Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Soft Contrast Cardigan: perfect for the school run!

I've been busy over the past few months working on secret projects, so it's a delight to finally be able to share one with you!

My Soft Contrast Cardigan* is right up my street: longline cardigans are the perfect casual piece to have on hand for quick trips out of the house or for cozying up with a cup of coffee. I designed the cardigan with the school run in mind - a garment to have to hand when you need to nip out of the house, but it's just too warm to need a coat. This cardigan uses marling for a blocked look that creates a soft contrast between the cream and the black (not tried marling before? It's really easy, you just work with two strands of yarn at the same time to mix the colours up).

If you fancy a brighter look, you could try marling coloured yarns to make a really eye-catching garment.

One other feature this cardigan has is a deal-maker for me: pockets! I love a cardigan with pockets, so had to add some - perfect for carrying your keys and maybe a snack for a quick trip out of the house.

The yarn for the Soft Contrast Cardigan is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply,* whish is my favourite sock yarn. The yarn combines British wool with nylon, perfect for making a garment that is simultaneously warm and breathable, and will stand up to wear and tear.

You can get the pattern for Soft Contrast Cardigan in the August 2020 issue of I Like Knitting, an ezine that is available via a subscription model. If you would like to support me while you subscribe, please consider using my affiliate link.*

Want to add the pattern to your Ravelry favourites or queue? You can find the pattern page here.


Time: 1 month pattern

Skill Level: Intermediate

Size: Finished Bust Size 30.25 (33.75, 38.25, 41.75, 46.25, 49.75, 54.25, 57.75, 62.25, 65.75)” to fit bust 28 (32, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64)”

0-2.25” positive ease recommended.

Shown in size 33.75”

Gauge: 18 sts and 25 rows = 4” [10 cm] in St st using yarn held double after wet blocking

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply (75% Wool, 25% Nylon; 436 yards [400 meters]/100 grams): 010 Milk Bottle (A, 3 (3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5)  balls), 099 Liquorice (B, 3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6) balls)

Needles: US size 8 (5.0 mm) 40” and 16” circular, US size 7 (4.5 mm) DPNs

Notions: Markers (6), removable markers (2), spare needles/waste yarn for holding live sts, spare needle for joining rows of live sts

Pattern Notes
This cardigan is knitted from the top down with set-in sleeves.

Pockets are worked into the fabric of the cardigan towards the hem.

The stitches for the sleeves are picked up around the armholes and the sleeves are knitted down to the cuffs.

The cardigan is finished with an applied i-cord edging that is worked at the end.

The cardigan is knitted using two strands of 4 ply yarn held double, with the top and bottom sections being marled in two strands of the same color and the middle portion being knitted in one strand of each color.

*Affiliate link.

All images copyright I Like Knitting.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Palm-tastic cushion cover: available now in my Ravelry and LoveCrafts stores!

Fancy adding a little touch of the tropics to your living room? Look no further with this bold palm-frond intarsia cushion cover!

The Palm-tastic Cushion Cover is knitted in a single strip, starting with a ribbed section, then a stocking stitch panel for the back; the front is knitted in stocking stitch with the palm-frond motif incorporated using the intarsia technique. Finally, the back is knitted, finished with a ribbed section featuring buttonholes to fasten the cushion cover. The side seams are joined using mattress stitch.

This pattern includes both written and charted instructions for the palm-frond motif (Ravelry and LoveCrafts versions only - the I Like Knitting pattern features a chart only).

Image copyright I Like Knitting

One size: 43.5 cm x 43 cm (17.25 in square)

Flat knitting:
18 sts and 25 rows = 10 cm (4 in) in stocking stitch worked flat on 5 mm (US 8) needles after wet blocking, or size needed to obtain correct tension.

