Norwegian Star Hat

I love giving useful Christmas presents that I know the recipient with enjoy. This is particularly nice when it is a hand knit gift.

In September when we were visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Britanny, I happened to ask if there was something my brother-in-law would like for Christmas, other than the usual socks. [Read more…]

Baa-ble Hat Number 3

The Baa-ble Hat pattern designed by Donna Smith for Shetland Wool Week 2015 turned out to be an addictively fun pattern to knit.

Baable Hat Number 3

When I finished knitting the second hat I still had plenty of the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Ivory, Charcoal and Sea Foam left over.  [Read more…]

Baa-ble Hat Number 2

The first Baa-ble Hat was for my husband Neil and he didn’t want a pompom which mean’t I still had some of this gorgeous Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran yarn leftover…

Baable Hat 2

and having finished knitting his hat, I knew that I really really wanted a Baa-ble Hat for myself! So it wasn’t long until I was casting on Baa-ble Hat Number 2. This gorgeous hat designed by Donna Smith for Shetland Wool Week 2015 is an addictive knit! [Read more…]

Baa-ble Hat

Inspired by my wonderful memories of our extraordinary visit to Shetland, I found myself reading through my copy of the Shetland Wool Week Annual 2015 for the umpteenth time…

Baable Hat 1

I’d been intending to cast on the Baa-ble Hat designed by the Shetland designer Donna Smith (Shetland Wool Week Patron for 2015) so many times during the past year… [Read more…]

Burra Bears Part 1

Why do I want to have my own burra bear as a keepsake for our visit to Shetland? Mainly, because they are absolutely the cutest bear I have seen in a very long time.
I’ve been dreaming about my burra bear over the last few months while I’ve been sorting through all the gorgeous shetland wool I brought home with me from Shetland… I emailed Wendy Inkster who makes these gorgeous bears, in early November and then, I had to embark on Christmas present knitting and my Burra Bear project ended up on the back burner. But I have not forgotten this bear.

Burra-Bears-1 [Read more…]

Tangwick Haa Museum, Northmavine

Tangwick Haa Museum Northmavine

We were lucky to visit Tangwick Haa Museum, on Northmavine, when we visited Shetland in the Autumn. The changing exhibition at the Museum for 2015, was ‘The Way We Did It.’ [Read more…]

Scatness Tam

I’m not known for travelling lightly… My sister can travel for weeks with everything she needs squashed into a small backpack. So it wasn’t unexpected for me to go on holiday to Shetland and bring pattern books and shetland wool from my yarn collection with me. Of course I returned home to Belfast with even more! I however also had squared paper and marker pens for drafting patterns… you just never know when you’ll be inspired. As knitter’s I think we just like to be prepared.

Scatness Tam

I cast on the Scatness Tam on my 50th birthday after a wonderful day walking around Sumburgh Lighthouse and exploring Jarlshof. [Read more…]

Shopping on Shetland

When we visited Shetland I knew that I’d want to bring home a few wool related souvenirs. But I’m sure that is on the top of every knitter’s wish list when they are going to the home of Shetland sheep and Shetland wool… Especially if they love doing any fair isle or colour work knitting.

Jamiesons Lerwick

So please join me on my week of Shopping on Shetland… [Read more…]

Sumburgh Lighthouse and my Tam

In the week before we left for our holiday I knit a fair isle tam. I chose 15 different Shetland yarns using a triad colour scheme in purples, teals and a hint of orange to add a little bit of zinginess.

Fair Isle Tam Sumburgh

The pattern I used was Tam No 12 designed by Mary Rowe and published in her book Knitting Tams: Charted Fair Isle Designs. I adore this book. It has a short section at the front on the construction of a tam followed by the charted patterns for all 17 tams. I had so much fun deciding how to use my colour choice in the pattern. [Read more…]

Broken Stripes Socks

I love the colours of these lovely socks. They are comfortable and warm. I love the autumnal colours in the rusty metal. I photographed this sheet of rusty metal a while ago when I was walking on the beach. It had been washed up near the old boathouse. Amazingly rich colours of the rust and the interesting textures and jagged holes in the metal really appealed to me and had me reaching for yarn and needles even though these colours aren’t ones that I usually work with. I love purples and blues and greens so working with russets and golds are slightly outside of my comfort zone. But it is fun doing something different and I enjoy exploring different colour combinations.

Broken Stripes Socks

I used 1 x 50g ball of Crystal Palace Sausalito 8107 Fall Herbs and 1 x 50g skein of Artesano 4ply Alpaca 8774 Ecuador to knit these socks. [Read more…]

Meet Esmerelda my Bunny Girl

Esmerelda Alpaca Bunny

I’ve been reading Julie Williams excellent blog Little Cotton Rabbits for several years. When I read that she was writing a knitting pattern for her bunny girl and bunny boy I couldn’t wait to buy them. I had long hoped to be able to buy one of her delightful knitted animals. I particularly love her badger girl and I am keeping my fingers crossed for the badger girl to become a pattern some day! [Read more…]

Moodboard – The Colours of Scotland

I love how intricate the beautiful fair isle motifs look and yet I’m only ever knitting with 2 colours in a row. I think the darker colours really stand out against the paler background. This is shown wonderfully well in the photograph that I used to name the Moodboard – The Colours of Scotland.

Moodboard - Colours of Scotland

I also noticed that a repeating motif on these moodboards was the agapanthus flower in several different colours. When I was a child my mum used to buy me colouring books which I coloured in and would create kaleidoscopic patterns. I always remember these when I am creating patterns on squared paper. I think it is why I enjoy playing with fair isle motifs so much.

Moodboard – A Little Breathing Space

It amazes me how different the swatches and patterns can look using the same set of pale and dark colours. In the Moodboard – A Little Breathing Space I noticed that the pale blue looked quite purple beside the camel and turquoise colours. I was thinking about this when I was choosing the images that I wanted to work from.

Moodboard - Planning a Little Breathing Space

Moodboard – Discover Life’s Pleasures

In the Moodboard – Discover Life’s Pleasures I was interested to see how the swatches would look if they only used the paler coloured Alpaca 4ply yarns. In the larger swatch I wanted see the colours in graded stripes and then used the lightest colour for knitting the fair isle motif.

Moodboard - Discover Life's Pleasure

Moodboard – Dream Catching

The Moodboard – Dream Catching inspired the swatch that became the pair of Fair Isle Alpaca Fingerless Mittens that were gifted to my sister. I always find that the more I play with and experiment with a set of colours the more ideas that I get for new swatches.

Moodboard - Dream Catching

The Fair Isle Alpaca Fingerless Mitts were really beautiful when they were finished. I love this combination of colours.

Alpaca Fair Isle Fingerless Mitts

Moodboard – Now Don’t Miss Out

With this Moodboard – Now Don’t Miss Out, I was interested in the quality of light juxtaposed against the darker colours. With the dark berries I loved how the light made them look bluer. I also loved the exploding star shapes in the thistle and the white agapanthus flowers. I explored both of these elements in these knitted swatches.

Moodboard - Now Don't Miss Out