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Interview with Mary E. Rose, Mary E Rose Designs

Today we’re chatting to Mary E. Rose of Mary E Rose Designs, aka marydear on, on Instagram, on Facebook.

How did you get into knitting and who taught you?

I spent my early years in England, where knitting was still taught in school, and my mother knit.  I made my first “gift” knit when I was six or seven, a large garter stitch dish cloth for my grandmother.  (As an added bonus, my attention span was shorter than the rows of that cloth so I learned early about short rows and shaping!)

What made you want to start designing knitwear?

I think that every knitter, at some point finds that they can’t find a pattern for what they want to make and create their own. I started designing my own things in the dark ages before the internet made it so easy to find such a large variety of patterns.  As time went by I designed for my kids then more recently wrote up little patterns for them and my friends…but it was my friends that really pushed me to “publishing” designs. 

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

A lot of my designs start with a question…What if? Or How Could? Figuring out the answer is my favourite part of the process…well, that and actually sitting down with needles in hand knitting it!

Do you start with a chart or a swatch or do you have a fully formed item in mind first?

I usually know how the project ends before I know how it begins!  I’ll explain…When I am goal setting I ask “What does success look like? Where do I want to end up?” and I do the same thing with a lot of my designs.  I know how the piece will end, then work backwards to figure out what the steps are to get to that ending.  Then I chart, write and start knitting swatches.

What inspires you?

I would be hard pressed to say what doesn’t inspire me!  Everything can inspire an idea…the world outside that I see, the music that plays on the radio, colourways of yarn. I created a series of patterns playing with self striping yarns because I adore the colours, but get very bored knitting plain vanilla socks. (Although those plain socks do showcase a good self striping yarn!)

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

Full-time, part-time?…based on hours worked each week…Full Time.  I usually am actively working on some part of a design between 35 and 40 hours a week, but I have other jobs too! I think, as with many designers, while I would love for this to be my only job, in today’s economy that is not feasible.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I design the things I like to knit.  Shawls are one of my favorites and I wear them a lot, but I also love socks and cowls, hats and tops. (I adore knitting doilies, and have a box full of them to prove it, but haven’t ventured into actually designing one.  I do borrow from the techniques used to make them to create shawls though.)

Cowl Trick by Mary E Rose

Do you have much time to knit for yourself or for gifting?

A lot of my samples do end up getting worn or gifted, and I make a point of knitting for pleasure as well as for my designs.  There are a couple of ways that I make sure I get pleasure knitting time, one is to play along in the Indie Gift Along, another is to test knit for other designers and I have a pattern buying habit that is nearly a large as my yarn collecting habit!

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

I would adore anything that someone knitted or crocheted for me!  One of the crafters I met on Ravelry made me a collection of crocheted bookmarks that I use daily.  (Although I often say…I would really like to have a very fine weight, two by two ribbed, turtle neck pullover…but I do not have the patience to actually knit it for myself!)

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

I am the worst kind of yarn snob.  I really believe that for every project, knitter (crocheter) and recipient there is a “right yarn”.  Sometimes that is a nice acrylic from a big box store, sometimes it is expensive hand dyed cashmere. Matching the project to the yarn really is key though.  

What’s your favourite design and what do you love about it?

Of  my own?  That’s a little like asking which one of my children is my favorite! My stock answer to that (for designs, not children) is the next one!  But of the most recent or newly upcoming…probably Aviarium, in,  where I played with mixing and matching shawl shapes to create a top down wedged half circle shawl with some pi- shawl shaping halfway through.  I really wasn’t sure, even having swatching a full third of it, how the pi-shaping would work out and the applied border edge (the ending that started the whole project) had to fit “just so”. You can buy Aviarium here

Avarian Shawl available at
Avarian Shawl available at this week

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

So many new things on the horizon…I have a couple of really small tutorial type projects coming this summer, a Shetland hybrid shawl later this year…and…shhhh…there might even be an eBook waiting in the wings.

What’s your favourite colour?

Do I have to pick just one?  That’s hard…I am not fond of orange and my more conservative jobs have me wearing a lot of neutral, so for daily wear I have a lot of beige, navy blue and black but, I love all the shades of blues, greens and teals (for me). That said, my children love red, green and purple, so I knit with a lot of colors!

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Shawlstar by Elizabeth Felgate

I was recently asked by the wonderful Jody at Knotions to review the new Shawlstar book by Elizabeth Felgate, many of you on Ravelry will know her designs. I love her Gaugeless range of sweaters and cardigans designed for any yarn weight.

Liz has an amazing eye for both colour and texture and whether you’re an experienced shawl knitter or a newbie, you’ll absolutely love this book. Liz is known for her attention to detail and this really shows in the book, there’s a great deal of thought gone into making it easier for the knitter and to ensure any instructions are well explained before you start. There are lots of gorgeous photos and plenty of hints, tips and advice to take you through your shawl project. There are more than 40 patterns in the book and I think it’s an absolute bargain at $19.95 (plus VAT if you’re in the EU). That’s less than $0.50 per pattern.

If you’re unfamiliar with Knotions, they’re an online publisher of knit and crochet patterns and their website is a virtual treasure trove of goodies including articles and some fabulous tutorials.

The book is being updated to add some gorgeous new shawl shapes on 23rd March and you can buy it here. (In the interests of transparency, this is an affiliate link and I’ll receive a small percentage from the sale of the book, it won’t affect the price you pay).

The ebook itself has over 60 pages of shawl design recipes you can customize to your yarn/gauge and get the size you want. There are over 40 shawl shapes for you to try and they’re clearly explained with examples so you understand easily how each one works. I love the new shapes which are being added on 23rd March and swatched a couple of them so you could have a quick preview. One of the things I liked is that each shawl shape included in the book has a list of pros and cons for that shape, I found that really helpful.

I love the layout of the book, nice and clean, easy to read fonts and well formatted. Of the new shawl shapes, Rainbow has a little bit of maths to do before you start, but they’ve included a brilliant spreadsheet to do the work for you (easily accessed online). How utterly cool is that?

How does all of this help someone who’s never knitted a shawl? Well, it means you can use any weight of yarn, you just type in the stitches and rows per inch, the intended size of your finished shawl and the calculator does the rest for you.

