Thursday, July 30, 2015

Free Knitting Patterns: All in One Place


I was an industrious little blogger the other day and put links to all my free knitting patterns in one location on my Hubpages.  Here you will find links to free patterns for accessories, household items, knitted jewelry, and baby items (including my Color Field Baby Blanket).

I'll be adding more patterns as I have them.  Please check out this free pattern page, pin it, and share it with your friends!


Monday, July 27, 2015

{Favorites}: Top Sweater Knitting Patterns for Fall

River Pullover by Cecily Glowik MacDonald

loveknitting just added a fun post to their blog on the Top 5 Sweater Knitting Patterns for Fall!  It's 88 degrees here today, so on the one hand, I kinda enjoy the thought of Fall and cooler temperatures.  However, just looking at long sleeves and thick knits makes me sweat right now.  Ugh.

All that aside, I really do love the patterns they've chosen.  I'm pretty thorough in checking out patterns as they're added to Ravelry everyday.  I must admit, however, some of these skipped my radar and I'm glad to catch them again.  I'm adding them all to my knitting queue now :)

Two of my top favorites:  The River Pullover (above) by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Peace and Love Sweater (below) by Anna Ravenscroft.  Do you have any favorites?

Peace and Love Sweater by Anna Ravenscroft

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sweater Project Update 1: Knitting the Vale Cardigan by Norah Gaughan


So the progress on my Vale Cardigan has been extremely s-l-o-o-o-w.  But that's okay.  I've completed the back and one front side so far.  While knitting this cardigan, I remembered why I try to avoid patterns that have a lot of moss stitch - it's a easy stitch pattern, but requires moving the yarn back and forth with every stitch, which means the project moves rather slowly for me.  But I'm not a fast knitter anyway. 


But I really love the look of this sweater and trust that this slow moving pattern will be worth it in the end :)  So here's what I've learned/realized so far:

from knitty.com

 1.  Just a head's up if you plan to knit this sweater - If you make one of the smaller sizes, the pattern includes only 3 columns of the cabling design, as opposed to the 4 columns shown in the pattern photo on Knitty.com.  This is completely understandable in order to change the size of the sweater, but I am a little disappointed to have less design on the back on my size small sweater (see my photos above).

2.  The gauge listed in the pattern is for MOSS Stitch, not stockinette stitch.  You'll want to avoid making the stupid mistake I did.

from knitty.com

3.  Each front side of this cardigan is almost as wide as the back section of this cardigan.  This is what creates the swing shape of this sweater, but is also going to create two very wide, loose front pieces.  I had thought about adding a few buttons to be able to close this cardigan if I wanted, but now I'm not sure. If I add buttons, I think it's going to look really weird when buttoned, but I'm still thinking about it.

4.  There's a few minor mistakes I've found in the pattern so far:

When starting the cable charts for both the back and front pieces, you need to use Row 1 of the charts TWICE as your set up row (once as the right side, then once as the wrong side).  This will make sense when you knit the pattern.  By using Row 1 twice, it sets you up to do the rest of the charts with the even rows being the right side of your work.

Then I think there's a mistake on the directions for the decreases on the side seams of the two front pieces.  The directions say you should start the decreases on Row 20 for the back portion.  But the directions for each front piece say you should start the decrease FOR THE SIDE SEAMS on Row 2.  I chose to ignore this and did my side decreases on the same rows as my back decreases so they match up.

5.  I've also lengthened this cardigan a bit.  I've added about 1 1/2 inches to the length by starting my underarm shaping at 13 inches instead of at 11 1/2 inches.  I hope this turns out to be a good decision and that I don't run out of yarn because of it.

I'll post more updates as I start the sleeves.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Knitty.com ~ That Endless Free Wealth of Knitting Goodness


knitty.com

I try to check out Knitty.com every time a new quarterly issue is posted.  I think the folks there do an excellent job of putting out a great knitting resource full of wonderful free articles, information, and patterns.  But I must admit that most of the time I just give it a quick glance. 

Lately however, searching by way of Ravelry, I've happened upon some marvelous Knitty patterns and have had the chance to revisit some old favorites.  Now my current and upcoming knitting queue is loaded with patterns from Knitty.  Here are some that I've knitted recently or have waiting in my queue:


My version of the Blossoms by the Brook shawl by Ilga Leja.  I've already posted about this project.  I really love it and I am looking forward to wearing it A LOT when the weather is cooler again.

Vale by Norah Gaughan

One of my current knitting projects, Vale by Norah Gaughan.  I love the look of this pattern, and can't believe it's available for FREE on Knitty.com.  I've completed the back section and I am almost done with one side of this cardigan.  Will post an update when I have the side complete.

Fracetured Light Mitts by Kirsten Kapur

Fractured Light Mitts by Kirsten Kapur (also includes a pattern for a matching hat):  I have this pattern in my queue.  I was going to knit these mitts with some stash yarn, but I like the pattern so much that I think I will buy something special to knit them with, then find the perfect buttons to go on them!  You know how much I love vintage buttons :)

Hidden Gusset Mitts by Mone Dräger

The Hidden Gusset Mitts by Mone Dräger:  My friends have made these mitts, and the pattern is just beautiful.  I rarely knit with light fingering weight yarn, but I might just to make these sweet mitts.


Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery

And, of course, the Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery.  I've posted about this beauty quite recently.  I still love this pattern. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lace Scarf Patterns: It's Like Déjà vu All Over Again

I know I must have written about searching for lace scarf patterns before.  It seems that every summer I'm looking for a lightweight lace pattern to make a pretty accessory to add to my wardrobe.


