Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cross Stitch

Do you ever get bored with your knitting or crochet? Ever feel like something different? Before I knitted, I used to cross stitch a lot. My aunts and grandmother love to do it and I was addicted for many years. My problem was that I enjoyed doing the projects, but didn't like the look on the wall. The ones I found myself hanging up all the time were the holiday ones and one or two in the kitchen area. But, I missed it. I hadn't done it in about 5 years!

As a birthday gift to myself this year (because you should always give yourself a gift!), I purchased supplies for a 5x5 cross stitch. There is one for each season and they have more of a modern look. I always thought the Lizzie Kate ones were the best. I figured it will take me all year to complete the four and then I can swap them in for 3 month stretches in the kitchen.

My knitting has influenced my cross stitching...I had to have the good thread!!!! Anybody know of some cute knitting-themed cross stitch projects? I thought about doing one for the studio.

(If you live in the Indianapolis area, the cross stitch store called Needle Fever has started classes and sit-n-stitch times. If anybody wants to go to one, I'd be interested.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Last weekend we spent two days pulling weeds, potting plants, planting the garden and new flowers/plants, and enjoying the spring temperatures. The number of times we said, "In Florida, we would ...." was a HIGH number. We are so looking forward to moving out of Indiana. The winter months are just too depressing. Spring, however, is beautiful. When we moved into our house 10 years ago, there was zero landscaping. NONE. This year, I felt like I saw a lot of our hard work spring to life!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Last night, I worked my last evening at our LYS. Sadly, Stitches & Scones is closing in June. A yarn shop, for yarnies, is so much more than a building or a place to purchase yarn/needles. It is a place where relationships are built, knowledge is shared, and inspiration springs into creativity. For over 7 years, I've had the pleasure to work with some wonderful ladies and meet/teach so many creative people. Although it is sad to see a shop close, I take heart in knowing that the relationships will live on and knitters/crocheters always find each other.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flower Power Wednesday: The Rose

Hello all of you Anthro Throw Crochet-Along participants! This past week, I got a few more flowers completed, including a rose/leaf pattern of my own. I thought that today, I would share this pattern with you, too! Enjoy!

User Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Worsted weight yarn; Technically, you can use any weight of yarn. However, it will alter the size of your flower and you should adjust your hook size to be appropriate for the yarn weight.

4.5 sts/inch in DC

H (5.0 mm)
OR size needed to get gauge

Rose measures 4.5 inches across.
Leaf measures 3.75 inches in length.

Abbreviations Used:
Ch = Chain
SC = Single Crochet
HDC = Half Double Crochet
DC = Double Crochet
Sl st = Slip Stitch

Rose Pattern:
Ch 152, leaving a super long tail. DC in the 3rd chain from the hook. DC in that spot again. Place 2 DCs in each chain across. Finish off.

Roll the rose into a spiral and use the long tail to sew the rose into a stable piece. For assistance on this, you can view a video on the Pattern Support page of www.ginakanouse.blogspot.com.
Note: Want a smaller or larger rose? Simply increase or decrease the number of starting chains.

Leaf Pattern:
Ch 13. DC in the 3rd chain from hook. DC in each of the next 5 chains. HDC in the next 3 chains. SC in the next chain. In the last chain of the row, SC 3 times.

Working up the other side of the chain, SC in the next stitch. HDC in the next 3 chains. DC in the next 5 chains. In the last location, place 3 DCs. Sl st to the top of the original chains.

Next 2 rounds: SC in each stitch around, placing 3 SCs in the top and bottom chains to turn the corners. Join with a Sl st to the beginning of the round.

Finish off, leaving a long tail. Use the long tail to whip stitch the leafs to the back of the rose.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A(u)nt Eater Has Landed!

Don't you just love this little print from Sheep Incognito titled A(u)nt Eater?
It was, appropriately, received for my birthday from my little nephew.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another Year Older...Sort Of...

This past week I celebrated another birthday. I have to admit that most of the last year I unintentionally aged myself by 1 year. So, this year, I really stayed the same age. It has become a running joke at our house that I will now always be this age.

I was blessed with some very thoughtful gifts from knitter friends and PK. Wanted to share a few of them here as I thought you all might find them interesting, too.

