Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Autumns Bounty Blanket Pattern

 I have a new pattern to show you today.....Autumns Bounty Blanket.  The colors are brilliant and rich, just like the fall leaves here in the midwest USA this time of year.  I adore the entrelac stitch, the results are dazzling.  Interlocking rectangles which resembles a basket weave pattern.  All you are really doing is knitting and purling on only 10 stitches at a time.

 If you use gradient yarn, there is no need to change colors.  It's not a quick knit, but very satisfying, indeed.  I knit a simple, garter stitch, slightly ruffled border in a complimentary color, so the entire project is knitted.  

 I contemplated doing a crocheted edge, in the same gradient yarn, but felt it would be too busy and compete with the body of the blanket too much.  Also, I am mindful that not every knitter also crochets.    However, if you do, any crocheted border would look stunning in the solid color.  Get out those crocheted border books or use your fav edging.

Here's the way the pattern listing reads on Etsy:
The color changing yarn is the brilliance in this basket weave look stitch pattern. No need to change colors as you go. The effect is stunning! 

I have included video links for the entrelac stitch so you can see how to knit this beautiful stitch. It's not a quick knit, but very satisfying with gradient yarn.

I have included the brand names, colors and amounts of yarn needed for the blanket.

Easily make it larger or smaller to fit your needs. 

Skill level: intermediate. Some experience, more intricate stitches, shaping and finishing. I'm always available to help you along the way!

Measurements: 35” W x 49” L (89cm W x 124cm)

I wouldn't recommend this is for the beginner, however, I don't like to discourage either.  I have included a video link in the pattern, to show you how to knit this stitch.  Watching it done is extremely helpful.  If you have knit a scarf in entrelac, you can certainly make this blanket.

Crafsty has a class....Entrelac Knitting with Gwen Bortner, if you are interested in that.  

So, there you have it!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great hump day!

You can find all my pattern shops at the top of this page in the header, or

Click here to find the pattern on Etsy

Yarn tip:
When working a large entrelac project, consider knitting backwards to avoid turning your work!  Here is a helpful link backwards-or-mirror-knitting/  .

Side note:  11-14-14.  I used Mary Maxim Prism yarn for this blanket and it happens to be on sale, this weekend only, for $4.99.  Regular price is $6.99!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cooking With Sheila In The 60's

It's fall here in the midwest.  Crisp air, falling leaves, putting away the lawn mower and getting out the snow blower.  For me, that means a busy time with my pattern shops (listed at the top of this page in the header) and custom orders for the holidays.  It also means simple dinners.  Soups, stews, crusty homemade bread and hot sandwiches.   

I have some little foodie tid-bits from the 1960's I thought some of you might find interesting:

1962 -  Andy Warhol exhibits his Campbell Soup Can painting

1963 - Julia Child's The French Chef debuts.

1965 - Cool Whip and Tang hit the supermarket

1965 - Pringles too

Deviled eggs appear at dinner parties as fancy finger foods, which I think is hysterical!  Jackie Kennedy puts a French chef in the White House and in 1964, pop top soda cans allow us to drink colas without a can opener.  The toaster was the most popular appliance and do you remember The Galloping Gourmet?

It's the time of year I stock up on canned items for my pantry.  Canned beans (all sorts of white, black, red, chick peas and black eyed peas).  The beans are great for minestrone soup using leftover meat and veggies.  I make my own hummus using a can of chick peas or white beans, olive oil, lots of minced garlic, some lemon juice, salt and pepper, a dash of hot sauce and a teaspoon of peanut butter (instead of the traditional tahini). 

Pick up some canned potatoes for sautéing in a pan with Cavender's seasoning and olive oil and serving with eggs.  Much quicker than using raw potatoes.  

Canned green beans sautéed with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper and minced garlic.  Have Campbell soups of all kinds too.  I use them in casseroles and as a base for soups.  I'm a firm believer in canned items as long as you know how to use them.  I also stock up on frozen veggies of all kinds.  Peas, mixed vegetables, hash browns, breakfast sausage and so on.  

Jarred sauces are a fav too!  Alfredo sauce to use with cooked pasta, some leftover chicken, a handful of peas and maybe some cherry tomatoes.   

As I write this, I have 3 chicken thighs simmering in a pot with water, onion scraps, two celery stalks, one carrot, minced garlic and some herbs.  It will be the base for chicken noodle soup with dry egg noodles and some frozen mixed veggies.   After I strain the stock, debone the chicken and cut it up into pieces, I put just the chicken and stock back in the same pot.  I put the heat back on to simmer, add a small handful of the dry egg noodles to cook until just done.  I plop in a pat of butter, a teaspoon of dried parsley and some half and half.  Served with crusty bread or rolls, it's a complete meal.

