Friday 18 December 2020

#showoffyourwoollysocks2020 Days 22-30

In November I hosted #showoffyourwoollysocks2020 over on Instagram, where I showed off my woolly socks every day in November. I've already published run downs of days 1-7, 8-14 and 15-21 here on my blog, but I never got round to sharing days 22-30, so here they are!

Days 22-30

Day 22
: My socks for Day 22 are my Spinnaker Socks; they’re DK weight, and lovely and warm. I used Ripples Crafts Yarn Doubly Reliable Sock, and it was a delight to work with, and is now a delight to wear! The pattern is available on Ravelry,* LoveCrafts and PayHip

Day 23: Day 23's socks are beautful and subtle (so not really my usual thing!). I designed these Seed Head Socks in the summer, and really enjoyed the whole process. They use dipped stitches to create little seed heads, and are a lot of fun to knit. You can find the pattern on Ravelry,* PayHip and LoveCrafts.

Day 24: Today's socks are the Bobby Socks, which is one of my designs. They have a super-cute, fun frill, and a lovely delicate lace pattern. You can find the pattern on Ravelry,* LoveCrafts and PayHip.


Day 25: These socks are knitted in Knit Picks Felici (it’s my favourite yarn, you might have gathered that by now!) in the colourway Spring Blooms. The pattern is Non-Euclidean by Sarah Jordan* and it features a heel that doesn’t need you to pick up any stitches.

Day 26: How early is too early for Christmas socks? I wear these socks all year, but on Day 26 I was wearing them with one of my favourite Christmas jumpers. I was using the greenery as a backdrop for some pattern photos and thought I might make the most of it being out! Yarn is by Unbelievawool.

Day 27: In my effort to spend less time on my phone on Day 27, I accidentally forgot to take a photo of my socks! Here’s a late night shot as I headed to bed. These are my Amy socks, named after my a fabulous friend. They’re knitted toe up, and have a simple lace pattern that is really intuitive. You can find the pattern in my PayHip, LoveCrafts and Ravelry* stores.


Day 28: The frost was heavy on the 28th, so my plans to wear lacy socks were put to one side and I went for these festive sport weight ones instead. The yarn is from Austria or Germany and was gifted to me by the lovely @jinyknits. They make me think of cookies and Christmas preparation.


Day 29: Another pair of cosy socks for the penultimate day of #showoffyourwoollysocks2020 These are sport weight, and were made from a colourblocked yarn by @knitcrate I snipped the yarn into its constituent colours and striped it, using the smallest portion for the toes, heels and cast off. These socks have silk in, which is a great alternative to nylon as it adds strength.


Day 30: For the FINAL day of #showoffyourwoollysocks2020, I wore the socks I knitted in November for the #soywskal2020. I knitted them in yarn by Stripey Cat Yarns, a fabulous UK-based dyer who specialises in stripey yarn. They are made in high-twist Bluefaced Leicester, and were so much fun to knit!

That's it for the 2020 edition of Show Off Your Woolly Socks. Wht do you think? Should I bring it back next year?

*Ravelry link: may cause issues for people with photosensitivity, proceed with caution.

Thursday 17 December 2020

Looking for a Christmas Eve cast-on? Tangles Socks are live!

Available now on:




From now until 11.59pm GMT, Thursday 24th December 2020, you can get 20% off with the code TANGLES (Ravelry and PayHip only).

Have you come across the concept of a Christmas Eve cast-on? Essentially, you choose a project that you cast on for you on Christmas Eve once all the presents are wrapped and under the tree and you finally get a chance to relax: a gift-knitting free zone! Every year I plan a Christmas Eve cast-on, getting excited about choosing some special yarn from my stash and a beautiful pattern to work from, but I am usually wrapping until the last minute, so for me, a Boxing Day cast-on is a better prospect (Boxing Day is the day after Christmas – it’s a Bank Holiday in the UK)! Whether you want to cast on on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, I might have just the thing for you: the Tangles Socks!