Flourish and Harpoon have a fill in the blanks option so you can easily record the number of rows, sts or repeats (depending on the design) and print them out whenever you need them. No need for scribbled notes all over your printed pattern every time you use it.

The shawl shapes included in the book are:

  • Triangles
  • Rectangles and Squares
  • Circles and Half Circles
  • Crescents
  • Hybrids
  • Unusual and new shapes added in this update
Rainbow Shawl shape from Shawlstar By Elizabeth Felgate, edited by
Rainbow Shawl shape from Shawlstar By Elizabeth Felgate, edited by

I picked up some 5mm needles and some aran weight Creative & Filz yarn in the Rainbow colourway for this shawl as I just couldn’t resist adding some bright, rich colours to this pretty shape. The shawl recipe in the book includes options for this version which is four segments, you could use six so the shawl crosses over at the front or eight segments for a circular version. The spreadsheet calculator worked perfectly and made it so easy to change the depth/height of the shawl and the width, very clever!

I quickly blocked the increases to nice points but you can leave yours with a straight edge or add a pretty lace border. If I had to be really picky, and this is my personal preference, I’d have added 1 more stitch – a K1 before the final YO increase on the increase row so that the right and left edges were identical, obviously for a circular version that extra stitch wouldn’t be needed. The shawl gives a comfortable neck shape and makes me want to fill those segments with a lace pattern 🙂

Next up is Flourish, this is such a beautiful, sweeping shape and the asymmetry called to me. Again I used the same yarn and needles and soon had this beauty. I can’t wait to play around with this shape and see how it works with a variety of yarns. Self striping yarns like this one, or stripes to bust some stash would really help show off the unusual shaping.

Flourish Shawl Shape recipe from Shawlstar by Elizabeth Felgate and edited by
Flourish Shawl Shape recipe from Shawlstar by Elizabeth Felgate and edited by

Those of you who know me, will know I’m not usually one to gush or rave about something. But, I do love the Shawlstar book, it’s full of clever ideas, inspirational shawl shapes and lots of helpful advice. Shawlstar makes me want to sneak off work and spend the rest of the year knitting shawls.

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Be as Water – New Shawl Pattern Release

I’m a big fan of Mindy Dykman, aka Ravenknits and love her intricate patterns, often inspired by nature or the works of JRR Tolkein. Her latest release is being published today (Pi day for those in the know) and is called Be as Water, which is part of a collection of patterns called Elements of Memory. The ebook of six patterns does represent a HUGE saving, but if you prefer there is a discount code for 20% off the individual pattern.

Save 20% off the price of Be As Water using the code BeAsWater in your Ravelry shopping cart.  Offer good until 11:59pm EST Tuesday March 19th.

I love the beading and lace details and knitted with fine yarn, it’ll be as light as a feather.

I asked Raven about her design inspiration, here’s what she had to say

“Growing up in the Fraser Delta of British Columbia, with parents who attended UBC, I remember spending many days in the Nitobe Memorial Gardens. These gardens on the UBC campus are considered to be amongst the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan itself. The deliberate plantings and symbolic statuary of the gardens are a huge part of the artistic sensibilities I have carried with me since childhood, and I wanted in some way to honour that debt of influence. It is for this reason that, when I started contemplating the shape with which to represent the traditional elements as a shawl series, I turned to the structure of the gorinto. Built in towers of five defining shapes, the gorinto represents elements of stability and of change, of permanence and impermanence, of the known and of the unknowable.

The spherical second level of the gorinto represents Water. Be As Water is a lace weight circular pi shawl worked from the center out. It is worked in concentric circles with a stocking stitch ring between each ring of lace motifs. The first two lace rings use the traditional Old Shale motif. The third and fifth lace rings use a stitch that represents the word “rain,” the return of water from sea to land. The fourth lace ring uses a Japanese stitch which is an interesting variation of the same concepts found in Old Shale, suggesting that like water, the ideas that are expressible within knitting stitches are similar around the world.”

Let’s have another look at this stunning shawl

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Indie Design Gift Along – Beginner Patterns Part 2 – Crochet

I’m sorry I’ve not blogged for a few days, it’s a busy time of year for my day job and I’ve also been helping out with the Gift Along (as I do every year).     I’ll catch up a bit today with two posts crammed with goodies and ideas and a few discounts and offers I saw along the way.    I’ll also show you a super little gift I bought for myself and one for a very good friend and I think is awesome.   I’m not affiliated with the company and I don’t get commission, I just loved the product and wanted to share it.

Today I wanted to focus on some beginner patterns in the Indie Design Gift Along, a pattern where a total newbie can have a go and create a finished item pretty easily or where a more experienced knitter can learn a technique or skill that’s new to them.     Part 1 is Knit and Part 2 is crochet.

Quick and Easy Headband Plus Loop Dee Loop Scrunchie Pattern

Cute and easy little set, you could make quickly to gift or keep for yourself.

Squeeee-easy crochet cowl

a very easy crochet cowl with instructions on how to adapt to different yarns, make longer (wrap twice) or deeper.


A great intro to crochet hexagons and some new techniques.   If you follow the pattern, you’ll learn as you go along and Julie is really helpful

Bouncing Bubbles

a quick to make baby bit, with cute details and full, very clear instructions.

Benedict the Bunny

Lots of step by step instructions and photos to take you through this gorgeous little Bunny pattern.  Give it a go, you’ll love it so much you won’t want to gift it 🙂

Nighty Night Baby Blanket, lapghan or throw adjustable sizing EASY

A nice, relaxing and easy pattern to follow with lots of help on sizing to suit you.

Jacqui’s Easy Coasters

It’s rare for me to include one of my own patterns but this really is an easy set of coasters, great for using up stash and you have the option of a photo tutorial or line by line written instructions.
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Indie Design Gift Along – Beginner Patterns Part 1 – Knit

I’m sorry I’ve not blogged for a few days, it’s a busy time of year for my day job and I’ve also been helping out with the Gift Along (as I do every year).     I’ll catch up a bit today with two posts crammed with goodies and ideas and a few discounts and offers I saw along the way.    I’ll also show you a super little gift I bought for myself and one for a very good friend and I think is awesome.   I’m not affiliated with the company and I don’t get commission, I just loved the product and wanted to share it.

