Tag Archives: Hillary Smith Callis

A Hat for the Spring : Adventures in Softknit Cotton


Remember this ball of beautiful indigo blue softknit cotton from my Rowan Beach Shoot ?  This week I couldn’t resist it any longer – I had to try out this new yarn.  I’d seen and admired Mel’s Downton Abbey inspired Nola Cloche by Hillary Smith Callis over at Coal Valley View and being a big fan of the TV series myself, I thought that it was the perfect pattern for my new softknit cotton.


The softknit cotton, I have to say is delicious : it’s a joy to knit with and the colour range is superb.  Who wouldn’t want to knit with shades reminiscent of beautiful seascapes like indigo blue, pacific, marine and seaweed?  Or how about sand, burnt orange and sunset red? Other shades conjure up images of beautiful summer flowers such as tea rose and lupin.   Softknit cotton is an aran / worsted weight yarn with a touch of polyamide for durability. It has a beautiful softness and drape showing texture and cable detail really well.  It’s machine washable (always a bonus!) so its perfect for knitting spring and summer garments.


The Nola Cloche itself is very easy to make.  Simply knit the brim with a lovely cable twist for detail, then pick up some stitches from around the edge of the brim to knit the crown of the hat, decreasing as you go.  I was intending that the hat would be for me but as I had to take photos, I think my model had other ideas!  She’s always been a hat girl!


Its a little big as its an adult size but I have promised to knit her one in a colour of her choosing 🙂

Nola Cloche 014

Nola Cloche 016


Rowan’s pattern support for this yarn is fantastic : check out Martin Storey’s Softknit Collection featuring a contemporary mix of fashionable and simple textured knits and aran and cable patterns on my Rowan Favourites Pinterest Board.  The softknit cotton is also interchangeable with Rowan’s Handknit cotton so you could also check out Martin Storey’s ‘Simple Shapes Handknit Cotton’ for patterns too .


Spring was definitely in the air today : wood anenomes were popping up all over the place.  I can’t wait for bluebell season.  We’re lucky to have this lovely bit of ancient woodland on our doorstep which is owned by the Woodland Trust.


Then we popped home to bake a loaf of bread for tea.


Do let me know if you try the Softknit Cotton or knit up the Nola Cloche: I would love to hear from you 🙂

Bye for now,

Claire X