I am really lucky as I learnt to knit at Primary school where we were taught Fair isle knitting. Looking back now, I cannot believe we were taught this so young or that we could actually do it. I remember making Fair Isle mittens, so knitting in the round with 5 double pointed needles, at 10 or 11 years old.  The skill (and the patience) of the teacher must have been endless.

Over the years I have kept coming back to knitting, it is a skill which just stays with you. I have made cardigans and tops for the children, jumpers for me, hats, you name it and I have a had a go at it. When I was heavily pregnant with Grace I was making the characters for “In the Night Garden” for Jacob who was 18 months old at the time.  Grace made an earlier than planned arrival just before Christmas, we were in hospital over Christmas so my poor Mum got given all the knitted components of Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy and Macca Pacca to stuff and sew together. Given she had never seen “In the Night Garden” or even heard of Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy and Macca Pacca she did a pretty good job and Jacob got his favourite characters from Father Christmas.

I love being able to decide make something and just being able to do it, don't get me wrong, there have been some disasters along the way...Marc has a jumper which he would need to be about 8ft tall for it to fit properly and the neck line goes practically down to his tummy button, but I don't let this bother me. At some point I will just pull it back and may crochet a blanket with it, it's so big there will be plenty of wool!

I very rarely do things that you have to knit two of…so no socks or gloves if I can avoid it.  When I am making a jumper or a cardigan I tend to knit both arms at the same time on the same needle. If you haven’t tried this, I definitely recommend it.  Just cast both sleeves onto the same needle with two balls of wool.  Knit across one with the first ball of wool and then cross the second with the second ball of wool.  It’s great when you are doing the shaping as you only need to work out the pattern once.  I find it much quicker, and it gets around my dislike of doing two things the same!  I am not sure what it is about doing two things, I just don’t like repeating the same thing.

At the moment, I am making the hat pattern from this year’s Shetland Wool Week.  Each year a new hat is designed for the Wool Week, this year it is the “ Bonnie Isle Hat”.  It’s a really pretty pattern, and I am enjoying making it.  I have 3 printed copies of the pattern from when I was in Shetland over the Summer, so if you would like one, just comment below and I can post one to you.  Or there is a PDF version available online, it is at:

My next knitting project is a cardigan and hat designed by a school friend of mine.  Mandy of Olach Designs has designed an absolutely stunning pattern inspired by the wonderful autumn colours of the trees, the pattern itself based on skeleton leave. The blog picture is Mandy's cardigan. I have the patterns for these and I am getting the yarn for Christmas from my husband and the children so I can’t wait to start it. I was undecided as to whether to go for a dark red or mustard colour as the main background colour, but I have gone for the mustard.  Both colours look amazing in the finished garments.  Have a look at the patterns, they are absolutely gorgeous. The patterns can be found at and

If you would like to make these, Mandy has kindly given us a 20% discount code for these patterns, the code to use at checkout is DymphnaJane and it is valid until Midnight on the 30th of November.

My Grandma was an amazing knitter, she could turn her hand to any pattern and knitted the most beautiful items.  At the time I was young and didn’t appreciate just how skilful she was, I really wish now I could sit with her and learn from her.  Last year my Dad me gave some of Grandma’s knitting notebooks, she kept records of everything she knitted, noting sizes, things she changed, notes for when she made it again.  There were also samples of her lace knitting from when she had been teaching herself to knit Shetland Lace. 

I do really enjoy knitting, but I wish I was better at it as I really admire what other people make.  During the Summer when we were in Shetland, we visited a few of the Agricultural shows, the knitting entered into the shows was amazing, the skills were outstanding.  There was an abundance of Fair Isle knitting and beautiful Shetland lace knitting.  I have made a couple of small Shetland Lace scarfs and one day I would love to have a go at one of the large lace scarves.

I would love to know what you are knitting, what patterns you recommend and any hints or tips would be great.