Debbie Bliss Toast Sock Yarn (1)


I’m starting with a photograph of two of my favourite people last weekend, because… because it’s my blog and I can.  Quite apart from the rather idyllic location, and the cuddle between two seriously gorgeous humans, they’re both wearing hats made with massive love by my own fair hand. And that, as I’m sure you already know, is a totally heart-fuzzy feeling.

Anyway, those two beauts are not the actual reason for this post.

This is:


This completely gorgeous squishiness, which arrived in the post last week. It’s made with cashmere, dontchaknow, for the poshest socks you can fashion.

Of course, anything else I had on the go was instantly discarded (well, put in the ever-groaning WIP pile, much to the chagrin of my best beloved, whose beautiful moss-green jumper is lying in a pile next to my bed just… waiting).

In bed…


And it was difficult not to get a bit carried away. OK, I’ll admit. I didn’t resist it at all.


Contrast heel turned:


And I’m happy to say the first is finished, and displayed beautifully here on my turtally sheepy sock-blockers, for glorious full effect. ❤


The second is well underway – no blooming Second Sock Syndrome happening here this time! I am too excited to be able to wear them oop ‘ere in the cold North-East, where the temperatures are plummeting as I speak. On which note… I may also be knitting a slightly varied version of my Beauteous Boot Socks this weekend as I may or may not have shrunk a few in the wash recently…


I’m looking forward to the arrival of an aran superwash sock yarn which I’m reliably informed is in the pipeline as we speak… Watch this space, as they say.



Seaglass Convertible Mittens

I have a second passion: I collect seaglass and make silver jewellery with it (which, incidentally, you can find here).


But the fingers get a little chilly when you’re hunting through the briny waves in the winter.

So: I give you Seaglass Mittens. Decorated with waves and sparkles, with tops to keep the fingers warm, which flip back when you’ve spotted something special in the sand.


They are long enough to keep the wrists warm under jumper and coat sleeves, too. I do like to keep my wrists warm.

If you fancy a go at them yourself, the pattern can be found here



In other news, having fallen out of the woolly groove towards the end of the year, I set myself a challenge: a jumper between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. I had something very specific in mind. Something in chunky cream wool, with a wide roll neck, and a boxy shape. Not too long so I could wear it with my favourite denim mini skirt.

Here it is:


Aaaaaaaaaand… while I’m here…

This last summer, when my gorgeous gaggle of boys, my husband and I went hiking on Mull and visited the Isle of Iona, I picked up some beautiful yarn.

I’m combining it with a grey Cascade and have just the sleeves left to knit:


So with a little luck, I’ll have more to show you very soon.


Malabrigo beauty…




First off, I’m delighted to say that my Fair Isle hat pattern is now available on the loveknitting website here.






Also, while I’m here, I’m showing you this. Because I started it more moons ago than I care to remember, and I STILL haven’t finished it.

polar bears4

I called it “The Husband Jumper” and I have promised, promised, that I will finish it…. like… now… but….


To news!

Check out this absolute gorgeousness…


Malabrigo Mecha in Polar Morn and Candombe colourways.

It. Is. Divine.

Squishy 100% merino wool gorgeousness.

And when it arrived… well… I just had to start a jumper. I mean, you get it, right? I may have about 3 million wips as it is, but this. *sigh* It had to be done.

So – here was my first progress picture of my new top-down, round yoke, fairisle design:


I’m absolutely loving it. From the squishiness of the yarn, through the definition of the stitches, and the beautiful range of colour in each strand.

The yoke is now finished, the sleeves separated off, and the body underway:


More news as and when I’ve stormed through more!

Ooh, ooh, and actually… do you remember this?


(It’s the “Stripes and Swirls” pattern here)

Well, I wear it all the time and wanted to make another, only to discover that the yarn is discontinued. Now, that wouldn’t matter – any aran of the right gauge will do – but I really wanted to use the same one.

I have lots of the ecru left, for starters. So it makes sense to make another, but I fancied doing it ‘in reverse’, with the main body in colour and the patterns ‘in relief’ if you like.

Ebay came up trumps this time and I’ve got a lovely greeny-brown to make another with.

Best finish the Husband Jumper first though, eh? (And don’t even get me started on the cardi I promised my mum for her birthday…)

Too much wool, too little time!


Fabulous Fair-Isle – Four Fancies


We’ve had a whole heap of snow up here in the North-East of England. More than we usually do (but still: not as much as some bumper years, and certainly not as much as proper SNOWY countries!) So our winter woollies have been especially necessary this year.

With that in mind, I bought a whole load of gorgeous Rooster Almerino yarn (over here, in the loveknitting sale) – 50% baby alpaca and 50% merino wool, it’s so snuggly-soft and the colours are just lovely. I went for some… oh, I don’t know. What would you call them? I quite like ‘muted candy’ colours. 4 of them. 2 balls of each. And I have four hats out of that haul, with a fifth in production.