Aran-weight yarn in the following colours and amounts:
  • MC (pale pink): 405 m (445 yds)
  • CC (green): 145 m (160 yds)
  • 5 mm (US 8) straight needles
  • Tapestry needle
  • Buttons x 5, 25 mm (1 in)
  • Bobbins for holding the different yarn colours during colourwork
  • Chart row marker
  • Removable stitch markers x 4
  • 45 cm (18 in) square cushion pad
Pattern notes
The sample is knitted in Paintbox Yarns Wool Mix Aran* [aran, 180 m (196 yds) per 100 g ball, 50% wool, 50% acrylic] in 849 Candyfloss Pink (MC) and 830 Evergreen (CC).

This pattern was first published as Palm-tastic Pillow in I Like Knitting, June 2019.

This pattern was tech edited by Jo Torr.

*Affiliate link.

Friday, 12 June 2020

Yarn review: Milla Mia Naturally Soft Sock

A few months ago, the lovely people at LoveCrafts* launched a new sock yarn: MillaMia Naturally Soft Sock.* I am a huge fan of MillaMia's yarn range - their Naturally Soft Aran* is a particular favourite: it's really soft, lovely to work with, and the garments I have made using it for my children have worn beautifully - so I was really excited to try out this new yarn.

MillaMia Naturally Soft Sock* is a 75% wool, 25% polyamide sock yarn, which is my favourite blend for making socks: the wool makes the yarn warm but breathable, while the polyamide (a plastic) adds strength to make the yarn hard-wearing. The yarn has a great handle: it's slightly crisp to the touch, rather than the soft that the name suggests, but that makes it great for colourwork as the strands stay where you put them. MillaMia Naturally Soft Sock comes in 50 g balls, which also makes it perfect for colourwork as you can buy a few colours without having to worry about what to do with the rest of a 100 g ball; this ball size is also perfect for heels, toes and cuffs - I often find that a 20 g mini skein is not quite enough for heels, toes and cuffs, while 25 g is plenty, so a 50 g ball will allow you to knit heels, toes and cuffs for two full pairs of socks.

I love that this yarn comes pre-wounds as balls that are ready to knit from - getting the swift and ball winder out often seems like a lot of effort, especially if you only want to wind 50 g of yarn - so this yarn is ready to knit as soon as you receive it.

The colour pallete for MillaMia Naturally Soft Sock* is lovely: there are 20 colours available and I think any two colours would make a great pairing. The darker colours are bold without being too bright, and there are plenty of neutrals to choose from. I knitted socks in the Laurel colouray, a lovely dusty pale green, and while the yarn looks like a solid-colour in the ball, it actually has a very gentle heather to it, which was a pleasant surprise.

The yarn was good to work with, and withstood tinking and reknitting well. I did have an underspun area in one ball that I had to snip out, but it wasn't a very long section, and the problem was easily remedied with just a couple of extra ends to darn in.

In terms of wear, this yarn feels hard-wearing. I would not describe the yarn as super-soft, but I prefer something a little sturdier for socks, so the firmer handle is a definite plus. The socks I made have been worn a few times with no obvious signs of wear.

I would defintiely use this yarn again: the colour palette is lovely; the yarn feels like it will withstand long-term wear, and the 50 g balls make it ideal for colourwork, or heels, toes and cuffs. In addition, the yarn has an OEKO-TEX 100 certification, which means it doesn't contain any harmful chemicals, which is good news for the environment and the crafter.

The yarn was provided by LoveCrafts* for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Want to knit the socks shown? The pattern is Hiding in the Bamboo, which you can find in my Ravelry store.

*Affiliate link.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

A stash reassessment

I have a blanket on my bed that my mum and I made together around 15 years ago. It's made from an assortment of aran-weight yarn, chunky-weight yarn and DK-weight yarn held double. The blanket has been in constant use for all of those 15 years, and is definitely on its last legs. As with all the best knitted objects, this blanket contains a lot of precious memories: making it with my mum and my mum cursing me for making the blocks in lots of different sizes so we had to do a proper crazy-paving job to get all the squares to join together at the end (the blanket has four edges; they're all different lengths); me knitting my way through a stitch dictionary one summer, trying out all the different stitches and learning how cables and lace worked; being curled up next to my bedroom window in one of my old houses wrapped in the blanket while watching the waves crashing on the seafront; innumerable blanket forts and tents made by me and the kids. But all good things must come to an end: this blanket has been heavily patched and repaired, and probably only has another couple of years of life left in it, so it's time to start thinking about a new blanket.

