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Scandi Cowl

Wed 07 Feb 2018 02:02pm

Scandi Cowl by popular demand! A cowl designed with motifs found in my book 150 Scandinavian Motifs.

Now found on Ravelry!

The prototype was spotted on the dress form during my Craftsy class Modern Stranded Colorwork. The poor girl was naked when we were showing the class project on screen so I wrapped her in the knitted swatches from my book. People clamored for that faux cowl! They were not satisfied with the fact that it was literally pages from my book. So I caved and I’ve written a pattern. To be honest, there was quite a bit of designing involved for the patterns to flow, so YOU WERE RIGHT!

I hope you like it!


Ps. The hat is Pine Star also found on Ravelry.


Oorik Swatching

Fri 02 Feb 2018 12:02pm

Oorik_swatch Oorik_yarns

I’m impulsive. I started my new Oorik for the KAL with ribbing from a WIP that had languished. Just the right number of stitches, a gorgeous Moss Heath green from Uradale Yarn, a 100% organic Shetland wool. Since I only have a few colors, the challenge is to make them work in a pleasing manner.



I didn’t think I’d be able to just swap color for color to good effect. In the original there isn’t as much of a difference between darks and lights as my new group of colors. Three of my new colors are in the middle-dark range, with a big leap to the white. In the black and white image the red appears super dark, but we know by our eyes that it won’t just read as a neutral dark, it will pack a punch if knit in any great amount, just a single row of pattern stitches in the first border pattern illustrates this.

Oorik_border - 1

That first border pattern is what I love. It’s exactly what I was looking for. The little bursts of red in the center cheer me to no end. I like the zigzag peerie pattern with green as the background too.

What comes next? I didn’t want to think. I was LAZY. My only thought…I need an instagram post! STUPID. Well actually the knitting was fun. Mindless zipping away…I knew the second border pattern wouldn’t work, but I thought maybe I’d surprise myself. Um…no.

Oorik - crop

I think the red “cuts” the pattern, creating a red line, in large part because there are so many pattern stitches in that round. I also believe the lacy curves of the pattern don’t show up because they are only one stitch and they get lost. See the difference two stitches of the same color side by side makes in the first border pattern?

I also really dislike the wide white stripes between the border patterns and the peerie pattern, they become an annoying “feature” that does not occur in the original colorway.

So what have I learned? What do I teach my students? SWATCH FOR COLOR. You can wear your swatch as a wristlet! I could keep this swatch as a hat. It does not offend me that much…we’ll see…I’ve got the urge to rip. Ripping back can be cathartic.

I will indeed swatch on 48 stitches and go from there. Stay tuned!


Oorik Pattern

From the book A Year of Techniques

Join the Oorik KAL

Steeking Tutorial on Mason Dixon Knitting

jen_ac_bath_101 jen_ac_bath_162 jen_ac_bath_141

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Oorik KAL Happening!

Wed 31 Jan 2018 11:01am

A Knit Along for Oorki, my child’s vest pattern, or what they call a tank top across the pond. The KAL begins tomorrow February 1st 2018. It’s the final installment from the book A Year of Techniques, by Jen and Jim Arnall-Culliford. Oorik challenges the knitter with colorwork and … the most difficult technique of all: STEEKING!! It really isn’t the most difficult, but it may be the scariest if you’ve never done it before. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. Just start knitting. You will be guided through the process in the KAL. Watch Jen’s comforting video hosted on Mason Dixon Knitting’s super website.

Look at my last post for a whole slew of super-cute pictures of Oorik and the darling spirited model!

I think a vest is a perfect place to start because you don’t have much at stake, especially when making a child’s vest. I have a Craftsy Class: The Fair Isle Vest where we make an adult sized vest, using DK weight Shetland Wool, so the project is still quick. My Voe Vest is another quick adult option as it also uses DK. I’ve got a Voe Vest WIP using Rowan Felted Tweed.

In any event the first step is to SWATCH for color and gauge.


Here’s a great trick when you just want to swap out a color or two, wrap the possibilities on a card, or a clothespin which for some reason is another favorite thing to wrap. Or a ruler, I use rulers too.

The middle card above is the original colorway, with a different blue swapped out in the top card and a more somber group of colors on the bottom card, for those who eschew sweet colors for kids.

Arnall-Culifford Knitwear offer kits in these three colorways.

 Original (left), Different Blue (middle), Muted (right)

I am going to just use colors I’ve got in my stash. Which is about a thousand colors. You don’t even want to know. Just ask Ella at The Woolbrokers…To make my choices easier I’m using ribbing from a Bousta Beanie WIP, so I’m swatching with Uradale Yarns 100% Organic Shetland wool.

UradaleOorik - 1
 Uradale Yarns 100% Organic Shetland Wool

It’s just the right amount of stitches for a generous and in my mind perfect swatch or if I like it, I  can keep going and have a vest before you know it. We’ll see. I’ve only got a few colors so I’m determined to make them work to my liking. I may not just swap color for color…I will probably rearrange them a little.

OK!!!! That’s it! Ready Steady GO…tomorrow. After the super eclipse blood blue Moon.

Yarn Info:

Kit colors used above, all Jamieson & Smith :


2ply Jumper Weight 9144 (pink), 66 (yellow), FC15 mix (blue)
Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight 2006 Gaulmogot (2006)


2ply Jumper Weight 9144 (pink), 66 (yellow), FC34 mix (turquoise)
Shetland Supreme Jumper Weight 2006 Gaulmogot (2006)

Grey background / Green peerie

2ply Jumper Weight FC15 mix (blue), 28 (dark yellow), 29 mix (green), 203 (grey)


Uradale Yarns 100% Organic Shetland Wool (the yarns I’m using)

Moss Heath (green)

Laebraakk (grey)

Flukkra (white)

Deergrass Heath (red)


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Oorik Pattern Reveal!!!

Sat 02 Sep 2017 09:09am


I’m pleased as punch to reveal my contribution, Oorik, to the great new book A Year of Techniques by the ever-clever duo at Arnall-Culliford Knitwear, Jen and Jim.

Oorik is a sweet vest for the toddler in your life, the word Oorik which means “small person” in old Shetland dialect.

Knit in the round with just four colors. Of course never more than two are used in a single round. The sweet vest features two border patterns alternated with a single peerie pattern. I feel the colors are suitable for all genders, but they are easily substituted for you to dream up your own color scheme, which would be really fun. I can’t wait to see what folks come up with.

Steeking is the technique you’ll learn with Oorik. As with every project in this stellar book there is a technique to learn and master. Jen and Jim have made a video tutorial which will be go live on Mason-Dixon Knitting on 1st Feb 2018, the same date as a KAL will begin.

A Year of Techniques (with complimentary ebook) costs £19.99 plus shipping, or you can buy the ebook only for £19.99.

Visit Arnall-Culliford Knitwear to purchase.

A kit with the yarn will soon be available in their shop as well.

I hope you’ll join us for the KAL in February…if you can wait that long!

If I ever need cheering up I look at the many photos of Jen and Jim’s niece the vest. I know full well how challenging photographing a toddler can be – she is the cutest!!!

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