The patterns 

All patterns are also available as individual pdfs, to purchase a single pattern click through to the pattern page.

Whimsical Little Knits 3 includes nine patterns.

Each pattern includes clear directions, a choice of written directions or charts whenever appropriate and interesting techniques and construction methods ensure your valuable knitting time is well spent.

If you have a printed book click here for errata information.

Patterns
Hendreary

Celebrate your love for buttons with this hat featuring giant ones in stranded colourwork. The buttons are worked against a traditional “lice” pattern, which, despite the gross name, is an excellent way to work a non-repeating motif in stranded colourwork. The allover pattern allows both colours to be used all the way around the hat, making the knitting simple and the hat cosier with the resulting double thick layer. There are a few sections in the large blocks of contrast colour on the buttons where you will need to twist the two yarns together in order to avoid long floats. Pay attention to colour dominance, for the buttons to stand out well against the patterned background make sure that the contrast colour is dominant.

Achieving the right balance of simple but recognisable buttons took some trial and error: the first version ended up as more of a cookie hat. The soft, luxurious yak and cormo blend held up delightfully well to all of that ripping and re-knitting and is one of the warmest yarns I’ve used. A slight halo gives the colourwork softly rounded edges that makes a big difference to whether the pattern reads as buttons.

Sherilyn

A few years ago I was obsessed with creating illustrative lace patterns, most of which ended up simply looking messy. It turns out that there are good reasons that most traditional lace patterns are simple, geometric representations of things like leaves and feathers. A stylized representation of a pair of cherries on their stalks turned out rather successfully and the pattern flowed well into columns of a simple geometric mesh pattern. And so I knit a shawl, but my design abilities were rather ahead of my pattern creation abilities and it took a little while to catch up in addition to simply finding the time to revisit the idea but I’m so glad to finally be sharing it.

The triangular shawl is shown in two sizes, either of which can be knit in lace or fingering weight, and is flexible enough to be made as large as you wish.

Oxidize

Oxidize features an asymmetrical cable panel that makes a basic ribbed beanie much more interesting to work, without sacrificing the things that make these beanies such a great classic. Truly my favourite kind of project, Oxidize is perfectly balanced between mindless and interesting, quick to complete, and easily adaptable to anyone’s style.

Cables are worked with twisted slipped stitches that stand out very crisply from the background. Use either a single colour, or alternate two to give the effect of solid coloured cables against a subtly striped background (ignore references to CC and MC when working solid version). Varying the length and ease creates a fitted beanie or a loose, slouchy hat. The hat is completed with shaping worked neatly into the pattern, bringing the ribs and cable panel in to twine together at the top.

Narwhal Mittens

Narwhals might seem mythically strange, and explorers once sold their tusks as “authentic unicorn horns”, but they’re real whales. They can be found inside the arctic circle and now they can keep your hands cosy in temperatures they’d be perfectly at home in. Traditional Selbuvotter mitten patterns on the cuffs and palms combine with fun details like the fish on the thumbs and, of course, the narwhals.

I love the fabric that the squishy, sport weight Chickadee gives in stranded colourwork at this range of gauges but heavier DK or worsted weight yarns such as Quince and Co. Lark could be used if you prefer your mittens to be very dense or wish to make them larger than the largest size given.

Not-so-tiny Slippers

One of my favourite patterns in the first Whimsical Little Knits is the Tiny Shoes, simple little baby Mary Janes with an I-cord strap. When the pattern came out, plenty of knitters seemed to like it just as much as I did, but some of them didn’t just want to make tiny shoes. The question “could I make a pattern for Tiny Shoes for bigger feet” seemed to have an obvious answer: “no, the proportions are all wrong, they’ll be much too wide and short.” But, I’m nothing if not contrary, and once I’d decided that scaling up the Tiny Shoes pattern wouldn’t work, it proved impossible to completely let go of the idea.

Two books later, although it was included as a possibility in the first outline of Whimsical Little Knits 2, it had percolated for long enough. The answer to the proportions issue is, as the answer to more interesting shapes in knitting so often is, short rows. In fact these would be an excellent project on which to try out the technique for the first time. It’s hard to compete with the cuteness of baby toes wrapped in wool, but a lot of trial and error resulted in visual proportions that come as close as possible. The stitches themselves are scaled up, the chunky gauge makes for a project that can be completely almost as quickly as the tiny version and there are few things as wonderfully cozy as walking around the house on a thick bed of garter stitch. For slippery floors it may be a good idea to add non-stick paint or iron-on pads.

Sherman

With this pattern it might finally be time to stop claiming that I’m not a sock knitter. It started with the engineering, a toe-up, heel flap sock with arch well fitting arch shaping, that I’d previously tried out with a simple stockinette design. Highlighting the elegance of this shaping with a simple garter rib pattern that flows into cables on the top of the foot and cuffs resulted in something so compelling and fun to knit that I actually completed both socks in the pair myself. It probably helped that the sport weight yarn knits up faster than most sock yarns, plus it results in the slightly heavier socks I covet for wearing inside my winter boots and around the house. They’re also pretty good on the yak ranch!

My favourite aspect of the arch shaping is that it creates a bias fabric pointing towards the heel. "is means that no short rows are necessary to round the base of the heel before working the “flap” which is worked back and forth, decreasing onto the extra stitches that were added while working the arch shaping.

Trinket

This little robot has all of the most important features: wheels for speeding around on adventures, dials and gauges, an antenna for communicating important messages (or chewing on), long arms for reaching everything and a pocket for carrying your most treasured toys and trinkets. The body, head and antenna are worked in the round in one piece and stitches for the arms and wheels are picked up from the stuffed body. The pocket is actually a solution to a technical problem, I didn’t want to deal with working the intarsia panels on the front in the round, but nor did I want a seam: the pocket panel neatly fills the space.

Vintage button gloves

Long, elegant gloves with a simple twisted stitch cable pattern that follows the taper of the wrist. Closely spaced buttons down the outside of each cuff are inspired by vintage kid gloves, but since knitting is so much stretchier this version is much more practical. The buttons are purely decorative, no fussing with making buttonholes or fastening so many. It’s the perfect opportunity to use delicate mother of pearl buttons, try using mismatched ones for a slightly quirky effect if you don’t have a set of twenty four. Big bags of random mother of pearl buttons are among the many things I find almost impossible to resist in antique shops.

The Vintage Button Gloves pattern was first published in St-Denis Magazine Fall/Winter 2009, and the St-Denis yarn was too perfectly vintage in style to change it.

Roisin

A sweet pixie hood inspired both by cute patterns from the forties for little girls and more glamorous ones of starlets in headscarves. The vintage patterns I looked at involved working separate rectangles for hood and scarf, but this one uses a neat cast on method more commonly used for toe up socks to begin the hood and scarf together at the centre back. The scarf is biased which causes it to flare outward at the back neck, gives definition to the hood, and creates pointed ends. All of the stitch patterns used are variations on the same simple but effective technique where slipping stitches leaves strands of yarn across the right side that are later picked up.