Lova!!lova All I need to do now is decide on a colour!