Kourtney Robinson – Dollybird Workshop Rotating Header Image


My design work

Introducing the Lady Jayne Hat!

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I’m a nerd – this is not news. And my latest nerd-inspired knit is here – the Lady Jayne Hat. Jayne is a mercenary who works in space; he has a unique hat that he wears because his mom made it for him. I found the Sweet Georgia Party of Five yarn kit, and I just had to make a hat for myself.  It’s available on Ravelry now for $6.00.  buy now

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The beading and lace might be a bit much for even the toughest man; but I love it. The instructions are written and charted, and there are instructions to include or omit beads and how to use a group of graduated colours.

It’s in two sizes; Small[Large], with a brim circumference of 42[48.5]cm / 16.5[19]”.  The brim to crown measurement is 24cm/9.5”.

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It works well in any fingering weight – while beads in a toque might seem counter intuitive, they don’t add any chill and the lace pattern isn’t open enough to let much coldness in. That said, I tend to use it as a fashion accesssory, not as a winter survival hat. :)

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It’s available now on Ravelry for $6.00USD. buy now

Introducing Suki’s Shawl

This is Suki.  Best Knitter’s Cat EVER.  Suki’s shawl is dedicated to him; the pattern is available here: Suki’s Shawl Link for $6.00USD.

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Last year, I let go of him. He was a good cat, who spent many hours purring companionably next to me. The last thirteen years and the initial version of this shawl were worked under his close supervision, and every time I wear this I think of him. I loved him as well as I could, as long as I could.

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This pattern is for two sizes of shawl – one smaller, and one that’s almost generous enough to use as a blanket; both are a size progression of a single motif, from largest to smallest. You may work additional repeats of SECTION II, II, or IV, OR Chart B, C, or D. If you choose to work additional motifs, you will need to work extra repeats across subsequent rows, and be aware that you will need additional yarn. As well, if you wish to move from smaller to larger motifs, you will need to make sure that you have an appropriate number of stitches for the repeats to work.

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Small[Large]: Upper wingspan 150cm/60”[210cm/84”]; center depth 75cm/30”[105cm/42”]

Small: Malabrigo “Rios” 100% superwash Merino wool; 192m/210yd per 100g/3.53oz skein; colour: 027 Bobby Blue; 3 skeins.

Large: Verdant Gryphon “Mondegreen” 60% Blue-Faced Leicester wool, 20% silk, 20% baby camel; 183m/200yd per 113g/3.99oz skein; colour: Nude; 6 skeins

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Available here: Suki’s Shawl Link for $6.00USD

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Introducing the Dapple Shawl!



This is Dapple, a small shawl worked in fingering weight.  It softens the colors of highly variegated yarns, just as dappled sunlight softens the brightness of a garden. An interesting but not overly complex knit, it’s compelling to watch the colors combine and recombine in the doubled yarn-overs.  Available here: Dapple Shawl for $6.00USD.

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Dapple contains simple stitches and a rhythmic design but still presents a challenge. The double yarn-overs mean that a marker for the spine can’t be effectively used, so you will need to be able to read your own knitting. The instructions are fully written and charted, and there are notes on how to increase the size of your shawl if desired. To make your knit easier, stitch counts are provided for every row, and the double yarn-overs of the central spine are bolded in the written instructions. The cast-on is interrupted by two twists so that the upper edge will mimic the double yarn overs of the spine.

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The upper wingspan is 130cm/51” and the central length is 43cm/17”.

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Available here: Dapple Shawl for $6.00USD.

Introducing the Adriatico Cowl!

Alana Marchetto’s cowl was inspired by the waves of the Adriatic.  It’s available here: Adriatico Cowl for $6.00USD.

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The Adriatic Sea can be as varied as the countries that border it. Sometimes it’s warm and calm; sometimes it’s cold with white capped waves. This cowl was inspired by the changeable Adriatic, and it is beautiful whether you use a monochromatic yarn, a semisolid, or a dizzying variegated hand-dye. Wear it long over a light dress for a late night in the summer… or double it up to keep you warm while sipping espresso in the piazza in winter.

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The single ply yarn gives drape to the soft waves in the simple but effective stitch pattern.  The two samples are knit in Tosh Merino Light and Malabrigo Mechita.


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The pattern is written, and gauge for this pattern can be easily adjusted (but you may require additional yarn). Any elastic cast-on will work, but the long-tail cast on best coordinates with the bind-off. The depth is easily adjustable.

