The Sensational Snood Sweetener!

Some extremely satisfying knitting that I strongly recommend as we slip into autumn! By happy serendipity, it was only after finishing these makes that I realised they brought out my green eyes.

The snood is made with Sirdar Big Softie – an extremely affordable chunky wool. TheΒ free chunky snood patternΒ is courtesy of The Guardian. You can knit this up in a couple of evenings – probably one evening if you went for it.

The beret – oh, the beret! It’s an absolute dream. The pattern is actually called Norfolk Hat and comes from Savory Knitting. It’s just gorgeous. I used one skein of Malabrigo shade 135. So satisfying to knit and such a pretty finish:

I have a big head (!) so I dampened and blocked this hat over a dinner plate. The designer tells me she didn’t need to block her hat, so I’d play it by ear. Or head.

Now if you don’t want to or can’t knit one of these chunky snoods yourself – guess what? I’m making a second one for a Sensational Snood Sweetener aka a Giveaway! If you want one of these snoods for yourself knit in the same shade of teal wool, all you have to do is put a comment below by Wednesday 19 October midnight GMT answering the following question:

What was your favourite item of knitwear as a child?

Good luck, readers of the world! I’m happy to send internationally.

UPDATE! If you’re not already aware of Tilly and the Button‘s Crafty Christmas Club, get yourself over there for ideas. These two projects would make perfect Christmas presents.

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70 Responses to The Sensational Snood Sweetener!

  1. Rachel says:

    Lovely! My fave piece was a scarf I knitted in Grade 3 class out of dark blue and white flecked wool. I wore it all the time, even though I grew up in Queensland in Australia where the average winter temperature is about 20 degrees celcius!

  2. Paunnet says:

    Ooh thanks for the giveaway, this prize is too cute!
    When I was a child I loved mittens, but I used to lose them all the time!

  3. Jane says:

    Oh why oh why can’t I knit?! If I don’t win I may have to sweet talk my mum to make me the snood! My favourite item of knitwear when I was little was an arran knit long cardigan with a hood and toggle buttons. My mum’s friend made it for me on her new fangled knitting machine and I LOVED it. This was the era of Starsky and Hutch after all so I was bang on trend! Fantastically generous giveaway, thanks Karen. x

  4. Fantastic twin set of winter warmers. Adorable colour too ( and with the red who said winter’s dull!). My fave knitted thing as a teenager that I wish I still had was an Aran jumper knitted by my mum. I loved it … Wore it to death …

  5. I love that colour and your jacket looks great with the teal too!
    My favourite item of knitwear as a child was a burgundy cardigan my mum knitted for me. I was about 4 and it had buttons with little yellow ducks on them. My most vivid memory of wearing it is of Christmas eve the year I was 4, eating trifle out of a cut glass bowl in front of the fire, waiting for Daddy to come home.

    I still had the cardigan as a teenager and when, as a rebellions 12 year old I decided to run away from home it was packed into my bag along with other essentials (a book, some biscuits, another book) and taken to my treehouse. I only stayed there for an hour until I decided I forgave my mum and went home πŸ™‚

    • Now THAT’s a story! What amazing recollection you have. So lovely – thank you for sharing. You were very brave to run away to your tree house and very honourable to forgive your mother in the end.

  6. Joanne says:

    woohoo I’d love one – they’re gorgeous, perfect for autumn/winter and the teal would match my beignet! OK my favourite knitwear was anything I made with my knitting machine. Yes I had a pink knitting machine that you whizzed a lever left and right on. I basically made long loops of knitted wool that i tied my ponytail with. I remember one afternoon up a tree having an argument with a girl whose parting rebuff was ‘Well at least my ribbons aren’t home made!) and I remember feeling so ashamed. I’d have something to say back now!

    • Aw, you’re breaking my heart, Joanne. Isn’t it awful the way that ‘home made’ used to be something to be ashamed of? Though I suspect it happens in every childhood.

      • Joanne says:

        Definitely used to be a stigma attached to it, more so than handemedowns. And as the youngest of three sisters I had a lot of them too. Although we’ve got even more consumerist as a society than when I was a girl, I think (hope) we’re at least starting to see home-made as a mark of quality and creativity instead of necessity.

  7. Johanna says:

    That teal looks wonderful on you!

    My favourite knit item I had as a kid was a baby blue sweater with an intarsia worked stork. The stork was on one leg (obviously!) and standing in a nest knitted out of some fuzzy, loose fibery wool that made it look like straw and twigs and that kind of hung down the front of the sweater a bit. The rest of the sweater was out of some very smooth cotton. My mum had made it for me after I’d picked it out from a knitting magazine. It looked RIDICULOUS but you could tell how much work had gone in it and as an 8 year old I thought it was awesome and couldn’t help but keep stroking the fuzzy nest. With all the other colours (bright red beak! black and white stork!) it was a feast for the eyes lol.