The Tangles Socks were an organic project for me: I made a few swatches in this yarn before it became these lovely ribbed and cabled socks: each time I tried something new, the yarn steered me in the direction of twisted cables, and squishy rib. The sock told me it wanted to an organic heel that grew out of the ribbing. I’m delighted with the direction the yarn steered me in, and I hope you can find a yarn to make this pattern in that is similarly particular! Maybe you have something really special in your stash that you haven’t assigned to a project yet?

The socks are knitted from the top-down with an all-over 2 x 2 rib and a cable panel to give a comfortable and flexible fit. The socks have a modified-Strong heel that appears to grow out of the ribbing – a bonus of the Strong heel is that you don’t have to pick up any stitches. The toe is created with shaping down each side and is gathered at the end – no need for any pesky Kitchener stitch!

I know that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to socks, so the Tangles Socks come in lots of sizes, from tiddly to tremendous, so once you’ve made yourself a pair, you can make some for everyone you know!

The pattern is needle-neutral, so you can knit these socks on your choice of DPNs, short circulars or magic loop.

Want to get your hands on a copy of the pattern? It’s available now in my Ravelry and PayHip stores, and from now until 11.59pm GMT, Thursday 24th December 2020, you can get 20% off with the code TANGLES

The pattern is also available on LoveCrafts.

Want the technical details on the Tangles Socks? You can find them here.

Friday 11 December 2020

Add a little festive cheer to your windows! Christmas in the Windows: available now!

Happy Christmas! Christmas is creeping up fast, and many of us are still stuck in houses, with Christmas looking a little different to usual. This year we’ve created a new tradition: walking round the local houses and spotting the Christmas lights up in the windows. My kids have been requesting that we put more decorations in the front of our house than usual, so everyone that is walking by can see them. These banners are my contribution to this year’s window display. If you want to send some festive love to family and friends, why not make an extra banner so they can hang it up in their window, and you can be connected across the miles?

The Christmas 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 three intarsia motifs: a Christmas Tree, a wreath or the words HAPPY XMAS. 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 a small amount of aran weight yarn in a limited palette, and is perfect for stash-busting, or you could buy the yarn you need and make a few extra Christmas banners for friends and family from your leftovers.

Want to get your hands on a copy of the pattern? You can find it now in my Ravelry* and PayHip stores, and until 11.59 pm GMT, Friday 18th December 2020 you can get 20% off with the code XMAS.

The pattern is also available on LoveCrafts.

Which banner are you going to cast on first? 


Here's everything you need to know about the Christmas in the Windows banners.


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.


You will also need aran-weight yarn in the following colours and amounts, depending on which design you are making:

Christmas Tree

·        MC (navy blue): 130 m (145 yds)

·        A (red): 5 m (10 yds)

·        B (orange): 5 m (10 yds)

·        C (yellow): 5 m (10 yds)

·        D (green): 35 m (40 yds)

·        E (blue): 5 m (10 yds)

·        F (purple): 5 m (10 yds)


·        MC (navy blue): 130 m (145 yds)

·        A (red): 25 m (30 yds)

·        B (orange): 5 m (10 yds)

·        C (yellow): 5 m (10 yds)

·        D (green): 50 m (55 yds)

·        E (blue): 5 m (10 yds)

·        F (purple): 5 m (10 yds)


·        MC (navy blue): 130 m (145 yds)

·        A (red): 20 m (25 yds)

·        G (cream): 25 m (30 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 237 Midnight Blue (MC), 213 Rose Red (A), 219 Blood Orange (B), 222 Buttercup Yellow (C), 228 Lime Green (D), 239 Sailor Blue (E), 247 Pansy Purple (F) and 202 Champagne White (G).

