My Free Patterns

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The last of it

Well, my Christmas knitting is done. The final tally is 4 hats, two shawlettes, one pair of mittens, one pair of fingerless gloves, and one pair of yoga socks. They have all been sent and received (though not all opened yet, oh the will power!!)

I knit two Watch Caps, for two young men in my family. The pattern is brilliant, you can use whatever yarn/gauge you want, and it tells you how to make the hat. The pattern is in the book Knits Men Want, which I got for Christmas a few years ago. Both hats were made from stash yarn, one is 8ply and the other 10ply. I love how simple and great these hats look. I want one for myself.

It has been so hot today, but I'm going to sit down and knit a wee bit. I've been busy preparing for my folks to arrive, and haven't knit in days. *gasp* I'm going into withdrawals. But before I go, one last FO, the striped pair of socks I was working on. I finished them about a month ago, but never got around to taking the picture.

Now, while I go and ooh and aah over the yarn that arrived with my parents, you have yourself a very happy holiday season. I'll see you in January!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hungry Monsters

Hi guys. We've had a mixed bag of weather this week, but some days of beautiful warmth and sunshine. Oh how I love the sunshine. Luckily the sunshine hasn't made it too hot for knitting, but I've been getting some sewing done too. Right now I'm working on my quilt for my daughter, since I finished her sisters. I just finished the top today, so hopefully it won't be too much longer.

Now on to my FO. A wee while ago I downloaded a cloth napkin pattern on Craftsy, to get some ideas on making new ones. Afterwards owner of the pattern emailed me with a link to her newsletter if I was interested.  I didn't think I would be, but I was wrong. She sometimes includes free patterns in the newsletter, one of which I thought was too cute to pass up.

It is called Gobbler, and it's a pencil case. I made these three for my nieces and nephew in Louisiana. I've put some goodies in as well, because I couldn't resist. 

I used fabric that my Grandma gifted me a while ago, she tie-dyed them all, and I love love love them! I had enough to make two bigger ones for my own girls for Christmas, but I won't put a picture up just yet. They are nosy wee girls and might see it on my blog and then the gig would be up!

If you are interested the newsletter is called Shiny Happy News, and the blog is here.

Take care, I'm off to the post office to get all my crafts on a plane to the USA. I've got one more post for next week and then I'm done sharing Christmas projects (I think!).

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gingko Shawl

Hi everyone. I hope that you've had a lovely week. We had some good weather, followed and preceded by some gray rainy weather. I'm ready for some summer already!

I was very excited about this shawlette. It turned out rather well, but I cannot for the life of me block out the little hump at the top where the cast on was. The designer does mention this, but left me feeling a little deflated. Looking at others projects let me know that I am not alone.

Pattern: Gingko Crescent
Yarn: Bendingo Woollen Mill Luxury 4 ply. I like this yarn very much.

Wearing it as a scarf makes the little hump not matter at all. This is how I would wear it, were I not sending it to my Grandma for Christmas. I hope she likes it!

Have a great weekend

Friday, November 22, 2013

A tale of two mitts

Well, I'd like to think I am almost done with my Christmas knitting. I went from knitting for no one to knitting for 7. Sigh. And I feel the pressure to get the gifts done and in the mail, you  know, soon.

So brief history on this project, and this yarn--Sirdar Crofter Chunky, purchased to make my niece first this (in 2010):

than this matching scarf (2011):

and since I had just a wee bit left over I thought I'd make her some fingerless mitts to use it up. After much searching I found the Camp Out Fingerless mitts pattern, so I gave them a try. And while it looks ok, it was too tight and boring on my arm. Back to the drawing board.

After much searching and no joy, I remember the mitts I had first made when I purchased my Nicky Epstein Block by Block book. They are the Curvy Cable pattern, and originally they were knit flat and seamed, with just a hole left for the thumb. This time, I used what I've learned in the last several years to make them better.

I knit them in the round, and I added a gusset for the thumb, taken from the Camp Out pattern (so my time wasn't wasted after all). They ended up being just a wee bit shorter than I would have liked, but I ran out of yarn. I am quite happy with the result, and I much prefer them seamless with the gusset. They are of course chunkier than the originals, due to the yarn I used.

And there you have it. No more yarn, and a complete set for a lovely, lovely person. 

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mittens for Gramps

I am almost done knitting for my Michigan Christmas parcel. I had a hard time figuring out what to make my Grandpa. I've given him a hat, and a scarf in the past. This time I made him some mittens. Who doesn't need mittens?

Pattern: Cruiser (free pattern)
Yarn: Lion Brand Pure wool (stash-busted this yarn!)