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Cowl measures 22cm/9” high and 173cm/68” around.  It’s available here: Adriatico Cowl for $6.00USD.

(Re-)Introducing Mrs Whatsit

Yes, at long last, Mrs Whatsit is back!  As usual, the pattern is available through my Ravelry store for $6.00USD:


What’s that?  You don’t remember Mrs Whatsit?  Well, it was originally published in January of 2011, by Sanguine Gryphon.  The rights reverted to me some time ago, but I wanted to rework the charts and re-knit it and, well, life intervened.*  I ended up not doing the re-knit – my amazing test knitter did the knitting, and as always, her work** increases the quality of my patterns.

The instructions are fully written and charted out, and you can cross reference between the two.  I’ve also included construction and blocking schematics.

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I chose a new yarn weight for this re-release; I decided on the delicious Mondegreen by Verdant Gryphon.  It’s currently on a hiatus so they can carry a couple other bases***, but I happily stocked up some time ago.  You can use any worsted weight, although it really will shine (hyuck) with a blend featuring some silk.

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Yes, I look smug about that terrible pun; forgive me.

Mrs Whatsit is a character in a book from my childhood.  She is an angel disguised as a tramp: “It seemed small for Meg’s idea of a tramp… it was completely bundled up in clothes. Several scarves of assorted colors were tied about the head, and… A shocking pink stole was knotted about a rough overcoat, and black rubber boots covered the feet.”  She transforms to show “…a pair of wings…made of rainbows, of light upon water, of poetry.”  A Wrinkle In Time, Madeleine L’Engle. 

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I think here, you can see the idea of wings spreading.  The construction is unusual – you begin at the nape and knit out, much like a neck-down shawl.  When the shoulder depth is reached, the center portion is bound off, and each ‘wing’ is worked outward separately.  Due to the nature of the increases & decreases, the only place markers are used in this pattern are to note the BO’s of the Center Panel. 

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The piece looks quite large here, but because of the lines of yarnovers, it happily wraps around your neck to act as a scarf as well as a stole.

I hope you’re as glad to see Mrs Whatsit back as I am – again, the pattern is available in my Ravelry store for $6.00USD.

*This also explains the pause since my last pattern publication.
**All mistakes are all mine, as always.
***Yes.  I’ve been working at this for a while.  Trust me, if you can find Mondegreen you will be so happy…  Think it looks familiar?  It’s the same yarn that I used for His Golden Lair… http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/his-golden-lair

Introducing the Kalmer Triangle!

This is such a simple project; it’s hard to credit how long I tinkered with it to get it just right.  I’ve just released it; it’s now available on my Rav pattern page for $6.00USD (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kalmer-triangle)

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This wide, triangular scarf is knit from the tip up, with increases at the beginning and end of every row.  Variegated yarns will be flattered, as will almost any weight and fiber content.  

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Be sure to swatch to ensure that you like your knitted fabric; try going up two to four needle sizes from what is suggested for your yarn.  I’ve listed my gauge in stockinette & pattern to give you an idea of how much the stitch pattern will draw in.    

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16 sts/22 rows = 10cm/4” in stockinette stitch; 22 st/42 rows = 10cm/4” in pattern.  Available now here:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kalmer-triangle

As always, happy knitting!

Introducing Acer!

The hardest thing about this design was settling on a name.  Sometimes patterns are like that – they have a working title (Big Leaf, in this case), but their formal name is a struggle.  I ended up using part of the Latin name for the big-leaf maple (acer macrophyllum).  When winter first arrives, I crave colour and something to snuggle up in.  Macro lace and super bulky yarn combine for the perfect accessory to ease into winter.  Acer is available on ravelry, for $6.00USD.  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/acer-shawl

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As you can see, Acer is knit with a super-bulky yarn (Malabrigo Rasta, two skeins) and a very large gauge.  Two stitches to the inch, to be exact!  It’s a quick but athletic knit, on 12mm/US #17 needles.

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Although “exact” is a tad misleading for the gauge in this project.  The next commonly available smaller needle size is 10mm/US #15 and the larger needle size is 15m/US #19.  Unless your gauge varies extremely, I suggest knitting with the 12mm/US #17 needles.

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Like Mistaken and His Golden Lair, this shawl also has a broader triangle shape that is lovely to wrap and flattering to wear.  Again, it’s available through Ravelry for $6.00USD; http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/acer-shawl .

