Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Blanket Pattern, Prada Headband Pattern and a Sockhead Hat

 My latest blanket pattern is listed!  Yay!  Super easy to crochet with video links and loads of photos.  Here's the info from my Etsy shop:

I have included two edging options, loads of photos, video links for the blanket stitch and the popcorn edge so you can see how to crochet both of those.

I have included the brand names, colors and amounts of yarn needed for both the blankets in the photos above. The yarns are variegated so the color changes need to change colors as you go!

Easily make it larger or smaller to fit your needs. Pattern is worked from the corner out to desired width, then decreasing to the end.

Skill level: easy: basic stitches, minimal shaping, simple finishing. I'm always available to help you along the way!

Abbreviations given for American and United Kingdom terms.

Materials needed:
*280 yards/256m (each skein), medium weight (4) {aran weight for my overseas friends}
* 7 skeins for 46” square (117cm) blanket with popcorn edge 
* 4 skeins for 33.5” square (85cm) baby blanket with a single crochet edge

*crochet hook size H/8 5.00mm for the body of blanket 
*crochet hook size G/6 4.25mm for the edging. This eliminates a ruffled edge.

Blue blanket: 46” square (117cm) blanket with bobble edge 
Autumn blanket: 33.5” square (85cm) baby blanket with a single crochet edge

Popcorn edge

Generous size

Simple single crochet edge for the baby blanket size included

I've updated the photos for my Prada Inspired Headband Pattern.  

Here's the listing info for that pattern:

This was inspired by the Prada Fall Fashion Show 2010. Every model was wearing one!

This pattern looks very intricate and difficult. I assure you that any advanced beginner knitter will be able to easily follow this pattern! You will need to know how to knit and crochet as both are used in this pattern. You can omit the crochet edge portion if you wish! The results will still be fabulous! Also, you will need to be familiar with cables.

When completed, it measures 19" around x 2 3/4" W. 

Straight needles make it easy to knit, the chunky yarn gives this headband great fullness! Any light colored yarn shows off the pattern beautifully! Black is classic and can never be wrong!

**Selling the finished product is permitted**

Now, this Sockhead Hat pattern is free from Boho Knits!  Really fun and a great project for those one skein sock yarns in your stash!

I knit this using Knit Picks Hand Painted Imagination in Castle Walls.  Fingering weight (1) 440 yards total.

Find all my pattern links at the top of this page or in my 

That's it for this week!  It's still very hot here in the midwest....over 90 degrees every day.  I must say, I do love warm weather but long for cooler days, cozy shawls, hot cups of tea and watching our beloved college football team the University Of Nebraska in Lincoln Cornhuskers!  Go Big Red!

Yarn tip:
When knitting cables, keep your yarn color light and solid (non variegated) to show off the cable pattern.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Scarves, Mittens, a Purse and Some Exciting News!

I finally got some "model" photos of the Crocodile Stitch Scarf!  This is one of my favorite patterns.  It's from Bonita Patterns on Etsy.  I posted about this 50 Shades of Grey here, if you'd like to refresh. 

I added a big button to keep the scarf secure in the wind.  If you find the right one, I think it makes the scarf extra special.  No button hole, just poke the button up through the scarf.  I will be making these in all kinds of colors for "my girlies" this Christmas.  

I like that you can wear it either way, button in front or the back.  I also like to wear my scarves over my coat as apposed to under.  This one is 4 skeins of Prism Sparkle from Mary Maxim, in Cobblestone.  It's a DK weight (3).  I think I used a J hook to get the most out of the yardage.

This one is made using 4 skeins of Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in Winery.  Very easy to find in your local craft store and is a worsted weight (4).

Great colorway for those of you who feel grey and black a bit bland.  Reds, pinks, purples and a bit of grey.  Ooo, add a bottle of wine when gifting this one!  This giganto button is the perfect color, but is too big to poke through, so be careful when choosing a button. 

Mittens by Susan B Anderson, in Classic Shades; Tutti Frutti by Universal Yarn Inc.  Great pattern from Susan and it's free on Ravelry!  You could easily make matching mittens for your Croc Scarf prezzies!   

