Veronica hat by hshandcrafts geometric colourwork motif

A new hat pattern – test knitters required

Over the last few weeks I have been hard at work developing a new hat knitting pattern.

Meet Veronica – a fun yet simple knit in a cosy aran or worsted weight yarn with a modern geometric motif created in colour work. The hat is worked in two colours; a solid background colour with a bright contrast for the geometric pattern.

Veronica hat from hshandcrafts

Knit in 100% wool it is a snug and warm beanie to keep the wind out on the coldest of winter days!

It is quite easy knitting and only requires knowledge of:
long tail cast on
ribbing
colourwork
decreases

The hat is one size only and will fit an adult

It is knit in aran weight yarn in two different colours (less than 50g of each) on 4mm circular needles.

 

Test knitters required

The pattern is available now on Ravelry but this pattern is currently being tested – please be aware there may be some small errors. Any purchases before testing is complete will be updated with the finished pattern once available.

Speaking of testing, if you would like to help me out and get the pattern for free in exchange you can sign up to test knit this pattern here. I would love it if you could knit a version for me!

I really hope you all love this new pattern as much as I do and I cant wait to see your versions!

Don’t forget you can tag any of your makes with #hshandcrafts and I would love to see your Veronica hats too – just use the tag #hhveronica

 

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Hs Handcrafts is open on Etsy!

I’ve only gone and done it…I’ve opened an Etsy shop.

This is something I have been thinking about for some time. Not because I need another time suck on my hands but rather because I have made too many things and I cant possibly keep them all. So that’s exactly what you will find in my shop – not a carefully curated collection of items but rather all the things I wanted to make but inevitably had no use for!

Right now you can find listed for sale the pattern for my Saxifraga hat (same price as on Ravelry so whichever option you prefer for purchase is fine!)

Saxifraga hat pattern listed for sale on http://hshandcrafts.etsy.com

Two knitted versions of that hat – one in red and blue, the other in black and cream.

Saxifrag hat listed for sale on http://hshandcrafts.etsy.comSaxifraga hat listed for sle on http://hshandcrafts.etsy.com

 

A couple of fairisle hats – one adult sized, the other baby sized

Pathfinder hat listed for sale on http://hshandcrafts.etsy.com

Crazy for colour hat listed for sale on http://hshandcrafts.etsy.com

A knitted version of my Stellaria cowl pattern

tassel keyrings listed for sale on http://hshandcrafts.etsy.com

Some fun tassel keyrings.

If you love any of this stuff so much that you would like to buy it I would be honoured! (Although I am currently trialling only shipping within the UK until I get my feet on the ground) Feel free to ask me anything about any of the listings!

 

If you would like to keep up to date with my current makes head on over to instagram where I will be posting sneak peaks of future listings as I work on them!

A new knitting pattern and a giveaway!

 

Saxifraga is a warm and cosy hat knit in aran weight yarn with a simple geometric motif created in colour work. the hat gradually changes from colour A at the brim to B at the top.

This is my newest knit creation and the pattern is available to buy now on Ravelry!!

blackwhite-saxifraganatural-saxifraga

Knit in aredblue-saxifraga soft drapy alpaca it creates the perfect slouchy beanie or in a tougher yarn it will make a thicker cosy hat to keep the wind out on the coldest of winter days!

I was searching for the perfect colourwork hat for some beautiful aran yarn I bought from Town End alpacas and just couldn’t find one that I loved so I designed one myself. I really love geometric designs and so decided to focus on triangles and diamonds in the colourwork motif.

It is quite easy knitting and only requires knowledge of:
long tail cast on
ribbing
colourwork
decreases

The hat is one size only and will fit an adult

It is knit in aran weight yarn in two different colours (less than 50g of each) on size 3.5 and 4mm circular needles.

I really hope you will love this hat as much as I do. Pictured here are some of the versions I have knit so far. I really love how it works in so many different colourways! From monochrome, to natural to bright reds and blues. So whether subtlety is your thing or you would rather go for brights this pattern will work for you.

 

 

 

saxifraga-giveawauGiveaway

If you cant wait to get knitting I am giving away two copies of this pattern. One is available to my blog followers and the other one is over on instagram (look out for the picture on the left) so why not enter both for twice the chances of winning!

So, for my blog readers to be in with the chance of winning a copy of this pattern all you have to do is follow this blog and leave me a comment below telling me what colourway you would choose for your Saxifraga.

