Today there is a review of Knit Accessories: Essentials and variations as well as some DK pattern ideas for sweaters and some random chat.

Finding the Knitting Mojo in COVID Chaos

I have found my way back to my knitting this week. This may have been due to admitting I was struggling with finding the mojo for the knitting. I realised part of the problem was that knitting, for me, is a way of ordering my thoughts. This became apparent when the thoughts immediately began to race upon picking up the needles. I decided to sit with the feeling and luckily, it appears to have abated and I can knit again.

Love for Podcasting

I am really enjoying being back behind the mic on a more regular basis. It seems that podcasting is a form of reaching out for me. When I started the show, I lived in rural Limpopo in South Africa and was quite isolated. It was hot, not many people knitted and the knitters that were in SA were a long way away in Joburg or Cape Town. I feel like this recent inspiration is connected to that – once again, I am physically isolated, despite being at home and near friends.

I love that it is a running joke about how I know someone wherever we travel. These friends are – more often than not – as a result of the podcast or knitting. I also love how I can ‘be’ with people all over the world via the podcast. Just this week, I’ve been on an oil rig in the North Sea!

Audio is a conversation and I love the idea of keeping you company. Please do let me know where you are listening from, so I can enjoy my virtual travels and say hello.


Shoutouts this week go to the following lovely listeners: Poppy Pipkin, Nicolan Nolan, Janet Killips, Diane Kawagoe, Mary Jones, Nicola Lane, Charlotte Dadswell, Sally Fiona, Miranda Shelley, Lynne Greatorex, Darryl Joy Borders, Saz MacKay, Mitchel Thornley, Niel Wark, Zoe Gilmour, Hanne Lehmann Taylor, Aless Parsons.

DK Weight Pattern Ideas Feedback

Having just brought back a sweater quantity of Nurturing Fibres Supertwist DK in the colourway Sapphire from South Africa, I have found that there weren’t many patterns that were appealing to me on Ravelry. I asked the lovely listeners of the show for some suggestions for patterns.

Laura Stephens suggested to look at patterns by Libby of Truly Myrtle.

Lori Hathaway suggested to look at the patterns by Kim Hargreaves. Now this was a great shout and there were over 230 patterns on Ravelry for some really nice looking garments. Unfortunately, most of them are only available in print rather than as a PDF for download. Many are available via online yarn retailers. Definitely worth a look.

Then I mistakenly believe that Kim Hargreaves (knitwear designer) is the same name as Kim Catterall (bird on Sex in the City). Oops!

There also was some chat about Rowan Kidsilk Haze which surely must have reached the stage of being knitting nostalgia now.

DK Sweater Pattern Update

Cloudburst by Dieuwke van Mulligan/ Dieuwke Schack. Image Copyright Dieuwke van Mulligan.

I have settled for now on one of two patterns for this yarn. The choice is between two: Orchidacae by Susan Crawford and Cloudburst, which was originally part of the Drift Collection for Eden Cottage Yarns. It was designed by Dieuwke Schack Mulligan and is available on Ravelry here. The Beast was a model for Honey Bee by Dani Sunshine.

You can listen to an interview with Victoria in Episode 21.

Orchidaceae by Susan Crawford. Image Copyright Susan Crawford.

The other option is Orchidaceae, which is by Susan Crawford and is part of her new collection, Evolution, which is available now. I was intending to buy this collection anyway, so I was pleased to be reminded about this.

You can listen to Susan in episode 56 andcatch up with her again in episode 116.

Habitation Throw Helen Stewart Curious Handmade

Habitation Throw by Helen Stewart. Image Copyright Helen Stewart

Habitation Throw

Is knitting anything like a garment beyond you right now? If so, Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade has just made her Habitation Throw free for the month of April 2020. The pattern is still for sale and all proceeds from sales of this pattern will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency.


Don’t compete with other people or yourself is the main feedback for yoga. If you fancy something different for the kids, they can try Cosmic Kids Yoga.

Sammy’s Calamities

I have great ambitions of writing a series of childrens’ books based entirely on the calamities of Sam. These are all true stories of actual perils experienced.

Podcast Recommendations

We Fix Space Junk

Diary of a Space Archivist

Knit Accessories, Essentials and Variations by Kate Atherley. Image Copyright Shannon Okey/Cooperative Press.

Review of Knit Accessories, Essentials and Variations by Kate Atherley

This book was originally published in 2012 and was re-released last week. I offered to review this as I am getting a lot of requests for suggestions of how to get into knitting at the moment. This book is ideal for that purpose.

The ‘before you start’ section kicks off proceedings in this book. I know that when I got back into knitting, it was lead entirely by some somewhat dodgy yarn found in Poundstretcher. A lot of detail on how to choose yarns is covered, which is very useful for a beginner. It can help to avoid regrettable choices like splitty cotton or hard-to-frog mohair.

Variety of Yarns

I like how the recommended yarns include indie and commercial yarns, hitting all the budgets. It also has a section on substituting the yarns for non-wool yarns and different fibres. Swatching is covered in a decent amount of detail. This is a subject that ca often be skimmed over in beginner-suitable books. Let’s face it, swatching isn’t fun and you can usually get away without it for accessories. The necessity of the activity is explained and there are instructions for how to alter your needles if your gauge is off.

Toe-Up Socks from Knit accessories, Essentials and Variations by Kate Atherley. Image Copyright Shannon Okey/Cooperative Press.

The side notes that accompany the patterns are solid and really help to draw attention to the important points.

Design Your Own Elements

My favourite aspect of the book is the addition of the ‘design your own’ element for each group of patterns. This takes all the maths out of making alterations to your projects, particularly for yarn changes. Just plug in the yarn weight, dimensions and length and it will spit out the yardage required. Additionally, there are stitch patterns to substitute into the project to completely change the outcome, including some photographs of swatches to illustrate how they will look.

The book contains lots of examples of projects knitted in different weights and dye styles of yarn. This helps to gently educate the reader as to what yarns might be suitable for which type of project. Knowledge and information on this usually comes from trial and error. To have it included is very helpful, particularly combined with the pattern variations and design information.

In summary:


Design Your Own sections in each group of patterns

Cheat tables for the yarns and lengths

Would love to see

Would love to see some DK in the patterns

Links to videos or tutorials for the techniques would be great additions

Wrap Up

Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or your podcatcher of choice to get new episodes delivered to you as soon as they are released.

Music for this episode is with kind permission of Adam and the Walter Boys with ‘I Need a Drink’ – available on iTunes.

6 comments on “Ep 140: Knit Accessories, Essentials and Variations

  1. ReginaMary says:

    Great episode Jo!

    1. Jo Milmine says:

      Thanks so much!

  2. Heather Skelland says:

    Hi Jo,

    Thanks for your podcasts they are being a lovely brain break from all the other stuff that’s happening at the moment!
    I’m enjoying listening to you on my commute to work between Southport and Preston UK, when the radio is too much and I’m not in the mood for music. Only problem is I want to knit straight away of all the lovely ideas you talk about!
    Thank you for the little oasis of calm you create giving me headspace away from the strange reality we are in

    1. Jo Milmine says:

      Hey Heather! Glad to be keeping you company on your commute – hope you are enjoying this lovely weather we have been having in the North West!

      1. Karin says:

        Hi Heather,,
        Love your podcast. I am a knew follower. My knitting mojo was down after working in ICU Instead of the OR. Love to listen And knit at the same time. . Found My mojo back. Greatings from Oegstgeest in the Netherlands

        1. Jo Milmine says:

          So pleased to hear your mojo is back, Karin! Sounds like you have been working hard in ICU – thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.