My Free Patterns

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A hat for me, ninja mask for her

I've waited long, I've knitted often. Finally, a hat I like!
I've also learned, I don't read instructions/ingredients/lists very well.  Could be I am always just too impatient.  Never mind, here is the hat!

I used the JC Slouch pattern again, even though I'm not a huge slouch fan.  See how I live on the edge! For the yarn I used a ball of Sirdar Peru I bought on Ebay (yes, I have a problem).  I originally thought (here is where the lack of reading skills comes into play) it was pure alpaca, but alas it is not.  It is only 10%!!  The rest is 50% wool and 40% acrylic.  Oh well, it is still lovely stuff, and warm.  I didn't have enough to do the whole hat one colour, so I used some 100% un-dyed wool I had to give it some stripes.  I love how it turned out.

In the last picture you can see one of our new little ladies.  About a month ago we bought some Hy-Line chickens and they are so much fun.  They are the friendliest chickens I've ever been around.  They even like to peek in the windows:

Additionally, I've finished my second ninja mask, for my daughter.  They had a great time posing in the garden after school today.  The yarn is the same as the first one, I just switched the arrangement around so they could tell them apart. 

Check out these blog hops, some people are crazy creative, I live in envy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A hat swap WIP

Today I have a hat on my needles, for a swap I am taking part in on Ravelry.  I think it is great to do swaps, as it encourages me to try new patterns and new wool.  I am making the Diamond beret by Petra Johnson.  It has been a really fun knit so far.  I ordered the wool from The Wool Bothy on Ebay, and it is 50% wool, 50% mohair.  As my swap partner is in the USA, I wanted to send something truly "made in Britain."  This fits the bill nicely.  Plus, I've never knit with mohair before, wow is it silky!

I wasn't sure how much I would need so I bought two hanks, and it looks like I will need part of the second to finish off the hat.  I'm thinking there might be enough left over to make myself a little something.............

It looks a bit like there is a big gaping hole in this picture, but rest assured all is as it should be.

As for reading, I just finished Pope Joan.  It was a good read, but tended to drag just a bit for my tastes.  I have moved on to Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen.  I'm not far enough in yet to tell if I like it or not, so I'll refrain until I've read more.

Check out other great crafter's WIP's:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Decoration

The other night while surfing the net--I admit I have a problem--I was browsing patterns over at Natural Suburbia.  If you've never been to the site, get yourself there now, it is amazing.  I find Linda very inspirational, and she is so generous listing free patterns.  Fully in Halloween mode, I knew my girls would LOVE the bats, so I whipped them up this morning.  Let me just say, they are fast.  Three bats in about an hour, including the time I took for a snack.  Knitting is hungry work you know.  Then out to the garden for a suitable stick, and away we went. 


I think it is adorable, and best of!  Everything was already in my crafting supplies or out in the garden.  Of course, keeping the dog pictured above away from the stick was no easy task.  Luckily she can't reach where I've hung it up!

Link Parties:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Love at first stitch

Do you ever love a project just as soon as you cast it on?  Normally I fret, I frown, I wonder if it will fit.  This time.............well yes, I did all that (it looked so small), but I also loved it.  I LOVE this pattern.  I love the yarn I used.  I love everything about it, and I am proud of it!

These fingerless mitts were made for a swap.  They are the second attempt I've made this week.  The first pattern I used I got all the way to the end of the thumb before realizing I just didn't like it.  Frogged.  Back onto Ravelry to pick something I liked better.  Now I am so very pleased, and these can go in the post this week.  Phew, I met the deadline.  Now I can start on my hat swap.

The low down:
Pattern: Emily Dee Mitts
Yarn: Sirdar Denim Tweed DK.  60% acrylic, 25% cotton, 15% wool.
What I learned: the sewn bind off.  Awesome!  I used the video here.

I have got the fingerless mitt bug in a bad way now.  I'm thinking of making a pair of these for my niece for Christmas.  Next time I'll make them a bit longer so they go up to the knuckles.   For myself (it is cold today) I'm going to try Fire & Ice Mitts, I love a Celtic cable.

Here's where I'm hoping, check it out!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On my needles

I'm working hard to overcome my fear of knitting socks, because, for a long time, I've really wanted to start knitting them.  Is it normal to have certain knitting phobias for no real reason?  I sure hope so.  I'm been learning a few new techniques this past week, so I thought I would throw socks into the mix.  I got this book at the library:

** Ok that didn't show up well at all!  It is called Simple Knitting by Erika Knight.

Inside are several projects I want to attempt, and two are socks.  The first is a chunky thick sock knit on two needles.  "Perfect" I said to myself, that will help me gain confidence before I start on DPN's.  I've also been practising on my DPN's, which I'll show on Friday.

Anyway, I'm almost finished with the first sock, and feeling pretty proud of myself.  A complaint about the book is that you have to "wrap and turn" to make the heel and I had no idea how to do it.  The book doesn't show you!!  I had to hop onto YouTube (much love), but I found a great video that really, really helped.