  8. Marie says:

    Oh my, these are both so beautiful that I have to add a link in my current blog post Karen! I’d love to enter to win, because even though I’ve just had my very first knitting class, I suspect it will be a long time before I can knit anything as beautiful as your snood! I had a look at The Guardian pattern and it just sounded so foreign, though maybe by the end of my course it will make sense ;o)

  9. Pam says:

    Very Pretty!
    My favorite knitted from childhood was a purple hat complete with huge pom-pom on top and my name knit in white. My beautiful aunt knit it for me and I always felt special wearing it. πŸ™‚

  10. Ella says:

    Ooo, the snood is gorgeous! Karen, I always read and love your blog despite not being a sewist (though I can knit!) but this is the first time you have tempted me into commenting!

    I had an amazing chunky knitted roll-neck jumper with bright red, blue, yellow, purple that I wore well into my late teens – it was the ultimate in winter cosiness! It wasn’t home-made though, I confess! Most advance thing I ever knitted myself were some maroon mittens in Junior School, aged about 9 – I made the wrists far too tight though!


    • Hey, welcome, Ella! How lovely to know you read. Oh dear, now you can tell me off for blogging when I should be writing! Your jumper sounds awesome. Shop bought knits count!

      • Ella says:

        Blogging IS writing! And I’m ashamed by the typos I made in that short comment – obviously it should say red, blue, yellow and purple stripes, and advanced, not advance! Going to have to see if I can find a photo of the jumper now I’ve reminded myself of it!

  11. Vicki Kate says:

    Hi Karen

    The colour is amazing! My Nan was a prolific knitter and my favourite childhood knit for me was actually an octopus toy that she made me. It had different coloured socks at the end of each foot and black shoes with ribbon laces. I have no idea where it is now, I suspect that it whent to a charity shop in my ungrateful teen years. She also used to make my Grandad fisherman’s cabled sweaters, normally in cream or a dark navy colour. Those jumpers are one of the things I picture when I think of him, along with his Brian Blessed style beard and his eyes, which laughed and looked like he was plotting mischief! So in fact, I think those jumpers would be my favourite.

  12. Portia says:

    Hmmm. I don’t know about “favourite” knitted item as a child….but I remember that rather than pay for the official school uniform jumper, my mum had a friend knit one for me. I was mortified because I felt I stuck out like a sore thumb amongst my friends. Of course looking back, it was a beautifully knitted jumper and i can now appreciate the care and work that went into it. But as an awkward schoolchild who just wanted to fit in….not so….;)

  13. Erika says:

    Love the colour on you! Never understood why fall should be drab, when nature’s going wild with colour =)

    My favorite childhood knitted wear… Easy: a sweater my mom knitted (she’s a very skilled knitter) when I was around 7. It had a black background, and “walking” almost the whole way around me was a centipede (like my favorite stuffed toy animal), the circles making up the long body knitted in different neon colours. This was the eighties, after all =) I loved it cause I found the head coming up like from under my arm was hilarious, and because it was like taking my favorite stuffed animal with me when I left the house. But also because mom invited me to be very active in the making of this sweater, choosing pattern, yarn and colours. Seeing the time, effort and love she put into it was probebly good for a girl who had just got/was soon going to get a second younger sibling to compete with for mom’s attention… And wearing it of course reminded me of that (the love, not the siblings!) =)
    Hmm, wonder if mom still has the sweater somewhere…

  14. Law says:

    Ooh cool giveaway Karen.

    I have two pieces of favourite knitwear from childhood. One was a jumper my mum knitted me, it included a design of Hennry’s cat asleep on the front. I loved that jumper and Henry’s cat so much, and when I outgrew it my biggest teddy wore it.

    My other favourite is more crochet-wear, again made by my mum. It was a classic granny square quilt. No idea what happened to it though…

  15. Sarah says:

    Oooh!! What lovely knits!! They looks marvellous on you and I like how they cleverly compliment your birdie brooch. πŸ™‚ My favourite item of knitwear when I was a child were the lovely cardis and jumpers my granma knit me. I especially loved the fair isle ones she made – so pretty!!

