Updated patterns!

I'm in the process of updating my old patterns, particularly the bibs, to include charts. I'm rewriting some of the directions to make the patterns even easier and including alternative methods for beginning the bibs and for making the ties. Look for these patterns in the sidebar to see which ones have been added. It's a slow process, but eventually, they'll all be there!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Springtime Bonnets

At last, the weather is actually starting to feel like Spring.  I haven't seen any buds on the trees, but the huge pile of snow in my backyard is almost gone.  At one point, it was almost six feet high! With the change of seasons, I turn my attention to knitting some springtime hats for our local hospital.  I know I've posted pictures before of some of them, but I thought I'd share my latest crop with you.
I thought these would be perfect for the little boys, but they'd also work for a girl.  Since I never know how many of each gender are arriving in a month, I try to make hats that would be suitable for both sexes.
I had a hard time finding a pattern with small, yet easy, bunny ears, so I came up with my own.  I don't like trying to sew a bunch of fiddly things.  This hat is really simple and easy.  My kind of project and perfect for when I'm trying to make a bunch.  Here it is in a blue version:
You may have seen another version that I posted on Ravelry.  This time I used another hat pattern and combined it with mine.
See how the rows look like little bunnies?  I love them.  The pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry and is called Marching Bunnies . It calls for chunky yarn, but you can adapt the stitch pattern fairly easily.  Of course, I think the hat would look cute just knit in a plain color too.

I also knit the chick hat in blue.
The only fiddly thing on this is the beak and it isn't bad.  Only a couple of stitches!

I've actually written up the patterns for both the chick and bunny hats.  I call the bunny hat "Hop, Hop" because that's what my little granddaughter calls bunnies whenever she sees one.  The bird is called "Cheeping Chick" after my youngest grandson.  He loves baby chicks and even has a blog by that name where he posts pictures and funny comments about chicks.

The bunny hat has the chart for the knitted bunny faces, but not the pattern for the marching bunnies.  As I said before, that was taken from another pattern.  If you want to make that version, then you'll have to buy her pattern.  The pdf for the bunny is here. The pdf for the baby chick is here.  I've also posted them in the sidebar under Miscellaneous patterns.

I almost forgot to tell you that the yarn I used is Plymouth's Jeannee Worsted.  This is a great cotton/acrylic yarn.  It can be machine washed and dried and looks great.  All of the hats I've posted here have been prewashed.  The yarn gets slightly softer and there's barely any shrinkage.  I love the cotton hats for the babies.  The hats are sized for a newborn.  The chick hat can easily be made larger by adding stitches in increments of eight, but the bunny hat would require a little more calculating if you're using the chart.  If you're knitting a plain hat, then you can also upsize it like the chick.

You can knit them for your own personal use or for charity, but not commercial purposes.  I hope you like them. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

No Fooling!

Today just happens to be the anniversary of my blog. I sure can pick the dates, can't I?  April Fool's Day. I started it six years ago on a whim and at the gentle prodding of my good pal, Kathy.  She had a blog that I just loved and I remember her telling me how much fun it would be to start one and how I could post my patterns.  I have to admit that I was more than a little skeptical.  Would anyone want to read it?  Would anyone like the patterns?  Now, here I am six years later. My statcounter shows that since I've started the blog, I've had 1,796,114 visits.  (that's not a typo, one million seven hundred thousand!!)  Not only that, but I actually have some followers!  547 of you.  I still have trouble wrapping my head around that especially since I don't feel that I'm very good at blogging.  My posts are far and few between.  I suspect that many of you are just here for the free patterns, since I hardly ever hear from anyone.  Every time I post a new pattern, I'm always anxious to hear how you like it, but sadly (for me), I'm left wondering without much feedback.  That is, of course, until I start seeing the projects popping up on Ravelry.  So I know that some of you do like them and that makes me happy! As I've said, I just do them for fun and I'm happy to share.

So, speaking of sharing, I've decided that in honor of my anniversary, I'm going to post the patterns that were originally published in the 2011 Dishcloth Calendar.  The rights were returned to me quite awhile ago and I've been debating what to do with them.  I could offer them for sale (Gasp!) but I've decided to just post them.  I've dusted them off and updated them a little and I've included a chart which the original publication didn't have.

First up is Belle, one of my favorites:

The pdf files are in the sidebar for all the patterns, or you can click here for the Belle bib and here for the Belle cloth.

Then there's Eleanor: 

The pdf for the bib is here or click here for the cloth.

Finally, here's Pete:

The pdf for the bib is here and you can click here for the cloth.

I can't believe that I designed all of these four years ago!  My friend, Denise, was such a huge help to me as she did most of the test knitting.  Here's one of her pictures:
Don't you just love that purple cow?

