New patterns: Rose Jam

Some of you may have gathered I have a bit of a thing for roses. I like to look at them, smell them, and for good measure, eat them! Rosewater and rose jam are lovely in desserts and baking, and fun to experiment with. My favourite combos are quince jam made with rosewater (recipe here), and rose jam on scones with whipped cream. :)

It was only a matter of time before I came up with a rosy knitting pattern, and in fact I've made two: the Rose Jam Hat and matching Rose Jam Mitts.

The stitch pattern is inspired by rose petals, which sometimes have a very sweet heart-shape in some old-fashioned and wild varieties. Like so:

Rosa moyesii, at Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens

Hat features:
  • all-over mini-cable texture inspired by rose petals
  • the petals flow smoothly out of the ribbing and up to the crown 
  • a one-skein project (128-160 yards of worsted-weight yarn)
  • suitable for solid or semi-solid colourways
  • two adult sizes, photos show larger size  
  • both charted and written instructions. 

 Mitts features:
  • all-over mini-cable texture inspired by rose petals
  • the thumb gusset emerges naturally from the stitch pattern
  • a one-skein project (140 yards of worsted-weight yarn)
  • suitable for solid or semi-solid colourways 
  • one size, to fit 7-8" palm circumference
  • both charted and written instructions. 

The 2-stitch cables in the hat and mitts can easily be knit without a cable needle, making these quite straightforward projects for an intermediate-level knitter. I've included a guide in each pattern based on this excellent method.

The yarn I used for my hat and mitts is the famously-squishable Malabrigo Rios, in the semi-solid colour 'Ravelry Red'.

The Rose Jam Hat and Mitts are available as separate patterns, or together.

Ravelry links: Rose Jam Hat and Rose Jam Mitts, and the ebook Rose Jam.
Loveknitting links: Rose Jam Hat and Rose Jam Mitts.


The little white flowers in some of the photos above are from Mum and Dad's Viburnum opulus, known to us as the 'Snowball Tree'. After our Rose Jam photoshoot, Dad took photos of me messing about and making the tree 'snow'. And then he made an animated gif. ;)

Roses after the storm

Last night we had a pretty intense thunderstorm. I don't think I've ever heard that much thunder - loud, rapid-fire waves of it. Needless to say, no-one got enough sleep last night! But my roses look amazing covered in the rainy aftermath...

This is my 'Lamarque' rose, which came back from the dead last summer (it had dried out during one of our heatwaves and played dead for a few weeks). It has an amazing scent, and I love the way the petals unfurl from the centre. It's a really old-fashioned-looking rose. <3

Here are a couple of shots I took a few days ago, when the first flowers were newly open:

Ring-a-ring o' roses

Old-fashioned roses are one of my many obsessions. Since I discovered last year that Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens has a 'Species Rose Collection', I've been waiting to visit during its main flowering season. I finally got my chance on Sunday, which was cool and cloudy and suitable for trekking through gardens, smelling all the roses.

The garden included some 'old garden roses' in amongst the wild/species roses. Old garden roses have the best and most intense scent (in my opinion), and they're shaped differently to modern roses. The many-petaled old roses are often quite flat when fully open, with an inner swirl of small petals:

The best-smelling rose in the garden! 'Félicité Parmentier', Alba type, 1834

Félicité is quite small, but very pretty

Because garden roses are propagated by cutting and grafting rather than by seed, all the roses of the same variety are technically part of the same plant. I think it's really cool that the 'Lamarque' rose on my balcony has been around since it was first bred in 1830, in people's gardens around the world.

More interesting, in terms of their variety in size and shape, were the wild or species roses in the collection. In general, they had simpler flowers than the garden roses - most of the wild varieties had 'single' flowers with five petals each. Bees prefer single roses, and one bush in particular was covered in bees! Many had white or very pale pink flowers, but one was bright red (Rosa moyesii), and a couple were yellow (Rosa xanthina and Rosa foetida). Some were downright weird, with giant prickles, or green flowers...

This was a major bee-magnet. I want one! Rosa forrestiana
It's a big bush, taller than Willie even

Rosa moyesii

So tiny! Rosa spinosissima (aka pimpinellifolia, aka Scotch Briar)

Rosa viridiflora (yup, that's a flower)

Serious prickles! Rosa sericea omniensis
Rosa Amyana cardiganensis