Saturday, 30 May 2015

Tip for making pom poms

The Baa-ble hat pattern features a pom pom (optional of course!) but sometimes they can be quite tedious to make.  I noticed on Pinterest and a post from Ysolda Teague a while ago a technique to make pom pom without having to thread the yarn through the hole, eliminating the need to switch to using a needle at the last bit which can be quite fiddly.

Draw two circles with circles inside onto card - for the the Baa-ble hat pom pom the outer circle should be 7cm diameter and the inner circle should be 2.5cm diamater.  I used a compass but you could draw around objects that are more or less those sizes.  I used the box from cat food pouches but a thinner card (from a birthday card) is a bit easier, I found the thicker layers of card got in the way a bit when cutting the pom pom.

Cut them out - but instead of leaving them as a complete circle cut a section out of it about one fifth of the circumference.  Think about taking a slice out of a donut!
Place the two pieces of cards together and start wrapping your yarn. 
Wrap until the "centre" is more or less full - it reminds me a bit of a woolly croissant.
Then the cutting part - cut the yarn around the edge of the pom pom. Remember to hold it tight with your other hand! 
Cut a fairly long length of yarn (approximately 50cm) in the main colour of the "sky" part of the hat as this piece is yarn is used to attach the pom pom on top.  Place the yarn between the two layers of card and pull tight (but not so tight that you break the yarn).  I tend to do this as I go along when I am cutting it.  If the yarn you are using isn't very strong you might want to use an alternative yarn.
Then remove the card, you will end up with a lop-side untidy pom pom -
All it needs now is a good trim, but make sure you don't snip the yarn holding the pom pom together, this will be used to fix the pom pom to the hat.  I find it easiest to hold the long pieces of yarn while I am trimming.
All is left to do is attach the pom pom to the hat.  Instead of sewing in the ends I tie them in a double bow - that way the pom pom can be removed fairly easily for washing or if you fancy a change your hat can be pom pomless!

I you have other pom pom tips or have used something else to adorn your Baa-ble hat please let me know, I would love to hear/see them!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Shetland Wool Week 2015 Programme

Exciting news - the Shetland Wool Week 2015 programme is now available to see online!  (although if you signed up for a membership you will already have seen the programme so you know how good it is!).  There is also a shiny new website, which I think looks great!

Go to and click on Events - this will take you to the programme.  There are a huge number of events this year, it will be very hard to choose!

You will be able to book from 9 o clock tomorrow morning (Tuesday 26th May) through

I hope you find something to interest you!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Peerie Baa-ble Hat

For those of you who don't know "Peerie" is a Shetland word meaning "little".  I recently knitted a peerie version of the Baa-ble hat, the official free Shetland Wool Week pattern (you can get the pattern from here).  I basically followed the pattern using Shetland jumper weight yarn from ten different colours from my stash (which is equivalent to fingering weight), except I only knitted 10 rows of rib using two colours rather than the turned up brim.

I originally thought it would fit my 3 year old, but he has an exceptionally large head and actually the adult size fits him pretty good.  His cousin is only 9 days younger and was a much better sized model.


I decided to leave off the pom pom as I like the look of the graduated colours on the crown. 

 I have summarised some of the details below to help if you want to have a go making your own peerie version.
Yarn used: Shetland jumper weight, available from Jamieson and Smith OR Jamieson's of Shetland  

Needle size: 3mm for the entire project

Gauge obtained: 26 stitches and 34 rows over 10cm.

Finished size: Around brim: 42.5cm; from brim to centre of crown: 16cm. 

From brim to start of decreases: 11 cm.  If you want to make it a bit bigger for an older child, you could add in a few extra rows either above or below (or both) the sheep. 

Knitting it as I have done here would fit a child aged 2-3, although I find it very hard to size childrens' hats as the bairns I have around me are very different in size even though they are the same age!  You might be best to get the measuring tape out.

We are still very much enjoying seeing your finished Baa-ble hats, remember to show us!

Shetland Wool Week now has a Ravelry group where you can post your project (and enter into discussions) - we really would love to see them!

Friday, 1 May 2015

A few Baa-ble hats

It is wonderful to see lots of you knitting the Baa-ble hat, the free pattern I designed for Shetland Wool Week 2015.

It is also very exciting to see you using different colours, making them unique and I wanted to share a few that I have seen on Ravelry and Instragram for some inspiration!  You can see more photos of each version by clicking on the knitter's name - it will link you to their Ravely page.

I love the turquoise sky in Ribbels' version


Look at these fantastic colour choices from SyllyMae:

I absolutely love the colours Fidlstix has used especially the contrasting stripes in the ribbing (she also has several amazing patterns including a Fair Isle hat recipe using Shetland jumper weight yarn - check out her designs here).

Ella Gordon has made a grey version, which we often joke is a mutual favourite colour way, I need to make one like this for myself!


She has made a few adaptations to the patterns to suit her "flat head" (her words not mine!).  You can read about it in her blog post.

Lunargirl has gone for a slightly more muted effect with softer colours with a lovely effect.

The Winter's Night Baa-ble hat by Nelago uses darker colours very successfully, of course I love the grey sheep!

Torirot has made a gorgeous version using several shades of blue and green  - I think it works really well photographed against this wall, the colour just pops out.  You can read about her hat on her blog as well as getting a peak at some beautiful cardigans at a Colourwork Cardigan Parade.  She is also an amazing knitwear designer, you can see her designs here, if you aren't familiar with her work you need to see it!

Magfly has added an alpaca pom pom to great effect.

You can see more projects on the Baa-ble hat project pages on Ravelry and if you haven't already you can download the pattern from the Shetland Wool Week website.

Thank you to the knitters above for allowing me to use their photos.

Please keep adding your projects to Ravelry, it is so good to see them.  Remember if you are posting photos of them on Instagram on Twitter to add the hashtag(s)  #baable #baablehat #baablealong and/or tag Shetland Wool Week and/or myself (@shetlandwoolweek and @donnasmithdesigns on Instagram) or tag Shetland Wool Week on Facebook. 

That way we can see them and get even more excited about the flock of Baa-ble hats that are emerging!