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Pattern: Big Herringbone Wristwarmers

Big Herringbone Wristwarmers

Sunny but cold. A beautiful Irish spring day…

A wee while ago I was waxing lyrical about Purlbee’s ‘Big Herringbone Cowl’, my new wardrobe staple when I’m leaving the house. I love it! I love it so much that I had to have some wristwarmers/sleeves to match it and so I came up with these! I really hope you enjoy making them and I would love to see your finished set, cowl & wristies, wrapped up warm.

The thickness and size of needle I choose to use gives a really squishy, dense fabric that clings comfortably to your hand. They’re super quick to knit and they only take one ball of yarn. Want extra length in the sleeve or a shorter top cuff? Just go head and customize as you go. Easy peasy!

If you’re on Ravelry don’t forget to check out the pattern page there and upload your photos so we can compare notes and what other beautiful yarns they could be knitted in!

Isn’t this teacup gorgeous? Anthropologies finest!

Materials: 8mm double pointed or circular needles, 1 ball of Sirdar ‘Hug’ in colour 043 (50g, 75m/82yds, 50% wool, 50% polyester)

Gauge: 20 sts x 16 rows/4″ x 4″ in herringbone stitch

Finished size: 7.5″ long, 8″ circumference


CO 24 sts. Being careful not to twist your stitches, join in the round…

Row 1-4: (ktbl 1, p 1) repeat to end

Row 5:  (ktbl 1, p 1, m 1) repeat to end (36 sts)

Herringbone Pattern:

Row 6: * k2tog, slip off only 1 st from left needle* repeat until 1 st remaining. Turn remaining st (see Purlbee tutorial to see photo of how to do this). Place this st on first needle/start of round…

R0w 7: * k2tog tbl, slip off only 1 st from left needle* repeat until 1 st remaining. Turn remaining st (see Purlbee tutorial to see photo of how to do this). Place this st on first needle/start of round…

Row 8 – 15: Repeat this pattern (row 6 – 7) 5 more times…your wristie should now measure approx. 4″ from CO edge.

I wanted to drink this coffee so badly but I didn’t…fasting prevails! Yeay willpower!

Thumb hole:

Turn your work so you are now knitting with the ‘wrong side’ facing you. You will be knitting the next 4 rows forward and back, not in the round.

Row 16: *p2tog, slip off only 1 st from left needle* repeat until 1 st remains. Slip this last st onto right needle. Turn work.

Row 17: Do as for Row 7. Slip last st onto right needle. Turn work.

Row 18 – 19: Repeat Rows 16 – 17 once more. At the end of Row 19 turn the final stitch and place on first needle/start of round.

Top cuff:

Row 20 – 24: Going back to knitting in the round, repeat Row 6 – 7  twice more.

Row 25: *k2tog tbl, p1* repeat to end (24 sts)

Row 26 – 28: *ktbl 1, p1* repeat to end.

BO in pattern. Weave in ends and block to fit. And, Voila! Pretty Herringbone wristies to match your funky cowl or pair up with any other manner of cold-busting accessories! Hope you like them…

~ If you have any questions, queries, thoughts or opinions on the pattern, I’d love to hear them. Always looking to learn, adjust and improve :)


Rafa Nadal + Almond Cake = Heaven!

Hello from mild and cloudy Melbourne! What a difference from the heat and humidity of Queensland, a welcome relief if I’m honest, but I hope it warms up a little for the tennis tomorrow.

After a few blissful days down the Gold Coast, hanging out at Byron Bay, sunbathing on gorgeous sandy beaches and going on a rainforest walk at Mount Tambourine, we finally got the show on the road and flew down to Melbourne. We got in late last night and have been catching up with the Darling Boyfriend’s brother who is visiting from Ireland.

But tomorrow the fun really begins! Aussie Open time! And we just found out who we will be getting to see play…Kuznetszova, Clijsters and…NADAL! Yup, that’s right, I’m going to be watching Super Rafa tomorrow afternoon and I can’t blinkin’ wait. Don’t worry, there will be photos galore and maybe even a little face- painting to show our most loyal support. I’m thinking a Belgian flag on one cheek and a Spanish one on the other for Clijsters and Nadal. Sweet!

Speaking of sweet things, I got the sweeeeeeeeeeeetest present the other day in the form of a translation of a traditional Spanish almond cake, or Tarta de Santiago, from Lovely Ellen. Lovely Ellen is well aware of my addiction to almonds in general but when combined with the awesome power of baking I am powerless to resist.

And here is one made earlier by Helena, complete with highly authentic Santiago cross dusted on with icing sugar. She also added flaked almonds to her cake mix to give it a nice crunch.

Ellen’s Translation Cake (Tarta de Santiago)


  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g ground almonds (you might want to grind them yourself, cause I think they should be a little coarser than bought ground almonds)
  • 3 eggs
  • 125g of butter (melted)
  • 175g plain flour (sieved)
  • 125ml milk
  • lemon zest
  • icing sugar to dust

It’s basically just add them all in one after the other and mix; butter and almonds first then sugar, eggs, flour, milk, zest.

Then throw in the oven at 180 degrees for about twenty minutes.

If you want to print out the cross for dusting just google “cruz de santiago”. It so simple, and very tasty, and you can tweak it to your tastes. That quantity filled a 10″ cake tin for me as a quite thin cake.

I am including the link for the video that the original recipe is from. It’s all in Spanish but it is interesting to see how the ingredients are combined – each one added by itself, throughly combined before the next is put in.

