Urban Hat


I haven’t been able to knit much over the last couple of weeks as I have been away at my daughter’s. Before I went, though, I managed to finish a poncho for my two granddaughters, or ‘Princess Cape’ as the four year-old calls it, and a simple, Urban Hat for Niamh, the elder girl. This is the second of these hats I have made for her: one has a pompom, and one does not. When I made the first one, neither my daughter, nor my granddaughter could decide whether they wanted a pompom or not, so my daughter decided that I could make two hats. She is not a knitter. More about the hat, shortly.


Urban Hat

Materials:                            100g Aran or Worsted weight yarn

I used Debbie Bliss BFL Aran in Gunmetal (100% BFL wool)

Or: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran

Rowan Wool Worsted

Sublime Aran

4.5mm 40cm circular needles, or double pointed needles; one long (at least 100cm) 4.5mm circular needle if using Magic Loop; a second 40cm circular needle if using two circulars for the crown.

Tension:                               26sts and 26 rows to 10cm (4ins) in k2, p2 rib


Size:                                       One size but see information below about changing the size

The hat will look very narrow while knitting because of the ribbing, but k2, p2 is a very stretchy stitch and a hat that measures about 40cm (14ins) unstretched will easily fit a head measuring 55cm (22ins).

I knitted this hat for a girl with lots of hair and her head measured 53cm (21ins). If I was making this for me, I would add an extra 8 stitches to the total, and for a man with a large head, an extra 12 stitches. The pattern repeat is 4 stitches, so just ensure the total number of stitches cast on is divisible by four. If you wish to make a smaller hat, cast on fewer stitches by deducting multiples of four.

Level of Difficulty:            Suitable for knitters who can knit in the round; can work a simple k2 tog decrease; can work k2, p2 ribbing


Using 4.5mm needle of your choice, (see above), cast on 92 sts.

Ensuring sts are not twisted, join to work in the round, placing a marker to denote the beginning of the round.

Round 1 and every round:* k2, p2, rep from * to end.

Rep this round until hat measures 26cm (10.5ins) from cast on edge.

Note: You may wish to change this measurement so the hat is suitable for its recipient. Measure from the base of the ear to the top of the crown, e.g. the measurement for my model was 19cm (7.5ins), then add on the amount of turn up desired on the cuff of the hat. I added on 9cm (3.5ins). For an adult, you may wish to work 10-12cm (4-4.5ins) for the turn up. So, if I was knitting this hat for me, I would probably knit 30cm (12ins) in rib.

Crown shaping: Change to dpns or two circulars as sts dec to make the knitting easier.

Round 1:              * k2, p2tog, rep from * around

Rounds 2 &3:     *k2, p1, rep from * around

Round 4:              *k2tog, p1, rep from * around

Round 5:              *K1, p1, rep from * around

Round 6:              *k2tog, rep from * around

Round 7:               Knit

Round 8:              *k2tog, rep from * around

Round 9:              Knit

Round 10:            *k2tog, rep from * around

Round 11:            Knit

Round 12:            *k2tog, rep from * around. 6sts remain.

Break yarn, leaving a 20cm (8ins) tail. Thread yarn through remaining sts and finish off on inside of hat. Weave in ends.

I washed the hat in Eucalan, wrapped it up in a towel and squeezed hard to remove the excess water. I then laid the hat out on a mat or towel, smoothed out the stitches gently, and placed some empty kitchen roll holders inside the hat to avoid creating fold lines as the hat dried. There is no need to pin or stretch the hat, just a gentle smooth with the hands. Enjoy!


Add a pompom if desired. There are some lovely pure Alpaca ones available at the moment, if a little pricey. Or you can make your own, either using a pompom maker, or the old-fashioned method with cardboard.



K                             knit

P                             purl

K2tog                    knit two together

rep                         repeat

sts                          stitches

dec                         decrease

dpns                      double pointed needles


I hope you enjoy the hat pattern. If you have any questions about it, please do not hesitate to contact me via the Stash contact form.

If you have any questions about the poncho, or would like to see it as a pattern, please contact me.

As ever, knit on.


Copyright, Lesley Conroy 2016

Socks – How do you knit them?

SOCKS – Have you knitted them?  Which method do you use?  There are several different ways and there’s crocheted socks too..

With the advent of Ravelry and numerous books and magazines, you can always find one to suit.