It all began with this, and the love for the colourwork I’ve missed so much the past few months came flooding back:


Pretty soon, I had a second underway (trusty scribbling book at my side, making notes as I went. Planning isn’t my strong suit – I’m far more fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, aka let’s-see-if-this-works…):


By this stage, I had decided that a main colour of each of the four was the way to go, and a third began:


Each different, each unique, each soft and snuggly and pastelly-bright.

Until there were four:


I went about charting them, knowing I’d got about as much use out of those beautiful colours as I could (and those of you who know me know I’m usually a bit of a greys and browns kinda gal, so this was stretching my comfort zone a bit).

Here’s an example of one of the strips of fair isle:


I have to say, it’s been some time – what with one thing and another… oh, you know… LIFE – since I felt quite so inspired and had quite so much fun with a project as these four. They seemed to positively fly, needles clacking and smoking, out of my head and then onto heads.

It fills me with joy when I see people I love sporting something I’ve made for them.


Here’s Ted, reading in his hat.

Each of the four is slightly different; not just in fairisle motifs, but also in size and pattern. The yellow one above, for example, is the smallest, snuggest, ‘beaniest’.

And this one:



is the tallest, and slouchiest.

The blue and the pink are somewhere in between.

All of them are available as patterns to buy as one download of four, if you fancy having a crack at them yourself. And if you do, please, please tag me? I so love to see other people’s interpretations of my designs. The patterns can be found here

Also, have a pop at them with a different worsted / aran. As long as you use 4mm and 5mm needles, you’ll be on track for the same look. And if winter hangs on the way it’s threatening to, you still have time!
Happy knitting 😊

Alice x

In the Pink

There are one or two advantages to not having a long, hot summer (though I’m a bit sensitive about the amount of rain we’ve had Oop North just lately, so do try not to bait me… 😉 ), the main one being longer months of wool-wearing.

Which, when you’ve just finished pretty much your favourite jumper yet, is some small consolation to offset the bloody RAIN.


pink stripes3

It’s outrageously pink, but striped enough not to be candy floss, and I chose a different solid colour for the sleeves and the main body to shake things up a bit.

The neck is wonderfully wide, and is left to furl slightly, as are the sleeves. 2-stitch raglan seams (my favourites) and a K2P2 rib at the hem are the final little details.

I made it with Drops Nepal and Drops Big Delight, which I had LOADS of kicking around, given my total obsession with knitting Beauteous Boot Socks 😉 but any Aran weight yarn giving you a gauge of around 16 stitches per 10cm would do nicely.

pink stripes1

If you fancy having a crack at it, you can find the pattern here. And if you do have a go, do please think about tagging me. I totally love seeing the interpretations of others (we all know it’s impossible not to tweak a pattern, right?)

pink stripes4

The pattern is in one size (pictured) and shown here on me – 5’9″ and a UK size 12 – though the bust is a generous 42″ and there are notes in the pattern about making it bigger.

So… happy knitting! ❤

Oh Serendipity, you wondrous thing…

Night falling over our camp

Last half term we took a very welcome break from the electronic world and all its intrusions, and returned for a blissfully happy few days to Abbots House Farm on the North Yorkshire Moors, a campsite with clean, basic amenities (loos and hot showers) along a beautiful drive, right in the place where the television series Heartbeat was filmed.  Goathland has retained its latterday charm and a walk into the village from the site sees you navigating wandering sheep, roaming free wherever they choose. It’s about as picturesque as you can get.


Our field was entirely empty apart from us. We set up camp with three hikers’ tents and a tarp, under which we constructed the fire pit barbecue where we cooked our suppers every night. And along the bottom of the field ran the old steam railway with half-hourly trains providing plenty of waving opportunity for the children.

Getting ready to wave

No screens, no social media, no intrusion… we even had a visiting squirrel allow us to feed and stroke it.


The time not spent hiking saw us whittling, reading and – of course – knitting. The picture at the top was taken from the doorway of my tent. Other than a 100-mile stint on the Pennine Way before my youngest was born,  I don’t think I’ve felt happier or freer.

Our beloved Teddy was diagnosed with autism back in 2012 and it feels as though we are just emerging as a family from the restrictions such things (happily now mostly in the past as he continues to develop and amaze us) as major meltdowns and flat refusals can put on daily life and especially on outings. Camping and hiking are just perfect for this little whirligig – totally content and always exploring.

The beautiful drive leading to the campsite
Esk Valley Trail1
A walk along the Esk Valley Trail introduced us to this lady, happily grazing totally unflustered by the many walkers passing her.

Other than simply describing our last break, what is the point of this post, you ask? On a knitting blog, you ask?

Well, the most wonderful thing happened this morning.

I received a message through my Facebook page containing this link:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the yarnie persuasion – an entire weekend of camping AND knitting! In the most idyllic setting….

I’m in. Who’s with me??

