Category Archives: Patterns

Knitting With Rainbows presale!

Some of you may have spotted the pre-sale of my newest book, Knitting With Rainbows.
This is a project that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Several years ago I got a gradient kit from Fiber Optics…
It looks just beautiful in the little plastic display box but I felt very intimidated. The skeins were so small, and I wasn’t sure how best to use the yarn so that it looks as beautiful in the finished knit as it did in the box. So it sat there for quite a while. However somewhere in the back of my head the idea for a book on gradients was germinating; a book that would explore the gradient types available (there are a lot!), figure out how ways that use them well and offered pattern choices and future suggestions for making the most of gradient yarns (both individual single skeins as well as mini-skein sets).
That was how this book was born. It’s grown in size from what I though it would be but it’s turned out just as I hoped. My son’s girlfriend, Eimear O’Callaghan, has created some very beautiful gradient graphics to illustrate the book, my husband has done an amazing job laying out the book and my son had done a lovely editing job with my rough videos from the photo shoot :-)

The book will be released on the 1st of September but you can now pre-order your print (with complementary digital download code from ravelry) copy before then. All books will be shipped from the 1st of September and you’ll receive your digital download code on the same day. As a pre-sale bonus use code PRERAINBOW to get free shipping before 1st of September :-)

To keep you excited I’m releasing the pattern details of a new pattern on ravelry every day until the launch.

Here are the first 3 patterns that are up:


Probys armwarmers
Half Moon Street
Half Moon Street

Charity Sale part 3

This is the final part of the charity sale so pick up a finished knit and support a worthy cause :-)

I’ve put suggested pricing on each item. If you want an item leave a comment with the sample name or number in the comments section. The prices include shipping worldwide.

I’ll send on a paypal invoice when you make an offer.

Thank you for supporting some wonderful local animal charities!

 Sample 12: €70

Anna Maria Tank & Quimper

This 2 piece set is knit from cool bamboo. Knit in the round from the bottom up with an hourglass pattern stitch running up the center. The tank top can be work alone or with the bolero jacket for when the evenings are cooler.

Sample Sizes: Small

Yarn:  Rowan RYC bamboo soft; 100% bamboo

 Sample 13: €60


When I saw the colors of this yarn it reminded me straight away of the species of butterfly know as ‘Fritillary’. I have always loved those colors and was excited to make a summer top in the very same color pallet. To match the wonderful colors I had the good fortune to find the very fitting Butterfly Lace pattern. Easy to memorize lace that is not too fussy. This is a top you will get plenty of wear from in the season to come.
Knitted from the top down with a front cross-over and an all-over lace pattern on the bottom section.

Sample Size: Small to fit 34″/86.5 cm bust

Yarn: Elann Sonata; 100% cotton

Sample 14: €60

Raspberry Layers

3556747704_d25a06b657(1)This cardigan is worked side-to-side from the center of the back out, with flattering short rows creating a gentle flare at the bottom. The sleeves are worked with short row shaping and the sides are bound off together for a piece that needs minimal finishing. Vertical accent rows will make this the most flattering knit you have ever made from a chunky yarn!

Sample Size: 32″ / 81.5 cm modelled with 2″ / 5 cm of negative ease

Yarn: Fyberspates Squishy Chunky; 50% Merino, 50% Baby Alpaca

Sample 15: €50

Necco Wafer Hoodie

This cute hoodie uses traditional flat construction; striped V-neck inset worked using intarsia; applied I-cord on hood and sleeves.

Size: 6 months

Yarn: Tahki Yarns Cotton Classic; 100% Mercerized Cotton

Sample 18: €50


Knit from the waist down in the round these light and comfortable shorts are perfect for busy active boys. A folded waistband encases elastic for a good fit then they are knit from the top down with hip and leg shaping. Finally they are separated for each leg and finished with a tidy folded hem. Large pockets are attached afterwards.

Sample Size: Shown on my 8 year old, they have been washed and shrank slightly so will fit a smaller child now.

