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» Listings for November 2015

  1. I was delighted to be asked to take part in the blog tour that’s a celebration of ten years of Woolly Wormhead and amazing hat designs.

    There have been a lovely collection of blog posts, and I’ll link to those at the bottom of this post in case you’ve missed any.

    One thing that’s been immediately obvious from all of the blog posts is how much Woolly is admired and loved as a person as well as designer.

    So I thought I’d use my post to talk about ten things about Woolly Wormhead which I feel deserve a bit more celebrating.

    1. All of the hats. The hats are amazing. I can’t think of another designer who has taken one thing and explored it in so many different ways. During 2015 I’ve knitted my way through Painted Woolly Toppers and each design brought a fresh way of constructing a hat.

    2. Woolly at shows. It’s a treat to watch Woolly at work, persuading people that yes, they can wear hats and putting exactly the right thing on their heads. Bonus points are gained for doing this and not saying “told you so” when someone decides that they can wear hats after all.

    3. Woolly co-habits with Princess Fi. I say co-habits as I don’t think you ever own a cat. I love Princess Fi. She’s one of my favourite instagram cats, and her failures to become a expert mouser have amused me greatly.

    4. It takes a lot of bravery to admit to having a less than perfect life.Woolly has this in abundance. Reading her words about how she copes (or struggles) with depression have made me admire her all the more. I have no doubt that there are a lot of people who’ve been helped by what she’s written.

    5. Packing Skills. One thing I hugely admire about Woolly is her frankly magical ability to get everything she needs for a show into a suitcase. She blogged about that here, and every time I find myself jamming things into the car as we get ready for a show I remember this. Then I want to weep……

    6. Designing with – well let’s say colourful – yarns. Like a lot of dyers I love getting to play with lots of colour, and I adore the chance to put lots of colours together in a  skein. Most designers would sooner work with semi solid or solid colours. Painted Woolly Toppers was such a fresh look at working with multi coloured yarns. I was thrilled that one of my yarns was used, and even more chuffed when it ended up on the front cover.

    Front.Cover.Final.1.LR.Border_smallImage Copyright Woolly Wormhead

    7. Telling it how it is. I love when people are honest about the realities of their jobs. Anyone who is self employed will have highs and lows. Moments of triumph, moments when it all seems like a complete waste of time. It’s something that Woolly writes about with a great deal of eloquence, and it always gives me lots to think about. There’s an amazing post about the true costs of publishing a pattern that highlights lots of costs that most people would never think of. It’s not a moan or a whine of self pity – anything but. It’s a true reflection of how hard it is to make a living as a a designer.

    8. Being inspiring. How can you fail to be inspired by someone who keeps on keeping on? It’s something to celebrate in so many ways – as an inspiration, as an idea of what’s possible and as a reminder that we’re capable of more than we think.

    9. Designing my favourite hat. This is Giostra from Painted Woolly Toppers.



    I love this hat. Knitted in chunky BFL roving, this is an ultra quick knit which is flattering to wear. So flattering that I’ve already been asked to make several for friends. During the winter I’ll have a hat on very day at work – let’s just say that an unheated workshop really makes you appreciate hand knits. I know that I’ll enjoy putting this on every morning as I head out of the door to put the dye pots on.

    10. Ten years is awesome. A whole decade of hats. Of thoughtful blog posts. Of being a good friend. Here’s to the next ten!

    Woolly has very kindly offered a prize – and I’m gutted that I’m not allowed to enter. As well as the single pattern of your choice, Woolly will also send the winner a handmade project bag.

    To enter, all you need to do is leave me a comment telling me

    1. What Woolly Wormhead pattern you would like to win
    2. What your favourite colour is.

    I’ll pick a winner next Sunday (6th December) at 1800 UK time.

    Good luck


    The Blog Tour so far


    Katya Frankel

    Claire Devine

    Carol Feller


    The next stop on the blog tour is Susan Crawford. Susan will be blogging on the 7th of December.

  2. I was lucky enough to spend Saturday in London with several of my favourite knitty people, and to put faces to names.


    There was a great deal of knitting, much of it colourful, fabulous and interesting.


    I was knitting this.

    Garter stitch in black crochet cotton.

    It’s going to be turned into a silk screen, and will then make colourful prints.

    It’s just not quite at the exciting stage yet.