Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Knitting Pattern: Ribbed Slouch Hat

Here is a cool pattern I love to knit - it's really simple slouchy hat, but looks good on guys or gals, can be adapted for any yarn type, gauge or size. 

You need to be able to:

  • Knit in the round (I'm using circular / magic loop needles, but you can do this on double pointed needles)
  • Knit (k)
  • Purl (p)

You will need: 

  • Circular knitting needle - 60cm / 14" approx - I'm using 4mm needles OR double pointed needles if you prefer
  • Large eye needle
  • Scissors


I've used Double Knit (DK) yarn in a light grey, using 4mm needles. You can adapt this pattern for any needle size - for chunky yarn you cast on less stitches, for finer yarn you cast on more.

I have a 23" circumference head and this pattern fits me well.


Cast on 88 stitches (increase or decrease in multiples of 4)

Place a stitch marker, and knit your first stitch into the other end of the row of stitches so you form a circle - be careful not to twist the cast on stitches!

Repeat the following pattern for 1 round: k2, p2; you will end on a purl stitch.

Round 2 onwards: repeat the same k2, p2 pattern for each round to the desired length. I like my hat slouchy, so I made it 10 inches long.

Decrease: When the hat is long enough, decrease by knit 2 stitches together (k2tog), purl 2 stitches together (p2tog); continue to the end of the round, ending on p2tog.

Next row: k1, p1 to end of round, end on p1

Finish: cut a long tail, then thread the end onto a large needle. Thread the needle though the loops of the stitches on the needle. Remove needle and pull the loose thread to close the whole until the stitches are gathered into a tight circle, then sew in loose end securely.

Want to make the hat bigger or smaller? You add or subtract the number of stitches you cast on in multiples of 4 (so I could cast on 92 or 96 if I wanted it a bit bigger)

Hope you enjoy! Let me know how it goes if you try it. You can see my other free patterns on Ravelry too


Sunday, 20 March 2011

We have a winner - and a sad goodbye...

The time has come to announce the winner of my giveaway - 59 entries in all; so pleased!

The winner was picked using a random number generator at 2pm GMT this afternoon. So, the new owner of this gorgeous headband IS...

Pegs from PeggyLikesStuff - entry number 5!

Sadly, this giveaway result is tinged with sadness for me too. After looking at the figures, my full time job, poor health and generally dismal sales, I've come to the painful decision to close my Etsy shop.

I'm really sad, as I enjoy doing it, but I can't afford the amount I'm loosing each month. It seems a common tale with craft sellers;  a flooded market place, high cost of materials, the massive amount of time and effort it takes to promote yourself - it's a full time job in itself. I alas don't have the luxury of giving up my 9 - 5 job,  and short of working every hour under the sun, making myself pretty ill and probably a bit crazy in the process, I'm calling it a day.

That's not to say I'm not carrying on crafting - I will be still beavering away. It's going to be a challenge to find homes for my constant making habit! In a way I'm quite looking forward to making things for myself again, but I'm still really sad...

In store I'm having a huge closing down sale, with items at rock bottom prices. I've got to shut shop before the end of the tax year (April 5th) so anything not sold will be taken down from the store in the first few days of April.

So if you have liked what I've been producing - this is your last chance to buy it!

I'm going to keep blogging - showing you my knitted works, posting knitting patterns and generally chatting about life here in Wales - and if you would like a custom order you can get in touch through my blog to arrange this.

Thanks to everyone for your support - it's been great to know my knitted creations have new homes across the world!


Thursday, 10 March 2011

Blog Giveaway Time!

It's a new year in 2011 and I'm overdue to give away a cool, funky and totally unique knitted creation! I'm celebrating the weather warming up here in Wales, the start of the longer days, more day trips and more time to knit - my creative juices are flowing!

I've been really hard at it trying to create lots of new stock for the shop, launching lots of new styles, designs and colour palettes - so I thought I'd give you all a chance to win a one of a kind item not yet in store:

You can get your hands on a gorgeous teal 100% wool spiral knit headband - this headband is knitted in the round so no seams, and the ribbing holds it in place. This one of a kind piece is so versatile you can wear it all tie time - you won't want to take it off!

This giveaway is open worldwide so everyone can enter - it is really simple, no games or catches - a very straightforward giveaway!

You get automatic entry into the competition if you:

a. Leave me a comment under this blog entry saying what you would buy from my Etsy shop if you had a blank cheque…
b. You get another entry if you have left a message and follow my blog.
c. You get another entry for following me on Facebook
d. You will get another entry if you follow me on Twitter
e. Lastly if you tweet or post on your own blog a link back to this blog competition you get another entry.

So maximum of 5 chances to win… - how cool is that!? Leave 1 comment per entry please!

Please make sure when you leave your comment on this blog post that you say where I can contact you (Email address, Etsy username, Twitter handle, Facebook page etc)

Winner will be picked at random on Sunday 20th March 2011 and the winner announced on this blog!

Pob Lwc!

(Good Luck!)


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

...Happy St. Davids Day! Last year when I tried to educate the masses on Wales National Day last year I encountered bewilderment and bemusement. So this time around I'm going to provide a crash course in some essentials you will need to get to grips with this magnificent of national days.

Most people will know St Patrick's Day in Ireland (and have probably enjoyed a few pints to celebrate) - St David is the patron saint for Wales where St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, and St Andrew for Scotland. 

St Davids day is always on 1st March every year. It's not a public holiday (yet...) but celebrations take place across the country in schools, city centres and communities - and venues across the world - in 2003 the Empire State Building was lit up in the national colours of Wales (Red, White and Green) in celebration of the day!

Children in Wales take part in school concerts or "eisteddfodau", with recitation and singing being the main activities. There is usually a bake-off for mums and grannies to see who can make the best Welsh Cakes (also known as griddle scones, they are flat cakes with dried fruit inside) or Bara Brith (a traditional fruit cake)

Traditional dress is often worn by girls - this consists of a woollen skirt, white blouse, woollen shawl and a Welsh hat (a stove pipe style tall hat / bonnet) - I remember dressing up in this when I was in primary school!

To get you in the mood, I will share with you a recipe to bake your own Welsh Cakes:

You will need:
  • 225g plain flour
  • 85g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 100g butter cut into small pieces plus extra for frying
  • 50g currants
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Splash milk 
  • Rolling Pin
  • Small size cutter (6cm / 3")

  • Tip the flour, sugar, mixed spice, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl. 
  • With your fingers, rub in the butter until crumbly. 
  • Mix in the currants. 
  • Work the egg into the mixture until you have soft dough, adding a splash of milk if it seems a little dry - it should be the same consistency as shortcrust pastry.
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of your little finger. 
  • Cut out rounds using a small cutter, re-rolling any trimmings. 
  • Grease a flat griddle pan or heavy frying pan with butter, and place over a medium heat. 
  • Cook the Welsh cakes in batches, for about 3 mins each side, until golden brown, crisp and cooked through. 
These will keep in an airtight tin for up to 1 week - if you think they will last that long! 

So have a very happy St Davids Day one and all - and give the Welsh Cakes a go - they are very tasty!