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Skinny Rib Scarf

One of the most popular free patterns in my Ravelry store  is the Chunky Woven Scarf. It’s a simple textured scarf in super chunky yarn, and will knit up easily in an hour or two. It’s perfect for a beginner who is just learning to combine knit and purl stitches in patterns.

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I sell some of my knitwear in Edinburgh, and recently designed another very simple scarf pattern which is on sale at Leith Collective in Ocean Terminal. This one uses knit and purl stitches to create a ribbed effect. It’s also ideal for a beginner, and creates a lovely stretchy and squishy fabric. I’ve used Cygnet Seriously Chunky for the two scarves pictured below. The yarn is a super soft 100% acrylic, meaning that it’s machine washable, won’t affect those with wool allergies, and is vegan friendly. It’s also incredibly cosy! You need two balls of one colour if you’d like to make your own scarf – there are twenty different solid shades to choose from as well as mixed colours and metallics. I chose Just Denim and Plum.

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Here’s the pattern if you’d like to knit your own! If you need help with the basics, I’ve linked to some videos that might be useful at the bottom of this post. You can knit the scarf longer or shorter, and cast on more or less stitches to vary the width.

Skinny Rib Scarf

You will need – Cygnet Seriously Chunky, 100% acrylic, 48m per 100g ball – 2 balls per scarf. 1 pair 12mm knitting needles. Yarn needle with large eye for sewing in ends.

Gauge – 8 sts x 10 rows to 10cm in stocking stitch on 12mm needles, although gauge is largely unimportant for this project.

Instructions –

First of all, cut 10 lengths of yarn around 6″ long. Put these aside for the tassels.

Cast on 9 sts.

Row 1 – *K1, p1, rep from * to last st, k1.

Row 2 – *P1, k1, rep from * to last st, p1.

Rep Rows 1 and 2 until there is around 15″ of yarn from second ball left.

Cast off in rib pattern.

Sew in yarn ends, and attach 5 tassels to each end of scarf as follows.

Fold each 6″ piece of yarn in half. Insert the loop through the end of the scarf. Pull the ends of the yarn through the loop. Pull taut. Make sure the tassels are distributed evenly.

Wear and enjoy!

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How to cast on

How to knit stitch

How to purl stitch

How to cast off

Knitting rib stitch

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The Leith Collective

Over the past few months I’ve noticed that there’s been a definite drive to move away from consumerism and shopping with big retailers, towards independent businesses and shopping handmade or second hand. Campaigns like Just A Card are raising awareness of local small businesses, and there’s a great image going round social media encouraging people to shop ethically for the festive season.

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We don’t need to make lots of new things, especially plastics, when there’s so much good stuff in the world which can be reused and repurposed. The Leith Collective in Ocean Terminal certainly share this philosophy, showcasing the work of lots of independent designers and makers. They have a particular emphasis on stocking products which are created from recycled and upcycled materials, from beautiful driftwood art to amazing sculptures made from scrap metal.

I love this table, although unfortunately I don’t know who the maker is.

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This jewellery is made from bicycle inner tubes by Upcycled World, and the designer has other beautiful pieces which are painted in gorgeous marbled jewel tones. It’s so pretty, yet made from what would usually be considered a waste material.

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I also love this gorgeous knitwear from Janer Designs, the colours are beautiful.

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I’ve just started selling my work there, which I’m super excited about! Most of what I sell is created from repurposed materials, allowing me to keep prices reasonable and affordable. I try to keep my packaging to a minimum and recyclable where possible.

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I usually make unique items, and currently have some knitwear in stock as well as crocheted Christmas baubles and lavender hearts. The baubles are made in pure cotton and wool mix yarns, and sold in colour coordinated sets of 3.

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The hearts are hand embroidered and sewn from offcuts of Harris Tweed and tartan, then filled with French and Albanian lavender which is a natural moth repellent.

The shop is a perfect place to do some Christmas shopping, as there are many items under £10 or £20 and lots of things that would work well as gifts. Pop in and have a look around if you’re in Edinburgh!

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Christmas Time!

I haven’t blogged in ages, because I’ve been doing this –

I’m currently playing Smee in “Peter Pan” with the Takeaway Theatre Company. We’ve travelled the country from Wiltshire to Aberdeen and most places in between, and I’ve got 10 days off before going back for the final week of the show. There hasn’t been much time for crafting in between doing two or three shows a day, and travelling around 5000 miles (so far)!

It’s been a fantastic job, but it’s great to be home as well, coming back to these cheeky little faces.

Hope you’ve all had a very merry Christmas, and may 2010 be a fantastic year!

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Hats for the Homeless

I belong to a local knitting group who are currently knitting hats for homeless people, so I’ve spent most of the week working on a quick and easy pattern. I wanted something quite simple so that it would suit a beginner knitter, and would hopefully appeal to the tastes of a wide range of people. Not knowing the recipients, I also opted for colours that were likely to be neutral and weren’t strongly associated with any football team. The yarn is a super soft acrylic, which will be really warm but will also dry much faster than wool after wet weather. The resulting pattern is available below – feel free to use it to make hats for gifts or charity causes. It’s really easy to customise it by adding motifs, stripes, pompoms or other embellishments.

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Basic Hat

Size – to fit a medium (large) adult head

You will need – King Cole Big Value Chunky, 100% acrylic, 153m per 100g ball – 1 ball per hat – I used Seaspray and Grey, 5.5mm circular needle or long DPNs, yarn needle.

Gauge – 15sts to 10cm/4in on 5.5mm needles

Instructions –

Cast on 72 (80) sts and join to work in the round. Place stitch marker to mark beg of round.

Work in K2 P2 rib for 28 (32) rounds, starting with K2.

Work 18 (22) rounds in st st, dec 2sts on last round for smaller size only. 70 (80) sts

Decrease for crown –

Rnd 1 – *K8, k2tog, rep from * to end of rnd. 63 (72) sts

Rnd 2 and every other even numbered rnd – k to end

Rnd 3 – *K7, k2tog, rep from * to end of rnd. 56 (64) sts

Cont in this way until 14 (16) sts rem.

Next rnd – K2 tog to end of rnd. 7 (8) sts

Draw yarn through rem sts and fasten off.

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Sven Cardigan

If you haven’t already started, now is a good time to get cracking with the Christmas gift knitting. There are approximately 7 weeks till Christmas, which is plenty of time to knit up things that are a little more complex as well as simple last minute projects. Babies and toddlers are ideal recipients for knitted gifts. They are small enough to make the knitting process reasonably quick, they’re unlikely to complain about your choice of colours, and they’re bound to look super cute wearing anything that you make!

If you’re looking for a project for a little person in your life, I’ve just released my Sven Cardigan. This was originally published in Knit Now magazine, and is a stranded cardigan featuring a pattern of reindeer, snowflakes and pine trees. The yarn is Cygnet Superwash DK, a soft but durable yarn which is ideal for children’s clothes. It comes in a wide range of 25 colours, so you can select a colour palette to suit your personal taste.  I’ve knitted my sample in Christmassy red and white, but my lovely test knitters chose different colour schemes in white, blue and grey.

Christmas sven cardigan

The cardigan is sized to fit babies and toddlers aged between birth and 4 years. It’s knitted in one piece to the armholes, and has a ribbed button band and dropped sleeves.

I also have a number of other patterns which would work well as Christmas gifts. Check out my Ravelry store to see if there’s anything else that takes your fancy! If you’re a beginner knitter, my free scarf pattern might be ideal for you – find it here.