The old blanket has seen better days

I had been deliberating about what to make as a replacement for this blanket. I contemplated a crochet granny stripe blanket made from sock leftovers, but realise based on the progress I've made on my mitred-square blanket that a fingering weight blanket might take me *forever*, so something heavier weight is in order. I have various DK weight oddments lying around from all sorts of projects, but quite fancy something with a unifying theme. I've also realised that large blankets hold together better if they are crocheted than if they are knitted: my husband has a crocheted blanket I made him that is holding up much better than my knitted one.

A few weeks ago I realised that I had the solution in my stash (as ever...). When I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, my siblings bought me the yarn for an amazing Mr Men blanket that I was going to make for my daughter. I didn't even start the blanket before she was born, let alone finish it. Now the blanket has one square, and that's not even square. I hate reading charts for corner to corner crochet, so I made one block and abandoned the project.

Mr Happy? More like Mr Wonky!

The Mr Men blanket was designed with a white background, then lots of single balls in *all the colours* to make the characters. This means that upstairs I have a massive bag of brightly coloured yarn and about the same amount of white yarn. It's all the same base (Stylecraft Special DK) and would be much happier being a blanket than living in my wardrobe unloved. Last year I made a crocheted blanket for Madeleine of Kingfisher Knits when her son was born. I used the Solid Granny Square pattern by Sandra Paul and joined the squares together using the join as you go method from her Battenberg blanket. Of the things I really liked about making the blanket was that I could make a massive pile containing half the squares, then join them all together while making the other half of the squares. So that is my plan for the new blanket!

All the colours

Do you have a favourite crochet blanket pattern that you go back to time and time again?

Square one

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Yarn Along: 3rd June 2020: Daffodil stripes

Ooh, June already, no idea how that happened. We've been in lockdown since mid-March, and while lockdown has eased somewhat, I still have all three kids at home, and no longer have any concept of time!

Spring has been glorious: bright sunny days interspersed with more of the same. We've made the most of having a garden, even though it took until last week to finally get round to planting the seeds I bought in March... The sunny spring followed the wettest February on record, so who knows what the summer will hold. We're three days into June, the rain started last night, and it looks like it'll be here for the next couple of weeks at least. Somewhat illadvisedly, I planted those seeds in pots without drainage holes, so I've put them under a waterproof parasol and we'll be checking on them and watering them every day.

Crafting has followed a quick-quick-slow pattern over lockdown. I started well, powering through sewing projects in the first week or so, then slowed dramatically as the kids were sent more structured work from school and required more assistance. I've managed to cut out a lot of sewing projects, and really need to dedicate more time to actually sewing them. One other project that distracted me was facemasks: I've made 29 so far, and have distributed them to local friends, as well as using them myself while in shops where I can't guarantee social distancing. I have many more to sew, but they were held up by a delay in a ribbon delivery; I now have ribbon, so this weekend will be spent sewing another batch.

I can't work out what knitting I've done during lockdown: I've definitely done less than usual, but what I have done is larger work projects that I can't share yet, so it's really hard to gauge (work projects are finished, then promptly sent elsewhere for photography). I have made lamentable progress on socks: they're my out and about project usually, and we haven't had much out and about recently! I did make a pair of socks for my husband's birthday. They're DK weight and went down well - he's requested more, but has a preferecne for 4ply, which take forever for large feet!

My current downtime project is, somewhat predictably, a pair of socks. I decided to cast on some of my precious stash: delightful spring stripes inspired by daffodils. The yarn is dyed by Strawberry Fields Yarns, and I've used some ancient Artesano sock yarn (the company closed several years ago) for the heels, toes and cuffs. I've been working on these socks while on video calls, so opted for a Fish Lips Kiss heel; the sock bit is just knitting round and round with no gusset decreases to get in the way. Recently I'd been knitting self-striping socks as a giant tube, then adding the heels, toes and cuffs at the end, but that makes for very slow progress, and all the fiddly bits happen at once, which isn't always what I want!

