Category Archives: Knitting Books

Short rows & KALs

So September is turning out to be a super busy month! On the 1st of September I launched my Mithral KAL in partnership with Fyberspates. Tons of wonderful LYS have signed on and the buzz is just fantastic! If a store is near you go ahead and check them out. You can also purchase the pattern directly from me as always. Until the end of September the KAL will come with the Mithral Hat. This uses the same yarn as the sweater and the same lace pattern so you create a useable swatch!!
Come join us on ravelry here, lot of introductions going on.

First clue is released on October 1st so get your yarn ready to swatch!

If you’ve been following my instagram and twitter feed you may be noticing a few sneaky looks at my upcoming Short Row Knits Book – it’s being ofered for an amazingly low price on Amazon right now and it’s sitting at number 1 in knitting books :-)

Short Row Knits

To watch patterns as they’re added daily you can check the ravelry page out for the book here. The book will officially be released in the US on the 15th of September. The European release date is a little later but to celebrate we’re going to have a rockin’ book launch at This Is Knit in Dublin on the 17th of October. Come book your spot :-)


So we come to the final project from Dovestone Hills; Viminal. This sweater uses one of my all time favourite construction techniques; top down with short row set-in sleeves. In this sweater I wanted to blend two very different but complementary colours as seamlessly as possible to create an ombre effect.

The sweater begins at the shoulders with 2 stripes (one for each shoulder) worked from the neck out to the shoulder. These stitches can be left on a holder to form the top of the sleeve later. The stitches for the back and front are picked up from these strips and the shoulder slope is then worked using short rows at each side. The rest of the armholes are worked on each side increasing as necessary. Finally the body is joined under the armholes and worked in the round to the hem. There are a few little finishing details as well; the hem and cuffs are finished with folded hems but they pick up the second colour giving you a little glimpse at the bottom edge. The neck edge is gently rounded (easy to drop down if you want to) and finished with an I-cord edging.

Once the body is finished we go back to work the sleeves. There are live stitches at the top of the sleeve and we pick up stitches along the edge on either side. Short rows are worked back and forth to form the sleeve cap and then the sleeve is worked in the round to the cuff.

What colour combinations do you think you’d do for your version of Viminal?


Palatino, the next pattern from Dovestone Hills was a wonderful surprise to me. It was designed as a hat to match the Esquilino cowl. It is knit from side-to-side with the same ribbed cable pattern as the cowl. However as this is a hat I used short rows at the crown to shape it. As with the cowl you begin with a provisional cast-on. The the hat is knit in a series of wedges that use German Short rows to shape the top (these are very easy to work in both knit and purl) until the correct length and it is grafted together at the end.

The surprise came for me at the end; I had finished the wedges and the grafting was done. I was drawing a needle through the edge stitches in the center of the crown when I saw it; the short rows in the cables created a wonderful star flower at the centre of the crown. It’s my favourite part of the hat and it was a complete surprise :-)

If you need help with German short rows or just want to learn more about Short Rows both my craftsy short row class or my upcoming Short Row book would both be useful to you.



We’re already on the second last garment from Dovestone Hills; Quirinalis. This uses one of my favourite construction techniques, seamless set-in sleeves. The cardigan is knit from the bottom up in one piece to the armhole. From there the front and back are worked separately and armhole decreases are worked. Finally the shoulders are joined together using a 3-needle bind-off. When the body is finished the stitches for the sleeve are picked up around the armhole and the set-in sleeve cap in worked using short rows. The remainder of the sleeve is worked from the top down.

First let’s take a look at the the cables; these are not your standard cables! I wanted this cardigan to have a modern, more geometric feel so the cables I’ve used are zigzag and undulating along the front of the cardigan. I love working cables but when a garment is heavily cabled it can make it a bit dense for everyday wear. These add ‘just enough’ so this can become your favourite everyday cardigan.

You can see here as well that I’ve kept the rest simple; both the back and sleeves are worked in Dot Stitch giving it a nicely textured feel which works really well with a nice woolly yarn.