Giveaway is open until 17:00 GMT on Sunday 5th of March. So go and check out all of the test knits over on Ravelry for inspiration for your Saxifraga and let me know what colours you would choose in the comments and follow this blog to be in with the chance to win your own copy of the pattern.

And if you cant wait to find out if you’ve won don’t forget the pattern is available to buy now over on Ravelry!!

Dont forget to also enter over on Instagram for another chance to win!

I learned Fairisle!

fairisle-hatSo it has been absolutely ages since I last posted here and for that, I apologise. However, from now on I won’t be apologising and you can probably expect the posts to get more and more erratic in their timings. I am about to enter the final year of my PhD and things are going to get a bit crazy. In fact, they already have done and that is part of the reason for the lack of posts recently. It doesn’t mean I have stopped crafting though…far from it! I am finding that crafting, and especially knitting, is a welcome break from all that hard work. So I have plenty to write about but I can foresee that actually writing the posts may not be top of my agenda given the huge amount of writing I have coming my way in the form of the PhD thesis!

 

So, for now, you will have to bear with me as there will be the odd blog post for you over the next year but they may be few and far between. However, you can keep up with my makes over on your social network of choice (but I mostly share stuff on Instagram and twitter).Key Insight 3-4 sentences This should be an overview of the item, pattern, yarn and new skills

Anyway, for those of you who already follow me on Instagram this latest make won’t be much of a surprise! I decided to learn how to knit fairisle. I purchased some gorgeous alpaca yarn that I want to use to make a fairisle hat but the only problem is that I don’t know how to do fairisle. After a few attempts, I always ended up with lots of bunching and big gaps at the colour changes. A friend suggested I try to hold one colour in each hand. Now, at first this seemed ridiculous. It was like learning to knit all over again. However, after watching a few videos of how to hold the tension in your right hand I was beginning to pick it up. So I decided to start on this hat to give my new technique a whirl. Key Insight 3-4 sentences This should be an overview of the item, pattern, yarn and new skills

The pathfinder pattern has been in my Ravelry library for a while just waiting for me to learn fairisle knitting so what perfect time than to give it a try! It turns out the two-handed knitting was just the trick I was missing as it allowed me to keep the tension in both yarns at once.


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After just a few rows of the fairisle I was easing into it and even the back didn’t look too bad!

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The details:

Pattern: Pathfinder by Julia Marsh

Yarn: Some acrylic odds and ends that I don’t really like and so didn’t mind if all went horribly wrong

Needles: 4.5mm circular

Alterations: I mixed up the pattern a bit so the colour blocks would be smaller

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Now I just need to pluck up the courage to actually try and knit something with my special alpaca yarn!

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Instagram or Twitter

Pinterest screengrab

Pinterest Inspiration: Valentines

Pinterest inspiration is my place to show you what I’ve been falling in love with recently over on Pinterest. This is one of my favourite place for finding inspiration and I can easily loose a couple of hours pouring through all the beautiful things to make.

Valentines

I don’t like Valentines Day. There, I said it. I know loads of people love this sort of thing but I don’t like smushy stuff. I do however like making stuff, so I thought I’d see if I could find things to make that are Valentine’s day themed to see if I could be convinced in time for Valentines day!

I couldn’t bring myself to actually search for Valentines crafts in Pinterest so I decided to just trawl through my boards and see if I could find some tenuous links to Valentines-themed stuff. First up is this hat. I actually saved it because I really like this stitch pattern and I guess it kind of looks like little hearts! Team this with the dusty pink colour and you’ve got yourself a Valentines hat! This pattern is available over on Ravelry.

 

There’s also this cowl. It is not smushy at all even though it has heart shapes in the lace pattern. The super brains amongst you may remember that I started knitting up this pattern but grew frustrated with my poor lacework skills at the time. Now I have had a bit more practice I hope to return to this pattern soon so keep your eyes peeled for that! The pattern is by Ambah O’Brien and is available on Ravelry.

 

 

 

What says Valentines day more than jewellery and flowers? Well you can combine the two with this crochet flower ring! I found this via the Mollie Makes Pinterest account along with lots of other flower-based makes. Original post is here.

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that’s certainly enough Valentines-based crafting for me – and I didn’t even have to make any of them! What about you do you love Valentines day and all its smushy romanticness or do you like to stay away like me?

