hat

New Pattern! Aoraki Hat

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I've told you many times about my love of Outlaw Yarn and especially Vanitas, their delicious DK weight blend of alpaca and merino. It's a stunning yarn, baby soft and dyed in rich, solid colour ways. When I had two balls left after knitting my Epistrophy cardigan early this year, I knew I had to design something special for it.

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And, after wearing my cardigan all winter, I decided I wanted to knit up my Vanitas into a cosy hat. Vanitas is silky soft to wear, super warm and it has great drape - perfect for a slouchy beanie-style hat.

I just love how the yarn looks knitted in garter so I decided to make that the focus of my design. The garter brim is nice and snug so it won't slip but without being too tight.

The garter then flows into the texture of the hat and I've mixed it with a neat wee two stitch cable that you can knit without a cable needle (I've made a tutorial showing you how and I've linked to it in the pattern).

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Finally, I've popped a pom pom on top. Mine is pretty huge! Go big or go home I say ;)

I make my pom pom's the old fashioned way - with two pieces of cardboard cut like a couple of donuts. I wind and wind and wind ... until it's stuffed full. Then I snip it and wrap a piece of yarn around the centre, pulling it nice and tight.

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My hat is named after New Zealand's highest mountain Aoraki. It's a snowy, beautiful place and I decided it was the perfect name for a snuggly, fun hat.

You could substitute another soft DK yarn to make Aoraki - but if you want one the same as mine - you'll need two balls of Vanitas from Outlaw Yarn; one ball of "Bone" for the body and one ball of Ebony for the pom pom.

New Pattern Release - Koru Hat

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I am very fond of hats. It might be because as a child I was always wearing a hat. My mum kept our little heads well covered and warm. It's something I did for my own babies and I still breathe easier sending my small people out into the cold with a hat on their noggin. Whatever, I definitely enjoy a hat. 

I also like that I can change my look with different hats; I've got my "casually cosy" hats, my "feeling a little zingy" hats and my "this is finishing off my outfit very nicely" hats. This winter, as I run out the door to deliver kids to school I've often been wearing hats to hide my scruffy bed hair. A hat hides a multitude of sins :)

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My new Koru hat is a great messy hair coverer but it's also super lovely and even when I wear it with my jeans and jumper I feel a little bit more special with it on my head.

The lace panel is a delight. I love knitting it and the end result is very pleasing. It's feminine without being too fussy and the gentle curving "ferns" in the pattern add to the overall soft feel of the hat.

You won't need a cable needle to knit the lace panel - all the stitches can be performed with your regular knitting needles. I've made some tutorials (linked in the pattern) to help you out with some stitches that you might not have come across before.

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I also love the subtle detail that the twisted stitch "stripes" add. They elegantly and gently turn Koru into something a little special.

I have been on a roll with twisted stitches lately. I do love the definition they give to stocking stitch and I've made good use of them in this hat - the rib is twisted, the stripes twisted and the lines in the lace twisted. They're easily managed by even the most novice of knitters and they're super effective.

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Koru hat uses DK weight yarn - I've used a delicious merino/possum blend from Naturally Yarns called Amuri - but you can easily substitute another soft DK yarn. I like the "fuzz" that the 25% possum adds to my hat and if you're after a halo, look for a yarn that includes a little something woolly - like alpaca, possum or angora.

You can buy the pattern for Koru hat from Ravelry and if you're quick you can grab yourself a 15% discount off the price with the code KORU15 - be quick! it ends at Midnight, Sunday 6 September 2015 (NZ time - and we're ahead of everyone down here!

Happy knitting!



New Pattern Available! Reminisce Hat

Reminisce Hat Pattern by Libby Jonson - A Truly Myrtle Design

I'm excited to let you know that my Reminisce Hat pattern has been published!

Reminisce is a gorgeous slightly-slouchy hat that is super flattering to wear. I blocked my hat in the photos over a dinner plater to emphasise the gentle beret shaping and I love pulling it down over my ears and off to one side.

This hat was designed with good friends from England in my mind. I really miss those lovely people and am so grateful for the wonderful years we spent together. It feels good to knit those feelings into something beautiful.

Here's how I describe my hat on the pattern:

"Picture a smouldering fire, good company, lively conversation and laughter late into the night. Reminisce celebrates dear friends and happy memories. Knitted in the round from the bottom up this deliciously textured hat is one to treasure, just like great times with darling people. Featuring an all over “block” pattern and gorgeous trailing cable panel, Reminisce warms our hearts and our heads. The “shallow slouch” shape, a blend between a slouchy hat and beret, is feminine & flattering. Reminisce is an entertaining knit including written & charted instructions. Ideal for experienced knitters and adventurous beginners."