Today I wanted to focus on some beginner patterns in the Indie Design Gift Along, a pattern where a total newbie can have a go and create a finished item pretty easily or where a more experienced knitter can learn a technique or skill that’s new to them.     Part 1 is Knit and Part 2 is crochet.

First Up is an offer I saw when browsing beginner patterns in the Giant Bundle of Gift Along Patterns.

If you buy this one and add the Bead Drop Scarf and the Garter Eyes Cowl to your cart at the same time, you’ll only pay for Ma Cherie.     I’m not on commission, I just thought it was a great deal for anyone wanting to try beads on a knitted project and learn a little bit of lace knitting while getting two patterns for free.

Beginners Socks Tutorial Pattern

A good introduction to sock knitting using thicker yarn and larger needles to get you started and give an understanding of sock anatomy and all the common terms used in sock patterns.   Handknit socks are the best and you can learn quickly to customise for fit and comfort.

torto beginner’s cowl

A lovely introduction to cables, working a piece flat and changing to working in the round, it’s soft, warm and super smooshy.     A really great starter pattern if you’ve never worked in the round before.   It’s not scary and it’ll open up a whole new world of knitting to you.

Snowy Evening Boot Cuffs

Worked in the round, a little bit of simple embroidery for the stars but what a gorgeous pair of boot cuffs you’ll have at the end.

Beginner’s Cabled Fingerless Mittens

by Lynette Meek

Easy Ninja Socks

This one encourages you to make the teeny size, ideal for a Christmas decoration or on a key ring, a great intro to socks for everyone.

Easy A

An easy, boxy sweater with some nice finishing touches, so you can learn icord finishing, afterthought pockets – all optional and have a sweater that’s a relaxing, fun knit.

Mount Rainier Hat

A simple and classic hat, with ribbing, an easy introduction to shaping a hat and one that both you and your super fussy MAN will wear.

Easy Crescent Shaped Shawl

There is a youtube video tutorial to go along with this beginner shawl pattern, absolutely brilliant for someone starting to knit and who wants to make a pretty shawl for themselves or a gift.

Easy Looped Scarf

A great beginner pattern suitable for a range of yarn weights/thicknesses.

Star Garland

The star starts as a pentagon worked in the round for the center. Then each of the five points is worked individually back and forth.

Easy Tweedy Cowl

This simple cowl pattern can be knitted at virtually any gauge, with any yarn. The stitch pattern is an easy mix of knits and purls, nearly identical on right and wrong sides, which produces a textured fabric that is suitable for both men and women.      It is knitted in the round, in one piece with no seaming.

Faberge Mittens

A cute slip stitch pattern creates a fabulous and complex looking mitten with beads, when actually it’s all simple techniques, well explained with a photo tutorial and you get to take all the credit for it 🙂

Easy Two-Color Purse Pouch

Great little stash buster using tiny amounts of yarn and makes a great gift or stocking filler for kids.

Checkerboard Scarflet

Simple knit and purl combination creates a great checkboard effect suitable for men and women.  A very easy knit and the chance to add some buttons from your vintage stash is an added bonus.
Last of all, I wanted to show you this product, from Fobbles, it’s called Stash n’ Store and I’ve been sticking my scissors, tapestry needles, cable needles, crochet hooks and stitch markers in mine since it arrived.   I’ve never been so organised.    Bev is closed until the New Year, so this’d be an ideal New Year treat for yourself.
Part 2 will be along later today with Beginner and New to You Crochet Patterns.




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Indie Design Gift Along 2018 Blanket Favourites

Today, I thought we’d have a look at some of the awesome Slipper Patterns available in the Indie Design Gift Along this year.    I’ve picked designs that caught my eye, had interesting stitch patterns, techniques, were quick or just simply too cute that I had to include them.

Fisherman’s Fabric by 10 hours or less

I’m actually making these for myself, I’m using some Stylecraft Special Aran in silver grey and cloud blue for the sole/trim.     They are super warm and I’m half way through the right slipper, having made the left one.

Shape Your Booties

I’ve made an exception with this pair of adorable slippers to show you two photos, why?  Well, the bottom image shows a tiny version made with 4ply/fingering weight yarn and it makes a perfect baby size bootie OR the most adorable Christmas Decoration!

Colorblock Slippers

Bulky yarn and a super quick knit, go for it, your feet will thank you.

Fair Isle Oslo Boots

Time for some crochet and crochet fair isle so you can play with colour and have toasty warm feet.


I’ve made these, originally for myself but within hours of being finished, my Mum had tried them on, claimed they fit her better than me and disappeared into the sunset with my new slippers.   They’re made with super bulky yarn and very quick, I think the smallest size took me around 45 mins a slipper.

Jumbo no bother boot slippers

Another super bulky knit, quick, warm and a good stash buster if you strand yarns together to make a one-off super bulky yarn.

Yeti Slipper Socks

Yeti Slipper Socks are a quick knit in super bulky yarn. The colour pattern is achieved with a simple slipped stitch technique so that only one colour is used at a time.   Great for using up odds and ends of stash.

Funfetti Sloots – Adult

Awesome slipper boots, or Sloots, with pom poms and super warm

Toe Bean Slippers

I have this pattern and I can tell you it’s a super quick knit, very easy and looks both elegant and cute all at the same time.

No Place Like Home

What girl doesn’t want a pair of Ruby Slippers?   A quick and easy knit, great or using up small amounts of yarn or those variegated skeins you have kicking about.

Bosnian Slippers

Knitted in one piece, top down in either Aran or Worsted weight yarn.  I have some Rios in my stash that’d be perfect for these.


I couldn’t resist adding this cute pair of knitted slippers, partly because I love the name Betty and also because the cable and garter pattern on these will be a) cozy and b) stylish.   They’ll make an awesome gift.


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Indie Gift Along 2018 –

Today, I thought we’d have a look at some of the amazing Poncho patterns available in the Indie Design Gift Along this year.

University Poncho

I love the smooshy cables and ribbed pattern on this poncho, knitted in Aran weight yarn it’s a very quick and simple knit.

