Quick Projects

45463025_258243924881976_5449926496300826624_nI’ve got so many big projects on the go right now – knitting sweaters for Christmas gifts, working on new designs, and then there’s just all the other stuff, you know, life in general. With all that going on, sometimes it’s nice to knit something small and quick, something that gives you a nice, big payoff for a small amount of work. Hats are perfect for that. I’ve got a lone skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Cardinal that’s crying out to become a beautiful, cabled toque.

It’s November and I think the snow is here to stay. Today I’ll grab a warm blanket, a cup of tea and get to work.

Allison Cardigan

Allison CardiganDesigned for, and named after my beautiful daughter, here is the Allison Cardigan. It’s everything she likes in a sweater – cropped, wide, boxy and in her favorite shade of yellow.

I love everything about this cardigan! It’s so versatile, dress it up or dress it down. You can wear it with a dress or with jeans. It’s also made out of one of my favourite yarns, Briggs & Little Atlantic, a bulky yarn which knits up quickly. I’ve used the Gold colourway, but they have an amazing selection to choose from.

Briggs Little Atlantic – Gold – 5 (6, 6, 6, 7, 8) skeins

Size 10 needles circs, 32”, 16”, 9” and/or dpn’s

Size 9 circular needle, 32”

Stitch markers

Buttons 6 (6, 6, 6, 7, 7)


15 sts x 22 rows = 4” stockinette on size 10 needles, or whichever size needle gives you the correct gauge.


38” (41”, 44”, 50”, 54.5”, 58.5”)

Sweater is meant to be worn with at least 4” of positive ease. Model is wearing size 38” .


Knitting is good for the soul (dogs too!)

DoggoI’ve had a lousy week. The kind that makes you want to hide under the covers and never leave the safety of your bed again. The kind that makes you shut down and not talk with your friends, and take a break from the internet and all outside influences. But you know what helped get me through it, besides the beautiful doggo pictured? Knitting.

First off, my apologies that I’ve been slow in getting back to people. I will catch up, I promise! But for now, back to the knitting…

There’s something therapeutic and uplifting about being able to create something out of a few skeins of yarn and some needles. To be able to watch something grow from nothing. Even though I felt terrible, not only did it give me something to focus on (from the safety of my bed mind you) but I enjoyed being able to create something that made me happy, to help me focus on something else and get out of that dark space.

Something else I learned, I need more colorful yarn in my life! I tend to knit in subtle, neutral colours, but I decided to go with a bright beautiful yarn I’d had in my stash forever, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Mulberry. I bought it because it was beautiful, but never found the right project for it. The bright, bold colour was the perfect antidote to the neverending overcast weather, and my neverending stormy demeanor.

So I may have had a lousy, terrible, no-good week, but I have a nifty new sweater. And you know what? I really do feel a little bit better. 🙂

Snow Day

Just the other day, I was thinking that we needed more snow. Well, I definitely got my wish, we got 8″ of the fluffy stuff! It’s the kind of snowfall that makes the roads deadly, makes you cancel plans and do a little weekend hibernation. I spent my afternoon with some chai tea, fuzzy slippers, two new skeins of Briggs and Little Heritage and some knitting needles. After knitting a bit of the gold, I thought I might prefer a lighter colour, so I switched to a creamy white. I think I’ve found my inspiration for a new, snow-white cable cardigan.



Let’s be honest, winter isn’t all bad, after all, we get to knit amazing hats to keep us warm, to hide bad hair days, and just to look damn cute. Here’s another that hits all three!

I’ve gotta admit, I really love this one,the Beacon Hat, the perfect cable knit hat to keep your head toasty warm this winter. Not to mention, look super awesome too!

The white version is knit in ultra-soft, ultra-warm Berroco Ultra Alpaca (quite possibly my favourite hat yarn ever). It’s gorgeous in Winter White, and the one skein had enough leftover yarn to add this nifty pompom on top!

The grey version is knit in one of my favourite go-to yarns; Patons Classic Wool in Dark Grey Mix. My son gets this one, he was not big on the pompom, so I just left it as is.

Those two yarns are two of my hat faves, but you can work Beacon up in either of those, or your favourite worsted weight yarn.

But did I mention that Berroco Ultra Alpaca is supersoft and superwarm? Sorry, I just can’t get over how amazing it is. How I have never encountered it in all my years of knitting is an absolute mystery to me.

Paper Birch Knits Beacon Hat


Berroco Ultra Alpaca – 1 skein , Winter White 6201 (white hat with pompom)

Patons Classic Wool, 1 skein, , Dark Grey Mix, (grey hat)

Size 6 & 8 US 16” needles or dpn’s

Stitch Markers


26 stitches x 28 rows = 4” cable pattern


18” circumference at brim

9” height

To fit adult 21” – 24” head


Almost Ready!


Just finishing the last few details on our new pattern Beacon, available tomorrow! We’ve done it in two different yarns; one in Berroco Ultra Alpaca, which I’ve unbelievably, never knit with before, and one of my favourite standby’s, Paton’s Classic Wool.

Berroco Ultra Alpaca, where have you been all my knitting life? This stuff is glorious! It is so soft, and so warm, and the colours are gorgeous. And while some hats, while looking beautiful, can be superitchy and uncomfortable, this has a scratch factor of zero. I think this is definitely my new go-to hat yarn.

And speaking of favourite go-to’s, I love Paton’s Classic Wool!  Yarn stores are few and far between around here, so most of ours is ordered online. I’m not a big fan of acrylics, but I love that I can always head to my local craft store and find this if I’m in a pinch. Especially in Dark Grey Mix. I’ve got many a sweater made out of this stuff!

Of course, Beacon will look great in whatever your favourite worsted weight yarn is too.

Gretna Fair Isle Hat

Gretna Fair Isle Hat by Paper Birch Knits

Gretna is the perfect fair isle project, suitable for experienced fair isle knitters and beginners alike. It looks amazing, but you never work more than two colours in a row. We’ve used Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Sport Yarn in Midnight Heather, Red, and Oyster Heather. You can use our suggested colours or experiment with your own.

Gretna Fair Isle Hat


Wool of the Andes Sport, Midnight Heather, 1 ball, colour (A)

Wool of the Andes Sport, Red, 1 ball, colour (B)

Wool of the Andes Sport, Oyster Heather, 1 ball, colour (C)

Sizes 1.5 & 3 US 16″ circular needle and/or dpn’s

Stitch Marker


26 stitches and 34 rows = 4 inches


Fits 21″ – 23″ adult head