Woolly hat

Cable Knit Hat

I had yarn left-over from my recent chunky jumper knit project so decided to knit a hat to keep my lugs warm. I’m quite pleased with it. I knitted it from a pattern in a book that I borrowed from the library, but the pattern had two mistakes in it! One pattern row misses a line of the instructions out completely which would be particularly confusing to less experienced knitters, but more annoying was the mistake which describes the wrong side as the right side after knitting the ribbing. I thought it couldn’t be right but stupidly decided I must be the one in the wrong. By the time I realised I WAS right I didn’t feel up to ripping it out. The upshot of that is that right at the beginning there’s a row of plain stitches which shouldn’t be there, but I don’t suppose anyone is going to be scrutinising it on my heid! I remember way back in the 1960s my mother said that she wasn’t going to knit any patterns from her weekly magazines again as too often there were misprints.

Anyway, I’m now swithering about whether I should make a bobble for my hat or leave it as it is, what do you think?

Chunky Knit Jumper – finished

Today I finished sewing up the chunky knit jumper that I started knitting a couple of weeks ago, just in time for the really cold weather that has arrived earlier than expected – whatever happened to autumn? It seems to have been over and done with in a couple of weeks.

Latest Knitting Again

If you do any sort of crafting yourself then the chances are that you’ll know how I feel about this knitting project. I’m never completely satisfied with anything I make, if I wanted to do this pattern again I would make it longer so that it covers my bahookie. But as I wasn’t using the recommended yarn I was worried about not having enough to finish it, which would have been a hair-pulling-out disaster for me! I knitted it exactly to the length that the pattern required, so it’s about three or four inches below my waistline. As it happens I had two 50g balls left over, enough to make a matching hat maybe. I used an acrylic yarn, which feels incredibly warm, just what’s required when the temperature is below freezing all day, as it has been over the last few days.

Have you finished any knitting projects recently?

Knitting update


I’ve finished knitting the back of my jumper, that had far fewer stitches on the needle to cope with and as I was having trouble getting the pattern to work out correctly I decided to complete the back before going on to finish the front as the pattern of the front also continues over the sleeves. I almost gave up at one point although I don’t recall having any problems with this pattern when I first did it over 40 years ago. I actually typed 30 years at first and then had to stop and think, where did all that time go?! However, it was not my fault as I eventually realised that there was a misprint in the pattern as one row said … continue to last 18 stitches and actually there were only instructions for knitting 17 stitches, which is what I had left on the needle.

Anyway, I’m on the home stretch now which is good because I have another pattern that I want to do but I’m determined to finish this one first. I have too many sewing projects languishing in various baskets waiting to be completed, I don’t want to start doing that with the knitting too. I suspect that all arty crafty people have that same problem.

Chunky Knitting

Our weather is at the stage of swinging to and fro between autumn and winter, we’ve had early morning ice – so I’m told, I wasn’t up early enough to witness that! Anyway, this all means that it’s knitting season again for me. I fancied revisiting a chunky jumper pattern that I first knitted way back when I was about 18 years old. Then I knitted the smallest size for myself, but I’m not too depressed to report that this time around I’m knitting the third size, after all, more than 40 years have passed since those days.


This sweater is quick to knit as the wool is chunky and the needles large. The yoke is formed by having the front and two sleeves on the needles together, that means a lot of stitches in fact 176 all at once squeezed onto one needle, obviously decreasing as the shape forms. It’s a bit of a squash and as my needles are plastic I find that the stitches don’t move as smoothly as I would like. I prefer metal knitting needles, but I don’t think they come in large sizes so I’ll probably buy some bamboo needles if I ever knit this pattern again.

When I perused the pattern before beginning I was actually quite daunted, there are 43 rows in the yoke pattern and I wondered if my ageing brain would cope with that now, but I’m glad to say I’m not having any problems – so far. However, I’m only on row 12 so fingers crossed for me please! The back yoke is sewn on last, but that should be much easier to do, far fewer stitches to cope with will make it even faster to knit up.

Is it your knitting season yet?

More knitting – a shawl/stole

I’ve had some nice fluffy but not itchy Sirdar Kitten yarn languishing in my stash for a couple of years now, so I thought it was about time I browsed my knitting patterns and books to find something suitable to knit with it. I settled on this lacy shawl pattern, although I would describe it as being a stole as it’s just like a big wide scarf. It was recommended as a good design for using up bits and bobs of random yarns, and I might do that at some time in the future.


This pattern looks quite complicated but it only involves two different rows and one of those is just all purl apart from the three stitches at the beginning and end of every row. The only difficult thing about the pattern is the fact that the needles used are massive. I used 12 mm needles and it’s a bit like knitting with a clothes pole. I don’t think I would have liked to tackle using the 15 mm needles that the pattern actually recommended.

GUERNSEY Style jumper

Last winter I started to knit a jumper/jersey for Jack, but I didn’t get it finished before the spring arrived, for me knitting is a winter pastime. I managed to complete it last week and I’m quite pleased with it. I learned a new technique for joining the back and front together at the shoulders, splicing the two sides together using three needles to cast off. It makes a very nice joint, much neater than sewing them together.