Sort Of Silent

I know the designer of this marvellous and mad-as-a-box-frogs pattern, it’s edgy, urban and modern.  All words suited for someone younger than I, but I do love it.   it’s a quick knit, thick, warm cables and several ways to wear it, your Teen or Twenty Somethings will love it.


A bit of crochet, circles and a lacy effect create a beautiful, modern design that I would wear a lot.

Seacliff Beach Poncho

Great for using up sock or 3ply yarns and showing off a kettle dyed or semi solid with it’s pretty lace details and edging.

Painted Desert

Awesome example of playing with colour, some Fair Isle stranding and a texture collar, this really is a stunner.  Kits are available in a variety of colour options.

Girdle of Melian Poncho

Stunning lace, two colours and an awesome shape to this poncho make it a must-have on my list


I love Linda’s cables and this poncho really does make the most of cables, textures and warm wool

My Cup of Tea Shawl

A simple but stylish crochet poncho with lots of opportunities to add stripes, play with colour or just make it in a single colour to contrast with your winter coat.

Arya’s Poncho

I can imagine Arya wearing this simple poncho while practicing her sword skills.  No fussy details or frills for warrior women.

Amaliya Capelet

Beautiful textures and you could knit yourself the whole set, after all, a girl needs a hat and mitts to go with her poncho.


Last one for today and it’s another modern, edgy and urban piece with an awesome shape and texture.   I can see my Teen Ogre nieces loving this and wanting one in every colour.
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Gift A-long 2018 Interview with Laura Goodman – Dragon Wing Arts

Hi Laura, thanks for taking time to chat to me today, I really appreciate it.

What made you start designing and how long have you been doing it?

I started designing in 2010 with my Spring’s Beginning scarf.   I got a hank from a local dyer and I wanted a leafy pattern. There was nothing on Ravelry at the time that quite fit what I wanted, so I decided to come up with my own idea. It is still one of my favorite designs.

What’s inspiring you at the moment and can you share that with us?

I’m addicted to the look of drop stitches.  Again, I had a thought that I could use drop stitches with garter stitch for texture but there wasn’t quite a pattern for it. I had the yarn for the Bias Drop Stitch scarf around for AGES and I just needed something simple to work with it. Now I’ve gotten hooked on drop stitch patterns and I have three more in the works!

Any tips to aspiring designers, or things you wish you’d known before you started?

People will criticize, but you will also see beautiful work come of your ideas. Don’t let them discourage you. It takes time to get your patterns out there – there are so many patterns to choose from. It’s a wonderful community to be a part of and eventually it will work out!

Which pattern from your range is your favourite and why?

Other than my first pattern, probably my Crescent Trinity shawl –  it looks so much more complex than it is.  The body of the shawl is a two row repeat, and the edging is only four rows, but it came together to look great. It works in varigated yarns and gives great texture!

Do you have a favourite cast on and why?

Cable cast on – it always gives a clean edge. It’s most commonly what I use.

Tell us a little about you

I’m a history nut who does tech support for a living – a bit of an odd combination. I just became a mom three months ago and I couldn’t be happier!  I can’t wait to make all the cute baby things!  It’s so hard to pick what to make – I’ve picked out a sweater to start with during the Gift-a-Long.

Have you any new releases on the horizon we need to look out for?

I’ve got one pattern I just need to get photographed and it’s ready for release- a scarf using more drop stitches and a thicker yarn. WIP pictures are on my project page .  I’m also working on a lighter pattern with a chevron or V shape and one with zig zags – all with drop stitches.     I think they will be called Obsession, Fixation and Addiction – since I’m so completely hooked on drop stitch ideas right now!  I’ve got the sample done for the triangle and I’m working hard on the chevron and zig zags so I can get them out there!

How can people contact you and see your designs?

I’m on Ravelry under DragonWing Arts.    – I’m also starting to use instagram and will work on sharing some more pictures of my new ideas!
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Indie Design Gift Along 2018 – Toys, Softies etc

I’m not really a maker of toys, but I have made them in the past, usually as a gift for a new family member or just for fun, but this year’s Gift A-long has really opened my eyes to some incredible designs and I thought I’d share them with you.

First up

Leisurely Llama

I couldn’t resist this cute Llama, look at that adorable little face.    This one is crocheted and uses simple stitches, it looks like a quick make and you could customize the colours to suit the recipient.

Hartley the Fox

I love this cute little fox and the designer has an amazing range of toy patterns to choose from, it was hard to single out Hartley the Fox, but as I’ve seen so many Fox cushions and mugs this Autumn/Winter season, it had to be him.  All the stitches are explained in a very comprehensive pattern, with plenty of help.

Cinnamon the little Deer

As well as making a very sweet toy, I can see this one being a favourited Christmas Decoration in our house and being pride of place every year.    I love the little antlers and the sweet expression on his/her face.

Giraffe Zoo Kids

My niece, Meghan, loves giraffes and she would go ga-ga over this pattern.  I love the outfits and the felted mane, really pretty details and a comprehensive pattern to take you through every stage of the process.


It’s been a long time since I made dolls clothes but this little ensemble did catch my eye with pretty cable details that any little girl would love.

Hobgoblin Amigurumi

I love this little Hobgoblin, his fearsome teeth and beady eyes, great fun.


this sweet little doll has two heads, one awake and one asleep featuring pretty embroidery and a lace dress.  Ideal for keeping little ones quiet or for cuddling to sleep.

Family Purr

Cute, cuddly and quick to make, this is a nice easy knit and who wouldn’t want a house full of kitties?

Sweet dog Charlie

I love this sweet little pup with his cute outfit, bag, jacket and floppy ears.   This looks like a quick and interesting knit.

December Mice

More crochet and with it being so close to Christmas I had to include them.    The little tree lights and decorations are the perfect finishing touches.

Dashing Dachshund

This is alwas popular in the gift along and I love seeing the colours chosen for both the dog and the colourwork pattern.

Dancing Owl

This one might take a little extra effort with it’s overlay crochet details but look at the wonderful colours and textures?  It’s worth every minute you spend on it.

Gingerbread Boy and Girl

I couldn’t resist this cute pair of Gingerbread boy and girl, lovely details and pretty outfits, they’ll make fabulous gifts or a decoration you’ll want to use every year.


