This post is a little different from the usual as it contains a simple knitting pattern that I came up with when I was trying to think of gifts I could make for friends a few years ago.
We’re often quick to knock social media but I met Suzanna of Zwartbles Ireland, Catherine of Foxglove Land, Eadaoin of City of Blackbirds and Susan from Vibrant Ireland on Twitter soon after I began using it in 2009/10 and we’ve remained on and offline friends since.
As a result we’ve created an uplifting support network. Genuine, incredibly creative, non judgmental and never ones to gossip, it’s always a joy to meet these women in person once or twice a year for tea, chat and an illuminating catch up.
The idea for knitting gifts made from Zwartbles wool arose because Suzanna had linked up with Cushendale Woolen Mills to create her beautiful rugs and yarn. I was looking forward to making something with wool that was cleaned and spun 30 km away, from sheep reared 24 km away by a female friend.
I ended up making two tea cozies, a mug warmer and these egg cozies pictured, going on to sell a few of the latter by request. I’m no longer making the cozies to sell so for those of you who might like to make them, I’ve left the pattern below.
I enjoy knitting during the winter months when it’s quieter in the gardens, having learnt from my Mum when I was a child. Mum was always clacking the needles in the evenings as she relaxed and I miss having her nearby to help me out when I get stuck on the tricky parts. Unfortunately Mum can no longer knit due to crippling arthritis but when I pick up my own needles I think of her and wish that my own children would take an interest in this useful and rewarding craft.
How to Knit a Zwartbles Sheep Egg Cozy
There’s no comparison – Mum was an amazingly talented knitter but without her close by I find YouTube a great source of help for explaining any tricky stitches in more detail. The following pattern is quick and easy to knit up if you have some very basic knitting skills.
Materials and Size
Width: 7 cm, 2½ in Height: 6.5 cm, 2½ in (will stretch)
Using Zwartbles Wool (available from Zwartbles Ireland online shop) and 3.25 mm needles (UK 10, US 3)
Cast on 26 sts
Rib 2 rows *K1, p1; rep from * to end of row
Stocking stitch 10 rows (K a row, P a row, *repeat for another 8 rows)
To shape the top
Row 13: K4, K2tog) to last st, k2
Row 14: S1 (slip 1 stich), purl to last st, k1
Row 15: (K3, K2tog) to last st, k2
Row 16: S1, purl to last st, k1
Row 17: (K2, K2tog) to last st, k2
Row 18: S1, purl to last st, k1
Row 19: (K1, K2tog) to last st, k2
Row 20: S1, purl to last st, k1
Row 21: (K2tog) to last st, k1 (5sts)
Cut the wool leaving a length of around 15 cm. Using a yarn sewing needle, pull the wool through the remaining stitches and secure. Sew up the seam.
Use the images as a guide. Crochet four legs using a simple chain stitch in a combination of black/brown/cream colours (like the sheep out in the fields) and secure equally onto the bottom of the egg cozy.
Cut out a small piece of black felt and sew another small piece of white felt onto to it. Secure to the cozy to create the nose. Cut and stitch two pieces of brown felt on the top for the ears. Stitch in place.
Are you a knitter? I wonder how many youngsters learn these days compared to my own childhood?
I actually bought my then 9 year old niece knitting needles and wool for her birthday…. created a knitting monster! She loves it. Knits covers for her tablet… and all sorts of other things.
Ahh that’s fantastic! Knitting and crochet seem to be like so many basic skills that are being forgotten, great to hear of a nine year old’s interest