The folded collar is one of my favourite details; it’s worked to double length and folded inwards, then when you’re doing your bind-off you pick up the cast-on stitches and knit them together. this creates a seamless ‘seam’ that has all the stretch of a knitted finish.


Welcome to the next in my Dovestone Hills patterns; Capitoline (view on ravelry here). Remember that today is the last day that you can use the coupon code DOVESTONE (either free euro shipping or 20% ravelry sale).

This sweater is knit completely from side to side. You begin at one side of the front, casting on all of the stitches for the complete yoke and body. From there you work from side-to-side, working short rows at the yoke so that the yoke is the correct size.

When you reach the sleeves you cast on the sleeves stitches provisionally, work the bottom of the sleeve then the sleeve and yoke are worked together. When the sleeve is finished you graft the start and end of the sleeve together for an invisible seam. For anyone who hates grafting a standard seam will work just fine as well!

When the sleeve is finished we go back and work the side of the body under the sleeve. this is worked using a simple lace stitch with short rows to create an a-line shape at the side of the body.

Now we make our way around the back of the body, again with short row yoke shaping. We work the second sleeve the same way as the first and finally we finish at the other side of the front. And magic, you’ve got a cardigan :-)


The Caelius sweater from Dovestone Hills, travelled a lot with me; it started on the plane ride to Denver…then it made it to TNNA in Phoenix (being knit on the show floor) and finally it came home to Ireland.

I wanted this sweater to be a nice fast knit that was super wearable. It’s got a few key features that I love in an everyday sweater; a warm, easy to wear neckline, a long body with enough room that I can wear layers underneath but enough shape that it was flattering to wear.

The sweater begins with the neckline, you can knit it for as long or short as you like. It’s allowed to fold down into a cowl shape.

The yoke is shaped using raglan shoulder shaping that is worked on either side of double yarnover seam lines. These yarnovers continue into the body where the a-line shaping happens between them.

All the edges are designed to be allowed to casually roll so it ‘s easy to modify for your own length, adding or removing length for the sleeves and body.

I’m actually knitting a version for myself in green (Chevin) and grey (Coal) and I think I might add a little length for a super long body….if I ever get knitting time for me again!



Let’s take a look at the first pattern from Dovestone Hills, Aventine. This pattern idea started as a gift. Blue Moon Fibers sent me yarn a couple of years ago, a worsted weight ‘Worthy’ . This yarn in the heavier weight wasn’t made as a commercial yarn so I couldn’t use it for a published pattern. It was so wonderfully soft though that I thought it’d be beautiful to make a gift for my mother who adores green.

I began playing with ideas; I never like doing things the ordinary way (top down simple shawl!) so I began this from the bottom. I started with a standard shawl tab, with standard triangular shawl increases at the center and sides. But then when each diagonal of the shawl was as long as I wanted I separated them. From there I began knitting each shawl side separately; first straight and then angled to decrease. I also added a few buttonholes at the very end to allow the shawl to be wrapped around the front and buttoned at the back. (A common complaint of mine with shawls – it’s hard to hold them in place!).

Just because this shawl is buttoned though doesn’t stop you from using it as a standard wrap or scarf, its happy to do whatever you ask :-)

Baa Ram Ewe knit the second version in Dovestone that was a perfect match for my wrap!

Dovestone Hills

The time has come to share my Baa Ram Ewe collaboration with you – last August they told me about a brand new yarn, Dovestone DK, that they were producing and asking if I’d like to do a pattern collection to go with it. Needless to say I jumped at the chance; a great company plus a wonderful new woolly Yorkshire yarn. What’s not to like?
I wasn’t disappointed, I had so much fun with the yarn; it’s bouncy and rustic but not rough. The official yarn launch is in August (come book your place for the launch and my class!) but the yarn can be pre-ordered already.

So I welcome you to Dovestone Hills.

Dovestone Knits

There are 3 different ways to purchase. Plus a few early bird discounts for you special people!

If you want digital only you can purchase in Euro. With code DOVESTONE get 20% off. add to cart
For dollar purchases of the digital/print package get 20% off book cost also with DOVESTONE. add to cart

If you want a signed copy (with a digital code also) you can buy in Euro directly from me here. With code DOVESTONE you’ll have free shipping.