And finally, for this selection, I had to include some Minions, they’re just so cute!
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A Magnus for Maxwell

I’m working on Magnus by Jenny Wiebe, using some James C Brett Marble Chunky in grey.   I’ve picked a machine wash yarn as both my cousin and her husband work full time and what parent has time to hand wish little clothes?

Magnus is a cute hooded cardigan and sized from newborn to 8 years.   I’m making the 2 yr size with longer arms and body because both of Max’s parents are tall, his Dad especially.

It features ribbing, a textured pattern and is worked top down, starting with the hood and so far, it’s been a really enjoyable and quick knit.   The texture pattern is charted and written and she explains how to incorporate that pattern and keep it correct as you increase for the raglans.

I’m just about at the end of the raglan increases and ready to separate sleeves from the body.   I’ll probably work the sleeves flat, because that’s faster for me and will add an extra couple of stitches for the seam.     I haven’t had a mooch through the button stash yet to find the perfect buttons or toggles but I’ll post photos when I choose.

This’ll be a Christmas gift and it’s good having a deadline to work to.   Edited to show finished item with some bright teal buttons.


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Indie Design Gift Along 2018 – Sensational Sock Patterns

Hi everyone, I’ve been browsing the giant pattern bundle at the Indie Design Gift Along and looking through the Participating Designers list for 2018.   So much talent and incredible patterns for both knitting and crochet.

There are 349 designers, 263 knit designers, 51 crochet designers and 33 who offer both knit and crochet.

Today I wanted to highlight some of my favourite sock patterns.   I don’t usually knit socks but I do love to wear hand knit socks and love to play with colour.   This selection has inspired me to try harder this year and make more socks for ME.

I only found one pair of super bulky weight socks with a nice short row heel, these would be a quick knit and toasty warm.

TV Time Socks

A few bulky or chunky weight socks for you, also very quick to knit and very warm.

Happy Feet

Another quick knit, this time bulky yarn rather than super bulky.  I’ve made these, super quick and easy to adapt for size, think my second pair I used 4 less sts for a slimmer fit, but they really are my go-to cold day socks and are great for wearing with my wellies on a dog walk.

Stress Less

Bulky/chunky yarn, bit of garter, but of stocking st and enough interest to keep you going to the end, this has options for 4ply/fingering weight and bulky/chunky yarn.   I’ll be making a pair with chunk yarn for lolling on the sofa over the holidays.

don’t care

Chunky/bulky yarn, stripes and an edgy, pop of colour.   What’s not to love?    These are a great stash buster, you could use a self striping yarn and a plain yarn, or change colour every stripe, it’s all good.    This pattern is part of a larger ebook collection entitled ‘It’s not me, it’s you’ and that really makes me laugh.   Hand’s up anyone who ever had a break up and wanted to say that?   Me, me, me, lol.

Kari Slipper Socks

I’m planning a pair of these for myself and some for my son (who until his feet became as big as canoes) used to steal my hand knit socks and wear them.    Chunky/bulky yarn, nice little bit of pattern for interest and so cozy.

Marked Trail

I couldn’t miss this one off the list with it’s bright colourwork and the chance to use up leftover balls of yarn from other projects.     Bulky/chunky yarn and colourwork, really quick to make, that’s a win-win for me.

Fern Socks

At last, some crochet socks, in Aran weight yarn and the chance to stripe with colours and bust a bit more of that stash.    Pretty lace and simple stitches make a really warm, quick to make sock.

Amour Fou Socks

Aran weight yarn and great textures, this design is part of an ebook called Hubby Needs Socks, the other five patterns are all using 4ply/fingering weight yarn and are all sized for men.    This pair is a quick knit but if you fancy a slower knit with cables, texture and man friendly sizing, do check out the ebook.

Red Moss Socks

Aran knit, I love the photo and the texture pattern really pops in this rich, red.

Cam’s Camping Socks

Aran yarn so it’s a quick knit, cables and textures, suitable for both men and women, this’d be fab in a core neutral colour or in an accent colour to add a bit of fun to your outfit.

Lazy Weekend Socks

This cute pair of worsted weight socks is another fast knit, I have two colours of WOTA Worsted Superwash in my stash, Avocado and Amethyst Heather which are going to be perfect for these.

Comfy Cuff Socks

Crochet worsted socks this time, fun colour and textures for a warm and quick make.

Breakfast Waffles Socks

Waffle texture and warm, worsted weight yarn, easy to adapt for foot length for those with larger feet.


I couldn’t resist the cables on this one, great fun, worsted yarn so it’s still a quick knit and they’ll be so warm.

Aiden Reversible Socks

I know a few people who have made these and really rave about how great the pattern is, easy to adapt and it make use of those difficult hand dyed skeins you have no clue how to use.   Worsted weight yarn, Rios by Malabrigo would be my choice.

Winter Storm Socks

These cute and pretty cabled socks use dk weight yarn and are perfect for the fashionable speckled skeins you’ve acquired with no real idea of what you might make, the designer comments that her daughter has pinched them already, I’ll take that as a win.


I love colourwork and couldn’t resist this cute combination of greens to brighten even the coldest of days.

Vanilla is the New Black (Sport & DK)

Dk yarn/sport yarn, looks great plain or striped and I love the detail on the heels.


Sport weight yarn, dk might work well but a beautiful, warm sock for sitting by the fire and watching the dancing flames.

Cuddle Toes


I have been called a dragon in my time and these socks are perfect for the days I want to show my scales and breathe fire.

Happy Hoops

the first of our fingering weight/4ply socks and a great example of colourwork from Helen Gipson, a well written and clear pattern with a beautiful design.

A Song of Knits and Purls

Textured squares and a good neutral would make the perfect for the men in my family, who are often a little bit fussy about their socks.   It has texture so I’d enjoy the knitting but not such an obvious pattern that they’ll notice.

Arctic Blizzard

Wowsa colourwork and a great chance to use kettle dyed or hand dyed yarns for a stunning contrast.

Slip Slide Splash Socks

Slipped stitches and only one colour per row, mean this is the easiest colourwork you’ll find and the chance to make an odd ‘pair’ really appeals to me.  Awesome stash busting potential and even if they don’t match, my son would wear them.

