Tuesday, October 29, 2019

SPOTLIGHT / Shepherd Toque

I hope you've been enjoying this months pattern spotlight! It's been really fun coming up with tips, tricks, and project highlights to share with all of you. Stay tuned for next months pattern spotlight, which will be revealed on Instagram November 1st. It's a special one and I'd love to hear from you if there are any tips you'd like me to focus on.

Once again I thought a quick round up of the month's Shepherd Toque posts would be useful to have all in one place! Or if you missed them on Instagram you can read them fresh for the first time here.

1 — Fabric

The fabric of the Shepherd Toque is key. The Sandnes Garn Tweed used to make this mid-weight version (below) may be classified as bulky, however the knit fabric is anything but! This brushed yarn knits up to a larger gauge while producing a feather-weight fabric. The result? A toasty warm toque that can be scrunched into a ball and tucked in your pocket.

It's hard to tell just how light it is in a static photograph, I thought a video would be a more dynamic way to show off the characteristics of the fabric.

2 — Double Brim

Like so many of my hat patterns, the Shepherd Toque features a double layer brim! This technique is a cinch to do and results in a more comfortable and flattering fit. It also reduces the dreaded 'hat head'!! To add a doubled brim to any hat simply double the length of the ribbing for the brim, fold in half towards the inside of the hat, and seam in place. ⠀

When tacking your brim in place the goal is to keep it super stretchy like the rest of the fabric. I recommend knitting into every other stitch and be mindful not to pull too tight - keep the seam nice and relaxed. ⠀

 { Fingering Version knit in Woolfolk Sno, Color No. 1+17 }

{ close-up of seamed double brim — both photos are of the wrong side of the toque }⠀

3 — Pom Pom

One of the easiest ways to dress up your Shepherd Toque is with a simple pom pom! You can completely change the look of this minimalist toque with a yarn or faux fur pom. This one (below) from Rose and Purl is THE best — it is fitted with a cord that makes tie on a cinch! I also find the cord makes it really easy to switch things up if you're not ready to commit to a full-time pom pom or want to untie it and add it to a different hat!⠀

4 — Ultralight

The Shepherd Toque is feather-light! That means it is a very portable project to pop in your bag and knit on the go. It also means it won't add much weight to your travels, whether it's tucked in a hiking pack, or folded up in your pocket!⠀

To give you an idea just how airy light the Shepherd Toque is, these are how little the largest size of each version weighs in the recommended yarn:⠀

Ultralight — 25g⠀
Mid-weight — 40g⠀
Fingering — 42g⠀

This Ultralight version weighs as little as...

...my teeny tiny Gingham scissors. 

...or this compact white-out dispenser. 

...it's also more than 3x lighter than this little banana chocolate chip muffin from my lunch!

...Clearly I had way too much fun with this tip! 

Discount + Giveaway

This month we were generously sponsored by local yarn store Beehive Wool Shop. They're making it that much easier to cast-on your very own Shepherd Toque by offering 10% off a skein of Woolfolk Tynd or Sno this month, using code SHEPHERDHAT (limited to 1 skein per customer — offer ends October 31st)! And with this months spotlight wrapping up they have also contributed a skein of yarn to our pattern giveaway. Check out our giveaway post on Instagram for all of the details and to enter to win!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

SPOTLIGHT / Arika Cowl

This fall we thought it would be fun to highlight a favourite pattern each month! September the spotlight has been on the Arika cowl and throughout the month we've posted helpful tips and tricks on social media, shared a few inspiring projects, and have a giveaway planned to close out the month! I thought it would be handy to recap some of the highlights here on the blog!

1 — Seaming

When seaming, it is very important to leave the 2x2 ribbing unstretched, so that the knit 'columns' are visible and the purl 'columns' are hidden in between (see picture below). This creates a wider neck opening, and provides structure to help the cowl stand up around your neck.
This tip is written into the finishing instructions of the pattern however, in the excitement to finish an Arika, it can sometimes get missed which is why I am bringing this tidbit to attention!

For anyone who has already made the Arika and found their cowl a little too snug around the neck, it may be worth taking out your seam, and redoing it with this tip in mind!

