Sunday, November 20, 2016

It's Getting to Be That Time of Year: Free Knitting Patterns for Christmas Ornaments

It's time again for my knitting group's annual ornament exchange.  The rules are always the same:  everyone who wants to participate brings a handmade ornament to exchange.  The ornament does not need to be knit, but it does need to be made by the person bringing it.

We haven't had our exchange yet, so I can't show you the ornament that I made.  But I thought I'd share some fun FREE knitting patterns I found for some cute ornaments.

First, the Little Christmas Tree Wreath by Magdalena Roslaniec - I made the ornament above following Magdalena's pattern.  The only changes I made were to use some ribbon for the bow instead of knitting my own, and gluing on some small beads as decoration.  I really enjoyed this pattern.  It's a quick knit, great for using leftover yarn, and makes a beautiful ornament.

I love Magdalena's pattern so much that I made a smaller version as a brooch or pin.  To make this smaller wreath, I cast on 12 sts on a #4 needle.  I knit my 3 cords for the braid as i-cords, and made each one about 6 1/2 inches long (40 i-cord repeats).  The resulting wreath is just under 3 inches in diameter.  Again, I added some ribbon as a bow and some beads for decoration.  I sewed a pin back in place on the back, but I think you could also use a stick pin to attach it to your clothing.

And a few shameless plugs for my own free ornament patterns:  These Cozy Little Snowmen are knit in the round from the head up through the hat.  These guys are a quick knit and great for using scrap yarn.  Once knit, you can add whatever facial features and accessories that you wish.

And this Yarn Ball Christmas Tree Ornament is a variation on my Yarn Ball Bookmark.  You can find the directions for the tree ornament at the bottom of my free pattern for the bookmark on my Hubpages.

Hope these free patterns give you some ideas for knitting your own Christmas Tree ornaments.  I also shared some patterns for Christmas ornaments last year that you might want to check out.  Best wishes for the upcoming holiday season!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Back from a Break with the Rochambeau Cowlette

Rochambeau Cowlette by Carina Spencer

I took a long break from knitting and blogging this summer.  I just wasn't feeling like knitting and couldn't find many patterns that inspired me.  Then summer turned into fall, and fall turned into late fall, and so here we are.

But a few weeks ago, I came across the Rochambeau Cowlette pattern by Carina Spencer.  This is not a free pattern, but I had been looking at lace shawl patterns, thinking about how I rarely knit shawls but wondering whether I would really wear one if I did. 

Enter this beautiful lace cowl pattern.  I love that it's lightweight and features all the pretty detail of a lace pattern, but without all the fussing of wearing a shawl.

I knit mine in Cascade Heritage.  My gauge was off so my cowl came out shorter than the sample, but I like the shorter length on me.  The pattern suggests that you go up 2 to 3 needle sizes for your bind off.  I went up 2, but wonder if I should have gone up another size.  My cowl curls around the edges (as you can see in the photo).  Maybe one more needle size would have combatted this.

Oh well.  I still am happy with my cowl and I think I'll be wearing it a lot this fall and winter.