My Free Patterns

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stash Busting Holiday

Hello!!  I don't know about you guys, but I am doing pretty well on my Christmas knitting.  Best of all I've decided that I will not buy any yarn, the presents have to come out of my stash.  Does anyone else get a little sad when yarn gets used up?  I will admit to it, but at the same time I tell myself I can replenish later, which fills me with a certain glee.

I've got a few of little FO's to share on Friday, but here are two more things I'm working on right now.  I just cast on a thick scarf for my Grandpa, using left over wool from his hat last Christmas.  I am using cream on either end and the blue in the middle.  I've done a provisional cast on because I don't think I'll have enough to make a long scarf, and then I can just join the ends together to make a circular scarf.  I'm pretty sure my Grandma will steal it anyway, she did so with the hat!

The yarn is Sirdar Denim Ultra, 60% acrylic, 25% cotton, 15% wool.  Thick and soft.  It is just going to be a plain garter stitch affair.

Lastly, I'm making yet another Calorimetry.  I can't stress enough how much I love this head band, how easy it is, how gift-worthy I find it.  I'm on my third one now (more on the second one on Friday).  One reason I LOVE this pattern is that it is fully adjustable, because you use the holes that are created in the pattern for the button.  I am making this one for my Aunt, who has a tiny head, and I don't have to worry about it fitting her, which is great.

For this particular one I'm hoping to add a flower for a bit of bling, wish me luck on that though!  This is a mystery yarn from my stash, which I bought when I first started knitting and had no idea how to figure out how much yarn I needed for a project.  Come to think of it, I still don't.  :)  The picture doesn't do it justice however, it is much prettier in person.

And very lastly, I have a book this week!  As I feel more and more on top of my Christmas knitting--I'll make the postal deadline--I have more time to read without feeling like I should be knitting.  I'm about 1/2 way through the Swan Theives by Elizabeth Kostova.  I enjoyed her other book, The Historian, so I have high hopes for this one.  It moves along at a steady pace, but is a rather gentle book thus far.

Please do check out all the other great WIP's on the go this week:

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Crackers Around Here

I've been knitting about 3 years and in that time my husband has never, ever, let me knit anything for him.  Something about his Mum being a knitter and never letting him pick anything she ever knit for him..........I'm not really sure.  At any rate, he surprised me lately by asking me to knit him an ear flap hat (I think he was taken with the ones I made the girls).  Anyway, I went onto Ravelry with him and looked at patterns and he surprised me yet again by picking Ron's Cracker Hat from Harry Potter.

Confession time (this will surprise none of you), I have never done any colour work before, because the very idea scares me.  Well, let me tell you, I've done it now, and I'm now convinced anyone can do it!

A few words about this pattern--it is crazy off on size, which I learned the hard way.  Even if your gauge matches, this hat will come out the size of a babies head.  So I got all the way through the colour chart and then realized it didn't even fit my 5 year old.  Sigh.  Back to the beginning.  The next time I CO 80 stitches, on my 8mm DPN's.  It came out just a tiny bit too big, which is way better than infant sized.  The hubby and I are debating whether it needs lined with some fleece or not, because that's a project I would like to try.  Anyway, he's worn it quite a bit since I handed it over, and has decided he now needs Jayne's Hat as well.  For those of you Firefly fans out there (you are awesome!!) that is the hat I thought he would choose in the first place.

Gratuitous chicken shot
Pattern: Animal Cracker Hat
Wool: Sirdar Big Softie, 51% wool, 49% acrylic.  I'm not a huge fan of this yarn, but it is soft and there are loads of colours available, so that was a bonus.
Needles: 8mm DPN's

Here's where I'm hopping this week, check em' out!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The never ending ball of black wool

In keeping with all things gifty, I am working on a scarf for my 16 year old nephew.  He is brother to Dani, whose scarf I am still plugging away on.  I looked for a pattern I thought would be "manly" enough for a teenage boy.  Fingers crossed, you never can tell with teenagers.  I however, absolutely love how this scarf is turning out.  The pattern is simple enough to do in front of the tv (not that I ever do, euhm), but looks quite nice knitted up.

Pattern: Basketweave scarf
Wool: Sirdar Bonus Aran, 80% acrylic, 20% wool (I have a huge 400g ball of this, it is so soft).  I seem to be using a fair bit of it lately, yet the ball never seems to shrink.