Anne prefers knitting 2-at-a-time on two circular needles so that she avoids sock-itus (the “dreaded” unfinished 2nd sock syndrome).  She also knits her socks toe-up which has the advantage of being able to knit until she runs out of yarn because she likes her socks long.


Toe-up 2-at-a-time

Donna prefers knitting top down, one at a time using the magic loop method on one long circular needle. This just feels quicker but it does mean that you have to then start again and knit another identical sock.

Top down 1-at-a-time, 1 circular needle

There is a wide variety of methods used by the members of our knit group, from top down 2-at-a-time, to toe up one-at-a-time.  From one circular or two, to 4 or 5 double pointed needles.  Everyone seems to find the method they feel most comfortable with.

Whichever way you create your socks, we all love a good yarn to ensure the sock lasts.

These Regia and Sirdar yarns are ideal, and for the more luxurious pair how about Rowan Fine Art.  Although you could use any 4ply yarn for socks, yarns with a percentage of nylon gives strength to the yarn, particularly helpful in the heel and toe of your socks, where they get the most wear.

Regia Active sock yarn is particularly interesting. The First Sock yarn with temperature regulation!

The Regia Active 6-ply 50g ensures a new dimension of comfort during any kind of outdoor activity, no matter how rough it gets outside! This is made possible by the temperature regulation properties of Outlast®, this fibre is used with the tried and trusted Regia quality.  Outlast® fibre technology was originally developed for NASA to protect astronauts against the extreme temperature fluctuations in space. It’s been proven that wearing Outlast® components keeps your body temperature within a comfortable range. Whether in space or the great outdoors, your comfort is guaranteed!

Knowing which size to knit can be tricky but here is a handy website where you put in your size and it gives you all the maths! –  Regia Interactive Sock Guide





Get set for autumn with chunky yarns at Stash!

As the end of summer grows ever closer, we find ourselves planning our knitting ready for the cooler months, so with that in mind, we’ve been picking out some of our favorite quick and cozy projects in chunky yarns!

Rowan Alpaca Chunky

We love the soft and squishy warmth of Rowan Alpaca Chunky and this cute hat from Rowan Big Accessories knits up quickly and takes just one ball!

Alpaca Chunky Hat from Big Accessories

Rowan Tumble is another soft and warm yarn made with alpaca, this time spun up into a yarn with a slight halo.

Rowan Tumble

We love this cozy waistcoat from the Tumble book, perfect for throwing on over some jeans and a t-shirt when the weather cools down.

Slide in Rowan Tumble

Yarn Required: 4 (4: 4: 5: 6) balls of Rowan Tumble for sizes 32-34 (36-38: 40-42: 44-46: 48-50) inch bust

It only takes four to six balls, so you should have a finished garment nice and quickly!

Don’t forget that you can still get 35% off everything using the code HEATWAVE on our website!

Last but not least, a quick reminder about our new opening hours on Saturdays:

From September we will be opening on the first and third Saturdays of the month only.

So we will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 5th September and Saturday 19th September.

When there is a fifth Saturday we will be open then too.

Happy Knitting!

What are we knitting?

We love to see what you have been knitting, it’s always really exciting when a customer brings in a lovely project in progress or a beautiful finished object to show us.  So we thought it would be fun to share what we have been making with you!

First to share her project with us is Anne, who’s knitting a cardigan in Fyberspates Cumulus.  Over to you Anne…..

Fyberspates Cumulus is so light and airy that it really does remind me of clouds!  I was keen to knit a cardigan in it ever since I first had a ball to squish.

Finally I came across a pattern which I could use… ‘Wave’ from Kim Hargreaves’ Echoes book.  I know it’s not a pattern for Cumulus, but it’s working out superbly.

Wave by Kim Hargreaves

‘Wave’ is designed to be knitted using Rowan Kidsilk Haze doubled, which is near enough the same weight as a single strand of Cumulus and for this slouchy cardigan it is ideal!  So I am one happy knitter.

I’m making a few modifications to the pattern.  I’ve knitted the body in one piece as it gets rid of the seams; as the knitted fabric is be so light I didn’t want them showing.

The pattern uses a 4.5mm for the knit row and 8mm for the purl row to create the striped effect so I’m using Knit Pro Symfonie interchangeable needles with one point of each size on a single cable so I’ve just got one long circular needle!