Instructions are provided for three designs. For each design, you will need to print out the written instructions for the plain banner (page 3) and either the chart or written instructions for the picture of your choice:

1. Christmas Tree

a. Chart, page 4

b. Written instructions, page 5

2. Wreath

a. Chart, page 6

b. Written instructions, pages 7-8


a. Chart, page 9

b. Written instructions, page 10

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.

*Ravelry link. May cause issues for people with photosensitivity.

**Affiliate link.

Tuesday 8 December 2020

A treat for your feet! Jolly Holly Socks - available now!

Are you looking forward to a cosy Christmas? Maybe one wrapped up warm by the fireside? Do you fancy a new pair of socks to keep your toes extra warm while the snow falls outside? The Jolly Holly Socks are just what you need

I LOVE Christmas socks and wear them as soon as I see the first Christmas decorations in the shops. These festive Jolly Holly Socks are made using aran weight sock yarn, making them perfect for pottering around the house as you’re wrapping your Christmas presents. Are you a gift-knitter? The Jolly Holly Socks would also make a great gift – if you don’t have any aran weight yarn to hand you can use sock-weight yarn held double – as they’re nice and quick, and come in load of sizes!

The Jolly Holly Socks are knitted from the cuff down with a heel flap and gusset construction. The contrast cuff is knitted, then a short colourwork section is worked to transition into the striped leg. The rest of the sock is knitted in a simple stripe-pattern, until just before the toe, when a second colourwork section is added; the sock is finished with a contrast heel and toe. The toe is Kitchener-free, finished by gathering the final few stitches. 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.

Want to get your hands on the pattern? It’s available now on Ravelry* and PayHip, and if you use the code HOLLY you can have 20% off (ends 11.59pm GMT, Monday 14th December 2020).

The pattern will also be available on LoveCrafts very soon.


Here’s everything you need to know…


A (B, C, D, E, F, G)

Finished sock circumferences: 11 (13.5, 16.5, 19, 22, 24.5, 27.5) cm [4.25 (5.5, 6.5, 7.75, 8.75, 9.75, 11) 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: 7.5 (10, 12.5, 15, 18, 20.5, 23) cm [3 (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) in].

Foot length is adjustable.



22 sts and 32 rnds = 10 cm [4 in] in stocking stitch and worked in the rnd on 4 mm (US 6) needle(s) after wet blocking, or size needed to obtain correct tension.



Aran-weight yarn in the following colours and amounts:

·        55 (85, 120, 165, 215, 265, 335) m [65 (95, 135, 185, 240, 290, 370) yds] C1 (red)

·        5 (10, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30) m [10 (15, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35) yds] C2 (green)

·        15 (25, 35, 45, 60, 70, 90) m [20 (30, 40, 50, 70, 80, 100) yds] C3 (cream)

Amounts are approximate as the amount of yarn used will depend on the length of the foot, which is adjustable.

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

You can also knit these socks in 4-ply sock yarn held double. If you do this, you will need double the yardages listed.



·        3.5 mm (US 4) and 4 mm (US 6) DPNs, 15 cm [6 in], set of 5, or

·        3.5 mm (US 4) and 4 mm (US 6) circular needle, at least 80 cm [32 in] in length to work magic loop, or

·        3.5 mm (US 4) and 4 mm (US 6) circular needle, 22.5 cm [9 in] in length



·        Stitch markers x 5


Pattern notes

The instructions are for the smallest size, with larger sizes in parentheses: A (B, C, D, E, F, G).

The sample details are as follows: Novita 7 Veljestä (7 Brothers) (aran, 200 m per 100 g ball, 75% wool, 25% nylon) in 549 Christmas (C1), 366 Nettle (C2) and 010 Off-White (C3). Knitted in size E, to fit a UK women’s size 10 [foot length 27.5 cm (10.75 in)].

Pattern edited by Jo Torr.


Want to get your hands on the pattern? It’s available now on Ravelry* and PayHip, and if you use the code HOLLY you can have 20% off (ends 11.59pm GMT, Monday 14th December 2020).