Argyle Check Socks

I’m not sure where to start, I love the slipped stitch sole and heel, the garter stitch colourwork and travelling stitches, awesome!
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Indie Design Gift Along 2048 – Cowl and Scarf Faves

Hi everyone, I’ve been browsing the sale pattern bundle at the Indie Design Gift Along and looking through the Participating Designers list for 2018.   So much talent and incredible patterns for both knitting and crochet.

There are 349 designers, 263 knit designers, 51 crochet designers and 33 who offer both knit and crochet.

I wanted to focus on cowls and scarves today, there is so much to choose from, but here are a few that caught my eye as I was helping to assemble the giant sale bundle of over 6000 patterns.

First up

Urban Frieze

I love to see Paola’s patterns and photos, she’s such a fun lady and has an amazing sense of style.   This particular cowl combines two of my favourite things, modular knitting and mosaic knitting.   The colourwork (mosaic) is achieved by using only one colour at a time and slipping some stitches, it’s very easy but has big impact.   Modular just means the pieces knitted and joined as you go, working one piece directly from another (no seams).

Cowl Trick

Unusually for Mary, this cowl is in Aran weight yarn, she’s the Queen of laceweight yarns and has a fabulous selection of shawls, so for her this must have felt like knitting with rope, lol.    This is a reversible piece and a very clever construction, it’s also a great one for stash busting as each layer could be a different colour.

Orbital Cowl

I had to include a crochet cowl and this one really caught my eye, all that purple and smooshy stitches.  You could have a lot of fun with colour and play with contrast levels too, lots of potential here.


Don’t ask me how to pronounce this, I have no clue, lol.   However, as brioche seems to be the new black, then I had to include a brioche cowl in the mix today.    The instructions include options for both a long and a short cowl, my personal preference for Winter is the longer, but in Autumn/Fall, I like a shorter cowl, so I guess I’ll have to make both.

Thanks, It Has Pockets!

I had to include this one, as it’s the only cowl I’ve seen with zips and pockets, great idea for those of us on the go and dashing around on the school run.


I chose this one partly because I love the colours, yes I am a sucker for this olive/mustard combination, but also because it’s a simple knit, worked in the round with plain stocking stitch and some ribbing for interest.  It’ll be a good beginner knit and one of those go-to classics you wear every day.   Choose a colour to match your winter coat and pair it with a contast colour to add interest.    I’m thinking purple and mustard for mine.

Cowl Owl-Light

This cute crochet cowl can be subtle, as shown in the picture with gentle colours or in-your-face pops of colour with high contrast, intense colours.   Your choice, either way, I’m sure you’ll love it.

Pick-Me-Up Posey Scarf

Another crochet choice, this would be great to use up those self striping yarns you have no clue what to do with and is quick to work.   I love the motif, it’s delicate and pretty without being over the top.


Sometimes you just need a scarf, something relaxing to knit with a simple pattern repeat you can ‘read’ as you knit and that’s easier to remember as you work along.    Pretty lace, would work in any weight of yarn, what’s not to love?


I like this one for lots of reasons, the lace panels, the asymmetry of the shaping, the ability to use up a ton of scrap yarn and change colour whenever I feel like it and to top it all, stripes.

Bouquet Cowl

I picked this one, partly influenced by the joyous colour but also because it has lace and is part of a really pretty set that I can absolutely see myself making for ME.

Cosmos Flower Scarf

Another crochet beauty, couldn’t resist the colour or the beautiful shawl pin in the photo.  The designer suggest it’s good to have some experience of cluster sts, but the rest is pretty basic and there are a ton of youtube tutorials available to show you how to work cluster stitches.   Give it a go.

Pebbles and Scales Cowl

I love texture and would love to make this one, but I must admit it also looks a bit like a Christmas Tree in this photo, if you like a textured cowl which is a fun and interesting knit, this is one!

Winter in Star’s Hollow Cowl

I love this cowl by knitting superstar Annie Modesitt, it’s a great way to use that mini-skein set you bought because you love the colours but have no idea what to make with it.    Clever use of short rows and slipped stitches make for very simple colour work with a WOW factor.

Caribou Wildflower Cowl

I couldn’t resist adding this stranded cowl pattern, great for using stash and odd skeins your bought because they were pretty, or soft, or just there.     Super warm, worked in the round then joined to make a loop, as long or short ass you like.

Pebble Brook

This is great for using those odd skeins of Malabrigo Rios (other yarns available) that you can’t figure out what you’re going to make.   I have a couple of skeins of Rios in Archangel lined up for this beauty.
That’s it for today, tomorrow is a Sock Spectacular!   See you then.
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Indie Design Gift Along 2018 Hats Part 3

Hi everyone, today I’ll be showcasing some of the gorgeous hat patterns that caught my eye, I’ll be listing them in yarn weight order, starting with 4ply/fingering weight yarn and working my way up to super bulky.    They are all available from participating designers of the Indie Design Gift Along, on the group home page, right hand side are links to any bundles, the Sale Bundle will be retired at the end of this week and the Giant Bundle of ALL the designers patterns will be made live on the same day.   Part 1, showcases Super Bulky and Bulky hats, here.

Part 2, showcases Aran and Worsted Hats, here.

Let’s get back to it and begin with DK, sport and 4ply/fingering weight hats.

A few things to note with this pretty hat, asymmetry with just one cable being featured, texture and it has both a beanie fit option and a slouchy option.     I also love the designers username shown above because Knit does equal Joy.


Cables and colourwork without stranding and all those floats?   Yes, yes, yes, it is possible and here it is.   A stunning crown detail, great use of colour, what more can I say.   This is sport weight I’d probably use the dk I have at hand.


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Indie Design Giftalong 2018 Hats Part 2

Hi everyone, today I’ll be showcasing some of the gorgeous hat patterns that caught my eye, I’ll be listing them in yarn weight order, starting with 4ply/fingering weight yarn and working my way up to super bulky.    They are all available from participating designers of the Indie Design Gift Along, on the group home page, right hand side are links to any bundles, the Sale Bundle will be retired at the end of this week and the Giant Bundle of ALL the designers patterns will be made live on the same day.   Part 1, showcases Super Bulky and Bulky hats, here.

