western sunsets.


Here are two versions of the Western Sunset hat I knit up this month. The first one is amazing blacks and oranges and reds, and its perfect. The second I made to match my blue jacket but it doesn’t have the same power as the first version; color choice in fair isle knitting is such an important factor. I like it, but I don’t LOVE it.

Both versions were knit up using scraps of Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage I had in various colorways; think thyme, ink, saffron, tomato, and glazed pecan, to name a few. Then there are a few bits of Manos Del Uruguay in teal.

It’s a perfect stash buster for all those odds and ends you have leftover from other projects. The combinations are endless. I definitely want to make more of these that ring more toward the orange and black one than the navy and teal one.

What do you think? How important is crazy color contrast in fair isle? Very important, i.m.h.o. Have you had projects that you hated the fair isle because your colors were just “off”? What do you think of my blue version–less blah than I feel about it?

See my project notes here and here. Knit a version of Helen Yates’ Western Sunset hat yourself. And browse through my other hats.




Nothing screams holidays like extra dirty martinis in vintage mid century glasses and fair isle snowflake motifs in red and white.

This hat ended up being an amazing stocking cap gifted before I could get finished snaps. It only took two evenings to knit, so I’m definitely starting another one this evening.

Happy merry.


After starting this at the beginning of November and abandoning it to holiday knitting, I picked it back up last week and finished. Scatter is an Icelandic fair isle sweater, featuring a nice bleeding color pattern. It was easy to follow, minus all the errors for the sleeve charts, but because its “scattered” color work, I don’t think you can tell that the stitch counts for the smallest size did not match up with the sleeve charts.

I love the over-sized fit (the smallest size has a chest measurement in the 40-inches) and the super bulky Alafoss Lopi yarn I used to knit this (in the black sheep heather and lite indigo colorways), but the sleeves are too long by about 2-3 inches…again.

So like my Stasis, I’m going to have to cut into the knitting and re-knit the ribbing on the sleeves. Normally I like long sleeves, but these go well past the ends of my hands, so it won’t work to wear this anywhere but bumming around the house, which is so not the point.

Stay tuned for modifications and hopefully a better final fit. What Icelandic sweaters do you recommend I knit next?

norway / love.

I’m not big on Valentine’s Day for the romantic aspect. I could care less about roses and candlelight dinners and expectations. I’m more throw me a mini box of chocolates like this favorite and make all the cute Valentine’s things.

It’s really about the making, isn’t it?

First up, of course, is a hearts hat for February. I knit this one up using two skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in blue surf for the main color and bergamota for the hearts. It came out just as I hoped–slightly slouchy, incredibly bright. I did modify the pattern a bit (From Norway With Love) to accommodate a short heat by putting one less row of hearts in the color work section.

cold as…

F*ck. Progress on those cheeky fair isle mittens I’ve been working on for the past few days. I have tiny hands; these will for sure be far too long for my puny self. Will likely be a gift for someone else.

But loving them, nonetheless. Knit up using two skeins of Knit Picks Palette in garnet heather for the main and mist for the contrast. The underside also features a gorgeous striping pattern. Will post proper snaps when they are finished.

fair isle mittens.

Taking a break from the sweater knitting to cough up some fair isle mittens, which I will likely gift to someone for Christmas. These will be funny, and slightly inappropriate, mittens. They are How Cold Is It? by Drunk Girl Knits. I’ve made significant progress since this photo of the cuff was snapped, and I did a bit of modification but I’m loving them and once the pattern is established, they are pretty quick to knit.

These mittens are knit with Knit Picks Palette in garnet heather for the main color and mist for the contrast. Stash busting projects are the best.

chevrons yoke.

Two ferociously cold nights here in Boston meant early to bed with blankets and books and knitting projects, of course. After those two nights, I have a fair isle yoke, already divided for the sleeves and body, completed.

And I’m loving it.

I’ve knitted the Chevrons sweater before for my mum as a Christmas gift last winter. This time, I decided to use Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in cast iron for the main color and fossil for the color work; the contrast of the black and the bone is amazing and I’m loving everything about this new version.

I’m hoping to get a substantial part of the body done tonight, but I’ve got to pack for my Thanksgiving vacation, too. Here’s to hoping I can finish it this weekend so maybe I can start the Willard Fair Isle Pullover with that gorgeous Owl yarn just waiting for me.


Finally, a snap of the finished product. I finished this sweater way back in early September 2013 but never took any photos of it with sleeves. I’ve worn it a whole pile of times and people say it looks like something you might buy in J. Crew this winter. I’d say that makes it a winner.

The only modification I made was to do 3/4 length sleeves. It’s too cold here to justify a short sleeved sweater with so many nice details. Thinking back, I should have made it with full length sleeves because that would make it even more practical. I will definitely be knitting more of JOJI’s patterns for sure.

wip: moody house hat.

I absolutely love color work. Its challenging but so rewarding and takes to crazy color combinations really well. This is the Moody House hat, in progress. Top down, I decided to use little bundles of leftover yarn I had, so this hat is a stash buster, besides being gorgeous and so fun to work up.

Knit using Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran in the stormy colorway and some Cascade 220 in orange. The original calls for The Plucky Knitter, but we all know how hard it is to get your hands on that yarn. But, oh, wouldn’t it be gorgeous?

fair isle baby.

A co-worker and friend just informed me he will be the proud papa of a baby girl this December. The obvious first choice was to begin with Purl Bee’s Fair Isle baby hat, which I’ve been dying to make for some time.

This was a quick 2 hour knit. I used Knit Picks Palette, since I have 100 skeins of it in every imaginable colorway, and wanted to reflect the original pattern’s motif. The main color way is white, and the motif (from bottom on up) are as follows: asphalt heather, briar heather, camel heather, almond, and oyster heather.

Check out my project at ravelry.