I hope you enjoy the patterns and thank you for sticking with me!  No fooling!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Trouble with Gradients

Have you tried any of those new gradient yarns yet?  I had been wanting to, but I was waiting for the perfect project.  I was a little put off by the price of most of them, but I decided to knit my daughter-in-law, Emily, a long cowl for Christmas.  If anyone deserves a special gift, I believe that she does.  I went to the New England Fiber Festival last November and the one item that I didn't want to go home without was a skein of gradient yarn.  I knew that the shop Wandering Wool was going to be there and I already had my eye on her colorway called "Great Barrier Reef".
Emily's favorite color is that grassy, lime green.  You'll note that the yarn is shown wound two different ways. I had decided to use the blue to begin the cowl and end with the green so it would be outside and more visible.  I chose the Biscuit Cowl pattern.  It was simple with just a slight bit of lace.  I thought it wouldn't take me too long and I'd be able to finish it in plenty of time.
 I used stitch markers every few repeats, so if I messed up the pattern, I'd be able to catch it quickly.  Things were going along nicely, but I soon realized that I was going to be finished with the cowl long before I got to the lime green!!  That's the whole reason I chose the yarn!  This left me with a dilemma.  I knew there was no way to get another one knit in time for Christmas.  In the end, I decided that the only thing I could do was to rip it out and start over from the other end.
After waiting so long to use the yarn and knowing how expensive it was, I knew I'd never be happy with it as it was. I'm glad I started over, because I was able to use every bit of the green.
I didn't even miss the blue at the end this time!
So the lesson here is to PLAN AHEAD! Don't repeat my mistake!

It did end up being a Happy New Year's gift rather than Christmas, but I knew that Emily would understand. Besides, I didn't even tell her that she had another gift coming!  I do plan for some things and I wasn't going to put pressure on myself, if I decided that I just couldn't knit one more row of the pattern!

My husband bought me another skein of gradient yarn for Christmas in shades of blue.  You can bet I'll study it a long time before I decide to start with either pale blue or royal!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Take a Gander

I certainly have taken my sweet time posting this pattern!  I'm not sure exactly why it's taken me so long, but I finally made myself just sit down and do it!!  This is another of the "new" squares that I designed for Ruthie's Farm blanket .  I think the only two I haven't posted yet are the cat and the dog.  In any event, I was happy to knit something out of a bright color.  What a long, miserable, snowy winter we've been having here in New England.

The bib is knitted out of Peaches & Creme in Peacock.
For the cloth, I used the same yarn only in Gold.
The pdf files are listed in the sidebar, as usual, or you can click here for the bib and here for the cloth.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Feed the Birds

Here's a twist.  Usually, I'm the one asking/begging friends to test knit for me, but my pal, Tracy, asked me to test knit this beautiful cowl pattern for her!  Just between you and me, I was a little reluctant at first since it seemed like it would be rather time consuming and I have lots of little hands that are begging for mittens, but I agreed anyway.  After all, what are friends for?

I'm so glad that I agreed to do it, as it turned out not to be a lengthy knit at all.  In fact, it moved right along and I was surprised at how easy it was to memorize the pattern.  The travelling cables are worked over two stitches so I didn't even bother with a cable needle! Tracy knit the long version in the pretty green yarn and I knit the short version in a bright red one.
The pattern calls for a DK weight, but I used Malabrigo Worsted in Ravelry Red.  I was able to get the same gauge with the thicker yarn and it worked out just fine.  It's warm and cozy.  In hindsight, I wish I had added one more pattern repeat, but I do love it just the same.  She also has a tall version that she knit in this dusty rose:
And here's one more picture of the long version, just to give you an idea of the versatility:
If you'd like to knit one for yourself, or for a friend, Tracy has a special promotion until the end of January on Ravelry.  She's offering $2.00 off the pattern with the coupon code ftb.  (This winter, I don't even want to go outside with a cowl! Brrrrrrr. . .)  I know if you decide to knit one, you won't be disappointed!  Tell Tracy I sent you!   ;o)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Catching Up!

Remember when I told you that I was doing a lot of knitting for Christmas this year?  Well, I thought I'd just do one big picture post to catch up on what I managed to get done.  This may be the reason that I didn't do much posting!  Everything had to be kept quiet, especially since I discovered that some of my family actually does look at my blog!

I knit quite a few pairs of fingerless gloves:
These were for my 13 year old niece, Eliza.  It's a free pattern on Ravelry called Align.  I found them to be slightly too small for my large hands, so if I were making them for me, I'd add some stitches.  They do stretch, but not much!  (By the way, Eliza has worn these every day since she opened them and has managed to already lose one.  Today, I mailed her a second pair!)

