Monday, March 31, 2014

On My Needles...Knitting in Technicolor


After the blog post and huge success of my four Technicolor Blankets to Crochet patterns (thank you so much, by the way), I had a fair amount of requests for the same look but blankets you could knit.  Who am I to deny a knitter?  So, I am translating them into knitting patterns.  This is the first in a series of four.  I had some comments from hookers that they could not find one or two of the colors from the crochet patterns, so for the knitting patterns I have substituted those hard to find colors for similar ones that are more readily available.  I should have this first of four patterns ready next week.


Thank you also for the HUGE response and lovely comments to my blog post... Cath Kidston Inspired Blanket!  I'd love to see photos of yours, so be sure to send me a snap shot!

You can find all my pattern shop links at the top of my blog or follow the links below!




Best,
Sheila

Yarn Tip:
Does a pattern call for worsted weight yarn and you only have sport weight in your stash?  Hold your sport yarn double throughout to get a worsted weight gauge of 5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch on US size 7 needles.
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Crocodile Stitch Scarf in 50 Shades of Grey



The older I get, the more practical I get!  I'm not always sure if that is a good thing or not.  When I was younger, clothes were SO very important to me.  In my 20's I worked full time at our local courthouse as a bailiff for the county judges, so you had to be dressed professionally.  I adored straight skirts (as I was quite thin then), colorful blouses and jewelry.  It was the '80's after all!  Big shoulder pads, Disco, tons of color and big earrings!  Happy Hour was $1 pitchers and 25 cent draws.


Now I'm in my mid 50's and my closet is full of black, grey, white and the occasional colored top.  So, this Crocodile Stitch Scarf is right up my alley!  I adore this pattern from Bonita Patterns on Etsy, but I feel the full size scarf is just too bulky for large girl like my self.  Bulk on a plus size is NOT what we need.  I decided to make a smaller version of the pattern.  It looks a bit bib(ish) to me at the moment.  I think I'll add a tassel  at the point.  


Worn under the coat would be pretty, but I prefer my scarves and shawls on the outside of my jackets.  I've also added a button and just poked it through the other tail.  I think it looks nice worn either way.



Prism Sparkle from Mary Maxim in Cobblestone is lovely.  It is DK weight (3).  The photos do not do the yarn justice as you cannot see the bits of subtle sparkle.


This pattern is perfect for gradient yarns as it shows them off beautifully!


The cute little scissors I found on Etsy .  Quirkiest little thing and works perfectly.

Best,
Sheila

Edit date:  4-6-14....I used 4 skeins of Mary Maxim Prism Sparkle.  
Each skein is 290 Yards (265m)

Yarn Tip from Craftsy:

If you're substituting yarn from a pattern:
To figure out how many yards of your substituted yarn you'll need, calculate the total yardage from the pattern's yarn first.  Use this formula...Number of skeins x yardage per skein = total yardage needed for pattern.  
So, for example, if your pattern uses three skeins of yarn that each have 240 yards, then multiply three by 240 to get a total of720 yards.
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Friday, February 28, 2014

Cath Kidston/Greengate Inspired Bakeware and Blanket



If you're like me and LOVE everything Cath Kidston you will understand my joy at these incredible finds!  I let out a little squeal when I saw them, in a Michael's no less!  If you are in the USA, you should have one near you.  For my overseas followers, Michael's is a wonderful craft store.


Just LOOK at these measuring cups, dipping bowls and measuring spoons!  Doesn't it scream Cath Kidston?  I was like a little kid playing with the measuring cups.....stacking and unstacking them, admiring them, enjoying their lovely colors.  I found them in the isle where they have all the bins for things costing $1 - $5.00.  Not the bins in the front of the store where everything is $1.


 The spoons were $5.....and come in two different colorways.  Red and blue.  The little dipping bowls, in the 2nd photo, were $3.  The stacking measuring cups were $5.  All are ceramic, not plastic or melamine.


Of course, I then ran over to the yarn isle to pick out my colors for a baby blanket.  The pattern is ready to purchase from my Etsy shop!






I snatched up a few of each for future presents.  They also had big spoon rests and decent sized coffee mugs with the same designs.  If you are not familiar with Cath Kidston, find her site here.

Visit my Etsy shop
Craftsy shop

Till next time,
Sheila
Yarn tip:
When winding yarn from a hank, snip a little piece off and tape it to the yarn band.  Mark the label with any notes from your project.  You'll have a handy reference if you use that yarn again.

Food tip:
I use lemons all the time when I cook.  I love how they look in a bowl on the counter, but that is not the best way to store them.  They last 4 times longer when I store them in a ziplock bag in the fridge.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Bonfire Wedding Blanket

 I created this for my cousin, Eleni, as a wedding gift! Gorgeous in the colors of her big day...yellow and orange. Her mother and I are very close and I have received many a handmade gift from her during the milestones in my own life, so choosing a wedding gift for her daughter was easy!
 The hash tag (#) pattern is so common in technology, I just had to design something that is relevant for today’s young people. The clusters are at an angle lending to the hash tag pattern (see in the 3rd photo down).  Get your own custom buttons....."made with love" would be cute!
 Lightweight, colorful, reversible and easy to crochet with a one row pattern repeat. 
 Gradient yarn produces a stripe pattern without changing colors! The edge is a simple 4 row single crochet, but feel free to substitute any edge you like!
 This would be lovely in a smaller size for a baby!  Look close and you can see the hash tags are at an angle as opposed to on top of one another. 
 40” W x 67” L
                                                                                       (102cm W x 170cm L)
Tools & Materials:
*4 skeins Patons Lace (2) in Bonfire. 498 yards (455 meters); 3 oz. (85 gms) 
Any lace weight (2) will work. Approx. 1992 yards (1821 meters) total needed for the blanket
*crochet hook size K/10.5 (6.5mm)
Skill level: easy
Abbreviations given for American and United Kingdom terms

Find the pattern:
Etsy
Craftsy
Ravelry

or use the tabs at the top of the page!

