Sunday, May 17, 2015

New Blanket Pattern Progress

I'm making good progress on my latest blanket pattern.  Knitting in squishy, garter stitch stripes.  The blanket portion is complete using nine colors of greys, purples and creams.  I know that garter stitch can be a bit boring, but the stripes are on the thin side making for quick color changes.

The leafy border is next using this lovely green.  Still working out the pattern for the edge.  When I started knitting the blanket, I just got in my head that the border needed to be in green leaves of some sort.

Here's my color inspiration.  Gorgeous edencottageyarns.  I saw this pic on instagram and fell in love. Aren't they just scrumptious?  I did not use her yarns, but rather used the photo to pick worsted weight yarn from Hobby Lobby.

This color combo would make a lovely shawl, don't you think?

Have a great week,

Purls of Wisdom:

In a case like this, when my blanket was finished and I need a border color, I take the blanket with me to the store.  I want the border color to coordinate and the only way to pick the best color is to have the finished item in the yarn shop.  I picked out 5 greens and placed them all on the blanket, making it super easy to see the best one!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Blanket Pattern In Progress

I'm working on a new blanket pattern.  Squishy, garter stitch goodness!  Nine colors (only worked seven at the moment) of worsted weight yarn.  I'm using Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn as they have THE most wonderful colors!

Shades of purples, grays and neutrals are coordinating very nicely.  Three or four repeats in the nine colors should do it and I think I'll do a leafy green border.  We'll see after the blanket is complete.  

Happy Hump Day,

Yarn tip:
When I'm choosing colors at the yarn store, I lay them all out on the floor, moving them around, switching out colors until I see what I have in my head.

I did a blog post here if you'd like to read about a little lesson in color.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sockhead Hats

I LOVE making Sockhead Hats!  Super easy and a great way to use your sock yarn skeins.

Here are some I finished up last month.

I used needle size US 2.5 (3.00mm) for all of them.

The one above uses:
James C Brett Moonlight Sonata DK

This is one skein of
KnitPicks Hawthorne Fingering in Ladd's Addition

 Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering in St. Johns

Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Mocha Tonal

You can find more information and the free pattern link on my Ravelry project page.

If you are using Patons Sock Yarn, I would suggest using a US 3.0 or 3.25.  I found that using the needle recommended in the pattern made for a too tight hat.


Yarn tip:
Don't have a complete skein for a Sockhead Hat?  Gather all your leftover sock yarn and make stripes instead.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mother's Day Gifts

If you're looking for something besides a scarf or blanket for Mother's Day, here are a few ideas.

My bestie asked for some soup bowl cozies.  You know, something to hold under a hot bowl of soup instead of a tea towel.  This is what I came up with.....crochet a basket with cotton yarn and line it with fabric.  Now, you don't need to line it with fabric.  It works just fine without it.

Here's what I did:
Crochet a circle and start increasing using a soup bowl as a guide.  Keep doing that until you you get the size you want.  Just keep checking the fit after a few rows.

I cut the fabric in a circle, including a 1" hem.  I then just whip stitched it to the yarn basket.  

They're reversible too!

I really like them and so did my bestie!  As I said, you don't need to add fabric and they work just fine at keeping the heat off your hand using just yarn.  Also, the yarn has just enough stretch to fit many a bowl size.

Socks are a great gift too!  There's plenty of time until Mother's Day to whip up some in her favorite color.  I use a free pattern from Susan B Anderson.  Great "how I knit my socks" pattern can be found on her Rav page.

I love this pillow I crocheted for our couch. It's from Lucy of Attic 24,  You can use any weight yarn and she has the free pattern on her lovely blog.  In the above photo, I used Knit Picks Chroma in a fingering weight.  No need to change colors as you go if you have some long run yarn in your stash.  Again, another great gift for Mom.

If you know how to crochet some edging, just add it to some pillow cases as a gift.  Get out your crochet edging books and pick a pattern.  I like to do this using fingering weight or finer.

Crochet up a few little baskets for her to hold bits and bobs or place a little potted plant inside of one.  You might want to cover the bottom of the plant with plastic wrap or foil to protect the basket.

I used this pattern with whatever yarn I had and added fabric.

I'd love to hear about ideas you have for Mother's Day gift giving!


In the 1950's, 75% of American households had sewing machines.  Now it's less than 5%.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Yarn Stash Sale

When I was creating my knitting studio, I had the arduous task of going through bins of yarn.  I decided I just couldn't keep it all, so I'm having a Yarn Stash Sale in my Etsy shop!

Some full skeins, some partial, some yarn balls that you could make your own Magic Ball!  All different weights sold by color.

