Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Altering a Turtleneck Sweater

I had this beautiful but unwearable sweater.  It's nice and warm, but the wool turtleneck was a bit to hot and claustrophobic for me.

I marked a line down the middle of the collar to the point where I wanted my v-neck to end.  I stitched a straight line down the mark, and a zig-zag on either side, and across the bottom.

Then I took a small sharp scissors and cut the collar open along the straight sewn line.

I hand sewed a piece of ribbon to either side of the cut edge.

At the "v" I mitred the ribbon so that it made a smooth edge.

Now I have a wearable warm sweater!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Free Pattern Friday: A Linen Stitch Scarf

There are many free patterns available for making a Linen Stitch Scarf.  Cheyl Marie's pattern Linen Stitch Scarf From Leftover Yarn is very similar to the technique I use.

You get to use up all kinds of odds and ends of yarn, and you can mix in yarns of differing weights as long as you mostly stick to one weight overall.

The most critical thing is to cast on very loosely, so that the cast on edge isn't tighter than the bind off, but other than that, once you master the stitch, it's all about playing with color.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pot Holders

Making pot holders and hot pads has to be one of the more satisfying projects there is.  First you get to use up fun fabrics and odd blocks you've been saving up.  You also get to use up the odd bits of batting and flannel that you've been saving in case you needed them someday.  Someday arrived at my house.

These pot holders were made with some circa 1980s cheater blocks.  With a slightly mis-matched binding they look pretty cool I think.

I also cut into some larger scraps of one of my favorite Alexander Henry fabric and made these retro potholders. All these go into my box for holiday gifts. This was a fun afternoon of sewing.

Mimi kept me company and helped pick out the bindings.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Free Pattern Friday: A Special Hat

I don't get to make many things for my son Alex.  He's a minimalist, doesn't like a lot of clutter, and frou-frou.  But I know he likes alpaca, which is warm and lightweight, and our weather has gotten colder lately.  I scanned Ravelry, looking for the most simple beanie pattern to go with some Mirasol Tuhu yarn I have in stash.  It's a cloud-like blend of baby llama, merino wool, and angora--as light and warm as alpaca and softer.  I used the Benefaction Knit Hat pattern by Stacey Winklepleck for Knit Picks.  It was a pleasure to knit this simple hat with such luxurious yarn. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Chevron Cowl

I love cowls, especially those knit from gradient yarns.  For this project I knit Lisa Bruce's free pattern  Favorite Scarf Ever,  with one ball of Lion Amazing, alternating with a ball of solid violet cotton and acrylic.  When the solid violent ran out, I threw in a bit of grey wool.

The contrast is most dramatic with the grey, but still noticeable throughout.

I got a brainstorm when I realized that the zig-zags on each end would fit together like puzzle pieces.  I stitched the ends together through the back loop of the last row of stitches, and alacazam! I have a cowl.

This knit up fast on size 10 needles and worsted-aran weight yarns, and I love the results.  This goes into my stockpile of holiday gifts.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Free Pattern Friday: Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf

The Diagonal Pinstripe Scarf by Purl Soho is a lovely classic pattern.  I made mine from inexpensive sock yarn: 3 balls of  Premier's Serenity Sock, part of the Deborah Norville collection, in the Harlequin colorway.  I didn't have to change yarns for the stripes, but just enjoyed the self-striping yarn.

I would classify this pattern as zen knitting.  It takes few brain cells to keep track of the 2-row pattern repeat.  Just keep knitting until the scarf is long enough for you.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015


I'm surfacing from a busy work schedule to post some recently completed socks.  Thank goodness for knitting, which keeps me feeling creative even when I'm really vegging in front of the tv.  The pattern is a variation of Roza's Socks, but I substitute 3 x 3 ribbing for the pattern stitch.  This sock fits perfectly every time.  The yarn is Patons Kroy in Rusty Stripes.  Lining up the stripes perfectly so that the socks match is a personal obsession.

I recently ran across this DIY tutorial for sock blockers.  They're cut from a dollar store place mat.  You can't get thriftier than that, it it does the job nicely.