How to Knit a Hat.

While it’s warm and sunny in California at the moment (I know, I know, I’m so annoying, I’ll shut up about the weather, I promise) I know that for most of you the weather is pretty dire right now. In fact my snapchat and whatsapp were full of pretty, albeit, short lived snowy scenes a couple of days ago. This hat is the perfect project for a cosy wintery evening in—in fact I secretly wish it was cold so I would have an excuse to get knitting.

My lovely friend Claire has been making hats all winter long and I have been keeping track of her beautiful creations on instagram and facebook. When I asked her if she’d like to share her method she kindly agreed! So without further ado I present to you “How to Knit a Hat!” steps by Claire, silly little illustrations by me. If you make one please let us know, we would love to see ;) 

These are the materials you’ll need. Yarn, circular knitting needles (I use size 10), cardboard donuts, and a stitch marker (I just use a ring). 

1. Cast on 48 stitches. (If you don’t know how to do this, click here). 

2. Knit 3 inches of rib. Rib is usually one knit stitch, one purl stitch…but for this pattern I double it so I knit 2 and purl 2. It's abbreviated to k2, p2.

3. Knit stockinette stitch for 6 inches, abbreviated to k48. Then start to decrease slowly by knitting two stitches then knitting two stitches together, knit one row, knit one stitch knit two together, knit one row, knit two stitches together, knit one row then knit two together till you only have 6 stitches left then cast off, this is abbreviated to K2, k2tog. K36. K1, k2tog. K24. K2tog. K12. K2tog. CO. As we are knitting in a round using a stitch marker allows you to know when you have progressed from one row to the next. Click here for more information on how to use a stitch marker. 

4. This is what your hat should look like from above once you’ve cast off. 

5. To make your pom pom hold the donuts together and wrap with yarn until it’s thick and you can’t see any more cardboard.

6. Cut the wool between the two donuts all the way round, and tie off tightly using a length of wool.

7. Sew the pom pom to the top of your hat and voila!

Here are some things Claire suggested you could do while knitting your hat: 

  • Imagine the alpaca the wool came from. 
  • Watch a box set while making the hat (she watched all the animal planet documentaries narrated by the hero that is David Attenborough)
  • Eat snacks to keep you going (she had a pack of jelly tots). 

For The Weekend (Happy Birthday Mama!)

Today is my mama’s birthday…we just facetimed and all of my family are together celebrating. Today is the second year out of all my 23.5 years that we’re not spending this day together. We will definitely make up for it next year. My brothers and sister and niece all took her to brunch this morning at this wonderful place…and so we didn’t feel like we were being left out our monthly challenge for January is to get brunch at Mama’s. Yum! I sent Monica a beautifully printed version of the above as my birthday gift; she loves Leonard Cohen and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. 

I hope you have a love-filled weekend wherever you are, birthday or no birthday Saturday is the perfect excuse to eat cake ;) 




I’ve been using this hashtag on instagram to track a little mini project since I’ve arrived in California. The light through the old windows of the apartment combined with the beautiful gauzy curtains makes for some pretty stunning shots. I’m really enjoying this no-strings-attached relaxed creative approach. There’s no schedule or regime and yet there they all are at the click of a finger. Feel free to follow along on my instagram

How to Teach Your Boyfriend to Cut Your Hair.

Upon looking at a photo Richard took of me a couple of weeks ago last night I realised I needed my hair cut and soon. I used to go months without cutting my hair but I’ve found it leads to scraggly bits at the ends and if I keep it well trimmed then it grows long nicely. So last night I convinced Rich to trim my hair, and so with a little scissors and a fork for a comb we set to it! 

1)  The hardest part is convincing your boyfriend/brother/mama/friend/randomer to cut your hair. For some reason people are often reluctant to take your hair in their hands. Tell them it’s no bother. You won’t kill them or anything if its a little uneven. Or point out how awful your split ends are. Once the convincing is over half the battle is won.

2) Wash, condition and comb your hair. I couldn’t find a comb last night and used a fork. If it’s good enough for Ariel it’s good enough for me. It needs to be damp but not soaked so give it an ole rub with a towel.

3) Now here’s the important part. Your hair dresser needs to pull small sections of your hair, and holding it between two fingers snip upwards. This creates an even cut with a feathered end…no jagged edges or steps and stairs. Use a piece of the trimmed hair to measure how much to cut off the next section and so on. Continue all around.

4) Try not to nit pick. Let your hair dresser get on with it. Close your eyes and wait to be surprised. Or horrified. It can go either way really. 

5) Once trimmed pull matching sections of hair down to measure they are even all around. 

6) Woop woop! Your hair is cut! And free! And your boyfriend/sister/pal/neighbour has a new skill to add to their arsenal. Congratulations! 


Before: what even are those fly aways? The scraggly bits on the end? Not to mention the lack of curls at the back? Clearly I had not seen a mirror that morning. Orrr it’s just a really bad angle. Whatever, this was the photo I needed to see in order to jump into hair-cutting (or rather convincing!) action. 

All props go to the good lighting at Bakers Beach (post coming soon!) and Richard’s excellent photo taking skillz. Oh and the haircut, obviously the haircut. 

Creative Live: James Victore


On Monday and Tuesday of this week I participated in a workshop run by Creative Live in San Francisco. A friend had sent me on the details weeks ago and suggested I apply to be a part of the studio audience for James Victore’s Bold and Fearless Poster Design course. I had heard of neither Victore nor Creative Live but I looked into it, thought it looked cool, and filled in an online form. Cut to a couple of months later and I am blearily making my way to a BART at 7am in the name of inspiration. 

And inspiration it was. Victore is bold and brash in his manner, his work ethic and his teaching. It was bolstering and refreshing, funny and thought provoking. I’m glad I went. We did some ink and brush work during the workshop and it was so freeing, Victore encouraged us all to embrace the uncontrollability of the medium and I think I’m hooked. 

Here are five things I learned during this workshop:

  1. Freedom is something you take. Victore made the point that we all intrinsically want to be free…we’re just waiting for someone to grant us permission. Stop waiting and take back your own freedom. At home, at work and in relationships. 
  2. Have an opinion. The worst possible question you can ask yourself is ‘what do they want’? In that kind of client/designer relationship then all the designer is is a workhorse, a dogsbody. Use your clients trust as inspiration and create what you believe to be true.
  3. All of your work should be love notes. I love this idea. Put yourself in your work, no one else can. Use your heart. If you do this your work will become a gift. 
  4. Whatever you are thinking is wrong. Kill your inner critic. Fear, self doubt and insecurity will destroy you. 
  5. Stop designing for other designers. This idea is so simple but it kind of blew my mind. I love my designer friends and I love our conversations about our work and what we want to do and who we want to be. But if I am creating work to impress them or if I am working for a company concerned with awards and prestige and impressing the powers that be then I am ignoring the majority of the population. Create work that entertains, educated and enlightens. 

There was so many good quotes being thrown about over the two days but I think I’ll end on this one “You have no friends, you have no enemies. You have only teachers.” A comforting thing to remember I think. 

Have you been inspired lately? Do you ever take top up classes in your field? Or how about learning new things? 

Here is the link to the Bold & Curious Poster Design class on Creative Live, and here is James Victore’s website

(Top image by Rich, lettering by me. Bottom poster image by James Victore)