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.

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.

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!

Brexit, dudefood and hygge

Did you hear that the three newest words to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary are:

Brexit – unsurprisingly, and I’m sick to death of the horrible word.

dudefood – apparently food that men like, I’ve never heard the word but it makes me think of a very hot vindaloo curry, what I think of as macho man food.

and …

hygge – pronounced hue-ga. I had heard of that word before, in fact a few weeks ago there was an article in the Guardian about hygge – you can read it here. It’s the Danish art of living cosily. But obviously the word has links with the English word hug. Apparently there are lots of books due to be published on the subject of hygge and I noticed that the word has reached far-flung Aberfeldy as a shop selling woolly hats and socks and such had the word hygge on a card in their window.

I don’t think there’s an equivalent word in English or Scots although I often think of the Scottish phrase ‘coorie doon’ around this time of the year, obviously it means burrowing down, getting nice and comfy on a cold dark night. The idea is similar.

For me coorie-ing doon also includes getting ready for winter. If I had an open fireplace or a wood burning stove I’d no doubt be making sure I had a huge stockpile of wood. In fact I really fancy having a stove just so I would have a good excuse to wood gather.

As it is I make do with buying in emergency tins of soup, just in case we have an awful winter and there are no fresh veggies in the supermarkets. Well it has happened before!

Whatever the season I always have an old shortbread tin full of a selection of chocolate, but it’s particularly important in winter. I wouldn’t get through the cold snaps without chocolate to keep me going.

I have a nice collection of tartan rugs in the living room, essential for coorying into. The adult equivalent of a baby’s comfort blanket.

For me winter means knitting season, my needles are poised for action and I’ll be plundering my wool stockpile soon. I’m flicking through knitting patterns at the moment.

Any night now I’ll be swivelling the top of one of my tables around, doubling the size of the table top, making it just perfect for a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Winter is jigsaw season and the first one I do will be of a vintage travel poster – anyone been to Eastbourne?!

I can never understand these people who keep their curtains open in the evening, even when there’s snow on the ground and a howling wind. On cold dark nights I love to get the curtains closed as soon as it begins to get dark, shut the night out, get the kettle on and listen out for the biscuits shouting – eat me!

What about you – what’s your idea of winter comfort or hygge?

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.

Knitting – basket weave stitch scarf

What was I doing knitting in summertime? you might ask – not that we’ve had much of summer this year. Well I was teaching Peggy from PA – USA to knit while she was in Scotland and while we were mooching around in a gift shop one afternoon we looked at a knitted scarf which cost £25. You could knit that easily she said, which of course I could.

Mind you that scarf was I believe knitted in Shetland wool which can be quite itchy on the neck, which is probably why whoever made it decided to line one side of it with cotton fabric, quite a good idea I think.

Knitted Scarf

As you can see I’ve knitted my version of the scarf, a sort of basket stitch using just plain and purl stitches in multiples of five. I haven’t decided how best to attach the fabric to it though. Should I sew it on or use that iron on stuff to bond it on – or what? – any advice gratefully received.

Finished At Last!

I actually started knitting this jumper last winter so I was determined to get it finished before the cold weather really set in this year. It took a bit of sorting out as I’d left it half done for so long, I couldn’t even remember which size I had opted to knit it in. I’ve used this pattern quite a few times since I originally did it way back in the 1970s when I was a teenager and knitted the smallest size, this one is two sizes bigger but I was a real skinny-malinky as a teenager so it’s not as bad as it sounds.

1970s knitted jumper

The great thing about this pattern is that the jumper is nice and long so it keeps my bahookie (bum) warm and I need that especially as it was freezing last night and it’s only October. We gave in and put our central heating on despite the price hikes (does the price ever come down when the global price of gas goes down? – I don’t think so.)

Anyway, I was determined to finish the jumper before going on to the next knitting project, I have so many sewing projects on the go at the moment and I don’t want to get into the same fankle with knitting too. But it’s crucial that I start on the babies’ bootees and scratch mits which I said I would knit for a baby boy who is due to be born any day now. Laura’s best friend will be his mummy and Laura (our son Gordon’s betrothed) has been chosen as a godmother. How different it all is from my day when the big excitement was whether it was going to be a boy or a girl, and it was deemed to be bad luck to buy anything for the baby before it was safely in this world. He has even been named already!

The other bit of knitting comment I want to make is that I was absolutely chuffed when I was leafing through a pile of knitting patterns in a charity shop a few weeks ago, to find the pattern on the left. It is a copy of a pattern which my mum used ever since I can remember, she knitted my dad the lower right hand zipped cardigan/jacket every other year it seemed. As you can see it’s a pre-decimal priced pattern from about 1950 I think. In fact her copy of the pattern eventually fell apart but by then she had done it so many times she didn’t need the instructions. I don’t suppose I’ll ever knit anything from the pattern but it’s just nice to have it as a reminder. Dad died in 1980 when he was just 55 and whenever I think of him he’s wearing one of those knitted jackets.

Recycled jumper

Recycled jumper

At last, I managed to get around to sewing up the jumper which I knitted last year using wool from an old ripped out jumper. I was really just practising to get back into the way of it again. I used to be quite an expert knitter but I gave up when I had my children because I just didn’t have the time or the concentration to do it.

As you can see the wool is a really dreary grey colour, but grey wool always makes me laugh as it reminds me of my granny. She thought that grey cardigans were useful for wearing around the house. Well I know what she means now as she had a Victorian house, as I have now, and they aren’t half dusty but I don’t suppose it shows up against grey!

This jumper was knitted mainly in rib but there is a panel in the middle of reversed stocking stitch. I don’t know why I did that other than that I was just following the pattern, but I don’t really like reversed stocking stitch.

Anyway, I used the Stitchcraft pattern, it’s a 1953 magazine which I bought from ebay. I adapted it slightly so there aren’t so many buttons in my version.

Honestly, it’s quite a normal shape but I photographed it on my bed and obviously it wasn’t flat enough!

I’ve discovered that knitting wool seems to have become really expensive since I last bought some over 20 years ago but I got some reasonably priced stuff, from ebay again and I’m hoping to do something a bit more attractive next time.