*Ravelry link. May causes issues for people with photosensitivity, proceed with caution.


Friday 4 December 2020

FO Friday: Twinkle, twinkle little star

Last December (or maybe the one before!), in the midst of my frenzied gift knitting, I decided that I wanted to make something for me. Earlier this year, my husband picked up a new sideboard with glass-fronted cabinets in the top half for our living room, and as soon as I saw them I knew that during the Christmas period they would look lovely with a simple garland of stars hung across the fronts.

I considered knitting the stars, but I’m not a big fan of knitting small fiddly things, especially when you have to make several of them; as far as I’m concerned, projects like these are what crochet is made for. After browsing many, many patterns (both for stars and snowflakes) on Ravelry, I stumbled across One Dog Woof’s crocheted star ornament pattern via Instagram, where someone had crocheted individual stars to put on Christmas cards (a lovely idea, and one I would consider copying if I ever have time!).

The pattern is nice and straightforward, and I worked up the first star pretty quickly (definitely under half an hour). I even managed to work a magic loop for the first time (I have tried before, but it has always eluded me). Within a couple of hours I had quite a pile of stars. I’m not going to claim they are all perfect, they are absolutely not - I kept misreading the pattern, or not quite putting the hook in the right place, but once they’re all displayed en masse, you really can’t tell. After about seven, I had memorised the pattern, and I’m sure that a proficient crocheter could memorise the pattern much faster! I ended up with 13 stars, which I threaded onto thin silver ribbon, looping the ribbon back on itself at the joins between the stars so they didn’t slip.

What yarn did I use? Paintbox Yarns Metallic DK in the colourway Martini.* Paintbox Yarns launched this yarn at the end of the summer/early autumn, and it immediately made me think of Christmas decorations, even though it’s marketed as a summer yarn. The yarn has a chainette construction, which is lovely and smooth, and half the yarn is metallic and the other half plain (white in the Martini colourway). The yarn has a shimmer to it rather than a full-on sparkle, but I really liked that. I held the yarn double for my stars, and while it crocheted smoothly, I did have to use quite a lot of moisturiser on my hands otherwise the dry bits of my skin would catch on the plies within the chains. Overall I was pleased with the yarn, and holding it double gave a subtly marled effect that is festive without being too blingy.

I finished my garland of stars in plenty of time for Christmas, but what with one thing and another I never quite got round to hanging them properly, so instead they were laid across the front of the sideboard for the whole of Christmas. I’ve put them away now, along with the hooks I bought to hang them (then mislaid repeatedly...), so hopefully the stars will occupy their proper position next year!

*Supplied for review purposes. Affiliate link.
**Ravelry link. May cause issues for people with photosensitivity.

Tuesday 1 December 2020

Fancy a new stocking for Christmas 2020?

Last week I shared a tutorial on how to work Ladderback Jacquard. Once you've mastered Ladderback Jacquard, you might want a new project to try it out on, and you're in luck, because I've just released my latest pattern: Fireside Stocking!*

T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, nothing was stirring, except for… two children attempting to set a Santa trap, some last minute present wrapping, and an argument about whether the turkey will fit in the oven. Christmas doesn’t always run smoothly, but when I go to bed, I love the excitement in my children’s eyes when they hang out their stockings, even if they’re a little sceptical about whether Santa will actually have delivered any presents in the morning.

No matter how chaotic your Christmas Eve is, there’s still space for a traditional Christmas stocking, either hung over the fireplace, or on the bedstead.  The Fireside Stocking* is knitted from the top down in the round, with stripes of traditional festive colourwork motifs: trees, stars, hearts and reindeer. The stocking is a good size, with plenty of space for all those gifts that Santa will deliver on Christmas Eve. So your beautiful colourwork doesn’t get caught while Santa is filling the stocking, I’ve included tips on how to take control of your floats.