In the midst of the recent race demonstrations both in the US and here in the UK, I am finally reading Why I'm no Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. I've had this book on my bedside table for ages, but haven't found time to read it. The book covers the black British history and race relations in the UK today. I've lined up a couple of other books about race to read when I've finished reading this one.* I'm also donating 20% of proceeds from my Ravelry store in June to Show Racism the Red Card, a UK-based charity that provides education to combat racism.

Joining in with Ginny for June's Yarn Along.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Stripe a Pose!

I have a new design to share with you all today: Stripe a Pose!*

All my favorite sweaters are striped, I just can’t get enough of them! The Stripe a Pose sweater is pretty much my dream sweater: relaxed fit, dropped shoulders, split hem, crew neck, and, of course, stripes!

The sweater shown pairs a brigth neon pink with a neutral; of course you could opt for navy and white for a classic Breton-inspired look.

The sample is knitted in Stylecraft Special DK,* which makes this a really cost-effective project. 

If you want to add the pattern to your Ravelry favourites or queue, you can find the pattern page here.


Time: 1 Month pattern

Skill Level: Intermediate

Size: Finished Bust Size 31.25 (35.75, 38.75, 43.5, 48, 51, 55.5, 60.25, 63.25, 67.75)” 4-8” positive ease recommended. Shown in size 38.75”

Gauge: 21 sts and 30 rows/rnds = 4” [10 cm] in St st after wet blocking

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK (100% Acrylic; 323 yards [295 meters]/100 grams): 1218 Parchment (MC, 3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5) balls), 1257 Fiesta (CC, 1 (1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) balls)

Needles: US size 7 (4.5 mm) 24” circular and DPNs, US size 6 (4.0 mm) 16” circular and DPNs

Notions: Markers (2), removable markers (2), waste yarn or spare needle for holding live sts, tapestry needle

Pattern Notes
This pattern is worked from the top down. The Back is worked flat as far as the armholes with short row shaping for the shoulders. The Front is worked flat as far as the armholes with short row shaping for the shoulders and neckline. The Front and Back are joined and the sweater is worked in the round as far as the split hem, which is worked flat with an intarsia i-cord edging. The Sleeve stitches are picked up from the armhole. The Sleeves are worked in the round with decreases along their length until a ribbed cuff is worked. The Neckband stitches are picked up along the Neckline edge and the Neckband is worked in the round.

*Affiliate link.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Hiding in the Bamboo: a new sock pattern!

When I’m out and about, or at home on the sofa watching TV, I like to knit socks that are just one step up from vanilla: socks that have just enough patterning to keep me interested and to mark progress. Hiding in the Bamboo are just that: the socks feature an all-over rib-pattern that is easy to memorize, with just two rows that are different in every ten-round repeat. The socks were inspired by the yarn – the colour made me think of walks round the bamboo plantation in our local botanical garden, where the kids love to hide, before jumping out and shouting ‘boo’ while I hunt for them.

The socks are knitted from the top down using a standard heel flap and gusset construction. The foot length of the socks is adjustable to fit.

The pattern is written to be needle-neutral and can be knitted using either the magic-loop technique, short circulars or DPNs, depending on your individual preference. The pattern also features helpful hints for beginners.

If you fancy making your own Hiding in the Bamboo socks, you can get 20% off with the code BAMBOO until Wednesday 20th May 2020, all time zones, alternatively, all fof my indivdual patterns are buy one, get one free until the pubs reopen in the UK! Add both patterns to your basket and the cheapest will be free. Only one offer can be applied per basket.

The socks are knitted in MillaMia Naturally Soft Sock,* a wool/nylon blend 4-ply sock yarn. The yarn comes in a huge array of beautiful muted shades and is available as 50 g balls, making it perfect for mixing and matching. Yarn support was kindly provided by LoveCrafts.*

Want to cast on right away? You can get your copy here.


SizesXS (S, M, L, XL)

Finished sock circumferences: 13 (17, 20.5, 24.5, 28) cm [5.25 (6.75, 8.25, 9.75, 11.25) in]; for the best fit, choose a size that is approximately 2.5 cm [1 in] smaller than your foot circumference.