I also knit her another pair from a cute little kit I bought at the New England Fiber Festival last November.
The mitts are called Fleckle Mitts and were lots of fun to knit.  You only use one color at a time and they end up double stranded so they're quite warm.  I hope Eliza doesn't lose one of these, because I don't have any more yarn!  These would be good for using up bits of leftover sock yarn, as they don't take much.  It's the first time I've used 100 Ravens yarn and I really liked working with it.

I've been saving the yarn for this next pair for quite awhile trying to decide on the perfect pattern for my daughter-in-law, Emily.  She has long arms and always seems to have a gap between the end of her coat and her gloves.  She also has nice slender arms, unlike mine!  Still, you get the idea!  The yarn is Marigoldjen's merino and nylon in the colorway Anole.
The pattern is Herbaceous Mitts and I just loved knitting them.  Generally, I don't enjoy knitting lace projects, but these were an exception.  I found the pattern easy to follow and memorize. In fact, I like them so much, that I knit a second pair for my sister, Evelyn.
I used Koigu for her pair and I didn't make them as long.  I think a pair of socks knit out of this pattern would be terrific!

I also knit some hats for the guys.  These were all my own patterns.  Matt's is knit out of Malabrigo Arroyo.
He can wear it with the brim doubled or as a slouch.  His office is in the basement of his house, so I made it lighter so he could wear it if it got cold inside!

Michael didn't want anything fancy.  He just wanted warm!  I used Malabrigo for both of his.  The blue is Buscando Azul.
And the green is Vaa.
My "across the street" neighbors had a beautiful, baby girl in December too.  I knit Abby a Puerperium Cardigan.  I admit that I did get a head start on this set and was waiting to see what buttons needed to be sewn on.  John Deere tractors or flowers.  I was so sure it was going to be a boy, but Abby surprised us all.
Jen, of the same Marigoldjen yarns, dyed this especially for me.  I wanted a true, kelly green and I love the way it came out.  It's dk in merino, cashmere and nylon.  
The booties are my favorite free pattern. Christines-stay-on-baby-booties only this time, instead of doing rings of knits and purls, I did a rib cuff that can be pulled up to keep those little legs warm.  The hat is my own simple beanie pattern.

If all this wasn't enough, my other sister, Jeanne, asked if I would knit her a shawl to wear to her husband's Christmas party.  (Well, technically, I don't think she actually asked, it was more that I offered!)  She loves blue so I used this wool and bamboo yarn from Keepinknitreal on Etsy in the colorway "You're All I Need to Get By".
The pattern is Ripples.  I saw this shawl knitted at the Fiber Festival and couldn't get over how pretty is was. When I started knitting it, I thought I have to be out of my mind, trying to get it done with everything else I had to do, but it went pretty fast.  It's very easy to memorize and I could even watch television and keep my place!  Eventually, I want to knit one for myself.

Are you tired of reading this post yet?  I only have a couple of others left!  I couldn't forget the grand kids, except in this case, Jack was the only one who received an actual present.  I knit him some Harry Potter socks.
They were another free pattern on Ravelry called Go Gryffindor.  The griffins are duplicate stitched and I made a mistake on the first sock so when I got to the second one, I made the same mistake so they'd match. There are free patterns for the other three houses and I was afraid that Jack would ask for all of them, but he said he was just happy with these.  What a great kid!

I also knit a couple of pairs of mitts for Ruthie.  I did a little experimenting to see which thumb I liked better, the one with the gusset or the other.  The verdict is still out, but they're so small, neither take much time to knit.
Oh wait, I almost forgot!  I also knit some more hats for our hospital!  These are the red ones: 
and these are the green!
I wrote my own pattern as I just wanted little stocking caps.

(I haven't forgotten that a couple of you asked me for the patterns for the football hat and the berry hat.  I'll get to those soon.  I have to reknit both of them so I can take pictures along the way!)

So that's what I've been up to last month (including the Merry Christmoose pattern that I posted!) and I do have two other Christmas gifts that I haven't given to the recipient yet.  Those didn't get finished in time.  Gee, I wonder why not?!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dog Gone Cute!

I was checking out some of the projects that knitters have done using my patterns the other day and I came across this adorable puppy dog blanket:
It was made by Momika21 on Ravelry and here's a link to her project page.  Monica gave me permission to share the blanket with all of you as I thought it was such a clever idea.  Wouldn't this be a great baby gift paired with a dog themed book?  Goodness knows there are enough out there to choose from!  Obviously, the puppy dog pattern is mine, but here's a link to the free dog bone pattern, in case any of you would like it: Doggone Washcloth. Thank you Monika for sharing such a sweet project!

Have a happy and safe New Year!