Check out these wonderful blog parties:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oh the things that I do

I finished two projects these week; little ones that have kept me busy between the bigger projects.  First, I have to tell you what a putz I am.

I wanted to make a few dishcloths as back up gifts, and just because it sounded like a good idea.  Mainly because my Grandma gave me 3 over the summer that she had made, and they really are wonderful to use in the kitchen.  I love that I can just throw it in the washing machine when I'm done.  How perfectly environmental!  So I found a lovely pattern, and I was please the pattern was simple, because it was purely in chart form.  Oh no, I have never done purely chart!!  Well I gave it a go.  I had to rip back about 3 times because I wasn't paying attention.  Then I finally finished it, sewed in all the ends, and turned it over and......  WHAT THE......................  check out what I did:

Yes, I missed out on some garter stitch on the border, and made it stockinette stitch.  Gasp--I can't give that as a present.  Needless to say, it is in my kitchen now.  How something so simple could have been so difficult is beyond comprehension!

Pattern: Spring Tulips
Yarn: Sugar'n Cream 100% cotton

Anyway, I also finished my Calorimetry that I was working on for this weeks WIP.  It was fast, and really lovely!  It will be heading to my sister for her Christmas present.

Pattern: Calorimetry
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden shade 236
Because the yarn I used was left over from another project, I was paranoid I wouldn't have enough.  So, if you are like me, just so you know, I used 37g of the above yarn.

Now, this next bit isn't about crafting at all (it's about food!!), so you can go ahead and skip it if you want to.  Briefly, I participate in a thing called BzzAgents.  You get free products to try, and then you get to give people your honest opinion about them.  I haven't done any surveys with them in years, and just recently I received an email about a campaign they were doing cream.  I LOVE ice cream, and normally make my own.  I jumped on this one fast, who wouldn't?

The point of this little blurb is for my UK friends, in that I have vouchers for £1 off a tub of the ice cream, called Choka Blok.  It is sold at Tesco, and the vouchers expire December 18.  If you want one, just send me an email with your address and I'll pop it in the post to you, and you can enjoy some too.  The ice cream is good---not Ben and Jerry's good, but much better than your usual UK ice cream.  No offense here, but lots of the ice cream on this side of the pond doesn't even have milk or cream as the first ingredient.  The US rules this particular frozen treat market.

The ice cream is full of goodies---and by that I mean hunks of chocolate and the like.  They have names like Cherry Bomb (wish I had that one), The Chocolate Extremist, and Billionaires Shortcake, how can you go wrong??

Here is where I'm hopping this week:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WIP update

Hello!  I wanted to give an update on how I'm doing on Dani's scarf, and to apologize to the pattern I was so mean as to say I hated last time.  I did think I hated it, but now...........well, I guess hate and love really are two emotions that are closely related.  I love how it is turning out.  I think it is nicer than the hat was.

The picture isn't great.  I wasn't very smart about picture taking and it was dark by the time I got my act together.  So you can't really see the bobbles and whatnot, but you get the idea.  I'm not working very fast on it, I keep getting distracted, like starting this one:

That little beauty is a Calorimetry, which I saw on someone's blog last week (or the week before), only now I can't remember on whose blog I saw it.  If it was yours....thanks!  This is a fast project that is using up the remaining Noro silk garden I had from a Christmas project. 


Friday, November 11, 2011

Infinity Scarf

That's right, I've hopped on the infinity scarf bandwagon.  The wind was so cold a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but think it was a fun, fast project.  Now the weather is suddenly............not as cold (I really don't want to jinx it) but at least I know I'll be ready in a few weeks time.

I used tutorials from all over blogland, and finally cut it about 60" by 12".  The blog that inspired me however, is Vixen Made.  I used a piece of fabric I had that was long enough, and while I'm not crazy about the colour/pattern, I didn't taken it off for several days after I made it.  So comfortable.  So warm.  Who would have thought?

In addition to my tiny bit of sewing, I've also done a tiny bit of cross stitch.  To be fair, cross stitch was the very first craft I developed a passion for.  It was too limited for my tastes however, I love to make things I can use daily.  Hence my passion for knitting.  However, I digress.  Here is the little card I made.

