The Littlest Fisherman’s Hat

Baby's sunhat, "Littest Fisherman's Hat", knit in sport weight or DK yarn for 0-3 month or 3-6 months sizes, respectively.  Yarns and pattern available through  PDF available through Ravelry.

The Littlest Fisherman’s Hat in Dale Garn “Terne” 100% cotton, 0-3 month size.

The inspiration for this hat is eighteen years old.  Back in March ’97, my now-hulking son Alex was a newborn.  Waaaaay too much of that spring was spent in a frustrating search for a sunhat for my bald-as-a-cueball little fellow.  No luck at all!  Tons of frilly, flowery, flouncy affairs in every shade of pink for all the little Alexandras of the world, but there was not a single sunhat to be found that was worthy of my Alexander the Great Baby’s sweet, shiny pate.   Why the heck didn’t I come up with this back then??

Who knows?!  But here it is now, to shade the sweet little one in your life today, be they Alexander, Alexandra, Zachary, Zoe or anyone in between.

Littlest Fisherman's Hat, a knitting design from  Yarn and pattern available through Kidsknits.  PDF available through Ravelry.

Littlest Fisherman’s Hat in 3-6 month size, knit in Dale “Lerke” merino+cotton DK weight yarn.

Littlest Fisherman’s Hat PDF for $5 on  (And here’s my Ravelry PDF store.)

Dale Terne 100% cotton, used for the navy+white 0-3 month size, available through my on-line yarn shop,  (Get 2 different-colored, 50g balls. If you prefer the sheen of 100% mercerized cotton, use Dale Vipe – same gauge!)

Dale Lerke 52% merino / 48% cotton (used for the blue+yellow 3-6 month size) available through Kidsknits, too.

Posted in Fair Isle Knitting, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alpakka “Lilac” #4435 is back…for now

Dale Alpakka in Lilac 4435 Dale Garn’s lovely “Lilac 4435″ Alpakka 100% alpaca yarn is back in stock at Kidsknits…for now. It’s been a tremendously popular color, and it’s a key shade in a recent design of mine.  It took me quite a while to get seven different shades, including Lilac 4435, to play nicely together in my “Gentle Hat” (below). Just as things started humming along, up popped the “D” word.  When they told me it was “Discontinued!”, I nearly fell off my chair!  Boy, was I ever happy when they told me I could still get three more bags of it!  :) Now, those of you awaiting your “Gentle Hat” kits, get your needles poised – they’re on their way. Those of you teetering on the brink of ordering, now’s the time to strike – sadly, lilacs don’t last forever.

UPDATE:  4/17/15 I just found out from the distributor that Lilac has been in such demand that Dale has done a second run of it and the distributor should have more of it shortly.  :) Yippee!!

Gentle Hat, a ladies' Fair Isle hat design, by Mary Ann Stephens.  Knitting kits in 100% alpaca available through

Gentle Hat

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Woolly Lilies, a free knitting pattern

Free knitting pattern, "Woolly Lilies". Use it to give new life to old scraps, or to inspire your next, new masterpiece! Free pattern available on the Two Strands knitting blog; yarn available through the designer at

Now that so many of you have wrapped up your winter sweater knitting, I’ve had lots of requests for a small, portable knitting project that uses up a rainbow of leftovers.  Time to do some knitter’s composting!

After the long, dreary winter we’ve had, I’m too impatient to sit around through all of these April showers, waiting for May flowers.  So, I’m making my own. If you can knit circularly, know a few basic lace stitches and have yarn scraps to spare, you can, too.

Use anywhere from one to four different-colored, smooth yarns of the same weight -any one weight will do.  I used three shades of super-bulky Hubro for the big, lone flower on the left. The smallest flowers, on top, were knit from just one ball of self-striping Hakkespett, a new Dale sock yarn we recently started stocking.  I added some background rounds and used sport weight Falk to create the hexagons.  The variegated blue flowers, below, were made from one ball of Hakkespett, (in a range of blues) along with spring green and yellow Daletta.