Let’s get back to it and begin with Aran weight hats.

Winter Wonderland Ear Warmer

Not everyone loves hats, bizarre, I know.  Some of us like headbands, so I’ll feature two today, first up is Winter Wonderland Ear Warmer, it’s using Aran weight yarn and has a cute Christmas tree design that isn’t over the top Christmassy.

Vintage Lace Shells Slouchy

Aran yarn, 5mm hook, shells and post sts are used to create this beautiful, slouchy hat.    This is another quick make and a great stash buster.

Off Campus Hat

This cute hat features a cable panel and stocking st, covers the ears for warmth and is another quick knit, I love the yarn used in the sample, look at those colours.

Frosty Cables Hat

Delicious cables are the main event on this lovely warm hat, instructions are included for both Aran and Worsted weight versions, a great stash buster and one my nieces would love.

Reindeer Baby Hat

I just had to include this one, it’s to ridiculously cute for a baby’s first Christmas and I love it.
Crocheted with a 6.5mm hook, this one is so fast and couldn’t be more fun if it tried.

Ritorto Rib Headband

This is a good beginner project and uses only 50g of Worsted or Aran weight yarn, a good gift for any runners in your life, for teens or those of us with longer hair who are always pushing it away from our faces.

Spiral Style Hat

Sized from child to large adult, another winner for family hat knitting.   I love the chance to play with colour and you could go with something subtle or a contrast with real pop.     It’s a very clever design and while it looks like cables, it’s all done with colour and slipped stitches, working with one colour per row – no stranding.    I love this and I’d also like to make the matching mittens.

Evergreen Cable Hat

Classic cables but this time it’s all crochet, great fun to make and they do look spectacular!

Attack of the Killer Rabbits Hat

This fun colourwork hat has a matching cowl, great for gifting and another chance to bust that stash and use up odd balls of yarn.
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Indie Design Gift Along – Hats, Hats and More Hats Part 1

Hi everyone, today I’ll be showcasing some of the gorgeous hat patterns that caught my eye, I’ll be listing them in yarn weight order, starting with 4ply/fingering weight yarn and working my way up to super bulky.    They are all available from participating designers of the Indie Design Gift Along, on the group home page, right hand side are links to any bundles, the Sale Bundle will be retired at the end of this week and the Giant Bundle of ALL the designers patterns will be made live on the same day.

Let’s start with those super bulky, mega yarn and mega fast hats.

Super Bulky, Super Fast, Super Warm

Mighty Oak Hat

This is a super fast knit, lovely textured pattern and you can add ribbon or not, your choice.    It’s worked in the round on 6.5mm needles (fast, fast, fast) and is sized from small child to large adult.    You could make one for everyone and still be done in a couple of days.  That’s what I call fast gifting.

Hasten Hat

I like the streamlined shape of this one and you’re guaranteed to have lovely, warm ears.  This is again worked in the round, 8mm needles and sizes from newborn to adult, you could have fun with colour and add pops of contrast and I think it’s be a nice in a self striping or speckled yarn.

Polar Vortex Hat

If you fancy a spot of colour work, this is a super warm and cosy hat to knit, worked in the round, stranded colourwork (or you could duplicate stitch after if that’s easier for you), it’s sized for a 20 inch head circumference but that’ll stretch a bit so it’s flexible.
I have made this hate, the brim is worked sideways with a cable pattern and then the brim is picked up and worked in the round up to the crown.   It was a surprisingly quick knit and everyone that sees it wants to touch the bobbles.  Yes, they’re as mad as can but, but I do love it.


Do you have teenage girls in the household?   They’ll love this slouchy, lace hat, add a bobble and they’ll be wearing it every day.    Worked in the round and sized women’s small and large.

Bulky/Chunky Weight – still fast, warm and wonderful

Popcorn Cozy Beanie

I do love this crochet hat, pretty stitches and a great showcase for that variegated yarn that’s been staring at you for ages and wants to be something.      Bulky/chunky yarn and a 7mm hook for a ladies medium size, this will fly off the hook and be ready in no time.

All You Need Is Love

Everybody now, All you need is love, da da da dada……..
I love the cables and garter on this one, lovely textures and isn’t that an adorable photo?   Chunky/bulky yarn, 6mm needles and sized small through to large to fit a good range from kids to adults.

Silly Old Bear

Another bulky hat, great pattern and sized from baby to XL adults with mahoosive heads.    It features a honeycomb cable and was inspired by Pooh Bear.


I like the swirl effect of this one, like whipped cream on top of a steaming mug of hot chocolate.    Sized from baby to adult large, you could make one for all the family.

Walk the Moon Hat

This one features a super easy mosaic or slipped stitch colourwork, no strands or floats and you only use one colour per row.    Sized in womens medium it should fit most people.

Rhonda in Midwinter Hat

I’ve made this one, maybe last year or the year before, done in an evening and so warm and cozy.   The cables are super cute and it’ll be a big hit for gifting.   Bulky yarn, 5.5mm and 6.5mm needles and sized in medium and large, it’s stretchy so there is plenty of flex in the sizing.
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Mittens, Mitts and Men, Oh My!

Today I want to talk to you about mittens, mitts and choosing patterns for the men in our lives.     I’ve been browsing the sale bundle in the Indie Design Gift Along for 2018 and picked out some suggestions and chatted a little bit about why I think they’ll be great man gifts.

First up is Camlost by Ravenknits, now these are sized from small right the way up to a mahoosive 10 inch palm circumference.   These are perfect for men like my Dad, who has hands like shovels.    They feature a simple, but stylish texture pattern (a slipped st pattern) and a ribbed cuff which is on the longer side for those who feel the cold or work outdoors.     They’re part of a collection inspired by Lord of the Rings and an absolute must whether you like Tolkien or not.    Raven used sport weight yarn but says that row gauge/tension rather than stitch gauge/tension is the most important for a good fit.    The men in my family prefer simple designs like this one, no fancy embellishments or clever colour work for them.   Classic and stylish works for them and I think Camlost fits the bill on both counts.    For my men, browns, greens, blues (denim in particular), any grey or if my tired eyes could cope, they’d all want black – but that ain’t happening in this house.   A kettle dye yarn would work really well with the slip stitch pattern.