  16. Weeza says:

    My mum made me a heather-green batwing cropped jumper that I wore until it fell apart. I was about nine or ten, and obsessed with the ones you could get in the shops which were all too big for midgety me (I was the shortest in my class! and still am…). She made the pattern up herself and sewed leaf-shaped sequins on one shoulder. I blummin’ loved it! I’m told my nana made me a jumper with a huge clown face on it but I seem to have blocked that from my memory for some reason (shudder)!

  17. Em says:

    My favourite knitwear item as a child was the mittens my mum knitted for me.They were so cute because they had a face on and hair sticking out of the top. Totally impractical but looked great!

    Love your hat and snood. They colour is fab and they look so warm and cozy.

  18. Jessica H. says:

    How gorgeous! Those colors are lovely! My favorite knitted item growing up was my Christmas stocking that was knitted by my great-aunt. It was truly a labor of love – every person in my family received one when they were born or married into the family (she had to have made over 75 of them!). My mom is now carrying on the tradition by making stockings for the “new arrivals.”

  19. My mother also had a knitting machine – in fact, it has travelled from the US to Poland to the US and then finally to Canada. I am still trying to work up the courage to try it out πŸ™‚ She used to make lots of stuff for me. My all-time favourite was a little sailor dress with a pleated skirt. It was bright cherry red with white details along the collar and hemline. I wish she hadn’t given it away… but back then, handmedowns were the way to go and my mother wasn’t as attached to her work as I was πŸ™‚

    Although I am not a knitter, I am fascinated by knitwear and finally tried to use some sweater knit to sew a sweater. It was a challenge, let me tell you! You can check it out on my blog:

  20. Lynn says:

    Pretty color!! My favorite knitted item as a child were some slippers my grandmother made for me that had a big pom pom in the front.

  21. Brilliant, love them. Especially the beret. Tempted to do my own if for no other reason for fun factor of stretching it over a plate !
    I still adore all the little Sindy outfits my gran & mum knitted me. So teeny and perfect. Ra ra skirts, wonderwoman outfit, jump suit, wedding dress – you name – they knitted it for Sindy!

  22. Alessa says:

    You look lovely, that colour is so pretty! πŸ™‚
    I don’t actually remember all that many knit garments that I wore as a child. I did have some very awesome fingerless gloves when I was about 4, though. They were yellow, with little pink and blue leather houses stitched on them, and grey wrists and half-fingers. The best part was that they had a little cap that buttoned to the wrist, which made them into mittens when in was colder…

  23. annatestadoro says:

    So stylish, both the hat and the snood. They look fantastic. I’ve got a snood on needles, I was teaching some mum’s to knit and it’s the chunkiest yarn and the biggest needles I’ve ever used. It’s quick and looks good.

  24. My wonderful Granda, Minnie Taylor made all her grandchildren (11 of us) beautiful fisherman knit cardigans with matching hats. I was 11 years old, and loved the sweater, even though it was too big (room to grow!). I wore it as a teenager, and wore the hat to pieces.
    I am 53 years old and I still have and wear the sweater!! One of the leather buttons was chewed by a beloved dog, long gone, which l did not replace, its cute.
    When my Grandpa died, I asked for his cardigan. I made my Mom’s fisherman knit into a pillow cover, and sewed on the name label that my Grandma wrote into all our sweaters.
    “Min” is gone now, too, but her beautiful sweaters and the love in every stitch lives on.

  25. liza jane says:

    The only hand knit item I ever owned as a child was a hand me down from a family friend. It was an 80’s Cosby style sweater. It was huuuuge. I loved it and wore it with stirrup leggings and clogs. My aunt has taken up knitting and recently she gave me a bag that she knit and then felted. It’s pretty cool.

  26. Suzanne says:

    I grew up on the beach, so scarfs and caps were never in my closet as a child. The first knitwear I can remember is a knitted sweater my Mom bought for me (I think in Belgium or Germany) when we spent a couple months in Europe in the early 70’s. It was purple…very purple!

  27. molly says:

    How lovely, it does bring out your eyes! and the star detail is great πŸ™‚ the last time I knitted a Beret it was the size of a yarmulke, perhaps I too should have sized it on a dinner plate (big heads unite!) I grew up on the beach in Sydney, and never had too many knitted garments that I can remember; I do remember my dolls knitted clothing though. She was a soft knit doll (lily) with no face (creepy now I think about it) and wore a darling pink cable knit dress.

  28. Felicity from Down Under says:

    As it’s coming up for summer here, don’t count me in the competition (yes, of course, there’ll be another winter if this one ever leaves but, you know, someone else will need it more than I do, I’m sure).