Yarn: 60% Flax, 40% Merino Louet Merlin sport weight; 60% Flax, 40% Merino











Charity Sample sale 2

Well today I’ve got a few more items for you to enjoy.

As before just leave an offer in the comments, telling me what sample.

I’ve put suggested prices in the listing, these are inclusive of postage.

. All proceeds (less shipping and paypal costs) will be divided equally between the West Cork Animal Welfare Group and the Cork Dog Action Welfare Group.

SAMPLE 8: €50


Sample Size: 45” wide and 21” deep at edge

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca; 50% wool, 50% alpaca

Short rows are use to create magical triangles and curves within a rectangular shawl. Worked in a heavier yarn, this shawl is idea for keeping warm in cooler weather.

SAMPLE 9: €60

Lime With a Twist


Sample Size: 34″ / 86.5 cm

Yarn: Araucania ‘Patagonia Cotton'; 100% Cotton

I fell in love with Araucania Patagonia Cotton the moment I picked up the first hank. Soft to the touch, I wanted to find the perfect pattern to complement the yarn. I worked a stitch pattern on the diagonal to create a wonderful interplay between the diagonal stitches and the variations in the yarn color.
This piece begins with a provisional cast-on at the center of the back and then works down each arm. Finally, stitches are picked up for the remainder of the body. The two different directions in which the sweater is worked create diagonals and color changes across the shoulder and down the body.
Knit from a heavy-weight cotton yarn, such as Patagonia, makes this cardigan ideal for those in-between days.

SAMPLE 10: €20


Sample Size: Woman’s Medium; 22″ / 57 cm

Yarn: Kerry Woollen Mills Aran Wool; 100% wool

Knit from the top down this bucket hat has a delicate combination of lace and cables and finishes with a generous brim.








Charity Sample Sale

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of samples. Many of these samples work hard travelling the world in sample shows at LYS or acting as examples in my classes. There comes a time however where you become swamped with too many samples!

Anyone that follows my blog (or twitter/Instagram) knows how fond I am of my 2 dogs, Kenny and Lizzie.

Both dogs came from local animal shelters. Kenny came from the West Cork Animal Welfare Group
Lizzie came from Cork Dog Action Welfare Group.
These groups are run by volunteers and deal with some very difficult cases of animal neglect. Their vet bills each month alone run into the thousands. I have so much admiration and respect for the work that they do that the proceeds from the sample sales will all be donated to these charities.

How it works:

Over the coming days I will post a few samples up every day here on my blog.

To make an offer leave a comment in the comment section. I will send you on a paypal invoice. The suggest amounts are inclusive of postage costs. I’m happy to post worldwide.

All proceeds will be donated to the charities less postage and paypal fees. I will split it equally between both.

SAMPLE 1: €80


Sample Size: 35 ½” / 90 cm

Yarn: Valley Yarns ‘Southwick'; 52% Cotton, 48% Bamboo

A seamless bottom up sweater with waist shaping. Lovely lace panel details are found at the cuffs, bottom of body sides, neck and hood.



Sample Size: Width: 44”/112 cm, Depth: 14.75”/34.5cm

Yarn: A Verb for Keeping Warm ‘Creating’ 100% Superwash Merino

Knit the perfect sized shawlette making full use of your beautiful yarn. Worked from the center with a lace center and short row garter stitch wings.

SAMPLE 3: €50

Aileron Shawl

Sample Size: 20.25″ wide and center and 44″ across wingspan

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts ‘Socks That Rock Lightweight'; 100% Merino

This heart-shaped shawl fits perfectly around the shoulders, with a lace panel that widens as the piece grows and ends in a flourish of ruffles.

SAMPLE 4: €70


Sample Size: 33.75”/84 cm

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas ‘Skinny Dyed Cotton’; 100% organic cotton

The subtle pattern and smooth shaping on this cardigan create a flattering fit for everyone. Worked in one piece from the bottom up the smooth faux cables are worked all the way to the shoulder.