This is a sort of mock Guernsey (gansey) type of knit, the pattern is similar to a gansey but it isn’t knitted with a circular needle as those ones are. Unusually the cuffs and bottom edges are done in garter (all plain) stitches but although the pattern says the collar should be done in garter stitch the photo of the finished article is definitely a ribbed collar. I opted to do a ribbed collar too as I think a garter stitch one might have been just a bit too radical for Jack’s liking.


It’s still winter, there’s snow on the ground and I have plenty of wool to use up, so I’ll have to look through my patterns and knitting books to see what I can knit now.

Knitting update – Guernsey style jumper

Jumper Back

As you can see from the photo, I’ve finished the back of the Guernsey style jumper that I’m knitting at the moment. I’m now knitting the front section and I must say I’m enjoying doing the pattern.

I don’t own any fancy stitch holders so I just use old nappy pins, I knew they would come in handy one day!

Yes I actually used terry towelling nappies (Harrington squares) for my babies back in the day and washed them in my twin tub washing machine. I feel quiet virtuous about that, especially when I remember that every disposable nappy ever used is still in existence somewhere in a land-fill site – and my kids never suffered from nappy rash!

Guernsey Style knitting

It’s ages since I did any serious knitting, in fact I’ve done very little in the way of crafting since we moved house almost three years ago. So I decided to get stuck into some knitting – a jumper for Jack, and if you think that the word jumper is weird and unknown to you, it’s also known as a sweater or jersey, presumably that word jersey is originally from the Channel Island of that name, just as Guernsey or gansy as they are sometimes known – is.


I think this knitting pattern is called Guernsey style because ‘real’ Guernseys are knitted using a circular needle, that’s something I’ve never used so I was happy to tackle this one which uses the two needle method.

Well, I say happy but to tell the truth I was a wee bit daunted by the pattern because it is set over twenty-four rows and I wasn’t at all sure that I would have the concentration to tackle that, but it turned out to be fairly easy to do. I’m quite pleased with it so far, but I’m not really looking forward to knitting the sleeves, keeping the pattern right at the same time as increasing the stitches might be a wee bit tricky!

Charity/thrift shops – Clark’s Scintilla Silk

I’m not really a big fan of shopping and I would never trail around shops as a sort of hobby the way a lot of women do. It’s bad enough if I am looking for something specific to wear for a particular occasion, so shopping for kicks is just not for me.

I have to admit though to being a wee bit of a charity/thrift shop junkie. I don’t often buy anything mind you but as I always say to myself, you just never know what you might find in one of them, unlike the normal shops which seem to be the same, no matter even which country you’re in nowadays – that’s a form of globalisation I suppose!

Anyway, just before Christmas I was really chuffed to find these boxes of thread in a charity shop in St Andrews. At first I thought they were just empty boxes and I loved the old fashioned design of them, but looking inside I was thrilled to see the balls of thread inside and in pristine condition.

Vintage Threads

Aren’t the colours fabulous?

I think they must have been meant to be used as crochet thread, or maybe for doing very fine silky knitting, such as knickers! I have some old patterns from the 1930s that would use this sort of thread. In fact I think this is when these boxes date from, but they’re a bit of a puzzle. As you can see the manufacturer was Clark’s, a very well known Scottish make, and they are described as being artificial silk for knitting, crochet and art work. But I’m wondering why they are weighed in grams rather than the ounces of the Imperial measures that were used back then? Also the word Colors is spelled in the American way. The box also says Made in Great Britain. Coats/Clark was a company that started up in Paisley in the west of Scotland in 1755. Real Industrial Revolution stuff. In 1864 they expanded the business to Newark, New Jersey, USA as the Clark Thread Company.

I plan to use the threads, maybe in an embroidery project. They’ve obviously been in some woman’s thread stash for many decades, and no doubt she had great intentions of using them too, until she died and her house contents were ‘cleared’ to a charity shop in St Andrews, Fife.

Knitted Scarf

Yes it’s just about that season again, knitting. I’ve not knitted all that many scarfs in my long career of knitting, mainly because I thought they would be quite boring to do, but I enjoyed knitting this long scarf which was done using Aran weight wool on chunky 7 mm needles, so the work progressed really quickly. I found it very relaxing to do, and the pattern is so easy I could watch TV at the same time.


Mind you if I was going to do this pattern again I think I would knit four plain stitches at the beginning of each row to try to stop the edges from rolling in. Not that it really matters when the scarf is on.


Cast on 46 stitches:

Row 1: K2, *P2, K2; repeat from * to end
Row 2: P2, *K2, P2; repeat from * to end
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl

Repeat those four rows until the scarf reaches the required length, which for me was nearly four feet although it doesn’t look that long in the photos. I knitted it for one of the cyclists in my family, to keep those winter winds out whilst commuting, but I think I might be knitting another one for the other cyclist. I like the pattern it’s quite attractive on both sides, considering it’s such an easy peasy knit.