I used at three needle cast off on the shoulders so there was no sewing up.  I know some folk have trouble with finishing garments….

Anne's Wave cardigan in Fyberspates Cumulus

At the moment I have picked up the stitches for the front band and am trying to decide how wide to do it.  In the pattern there are only 10 rows, but I think I will make it wider so that I can wrap it round me.

Then it will be time to knit the sleeves!  I’m planning to pick up stitches round the armholes and knit down with short rows to create shaping for the sleeve caps instead of knitting the sleeves separately from the bottom up and seaming them.  I’ve never used this technique before so I’ll be looking for guidance from this informative blog post on DayanaKnits.

When it’s finished I’ll let you know!

Happy Knitting! 🙂

Colour inspirations no. 4

Our fourth idea for altering colour schemes uses a pattern with a larger range of colours.

This stunning jumper from Rowan’s Summerlite 4ply book features a beautiful combination of lace and stranded colour work and uses five pretty shades of Rowan Summerlite 4ply.

The original colour scheme is on the right, but we’ve come up with a pretty new colour scheme for you using blues and purples!

Colour Inspirations edit 8th June 001 copy

The key with choosing different colours for a design like this is to make sure that there is still enough contrast between the shades you choose for the design to show up well. In this case, we’ve kept the lighter shades (Washed Linen and Duck Egg) for the background colours and chosen darker shades (High Tide and Aubergine) for the bands of stranded colour work.

Happy Knitting!

Kim Hargreaves Echoes now in stock!

The latest gorgeous new book from Kim Hargreaves has arrived!

Kim Hargreaves Echoes

Featuring 21 designs for summer, this book is packed full of the classic wearable shapes that Kim is famous for.

Here are our favourites (it was pretty hard to choose!):

Kim Hargreaves Echoes

Wave by Kim Hargreaves shown in Rowan Kidsilk Haze #642/Ghost
To fit bust: 32 (34: 36: 38: 40: 43) inches
Yarn Required: 6 (7: 7: 8: 8: 9) 25g balls

We love this sheer cardi knitted in kitten soft Rowan Kidsilk Haze held double. Perfect for snuggling into on a cool evening, this is the kind of thing we’d end up living in all summer.

Kim Hargreaves Echoes

Coral by Kim Hargreaves shown in Rowan Panama #325/Darkness
To fit bust: 32 (34: 36: 38: 40: 43) inches
Yarn required: 6 (7: 7: 8: 8: 9) 50g balls

This cute cropped cardi in Rowan Panama would make a very chic extra layer for summer days and is easy to dress up or down.  Subtle textured stripes keep things interesting and the viscose, cotton and linen blend Panama yarn is perfect for warmer weather.

Kim Hargreaves Echoes

Shell by Kim Hargreaves shown in Rowan Summerlite 4ply #419/Duck Egg
One Size
Yarn required 2 x 50g balls

If you fancy a smaller project, why not try this pretty cabled hat for a quick knitting fix?  Knitted in Rowan Summerlite 4ply, choose one of the soft chalky shades available in this yarn to really show off the delicate details.

Kim Hargreaves Echoes

Tide by Kim Hargreaves shown in Rowan Handknit Cotton #347/Slate
To fit bust: 32 (34: 36: 38: 40: 43) inches
Yarn Required: 16 (17: 18: 18: 19: 20) 50g balls

Last but not least, we adore the stunning cables and texture in this relaxed fit sweater.  Knitted in Rowan Handknit Cotton, this design really makes the most of the wonderfully crisp stitch definition of this yarn.

Which is your favourite?

Kim Hargreaves Echoes is available to buy here.

Happy Knitting!

Coming soon: Rowan Crochet Along by Lisa Richardson

We’ve got some exciting news!

Following the success of their previous Knit Alongs with Martin Storey and Kaffe Fassett Rowan Yarns are holding their first Crochet Along, designed by Lisa Richardson.

Rowan Crochet Along Spring 2015

You can choose to make either a baby blanket, wrap, hexagonal cushion or scarf, so there is a project to suit all budgets.  The free patterns for the Crochet Along will be released each week from Wednesday 25th March (apart from a short break over Easter).  Full details of the dimensions of the finished projects and release dates for the patterns can be found on the Rowan website here.

