Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Latest Knitting Project: Swingy Cabled Tee

Jewel Neck Tee by Gayle Bunn © Westminster Fibers Yarn, 2013

A few months ago, I laid out a carefully constructed plan for my future knitting projects.  Well, of course, it's all going to heck in a hand basket.

One part of my plan was to use up my leftover Berroco Vintage yarn by knitting Andee Fagan's Standing Stone Cowl.  I really love this pattern, but I've hemmed and hawed over whether I'd ever really wear it (though as I look at the photos again, I'm thinking about it once more).

Then I found Gayle Bunn's Jewel Neck Tee (photo above).  This tee has one of the prettiest cable patterns I've ever seen.  And I think I will get a lot more wear from a tee than I would from a poncho.

So now I've set out to make some modifications to knit this tee:
  • I'm casting on for a wider bottom hem to give this top more of a swingy shape
  • Doing more decreases as I work to the chest to form a loose A-line shape.
  • Removing the ribbing that runs up the back.
  • Removing the ribbing from the sleeves.  I don't really like it.  I may knit looser drapey sleeves.
I'll post updates as I move along with knitting this cabled top.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Free Knitting Pattern: A Geometric Basket

In all my excitement about posting free afghan patterns (here, here, and here), I forgot to post my latest free knitting pattern:  My Geometric Basket.

This decorative basket is about 5 inches tall (though you could knit it to be a little taller).  The base is 7 1/2 inches in diameter.  The sides featured a textured pattern and three knit-stitch vertical stripes.  The opening at the top is about 4 inches in diameter.

I love this little basket.  You can find the full pattern on my Hubpages!

Monday, January 18, 2016

One More Free Afghan Knitting Pattern - the Last, I promise!

from knitrowan.com
I fallen down the afghan knitting pattern hole, and I can't get out!  I just keep finding beautiful (free!) afghan knitting patterns that I love!

The latest is from Rowan yarns and designed by Martin Story.  This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.  There's a knit-a-long going on and project yarn kits available on the web.

I really love the bohemian vibe of the afghan with all the different designs.  Although I've been looking at other afghan patterns to enlarge into a bedspread, I think I would knit this as a smaller afghan.

And, although I do love this pattern, I don't have any plans to knit it right now.  But I do love it and wanted to share it.

Friday, January 8, 2016

{Free Knitting Pattern}: More Afghan Blocks

from Creativebug.com, designed by Edie Eckman

A couple of days ago, I shared Norah Gaughan's Vintage Afghan, which has recently been released as a free knitting pattern (yea!).  Now I stumbled across another free pattern for blanket blocks, offered in a free course on Creativebug.com and taught by Edie Eckman.

The Edie Eckman afghan pattern seems to be offered as a free trial of Creativebug.com.  According to the comments at the bottom of the Creativebug page, you can download the whole afghan pattern by signing in and clicking on the "materials" link under Week 12. 

Some of the blocks in this pattern are similar to the Norah Gaughan pattern, but others would serve as a nice compliment to Norah's design if you wanted to add additional blocks or substitute some designs.

I'm thinking of making my blanket as a spread for the queen-sized bed in our guest room, and probably increasing it in size by adding blocks.  These blocks from Creativebug.com seem to be roughly the same gauge and might be exactly what I need to enlarge this afghan pattern.

BTW, I just love this afghan in this soft butter/wheat color, don't you?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Norah Gaughan's Vintage Blanket or Throw ~ Now a Free Pattern!

from Berroco.com
In case you didn't get the message, Berroco just sent out an email announcing that Norah Gaughan's Vintage Afghan pattern is now available for free on their website!  I love Norah's patterns, and I've been hunting around for my next knitting project.  This pattern might just be perfect!  The block designs in this blanket are so beautiful, and many feature Norah's trademark cables that I love so much.

Great timing because I've hit a bit of a knitting dry spell.  I've been working on a few new patterns (stay tuned), but also was looking for a project where I could just follow someone else's pattern and not have to think so much :)  And I've been looking for a blanket pattern to use as a bedspread in our guest room that would use some of my leftover yarn.  Just look at this blanket:

from Berroco.com
A couple of thoughts about this pattern:

1.  The pattern is easily resizeable by knitting fewer blocks and picking which block designs you choose to knit.  I like the pattern size as written to use on our guest bed, but I might opt out of some of the designs and just repeat others.

2.  The block designs can also be used to make matching pillow covers to go with this blanket.  I think the XOXO pattern that you can see in green in the upper right hand corner of the photo above would make a beautiful pillow cover all on its own.

3.  I will probably substitute a less expensive yarn (like Caron Simply Soft) to knit this.  The Caron has a bit more yardage per skein than the suggested Berroco Comfort and I can usually buy simply Soft on sale.

What a great way to start the new year - with a great new knitting project!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Another Knitted Christmas Tree Ornament Tutorial (sort of)

A while back, I felted a Fair Isle sweater to make a sweater pumpkin decoration.  I loved the pattern on this sweater and had a lot of material left.  So I couldn't wait to use the same felted sweater to make some Christmas tree decorations.

The process for felting a sweater is quite easy and the materials to make these Christmas ornaments are quite basic.  All you need is an old ( or new) wool sweater, some coordinating fabric for backing your ornament, and some embellishments.  I have all the directions on my Hubpages!

I really love this little Christmas tree ornament!  The knitted Fair Isle pattern looks great on my little tree.  Check out the full tutorial!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2015 Christmas Ornament Exchange and Knitting Patterns

Last night was my knitting group's annual Christmas ornament exchange.  This is our fourth year having an ornament exchange and the rules are pretty simple.  Everyone who wants to participate brings a handmade ornament.  The ornament does not need to be knitted or crocheted, but it must be handmade by the group member.

I didn't have any great ideas for my ornament until I came across this super cute knitted mouse fairy (free!) pattern from Alan Dart.  I knew this pattern would be perfect for the ornament exchange.  The pattern is pretty quick and easy.  The finicky part is attaching the ears, wings and legs.  The main change I made was making a snowflake wand for my mouse.  I just used an eye pin and glued a small plastic snowflake to the top.  I'm really happy with how it came out.

Once I decided on my furry fairy, I came across even more wonderful knitting patterns for Christmas ornaments.  Here are some of my other favorites (not all free):

Holiday Stars and Ball Ornaments from Redheart (free)

These colorful Balls Up! by General Hogbuffer (free)

This cute Basket of Yarn pattern from RedHeart (free)

This Pretty Pink Ewe by Susan McClaskey - this pattern has a fee, but is a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. A great way to give back during this holiday season!

And these tiny wooden animals and the sweater patterns to dress them from Susan B. Anderson - the sweater patterns are free, but the wooden animals are for sale through the Juniper Moon etsy shop as a fundraiser for Heifer International.  These guys are so cute, and such a great fundraiser.

I hope these patterns give you some great ideas for your holiday decorating and gift giving!