What’s in a hat?

I am by anyone’s standards a plus size woman. I have been so all my life or at least all the bit I can remember. I was 5′ 6 ” tall when I went to senior school at 11, head and shoulders above my classmates. By the time I was 16, I was well over being a skinny flat chested teenager. Fashion has never suited me as a consequence I made my own and continue to do so.  I struggle with knitting patterns for a few reasons including that and frequently adapt them for my size and shape. I love books that help us adapt commercial patterns to fit people. Amy Herzog and Melissa Leapman who encourage knitters to adapt to fit you are my heroines! The only point where a ‘one size fits all could work for me ‘ is hats and mitts  and I like to knit these from patterns. This week I am a disappointed knitter.

I have for many months wanted to construct Kate Davies Scatness Tam from her book Colours of Shetland. I have also wanted to use Jamieson’s Spindrift  4ply. Because although we have the  Jamieson’s Smith Heritage range in the shop the colours are quite bright and I wanted to try the alternative spun on Shetland for research (also I liked their colour chart!). Over Christmas and for a number of weeks before I poured over that colour chart for the 7 colours for the project. Mid January the button pressed, I waited for my delivery of 9 colours (I couldn’t quite decide if the colour gradient was right) all the way from Shetland far far away! Next day it came! No disappointment there. The bag opened out popped these lovely soft yarns in deep heather colours but 2 of the balls were DK! Oh heck do I send them back ? – I knit a tension square (on straight needles,oh misguided one) I’ll cope. dscf5883-3

So to the pattern (available  from Ravelry via us). I have a head circumference 19″ (so, I have a small head!) the hat is to fit 21-22″ finished brim size 20″. I went for smaller needles (2.75mm) for  corrugated rib on the brim just to be safe. In two days it was finished. It is absolutely lovely in shades of peat, moorland red-brown on a natural grey back ground with just a touch of green. The pattern is easy to follow. The construction of the fold back brim very elegant. it went together easy and the fairisle pattern drew me onward. Two days and it was done and the whole thing sings. I tried it on it fits neatly on the back of my head, it is snug. Ta Dah!!!

And every time I wear it, it falls down over my eyes!!!!! The tam shape above the brim line is simply too deep for my little noggin – devastation. All I can think is that the pattern design is quite tall and when I am knitting in the round (which is all knit) it has effected my tension (maybe those 2 DK balls helped too). Oh dear ……….so off I went to find another pattern  ……. vaasetter beret


Sam Warburton?

It tells you much about my knowledge of Rugby when I heard the newsman talking about Mr Warburton and thought it was about bread. It also says much about the power of adverts that I then thought of frogs. Too much TV watching while ill. Mr Sam Warburton is/was the Captain of the Wales Rugby team I believe.

As you know I have been working on an idea to join in the celebrations of the University regarding the first rugby game in Wales (Side tracked) .

I finished Algy and well he is cute (not something said of modern rugby players often unless to provoke them!!). The feedback was positive – we are to knit a team!!

So Saturdays in February and March  from 1 O’clock come along and make arms, legs, heads or jumpers and longs. Some events will be in the University so watch this space. We’ll see how many team members we have by the grand sew up event on Saturday 1st April. OH yes I know! The University team colours first then if we get enough help a modern-day Welsh team.

I will have to simplify the pattern for mass production and as has been pointed out he needs more shoulder and less hips!!! Its a chance to have a go at toy making and knitting with small needles and real wool. Free admission.  They are made mostly in local wool. I need a source of local black for boots, otherwise we are off.

They go right up to there………

Happy New Year to all and hope you had a good rest. Over the ‘holiday’ we had a bad cold and man flu, probably the same bug as synchronised coughing was the order of the last week and a half, but in this case himself was worse than I so my  conclusion –a gender specific germ.

The other consequence was very little energy to do anything, even eat!! However I was able to read knitting books and knit. Well — finish things, it takes more energy to start projects — well it does.