Santa Rosa Plum KAL progress

We’re moving right along on ravelry with the Santa Rosa Plum KAL. Many knitters are now finished the yoke (which was clue 1) and moving on to clue 2, the body.

So this is what the yoke looks like – most of it is worked in the first gradient colour, with the change coming close to the bottom of the yoke. Raglan increases are worked at both sides of the lace panels. In the pattern tip page I gave a chart that showed how the increases are distributed. For some sizes the sleeve increases slow down near the bottom of the yoke and for other sizes the full raglan increases slow down. When you see it on a full chart you can very easily make adjustments for your size. You can even add increases easily at just the front to accommodate extra bust shaping.

Now that knitters are finished with that clue the body is next:

The underarm area uses cast-on stitches to join the front and back. Traditionally a Backwards Cast-On is used. However I prefer a Cable Cast-On as it helps to reduce the gapping in the underarm. Using this cast on requires one extra step – you need to turn to the WS to work it and then turn back to the RS to continue the work. This is because you need your working yarn on the left needle to create it.

We’re having lots of fun calculating yarn amounts to use all colours of our gradient yarn. Everyone is pulling out the weighing scales to figure out their yarn usage to make sure they finish each colour in the correct place :-)

The integrated I-cord edging and single row buttonhole are getting lots of love – it makes a really tidy combination. In the next few weeks I’m going to add a tutorial on this buttonhole as it’s my favourite method.

The wonderful Blue Moon Fiber Arts is offering a prize of 2 skeins of her Single Silky Targhee.

Keep on knitting you great knitters – clue 3 coming out July 16th with the grand prize picked on the 1st of August!

New pattern & KAL almost here!!

Anyone out there who has been following me on Instagram or Twitter will have spotted my newest pattern – Dusty Road!

A few months ago Anzula told me that they were releasing a brand new yarn, Ava, and would love me to design something for the TNNA fashion show. In May we got the yarn and my sample knitter knit like the wind :-) The end result, Dusty Road, is both stunning and wearable. It’s a top down raglan sweater with lace details on the sleeves. The body has a side panel of lace running down each side with gentle waist shaping.

Anyone with a sharp eye will spot that I’ve used the same lace pattern on the sleeves of Dusty Road that appears in my newest KAL, Santa Rosa Plum. Sometimes as a designer your fall for a stitch pattern and just want to see it used in a few different ways; once just isn’t enough :-) I’ve just added a new tutorial here showing how to work a yarnover between knit and purl stitches (which is used both of these patterns).

AND…are you all ready? The Santa Rosa Plum KAL is starting this Saturday! First clue will go up then and everyone is ready to go!

The Book of Haps

There’s a very exciting launch today –  Kate Davies, The Book of Haps! Just in case that wasn’t exciting enough I’m also on the cover :-)

Over the next few days Kate will be revealing the other designs in the book. I haven’t seen them yet so I’m eagerly awaiting them as well! To preorder your copy go to Kate’s website here. And keep an eye out on ravelry for each day’s reveal!

Copyright Tom Barr

Last year Kate Davies asked me to be part of this very special project where she wanted to explore the concept of a Hap as an everyday piece of clothing. Each of us used this as a starting point to design a shawl that we would like to use for everyday wear.

As I started thinking about the concept I began to realise that my surrounds needed to be my inspiration. There is nothing I enjoy more on a daily basis than walking my dogs in the Irish countryside. Kate has put my essay on the topic up on her blog here.

IMG_1444 This is how the colours and shapes of the shawl came together. The cream and green curves across the top of the shawl echo the hills and crazy green countryside during an Irish summer. As I was designing the road outside our house was littered with Monbretia flowers. They grow wild everywhere here along with blackberries. So the orange welts and bobble edging finish the full shawl concept out.


