Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Knit Blanket from my Yarn Stash

With yarn straight from my stash, I knit this baby blanket in less than a week.  It's a 30 inch square using the traditional Grandmother's Favorite dishcloth pattern.  This blanket is really soft as I knit it with Alpaca Co Snuggle and a strand of Ella Rae Seasons held together on a U.S. Size 15 knitting needle.

The Ella Rae seasons is the colorway called Ocean/Sky and is shades of blue that go from turquoise to a deep blue.  It added a nice shaded effect to the blanket without being overpowering.

The edge is crocheted with two strands of Snuggle held together and slip stitched through the holes created on the edges.  This is inspired by this Pinterest picture.  I'll be using this edging again.  It gives the blanket a firm border and color contrast.

This blanket is being added to my Cedar chest and next time I need a baby gift, it's all ready to go.  I like to keep a finished project stash as I really don't like deadline knitting.  It takes the joy out of knitting for me.  How about you?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Knitting and Sewing Inspired by Pinterest

Browsing Pinterest has become an important part of my daily routine.  I am inspired by the projects that I find Pinned.  My Board Knitting and Sewing Ideas has 208 pins right now.  I've started to sort them into separate boards so that I can find inspiration when I'm ready for new projects.  I've added lots of patterns to my Ravelry queue that I would not have found if they weren't highlighted by a fellow Pinterest member.  I've also discovered several great ideas for finishing projects and for organizing my knitting and sewing tools and supplies.

One of my favorite Pinterest finds is this idea to use a teapot as a yarn bowl.

 Another is this eyeglass case turned into a sewing or knitting tool kit. 

Here's the post from the blog Tea Rose Home that includes the tutorial.

And I'm about to try this crochet edge on a baby blanket that I just finished knitting.

I contribute a few of my own project to Pinterest, too.  Here's my case for my Nexus 10 Tablet.

Besides knittting and sewing, I have lots of other pinterest boards.  There's creative skills that I want to learn, creative color, and random articles.  Random articles holds lots of inspirational phrases that I love.

So what is your favorite Pinterest find?  Leave a comment and I'll be sure to check out your boards.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Knit Tote Bag Ready for the Road

My new knit market bag is finally finished.  This is the fourth time that I've used this pattern but the first time, I knit these handles and added buttons to the base of the handle.  The original pattern is called Himalaya Tote and appeared in the Fall 2001 issue of Interweave Knits.

I made the first one in 2002 following the directions as written and using a beautiful combination of blue yarns.  I added leather handles and lined that one and still use it today when I go to Festivals and when I travel.  It's big and roomy.

After that, I started experimenting with the pattern.  I love the design but wanted a bag that was a little sturdier and could be used as an every day grocery bag.

For this version, I used 2 strands of Lily Sugar and Cream Worsted Weight cotton yarn held together and a circular U.S. Size 10 1/2 circular knitting needles.  I cast on 43 stitches for each side and 34 stitches for the bottom, a total of 120 stitches.  I used white as the main color and knit row 1 and row 4 in contrasting color, first the blue then the yellow.

I knit the depth of the bag at 3 1/2 inches.

It took me a long time to decide on handles.  I finally decided to mimic the color combination in the bag and using a U.S. Size 9 needle, I cast on 88 stitches with 2 strands of yarn held together using the contrasting color, I knit one row in that color, changed to the main color, and then used the other contrasting color to knit one row and cast off.

The finishing touch is the buttons.  I was thrilled to remember that I had bought these white buttons when a local Yarn store was closing and I had them stashed in my button jar.  I think they finish the bag nicely.  They also hide the seam where I joined the handles to the bag.

I'm thrilled that this is finally done.  I started knitting it well over two years ago and for some reason, I just kept putting it back in the bottom of the WIP pile.  I discovered it while doing some early Spring yarn cleaning and finished it in an afternoon.

Hope I can finish a few more of the WIP in the pile by the end of the Summer.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Knit Chicks for Easter

I knit each of these chicks in about an hour including sewing the seam and adding the beak and eyes. These cute chicks are egg covers.  Their shape is completed with a plastic Easter egg in the knitted body. These great little chicks are knit on U.S. Size 6 knitting needles and a small amount of DK weight yarn.  I knit these using Plymouth Encore DK in yellow.