Happy knitting!  I’m going to tackle the next pattern… the finished samples are sitting on my lap, even as I type!

Introducing Spinnaker!

I’m very happy to introduce the Spinnaker Capelet…  Published today, and available in my Ravelry store, here (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spinnaker-capelet) for $6.00USD.


Really, the only thing I had a hard time with was deciding what to call it.  It’s not quite a cape, it’s bigger than a cowl, no one likes the word poncho – and it doesn’t have a point, either.  So I went with capelet… better than ponchette, right?


I’ve written this for five sizes, XS, S, M, L, XL, and it uses the following:
• Approx 545, 635725, 815, 905m/595, 695795, 895, 995 yd (366m/400yd per 100g/3.53 oz skein)
• Approx. 820, 9501080, 1220, 1350 6/0 seed beads (NOTE: There are usually 12-17 6/0 seed beads/gram.)


The original version is the gray and yellow; I’d almost given up on finding the right shade of yellow but then I found the perfect colour at a fabric store.  The beads were no-name Czech beads, but I thought “what the heck”.  It turns out that no-name Czech beads are significantly lighter in individual mass that the high quality Japanese beads.  The test knit (the blue one) used Miyuki beads, which Alana the Amazing has since christened “Sumo Beads”.  There were about 75g used in the yellow/gray version (2x40g vials) and almost 95g in the blue version (4x20g vials).  The blue version’s beads are almost the equivalent of another ball of sock yarn…


To choose your size, measure (including your lowered arms) around the fullest point of your chest, and choose a size with a lower circumference that is 3-5” less than your measurement. The garment shown is modeled with about 3” of negative ease. The capelet is quite heavily beaded, and the negative ease is necessary to help it stay in place on your shoulders.  I’ve included a schematic in the pattern, and it’s fully written as well as charted.

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I’m very pleased with the heavy beading – not only does it add sparkle, the knitted fabric has a very sumptuous hand and the drape is wonderful.


I’d like to send enormous thanks to my test-knitter, Alana, and to S___ for photographing this for me.  This is one of my go-to garments; sometimes I wear it over a shirt around the house, and I’ve been wearing it over light jackets in our too-brief fall.  Again, it’s available online here, http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/spinnaker-capelet for $6.00USD.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!

Good Ingredients Can Still Make A Bad Meal…


Sometimes all the best ideas add up to something less than thrilling.
I fell for this yarn a little while ago – it’s a really compelling combination of black and brown, with a little bit of dark blue here and there. It’s hand-dyed, by Ewe Give Me The Knits. It’s labelled as a fingering, although the yardage (310m/100g) is more sport-like.

These beads are perfect with it – they make me think of rootbeer.

Together with a pattern I’d swatched and charted, it’s quite charming when you look closely at it…

From a distance though, it just doesn’t sing. Really, it’s just a big swatch. I could finish knitting it, but I’m sure that I can find something that will do more justice to the yarn and beads…

The good news is that I’m pleased with the lace pattern for different yarn and bead combination; so it’s not a total loss…

Introducing Fibonerdy!

I’m a nerd… it’s not really a secret. Fibonerdy is an example of my soft spots for terrible puns, color, and interesting math concepts. Available now on Ravelry for $6.00USD (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fibonerdy)

It’s a Fibonacci-inspired crescent shawl, where the colors march along in a compelling 13-8-5-3-2-1 sequence. There is no short row shaping, and the versatile shape can be worn as a shawl, a cache-coeur wrap, or a generous scarf.

(This is cache-couer style; wrap in front and tie in the small of your back.)

This shawl is an exaggerated crescent worked in garter stitch from the nape outwards. The shape is the result of its long tab beginning, occasional increases at the center, and regular increases at each side. There is also a dropped yarn over at the edge to make sure it is soft and elastic.

Pattern calls for two skeins of fingering weight yarn; I used two skeins of Cephalopod Yarn’s Skinny Bugga – MC – Montauk Monster; CC – Leafy Sea Dragon. 75% of my MC and 93% of my CC were knit up in the sample shown; the edge is easily adjusted to be worked longer or shorter in alternate colors.  Again, available now on Ravelry for $6.00USD (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fibonerdy)

(By definition, the first two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are 0 and 1, and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two. So, 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc… I did take some small liberties, for the sake of design!)