Gorgeous pattern books! Knits Men Want is a unique little book. The beautiful photography from the great Jared Flood shows off the knits that men REALLY will want and wear. PK loved the cover sweater and just about all of the ones inside, too. The book is structured to provide tons of options. You decide what your stitches per inch is and the size you want to make and then follow along in the pattern for those two variables. This means hundreds of options! I may never have to buy another adult male sweater pattern again! I have some Cascade 220 Superwash to make the baseball sweater on the front and the simple pullover with buttons will be knitted out of some Portland Tweed. Those sweaters will be on the needles soon so that PK can wear them this fall/winter.

The Little Crochet book is full of cute projects to make for Ella. There is even a little bonnet-style hat that I plan to make up very soon. With only 10-15 rounds, that one should fly off the hook! Along with this book, I received some super cute buttons and stitch markers. Don't you just love the little pink poodles?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ella Sleep Sack in Blue Preemie...

I received an order for an Ella Sleep Sack for a special little boy who entered the world a little early. A blue or green was requested and I found this lovely blue shade in Malabrigo Sock. The length remained the same as the normal baby size (18 inches long), but the body was adjusted to be a little more snug for the preemie. This was accomplished by using a size 2 US needle for the entire sleep sack instead of switching to a larger needle for the body section.

I loved how it turned out! Need a sleep sack for the little ones in your life? We recently stocked up on yarns for this item and have lots of choices. Let me know what you need!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flower Power Wednesdays

So...I started a CAL (crochet along) inspired by this Anthropologie blanket. We are crocheting our own flowers from all the flower patterns we have collected over the years. Each Wednesday, I will blog about the flowers I made that week and every so often, I'll show you some from other crocheters in the CAL. (If you would like to join us, you can follow along on the blog and join us in Ravelry in the Anthro Throw Crochet-Along group.

You will need:
  • Yarn: Various colors in worsted, DK, sport, or fingering/sock weight. If using the thinner weights, hold them doubled/tripled. The original blanket is cotton, but you can use whatever you prefer. I am using Tahki Cotton Classic (worsted) because of all the great color options.
  • Hook: Appropriate to your yarn weight. I am using an H for my worsted weight cotton.
  • Patterns: Anything you want or have! As I blog about the flowers I make, I'll include the resources. Some will be books, some free, some magazines, etc.
  • Useful: Tapestry needle, scissors, open stitch markers, measuring tape, creativity!

In addition to blogging each Wednesday about the flowers, I'll be loading instructional videos to the Instruction tab of the blog. (Note: My YouTube Channel is private, so you must use the links from the blog to access them.)

This week's bouquet includes:
  • A Traditional Rose from the book Crochet Bouquet. It is super fast crochet and I made mine using yellow and purple. The instructions provided in the book also how you how to add additional layers so that you could make this one as large as you want. Measures 1 1/2 inches across.
  • A Five Point, also from Crochet Bouquet. I also crocheted this one out of yellow and purple. This will draw the blanket together to have some repetition. Measures 1 1/2 inches across.
  • A Fanciful Flower "Potholder" from Delight Gems. Mine measures 7 1/2 inches across. What a lovely flower! I plan to make several more of these in various sizes and colors. As I work them, I'll let you know how I go about increasing my rounds.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    And The Winner Is...

    The lucky winner of the blog giveaway is.... tbeads12! Please contact me at brownieknits@yahoo.com to claim your prize!!!

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    With Love Shawl

    One of the great pleasures of knitting is making new friends and seeing their creativity and letting it inspire you. I am lucky enough to be friends with designer Christina Wall of Classic Cable Knits. Christina has a classic design style with a modern flare. I love each and every one of her creations, and you will, too! In addition to being a friend, I often tech edit for Christina so I get some of the first looks at her creations. Routinely, I run to the yarn studio and start pulling yarn down to figure out what to use for the latest creation.

    One of her latest designs is the With Love Shawl. My great aunt contacted me and asked me to knit a prayer shawl for a friend. I immediately thought of this shawl and how appropriate it would be with the thought that was put into it from first designing, editing, and then knitting. The lovely two heart detail is so precious.

    Pattern: With Love Shawl (available in Ravelry)
    Needles: US 8
    Yarn: Madelinetosh Vintage 2 skeins (tiny bit leftover that will become some baby booties)
    Mods: I accidentally modified the top when I did an extra row of knit, 
    so I bound off in Knit on the WS.

    This shawl and the Annis have inspired me to create my own crescent shawl. It's time to swatch!!!!