To help you stock up for the Crochet Along, we’ve got 20% off all full price yarns at the moment!  Just enter the code ‘summerlite’ at the checkout 🙂

Rowan Summerlite 4ply

Just like the previous Knit Alongs there are several colour schemes to choose from for the Crochet Along from delicate pastels to vibrant brights and cool blues!

To help you choose, here are the colour schemes:

Pastel colourway:

Shades #418/Washed Linen, #419/Duck Egg, #421/Buttermilk and #420 Blushes.

Rowan Summerlite 4ply Rowan Summerlite 4ply

Rowan Summerlite 4ply Rowan Summerlite 4ply

Vibrant colourway:

Shades #426/Pinched Pink, #422/Still Grey, #428/High Tide and #432/Aubergine.

Rowan Summerlite 4ply Rowan Summerlite 4ply

Rowan Summerlite 4ply Rowan Summerlite 4ply

Blues colourway:

Shades #424/Periwinkle, #429/Navy Ink, #431/Pepper Pot and 418/Washed Linen.

Rowan Summerlite 4ply Rowan Summerlite 4ply

Rowan Summerlite 4ply Rowan Summerlite 4ply

Want to get organised?  You can view the shopping list of requirements here and Rowan Summerlite 4ply is available to buy on our website here.

Happy crocheting!

Filigree by Marie Wallin

Filigree, Marie Wallin’s latest beautiful collection of designs has arrived and this time the collection focuses on light summery crochet pieces.

Filigree by Marie Wallin

Worked in new Rowan Summerlite 4ply, a beautiful matt cotton yarn, in shades of crisp white and elegant pale dove grey; Marie’s third collection as an independent designer is full of delicate designs perfect for summer layering.

Half of the designs are worked in just crochet, but the other half use a clever combination of knit and crochet stitches to create interesting effects.

Peony by Marie Wallin

The patterns feature ethereal lacy crochet stitches and the pale colour palette lets the stitches do the talking.  We love this pretty crocheted cardigan, just the thing to throw on when the Great British Summer (frequently) takes a cooler turn!

Anemone by Marie Wallin

Or how about mixing knitting and crochet?  This cute little top with a knitted body and crocheted sleeves really uses the different properties of knit and crochet fabrics to their best advantage.

Carnation by Marie Wallin

Our final favourite pick from the book is this lovely jacket made from square crochet motifs with knitted rib sleeves and collar, another great summer cover up, this would look just as great with jeans and a camisole or with a light summer dress.

You can find Marie’s latest book on our website here and take a look at the other designs in the collection here.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Designer Knitting Autumn 2014 now in stock!

Just arrived and selling fast, the latest issue of Designer Knitting, Autumn 2014:

Designer Knitting Autumn 2014

There are some stunning patterns in this issue, including these:

Pullover by Marie WallinThis stunning colourwork jumper by Rowan designer Marie Wallin is knitted in vibrant shades of Rowan Alpaca Colour and Rowan Kid Classic.

Openwork cabled sweater

We love the incredible detail in this intricate cable and lattice-work jumper by Shiri Mor is knitted in double knit weight yarn, we this it would look fab in Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool DK or Debbie Bliss Rialto DK.

Jacket in Rowan Tumble

A cosy cardigan is just the thing to snuggle up in when the nights draw in, so what could be better than this lush boyfriend cardi by Pat Olski in Rowan Tumble?

Don’t miss out, get your copy here!

Happy Knitting!

Just arrived: Easy Fairisle knits by Martin Storey

Just arrived, a gorgeous little book from Martin Storey, Easy Fairisle Knits…..

Easy Fairisle Knits by Martin Storey

This lovely little book of designs is a great introduction to fairisle knitting and contains lots of lovely accessory projects that would make perfect gifts or even just a treat for yourself.  Soft Stripes Hat and GlovesAll the projects are worked in Rowan’s popular Felted Tweed DK yarn, making use of the extensive and beautiful colour palette of softly flecked shades.  We love this flattering set of hat and mitts with just a band of simple fairisle at the edge, a very effective way of incorporating a small amount of colourwork into a design.

Simple Spots and Paper Dolls Cushions

As well as accessory designs there are pretty and fun to knit homewares too!  This trio of cushion patterns would really brighten up your sofa.

Plaid and Diamond Socks

If you’re looking for a pattern for the man in your life, how about these cosy socks?  We like the combination of tartan inspired checks and a more traditional diamond pattern.

You can find the book on our website here and see the other projects in the book here.

Happy Knitting!