The top of the stocking has plenty of space to embroider a name, which solves any later arguments about whose stocking is whose! Adding a name also makes the Fireside Stocking a perfect gift. A tutorial is included on how to embroider the name if you’re new to embroidery.

Want to buy the pattern now?

You can get the pattern on Ravelry* and PayHip – use the code STOCKING to get 20% off until 11.59pm GMT, Monday 7th 2020. Don’t forget to add the pattern to your favourites while you’re there!

The pattern is also available on LoveCrafts.


One size:

  • Circumference: 37 cm (14.75 in)
  • Leg length to heel: 37.5 cm (15 in)
  • Foot length from heel to tip of toe: 28.5 cm (11.5 in)

19 sts and 26 rnds = 10 cm (4 in) in stocking stitch worked in the round on 4.5 mm (US 7) needles after wet blocking, or size needed to obtain correct tension.

You may find that you need to use a different needle size for the colourwork sections to maintain the same gauge throughout.

Aran-weight yarn in the following colours and amounts:

  • A (red): 185 m (200 yds)
  • B (cream): 165 m (180 yds)
  • C (green): 80 m (90 yds)


  • 4.5 mm (US 7) circular needle 40 cm (16 in) in length and DPNs
  • 4 mm (US 6) circular needle 40 cm (16 in) in length


  • Stitch markers x 3
  • Chart row marker
  • Scissors for cutting paper
  • Sewing pins
  • Tapestry needle
  • Sewing thread (optional)

Pattern notes
The sample is knitted in Drops Alaska (aran, 70 m per 50 g ball, 100% wool) in Dark Red 11 (A), Off White 02 (B) and Light Olive 45 (C).

Links to the following resources are given at the end of the pattern:

  • Wrap and turn
  • Yarn dominance
  • Catching long floats
  • Ladderback jacquard

This pattern was tech edited by Jo Torr.

*Ravelry link. May cause issues for people with photosensitivity. Proceed with caution.

Friday 27 November 2020

Want to take care of your floats? Why not try ladderback jacquard!

Have you ever tried to work colourwork in the round, but found that you’ve struggled to maintain your tension when the stretch between areas of the same colour is more than a few stitches? Ladderback Jacquard might be the technique you’re looking for! Rather than catching floats at the back of the knitting, the floats are caught in a separate layer of fabric that sits behind the main layer, so your floats are invisible from the front of the work, even if you’re working a long stretch of one colour.

This tutorial shows you how to use Ladderback Jacquard when working two-colour colourwork in the round, and includes a mini project you can practise the technique on.

Ready? Here’s how to work Ladderback Jacquard.

The tutorial

Before you begin

Look at your chart and work out where to place the ladder stitches.

  • You want 3-5 stitches between the ladders, and if you are working on DPNs or magic loop, it is helpful if you have a ladder stitch at the beginning or end of each needle – this helps you maintain tension at the ‘corners’.
  • The ladders do not have to be evenly spaced, although you might find it easier to keep track of them if they are.



Work as far as the start of the round before the first colourwork round.

Set-up round

On the rnd before the first round of colourwork (in this case, Rnd 1 of the chart), you need to add the ladder stitches as follows:

  1. Using MC, knit to the position of the first ladder stitch (picture 1).
  2. Using CC and starting with the yarn at the back of the work, take the yarn to the front of the work between the needles, then back over the needle to create a yarnover (picture 2). You should bring the CC up from under the MC when making the yarnover.
  3.  Using MC, knit the next stitch, making sure the CC yarnover is trapped by the MC at the back of the work (picture 4).
  4. Using MC, knit to the position of the next ladder stitch (pictures 3 and 4).
  5. Repeat Steps 2-4 until you have reached the end of the round, making sure your tension is even on your MC stitches and that the CC floats are relaxed (pictures 5 and 6).