Let me know what success you have with the recipe. No baking for me at the moment, what with all the travelling, but first chance I get I’ll be making this! Thanks Lovely Ellen!

Helena’s Foolproof Gingerbread

Helena’s Foolproof Gingerbread

by Helena Close

I moved to the west coast of Ireland last year and after the novelty wore off I found myself with a very severe case of Cabin Fever – just cliffs and sea and bog outside my door and a constant whining wind! I thought I was living in an Enya video but baking proved my saviour. I am a writer (or so they tell me) and I bake like I write – sporadically and furiously. So there could be a month of wonderful cakes and buns and then nada for three months!

This is a recipe I stole from my good friend Monica. It is foolproof and delicious – the best gingerbread ever! For a crispier bread roll the dough a little more thinly. Dust with icing sugar when cookies or men are ready (are men ever ready?). It will keep in an airtight tin for days and actually tastes better the older it is!


  • 190g brown sugar
  • 150g golden syrup
  • 150g butter
  • 5ml each, ground ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves
  • 450g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 5ml bic. soda
  • 5ml cold water


1. Set oven to 180c (maybe a bit lower depending on your oven)
2. Put sugar, syrup, spices and butter into a saucepan and stir gently over a low heat until the butter has melted
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
4. Beat egg with a fok.
5. Disolve the soda with water in a cup.
6. Sieve flour
7. Once the sugar/syrup mixture is cool, add in all other ingredients.
8. Mix well and turn onto a lightly floured board – kneat lightly and shape as desired.

Bake for about 10 – 15 mins depending on the size of the pieces.

Helena Close is an amazing writer and a bad influence. She wrote ‘Pinhead Duffy’ and ‘The Cut of Love’, and taught Little Fire how to swear! Her new novel – The Clever One – is out in 2010.

Barbara’s Knitted Cable Wristwarmers

Barbara’s Cabled Wristwarmers

Designed by Barbara Wendel-Sands

This is a very easy pattern for lovely cuffs to keep your hands warm during these cold, frosty winter days and nights (and if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere like Little Fire, a project to start now so you’re all prepared for winter to come!)

If I can do it, anyone with basic knitting skills can!


  • 50g aran-weight wool
  • 4.5mm needles
  • Cable needle
  • Darning needle

Wristwarmers approx. 30cm long, to fit average women’s hands. Suggestions for adjusting length are given in pattern.


  • k – knit
  • p – purl
  • CO – cast on
  • BO – bind off
  • c6f – put 3 sts on cable needle, bring to front of work, knit next 3 sts, then knit 3 sts from cable needle.


CO 36 sts

Row 1: (k1, p1) repeat to end.
Continue in this manner until ribbed section is 2cm long.

Knit next 4 rows in stocking stitch (1 row knit, then 1 row purl), ending with purl row.

Thumbhole row: k8, BO 4 sts, k to end.
Next row: p24, CO 4sts, p8 (36sts)

Continue knitting in stocking stitch (1 row knit, 1 row purl, repeat) until entire piece measures 15 cm, ending with purl row.
*Feel free to lengthen or shorten wristwarmers by knitting more or less in stocking stitch section.*

Then begin Cable pattern:

Row 1: k12, p3, k6, p3, k12.
Row 2: p12, k3, p6, k3, p12.
Row 3: k12, p3, k6, p3, k12.
Row 4: p12, k3, p6, k3, p12.
Row 5: k12, p3, c6f, p3, k12.
Row 6: p12, k3, p6, k3, p12.

Repeat cable pattern 4 times (24 rows in total).

Knit 2 cm in ribbed pattern as before (k1, p1,repeat).

Sew together along longest edge and weave in ends.

Knit a second wristwarmer, working thumbhole on the other side of the piece (so thumbhole row becomes: k24, BO4, k8. next row: p8, CO4, p24)

Wear with a big smile!

P.S. If you can’t be bothered with the cable pattern, just knit your cuffs plain and decorate with a nice button, felt flower, whatever you fancy!

This is Barbara Wendel-Sands’ first published pattern. Originally from Germany, she now lives in County Down, Northern Ireland. A creative soul, she knits, bakes, paints, makes stain glass hangings and generally adds colour and life to all she touches.

Jill’s Super Easy Chocolate Fudge

Super Easy Chocolate Fudge

by Jill Casavecchia

Today a good friend of mine, Jill Casavecchia, leaves our lovely little village in Ireland and begins a new life in Brisbane, Australia. She arrived this morning after spending New Years somewhere over Abu Dhabi, I believe. Todays post is her wonderful, super simple but ridiculously tasty Chocolate Fudge recipe, that I hope you all enjoy. Thank you Jill for being a part of this project during such an exciting and busy time in your life!


  • 1 lb. or 3 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar in the UK)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil/tin foil, allowing foil to extend over sides.
  2. Butter foil.
  3. In bowl, mix together sugar, cocoa and cinnamon.
  4. In a saucepan, heat butter and milk until butter melts.
  5. Add vanilla extract.
  6. Combine with sugar mixture.
  7. Stir in nuts.
  8. Pour into prepared pan.
  9. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  10. Use foil to lift out of pan. Cut into 2-inch squares. Diagonally cut each square in half, making triangles. (Garnish with whole nuts, if desired.)Makes 1 pound (32 servings)

Jill is a California/Arizona native, who has been living in Northern Ireland for the past four years and today arrives in Brisbane, Australia to begin another adventure. She is a Waldorf teacher, jewellery designer (check out her brilliant etsy store) and creative nut.