Char by Andrea Rangel

Char is made with fingering weight/4ply yarn and a nice way to bust some of your sock stash, it’s  a simple, clean design and a full glove for those who insist on warm fingers.    I’d go for a charcoal, brown, forest or olive green or if your poor eyes can stand it, black.   Classic neutrals are best.   Again this one uses a slip stitch pattern which also adds warmth and you could have fun with hand dyed or kettle dyed yarns.

Argiope Mitts by Settlers Grove Designs

I like this one and I do know some men (aspiring X Men or the more outgoing type) who would love these with the big X on the back of the palm and stripes that could be subtle or really pop.    They are great fun with their stripes and slip stitch cables (one colour per row, my kind of easy colourwork and no stranding).

Gorm Cliath Gauntlets by Ms. Mal

I like these, another simple design with a textured cuff and ribbed for a good fit, comes in sizes Medium for women and XL for men.

Badlands Mitts by Kathryn Folkerth

I do love the thumb shaping on these, very clever use of shaping and the sample shown is in one of my favourite colours, very on trend this season.     Sized up from tinies to Large Adult, you could make a pair of the whole family.  Would they be in team colours each  have their own favourite?     This is another slipped stitch pattern, I’m seeing a theme here, I must love them?    Nice and warm too.

Dragon Hide Mitts by Karen Troyer Ladman

Inspired by Harry Potter, have you got your letter from Hogwarts?  Then you need some Dragon Hide Mitts right away.    This one used dk weight yarn (or sport weight might do) with a textured pattern (great for kettle and hand dyed yarns) and is sized from Child to Adult L.    Another family mitt to make.

I think that’s it for today, I’ll be back on Wednesday to feature some hats, Thursday to talk about Cowls and Friday is Sweater day.






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Indie Design Gift Along – Shawls I love

Hi everyone, I’ve been browsing the sale pattern bundle at the Indie Design Gift Along and looking through the Participating Designers list for 2018.   So much talent and incredible patterns for both knitting and crochet.

There are 349 designers, 263 knit designers, 51 crochet designers and 33 who offer both knit and crochet.

I wanted to focus on shawls today, there is so much to choose from, but here are a few that caught my eye as I was helping to assemble the giant sale bundle of over 6000 patterns.

First up is this designer by Peggy Jean Kaylor, I know PJ very well and she’s created this in both shawl and shawlette versions, I’ll only show one but you can easily find the other, click on the image to go to the pattern page.

l’Affichage Demoiselle Shawl by PJ Kaylor

The one by Marcela Chang

I’ve shown a close up of this one, it’d be fabulous for all the trendy speckled yarns in the shops and available from Indie Dyers at the moment and I love the pretty stitch pattern,  isn’t it lovely?   Click on the name of the pattern or on the image to visit the page.     Marcela used 3ply/light fingering yarn but I think I’d use 4ply/fingering weight from my stash, this really is a beautiful shawl and in these colours, would be perfect for Summer.

Ultravioleta by Lena Fedetova

This one is crochet, but it’s hard to tell from the photo and I just love purple, so how could I resist this?   The shawl features a gorgeous zigzig pattern, achieved with chains, shells and simple stitches, nothing too taxing and it’s easy to see if you’ve gone wrong very quickly.

Happy Stitches Shawl by Dawn Ortega

I’ve included this one, partly because I love the colours and simplicity of this one, great for a shawl beginner but also because it’s a good one for those self striping yarns you don’t know what do with, or using up scrap yarn and making a magic yarn ball.

Whitewater Wrap by Amy van de Laar

I love Amy’s designs and have made her Beeswax Hat in a previous Gift Along, but this shawl, inspired by a waterfall near to Amy’s home, really stands out for me.    It has lace, angles, texture and a real sense of movement.

Vanishing Point by Paola Albergamo

I love, love, love Paola’s designs, her brioche patterns are simply stunning.    This shawl is a more recent publication and I am desperate to make it.

Cornfield by Christelle Nihoul

I really love Christelle’s designs, always chic, stylish and on trend.   This pretty shawl is a great way to play with colour and have fun with and isn’t her daughter absolutely gorgeous?

Trollius Shawl by Sandra Nesbitt

I hadn’t seen Sandra’s patterns before the Gift Along and I am blown away by this brioche shawl, a brilliant way to use up stash and combine colours.

Salhas Shawl by Cheryl Chow

Another crochet shawl, this time by Cheryl Chow, isn’t it pretty?  Inspired by cherry blossoms and using texture and colour to evoke Spring.

Simplicity is Key by Red and the Wolf Designs

This is a simple and quick knit, great way to use up stash, play with colour and get used to shaping a shawl.   It is easy, but it’s not boring, a great knit for tv watching where you want to keep up with the plot and not lose your place in your knitting.

Gokyo by Allison Janocha

Stripes, lace, texture and the sample is knitted with Yarn Love Mr Darcy, what woman could resist that combination?

Andean Feeling Shawl by Lilia Vanini

This one has a section of mosaic knitting, an easy colourwork method that uses only one colour per row and looks fabulus.

Rainbows! In Space! by Carolyn Macpherson

I had to include a rainbow somewhere and as a Sci Fi fan, to have rainbows in space was a fab combo.   I love the twinkly stars and the rainbow colours.    I think I’ll make this one with an Autumn coloured rainbow and an inky purple for the starry sky.

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Wheatsheaf Boot Cuff Pattern Released

I don’t know about you, but I hate cold ankles, especially where my bootcut or skinny jeans don’t reach the top of my shoes and there’s a gap.     The Wheatsheaf Boot Cuffs are a very quick knit, great for gifts (Christmas is coming!) and will help you use up some stash.   I used just over 200 yds of the Lamb’s Pride Worsted for the Turquoise pair using 5.5mm needles for the cables and 3.75mm needles for the ribbed cuff.    The purple pair are made using Knit Picks WOTA Superwash and I dropped to 5mm needles for the cable section.    Super speedy and they fit over my welly boots, my ankle boots and even my wide fit knee high leather boots.