    But I wonder what of all the many, many handknitted garments I wore as a child and young woman could take the “best” medal for me? The skirt and cardigan suit (in a basket-weave pattern and my favourite shade, green), or the stripey cardigans or the fancy cablework jumpers or – I promise you, there were many handknits in my childhood. I loved them all, even those I didn’t particularly like (there’s one blue cardigan I’m thinking of here that wasn’t quite the blue I’d wanted), because they were made for me and they were made by expert knitters so they always fitted and fitted well besides being warm. If I absolutely had to choose, it would be the long, plain, bottle-green V-neck cardigan I wore all through uni and for many years after (it was made at my request by an aunt). Unbeatable.

  29. Amy says:

    What a gorgeous color wool. And your pin! Fantastic! I love both pieces, especially the beret, but I’d be oh so elated to win the snood.

    My favorite knit had to be a sweater I had in elementary school. I wore it in every one of my yearbook photos. And, every year my parents were sent an envelope of school photos that looked identical to the year before!

  30. Looks great! You have such a good eye for colour.

  31. Eileensews says:

    My favorite item was a pair of pastel yellow mittens my mom knit me when I was in kindergarten. I still have them and take them to school to show my students whenever I am reading a story that has mittens in it.
    Your snood is lovely.

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  33. Steph Lines says:

    Hi There,
    Friggin fantastic Snood, love it!! colour is fab too, my favorite item was a bright yellow pair of leg warmers worn over brown cords hee hee with a matching scarf and hat!!
    love your blog keep it up!
    Have a great week Steph

  34. Andrea says:

    I think the best thing about wearing one of there would be the fact that I could tell people, “Hey! I’m wearing a snood!” lol Beautiful job and thanks for the chance to win. πŸ™‚

  35. That colour is just so amazing, a snood would brighten up my dark winter clothes. None of my family ever made clothes, but my grandma knits blankets, just simple squares attached together in funky colours. We had a couple around the house but I was given my own when I went away to uni that I really treasured as a colourful and snuggly piece of home.

  36. PDX Gretchen says:

    What a fabulously kind giveaway! I saw yours and immediately thought, “I wish I knew how to knit, as that would be perfect for winters here in Portland.” My favorite piece of knitwear as a child? Mittens, definitely mittens. We lived in various places around the world, but come winter, I loved the homemade mittens with long string, so we wouldn’t lose them while playing in the snow.

  37. Claire says:

    Beautiful hat!

    When I was very little I remember having a giant purple sweatshirt that hung down to my knees. It probably made me look like Grimace (that McDonald’s character), but it was comfy and fun to wear.

  38. Caroline says:

    That snood looks great, fantastic colour choice. I’ve had my eye on this pattern as a possible Christmas present make. I think I will go for it now – especially as the wool you’ve used looks good, as well as seeming to be a lot less expensive than some of the other chunky ones around. Just out of curiousity, how much wool did it use?
    When I was about 6 or 7 I had the most amazing jumper. It was pink, with some sort of background of blue mountains or something, with two my little ponies on it. My favourite thing about it was that the ponies had wool tassles for tails. Sadly I don’t who knitted it, as it was a hand-me-down from a friend’s family. I’ll try and dig out a photo of it!

  39. Stacy says:

    GASP!! Be still my heart! They are just goreous, Karen. I would wear them ALL the time if you picked me. Lovely job!

  40. Allison says:

    My favorite knitwear items were the matching sweaters my grandma knitted for my parents, my brother, and I. Matching sweaters are cool when you’re a kid. Actually, I would probably think they were cool now…

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  42. Kristen says:

    I honestly can’t really remember knitwear from my childhood – I’m sure I wore sweaters and such, but I don’t have any real memories of those. What I DO remember is a (rather awful) green and orange poncho that my grandma passed down to us. I think it was my mom’s at some point in time, and it’s possible that a family member made it for her… Not sure about the story behind it, but that color combination has stuck in my mind for years!

  43. Nikki says:

    I’m useless at knitting. I’m much better with a sewing machine or some cross-stitch!

    Mum and Nanna used to knit enlessely. I can remember two things I really liked… I used to love mittens, not gloves, and Nanna made me some bright pink mittens with “Brr” embroidered on them! They were cool. Mum made me a batwing jumper (this was the early 80s). It was knitted sideways and I think every row she had to change colour! It must have been a real labour of love. Fortunately I loved wearing it!

  44. Mittens made by my mom, hands down. She puts googly eyes and a pom pom on them. Mine were purple with pink stripes at the wrist. She would put those ones in my lunch box so I’d have a dry pair for lunch time as my morning ones were probably wet from the walk to school and recess. She still makes mittens like that and sells them. I loved them long past the age that was probably age appropriate, but they are still kicking around decades later.

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