Sandra's Designing Blog

This is an exclusive area of my web site where you can find out more about my knitted designs, what inspires me, how I work and what I like (and don't like) to design. 
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  1.  At the beginning of the year I promised myself that I was going to take care of me this year.

    I have taken time out to embark on mindful activities, thinking these may help my mental health (well they couldn't harm me). My local village Slaithwaite is great for delivering crafty workshops and finding those that I could throw myself into was easy. 

    So earlier on this week I tried my hand at Zentangle. 
    Find out how to create Zentangles here

    So what is Zentangling?  I think of it a form of doodling but a bit more structured and yet it isn't. An abstract art form of repetitive patterns drawn on paper usually with a black marker pen. The patterns can be various forms of hash lines, circles, triangles, squares, flowers, spirals, paisleys, etc. The overall image can be something familiar like a bird or a flower, or any geometric or abstract shape.

    So I started by drawing round my hand, outlining finger tips, drawing on patterns, connecting the fingertips with swirly lines to other parts of the hand, adding in knuckles and colouring in shapes.  I started simple and then went deeper without really thinking about it, without really thinking about anything. 

    Today, I wondered whether it was possible to create Zentangled knitting, some mindless knitting that was more abstractly creative than the knitting you do in front of the TV.
    I thought about the different knitting techniques and how I would use them in Zentangle designs, for example with Fair Isle patterns I could use simple repeating motifs and geometric shapes working in 2 contrasting colours (ie black and white); lace patterns could be used to incorporate repeating shapes and intricate details. With cables and travelling stitches I could take my knitting off in different directions and the duplicate stitch technique could be used  to add Zentangle-inspired motifs directly onto the surface of the fabric. 

    I also considered the full project and how I  would have to plan the design in advance and consider how the patterns would fit together within the structure of the knitted fabric. I could experiment with different stitch patterns, color combinations, and techniques to achieve the desired effect. 

    For me, it seemed creating Zentangled knitting, whilst possible, it would take away the mindfullness I felt when I created the zentangled hand. Too much planning up front! 

    As freeform crochet is a more intuitive and improvisational approach to crochet where you create shapes and textures without following a specific pattern. I'm thinking that you can incorporate Zentangle-inspired motifs into your freeform crochet by working different stitches and shapes in a structured and repetitive manner.

    I think I need to have a serious zentangle crochet play one day soon. 

    Thank you for joining me in my Zentangle ramblings today. 




  2. Mustard Cable Hat

    By The Feminine Touch Designs
    Easy knit beanie hat with a 4 row repeatable pattern. Worked on straight needles so is ideal for the beginner knitter who is just learning cables. Finishes off with a neat crown so you can decide whether to add a pom pom or not. This  adults hat is 9” high with a circumference of 20”. 

    Yarn suggested

    Hat - Sublime Willow 1 x 50 grams (125m / 136 yards). Shade 592 Mustard. 94% merino wool, 6% nylon.

    Pom Pom - Sublime Cashmere merino silk DK approx 6 grams. Shade 0105. 75% extra fine merino, 20% silk, 5% cashmere.

    Needles required:  1 pair 6.5mm (US 10.5, UK 3) needles, 1 pair 8mm (US 11, UK 0) needles

    Gauge:    20 stitches x 20 rows to 10cm / 4 inch square on 8mm needles.

    C4F & C2F - find more info here -



    Cast on 


    Slip the next stitch to the front of the work on a cable needle, K1 then K1 from the cable needle


    Slip the next 2 stitches to the front of the work on a cable needle, K2 then K2 from the cable needle



    Knit 2 stitches together


    Knit 3 stitches together




    Purl 2 stitches together


    Pass the slipped stitch over


    Slip the stitch


     CO 85 stitches using 6.5mm straight needles and the cable cast on method (or your own preferred method of casting on).


    Row 1: *K1, P1; repeat from * to last st, K1.

    Row 2: P1, *K1, P1; repeat from * to end.

    Works rows 1 & 2 again and then row 1.

    Row 6: P1, (K1, P1) 5 times, P2tog, *(K1, P1) 9 times, P2tog; repeat from * to last 12 sts, (K1, P1) 6 times. (81 sts)

    Hat Body

    Change to 8mm needles

    Row 1: P4, *K4, P6; repeat from * to last 7 sts, K4, P3.

    Row 2: K3, P4, *K6, P4: repeat from * to last 4 sts, K4.

    Row 3: P4, *C4F, P6; repeat from * to last 7 sts, C4F, P3.

    Row 4: As Row 2.

     Repeat rows 1 - 4 a further 5 times. 

    Work rows 1 & 2. 

    Work should measure approx 6”.


    Crown Shaping

    Row 1: P2, P2tog, *C4F, P2tog, P2, P2tog; repeat from * to last 7 sts, C4F, P2tog, P1. (65 sts)

    Row 2: K2, P4, *K4, P4; repeat from * to last 3 sts, K3.

    Row 3: P3, *K4, P4; repeat from * to last 6 sts, K4, P2.

    Row 4: As Row 2.

    Row 5: P1, P2tog, *C4F, P2tog, P2tog; repeat from * to last 6 sts, C4F, P2tog. (49 sts)

    Row 6: K1, P4, *K2, P4; repeat from * to last 2 sts, K2.

    Row 7: P2, *SL1, K1, PSSO, K2tog, P2; repeat from * to last 5 sts, SL1, K1, PSSO, K2tog, P1. (33 sts)

    Row 8: K1, P2, *K2, P2; repeat from * to last 2 sts, K2.

    Row 9: P2tog, *C2F, P2tog; repeat from * to last 3 sts, C2F, P1. (25 sts)

    Row 10: *K1, P2; repeat from * to last st, K1.

    Row 11: P1, K2tog, (K3tog) 7 times, P1. (10 sts)

    Thread a darning needle through the remaining stitches and pull tight.

    To Finish

    No need to block the work just sew up the top securely, sew up the side seam, weave in the ends and it’s ready to wear.

    Add a pom pom - Buy yourself a pom pom maker or visit this web site for instructions.