Read about the crusty bread on this post.

If you'd like to try Greek Chicken, read the post here.

Happy cooking!


Food tip:
I buy two cans at a time.  That way, when I use one, I have another ready to go.  When I use the first can, I add it to the grocery list to pick up just one can the next time I go to the store.

Sunday, November 2, 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.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Holiday Knitting & Crocheting Toys

This week, holiday knitting and crocheting is all about toys! 


If you have a baby on your list, there is plenty of time to make a hand made, lovable, squishy toy.  Not just for babies either!  Toddlers to your bestie would love one of these.  Knit this Precious Pachyderm in a weekend.  Big floppy ears and foot pads make it extra special with the use of fabric.  The trunk, head and body are worked up as one piece.  The ears, legs and tail are knit separately and sewn on at the end.

A good size too....15" from the tip of the trunk to tail and 10" from top to bottom.

You can find the pattern in my Etsy, Craftsy, Ravelry or Annie's shops.

Next is a lovely pattern from Susan B Anderson.  I have posted about this before as I have made many of her toys.  If you look closely, you can see my hand holding up the head.  That will give you an idea of the size.  Surprisingly simple to knit up.  You can find this pattern in Susan's book, Itty Bitty Toys.  There also is a class on Craftsy available here.

Emily over on Etsy at yarnmiracle designed this M Is For Monkey pattern.  I just LOVE her designs and patterns.  Isn't he cute?  Just look at that little belly button!  All her patterns are so adorable and super fun to knit.

This one is from Crochet Today May/June 2009 issue.  You can read a prior post here.  I've done this in neutral, no flower or dress and it's still really cute, tied with a ribbon around the neck.  I'm sorry I don't have any pictures for you....really must take some the next time.  If you don't have safety eyes, you can just use some black yarn and two french knots.  A little belly button is cute too!  It's a good size at about 10" high.

There you have it!  What are you knitting or crocheting this holiday season?

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


Yarn tip:
When knitting or crocheting toys for babies, think safety first.  It's best to use fiberfil only and not pellets.  Embroidered features instead of buttons.  No tags, labels or anything that might pose a choking hazard.  I often embroider my initials and year instead of using my business label.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Holiday Knitting & Crocheting Part 4

Holiday knitting and crocheting sweaters might not be the quickest, but they are so worth the time and effort.  This ruby beauty is from Amy Miller Lovely and sophisticated.  It is worked up flat using fingering weight yarn.  I love the ribbed detail and swing design at the bottom.  The pattern is available on Ravelry.

This Autumnal Cardigan pattern by Hannah Fettig on Ravelry was originally published in Knitscene and is also available in French.  I love the color of this Berroco sport weight yarn.  The rolled collar design is one of my favorites.  The perfect sweater to wear curled up in your favorite chair with a cup of tea!

This Crochet Motif Wrap, on Craftsy, is from Vogue Knitting.  Beautifully designed by Kathy Merrick using crocheted motifs and joined together as you go.  Perfect on any body shape and a great use of your yarn scraps.  

This coat is from Crochet Today.  I love the front detail, large collar and big buttons!  If you keep all your issues as I do, find the pattern in the Nov/Dec 2007 issue.  I believe the magazine is not in print any longer, but you might be able to purchase back issues online.

If you are in need of baby sweaters, this sweet pattern is from Kelly Brooker on Ravelry.  Newborn Vertebrae uses fingering weight yarn and the pattern is free and uses only 200 yards!  Yippee!  It's a frontless cardi, so more like a shrug with a long back and oh so cute.  I love the frontless idea as it keeps spit-up off the sweater.

This last one is my own design especially for the beginner.  It is knit flat, in garter stitch, in pieces and seamed up at the end.  No button holes as the buttons are just pushed through to the front.  Choosing buttons is my favorite part of this project.  Take the sweater with you when you pick them out.  Selecting the right button is key for pushing through and the button detail makes all the difference on this simple sweater.

That's is for Holiday Knitting and Crocheting Part 4.  Toys are up next time!  

Have a great week,

Find all my patterns in my

Crafty shop

or go to the top of this page and find them in the header.

Yarn tip:
Get yourself some labels or buttons for projects, especially if you are gifting an item.  

I use custom buttons from RemberWynn on Etsy

and labels from Tags and Labels on Etsy
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