Monday, May 09, 2016

Knitted Kitchen Towels Free Pattern

The skies must have been dreary the day I brought home four bright balls of kitchen cotton.  I decided that all that color should be kitchen towels and adapted a published towel pattern to change the gauge and to also fix an error.  

The big striped towels are made from one ball of each of two colors, and the towel with the thin stripes is made from the leftovers, plus maybe a bit of yellow from another project.

They measure approximately 13 x 17".  In a more demure color scheme, they could be hand towels for the bathroom, but I envision these as cheerful kitchen towels.

Here's the recipe:

For one 13 x 17 hand or kitchen towel:

2 balls of kitchen cotton, approximately 120 yds each, eg., Lily's Sugar and Cream
Knitting needles size 7

With color A cast on 54 stitches

With A work knit every row for 1.5"

Switch to color B on the right side,
pattern row 1:  Using color B, k5, *k2tog, k2, kfb in next 2 stitches, k3, slip one, knit one, psso, repeat from * three times,  k last 5 stitches
pattern row 2:  K 5, purl to last 5 stitches, k5

repeat rows 1 & 2 twice

Switch to color B, repeat pattern for 4 rows, continue alternating colors A and B, end with 1.5" of garter stitch.

I carry both colors up the right side of the work by knitting the two strand together in the first stitch of every right side row.  The thin striped towel is made by alternating colors every 2 rows instead of every 4 rows and uses up your scraps from two towels.  I knit only 5 garter stitch rows on the thin striped towel.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Another Embroidered Blouse

Last year I made an embroidered blouse with fabric Debra embroidered for me.  My mom liked in so much, she asked for one of her own for her birthday.

For mom's blouse I sent Debra some bright red poly cotton-- Mom hates to iron--and used the same blouse pattern I used for myself.   My blouse had embroidered sugar skulls in addition to birds, and Mom got flowers, birds, and butterflies for her blouse.

This is a very easy process:  I email Debra and she sends me links to available designs.  Then I send Debra fabric with the places marked where I want the designs, and she mails it back to me ready to sew.  I'm thinking I'll ask Debra to embroider these designs on another batch of fabric so I can make myself a blouse, maybe in black.  They would also make cool pillows.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Quick Cardigan

Sometimes I just need a quick project, something that's not likely to get set aside because there doesn't appear to be an end in sight.

One Friday night I really needed to cast on a a quick new project.  I chose the Short Sleeve Quick Knitted Cardigan by A Crafty House.  The pattern calls for super bulky yarn to be knit on size 17 needles.  I don't have super bulky yarn stashed, but two strands of worsted in an especially cheerful color fit the bill nicely.

The project took about two weeks to complete.  I had the perfect vintage buttons also in my stash.  When the sweater gapped in the spaces between the buttonholes, even though I used grosgrain ribbon to stabilize the button band, I sewed that part of the sweater closed.  It's extremely wearable sweater, perfect for the transitional weather between seasons.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Making a New Messenger Bag from an Old Skirt

Spring is upon us, and I wanted to make a new, more colorful, work bag.  I've been saving this microfiber skirt in my stash for a long time.  I more or less followed my old tutorial for this project, though this bag turned out much nicer than the first one.

Microfiber is very nice to work with.  It's basically fake suede, and it's machine washable and doesn't fray.  This skirt was nice and sturdy, unlike some of the lighter weight microfiber that you find in shirts and some other garments.  My first step was to unsew the hem and the silt, and then machine sew them closed using the original fold lines.

I used a great home dec fabric ( I think this came from Debra) for the lining, and added pockets.  The lining is a slightly smaller version of the outer dimensions.  For this bag, I didn't include any bottom reinforcement, as the whole thing is pretty sturdy.

This project uses the whole skirt, and the original zipper opening is now a zipped pocket in the flap.

This took me less than two hours from start to finish.  I had the button and the d-rings in my stash, as well as the strap, which was reclaimed from a purchased bag.  The color in the photo of the skirt--a teal blue-- is most faithful to the real color. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pink Vest

I'm loving this vest I recently finished.  It's from a free pattern, Hiker's Waistcoat.  The pattern isn't well written, so it requires some adaptation and decision-making on the part of the knitter.

I only did minimal shaping compared to what the pattern dictates, but I don't like my clothes to be overly fitted.  This version is very wearable.

The yarn I used was reclaimed from a thrift store wool Gap sweater, so it was an extra-thrifty project.  I like this polka dot ribbon I found to reinforce the button bands.   I think I needed some Spring color to wear, especially since we're getting another wave of rainy storms.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Yes, I Knit the Dog a Sweater

We had such a cold winter that I decided to knit our Mimi a sweater.  It actually came in handy for those early-morning walks when the temperatures were in the 30s.  I used this pattern and some aran weight acrylic yarn, so it's machine washable. 

Since Mimi is a largish dog, it was like knitting a sweater for a five year old child, but this is what you do for love.  

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


I'm crazy for chevrons, and I've been knitting a couple of different versions knitting the free ZickZack Scarf pattern .  It's one of my favorite kinds of scarf patterns: a simple 1-row repeat, and a great palette for color play.

I'm knitting the first version from two contrasting balls of self-striping sock yarn.  I love the colors and textures and want to keep knitting just to see how the colors are going to line up next.

But I'm having even more fun knitting a narrower scarf from my stash of self-striping sock yarn leftovers.  I have a pretty good supply of these small balls, and I culled colors in the blue-orange-brown range, and I'm about to throw in a bit of purple for good measure.

I'm alternating the organge-brown yarns with the blues and purples, and enjoying the visual treat.