First colourwork round

  1. Following the chart for the colour changes, knit to the first ladder stitch (picture 1).
  2.  Bring both yarns to the front between the needles (picture 2).
  3.  With just the float colour, purl the ladder stitch through the back of the loop. When you’re purling the float stitches, make sure the non-float yarn is in front of the purled stitch. This will ensure the ladder stitches do not show through at the front (picture 3).
  4.  Take both yarns to the back between the needles (picture 4).
  5.  Following the chart, knit to the next ladder stitch.
  6.  Repeat Steps 2-5 until you have reached the end of the round (pictures 5 and 6).


All further colourwork rounds

  1. Following the chart, knit to the first ladder stitch.
  2. Bring both yarns to the front between the needles.
  3. With just the float colour, purl the ladder stitch. As before, make sure the non-float yarn is in front of the stitch you are purling.
  4.  Take both yarns to the back between the needles.
  5. Following the chart, knit to the next ladder stitch.
  6. Repeat Steps 2-5 until you have reached the end of the round (pictures 1 and 2 show what your work should look like from the front and the back).


Note on the colour of the ladder 

The float colour will not necessarily be consistent up the ’ladder’ – use the ‘float’ yarn, regardless of the colour. In the example, the ladder should be worked in the following colour:

  • Rnd 2: Ladder 1: MC; ladder 2: CC
  •  Rnds 3-8: Ladders 1 and 2: MC
  •  Rnds 9-10: Ladder 1: CC; ladder 2: MC
  •  Rnd 11: Ladders 1 and 2: CC

Ladder 3 is worked in CC throughout.

Where the ladder happens between colour changes in the chart, you should use the colour to the left of the ladder for the ladder, e.g. for the ladder between stitches 7 and 8 in Round 2, you should work the ladder in CC.


Finishing round

The finishing round is worked on the round after the final colourwork round.

  1. Break CC.
  2. Knit to 1 stitch before ladder stitch (picture 1).
  3. Slip the final MC stitch knitwise with yarn in back, slip the ladder stitch knitwise with yarn in back, knit the two slipped stitches together through back of loop (picture 2).
  4. Repeat Steps 2-3 until you have reached the end of the round (picture 3).


Once you have completed the finishing round, all your stitches will be in MC. Continue working in MC alone as directed in the pattern.


Weave in your ends. You can reduce show-through by weaving the ends into the ladder layer.



Ladderback jacquard test piece

You will need:

·        Scraps of yarn in two colours (MC and CC)

o   The yarn should be the same weight, and same composition.

o   A wool or wool blend is ideal for this technique.

o   The yarns should have good contrast so you can see what you’re doing.

·        A long circular needle [at least 80 cm (32 in) in length] for working magic loop, or DPNs in an appropriate size for your yarn:

o   4ply: 3 mm

o   DK: 4 mm

o   Aran: 5 mm

o   Chunky: 6 mm

·        Stitch marker x 1


Using MC, cast on 22 sts. Join in the rnd, taking care not to twist the cast-on edge. Pm to mark beginning of rnd, slip this marker at the end of each rnd.

Rnds 1-2: Using MC, *k1, p1; rep from * to end.

Rnd 3: Using MC, k to end.

Rnd 4: Work the Ladderback Jacquard Set-up round.

Rnds 5-16: Work Heart Chart Rnds 1-12, using Ladderback Jacquard to control the floats.

Rnd 17: Work the Ladderback Jacquard Finishing round.

Rnds 18-19: Using MC, *k1, p1; rep from * to end.

Using MC, cast off all sts loosely in pattern.



Weave in all ends. Stand back and admire!



sts: stitches

rnd(s): round(s)

pm: place marker

k: knit

p: purl

CC: contrast colour

MC: main colour


Thanks for using this Ladderback Jacquard tutorial, I hope you found it helpful. If you did, why not sign up to my newsletter so you can be first to hear about my latest designs, tutorials and craftalongs?

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