Ted’s stripes

Having made a gazillion pairs of beauteous boot socks, I had a mega-tonne (well, not quite, but it certainly looked that way in the sitting room cupboard) of Drops Nepal and Drops Big Delight left, and it was as I was knitting the leg of a sock that it struck me… that would make an awesome sleeve. This is the one I was working on:


So I found the cream and the blues and my measuring tape and set about measuring Ted.

He’s 6 – he’ll be 7 in August – and long and lean.

I decided that this one would be a bottom-up jumper, so: knitting from the bottom up to the underarm, then knitting the sleeves to that point, and joining them all on a circular needle to begin the raglan decreases up to the neck.

I worked out the gauge at 5 stitches and 6 rows per inch and jotted down everything I could think of that I’d need.

Around his tummy: 24″
Around his chest: 26″
From the nape of his neck to his bottom: 17″
From underarm to wrist: 13″
From shoulder to wrist: 18″
From underarm to bottom: 12″ and
Around his upper arm: 9″

I used 4mm circulars (80cm) for the 2×2 rib and switched to 5mm circulars for the rest of the piece.

Taking his widest point (his chest), I cast on 130 stitches (26″ x 5 sts per inch). With hindsight, I might have added another 5 for ease, though it does fit perfectly as you’ll see.

I knitted 6 rows of 2×2 rib on 4mm needles in Drops Nepal in cream and then switched to Big Delight and 5mm needles. The stripe pattern is 4 rows of Big Delight and then 2 rows of Nepal which 6-row repeat, most handily, is an inch.


I repeated this until I got to 14″ (13 x 6-row stripes and the rib) and then put it aside (on stitch holders or waste yarn, or even on the needles if you have enough pairs) to knit the sleeves.

Again, using Nepal and 4mm needles, I cast on 44 stitches (9″ x 5 stitches per inch, then minus 1 to keep the 2×2 rib simple) and knitted 6 rows of 2×2 rib, switching then to 5mm needles and Big Delight. Since sleeves are always longer, I knitted 14 x 6-row stripes per sleeve.

So, to join the sleeves to the body:

First, I *put 10 stitches of the body stitches on waste yarn (this will be the underarm, which you will join to the sleeve with Kitchener stitch at the very end) and put 10 sleeve stitches on waste yarn. Then slip the remaining 34 sleeve stitches onto the main needles,  then slipped 55 stitches from the body** and repeated from * to **  I then had 178 stitches on the needles and placed a marker for the beginning of the round.

Using Nepal, I knitted two rounds.

Then I knitted around once in Big Delight and on the next round, to divide for the raglan decreases, I placed markers before the last stitch of the last round and after the first stitch of the next, knitted 53, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 32, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 53, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 32 and arrived back at the first marker.


For the 3rd row of Big Delight, I began the decreases (you can see them underway above), very simply: knit 2 together before and after the 2-stitch raglan (between the two markers either side of the sleeves)

For the 4th row of Big Delight, knit around making sure to slip the markers.

And I continued the decreases every other row whilst sticking to the 6-row pattern (4 rows of Big Delight, 2 rows of Nepal) until I had only 1 stitch left in the sleeve sections (between the two markers).

Then I switched to 4mm needles and Nepal for 6 rows of 2×2 rib and finished with a super-stretchy bind-off. There’s little worse than putting all that effort in and being unable to get the blasted thing over yer head! 😉


Maddeningly, Teddy was at school when it was finished (so inconsiderate!) so I had to wait until I was home from work and he home from school to take him back to the studio to get some pictures.

I think you’ll agree a) it’s very fetching and b) I may have overdone the pictures… Well – knitting and Teddy – two of my favourite things ❤

Sprouting again – baby sleepsack and hat

Do you remember the Sprout?


Matching baby cocoon / snugglesack and little hat. In the picture above, it’s knitted in James C Brett Woodlander self-patterning yarn, which you can find here.


Do you also remember the Luscious Long Socks?


These were knitted in Cascade 220 and, more importantly, Lang Yarns Tosca Light – that gorgeous self-striping stuff… (find it here).

The socks only used 40g of the 100g ball, so I thought I’d make another Sprout with the rest. And look!


I completely love it.

What do you think?



“Sprout” – a baby cocoon and matching hat

There is a truly lovely lady I know.

She has been a gentle source of solid support for me and my family for the past almost half-decade. Her compassion and empathy are, amongst us at the very least, legendary.

And in a matter of a few short weeks, she’ll be bringing her first little being into the world. She will make one of the loveliest mummies I think anyone could possibly imagine. What a lucky little sprout ❤

With him in mind, and born out of a sense of immense gratitude to her, I give you “Sprout”. A snuggly baby cocoon and matching hat.


Knitted on 3.5mm and 5mm circular needles, using James C Brett Woodlander DK yarn, you can find the pattern here if you fancy a go at knitting one for a teeny person in your life.


And happy knitting! 🙂



Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: