Monday, February 10, 2014

Free Knitting Pattern/Tutorial: Field of Flowers Recycled Tote

This project has long been on my list of things to do.  I'm so glad I finally tackled it, and I am THRILLED with the results!

I'm sure we all have those random, maybe beat up,
tote bags that are great for carrying things, but often feature logos or slogans that aren't necessarily what we want to be seen carrying around.

Using my Flirty Flower Pin as a starting step, I knitted up a full bouquet of varying size flowers from scrap yarn, added some button centers, and used them to cover over the graphic on my old tote to create a whole new bag!  Ta-da!  Love it!

I'm calling this my Field of Flowers Recycled Tote Bag.  You can get the instructions for different sized flowers and a tutorial for putting the bag together on my Hubpages!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Knitting for Men (Who Don't Like Knits)

As Valentine's Day approaches, some of us may be considering knitting something for the men in our lives.  But be wary - some men just don't like knits (my husband and father among them).

I'm not sure what their aversion is - my husband says he often gets too hot in knitted items, and I think he doesn't want the responsibility of handling and caring for a handmade item.  These are somewhat understandable reasons for not wanting handknit goods.  But most knitters *enjoy* knitting things for the people we love.  And so we persist.

So, if you are considering knitting something for your man, here are a few suggestions for some small accessories that are guy-approved.  And you still have time to make them before Valentine's Day!

First up - Scarves:

Karin's Gansey Scarf  (free pattern) by Tina Hees - I made this scarf for my dad, and...he's never worn it :(  However, I do love this design and think it's very guy-appropriate.  I think a lot of men would like (and wear) this scarf.  It has just enough design to be interesting, but can be worn in both dressy and casual settings.  You could knit it in a bright color for a sporty look, or in a neutral for a more casual style.

P.S. - I added the fringe.  I have posted a fringe tutorial on my Hubpages.

Another great men's scarf pattern is the Campus Scarf by Fiona Ellis from the book Scarf Style.  The pattern for this scarf calls for about 8 different colors of yarn to create stripes in the pattern.  I made this for my hubby using a kettle-dyed denim colored yarn and let the design create the interest.  A fun project to knit, I really like this scarf and so does my hubby.  He actually does wear it (I wish I made it about 12 inches longer though).  Highly recommended!


Hats can be a bit trickier - there are SO MANY designs.  If you are going to make your guy a hat, I would suggest a basic design knit in a dark color.  Some ideas:

Keep it simple, like a ribbed Man Hat (free pattern, not pictured) by Haven Leavitt

For something with a little design, try Berruti by Wendy Neal.  I made this hat for my husband out of the same yarn as his Campus Scarf.  He wears it *occasionally.*

Some other interesting hat patterns:

Antler Hat  (free pattern, not pictured) by Alexa Ludeman

Quest for Man (free pattern, not pictured) by Laura Nelkin

Now, on to Socks:

Honestly, I've never knit socks.  But my advice is similar to that for hats - choose a simple design and make them in a solid neutral color.  Here are some patterns I find interesting and designed with men in mind:

Simple Skyp Socks (free pattern, not pictured)) by Adrienne Ku - basic, but with a little pattern to it.

Escalator Socks (free pattern, not pictured) by Sara Armoroso - such an interesting design!

Java Socks (free pattern from by Cailyn Meyer (not pictured)  Gosh, I do love these!  *If* I were to knit my husband some socks, I think these might be the ones!

And for something a little fancier, Boyfriend Socks (free pattern, not pictured) by Alice Bell.  I love the use of cables, but my husband would never wear them.  Boo :(

Well, I hope I've given you some ideas and fair warning :)  Happy Knitting!