Note: These codes are valid until the end of July only.

I’ve recently joined (well actually started using!) Instagram and it’s a lovely way to start sharing a new project. You can find me here as feller.carol.
Over the coming days I’m going to share each of the projects individually with you but for now here’s a glance at all 7 in one go.

Review: Beaded Lace Knitting

I’ve been send a new book, Beaded Lace Knitting by Anniken Allis to review. (The book is also available in Amazon in the US and UK). Anniken is one of the most prolific (she had nearly 400 patterns!) current designers out there, originally from Norway she now lives in the UK. While Anniken has a wide ranging design style she is best know for her lace knitting especially her shawls. So it does seem fitting that her first book is on lace knitting.

Digging into the book the first part that struck me was the clear and very extensive technique section. Its all illustrated with photos and it contains several cast-ons and bind offs including Provisional Cast-On, Invisible Cast-On, multiple circular cast-ons, Russian Bind-Off and sewn Bind-Off. Basically if you want to improve your lace knitting skills there should be enough in the book to give you a good boost.

In addition to this each of the projects has a skill rating, with the skill level moving from 1 to 3 through the book. These move from basic lace and beads through to more complex all-over lace with extensive beading. Remember as well though that beads are always optional so most of the knitting in the book can probably be done with or without beads.

Now a quick look at the projects. There are 25 projects in total, ranging from lace shawl and lace garments through to lace accessories. Projects in the book have both charted and written instructions so it’s accessible to a wider audience.

I’ve run through the book picking my favourites from each of the levels, although when I did this I realised that often my choices are determined by colour as much as pattern!

From level 1 I love Alexia. A shallow triangular shawl it’s designed to be easily modified for different yarn amounts. It’s worked in 2 halves so all you need to do is weigh  your yarn before you start and then work half to the widest point and the other half to the end.


From Level 2, Helena I think is just beautiful. Worked from the centre out, I love the swirling central lace motif. The edge is finished with a knitted on beaded edging. It would take a while but I think it’s pretty enough to justify the hours worked on it :-)

Finally for level 3; Josephine. This pattern is a delicate crescent shaped shawl worked from the bottom up. It’s got lace worked on both the right and wrong side row along the bottom as well as beading. The body of the shawl uses decreases and short rows to create the crescent shape.


Now for the giveaway! Post your favourite project in the comments below and I’ll pick a winner next Sunday (28th June) to send a copy of the book to. I’m afraid that the publisher will only send to the US though, so only US postal address :-(

Kate Oates ‘Knits for Boys’

As I watch Kate’s family of boys grow I’ve been amazed at how much she’s been able to do while they were still all so small. Her family has had such a big influence on her design career; with a large number of her designs for little boys I wanted to pick her brain about knitting for boys. My own 4 fall in and out of love with knitwear as their personal tastes and style change and I wanted to get her perspective on knitting for boys.

Her newest book ‘Knits for Boys, 27 Patterns for Little Men + Grow-with-Me Tips & Tricks’ is beautifully laid out, the tutorials are clear and easy to follow, a new-to-me method of installing a zip was included. The first chapter also has tips on knitting for children, how to allow for growth. The patterns come in a range of sizes from ages 4-12 with a big variety of styles.

Caden Vest

Caden Vest

I think that the Caden Vest is my personal favorite but my youngest I think would go for the T. Rex Graphic Pullover!

T-Rex Graphic Pullover

So now for a few questions for Kate:

1.     What is your own experience of sizing for children? How much extra growing room do you include for your children? Any tips to ensure that they don’t just look over-sized?

This is sort of the basis for the Grow-With-Me section of the book!  I really am not a fan of giant over-sized look so that’s what led me to start exploring and learning about how to get extra wear time but in a better way.  I learned that children tend to grow up much more quickly than they grow out so you’ll be surprised at the bonus longevity you can get out of a garment if you can manage to add some length.

2.     In the 80s the style for children was really wide and short. Fortunately children’s knitting patterns seem to be in more realistic sizes now! With adult garments the amount of ease depends on both the style and personal preference. What amount of ease do you think works well for children’s clothes?