I am not sure where I went wrong with these, but I had to make adjustments to get them to the right size. I added 5 extra knit rows while decreasing, and 3 extra knit rows for the thumb, also while decreasing. I am fairly satisfied with the finished mittens.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 8, 2013

A hat for Mike

Another hat! Carrying on with the Christmas knitting, I completed a hat for my Uncle Mike. 

This is what you get when you ask my seven year old to take a close up of the hat:

The pattern is free, Susies Winter Beach Hat. I used some Fisherman's Wool I had in my stash.

I didn't particularly like making this hat. I followed the pattern and it was much too small (think skull cap), so I had to rip back and make it the right size (thank goodness the diameter was ok). An upside of making it though, is that I got to practice cabling with using a cable needle, which I had never done before. I was getting annoyed at having to cable every row, and it was such a small cable every few stitches. So learning this new technique was very worthwhile, and really sped things up

Anyhoo, it turned out nice, and that's one more present done. I can't wait to show you the second shawl I've completed, I love it. I didn't get a chance to take any pictures this week however, so, same time next week ok!! See you then.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A shawl for Linda

I feel like I'm on a knitting roll lately, and it feels pretty darn good. I had a minor set back with a hat that turned out too short (mustering energy to rip back and fix) but the shawlette that just finished blocking, now that I like.

Since I'm sending a hat to cousin Matt, I thought I had better go ahead and make everyone else in the house (and nearby house) a gift too. You know, when it rains, it pours. So for my Aunt Linda, I made a small shawl. I've been rather captivated lately with all the shawl patterns coming out for the autumn, but I don't know anyone that actually wears shawls. They always seemed so fanciful to me. Now, a shawlette, I tell myself, anyone can wear. Even I have one, in the same yarn I used for Linda actually.

Pattern: Le Weekend Shawl (free)
Yarn: Hayfield pure wool classic 4ply. This was a bargain buy on Ebay ages ago, and I still have loads. I wasn't overly impressed when it arrived on my doorstep, but I washed it and blocked it better than the last time, and it feels softer now, more wearable.

One last thing I wanted to say--about blocking. People go on and on about "Blocking magic" to which I normally think in my head, "Yeah, it's good, but is it magic?" Well that was before I knit a shawl (now two, stay tuned next week!). Blocking really, really IS magic. It is my new very best friend!

Lastly, here are a few devil tails I whipped up for Halloween. Both my girls were devils, I don't think they understood the irony.

 Have a great weekend!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

A hat for Matt

Hurray, I've started my Christmas knitting. This year I told myself I wouldn't knit a thing for anyone. I was having such a good time knitting things for myself. Then, well, I guess I got over my selfish streak. My cousin (ok, second cousin) Matt has been helping out a lot with my Grandparents in Michigan. He is a great, great person, and they love him dearly. So of course, onto the hat list he went. 

This hat was a wonderful knit, and it only took a few days. 

Pattern: (free!) Snowtracks Cap
Yarn: Supa yarn 100% wool
Mods:  I cast on for a large. Knit 2” for the ribbing. Then I skipped rows 21-23 and 28. This turned out the perfect size, I’m really pleased. I didn't want a folded brim, but I wanted it to be long enough to be pulled over the ears without being slouchy. Not much to ask, is it?

A little note about the photos--the girls and I had just gotten home from the beach (you know the drill, play, play, play, walk, ice cream, walk more, then home). For whatever reason they striped naked the moment we got home, and then I remembered we had to take these pictures. So we were in the back garden and two little naked people were telling me how to pose, and where to turn my head. And it made me really laugh. Hence, this picture:

And then, because they both wanted their pictures to be used, another of the back. I love those cables!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

I love spring!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What I'm working on

Sometimes, I just love the start of a new week. I like to look forward to what I'll be working on, and the things I want to accomplish. This week started out really well, with a beautiful sunny day and a nice long walk. My energy is generated directly from sunlight. 

I was really rather proud of myself last weekend. I decided I would take the template of the Creme Brulee top, which I love love love wearing (the bamboo yarn is awesome!), and make it again with a different stitch pattern. I decided to use the Sirdar recycled cotton that I bought ages ago for the cardigan I frogged. The stitch pattern I picked is  braided lace. I cast on, eager, and I knit like a fiend. 

Until my wrists started to ache and I remembered yet again why this yarn is languishing--I just cannot work with cotton. I did in both my wrists and then couldn't knit for a few days. My husband, ever wise, said "Just start over with a different yarn, and give that cotton to someone that CAN use it." How little he knows me. I think I might see if I can knit a few rounds a day, pain free. I hope so. Otherwise I will take his advice, I guess. I don't like being defeated by yarn. I really do like how it is looking though.