Do you love to get lost in the beautiful world of Pinterest? Leave your user name in the comments below and I’ll be sure to check out your profile! If you want to see the rest of my pins you can find me here.

Leftovers hat

Leftovers Hat on HsHandcraftsHaving finished my Miette cardigan I still had 2 skeins of Drops Paris yarn left to use. I really loved the colour and loved knitting with it as it just glided along the needles. I wasn’t ready to surrender those last 2 skeins to my stash never to be seen again so I decided to use them right away. After scouring Ravelry for a project that would work nicely with this amount of yarn I decided to go for a hat.

 

Cabling – not as tricky as I thought

I have always loved cabling on knitted items but as yet have not attempted it. Anything that looks that great has got to be tricky, right? Wrong! I bought a cable needle (amongst a lot of other things) from Abakhan in the January sales and decided that now was the perfect time to learn. I had some great yarn that I loved working with so I thought I would give it a try.

cable hook

I found a pattern for a basic hat with a little bit of cable detail and got to work.

After some Googling to find out what CR and CL meant I discovered that it is really very simple! You actually just slip some stitches onto the cable needle and hold it either in front or behind whilst you work some more stitches before knitting those that are on the cable needle. Simple!

cable hat

The hat came together really quickly. It only took a couple of evenings in fact. I think I am actually in love with this yarn, it is so quick to knit and despite being aran weight it is not too heavy as it is 100% cotton.

The details:

Pattern: A hat fit for a fella by Shana Schasteen

Yarn: Drops Paris in Petrol

Needles:Drops Pro 5mm

Alterations: I actually did the repeat one stitch narrower than the pattern and squeezed in an extra half a repeat but this was entirely accidental and makes very little difference to the finished thing.

closeup hat

I am so glad I chase to make this hat straight away because I would hate to have let that yarn go to waste and now I have a hat to wear in the winter and a cardigan to wear in the summer so that I can enjoy the yarn all year long!

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current goings on over on Twitter!

A year in knitting

Happy New Year Everybody!! I thought I would round up the year by taking a look back at how far my knitting skills have come on in just one year!

Last Christmas I decided I wanted to learn to knit and asked for some supplies for Christmas. Nearly 1 year on and I feel like I am now a happy knitter! There were a few hiccups along the way but also some great projects too!

I started off just knitting a few swatches and was dropping stitches all over the place! At first I couldn’t figure out how on earth I was managing to loose so many stitches but once I got into the swing of things I managed to get going.

For my first proper project I decided to knit a cover for my Kindle. Not being a blogger at the time I didn’t get any good photos of the finished object but managed to  et one now – so you’ll have to excuse how grubby it looks but generally I was really pleased with it for a first project even if it did take forever!

Kindle cover.jpg

I then moved on to something much more extravagant…a hat! I still love it and wear it all the time even if the bobble is a bit loose and some of the ends have unwoven themselves

hat

Then I started this blog and the knitting began to be documented. I’m not sure if this made me think more about what I was knitting or if it made me want to make it better because everyone would see it but the skill level definitely kicked up a notch!

My next make was these fingerless gloves, it took a bit of help to figure out the thumb but after a few friends got stuck in we had it figured out and I was away! Another successful project.

For my next project I wanted to make some boot cuffs. After a long search on Ravelry I couldn’t find any that I liked that could be knit flat and did not quite feel ready to attempt knitting in the round so I decided to make up my own pattern! I also wrote up this pattern and it is available for free on Ravelry if anyone else, like me, wants to make some simple bootcuffs that can be knit flat and seamed.

Boot cuffs

Boot cuffs

After the success of writing my own pattern I decided to turn my hand to something more complicated! I think I was probably a it too ambitious and cast on a double length cowl on circular needles. Everything was going really well, I had managed the joining in the round and an inch of ribbing but once I got onto the body of the cowl things started to go worng! Why on earth I picked lacework for my 5th project I’m not sure but it certainly was a challenge. After only a few rows the lace pattern was completely out of sync and I was getting a bit demoralised so I decided to set it to one side.

beginnings of knitted cowl

beginnings of knitted cowl

This was quite a big decision as I dont like to give up on things easily. So instead of saying I had given up I have just left it for a little while to be returned to once my skills have improved.