I made the medium size and they fit my delicate daughter and my fluffy self!  I knit the cuff longer than instructed as I like the bulk and the ability to have them go up my coat sleeve.

Now, the purse is from Creative Knitting March 2010 issue called the Mallory Bag.  I'm sure you could find a back issue online.  It's an intermediate pattern, however, I think an advanced beginner could do it.  If you are new to cables, it's a great place to start.

Some exciting news!  I was contacted by one of my favorite knitting periodicals, Simply Knitting.  I've just finished an interview, sent LOADS of photos and can't wait for the October issue!  This is quite an honor for me!  I'm a huge fan of Simply Knitting and was thrilled to be a part of this United Kingdom magazine.  I live in the USA, however, I am half Scottish, so my love runs deep for the UK.  I'll proudly post about it when my issue arrives!

Also, I was contacted by the merchandising manager at Annie's Catalog (which has been around forever and is a great catalog) to sell 6 of my knitting patterns on their site!  You can read the interview and find 3 of my crochet patterns and 3 of my knitting patterns.

Have a great week,
Yarn tip:
When I need a button for a knitted or crocheted item, I always take it with me to the store.  I'm amazed when I go in thinking of a certain color, only to find out the perfect button was something totally different. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Barefoot Sandals, a Knit Kit and a Charmed Row Counter

I love these barefoot sandals my daughter made!  She saw some on Pinterest and asked me to show her how.  A mother can't resist!  We got out one of my crochet books...Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman....we popped over to Hobby Lobby and bought some Lion Brand Bon Bons....and away she went on her first crochet project.  She then sewed on some little white seed beads, which make them really pop!

She then tried another motif pattern and added another yarn color.  I think they are both really cute!  What a great bridesmaids gift for a beach wedding!  She put them both up on "snap chat" and all her friends wanted to know where to buy them.  I have a feeling she will be crocheting them up for bithday or Christmas presents for all her besties!

I've been busy putting Knit Kits together for my Etsy shop.  Here's how have them listed in my shop:

Everything a knitter or crocheter needs for their project bag. A $25.00 value!

You get everything you see here:

*Zippered bag with two pockets (measures 6.5" W x 9.5 L) {16.5cm x 24.3cm} color may vary
*Journal (80 blank pages) color may vary
*Tape measure
*Two barrettes (I use them to keep yarn tails in place on my yarn balls)
*Two sewing needles
*One row counter
*Ribbon on thread card
*Four point protectors
*Two cable needles
*One needle gauge
*Two stitch holders
*Ten bobbins
*Twenty crochet stitch markers
*One pair of scissors
*One Project Card

A $25.00 value!

And it all fits in the zippered bag.

Great gift for yourself or any knitter or hooker.

That's a TON of goodness for $16.00!!!!  I only have 5 available, so if you'd like one for yourself or yarn buddy, visit my Etsy shop to purchase.  

This is one of the cutest knitting/crocheting accessories I have seen in a long time.  Attach it right to your project.  Heidi Bears Row Counter for Circular Needles Tutorial is on her sight and easy to follow.  I can't wait to go out and get a few things to make some!  I often misplace my row counters as they are quite small.  This will make it easy to remember to USE the row counter on many a project.

I'm heading over to the Iowa State Fair next week.  My annual trip with one of my closest friends, Michelle.  I so look forward to it every year.  Food on a stick, the butter cow,  all the blue ribbons for best knitting and crocheted items, the piglets, baby lambs, and the largest bull and pumpkin in the state!  

When I was a teenager, in the '70's, my friend Karen and I would go there first thing in the morning, take off our shoes, walk around barefoot, till it closed at night!  It...was...awesome.  We saw Elton John, Sonny and Cher, Loggins and Messina, Chicago and Seals and Croft.  Some of the best memories of my life.  I am still friends with Karen and saw her last weekend when I passed through Kansas City, where she lives with her family.  I'm SO lucky to still have her in my life.

