Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Imagine Shawl

I admit that I've had a bit of a fascination with Lion Brand Amazing yarn.  It's a blend of 50-50 wool and acrylic, you can buy it at big box stores, and it comes in lovely long color repeats. 

I used 4 balls to make up an Imagine Shawl.  Although the pattern is written for fingering weight yarn and Amazing is worsted, I just knit most of 3 balls of the main colorway (Joshua Tree) and then added one ball of a contrasting colorway (Rainforest) to complete the slip stitch border.  

This is an easy relaxing knit and the shawl is soft and fuzzy.  It's too warm to use this shawl now, but I'm ready when the temperatures drop in the fall.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fresh Ironing Board Covers

My ironing board cover was looking pretty terrible, so I recovered it.

I used this funny vintage fabric, a package of double fold bias tape,  and this YouTube tutorial.   It makes ironing much more pleasant. 

While I was at it, I also recovered the ironing pad I keep next to my sewing machine.

I covered it with another piece of vintage fabric by just folding it over to the back side and taping it down with blue painter's tape.

It's amazing the things that will give you a fresh lease on life.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pokey Dots Throw

I wanted to make a baby gift for a young couple expecting their first baby and I found a free Red Heart Yarn pattern Pokey Dot Throw.   (This link is to the Ravelry page as the Red Heart page was down when I wrote this post.)  It's a very easy pattern, perfect if you have a bright group of small bits of yarn.  It was fun to make all the circles at once, and then to add the background stitches that would make them into squares.

This made up very quickly and it left me with the desire to make myself a granny square afghan, but in bright colors.  So since I had to buy some white to finish this blanket, I treated myself to a few skeins of bright colored yarn for my dream afghan.  I'm researching various pattern and when the fancy strikes, I'll be ready to begin.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Zippered Bags

A friend recently gave me a shopping bag full of home dec samples.  They turned out to be the perfect size for some small zippered bags.  I had a small stash of thrift store zippers, and armed with some on-line tutorials, I made up a few bags.

I used some of these on-line tutorials:  Jedi Craft Girl's My Favorite Zipper Pouch, The Sewing Loft's Zipper Tab Tutorial, and the Fat Quarter Shop's video tutorial on making a simple bag.

Since home dec fabrics are heavier than conventional fabrics, there's no need to add a batting or liner.  The two layers of fabric create a substantial bag and it was fun to mix and match the fabrics. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ketjusilmukkahuivi (scarf)

I recently crocheted this fun scarf from a free pattern.   Ketjusilmukkahuivi(scarf) is written in Finnish, but other folks have decoded the  simple pattern and have very helpful notes on Ravelry.

You can either cut the yarn for fringe at the end of each row, or you can just crochet continuously.  At the end I hand sewed some tiny leaf beads onto the edges for added weight.

My scarf was made from a discontinued microfiber yarn with long color repeats.  I've seen others made from crochet cotton, which is often plentiful in thrift stores.  Use the hook appropriate to your yarn.

My scarf was made roughly as follows:

Chain 350 stitches, the pattern repeat is 10 double crochets and 15 chain stitches. 
At the beginning of each row, chain 3 (for the new row) then follow with 2 dc, and proceed with the pattern.  
End each row with 2 dc.  

This is a very flexible pattern.  If your math doesn't work out, go with the flow.  You can also vary the numbers of chains and double crochets to make the scarf more or less solid, for example, 5 dc and 5 chain stitches. 

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Pillow Talk

I took the house blocks I'd recently made and sewed them into a pillow.  It feels good to be finished with these blocks.  

Continuing with the house theme, I sewed up another pillow with a piece of machine embroidery from Debra, and various home dec fabrics.

These make a nice group on one end of the day bed in my sewing room.

I got pillows for the other end of the day bed from this huipil--a traditional Mexican embroidered tunic--given to me by my friend Maria.  She loved this huipil and wore it until there were threadbare spots in the loose-weave cotton.

I did some very basic repairs on some of the holes, zig-zaging over the frayed edges and backing the fragile fabric with some white cotton.  Then I fussy cut some pillows from the fabric.

One of the small pillows is for Maria, as a thank you for sharing this beautiful embroidered fabric.

All of these pillows are backed with the banded portions of the fabric, and I have some pieces left over--maybe for some zippered bags.

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.