Category Archives: Free patterns

What goes around comes around

Hello again! It has been about a fortnight since I last posted and so much has happened since then that I am going to make a real effort from now on to update you on my adventures in Woolly Wonderland on a weekly basis.  We have had lots of lovely new arrivals land on our doorstep and we have been busy hosting a series of Spring workshops to add some sparkle to these chilly, wintery days.

The first amazing event took place at the end of January when Woolaballoo ran our very first Magic Loop Knitting Workshop.  This was really well attended and in fact, the demand was so high that we are now repeating it in a couple of weeks time.  There were a series of fantastic project ideas that were undertaken during the class including a set of fingerless mitts and and a child’s beanie with cute pompoms adorning it.  Subsequently, participants have tried out more ambitious projects and have experimented with making an adult sized floppy beanie – once knitting in the round and using miles of cable became second nature to them!

Below is my prototype being constructed in time for the class, knit from the bottom up, but we have now developed a top down version which means that you can adapt it to fit most head shapes and sizes.  It is a great project to stash bust and use up all those odds and ends that you thought you would have no use for.

The images below illustrate how to knit up the child’s size pompom hat should you wish to have a go at home. I cast on 100 stitches using the Magic Loop method.  You can watch numerous demonstrations on YouTube if you are unfamiliar with this technique. It seems a little strange at first but once you get the hang of it you will soon discover how versatile knitting in the round can be, plus there is always the added bonus of no stitching up at the end!

I then proceeded as follows: knit one round, purl one round (repeat 3 times). The next section is just plain garter stitch for 12 rounds followed by another knit one round, purl one round (repeat 3 times) section.

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Very quickly the hat begins to take shape and you can adapt the pattern to fit smaller or larger heads by adjusting the number of rounds of plain garter stitch knitting you do above the second ridge.  I did 16 rounds in this example before I started my decreases.

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To decrease I simply knit 8 stitches, k2 together for the first round.  Next I knit a plain garter stitch round.  Continuing to decrease, I knit 7 stitches and k2 together, then completed another plain garter stitch round. This was followed by knitting 6 stitches and then k2 tog and a further plain garter stitch round.  Continue in this way until 10 stitches remain.  Knit 2 together for the final round then break off the yarn and pull the thread through the remaining 5 stitches and tie off tightly. As you can see from the image below the decreases should form a series of spokes radiating out from the top.

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To complete the look it is fun to add a couple of small pompoms to the top of the hat which can be made with the remaining yarn.  I made this hat with one ball of Knitcol which can be purchased in our Hexham store or online by clicking on the link above.

Great fun was had by all at the Magic Loop Workshop and one of the participants made a fabulous pair of fingerless mitts again using a single ball of the knitcol. Below you can see the finished article.

Ruth Hawkin Magic Loop Mitts

If you can knit and you can purl but you want to learn a new skill then this is the workshop for you. Give us a call, book online or pop in to the Hexham store to find out more about this truly magical trick of the trade!

Blue Sky Thinking?

Before you all start to roll your eyes and let out a deep groan having read the corporate “business speak” heading of my latest blog post, let me explain…

I stumbled upon this lovely little knitting idea whilst browsing the net and thought I would share it with you before February is upon us. The knitter who came up with this gem of an idea, has shared the conceptual knitting project on a site called Whipup today!

The end product is called Sky Scarf, which results from a whimsical adventure or process that you go through. To make a “sky scarf,” you first gather together skeins of blues and greys and white. I am going to use oddments of DK weight yarn. Each day, you pay attention to the sky and add a row to your scarf in colours that mirror the weather outside. The pattern turns 365 days of sky observations into a five-foot long scarf. Project participants around the world are making sky scarves and the conceptual knitting project documents the climate variations that emerge row by row.

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I posted this photo today on our Facebook page and some of our followers suggested lovely modifications to this design including a mood scarf using shades to reflect your mood on any given day or a sunset scarf to bring in the pink and red spectrum. I love this idea and may start mine on 1st February using up oddments of yarn that I have in my stash. I think it will need to have about 35 stitches cast on if it is a DK weight yarn.  I suspect given the Northumbrian climate I may have to look out several shades of grey however if the recent downpours and stormy skies are anything to go by!