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Woolly Wormhead – Painted Woolly Toppers

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Painted Woolly Toppers – Copyright Woolly Wormhead

Back in June, Woolly Wormhead published her latest collection of hat patterns.  She kindly sent out copies for review and I’ve finally got around to writing up my thoughts.  The latest book in the Woolly Toppers series features patterns designed specifically for hand-dyed and variegated yarns.   Woolly explains the two main ideas behind the book:

firstly, to create designs for those oh-so-beautiful yet tricky-to-knit-with hand-dyed skeins that we all get seduced by; and secondly to support indie dyers. Indie dyers offer such vibrancy and uniqueness and I really wanted to let their yarns take centre stage and put together a collection with their yarns at the core.

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Vortice – Copyright Woolly Wormhead

Each of the 10 designs in the book feature garter stitch elements.  It’s a stitch pattern that really seems to work well with variegated yarns and helps to showcase their multi-colours.

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Lamitra – Copyright Woolly Wormhead

Woolly’s patterns also include a range of techniques to keep things interesting; she’s isn’t called the ‘Hat Architect’ for nothing.  Any specific techniques used in the patterns are fully explained at the start of the book, with written and illustrated instructions.  I found the short row tutorial particularly helpful.

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Quoin – Copyright Woolly Wormhead

I chose the Quoin pattern to knit as a sample for my new Sethera Aran (100% British BFL) for Yarndale.  I knitted three hats over two days of holiday, of which Quoin was one. So, even though there is an interesting construction to this hat, it was still a quick knit.  It used just under half of one 100g skein.

Quoin frontThe asymmetrical garter stitch brim is knitted first, back and forth, starting with just 2 stitches and increasing every few rows until you have a long wedge shape.   Stitches along the edge of the wedge are then picked up to knit the rest of the hat in the round. You can better see the asymmetrical nature of the brim in the photo below.

Quoin backThe main body of the hat is then augmented with short rows and garter stitch rows to further shape the hat.

Quoin left sideThe pattern instructions were clear, concise and well written.  Each pattern has multiple sizes.  Painted Woolly Toppers is available as an eBook for £10, as a PDF & printed option for $25 or each pattern can be purchased individually for £3.50. For full details visit Woolly Wormhead’s website.

Summer Flies Collection

I may have been quiet here on the blog, but the dye pots have been very busy!  I recently worked with Leeds-based knitwear designer and workshop tutor Gwen Wagner-Adair (Petitchoufleur Knits) on her Summer Flies – A Dragonfly Study in Lace pattern collection.  I dyed a selection of yarn which was used by Gwen in the four patterns that make up the collection.

Summer Flies yarn collection

From left to right we have Dragonfly Pink, Azure Damsel, Anisoptera, Demoiselle (all BFL 4ply), Damsel (55% BFL, 45% Silk lace) and Amethyst (BFL DK).

Here are the four patterns which Gwen has designed:

Summerflies cover

The yarn is all available as usual at Sylvan Tiger Yarn on Etsy and the pattern collection is available as either a digital download or hardcopy on Ravelry.  I’ll also have individual patterns available at Yarndale in Skipton 26-27 September.

Gwen and I are hosting a little KAL (knit-a-long) for the pattern collection, Gwen says “If you’ve not done a KAL before, in a knit-a-long you get the benefit of a wide community all knitting the same patterns (or from the same type of pattern, or collection of patterns, as in this case). You can have discussions in the forum here, post questions and progress photos and you get the benefit of community support and encouragement. Katie and I will be haunting the forum too to answer any questions, cheer you on, and generally enjoy seeing your projects unfold.

There’s nothing we like better than to see the awesome, unique creations people make from our patterns and wool! And we’re really excited about this collaborative collection.”

Here’s how it works:

  • Get yourself a copy of the Summer Flies pattern collection (ebook pre-order available now – available to order in print from 1st July)
  • Get yourself some lovely Sylvan Tiger Yarn in dragonfly (or other) colours – go wild :)
  • Knit, chat and share photos on the forum to your heart’s content (you can participate as much or as little as you want)…
  • And, since you’re all so lovely, we’re running a little promotion. Katie and I both have booths at Yarndale this September in Skipton. If you turn up wearing your finished item, you’ll get a discount on some of our other lovelies. (And probably a lot of ooh’s and aah’s.)

And, for a chance at a special little extra something, upload your finished item as a project on Ravelry with a link back in the KAL forum. Gwen and I will pick two random winners from the KAL to receive either a skein of Sylvan Tiger Yarn hand-dyed wool or one of Gwen’s patterns.

I’ve nearly finished my Anisoptera shawl, just the cast off to do then blocking so I’ll share that here soon.  Pop back here soon and I’ll hopefully have an interview with Gwen exploring her design inspiration and process.

Pattern images all copyright Joelle Trousdale