Purple (sold out)

Blues (sold out)

* Pom pom (full skeins)
* Boa (full skein)
* Fun fur (full skeins)

* Pom Pom Parade by Herrschners (full skeins)
* Cashmere (full skein)
* Vicki Howell
* I Love This Yarn by Hobby Lobby
* Soft Secret

* Vanna's Choice
* Patons Lace
* Fiesta Yarns

Grey (sold out)

* Rowan
* Kaffe Fassett (2 full skeins)
* Misti Alpaca (full skein)
* Colourscape

* Cascade (full skeins)
* Queensland
* Lion Brand
* Vanna's Choice
this one has a finished shawlette included!

* Dyeabolical
* Malabrigo (3 full skeins)
* Nashua Handknits (2 full skeins)
* Lion Brand
* and more

Sizes US 5 to US 17
Cable lengths from 24: to 29"

* Soft Secret
* Caron Simply Soft
* Red Heart Love
* Lion Brand Homespun (full skeins)
* Lion Brand Jiffy
* Vicki Howell Sheep(ish)
* Jojoland Baritone (full skeins)
* Patons Grace
* Louisa Harding (full skeins)

It's tough to let go sometimes, however, now I have room to buy more!!

Have a great weekend,

Yarn tip:
If you don't have a place to sell your stash, many organizations will welcome a donation. Schools, churches, womans' shelters, youth organizations or, just share with your fellow knitters and crocheters.  Have a Stash Swap Party!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Creating My Knitting Studio - The Big Reveal

I'm calling it done!  If you have followed me this far, maybe you'll go a little farther.  

The cabinet is almost full...

a $25.00 thrift store mirror gets a little paint.....

pardon my "fluffy" self.....


another gift from my bestie!  An antique stroller to use as a photo prop for my baby blankets.  It awaits some new fabric on the inside.

I think I need to buy more knitting needles....not!

"Oh no, Mr. Bill"!  This is funny if you watched Saturday Night Live in the '70's!

A giant diamond ring paper weight, just because!

Some of my cross stitch dusted off from the attic....

and a white folding table, we use for summer parties outside, in the middle of the room ready for the yarn swift and winder.  The white bookcase we've had for years.  It was just holding junk in "the junk room".

If you look closely you can see the table folded up behind my basinet photo prop.

This is a very cool hologram type poster!  If you look at it straight on, it shows Des Moines, Iowa in 2005.  If you view it from the side.....

it shows what the city looked like in 1919.  No, I did NOT find it in a thrift store, but in a shop called Tandem Brick in Des Moines.  Cool isn't it?

I brought in an extra chair we had in the living room.  This was a hand-me-down from my parents when I first moved away from home 30 plus years ago!  I reupholstered in myself some time ago.  The pillow is the zip code I lived in when we lived in Des Moines, Iowa.  Some of my happiest years were spent there.

The music stand has been in the closet since my daughter took violin lessons for 5 minutes in middle school.  It works great for holding a book open for reading the pattern.

The area rug was rolled up and in the attic.

Oh, and the chandelier was free!  Years ago, a friend of mine moved into a new house and she hated it.  I told her I'd be happy to take it off her hands!  It was dripping with crystals, which was a bit much, even for me.  I removed three fourths of them and it has been in our daughters room ever since.  If you are just catching up, this was her room until she moved out a few weeks ago.

A wire dress form in the corner, another free find that someone had for the trash man!
The vintage, plastic trash bin was a thrift store find for $6.00 and the crystal stand next to the chair is actually an ashtray....

The dress form on the floor was found at a garage sale a few years ago for $6.00.  I still need something for that corner.

So that's it done!  It's not professional and the closet holds WIPS, baskets full of tools like needles, blocking paraphernalia and such, but it'll do for me.  The whole thing cost me $155.00.  The paint was the most expensive at $100.00 for one gallon of primer and two gallons of white paint.  The rest of it was for the thrift store finds.  Now, I did not add in the cost for the things I already had, like the white table, area rug, basinet, my cross stitch projects and so on.  

Granted, I had a whole room to work with.  Maybe you have a little space you can carve out for yourself.  A storage room maybe?  A basement or a large closet or even a corner of the laundry room.  You can easily do it without spending any money at all.  Look around your house for things to use.  
Poke around in your kitchen and dining room cupboards.  Do you really need all those coffee mugs in the cabinet?  Need a yarn bowl?  Use a large soup bowl.  Do you have china and crystal in your dining room hutch that only comes out twice a year?  What can you use in that stash?

Dig out old photos, posters, art work, baskets and such.  

If you store all your yarn in big plastic bins, stack them up and throw a tablecloth over them to use as a big table.  Or, get out your ironing board and put it to use.

Have your children outgrown their plastic toy box?  Give it a coat of paint.  Yes, you can paint that stuff!

Don't have an extra side chair around, bring in one of your plastic patio chairs and toss one of your throw pillows from the family room couch.

Paint does wonders for an old trash bin, too!

I really could go on and on!  Just ask any of my girlfriends.  I'm always helping them with conundrums like this and I LOVE it.

Thank you so much for coming along.  If you are just finding this post, I did two prior posts if you'd like to catch up!

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