Leg length to heel: 12.5 (15, 18, 20.5, 23) cm [5 (6, 7, 8, 9) in].

Foot length is adjustable.

32 sts and 44 rnds = 10 cm [4 in] in stocking stitch and worked in the rnd on 2.5 mm (US 1.5) needle(s) after wet blocking, or size needed to obtain correct tension.

4ply-weight sock yarn in the following colours and amounts (yardages are approximate as the amount of yarn used will depend on the length of the foot, which is adjustable): 130 (215, 315, 440, 565) m [145, 240, 345, 485, 620) yds]

I would recommend using a dedicated sock yarn that is tightly plied wool and has some nylon content for durability.

  • 2.5 mm (US 1.5) DPNs, 15 cm [6 in], set of 5, or
  • 2.5 mm (US 1.5) circular needle, at least 80 cm [32 in] in length to work magic loop, or
  • 2.5 mm (US 1.5) circular needle, 22.5 cm [9 in] in length
  • Stitch markers x 5

The sample details are as follows: MillaMia Naturally Soft Sock (4-ply, 200 m per 50 g ball, 75% wool, 25% nylon) in 522 Laurel. Knitted in size M.

Pattern edited by Jo Torr.

*Affiliate link.

Monday, 11 May 2020


For the first few weeks that the UK was in lockdown, I got very little knitting (or anything really) done. My mind was all over the place and I struggled to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes. I'm out of that fug now, mostly because I have started setting myself some (nice, achievable) goals. In an attempt to help others make a little progress, I've started an accountability thread in my Ravelry group, and an accountability hashtag on Instagram: #weeklywipalong

What's the point of #weeklywipalong? It's all about sharing your goals so that you are accountable to someone else. I find that if I tell people my plans, I am much more likely to achieve them.

Your goals can be as big or small as you like: finish a neckband, knit a single sock, cast on a new project, knit a sleeve, etc. All crafts are welcome, and I've found it's really helped me to focus on working on one thing at a time and actually getting some things off the needles.

If you want to join in, you can comment in the chatter thread in my Ravelry group, or use the hashtag #weeklywipalong on Instagram.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Make Four: a less ambitious Make Nine

As the old year draws to a close and the new year is on the horizon, the knitting corner of Instagram starts to fill up with knitters plans for the coming year in the form of Make Nine grids: photos of nine things crafters plan to make over the next twelve months. I've never taken part in Make Nine as I know that by the time I get all my work-knitting done, the idea of completing nine personal projects takes a very large leap of the imagination. At the end of last year though, I decided that I would create a slightly less ambitious list of goals: Make Four.

So, what was on my list?

Soldotna by Caitlin Hunter

First (top left), we have Soldotna by Caitlin Hunter. This cropped, short-sleeved sweater was all over Instagram when it came out last year, because (1) it's gorgeous, (2) it's DK weight, so it's fairly quick to knit, (3) it uses four colours, which is a good excuse to go for a stash dive! I was planning a slightly-modified version, with longer sleeves (maybe three-quarter length), and a longer body (I'm tall, though actually a just-below-the-waist length version would look great with a couple of dresses I own), in Drops Cotton Merino in shades of pink and grey, which I picked up in a sale last year.

Chuck by Andi Satterlund

Second up is Chuck by Andi Satterlund (top right). This has been in my Ravelry queue for ages! It's another cropped jumper, but I'm going to make it a little looser and longer to be worn with jeans. Like all the other jumpers on this list, I have the yarn in my stash already: Drops Nepal in Dark Red. I love a dark red jumper, so this will get a lot of wear in January/February where it stops being acceptable to wear Christmas jumpers all the time!

Pavement by Veera Valimaki

The third jumper on my list in Pavement by Veera Valimaki. I already have a Pavement jumper: it's cornflower blue and I wear it a lot in Spring and Autumn. It's perfect for throwing over a vest top with a pair of jeans. The second Pavement that I am planning will be knitted in Hawthorn Fingering Kettle Dye Yarn from Knit Picks in the shade Serpent, which is a rich jewel-toned green that I adore. The first Pavement I knitted grew surprisingly fast for a 4-ply weight sweater, so I'm hoping this one does the same once it's on the needles (I can't be the only one that finds casting on a garment to be a large initial stumbling block?).