I did have one knitting project finished this week, a present I made for Christmas.  It is for my Dad, and since he doesn't read my blog (much) I'm hoping to get it posted next Friday. 

For everyone that offered sock knitting help---THANK YOU so very much.  I've cast on my first one, using magic loop.  I ended up looking at all the patterns everyone recommended, until my eyes went blurry.  I also purchased Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Bud with a gift voucher I had.  So I feel pretty prepared.  I agonized over the first 1/2" however, thinking it looked like rubbish.  Then it started to a sock!  Now I'm super excited.  I'll post my progress next Wednesday.  You guys are the very best, thank you!

Here's where I'm hopping

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Single cable fingerless mitts

In between my copious amounts of Christmas knitting (I finished a gift today, hurray!) I've been working on another pair of fingerless mittens.  These are for myself, just to practise on, and eventually keep my hands warm.

Here are the stats:
Pattern: One Cable Mitts
Wool: 75% acrylic, 25% wool.  It isn't the nicest wool, but it is warm and I have a rather largish ball of it.

What I've learned thus far: I need to keep on practising to avoid those ladders.  It seems hard with thicker yarn, or is it just me??

Check out these other wonderful WIP's

Friday, November 4, 2011

A birthday present for me!

You know what I wish?  I wish that there was a snappy name generator for blog post titles.  I am terrible at naming what I'm writing about, so it usually ends up being called, "a hat" "a short sleeve cardigan" etc.  This weeks title is about my short sleeve cardigan--which I finished in time to give myself as a birthday present.  Plus, I think I already used "a short sleeve cardigan" back when it was a WIP!

I am really pleased that I finished my Tappan Zee Cardigan, and I love it!  I went into town just to find suitable buttons, because the three I had planned on using just didn't look pretty enough after all that work.

It fits just as I want it too, so all in all, a great success.  I'll be wearing it to the girls school today for the assembly.

Now, what is better than one finished project?  Two of course! I also finished the hat for my swap partner, and just got back from posting it to her.  I love how it turned out, though I'll warn you I had a hard time taking a decent photograph, I blame the slouch!

I believe I've said before that I'm not a fan of slouch hats---well this one made me change my mind.  I tried it on, you know, just to be sure it would fit an adult human head, and I didn't want to take it off.  The wool is gorgeous, soft, and WARM.  The pattern flattering.  It took all my willpower to put it in the bag and get it out of the house before I changed my mind.  I do hope she likes it.

Here are the details on the hat: Diamond beret by Petra Johnson.  Wool from The Wool Bothy, 50% wool, 50% mohair.

Lastly, I've got a favour to ask of any helpful soul out there.  I think I am finally ready to try my first sock (the big chunky one turned out ok, now I want one that will fit in my shoe!) and I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good beginners book?  I really do want a book rather than an online pattern as I want a step by step, hand holding guide I can keep referring back to.  I will overcome my sock fear!!  Thanks in advance if anyone has any suggestions!

Check out these great blog hops:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A scarf for Dani (WIP)

What do I love more than someone requesting a knitted item from me?  Well that would be someone willing to trade with me for it!  I emailed my niece a wee while ago asking if I could buy a print of hers that she recently posted on Facebook (I hate FB, but that's a whole different story).  She is graduating high school this June and plans on studying photography in college.  I love what she did:

She said yes, she would make me an 8x10 and in exchange (I offered to buy it) would I please make her a scarf to match the hat I gave her last Christmas.  I said, "OF COURSE!!"  Here is a picture of her in the hat, not a great picture, but I'm not a great photographer.  With her is my nephew Archie, also adorable.

So I dug out the pattern, this is the one I used:
 The pattern is D, the lower right corner.  I tried to put on a star on it and failed miserably!

And here is how far I have gotten:

Not very far!  I forgot that I hate this pattern!  It looks great, I don't mean that, it is just that I have to FOCUS on what I am doing.  I have to pay attention, which means I can't do it when the kids are around, or the tv is on, or any other distraction.  I'll get there.........I've got a good month and a half.

The Low Down:
pattern: Sirdar 9211
yarn: Sirdar Crofter Chunky in thistle I believe
needles: 6.5mm (hurray for big needles!)

Here's where the hops are:

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