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Potted Flowers

    The knitted flowers were put into their sand pots and placed on the porch? Easy care, no watering, no worry about weather being too hot or too cold! My kind of flowers.

    Next up, I need to find a third one to knit, felt, and put in the middle shelf.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Crochet Flower Crochet Along?

    After receiving my lovely Anthropologie crocheted throw, I decided to break out some cotton, a crochet hook, and flower books. I am using this project to explore all those flower design books I have collected over the years. The plan:
    • Crochet up tons of flowers in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
    • Attach the flowers together with a lace lattice.
    • Square off the overall throw and put on a border.
    I don't plan to write this up as a pattern, but you don't really need one! Freeform it all the way! Anybody want to join me? I'm using a size H hook and Cotton Classic yarn. If I get a least 5 interested, I'll set it up as a CAL in Ravelry on my board and we can share our experiences.

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Spring Forward Headbands

    It seems each spring I get a little bit of inspiration from the impending excitement of warm weather being just around the corner. This year it developed into a series of headbands for little girls and grown-ups, too. The pattern is for sale AND so are the headbands on the etsy site. (Pattern is also available for sale in Ravelry and there are support videos on the Pattern Support page of the blog.)

    These adorable crocheted headbands are cute and pretty on little girls and grown-up ones, too! With all the flower options and colors you can select, the possibilities are endless. The flowers included in the pattern are a rose, sunflower, and a mum. (The pattern includes instructions for a simple headband, or you can sew the flowers onto a store bought headband, as shown on the pink and cream rose headband and sunflower in the photos.)

    Headband yarn: 11 yards of worsted weight
    Rose yarn: 25 yards of worsted weight
    Sunflower yarn: 5 yards for center (novelty and brown
    worsted weight yarn); 30 yards for petals
    Mum yarn: 15 yards of worsted weight

    Good yarn options: Dream in Color Classy; Berroco Vintage; Cascade 220 Superwash; Miss Babs Yowza; novelty: Fizz
    Note: When selecting yarn for the headband, you should avoid 100% acrylic yarns. A blend of wool and acrylic is fine, but at least some wool content is needed to bring “spring” to the headband.

    4 sts/inch in DC using Hook H and worsted weight yarn (do not stretch out when measuring)
    Gauge for flower is not critical, but headband gauge is.

    H OR size needed to get gauge.

    Tapestry needle, tape measure, and scissors.

    0 to 3 months; 3-12 months; Toddler; Child Small; Child Medium; Adult Medium, Adult Large
    Circumference: 12 (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)

    Finished sizes: Headband can stretched to fit 2 to 3 inches larger than crocheted size.

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    The Ella & The Grady Sleep Sacks for Sale

    I am very excited to announce the availability of my newest pattern: The Ella & The Grady Sleep Sacks by Brownie Knits. The pattern is really two patterns in one. They take advantage of the beautiful sock yarns on the market. They are sized for 0 to 6 months and will make great baby gifts!

    The pattern is available on Ravelry (www.ravelry.com) and on the Brownie Knits Etsy store (www.brownieknits.etsy.com). (Retail stores wishing to distribute the patterns can contact me at brownieknits@yahoo.com.) For non-knitters, I will have a posting for custom made Grady and Ella sacks on the Etsy store in the next week!

    The Grady Sack

    This little cutie is knit in the round and starts with a section or ribbing. The Stockinette stitch section in the middle shows of beauty of self-striping sock yarn. The bottom of the sleep sack is decreased in to form a bag bottom. The perfect weight for spring and summer babies, warmer climates, or air conditioning.

    US 2 and 3 needles
    Yarn: Fingering weight 380 yards
    Gauge: 6.5 sts/inch St st (pre & post blocking)
    Notions: 1 stitch marker; tapestry needle; scissors; tape measure
    This one knit out of Shibui Knits Sock in Pebble.
    A great pattern for using up sock scraps, too.

    The Ella Sack

    This little number is open on both ends for easy use of diaper changing. The gorgeous cable down the center front adds just the right touch. Knit out of a semi-solid or solid to show off the cable, it is a lightweight sack that will keep your little one cozy in cool or air conditioned temperatures.

    US 2 and 3 needles
    Yarn: Fingering weight 450 yards
    Gauge: XX sts/inch St st
    Notions: 3 stitch markers (1 unique); cable needle; tapestry needle; scissors; tape measure
    This one knit out of Dream in Color Smooshy in Melon Bomb.