These are the trail silk and something Mr Wrack left for me to try its a deep rose colour I think he calls Cassiopeia. I made them short wrist length first but to use up the 100g skein I just picked up the cast on and worked back so they now go all the way to my elbow just what you need on a chilly day. It knits up a dream and is shiny and drapey and just what you’d expect from a yarn pimp!!

I like the connection, Cassiopeia is a star constellation, as a child it was one of the few I knew as it makes a big W shape. My family name begins with a W so it was one we looked out for. Did you see the crescent moon, Mars, and Venus display at the beginning of the week? nature is so awe-inspiring.


have yourself a Merry Little……….

Well the shop is open until 12:30 today but  I do hope you all have too much else to do. This week has been my finishing things week and in no order I managed:


Cowls ’cause I found them very quick on circular needles .. its been quite in the shop this week so I managed to finish the distraction; two honeycomb cowls for next year’s kits and a random red ball with an edge!!

We’ve had a big tidy in the stock room and I’m planning one for the shop over the holidays if I can. The New Year should be good with a knit-in at the University to make a rugby team anyone?… and some one day events in the shop…… That might be one-day or just day long I haven’t decided…..

My holiday knitting is packed ready to take home but I doubt I’ll get too it more the time for family and watching cartoons with small people.

Peace and happiness to all. Knitty New Year see you on the 5th of January 2017

Oh yarn sharks!!!

I was on track with my Christmas knitting, my cards almost written and I’d even done some baking. Then we has a visit from a ‘yarn shark’. Oh don’t get me wrong he’s a very nice man…. a very very nice man, but well look what he made me do…….

Bringing lovely new yarn in ‘to try’ the pink sample is a silk and something to die for…….and Pink more pink than you can imagine (not so much pink in the shop strangely… must rectify that).

and all those colours ……dscf5862

As if I don’t have enough wool? Stashes of it and well…..I can’t have enough of that shade of green/yellow/mustard/Chartreuse (oh yes I do have 6 different skeins of that green at home already). Actually I like charteuse.


And that was Thursday. On Friday there was another one here; wafting wool and saying how nice it was with lots of lovely patterns and spun in the UK and before I knew it …………..dscf5861

Must be the season or something, my resistance is low but all the more for you to choose from come into the shop…….

feel the wool………………….

see what it will make …………………


How does that hypnosis work? Do yarn sharks have training courses ? No don’t suppose they do

It probably takes one to know one!!!


Christmas Decorations

The trees are getting lively. The robins were found hiding out in last year’s Christmas stocking in the stock room. Where else do robins hibernate? The mini stockings were still attached to the spiky artificial trees from the year before.

So I have adapted the crown pattern to make a bunting. Where are the stars?

Suddenly there feels like no time left …… Oh Christmas Trees….

Side tracked

Well once the Christmas trees were completed I was going to get cracking on the decorations but……… then we had a book delivery and an email from the University (Website). Needless to say I got side tracked…. the book was Knitted Dolls by Lousie Crowther Boo-biloo not that I do toys except maybe I do come to think of it there are quite a few here. Maybe they are the things I finish!!!! And the email got me thinking…. The University are celebrating 150 years since the first rugby match was played in Wales …. they were looking for mechandise to promote in the town.

Well the first thing I associated with rugby and knitted… of course I thought – scarves, well bit obvous and not if you see what I mean. The current fan scarf is manufactured in some factory somewhere at 2p/100 and sold for the supporters to wave and a profit.

Go back 100 years and when everyone wore black wool coats, caps and thick wooly everythings the weather was colder, the grounds more windswept and a hand knit scarf in team colours was about the only outward sign of supporting ferver you could account to. There you are – behind every good manly game is the team of handknitting geniuses who kept body, soul and the heat in your body on a cold wet terrace!!

I could make a pattern for a scarf ….cast on 75 st, stocking st 10 rows one colour, 10 rows another but where is the challenge in that?

The next idea came from the book.. adapt the pattern it said…. meet Algie….


At the moment the one leg Victorian rugby player. Complete with moustash and in University colours ( I think they said stripes but it could have been hoops) circ 1900? In local wool all but the black hee hee Welsh Rugby mascot anyone? Next a red jumper I think…..