Winner + Designer Spotlight: Wooly Wormhead

Wooly Wormhead Interview
Congratulations to caffeine72, our winner for this month's blog giveaway. We will get in touch with you shortly to arrange delivery of your prize! 

For our final blog post of 2016, we are pleased to share this interview with Woolly Wormhead, whom we've been a fan of for quite some time. We have donated a few prizes to her Muratura KAL that is happening now through December 31 (click here for more info), and last week she shared a technique tutorial with us - click here if you missed it

When did you learn to knit/crochet? - or - How did you get started designing?

My mum taught me to knit when I was 3, and I started making clothes for my dolls. You could say I started designing when I was about 7 or 8 or maybe even younger, as I clearly remember making up patterns by myself for my toys, and finding inventive ways to achieve things. I made my first jumper for myself when I was 9, and from there continued making garments for myself every year.

What is your design process typically like? 

Varied, but always organic! I'm not very good at having everything planned out on paper beforehand, with several trusty swatches. I can do it, but I always need to refine on the needles. And often that means ripping out and adjusting. I will chart out stitch patterns and know how the design will be graded before I cast on, but it's never a done deal; the design is never finished until everything is polished, and that's usually done on the needles. It's not uncommon for me to reknit a Hat 3 times to get the fine details just right.

What is your absolute favorite Knitter's Pride product, the one you would HAVE to have if you were stranded on a desert island?

My Karbonz short tip interchangeables - they're my go-to needles, each and every time. I'm also developing quite a thing for the Zing short tip interchangeables, too!

What tips do you have for knitters who plan on gifting their KAL hat to that knit-worthy person on their list? 

Sizing is really important - one size does not fit all! That said, you can pretty much guarantee that if the Hat you knit doesn't quite fit or suit the person you originally had in mind, it will fit and suit someone ;)

I have a super handy guide on my website to measuring for Hats, and gives you an idea of average head sizes. They are just that though, average. Some Hats and stitch patterns are much more forgiving about size (lacey slouchy Hats for instance) but others are not - cables and other heavily structured patterns need more precision. It's always worth remembering that a knitted fabric will stretch widthways, but what it gains there it loses in length.

There's also a useful guide on my website for choosing the right Hat style to suit difference face shapes and hairstyles - some people might be surprised to hear that there is a Hat to suit everyone!

Muratura hat designed by Woolly Wormhead
What is your favorite cast-on method for hats? Other projects? 

That would depend on the brim with vertical Hats... the alternate cable cast-on where a rib is needed, a cable cast-on if the edge pattern really doesn't matter or needs something giving but strong, and a crochet provisional cast-on as a main cast on as a decorative finish, especially on garter stitch. I've recently been introduced to the Chinese waitress cast-on and am keen to experiment with it more, and see how it works in the round (i.e. can I join it invisibly?)

Other projects? What are 'other projects'?! ;-)

Woolly Wormhead is a Hat Architect. With an instinctive flair for unusual construction and a passion for innovation, Woolly Wormhead is a designer whose patterns are trusted and celebrated by knitters all over the world. As a designer, Woolly is driven by a need to create and develop her understanding of 3D form. Communicating her ideas and sharing her specialised knowledge with her audiences is key to Woolly’s success as a designer. Woolly's high quality pattern writing ensures perfect results, teaches new skills and encourages us all to become Hat architects. Visit for further details.

Tutorial: How to Knit Brioche Into The Row Below

Today we have a special bonus blog post from Woolly Wormhead, who shares a tutorial for knitting brioche into the row below. It's great for those of you participating in the Muratura KAL, which we are sponsoring. Be sure to check out the Woolly Wormhead blog for details on the KAL (plus a coupon code for your pattern purchase!), and also don't forget to enter our blog giveaway for December, found here.

Knitting into the row below is a variation of Brioche knitting, and creates a wonderfully textured
stitch pattern on what is a garter stitch ground. It is used in my Muratura and Rainbow Warrior
patterns, and it isn't as yarn thirsty as other brioche stitches (knitting into the row below doesn't use as much yarn as creating a yarnover).

The usual abbreviation for knitting into the row below is 'K1b'. This stitch is usually worked on
alternate stitches, and is offset on RS rows to create the pattern.

1. Knit up to the stitch that has the K1b instruction. On a piece of knitting worked flat, the 1st row is usually *K1, K1b; rpt; the 2nd & 4th rows are knit across. The 3rd row would then be *K1b, K1; rpt. When working in the round, the 2nd & 4th rounds would be purl across.
2. Insert your needle into the stitch below the one on the left hand needle, as shown.

3. Bring your yarn around and perform a knit stitch.

4. This is the completed knit stitch, with the worked stitch still on the left hand needle – here you can see clearly how you have knit through both loops together.

5. Then slip the worked stitch off the needle, and done! It's much simpler than it first seems.

Copyright Woolly Wormhead © 2016. Used With Permission; All rights reserved.


Five Quick Gift Knits, a KAL & a Giveaway!

With Christmas coming up and the hubbub of the holiday season, sometimes all you’re looking for is a short yet satisfying project either for yourself or for a quick gift.

Here are our top 5 free one-skein-or-less patterns to knit that will keep you warm from head to toe.

The Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits is a classic, and fits just about everyone! With infant and adult sizes, you could whip these up for the whole family.
The Handbrake Cowl and Scarf pattern by Dan and Kay Jones, is an easy textured knit that can be easily adjusted for whatever yarn you choose.

The Pedestrian Crossing Cowl by Keegan Lane Designs is a fun buttoned cowl that would look great in a solid color or variegated yarn.

Warmest Mitts by Knitting Pretty would look good on anyone, and they knit up in a flash - they’re also great for knitting through your stash!

Who doesn’t need a pair of house slippers or ankle socks? Footies by Quirky Bird Knits is the ideal pattern to use up some stash yarn while getting a little gift off the needles at the same time.

It's a Woolly Wormhead KAL!

We're pleased to sponsor a KAL for Woolly Wormhead's final hat design of 2016, Muratura! This hat is knit sideways and uses a variation of the brioche stitch. Moreover, it knits up quickly, making it a great last-minute gift project for the holidays.

Click here for details on how to join the Muratura KAL for your chance to win 2 great prizes from Knitter's Pride - there is also a coupon code towards your pattern purchase!

While you’re knitting up these last minute gifts, why not treat yourself to a little luxury with Knitter’s Pride Royale needles?

Our Royale needles have colored wooden shafts (unique to each size) and sharp metal tips, perfect for all types of knitting. Choose from single point, double point and fixed circular needle, as well as Interchangeable and DPN set. Each set comes in a Parisian-themed zipper case, so you can daydream about being on a cafe patio in Paris with a hot cappuccino and your favorite knitting

Comment on this blog post to enter our giveaway for a Knitter’s Pride Royale Single Pointed Needle Set - be sure to also include your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you are our lucky winner. Come back to the blog on Friday, December 23 to see who won!