Starfall by Jennifer Steingass

The final garment on my Make Four list is Starfall by Jennifer Steingass. This was a work in progress at the start of the year, so I really hoped that I might manage to get it crossed off the list pretty quickly, but that wasn't to be. I took a lot of notes while I was knitting the yoke of the sweater, but it turns out I didn't take a note of the most important details: the needle size is not written down anywhere! I tried knitting a sleeve to see if I could work it out that way, but that sleeve came out a different size to the first, and for some reason that is lost to me now, I used a different shade of grey in the yoke to the sleeve. Who knows?! I decided to quit before investing any more time in the project and cast on Bright Above Me instead. I'm so glad I switched projects as Bright Above Me is flying off the needles and I'm really looking forward to wearing it (in the autumn - who wants to wear a worsted weight jumper in May?).

Bright Above Me by Dieuke Schack-Mulligan

Which jumper do you think I should cast on next? Obviously I have seen other patterns that I fancy since deciding on this list at the start of the year, but I think that I will at least try and stick to the list... Pavement is appealing to me on many levels (that green!), and while knitting a fingering weight sweater in the summer months will be lovely, I suspect the jumper would be ready to wear just after the season to wear it has passed... Do you knit for winter in the summer months, or knit in summer yarns over the summer? Did you set yourself a Make Nine goal for 2020?

All images are copyright the copyright holders. Follow the pattern links for full details.

If you want to see other knitters' Make Nine goals for the year, check out the hashtag on Instagram.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

FREE PATTERN ALERT! Rainbows in the Windows

While the whole World has been stuck indoors during the Coronavirus pandemic, rainbows have been popping up in windows all around the UK. My daughter and I love to count all the rainbows in the windows when we go out for our daily exercise. This inspired my latest pattern: Rainbows in the Windows.

I've been craving somewhat complex projects while we've been told to stay at home, and knitting these banners gave me a huge amount of pleasure! I abandoned my much-loved bobbins in favour of lengths of yarn roughly 1 m long, which may have resulted in a few more ends, but not too many. The rainbow heart is the easiest of the banners, with only two colour changes on the majority of the rows.

The Rainbows in the Windows banners* are perfect for hanging in windows, or on walls. The pattern is written for one basic banner that can be decorated with your choice of four intarsia motifs: a rainbow heart, a rainbow or the words HAPPY or THANK YOU. The patterns for the intarsia portions are provided as both charts and written instructions. If you’re not a fan of intarsia, you can knit the banner without any colourwork and use duplicate stitch to add the motif at the end.

Each banner uses the same rainbow palette, and is perfect for stash-busting., or you could buy the yarn you need and make a few extra rainbow banners for friends and family from your leftovers.

