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All That Sparkles

February 7, 2019

This little darling! Her smile and that dimple get me grinning every time!

Alexa has gone back down one of her favourite rabbit holes recently (the antler cable… something new coming oh so soon). This kindled in me a desperate desire to make an Antler cardigan for Neve! I’ve made one or two for Max, but poor second child that Neve is, she had thus far been neglected! So this lovely red Madelinetosh Vintage that had been languishing for some years in my stash became an Antler cardigan, and it was the perfect opportunity to use these lovely mismatched gold buttons from my stash too!

I’m a big fan of ‘similar’ buttons. They don’t need to match exactly, they just need to work well together as a set. More on my button love here.

There’s a great thrift shop near my house with an EXCELLENT button selection, and I love to go in there and rake through them, picking out ‘similar’ and ‘coordinating’ combinations of buttons. There’s just something so inspiring and intriguing about buttons, especially considering the past history of second-hand buttons… I can take a pleasant journey in my imagination thinking up their stories!

The yarn is Madelinetosh Vintage in ‘robin red breast’ – this is the very same yarn we originally designed the Antler Cardigan in originally. Years later I still love it to bits. It’s a great, robust, hard wearing and delightful semi-solid yarn for garment projects; especially well suited to sweaters for little ones which tend to require more laundering!

Sometimes, I throw my ‘work knitting’ to the back of the closet and just knit a project PURELY for the fun of it. These sparkly Barley hats were this kind of project! I knit them while visiting in-laws over Christmas; the pattern requires ZERO attention, and always seems to come out beautifully.

Other ‘just for pleasure’ knits that I made recently are these SUPER SPARKLY Barley hats for Neve and Max. Occasionally I spend my morning working at a cafe in a lovely department store here in Edinburgh, and occasionally I’ll peruse their yarn selection. It doesn’t have the great selection you would find at an independent LYS, but it’s still interesting when I want a little hit of colour and inspiration. This is where I stumbled across this outrageously sparkly stuff; it’s Rico Design Luxury Magic Mohair. I thought to myself, well, we’re probably not going to do a design in it, so I let it stay on the shelf. Right. Sensible.

Then the next week, I stopped on by to look at it again, once more deciding that it was impractical, and not buying it. Eventually, I told Alexa about this sparkle yarn I’d been obsessing over, and she laughed at me “That’s silly, if you love it you should get it!” So I felt a bit ridiculous and supposed she was right. Best not to shy away from inspiration! What are a few more balls going to do… ? While sparkles are not my norm, sometimes you need to give in to desire; and perhaps sparkly holiday hats are just the moment for impulsivity and indulgence!

Despite my desire to finish both John’s and my own Christmas jumpers (a leftover ambition from the Strange Brew KAL), I couldn’t help casting on immediately, and these two barley hats were the result! The kids love them of course!

The Simple Collection – Fabulous Free Patterns

Have you knit something from The Simple Collection? We published this free learn-to-knit series of simple modern patterns back in 2013, but have been gradually adding to it ever since! The first 8 patterns were all made in worsted-weight yarn, but we’ve since added some lightweight versions; the Flax Light sweater, the Barley Light hat, and we started this year ‘best foot forward’ with the Rye Light socks. There are now 13 free patterns to choose from!

There is PROBABLY something that you need to knit from The Simple Collection. The Barley hat, for example, has nearly 19,000 listed projects on Ravelry, at the time of this blog post. Clearly it’s a fan favourite, and it’s pretty easy to see why!


6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2019 4:28 am

    Those hats! They look so soft and I didn’t notice the sparkle till I looked close. It’s not overwhelming but just right! I’m sure you’re so glad you got it! But my favorite is that luscious red Yarn! I’ve been trying to decide on yarn for my next sweater and that is definitely going to be it. It is gorgeous. And, drumroll, I’ve cast on the Rye Light socks and can’t wait to get going on them, just finishing a Fisherman’s Rib sweater, on the last sleeve. That Rib sure takes forever!

  2. Jools permalink
    February 8, 2019 7:16 pm

    I love the barley hat pattern and have made countless both for family and charity gifts. Such an easy knit with beautiful results every time.

  3. February 8, 2019 6:56 am

    Of course you just need to give in and buy the sparkly yarn, a girl has just got to play sometimes! Cute hats, adorable little one!

  4. Lori permalink
    February 7, 2019 4:58 pm

    I love the barley hat my kids get one every fall, no matter what yarn I use they come out awesome!

  5. Anita Jamieson permalink
    February 7, 2019 3:28 pm

    Emily, was that Dept store John Lewis? When in Britain and Edinburghi love to go there

  6. Robin Carter Massey permalink
    February 7, 2019 2:29 pm

    The Barley Hat is my go to for cruise knitting. Every cruise I take, I make at least 2 or 3 and leave them with crew members.

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