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!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

For the Birds

Is there anyone who hasn't heard or seen those Angry Birds?  Truthfully, I had never even heard of them myself until my grandsons started going on and on about them.  My son has one of those phones that has everything including the Angry Birds game.  (I have a cell phone too that actually lets me make phone calls and occasionally take a picture of my ear!)  The boys are crazy about these birds so I guess it was just a matter of time before they asked for one on a hat.  Mickey likes the blue bird and Marty's favorite is the white one.

Mickey loves his hat and Marty, well. . . Marty hates his!  I don't know what his problem is exactly.  At first I thought maybe it was a little too long.  I wanted him to have a little growing room, but I ripped it back and made it a true beanie hoping this would help.  It didn't.  He just said he didn't like it and tossed it aside.  Oh well, at least I tried and who knows what a four year old wants!

Now my oldest, Jack, likes the Angry Birds, but his favorite bird is actually his new parakeet named "Fred".  I was keeping my fingers crossed that he wouldn't ask for a hat with a parakeet, because I had no idea how I would pull that off.  No such luck.  That's exactly what he wanted!
It actually came out fairly well and Jack just loves it.  I had some variegated sock yarn that was perfect for the wings.  I ended up using duplicate stitch for all the hats.  I really don't like hats with seams and this seemed the easiest way around that. 
Now, before you ask, I'm happy to share my charts for the Angry Birds, but these designs are licensed and so you won't be able to use them for anything except your own personal use.  You can't sell items made using the charts and you can't repost the charts.  The chart for the parakeet is different as that is totally mine and I don't care if you use it to make money, as long as you don't post the actual pattern.  All of these patterns do have some embroidery to add details and these are not included with the chart.  Still, you should be able to figure it out without any problem.

If you look closely, you can see Fred peeking at the camera from his cage!  You also can detect just the slightest grin on Jack.  As I said, he's very happy with his cap! 

Two out of three's not bad!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone is having a sweet day! ;o)  After my last post, one of my readers asked for a pattern for soakers, so I thought this would be a good time to share one of my favorite patterns.  I will confess that I don't always follow a specific pattern.  I knit a good number of soakers when little Marty was using them, so over time, I just kind of developed my own design.  It isn't different enough to claim as an original pattern, so I won't try to.  Instead, here is a link to a pattern that is almost identical to what I use.  It's called the Snapdragon Soaker and it's a free download on Ravelry.  It's a well written basic pattern that is easy to use as a template for doing your own thing!  Here's my variation on the pattern:

This particular soaker was knit with Rowan's Colourscape Chunky yarn.  My eldest son, who lives in Rhode Island, had given me a gift certificate a year ago to this charming little yarn shop called Fresh Purls in Providence.  I just happened to meet the owner and we had a nice visit.  She only had one skein of this particular colorway left and I wasn't sure if I could make it work or not, but since it was for a tiny little bum, I managed to eek it out.  What was even better was she sold it to me for half price!  Without me even asking!  LOL!  But I digress. . .

Don't you love those ruffles?  There are long color repeats so I was able to manage each ruffle in a different color.  I can't take credit for the idea of adding ruffles.  I found this project on Ravelry by berrymama using the same Snapdragon pattern.  That was so thoughtful of her to share her instructions.  Because my yarn was chunky, I just added three ruffles.  I think it would have been too much to add four.  I did add the little garter stitch heart though.  I thought it needed just a little something extra on the front.

If you are new to knitting (or using) soakers, remember that they should be knit out of 100% wool.  Some people have good luck with superwash wool, but more than likely it will have the same effect as if you had used acrylic yarn.  You really need the wool to absorb the moisture.  Also, remember that they have to be lanolized before you use them.  Here is one of the best explanations of how to lanolize that I've come across by Sheepy Time Knits.  I also highly recommend her pattern for longies.  I've used it several times and it was worth every penny!  Another excellent source for great patterns is The Knitting Siren.  I've lost count of how many Turtle Butts I've knit!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hearts for Ruthie

While I was waiting for little Ruth to arrive, I started knitting up some "girly" soakers.  I had an idea for a soaker with hearts and it came out kind of cute.

It's just a generic soaker that used 80 stitches to begin with and the hearts repeat every ten stitches.  I used some Cascade 220 wool in my stash.

However, while I was knitting it, I thought this pattern might also make a cute bib and cloth.

It's so simple that I almost feel guilty about how quickly I came up with the idea.  It hasn't been test knit, but once you get going, you almost don't need the pattern! You can look at your knitting and know what's coming next!

The bib was knit with Peaches & Creme in Shocking Pink.  Wouldn't this be cute for Valentine's Day too?

The pattern includes directions for both the bib and the cloth and has a chart.  I'm putting the pattern in a pdf file in both the updated cloth and bib files, so you can find it in either spot.  Or, you can just click here for the pdf.  I hope you have fun making this for your little sweetheart too!

At four days old, Ruth Anne now has a nickname.  My son (and her father), who is a huge Yankees fan, calls her "Babe Ruth", which of course leads to "The Babe".  He says that wasn't his intention when they picked her name, but I'm not so sure.