Reminisce Hat - A Truly Myrtle Design by Libby Jonson

The cable panel, set against a deliciously textured background, really shows off beautiful yarn. It's not a tricky cable pattern and although I used a cable needle to knit mine, you could manage the cables without one. As is usual with my patterns, I've included both written and charted instructions where possible. When I'm knitting, I mostly prefer charted instructions. Have you used a chart before? Do you know how to read them?  If you don't, keep your eyes peeled here on the blog because I've got a lesson in chart reading coming very soon.

The body of my Reminisce hat is slightly detailed too. A simple "block" stitch turns the stockinette into something a bit more interesting. It's easy to knit and you'll find yourself automatically knitting that part after a couple of rows.

Reminisce Hat - A Truly Myrtle Design by Libby Jonson

I've used a soft DK blend for my hat. It's a single spun, hand-dyed, alpaca/merino/silk blend that shows the detail in the pattern well and drapes gently. Maybe you've got a skein of DK stashed away that'd be just perfect?

If you'd like to buy the pattern you can click here to be redirected to my ravelry shop. Or, click the "Reminisce" button in my sidebar. You don't need to be a member of ravelry to buy a pattern. Thank you!

I'm so looking forward to seeing your hats - if you've got a ravelry account be sure to pop pictures of you hat on your project page so I can find it! 


Thank You Hat

Thank you hat
Thank you hat
Thank you hat

My frantic knitting during my last couple of days in the UK ended well.

From memory the colour of the yarn is slightly darker in the flesh - truer to the name of the colourway, Sage Teal. In any event, it's a beautiful colour and an exceptionally soft, lush yarn. It was such a pleasure to knit with Skein Queen's Opulent Cashmere again.

I snapped these shots early on the morning we left the UK, just as my dear friend was heading out to work. I'd blocked the hat the night before and I'm not sure it was entirely dry but she happily popped it on her head and posed while I quickly took a few photos. It wasn't cold enough to wear it when we left, but by the sounds of things it is now and I hope it's keeping her nice and toasty.

I followed the pattern just as it was written, although I cast it on and ripped it out again a bunch of times before I was happy and I think if I was to knit it again, I'd try a different, tighter-looking double decrease up the crown. Any suggestions for a good one?

My Ravelry project page is here.




Goodbye UK - My LYS & Woolly Wormhead

Goodbye UK - My LYS & Woolly Wormhead
Goodbye UK - My LYS & Woolly Wormhead

Well, my stash of fabric, yarn and all things crafty has been packed into a huge shipping container and, along with the rest of our worldly belongings, is already on its way to New Zealand. I can't quite take it in. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of sorting, packing and cleaning and in five days we're boarding a plane and leaving the UK.

I've already said lots of goodbyes, but today I said a sad goodbye to The Sheep Shop and its lovely owner Sarah. Isn't it a dear shop? Sarah fills it to the brim with delicious yarn, and gorgeous displays and the community that she has created is warm, friendly and enthusiastic. I just love it.

But, today wasn't just any ordinary Saturday morning. I was lucky enough to nab a spot at a class run by hat designer extraordinaire Woolly Wormhead. I know, awesome right?!

Goodbye UK - My LYS & Woolly Wormhead
Goodbye UK - My LYS & Woolly Wormhead

Woolly's class was all about decreases and increases and she talked to us about a ton of different methods of decreasing and increasing in her hat patterns. Do you know how exciting it is to meet someone absolutely passionate about knitting techniques? Very exciting. Woolly just loves her stuff and boy does she know a lot. I learnt heaps and can't wait to try out some of her ideas. We did get to knit wee swatches during the class to see how a range of decreases and increases looked (although I did a terrific amount of nattering and only managed to finish one swatch) and Woolly leapt around the table helping each of us with our questions and confusions. 

And, as if that wasn't fascinating enough for a knitting nerd like me, we also got to try on a bunch of her fabulous hat samples and she helped us work out what suits us and why. I was pretty surprised (and relieved) to find that quite a few hats worked on my newly cropped hair (look out for some Woolly Wormhead patterns popping up on Truly Myrtle next (New Zealand) winter) and I was totally inspired by Woolly's use of colour and how well she manages to match yarn and pattern. Clever lady.

In fact, I bought her latest book while I was there: Playful Woolly Toppers. I'm particularly taken with Selkie, Morea, Beelore and Labyrinth - expect to see some on the heads of the Myrtle kids!


In the meantime, it's time to say goodbye to the UK. I've got five days so I'm planning five posts. If, like me, you're prone to tears, you might like to grab some tissues.