So, I decided to try a different lace project to improve my skills. The oyster shawl seemed like the perfect solution as there was a large body with only a simple eyelet to contend with.

cream shawl WIP

It uses a much simpler pattern with periodic holes

After finishing the main section of this cowl I was much hapier to progress onto the more complicated lace border

Lacework

After working on this cowl for quite a few months I had to put it to one side for a while as I had some gifts to get to work on. I decided to knit a cowl for my mums birthday and had the perfect yarn for it! Again, I couldnt find quite the right pattern for it so decided to make it up as I went along. Hopefully I will get the chance to write this up soon (Watch this space!)

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After making my mum’s birthday gift I decided to join in with the innocent big knit too.

HH

Finally, in time for Christmas I finished the lacy border shawl. I was so pleased with myself as this was such a massive achievement, especially considering that less than a year ago I couldnt even knit a 3inch swatch without dropping at least 10 stitches!

oyster shawl full

So what now? well actually, I’m already progressing well with my next project. I have been an admirer of Andi Satterlund’s blog Untangling Knots for a while and really wanted to knit one of her cardigans. Especially as I kind of feel like you cant call yourself a knitter until you have knit a cardigan or jumper. So, when I saw she was organising a post-Christmas selfish sweater knit-along I just couldn’t help but start choosing my yarn and pattern.

I decided to go with the Miette cardigan, it’s a really cute cropped cardigan for the summer with a little bit of lace detail around the edges – perfect for showing off my new found skills!

I have chosen to knit it in Drops Paris, which is 100% cotton so it will be amazing for the warmer weather. In fact, I am enjoying knitting it so much I have raced ahead a little and already have the body of the cardigan done. There’s only sleeves and the button band left to do. I dont think the deadline for the knit-along in february should be a problem!

Body done

I almost cant quite believe how much I have knit in one year and how far my skills have advanced. Hopefully this will continue into 2016 and I can learn lots of new skills and complete loads more projects!!

H.

Innocent Big Knit

Each year Innocent smoothies run a promotion called the Big Knit where they raise money for Age UK by putting tiny hats on all of their smoothies and for each one sold they donate 25p to Age UK.

Age UK is a great charity who provide advice and help to the elderly across the UK.

I think the Big Knit is a really great idea as not only does it raise the profile of such a great charity it is a really fun and unique way of raising funds.

People, like me, who enjoy knitting can knit a bunch of tiny hats at virtually no cost to themselves. The tiny hats can be made from odds and ends of yarn from past projects and only take around 20 minutes to make and they are really simple too!

Also, the fact the smoothies have little hats on makes more people buy them, generating more money and also encouraging people to drink fruit-filled smoothies rather than fizzy drinks or something equally bad for you.

Anyway, now I hope I’ve convinced you all to buy a behatted smoothie when they come on sale in February I thought I would share with you some of my contributions to this cause!

I actually used the time spent knitting these hats to practice some skills I might want to use for future projects so many of my hats contained aspects of colour work or different stitch patterns.

 

H.

Pinterest screengrab

Pinterest Roundup: August 2015

August is almost over, and we get the keys to our new house tomorrow! Unfortunately this means my month has been largely free of crafting as most of my possessions are packed away ready for the move and I have been too busy packing and getting excited about the new house to do anything anyway! I’m guessing there will be a lot more home-décor crafting coming my way over the next few months!

Despite, my lack of actual crafting I have been able to fill the void by looking at all the beautiful things that I could be making over on Pinterest. Here’s a round up of some of my favourites from this month!

delicate lace shawl

I think given the amount of time I have spent knitting my shawl recently (it is the only thing I haven’t packed) I should be fed up of shawls but look how beautiful this one is! I think its crochet rather than knit but the link through to the pin is not very detailed and the pattern is too small to read really but if any one figures it out it is beautiful!

 

 

 

I think I have de8ca9f1a712aa78bc69d32fd56d2bc09bfinitely had crochet on the brain recently as the next  two pins that I have loved this month are also crochet and as I don’t really like hot weather I am getting really excited about the Autumn coming and being able to wrap up warm I have picked this lovely colourful blanket and these really cute hats!

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f51d0328c3d96677e9aee96fba05c9e7Finally, (its another crochet one I’m afraid) perhaps a sign of things to come for the new house is this beautiful crochet cushion cover. I love how the stitch pattern creates diagonal checks whilst the colours are checked horizontally and vertically.

 

 

 

You can find these and more beautiful pins over on my Pinterest account.

H.