 Stitch Pattern

Did you know? The openwork section of the Arika Cowl, which gives it the amazing shape, and drape, is a variation on the Herringbone Lace Rib Stitch? ⠀

This stitch combines knits, purls, and yarn-over stitches to give you a mash-up of standard 2x2 and eyelet ribbing. With a simple two row repeat; one action row and one rest row, it's really easy to memorize (and easy to read your stitches)!⠀

 Right & Wrong Sides

Sometimes it's difficult to differentiate the right and wrong side of a fabric before a knitter develops that familiarity and is able to "read” their stitches. The Arika cowl has a unique openwork ribbing, the right side of the fabric can be distinguished by it's pronounced knit columns between the paired eyelets. The wrong side, as pretty as it is, can be recognized by the purl bumps on the backside of our right sides tidy knit columns.

(right side)
(wrong side)


If you're running low on yarn when it comes time to add fringe, a genius hack is to omit the fringe along the back neck. You can also opt to use this mod if you'd prefer a little less bulk in the back!

Discount + Giveaway

We were fortunate enough to have our local yarn shop Button and Needlework Boutique sponsor this months pattern highlight! If you're local to Victoria they've been offering an incentive to cast on an Arika, head in and grab a skein of Kenzington by Hikoo for 10% off the regular price before September ends!

They've also generously donated a skein of yarn to giveaway with a copy of the pattern to one lucky knitter! To enter the giveaway hop on over to Instagram for all of the details!

And that's a wrap! Until next time, I'll leave you with this stunning version of Arika knit in Tanis Fiber Arts Grey Label Chunky, isn't the Tartan colourway incredible?

Don't forget to tag your projects with the hashtag #arikacowl so that I can see your beautiful work! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

50% OFF — Birthday Sale

My birthday has come and gone this month but in keeping with tradition, I’d like to continue the celebrations by offering 50% OFF all of my patterns on my website and Ravelry store for TODAY ONLY — no coupon code needed!
Happy Knitting!

Friday, June 14, 2019

3 Clarkes on the Beach

April, 24th — 2018

 { Cate, Elsie, and I in our matching Clarke's }

I unearthed these photos along with this unpublished blog post that remained unwritten except for it's title. It's dated April 24th 2018, just 2 weeks before my accident. Because of my brain injury, revisiting things that happened in the days and weeks leading up to my crash make me feel off balance, the memories are foggy and incomplete, almost like they belong to someone else.

I'm slowly beginning to make better connections and physio has helped reconnect my mind with my body. I feel so much stronger and more like myself.

Brain injuries are harder to treat. And when your body is badly broken, often they get overlooked for your physical injuries. Having others reach out and share their experience with concussion has really helped, thank you for sharing, it's meant a great deal to me.

Getting back to work has been a slow and unsteady process and I feel grateful to have had your  support through this difficult time. There are too many who cannot take adequate time off to heal, it hurts my heart. 

I hope you've enjoyed these fun photos. Happy Friday friends ♥ 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Me Made May / Pledge

{ Ginger Jeans — View A }

Me Made May is just around the corner (even closer—it begins tomorrow!) and I've thought long and hard about my pledge as this will be my first year participating. 

I have so many home made items in my closet that wearing something me-made every day won't be much of a challenge. Instead I'd like to use the challenge to teach me a few things about my wardrobe as a whole, how I can round it out and really hone in on those things that flatter me most and make me feel my best. 

Here is my pledge  (if you would like to sign up yourself, it's not to late, visit the sign up post here). —

'I, Jane Richmond, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May 2019. I endeavour to do the following:

1 — Wear one me-made item daily to (hopefully) identify the pieces I love, move along (or tweak) the ones I don't, and zero in on any gaps in my me-made wardrobe.

2 — Catalogue my me-made outfits daily to help reflect for task #1 above.

3 — Make a solid plan to add 2-3 bottom half projects (ie. pants, shorts) to my sewing queue by the end of the month.

...during May 2019'

I was the 794th person to pledge to the Me Made May challenge! I can't wait to follow along and get inspired by other makers who have joined as well. I'm nervous of biting off more than I can chew but excited to make the effort and finally participate. 