Well, this year is like all the others.  I bought this Caron Simply Soft Light (sport weight) in this pretty peacock color to make a scarf to go with my fall jacket.  My new fall jacket is a quilted jacket in olive that I bought on sale for $20.  And I love it.  I wore it all the time last year.  But now I need a scarf to wear with it :)

I think a lightweight scarf will be the perfect solution, and lace scarves are great to knit in summer months - easy to transport and not too hot to handle.  Ravelry is, of course, full of wonderful pattern options.  Here are my top contenders, in no particular order (they're all free patterns):

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/white-diamonds-lace-scarf
First up, the White Diamonds Lace Scarf by Rachel Leverton:  I love the geometric design on this scarf and how the ends have a different structure than the body of the scarf.  I think this scarf could easily be dressed up, or worn more casually.  I'm seriously thinking about this pattern. 

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bear-claw-scarfette
Next, the Bear Claw Scarflette by Olga Buray-Kefelian:  another beautiful lace design, but might be more dressy than what I'm looking for.  I still love this pattern and might knit it another time, in a different, softer color.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rivulet
Then there's Rivulet by Heather Asbeck:  I just found this pattern the other day and I really love it.  It might be just what I'm looking for :)

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lace-ribbon-scarf
And last but not least, Lace Ribbon Scarf, an old favorite, by Veronik Avery:  I knit this scarf pattern a number of years ago as one of my first lace projects.  I loved how it came out, but I donated it to the Red Scarf Project, along with some other scarves.  I've always loved this pattern, and it might be time to make another one for myself :)  I think it would look great with some long fringe on the ends.

So, those are my choices for now, but I haven't made a decision yet.  Any thoughts?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

{Knitting Book Review} Colorwork Knitting by Sarah E. White

Colorwork Knitting by Sarah E. White

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to review Sarah E. White's latest book "Colorwork Knitting".  If you read this blog, you know I'm a big fan of color and colorwork in knitting, and so I was excited to see Sarah's new book.

Sarah E. White is the author of three knitting books:  "Picture Yourself Felting Your Knitting", "Quick and Easy Baby Knits," and her latest "Colorwork Knitting."  In addition, Sarah is the knitting editor at About.com and CraftGossip.com, both great sites for knitting news and information.

Sarah's latest book is a great source for explanation, instructions, and knitting patterns for a full array of colorwork.  The book includes 25 beautiful patterns that use a wide variety of color knitting techniques.  Colorwork Knitting is broken down into 5 chapters or sections, each covering a different method of knitting in color.  Sarah begins with the easiest: knitting with self-striping yarns, then moves on to more complex techniques like making your own stripes, slip-stitch knitting ( a favorite of mine), stranded knitting, and intarsia knitting.

Slip-Stitch Tweed Top by Sarah E. White
The patterns in this book include designs for sweaters, hats, scarves and cowls, fingerless mitts and mittens, and socks.  Many of these designs would be perfect for a beginner knitter just starting out with colorwork, but would also be great for more experienced knitters.  One of my favorite patterns is Sarah's Slip-Stitch Tweed Top.  I immediately put this in my queue when I saw it on Ravelry.  I love the vintage look of this top (reminds me of something that might be worn in "Call the Midwife") and so easy to change up with different color choices.  I also love the patterns for "Wear Your Heart on Your Socks" and the "Argyle Style Hat."   

One of my favorite things is the pictorial techniques section at the end of this book.  Here, Sarah includes instructions and photos of all the techniques covered in Colorwork Knitting.  These photos are an excellent guide for any knitter.  Often I look at the illustrations or photos that are supposed to help with a certain technique and I can't make heads or tails out of what they're trying to show me.  Sarah's photos are clear and guide you step by step through each process.  I wish I had these photos years ago when I started knitting :)

I can't wait to cast on for some of Sarah's color patterns.  You can find Colorwork Knitting on Amazon.com.  To see the patterns included in Colorwork Knitting, visit Sarah E. White's Ravelry page.  I hope you check it out!

* The opinions shared on this blog are my own and I received no compensation for posting them.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Knitting: Falling out of love, and back in again (Vale Cardigan by Norah Gaughan)

Well, as these things sometimes happen, I've fallen out of love a bit with my striped sweater project.  I'm just not feeling it right now.  I'll probably go back to it, or frog it and make something even better :)

But for now, I've moved on to something I really love:  The Vale Cardigan by Norah Gaughan from Knitty.com.  (Be sure to check Ravelry for some changes to the yarn amounts for this pattern.)

Vale Cardigan by Norah Gaughan from Knitty.com

Quite possibly the most beautiful sweater design there ever was - just gorgeous.  And the best part?  Because this sweater is a shorter length, I don't have to start out with one size for my hips and decrease down to a smaller size for my shoulders!  This rarely happens - Hurray!

I'm so excited about this project, and I'm still knitting it as part of Very Shannon's KAL.  I'm using Berroco Vintage in dungaree for my sweater.  I think it will be a nice neutral color that I'll e able to wear a lot and with everything.

Berroco Vintage in Dungaree

Now I know I said I wouldn't need to do any modifications to the pattern, but I am thinking about making two changes:


1.  I'm thinking of making the sleeves full length by adding an additional cable repeat.  I think long sleeves will be more practical on this worsted weight cardigan.

2.  I'm also considering adding a row of two or three buttons with buttonholes to the upper edge of the lapels of this sweater.  I think it would be a nice design element, and you know I like buttons :)  I also think I'd like the ability to button the top of this sweater in some situations.

I won't get this sweater done in time for the end of the KAL (which ends in a couple of days).  I'm going to take my time with this project and make the right modifications to create a sweater I'll really love.  Stay tuned for updates along the way!