Fortunately for me one of the most amazing dyers in the world works within 30 minutes of my house, so using yarn from Hedgehog Fibres helped keep the full shawl concept local! I used her Sock Yarn; Silence for the light colour, Swamp for the green and Copper Penny for the bright orange pops. Copper Penny has got some green running through it as well so it blends particularly nicely with the Swamp.

I’m so very honoured to be part of this project, keep watching out for the upcoming shawls and fantastic designers!

Summer KAL here we come!

Have you spotted my new KAL – Santa Rosa Plum?

We’re just getting started with yarn choices and sizing on the ravelry board here.  So some on and join us so you can have a great summer cardigan :-)

Tina from Blue Moon Fiber Arts had been planning to do some gradients colours for a while and as you all know I’m a little gradient obsessed. We schemed for a while and came up with this yarn and colour combination (Marine Silk Sport in Plum Crazy) for a perfect summer cardigan, Santa Rosa Plum. My challenge now was to do justice to the yarn and create a cardigan that would be perfect summer evenings.

I settled on a top down raglan cardigan with wide lace panels.

The raglan shaping happens between the lace panels which creates a really interesting visual detail with minimal knitting work. Always a bonus :-) As the number of stitches in lace panel doesn’t change this makes it much easier to work than most lace in garments, no increases or decreases.

After the yoke is done the waist shaping happens inside the lace panels so they are again allowed to move across the cardigan. This way the lace creates a feature but all the shaping happens in the st st portion of the garment.

Working with gradients has it’s own set of challenges. You want to try and balance the color use out and smooth the transitions. This is a little easier for you all as the overall yardage has already been calculated by me which means you can use divide your different colours evenly so that the gradient runs through the whole cardigan. A big part of the pattern notes deals with this, explaining how to reserve enough yarn for sleeves and the alternating stripes between the colours. Discussions in the ravelry group will also be very helpful if you run into problems.


Blue Moon has been very busy, they’ve put together some custom gradient kits and written a lovely blog post about the KAL. When you purchase the pattern you’ll get an exclusive 15% discount on the KAL yarn (Marine Silk Sport). What colour do you think you’ll knit your cardigan in, looking at this basket I’m actually tempted by them all!


Winner & new pattern!

Announcing the winner – Whistle Stop – thank you Jennifer, there’s a pattern winging it’s way to you :-)

If you want to get your own copy of the pattern you can find it’s pattern page on my website here or on ravlery here.

It’s time to give you a few details on the construction now. The cardigan begins at the center of the saddle on the back with a provisional cast-on. First you knit the saddle for the right side and hold the edge/sleeve sts and then you go back the the cast-on and work the left saddle out the other way. If you check your skeins at the start you can find 2 that are fairly close together in color and use one of each to work the saddle for each side. This will help give as close a match there as possible.

Now each of the saddles are held to be worked with the sleeves at the end. I marked each of the saddle skeins as right and left and kept them to work the sleeves when the body was finished. That way I could ensure that the color from the saddle would match up when I began the sleeve.

Once the saddle is finished you begin work on the back – stitches are picked up along the saddle and rows are worked (with increases) all the way to the underarm. When this is finished you will do the same for both the right and left front sides. Once they are all complete to the armhole you will join them with underarm stitches and work the whole body together flat. The yarn from the left front will be used to work the full row – but it can be a bit tricky for all 3 sections to be at the same place with the color run!

Dyeshavi on Ravelry:

I wound off some yarn to try color-matching the fronts to the backs. It didn’t quite work, because of the long color repeats and the fronts using less yardage than the back. But I also don’t mind that they’re not an exact match and love that long stretch of acid green on the back.


The pattern was such a fun knit and I really liked the construction. The yarn/color I chose turned out a little different from what I expected – less muted, more color variations, and more regularly striped – but worked well with the pattern in the end! Because the yarn had so many different transitioning colors, the only color management I did was continuing the arms with the skeins I had used for the saddles (I had 4 x 100g skeins to be on the safe side – used only about half but from all 4 skeins).Cardigan](