FO Friday: Purple Hedgehog Hat

I made a very silly hat! Also, a very warm hat.

Want to make one just like it? I have plenty of yarn leftover — if you promise to make a hedgehog hat, I’ll send you my leftover Mushishi.

Project: Purple Hedgehog Hat

Pattern: Hedgehog

Designer: Mercè Janer

Available: FREE from

Yarn: Plymouth Yarns Mushishi #12

I picked up some Mushishi as a “courtesy purchase” while checking out a LYS.  The long color changes seemed just right for the short-row hedgehog hat.  I love how yarn and hat came together for this project.  I know it’s not to everyone’s taste … but I love a silly hat sometimes!

The hat is worked flat, with each bump worked as a set of short rows.  For the hat you work a row of bumps, work a couple stockinette rows (decreasing the overall number of stitches), and then work a row of bumps back the other way.  I definitely put my new(ish) skill of “knitting both directions without turning” to good use with all those short rows!

In addition to a delightfully silly look, the bumps also trap air — this is a one WARM hat. I look forward to wearing it for more than a few minutes at a go, come this winter.


New Pattern Release: Cadet Cropped Cardigan

Introducing my latest pattern: the Cadet Cropped Cardigan!

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This stylish little cardi is my first sweater design project, so I am especially pleased that it has been released into the world.  The pattern is available through your local yarn store as part of Plymouth Yarn’s new fall pattern line: ask for Pamphlet #2325.  Photo credit for the modeled shots in this post all go to Plymouth Yarns — thank you for letting me blog with these awesome pix!

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Pattern: Cadet Cropped Cardigan

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: in Pamphlet #2325 at your local yarn shop

Yarn: Plymouth Yarns Worsted Merino Superwash Solids

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Inspiration: This is one of the first projects I did after deciding to carry around a small sketchpad, everywhere.  I saw a commercial on TV for an adorable fabric jacket that I thought would translate well to knitwear, and starting drawing little ideas madly. That’s as far as it went, until one of the designers at Plymouth (for whom I had been doing a lot of sample knitting) asked if I had any designs that might suit their fall line.  I worked up a proposal and it was accepted — I was thrilled!

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Design/Skills Needed: This cardi is worked flat, in pieces.  The all-over diagonal lines are formed by knits and purls; the vertical lines on the front, center back, and sleeves are right twists and left twists. The sleeves begin wide deep turned-hem cuffs, and have set-in sleeve caps. The center plackets are worked from picked-up stitches and are also deep turned hems.  The cardi is finished with i-cord at the neck and bottom edge.  The button loops and faux epaulets are also made with i-cord, then sewn in place.  It’s worth noting that there is a lot of “finishing” work on this cardi — some of my test knitters found it a bit daunting to complete the basic pieces, and then still have so much work to do.

Speaking of test knitters … check out this AWESOME use of the Cadet Cropped Cardi as part of a steampunk costume!

2130 cropped cardi

2126 cropped cardi

I would be delighted to answer any questions or help any knitters working on this project.

FO Friday: Bazinga Bag and Eros Necklace

I’m playing finished-object catchup this week with two sample knits for Plymouth Yarns: a bag, and a necklace.

1309 Bazinga Bag

Project: Bazinga Sample Knit

Pattern: Bazinga Bag

Designer: Plymouth Yarn Design Stuido

Available: ask your LYS

Yarn: Bazinga

The body, gusset, and handles of this bag are all in linen stitch.  This helps even out the extreme fat-and-thin nature of Bazinga.  The giant flower was … interesting. I had a devil of a time getting it to lay down and behave, then sew it in place.  The handles are doubled and whip-stitched together, as are the seams between the body panels and the gussets.



Project: Eros Necklace

Pattern: Necklace

Designer: Plymouth Yarn Design Stuido

Available: ask your LYS

Yarn: Eros II


This piece was uncooperative, but eventually I nailed it down! Eros II is a novelty yarn, with colored metallic squares suspended in a skinny “ladder” of black yarn. This pattern called for the yarn (and I use that word loosely!) to be held double.  Lots of short rows of increasing length creating the gradually larger ruffle.  I’m not sure I would wear it … but it’s a sample, so once I finish and mail it off, it’s out of my hands.

1360 Eros yarn

FO Friday: Zino Square Lace Shawl

1119 Zino

This week I’m featuring another of my pattern sample projects for Plymouth Yarns: a square lace shawl made from Zino, a long-repeat color-changing yarn. The shawl is worked in the round from the center out, with a cool open/solid lace pattern that really suits the yarn. I especially like the border, which shows the long color repeats well.  (My quickie photo (below) is shown before blocking.)

1196 lace for Plymouth Yarns (unblocked)

Project: Zino Lace Sample Knit

Pattern: Square Lace Shawl

Designer: Plymouth Yarn Design Stuido

Available: ask your LYS

Yarn: Zino

Lo, the gorgeous blocked shawl:


This was by far the largest sample I’d knit for PY — it took a lot longer than a pair of armwarmers or a little vest. It was also more complex–this was the project where I really learned how to work with the designer at PY, because I ran into problems/questions and we went back and forth a couple times before we settled on the right solution.  Ultimately it’s her design, so naturally I want to serve that … but my job is to make sure the pattern adheres to her vision as I knit, so when I find things that don’t work, I stop and ask for direction. Sometimes, I even have something useful to contribute.