My personal preference is between 2-4 inches and this does depend on the age of the child. A baby’s chest circumference is much smaller than a 10 year old’s…so 2 inches works a lot better proportionally.  If its too huge, it’s hard for them to move.  I lean more towards 3 inches as they get older.

3.     Do your boys get much of a chance to wear the knits in everyday wear? If they do, what do they enjoy wearing every day? When you were designing the book did they have some input (helpful or otherwise!).

Ugh. My kids LOVE wearing handknits.  Unfortunately we kind of have the cobbler’s kids thing going on right now in my household.  You would think they own closets full of knits but sadly, so much of what I knit now goes to trunk shows that they don’t often get new stuff.  This summer though I have decided they are getting some new stuff.  However, for the 1-2 items they do each have, they pretty much wear it at every opportunity.  It’s quite hot where we live most of the year, so that’s one reason why I have designed some knits that work for warmer weather too.  With regards to their input, YES they love giving me direction!  They can be brutally honest about colors or fit.

4.     Somewhat tied to the last question, they go for colors or texture?

Both!  My oldest is more into color and kid number two is extremely tactile and loves a squishy texture pattern. Fortunately for them, I love working both cables and colorwork so I’m happy to do both of these techniques!

5.     In my experience children love comfort in their clothes. Any hint of scratch and they’ll refuse to put it on, even if it’s a badly inserted clothes tag. How do you suggest knitters choose children’s yarn so it’s both comfortable and durable for children?

I totally agree with this. There are so many nice and cozy yarns out there right now, so many options that my kids are pleased with. I was really picky about the yarns I used in the book and highly recommend all of them for wearabilty.  To really get an idea for how the finished project is going to turn out, work up a swatch and wash it the finished piece will be laundered.  Then, see how nice and soft it is!  A lot of yarns will soften up a bit after blocking.

6.     I love your colorwork designs for children, they’re bright and fun and feel like they’re made for living. Do you have some favourite color combinations that you used for this book?

Orange is one of my favorite colors.  I really had fun with the entire Imagination Sweater, using tons of different combos.  I love Navy and Orange and also Purple and Orange (though I admit this could be influenced by my alma mater, Clemson University). The other thing I really like doing is putting unexpected colors together.  I like putting shades of colors that are next to each other on the color wheel together, like blue and green or orange and yellow.  I don’t think it always has to be high contrast.

Imagination Sweater

7.     When knitting sweaters do you have a construction type that works best for kids? Is it easy to modify for different children shapes?

I think a top down raglan is probably the easiest.  It’s easy to add an extra increase just in the sleeves if a child has larger arms or just wants more room there. And it’s also very easy to add length anywhere it is necessary.

8.     You’ve got a great size range for the knits in the book from 4-12 years. You’ve opted to not include smaller sizes, was the baby/toddler sizing range has a different number of design considerations?

This is a great question that I don’t think I have answered yet!  There were definitely design considerations–I find that baby sizes often need to include instructions for buttoned necklines because the head proportion to the body is a bit different. Also in a lot of my super extended size range patterns, there are lots of “baby sizes only” or “child sizes only” instructions that are separated out.  Since the book really was geared to BOY rather than BABY, I chose to keep the instructions more simplified and really focus on the book’s main audience, who I tend to think is underrepresented compared to baby boy.

9.     When knitting the book what design did you enjoy knitting the most? And what one did the kids not want to hand back!!

Oh gosh there are a few of these.  Probably my favorite to knit was the Imagination Sweater.  A friend of mine actually worked up the Jesse Half-Zip sweater sample, otherwise that probably would be up there also.  I love cables. Oh and the Houndstooth Vest, loved that one also.  As for the kids, The T-Rex Graphic Pullover, Imagination Sweater and Jesse Half-Zip are all favorites…they must take after me.  We seem to share favorites!

Ok everyone, now that you’re drooling over all the little boys knits, what would you knit for your son (or daughter?) first? Give your choice in the comments and I’ll pick a winner of the giveaway on Monday 30th March. (US residents only I’m afraid on this giveaway.)