I make regular trips to the magazine section at Barnes & Noble.  I love that they carry a wide variety of knitting, sewing, and craft magazines that are published in the U.K.  These chicks were on the cover of Love Crafting Easter Special


There are lots of cute projects in this magazine.  In addition to the chicks, there is a family of knit ducks, and a few sewing projects that look like fun.

Here's a few more pictures of my chicks.  I'll be making as many as I can in the next few weeks and sharing them with family and friends for Easter.

Now if I could only locate the bunny egg cover that I knit a few years ago, I could make a lovely scene for Easter.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

For the Kitchen

Fun colors and useful too, this set includes a cotton dishtowel, 2 woven potholders, and my signature dress style dishcloth in turquoise and yellow. 

I made my first potholders more than 50 years ago and I still use the same loom to weave them.  I really enjoy making them and they are great in the kitchen.  These are machine wash and dry and the great colors are from Harrisville Designs.

The dishtowel measures 16 inches wide and 24 inches long.  It's cotton fabric in a vintage floral print with red, yellow, and turquoise on an off white background. 

The dress style dishcloth is just the right size for cleaning up and it hangs over the neck of your dish detergent bottle to dry.  This one is knit from my pattern Let's go to Paris.

The entire set will brighten up your kitchen just in time for Spring.  Also, it's a great gift for a new homeowner or bridal shower.

I'm busy weaving more potholders and matching them up with assorted dishtowels and knit dress style dishcloths.  I'll be adding hot pads shortly.  This set is available in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Knitting Pierre the Bear by Leisure Arts

Just finished knitting Pierre the Bear from the Leisure Arts downloadable pattern.  I found the pattern in the archives when I signed up for the Leisure Arts newsletter but he's available for purchase here.  Pierre was a really simple knit.  He's knit in one piece with the arms knit separately and attached later.  I must admit, I attached his arms a little too low but the sweater covers up my shoulder issue.
I'm really pleased with the shaping of his head.  This is the first bear pattern that I've knit that uses increase and decreases for his nose.  Most of my other bear patterns have a separate piece that needs to be sewed on to the head.  I used a plastic nose from my animal parts supply and it's just the right size.  His eyes are from my collection too.

The yarn makes this bear special, too.  It's left over from a sweater that I made with yarn that I purchased on my first visit to Cheltenham in England.  I visited a lovely yarn shop there.  The yarn is Stylecraft Aran with Wool.  I've been wearing the sweater for about 5 years and it's still in great shape.

His sweater and overalls are knit with Plymouth Encore DK.  As with the worsted weight of Encore, this yarn is great to knit with. 

There's a Mimi the Bear pattern too.  I'm going to download that one next.  Leisure Arts is holding a 15% off sale using code ART15 through April 30 so it's a great time to get Mimi.

I'm moderating a group on Ravelry for Fans of Leisure Arts patterns.  If you haven't joined the group yet, I hope you'll stop by and visit.  We're talking about both new and old Leisure Arts favorites.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sale on the new Knit Dress Dishcloth for Spring

A limited edition knitting pattern titled Chicks and Ducks, this dress dishcloth is available through April 30, 2014 here.  A portion of each sale will be going towards purchasing chicks and ducks through Heifer International.  

I knit the sample in a soft violet with a country yellow trim.  These colors remind of the Spring that we desperately need this year.  The winter has been long, cold, and bleak.  Hope you'll dress up your kitchen with this fun and useful dishcloth.

As a special gift for purchasing this knitting pattern, I'm gifting Let's Go to London dress dishcloth knitting pattern for FREE to every one that purchases the Chicks and Ducks Dress Dishcloth pattern.  The discount will be applied at checkout in my Ravelry pattern shop.

If you've been waiting to purchase the Leisure Arts book of my Dress Dishcloths, now's the time.  Leisure Arts is offering 15% off all their patterns.  Click here and use Promo code ART15.  The discount applies to all your Leisure Arts purchases through April 30, 2014.

Hope you're getting ready for Spring!

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