Have you plans to join in on Me Made May? If so, are you a rookie or a vet?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Seedy Winston Pullover

Winston Pullover by Jane Richmond

I finished knitting my seed stitch Winston Pullover this week for the knit-along! I was soooo close to the finish line, I'd reached the ribbing at the end of the second sleeve, when I realized I'd missed my last set of decreases for the shaping and had to rip half of the sleeve out and redo it. I was tempted to leave it but the perfectionist in me talked me out of it. The re-knitting took no time at all—I'm glad I forced myself to do it. And now I can finally wear my clay coloured Winston! YAY!

I promised to share my modifications with you once I was done! I've typed them up below, but you can also find them on my project page here on Ravelry.

Winston Pullover by Jane Richmond


1 — Same Gauge
Because seed stitch has an identical gauge to Stockinette, I was able to substitute without having to do any math!

2 — Raglan Increases
For seed stitch to be "unbroken" the paired increases for the raglan shaping need to be side by side (instead of having stitches in between them) so I swapped in “kfb, sm, kfb” for all of the raglan increases.

3 — Added 1 extra stitch to front neck cast-on
For the seed stitch to be continuous in the round there needed to be an uneven number of stitches in every round. I added an extra stitch to (C) when I cast on the front neck.

4 — Added 2 extra stitches per sleeve
My size had an additional increase round for the body and not the sleeves. To maintain those paired increases and not break up the seed stitch I did an additional round of sleeve increases to match the body. This meant the sleeves ended up with an added two stitches to their final stitch count.

5 — Sleeve Decreases
For the seed stitch to be continuous in the round I decreased 1 stitch at the beginning-of-round marker to achieve an odd number.

Again the decreases for the sleeve shaping needed to be side by side to maintain the seed stitch pattern. I used p2tog for both decreases when the round began with a purl stitch, and k2tog for both decreases when the round began with a knit stitch.

I decreased 1 stitch at the beginning of the first round of the cuff because the ribbing needed to be an even number.

6 — OPTIONAL - Short-row shaping / back hem
I was inspired by my friend Karen's Winston — she'd added short row shaping to her back hem and it looked amazing!

Here's how I did mine:
When (N) = 11” work short rows as follows:
Row 1: Work across body until all right underarm stitches have been worked, wrap and turn.
Row 2: Work across back until all left underarm stitches have been worked, wrap and turn.
Row 3: Work across back until 5 stitches remain before gap, wrap and turn.
Row 4: Repeat Short Row 3.
Next: Work across to BOR marker working wraps from right underarm as you go.
Next: Work across, working wraps from left underarm as you go, and ending round at right underarm.
Change to smaller circular needle and work as written in pattern for ribbed hem.
Remember to decrease away your extra stitch from (C) as you’ll now need an even number for the 1x1 rib!

Winston Pullover by Jane Richmond

It's been fun watching new Winston's pop up on social media—I'm constantly finding inspiration in the #WINSTONpullover feed. If you've been wanting to cast on but need a little extra inspiration, scroll through for yourself! I've also added my absolute faves to my Instagram highlights here.

The knit-along is still wide open and everyone is welcome! Because this is a casual knit along there are no rules and no deadlines so please, bring your project to cast-on or your work-in-progress, modifications are welcomed and encouraged, and join us in this laid back Winston knit-along!

Winston Pullover by Jane Richmond

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Knit Along with Me / WINSTON PULLOVER

Winston Pullover by Jane Richmond

Knitting with friends is fun! Way more fun than knitting alone. It's motivating and uplifting and can be a source of inspiration as well as a help with problem solving.

I've noticed so many amazing Winston Pullovers popping up in my feed since the pattern was published I've been inspired to cast on again.

If you'd like to join me please jump on in!! The pattern is a super quick and easy knit. It's perfect for beginners or those who want to try garment knitting or top-down construction. The recommended yarn is also inexpensive and accessible.

This will be a fun casual knit-along with no cast on date or deadline so feel free to bring works in progress, modifications, etc to the group. Everyone is welcome!

For pattern details visit — Winston Pullover. To join the knit-along group hop over to Ravelry.

Winston Pullover by Jane Richmond

I'm knitting mine in seed stitch (notes on my ravelry project page) and loving the result! The pattern is such a perfect blank slate for fun personalization like a cropped version, colour blocking, stripes, or an all over seed stitch!

I'm excited to see your Winstons — I hope you'll join me!