Work-life balance

A little while ago I was approached by the Academy of Medical Sciences to feature in their MedSciLife project. They feature stories from people who work in medicine and health research who have passions and interests outside of their main career. They asked me to share how knit and crochet designing influences my career as an academic general practitioner and the similarities and differences between my roles. This is the video they produced.

I think the Barry Gibb and the AMS team have produced a great video. Filming it was far easier than I expected - particularly as I showed up thinking it was a photoshoot (completely my fault, I had not read the email properly and refused to believe I was going to be filmed!). We used BaaRamEwe yarn shop as the background as I love working with them and their colourful wall of yarn is a beautiful setting.

I think combining a life of design and academic medicine helps create balance, encourages my creative side but also helps with resilience when life has its ups and downs. I have knitted through illnesses, deaths of loved ones, when dealing with the frequent rejections that is a normal part of academic work and to wind down after a difficult day. Often my most creative moments of inspiration are when I am struggling with a different problem, and one idea often leads to the solution of another challenge.

You can read more stories from those who work in medical and biomedical research on the MedSciLife page and their passions outside of work, there are some very inspiring people on there.

Happy knitting,

Sarah x

Six-to-One Centred Decrease tutorial

Finishing cables that join together neatly can be tricky. In all of our Mystery Knit-a-Longs Ann and I have developed tutorials to help with the trickier and new techniques. This years MKAL, Two Heads Are Better, is no exception.

Two Heads Are Better MKAL crown details

Two Heads Are Better MKAL crown details

The cable pattern in the crown of Ann’s design has the cables coming together to finish neatly. The following YouTube video is the tutorial I put together to help work these. It makes a lovely centred cabled decrease.

Nariko and Kai

I am very pleased to introduce to you two new crochet designs that made their popular debut at Yarndale this year - Nariko and Kai.



Nariko is a triangular shawl, crocheted from the bottom up, with a simple, classic and clean look that is broken up by spike stitch star stripes. This was such a soothing shawl to crochet and it received a lot of admiration before it was finished. I added the tassels as I just love a tassel on a shawl and was very lucky to have some beads that matched the colours in the spike stitch star stripes perfectly.


The shawl is suitable for adventurous beginners. The main shawl is crocheted with half treble (UK term) stitches and there are photo tutorials for the spike stitch stars and adding tassels to your finished shawl included in the pattern. The stripes are worked as you go so once the shawl is finished it is ready to wear.

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It is extremely cozy in a soft yarn and wraps around the shoulders easily. I have found myself wearing this shawl a lot recently as the weather turns a bit cooler and it just feels so snug.



Kai is the sister pattern to Nariko. Kai is a fun and interesting cowl to crochet with changing stitch patterns and colours. There are three different stitch patterns that work their way up the cowl. It starts with V-stitch stripes, then moves into spike stitch stars and finally finishes with a boxed block pattern. All three patterns are also suitable for adventurous beginners as they use simples stitches to make very effective patterns. The pattern also contains a tutorial on the spike stitch star pattern.

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I love wearing this cowl as depending on how it falls around the neck, different colours and patterns become visible. It is tall and wide enough to cover the whole head if I wish to wear it as a snood in very cold weather and it works well to keep out cold drafts around the neck with its many folds.

Both Nariko and Kai are made with Scheepjes Stone Washed DK weight yarn which is a combination of cotton and acrylic. It is an extremely soft yarn that crochets very easily. I used Moon Stone (white), Canada Jade (green) and Coral (orange) for both designs and Black Onyx as the main colour in Nariko. There are many colours in the Scheepjes palette though and I am excited to try out a few more colour combinations.

Happy crocheting,

Sarah x