Have a great weekend,
Sheila
Pattern storage tip:
I keep all my paper patterns in a 3 ring binder.  One binder holds all my scarf patterns.  Another holds all my baby patterns and so on.  I use clear, three hole page protectors to keep each one in and when I want to knit or crochet that project, I remove it from the binder in its page protector and take it to the yarn shop to buy my supplies!
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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Knit Socks On Straight Needles and a Crusty Bread Recipe

 I posted last week about finding an easy pattern to knit socks on double pointed needles.  After making several pairs, I popped over to the Barnes & Noble book store to browse sock pattern books.  Can you believe I only found one book!  But what a book it is!  Knit Your Socks on Straight by Alice Curtis!  Brilliant!  I have seen this book online and in book stores for quite some time, but never picked it up to flip through.  Big mistake!
 Beautifully written, easy to understand and tons of photos.  This is the first pattern in the book using worsted weight yarn you can find in your local Hobby Lobby, Michaels, WalMart or fabric store that sells yarn.  Alice shows you pics every step of the way.
 How cute are these little gingerbread people and snowmen?
 I adore these moccasocks house boots made with chunky yarn!
 Flip flop socks....whoduthunkit?  Use your sock or fingering yarn for these.
 I love these for St. Patricks Day!  A pair for you and a pair for your little leprechaun! 
Now, on to the bread.  This is the most awesome artisan bread I have ever made!  No kneading, no rising, no bread machine.  Crusty outside a with a chewy center.  If you follow Lucy at Attic24, you may have tried this already.  The only draw back is it must rest for 12 hours or more.  I put the dough together about 3:00 in the afternoon.  The next day at 3 in was in the oven.  The recipe states 12-18 hours but the 24 hours was just fine.  If you put up the dough in the evening, you can be baking the next morning.  The recipe is in American terms, but if you pop over to visit Lucy, she has the English terms for you.

Have a great week,
Sheila
Yarn tip:
Not sure which size to knit from a pattern?  Compare pattern measurements from your favorite sweater.

Bread baking tip:
You'll know when you bread is baked fully when the inside reads 195 degrees fahrenheit  (90.55 celsius) with a food thermometer.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Decent Pair of Socks


This is the first decent pair of socks I have made....ever!  I've tried so many patterns, I can't tell you.  Maybe it's me....maybe I'm reading the pattern wrong....maybe I've picked the wrong yarn...maybe I ate something  bad!  Ok, maybe not that last one.  I finally found a great pattern!  Whipped up in Knit Picks Wild West yarn and size 2 needles produced this lovely pair.  However, the yarn is not very cushy, so, if you're like me and don't like to wear shoes around the house, these are not practical.

 Fiesta Baby Boom in Coyote delivered some cushy goodness and in colors I like....grey, black, cream and brown.

 The above and below are Fiesta Baby Boom in Harlequin.  You might remember my post using this yarn for Karen's Carnival Baktus Scarf, below.  Look how different the colors look depending on knitting in stockinette or garter stitch and dye lots.


 Knit Circus' Pixie Dust Fingering in Robin's Egg have a bit of twinkling goodness in them.  Gorgeous color and squishy soft!
Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Frosting are a gift for one of my besties.  Her signature color is pink and she will love these.

Now, about the pattern.  Don't ask me why it took so long to get it out as I've had it for quite sometime!  It belongs to Susan B. Anderson.  I adore her and have all her books.  She has this easy way about her.  You'd want her as a sister, neighbor or best friend.  If you watch her teaching, she is relaxing and mesmerizing at the same time.  Patient and thoughtful in her delivery.  Her patterns are the same way.  Technically, beautifully written, but with that element that she is speaking to you from the page.  In this pattern, she makes it so easy to understand the dreaded turning of the heel!
The pattern is free.  Just pop over to her Rav page or blog.  
I'm working on her mitten pattern and will have a future post about that.  Another great and easy pattern.

Best,
Sheila
Yarn tip:  
If you have trouble getting started knitting socks in the round on those small needles, here's what I do.....work the 2 x 2 ribbed cuff back and forth on 2 of the double point needles leaving a tail long enough to sew it up when the sock is finished.  After you complete the cuff, start knitting in the round with the remaining needles.
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

DIY Shawl Closures With Buttons

 The winds howl this time of year in the midwest!  In an effort to keep my shawls and scarves from blowing down the street, I made these from my button stash with a bit of elastic threaded through the button holes and tied in a knot.
 So very simple and extremely effective.  I love giganto buttons!  Big, colorful and easy to store if you are a collector like me.  Easy and affordable to purchase from local yarn shops I visit on my travels.  Above is a Lacy Baktus from Ravelry.  You can find the pattern link on my Karen's Carnival Rav page.  
 I found this button in a local yarn shop in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Freesia shawl pattern is from Jumpers Cable Knitting.  Very easy and quick to knit up with worsted weight yarn.  Find the pattern link on my Rav page.    
 I love the color combination and can use this one on so many shawls.  That's the beauty of these closures.  You can use them on all your scarves.
 I often wear my Crocodile Stitch shawls around my shoulders and this button adds a bit of color and interest.  Find the Crocodile Stitch pattern via my Rav page.
So, there you go!  Get out those gorgeous buttons, tie a bit of elastic through the holes and knot.
Best,
Sheila
Yarn tip:
Can't find the right button?  Use leftover yarn to make i-cord buttons or frog closures instead.

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