What, nothing quite right in your stash?!  Step right this way!Asterisk Blossoms, a free knitting pattern from the Two Strands Blog.  Knit with Daletta and Hakkespett yarns, available through the designer at

I’m not sure yet if my Woolly Lilies will become a pillow or an afghan or…heck, I might just blanket the countryside with ’em!  Once you get the hang of these, you might not want to stop, either.  And who says you have to?! You could tack one onto a hat; line a bunch up to cover a belt; link some together for a sweet, spring scarf; make that cozy afghan you really should have had this past winter; or, get carried away with the yarn bomb of your dreams.

Sure, it’s fun to see the surprising effects from just one ball of self-striping yarn. (And it cuts down nicely on the loose ends, too.) But, it’s also nice to have painterly control over which colors go where, and that works best with solid-colored yarns. If you haven’t tried stranded knitting yet, this might be the quickest, lowest risk chance you’ll get.  There are just two very short, easy-peasy, optionally-stranded rounds near the center (#10 & #11 on the chart). Give them a try and I think you’ll see, stranding with two colors can really make a lovely difference in how articulated the centers / stamens appear.

Gauge isn’t a sticking point here. Start with needles in your yarn’s recommended size and see what blossoms.  What matters most is that you’re happy with your result.

Here’s to hoping that your yarn sprouts into something far more delightful than those rain clouds on the horizon.

Click here to download “Woolly Lilies“.  Click here to see more of my designsClick here to visit my online yarn shop. 

Happy gardening knitting!

P.S. Within minutes, several people have asked about Hakkespett.  The rainbow & blue versions used, above, are in stock.  We’ll have them listed on the Kidsknits site shortly and I’ll update the link at that time.(And here it is now!)  In the meantime, here’s the color card: hakkespett.  It’s $23.25 per 150g / 426 yd ball.  (Yup, that’s one big ball!) Feel free to email (masATkidsknitsDOTcom) or call (US toll-free 877-631-3031).

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I Spy a Crocus

Fair Isle knit hat, I Spy a Crocus, by Mary Ann Stephens.

I Spy a Crocus, a knitting pattern for a ladies’ hat.

After the brutal winter we’ve endured, I got up out of bed this past Saturday morning – our last weekend in March – hoping that maybe, finally, we’d have a decent, spring-like weekend.  I had this silly notion that, “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice, to spy a sweet little crocus peeking out at me from somewhere in the yard?”  Rather, overnight, my greening yard became buried under yet another blanket of ice and snow.

Fortunately, when Mother Nature disappoints, all we have to do is grab our knitting needles!

It’s true -necessity really IS the mother of invention.  And, boy, did I ever need to see some flowers!  Hence, my new “I Spy a Crocus” hat.  It was a quick, easy, stranded knit in Dale Garn’s new Cotinga, a heavenly blend of 70% merino / 30% alpaca.  Wonderful, wonderful stuff!  You’ll need three different-colored 50g balls of Cotinga, or your favorite, soft, compressible worsted weight yarn.

Here’s a link to the $5 PDF on Ravelry.

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Val’s Tiger Lily Jacket

Yesterday, I received a delightful email from another one of my immensely talented customers, Val.  It’s always a big thrill for me, to see the face behind the emails and phone calls.  Turns out, not only is Val bright, funny and talented, but she’s lovely, too!  Here she is in her glorious rendition of my Tiger Lily Jacket design:

ladies' norwegian cardigan knitting pattern

Val knit her version of my Tiger Lily Jacket in Dale Heilo yarn.

Lucky Val is on the slender side, so she made some sizing tweaks to her version.  Here’s what Val said in her email about Tiger Lily:

“What an amazing pattern! Fabulous detailed instructions! Knitted in Small, lengthened by 1/2 pattern, narrowed sleeves.”

