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Category: Knitting

I’m Glad it’s not a Real Spider

For some reason, in the 1890’s many small repeat knitting patterns that were used to knit the centre of shawls were called spider stitches. Stitches a bit like this:

A knit swatch of arachne stitch

Of course, if one had a classical education, one could be all fancy and call them arachne stitch instead, which is the knitted stitch pattern I’m sharing with you today.

The original version had yarn overs at the beginning of each row, to create the chain selvage sometimes needed when adding a border. I’ve included both this, and the more modern way of doing it with a slipped stitch. As always, I’ve updated the language used and added a chart for each.


Together Again At Last

Don’t worry, I’ve finished nagging you about Christmas crafts! Today I’m bringing together updated versions of two patterns that were originally published almost exactly 115 years ago.

Six years ago I posted the pattern for the rather stunning knitted edging, Wave, Rose and Strawberry Lace, with the intention of following up the next week with the matching insertion pattern. Which I promptly forgot. Oops.


I have finally done it.

Wave, Rose and Strawberry Insertion

Wave, Rose and Strawberry Insertion repeats the “wave” section of the lace in a 25 stitch wide insertion. I’ve updated the language used, charted it and tested it for accuracy. I guess after 109 years, another 6 wasn’t going to make too much of a difference 😉


Flashback to Toyland

We’ve knit Winter warmers and Christmas stockings, decorated our trees with hand embroidered felt baubles, now for my final “OMG it’s almost Christmas!” post, I thought I’d feature a few toys that you still have enough time to knit.

Sure you do. Sleep is for suckers. 🙂

Hand knit doll

Bliss’s dolly was the first pattern I ever put online, way back in 1996. I’d designed her to be knit with any yarn as my gift to the Knitlist email group in 1995. The pattern has stitch by stitch instructions to knit her with dk weight yarn, and a recipe for knitting her with any gauge yarn of your choice. The original pattern includes undies and a dress, and there’s a separate pattern for Bliss’s netball uniform for the sporty types. In fact, if you add a couple of pom poms, the netball uniform would make a cute cheerleader’s outfit too.

Knitted doll with lavender mohair shirt and pink variegated pants

If you’d like a doll that’s faster to knit but just as cuddly, my easy knit doll pattern is a quicker knit. Knit in dk weight yarn, she’ll measure 12 inches tall, but I’ve written the pattern out in rows rather than measurements so you can make her with any yarn that you have, at any gauge.

If you just want some little stocking stuffers, why not knit a Pebble Baby or twelve? They’re great stash busters, and if you add a bit of catnip to the stuffing, they make fabulous cat toys.

Soft toy monster in a pink flowery skirt

Florentine the monster is a quick sew pattern I designed when I found an unfinished pyjama top at a local re-use shop. She can be pink and frilly, furry and fabulous, or left plain and packaged with fabric pens for a DIY decorating project!

Felt Betsy dolls

Finally, check out the Betsy Dolls, available in three sizes. Full size (about a foot tall), can be made from any fabric, a slightly smaller size (shown) is designed to fit on commercially available sheets of felt, and a Betsy Doll Christmas tree decoration that can be made from scraps of felt and hung on your tree.

These are just a few of the toy patterns here on If you’d like teddy bears, cats, clowns, bunnies and more, check out the knitting patterns for toys, and the sewing and embroidery projects pages. And remember, when it comes to Christmas crafting – sleep is optional!


Some Christmas Favourites!

There are only three weeks until Christmas, is it time to panic yet?!? Of course not. We all know you’ve got everything under control, right? If not, here are a few quick Christmas projects to get you back on track.

One Hour Scarf

The One Hour Scarf. Knit on honkingly big needles, you can make the one hour scarf with tassels, a full fringe, or darn the ends for different looks. A super quick and useful present, and a stash buster too! This is always one of the most popular patterns on once Christmas approaches.

Intarsia Christmas stocking with trees, Santa Claus and children.

Do you have a new member of the family who needs their own stocking? Check out the Personalized Christmas Stocking from 1945. Updated and charted in colour. Go. Now. You still have time!

Christmas cookies

Do you like to give Christmas cookies biscuits as gifts? Here’s how to wrap up your cookies, ahem biscuits, without risk of turning them into a tin of crumbs.

Handspun ribbed hat, spun and knit by Sarah Bradberry

If it’s Winter in your part of the planet, why not knit a hat, or some mittens or gloves to keep your loves ones warm?

Now get knitting people! There are only three weeks until Christmas. It’s time to panic!!!


A Checked Knitting Pattern with a Difference

Knit and purl ridged check swatch

The end is here! Stitch No 33, Striped Check is the final stitch in my knitting stitchathon!

Another knit and purl stitch, I think this one would look particularly nice in a yarn that has a little texture to it like a fine bouclé. In a plain, smooth yarn, an nice project for this stitch would be to make squares in Striped Check and stitch 28b and join them together with bands of garter stitch to make a large afghan with a thick border of garter stitch all the way around. Very cosy 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of 19th century and 1930’s knitting stitches. I have a lot of new additions planned for knitters, my fellow embroiderers and more, so if you’d like to keep notified whenever I post something new, subscribe over on the left (on desktop), or underneath this post of you’re using a tablet or on mobile.

Happy stitching!


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