I also cast on the second striped sock. I really wanted to knit sports socks with leftovers I have, but am trying to be disciplined and make pairs before I start new ones! I also decided I will not make the stripes match, I think the difference will be a nice quirk, though I can see myself assigning the different stripe patterns to each of my feet. I'm just that odd.

Lastly, I've really slow to the party, and just now started listening to audio books while I knit. I'm almost done with this:

and I love it. I hope it will end the way I want it to. At any rate, it is fast paced and has that nice plot device of going back and forth from modern day to 1340 Italy. Fun!

That's it from me, see you on Friday!

Thursday, October 3, 2013


This week I've been having a bit of a clean up--digitally speaking. I was checking my blog feed the other day and noticed that one of the blogs I'd been following had been hacked, and my feed was filled with spam. I located and deleted the blog, but then I started looking at all the blogs I "follow" and went through and deleted all the ones that seem out of commission. If they haven't posted in the last 4 months, they are gone. It is all so uncluttered now, and it feels great. Now I have the room and attention for adding in new blogs that take my fancy.


In knitting news, I've been re-energized about socks! I have a project bag that I keep in the car with a sock I would work on now and then--while waiting for the girls at netball practice, the park, etc. But I felt it had been languishing, so I fished it out and finished it. I love the stripes! I'm counting it as a FO, even if it is just one so far.

Pattern: just a plain stockinette sock to show off the stripes, with the heel from Hermiones socks.
Yarn: Patons Stretch Sock

Then I got motivated to knit my sister a pair of yoga socks for her Christmas present. She has posted a picture of herself in some rather silly looking yoga socks (they were the ones that have individual toes) on FB, and I thought, I want to give that a go. They were so fun to knit!! 

I also amused myself that I was wearing my yoga pants when I took these pictures. Nope, I don't do yoga, but look at me all kitted out should I ever want to

Pattern: Yoga Socks 153 (free!)
Yarn: stash busted some Zettl Cesana I've had for a really long time.

That's it for my this week, see you all on Wednesday.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ocean blue

I am so pleased that the Creme Brulee is finished. I took all these pictures pre-blocking (no, I will never have any patience). It is being blocked at the moment, which I hope will make it a wee bit bigger.

As you can see in the picture, it is a bit more fitted than the pattern says it should be. I've blocked it to the correct size, so time will tell. Even if it stays this size forever, it is nice. It was absolutely mindless knitting, which was perfect at night when I was relaxing. I'm excited to see how I enjoy wearing bamboo. 

Pattern: Creme Brulee
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Bamtastic. I liked working with this yarn.
I'm also really pleased with how the three needle bind off looks on the sleeves. I'd done it once before, so long ago that I can't remember on a top I didn't keep, so it was nice to do it again. I love how it looks.

That's it for me this week. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

School holidays

We are in the middle of the school holiday here in Victoria, and the weather has been cooperating. Hurray!! Here's a fun-fast-free project for the little ones:

In case it isn't obvious, I have no idea how to build a tee-pee, but we got there. Three old bamboo canes and a sheet handed down from my parents. The girls had great fun playing in it. Totally worth the 10 minutes I spent building it.

Recently I read the book Pomegranate Soup, and what I loved about the book was that there were recipes at the start of each chapter. One reminded me of my university boyfriend, we used to buy this yogurt drink in bottles in San Jose. I loved it them, I love it now. Here's how I made a single serving, based on the recipe in the book. And, you have to drink it out of a canning jar. Just because. Probably for the same reason I have to drink my iced tea out of one.

Dugh Yogurt Drink
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup (or between 3/4 and 1 cup) carbonated water
1/4 tsp salt (or as you like)
1/8 tsp pepper (or as you like)
* if you are so inclined you can also add 3/4 tbs chopped fresh mint. I am still nurturing my garden mint so I didn't use any.

Combine, stir, add ice if you want it to be super refreshing. Enjoy.  

I do also have some WIP's this week. I'm still plugging away on my Creme Brule (hope to have it done for Friday!). I also have started a block from my Nicky Epstein Block by Block book that is layered lace. I'm not even sure what I'm going to do with it, but I wanted to give it a try.

I am also working on a crochet phone case for the girls. I want to make a strap so they can carry it like a purse. We'll see how I go, I'm just experimenting right now. I'm not even sure it is a practical thing to make. It is good to keep practicing my crochet though!

And that's it from me for now. See you later!
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