I knit the original Tiger Lily Jacket in Dale Heilo yarn, quite a few years ago.  Dale has made umpteen changes to their yarn color selections since then; so, my original, autumnal color combination (below) is no longer available.  But, between their two sport weight wool yarns – traditional Heilo or superwash Falk  – we still have countless color combinations to choose from.

Norwegian knit cardigan

My original TLJ, also knit in Dale Heilo. You can knit yours in any four shades of either Heilo or Falk that your heart desires.

If you’d like to knit Tiger Lily in Heilo, you can order your kit directly through my online yarn shop, If you’d rather use superwash Falk, which offers more than twice as many colors, email me – masATkidsknitsDOTcom – or call the US toll-free line and we’ll set that up for you. Either way, as soon as I see your order come through, we’ll discuss your favorite colors and how they’d work together in a design like this.  We can even play around with colorizing some chart snippets so you’ll get a good idea of how your favorite colors all “play together” in Tiger Lily.  Once we’ve zeroed in on your favorite combination, your kit will be on its way.

Val's Tiger Lily's neckline detail.

Val’s Tiger Lily’s neckline detail.  Both Val and I used Dale’s “Vestland” pewter buttons, also available through me at

If you’re already knee-deep in sport weight wool and you’re happy to fly solo, here’s the link to the Tiger Lily PDF, which is available through Ravelry.

How ’bout a big round of applause for Val?!  Thanks for sharing your lovely work with us!

Happy knitting!

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Our new clearance sale page

You’ll want to bookmark this page.  It’s my new yarn and book clearance page on eBay.  Everything you’ll find there is fresh, untouched, pristine stock, directly from  Items I continue to specialize in will stay on; items that are discontinued, out-of-print or simply lovely items that I just don’t have room for will be listed on eBay under my “twostrands” seller ID.

I’ve just started with a few books and some Baby Cashmerino this week. But, if all goes well and as time allows, I have quite a pile of gorgeous, untouched yarns and delightful old pattern books that I plan to list. Here’s a link to the first Dale book I’ve put up there, the adorable “Mini 112” book:

OOP Dale Mini 112, one of  Dale's all-time cutest collections of colorwork sweaters for kids.

OOP Dale Mini 112, one of Dale’s all-time cutest collections of colorwork sweaters for kids.  Click the photo to hop over to the sale on eBay.

Of course, I’m keeping one original from any book in my archives, so that I can help customers working on those designs, and so that we can do free pattern “kits” with Dale yarn purchases (if / whenever / as long as Dale Garn, as the copyright holder, allows it.) But, these extras need good homes, and I need more shelf space for new books and new yarns. So, thanks for having a look at my sales.

Happy shopping!

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Dale Garn Kids’ Book NR 309

Dale Garn’s new Kids’ Book #309 brings us six great designs for children aged 2 to 12 years old, including the traditional and ever-popular Norwegian “Fana” design, done with a modern twist: either round or raglan yokes, NO steeks.  (Of course, if you want a cardigan,  you know what to do! ;) )

Dale of Norway / Dale Garn Kids Book NR 309

The ever-popular “Fana” design, as reworked in Dale Garn Kids Book NR 309, available at Click the photo for details.

They’ve used Alpakka (light sport weight 100% alpaca) and Cotinga (a worsted weight 70% merino + 30% alpaca blend) for the designs in Book 309.

girls rounded yoke sweater with paper dolls

I can still remember those magical years when absolutely everything was perfect…as long as it was pink or purple!

I’ve used both of those yarns for a few projects lately and I can honestly say that you couldn’t ask for two more gorgeous yarns.  But, please remember that lovely Cotinga is “hand wash only“!  If you’re looking for more affordable &/or machine washable yarns, use Falk (their sport weight 100% superwash wool) in place of Alpakka and use Freestyle (Dale’s worsted weight 100% superwash wool) in place of Cotinga.

Click the link, below, to view their preview PDF, showing you photos of all of the designs in this sweet, new book:

Dale Garn Kids Book 309

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