If you enjoy this free pattern, please consider making a donation to NHS Charities Together.
One size: 30.5 cm [12.25 in] wide x 30 cm [12 in] high
18 sts and 25 rows = 10 cm [4 in] in stocking stitch worked flat on 5 mm (US 8) needles after wet blocking, or size needed to obtain correct tension.
For each banner, you will need 130 m [145 yds] of aran-weight yarn in MC.
You will also need aran-weight yarn in the following colours and amounts, depending on which design you are making:
  • CC1 (red): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC2 (orange): 15 m [20 yds]
  • CC3 (yellow): 15 m [20 yds]
  • CC4 (green): 10 m [15 yds]
  • CC5 (blue): 10 m [15 yds]
  • CC6 (indigo): 10 m [15 yds]
  • CC7 (violet): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC1 (red): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC2 (orange): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC3 (yellow): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC4 (green): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC6 (indigo): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC1 (red): 10 m [15 yds]
  • CC2 (orange): 10 m [15 yds]
  • CC3 (yellow): 10 m [15 yds]
  • CC4 (green): 10 m [15 yds]
  • CC5 (blue): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC6 (indigo): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC7 (violet): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC1 (red): 10 m [15 yds]
  • CC2 (orange): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC3 (yellow): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC4 (green): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC5 (blue): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC6 (indigo): 5 m [10 yds]
  • CC7 (violet): 5 m [10 yds]
5 mm (US 8) straight needles
  • Fixed stitch markers x 2
  • Tapestry needle
  • Bobbins for holding the different yarn colours during colourwork (optional)
  • Chart row marker (optional)
  • 2 lengths of dowel, 35 cm [14 in] in length and 1 cm [0.5 in] in diameter
  • Hanging thread
  • PVA glue (optional)
Pattern notes
The sample is knitted in Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran (aran, 184 m per 100 g ball, 100% acrylic) in 202 Champagne White (MC), 213 Rose Red (CC1), 219 Blood Orange (CC2), 222 Buttercup Yellow (CC3), 228 Lime Green (CC4), 233 Marine Blue (CC5), 239 Sailor Blue (CC6) and 247 Pansy Purple (CC7). Yarn support was kindly provided by LoveCrafts (affiliate link).
Instructions are provided for four designs. For each design, you will need to print out the written instructions for the plain banner and either the chart or written instructions for the picture of your choice.
The pattern is designed to be worked using intarsia for the colourwork portions. If you prefer, you can work the banner in a single colour, then add the colour work at the end using duplicate stitch – the yardages given should be sufficient for you to complete the banner this way. Links to introductions to intarsia and duplicate stitch are provided in the Resources section. You may wish to use a combination of intarsia, stranded colourwork and duplicate stitch to minimise ends.
Pattern edited by Jo Torr.
Want to queue or favourite the pattern on Ravelry? You can do that via this link.
*Affiliate link.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Marathon Sock KAL 2020 - cast on now!

It's here!

The Marathon Sock KAL - a KAL that involves a collective effort to knit a marathon's worth of yarn* - starts today!

The Marathon Sock KAL starts today and runs through the summer (prime sock-knitting season) or until we have knitted the full 26 miles of yarn.

Do I have to knit the full 26 miles by myself? No, of course not! All you have to do is knit a pair of adult-sized socks, and add a photo of them to the finished-object thread (opening soon) when they're done, noting the amount of yarn used. I'll add up all the yarn lengths from each post, and we should quite quickly have knitted a marathon's worth of yarn.

The chatter thread is open now in my Ravelry group, so you can chat while you cast on and knit your socks.

Happy knitting!


Knit a Marathon's worth of socks: 26.219 miles of sock yarn converted into socks.

  • Socks must be cast-on on or after May 1st 2020
  • Socks can be knitted or crocheted in any yarn weight
  • All socks must have a proper heel (no yoga or tube socks)
  • The KAL will close once the full 26 miles of yarn have been knitted
  • You must post a photo of your socks to the KAL FO thread, including the exact number of metres of yarn you used (to the nearest metre) for your metres to count in the total
  • New for this year: SECOND SOCKS COUNT! You don't have to knit a full pair of socks, a single sock will count. If you are using a single sock as an entry, please include only the number of metres used to knit that sock
  • I'll keep a running total for the group
  • To be eligible for a prize on Ravelry, you must be a member of the Ravelry group
  • If you're on Instagram, use the hashtag #marathonsockkal2020; to be eligible for a prize on Instagram, you must follow @vikkibirddesigns on Instagram
  • Only hand-knitting/crochet will count, not machine knitting. If you have machine-knitted a sock tube and are adding heels/toes/cuffs by hand, the metres you used for the
    heels/toes/cuffs can be counted towards the total

  • One prize drawn from #marathonsockkal2020 on Instagram
  • One prize drawn from the chatter thread
  • One prize drawn from the FO thread (one entry per 100 m of yarn used)
  • One prize drawn from entries in the FO thread that are knitted using a pattern by Vikki Bird Designs (one entry per 100 m of yarn used)

*26.219 miles = 42 195 m; each of my pairs of socks uses approximately 300 m of yarn (assuming sock weight yarn at 400 m per 100 g)