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…]

Purple Ripples Hat

Hand dyed sock yarn is truly beautiful and we’ve all fallen in love with that perfect skein and brought it home with us. I love to use up all of my left over hand dyed sock yarn. Small quantities of less than 10g are destined to become mitred squares.

Rippling Purples Hat

Regular visitors to the Knitting Squirrel will have noticed that I love knitting socks. When I knit a pair of socks for my mum, my sister or myself, I normally have between 30-35g of yarn leftover. This isn’t enough for a pair of fingerless mitts as they take about 50g of sock yarn. [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…]

Buachaille Cochal & Colour Block Hat

The gorgeous book “Buachaille – At home in the Highlands” by Kate Davies was part of my Christmas present from Neil. This book is an absolute delight. I love the patterns. The photography mainly taken by her husband Tom Barr is utterly inspiring. As though the lovely choice of accessories knitting patterns isn’t enough, you’ll find a selection of traditional Scottish recipes, and enjoy an amazing walk through the highlands (without leaving the comfort of your armchair)!

Buachaille Cochal Cowl & Colour Block Hat

The patterns in the book are designed for her new range of Scottish Wool – Buachaille, which is a DK weight yarn. I had to wait for a little while to order the yarn, mainly because it kept selling out almost as quickly as she updated her online shop every Sunday, but when it did arrive I loved it. It is a slightly rustic feeling wool but once it was hand washed and blocked it felt considerably softer and developed a slight bloom. [Read more…]

Sockhead Slouch Hat No4

One of the great things about the Sockhead Slouch Hat is that it is a unisex hat. I decided to test this out and knit one for Neil. Sockhead Slouch Hat No4 is the fourth outing for this great free pattern that is ideal for beginners as a first project.

Sockhead Hat 3 7

Unisex is a tricky thing. I’ve come across other patterns over the years that were unisex some were more successful in this than others. What I’ve found is that the important thing is the colour that is chosen. Many men really don’t want to wear very bright or neon colours in their hats although I think this is gradually changing. [Read more…]

Sockhead Slouch Hat No3

This is the third time I have written about the Sockhead Slouch Hat designed by Kelly McClure. If you haven’t come across this free pattern yet, you are in for such a treat. You can read Sockhead Slouch Hat No1 here. This is the perfect hat pattern for a beginner.

Sockhead Hat 1 4 [Read more…]

Opal Schafpate Hat & Fingerless Mitts

The Opal Schafpate Hat & Fingerless Mitts were knit for my mother in law as part of her Christmas present. My mother in law loves walking and belongs to a couple of walking groups so I thought this would be a useful present for her. She loves to wear subtle colours so I opted for the Opal Schafpate VII Alpine Flower 8903.

Schafepate Hat & Fingerless Mitts

This is my Sock Head Slouch Hat No2. It was knit using the shorter length of the Sock Head Slouch Hat designed by Kelly McClure. [Read more…]

Winter Moon Hat & Cochal Cowl

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hot on the heels of knitting my Sockhead Slouch Hats using 4ply sock yarn, I decided that I’d like a thicker DK weight hat for the cold morning walks on the beach with Bene. Even though we’re into March, the morning walks are seldom above 2 degrees celsius and often in driving rain.

Opal Winter Moon Hat & Cochal Cowl

I love all the colours in the Opal Winter Moon 8ply sock yarn collection but decided that I’d like to use 8925 Jingle Bells. When I first cast on, I thought it was a straight forward colour combination of tones of blue and red. [Read more…]

Sockhead Slouch Hat No1

So far, this winter has turned into the winter of the hat. Particularly, the Sockhead Slouch Hat designed by Kelly McClure. If you haven’t come across this free pattern yet, you are in for a treat.

Sockhead Hat 2 15

As soon as I saw the Opal Happy Sparkle sock yarn when it arrived for the yarn shop, I just knew this yarn would be utterly devine knitted into a sockhead slouch hat. If you read my blog regularly, you’ve probably noticed that I love purples, blues and greens. [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…]

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…]

Acht Fair Isle Hat

I really enjoyed knitting the beautiful Acht Fair Isle Hat designed by Hazel Tindall.

“Acht is the Shetland dialect word for a valuable possession – hopefully you will find that is a good description of your finished hat. The sides are quite long – in Shetland’s windy climate it’s good to be sure your hat won’t blow off.” Hazel Tindall

Having the sides quite long is also a benefit for our cold wet Northern Irish climate too. It is nice to have warm ears!

Acht Fair Isle Hat

The Acht Hat uses 2 dark and 2 light colours of Shetland wool. [Read more…]

Barbary Lions and Welted Toque

The first day that I wore the Welted Toque was on a visit to Belfast Zoo. It was sunny day in early March, before winter came back to bite us. We were ready for some fresh air and looked forward to a walk around the zoo.
Welted-Toque-Lion-1web [Read more…]

Eton Cap

Are You Looking for An Elegant Lace and Cable Cloche to Knit?

Eton Cap was published in Yarn Forward Magazine in October 2010 and is an excellent choice to consider.


I love this rich shade of purple in Scrumptious 4 ply and feel wonderful wearing my version of Eton Cap. [Read more…]