Besides that I've got another ski mask on the go, much to my daughters delight.  She is a slave driver, and is nagging me endless to finish it so she can have one like her sister.  In all honesty I get bored doing the same thing twice, but this is almost all 2x2 rib and stocking stitch so it is going pretty fast.  The sooner it is done the sooner I can move on to something new!

I finished Lady MacBeth, which I was reading last week---loved it!  I just love historical fiction, especially when it takes place in Scotland!  Yesterday I started Pope Joan, and so far so good.  At the same time I am reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, but that can be a bit dry so I like a novel at the same time.

Here is where I'm hopping this week, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Girlie Ninja Mask

I am really pleased that I have finished my first ski/ninja mask.  Here are some pictures of it in action:

In all honestly it is too big for her.  I like to always tell myself better a bit too big than a bit too small, so I'm losing any sleep over it.  I haven't washed it yet, and I'm hoping (in vain probably) it will tighten up a bit.  The gussets could be better too, but for a first attempt I'm pleased.

Here's the info:
Pattern: Wee balaclava
Wool: the pinks are both Wendy Mode Chunky, 50% merino 50% acrylic.  The cream wool is Lion Brand Wool-Ease, 20% wool, 80% acrylic.
What I learned: the provisional crochet cast on.  It was awesome!  I can see a lot of uses for this, so I'm pretty pleased.

Blog Hops to Check Out:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Still plugging away

Here is a repeat WIP, because I am not making as much progress on it as I would like.  Don't get me wrong, I'm getting there, but I have a terrible habit of knitting several things at once (and I just signed up for two swaps on Ravelry, yikes!).  Speaking of projects, my ninja mask I showed here last week as a WIP is DONE!!  Hopefully I will post as a FO this Friday if my daughter will slow down long enough to get some pictures taken.

Here is how far I've gotten on my short sleeve cardigan:

I'm not being shy, it is just that my 5 year old isn't great on the non-blurry picture taking, and only one of the back pics looked good enough.  I tried taking one myself, but that was a disaster!  At least you get the idea.  I love that this is knit in the round so I can try it on, and that it fits!!  In fact, trying it on has motivated me to devote more attention to it.  I love it!

Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, 100% wool
Pattern: Tappan Zee Cardigan 

What I'm reading:
Now, for my knitting and reading friends, here is what I have on the Kindle right now:

I love that you can get library books on the Kindle.  Sure, sometimes you have to wait ages, but this one was ready right when I wanted it.  I love a good Scottish story!

For more yarn miracles, check out these other creative people:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cowboy Cookies

My girls love to bake.  They love to help and I love cookies.  Here is what we made this week:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream butter, oil, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until well blended. Mix in oats and butterscotch chips. Drop from a teaspoon onto un-greased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Let set up on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. 

All gone!

Check out these other delicious food creations!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cute wee pumpkins

Normally I am not one for making cute little knitted animals or decorations.  It isn't that I don't like them, I just don't think I have the patience for the tiny details.  However, recently my girls and I have been feeling very autumnal, and they made me a centrepiece for the kitchen table.

I thought it was adorable (they did it all by themselves!), but I also thought it needed a little something.  That's where my cute wee pumpkin comes in.  I found the pattern on Ravelry, of course, and I knocked it out in just over a day.

And just to show you how really stinking frugal I am some times, I stuffed it with the fluff my dog pulled out of her latest toy.  She LOVES to demolish stuffed dog toys.  Here it is with the leaf on the centrepiece.  I LOVE IT!!

Well, the next day (or two or three) I was surfing the blog hops, as I do.  I came across another pumpkin pattern on The Sitting Tree.  Well, I had to try it!  It was even easier and faster than the first one, and I love it too.

After my daughter saw this one, she said, "Oh, can we have an apple too?"  Seems I've opened a whole can of worms with my love of pumpkins........

Check out these blog hops to see other great craft items:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ninja Mask

For ages my girls have been asking me for "a face mask" because they hate having cold faces.  In truth I always sort of laughed it off because I thought they would look silly walking to school with one on (we lived in the city!) 

Well, the other day I was surfing Ravelry (probably looking for another hat pattern if I'm truthful) and I came across the Wee Balaclava pattern.  It is adorable, so I decided I would make them each one for this winter.  We just moved into the Highlands of Scotland, and we are gearing up for a snow filled, cold winter.  I figure they will be perfect for using with the sleds my Mom and Dad just sent us!



This has been a fun and fast project so far.  I also get to practise my provisional cast on, which I've only messed about with before.  I'll let you know how I get one.  I used the provisional crochet method, and I watched a video on youtube for extra help!

Now on to reading.  I am just a few pages into Villette, by Charlotte Bronte.  I'm reading it on my new Kindle (thanks Mom and Dad, best birthday present ever).  I've been wanting to read this book since I first read, and loved, Jane Eyre but my library doesn't have a copy.  Thankfully, there are loads of free classic books for the Kindle.  Sorted!!  My favorite book of all time (one of many I think) is also free on the Kindle if you have one--The Counte of Monte Cristo.  Such an awesome book!

Check out these other amazing WIP's:

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