Have a great weekend,

Yarn Tip:  
I keep a knit kit in my suitcase. When I travel, I sometimes forget to pop one in my project bag.  This way, I always have one on vacation or business trips.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Easy Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella in Jumbo Shells

If your basil and cherry toms runneth over like mine do this time of year, here's a simple snack!  Boil some jumbo shells just until done (see food tip below).  Drain and rinse under cold water and drain again.  Cut your tomatoes in half and cut mozzarella in cubes.  Place one basil leaf in shell, add about four tomato halves and four mozzarella cubes.  Drizzle with olive oil, add some salt and pepper and there you have it! 

I also use these shells for stuffing with tuna salad or cold shrimp with garlic and parmesan cheese.  

Have a great week!

TWO food tips:  
I buy olive oil by the half gallon and transfer it to a more manageable bottle.  I place a beer cozy (you can see my tartan cozy in the photo) on the bottom.  It keeps drips at bay.  

To check that your pasta is cooked through, carefully pick out a piece from your boiling water.  Take a bite and look at it.  If it still has a white dot in the center, it needs more cooking time.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vintage Pillowcases and Hankies

I do love to crochet the edge of lovely pillowcases, don't you?  I'm partial to the simply, yet elegant, shell stitch.  It really can make a rather dull cover into something special.

I often give them as gifts.  It really doesn't matter if the pillowcases match, just if they coordinate in some way via color or subject.

These are not the same, but they do share a color theme...grey, green and pink.

I usually find them in a local thrift store or tag sales around town.  These happen to be a matching set.  Lovely daisies.

What little girl wouldn't love these to snuggle with during her nap or at bedtime?  Don't you just love the clothes pins?  

They are from Monkey Business.  The Amazing Pegzini Family for $17.00.

If you have trouble finding vintage type pillowcases, and like to crochet your own edging, I have them for sale in my Etsy shop, two for $8.00, plus a FREE....

tote bag!  I found various versions of this at my Target store in the dollar bins that are located right when you walk in to the store!  Really sweet and a good size too!

I must admit, I am a hankie whore!  I have been using them for years as Kleenex type tissues rip my nose terribly.    

Isn't this crochet bowl lovely?  I found it in a lovely shop in Winterset, Iowa, called 

Delicate and versatile.  Perfect for my hankies.

I'm partial to collecting hankies in the states of the USA.

 I also had New York and New Jersey.  My sister in law is from England and prefers a hankie as well.  She and I cry easily, especially when it comes to our children!  She lived with my brother in both of those cities, so I sent them to her.  My niece and nephew told her they were much too pretty to use!  
I agree!

I also picked up this little gem in Winterset, Iowa.  Perfect for knitting notions, I think!  My stitch markers often go astray!

Have a great weekend,

Yarn tip:
When working with a light colored yarn, use a pillowcase to keep it clean and angora or mohair from shedding all over your work.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hat In The Box

Just LOOK at these cute boxes I found at a local thrift store!
I squealed with delight.  Little log boxes perfect for gift giving a hat for a boy.  They were $2.00 each and in excellent shape.

I thought of my technicolor hats right away, especially this one with the felt owl.  A little owl in the woods!   Little boy things are rather difficult to find, so when I stumble across something, I have to have it!

Perfect fit!  Must add tissue for the professional touch.

It is a paper mache box with these log like papers decoupaged on it.  Just too cute and very well done.  If you were so inclined, you could do this design right on a box with paint or markers.  I would suspect a triangle box is hard to find, but you could do the same thing on a round box.

I get many invitations to baby showers, and often times the gift is one of my baby blankets.  Sometimes, however, a smaller gift is required and this packaging makes a simple hat extra special!  No gift bag for this one!

I might whip up one of my little toy owls to add to the "log"!  Maybe do it in grey and orange to match the felt piece.

Find all my pattern stores at the top of this page.


Yarn tip:
When traveling by plane, I don't bring along a pair of scissors for fear they will be confiscated.  I keep an empty dental floss container in my knit kit to cut yarns ends instead.
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