Thursday, February 21, 2013

Valentine's Idea Share

This year we kept Valentine's Day low key. We skipped the gifts and just went with some super funny cards and take-out Chinese food. It was sort of nice not to have the stress of it all. Of course, Patrick still spoiled me with some beautiful red roses that are still brightening our household.

I wanted to do something a little different for the nephews and niece this year. I remembered seeing a Pinterest link where a lady sent balloons stuffed with money to her nephew. Our twist on it was to stuff them with hot wheels and princess dolls. (Our oldest nephew benefited from my not wanting to be the silly aunt, so he got the first of many "money cards" he is sure to receive and spend as he wants.)

That's right, these little dolls (and bunches of hot wheels) made their way into those balloons. The key is to really stretch out the opening and pull it over the toy. These particular dolls were very easy to insert because the dresses are a soft bendable plastic.

See...she is inside there and then you just blow it up like normal. When the kids open the box, they get a box of balloons to play with and then pop to get the prize inside. I even filled some with candy. Now...what to do for Easter...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Come on Spring!!!!

I have spring fever. It is still freezing outside and we are expecting more snow and the ever-mysterious "winter mix" later this week. But, I am SUPER ready for spring and all of the treasures it can hold. Everything coming back to full life (including me!) and all the gorgeous colors that the blooming flowers have to share. Alas, even if we wish it here, it doesn't come as fast as we would like. So, what is a crafter to do? Make some inside spring, of course.

I pulled out the pom pom tree and made these out of some stash yarn. Not normal flower colors, but they are bright and fun. Need to knit up some stems and then I can share the final result!

And this will be part of a new design coming from Brownie Knits this spring! Isn't the green lovely? Miss Babs in color Lettuce. A perfect background for some flowery goodness.

I need to knit up some baby shower gifts so I see some flowers in a little one's future. How are you brightening up your home interior for spring?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Final Photos of the Red and White Afghan

So, I posted earlier about my finished IU afghan but I did so from an app and it messed up the blog layout! Yikes. Now that I have better final pictures, I thought I would share one last time.

As you can see, the blanket fits right in with my home decor. Because you use a large needle (US 11) with sport weight to chunky yarn, it is a SOFT afghan and that makes it even better for cuddling. For me, the colors are of IU and mimic the candy stripe pants. A dear friend pointed out that it is also great for Valentine's day and looks like a knitted Valentine's card.

When selecting yarns for your own Kitchen Sink Blanket, I suggest selecting what will be your center (See the stockinette stitch sections with a basketweave between?) This is the yarn for which you will need the most yardage (around 450 yards of dk held doubled was used here). After selecting the "main" yarn, you can fill in all the other sections with whatever you like. No one section uses more than 400 yards outside of the center section, so you can use that as a gauge. I repeated yarns so that the afghan is a mirror, but you wouldn't have to and that way you could use more scraps and stash up. The key to this pattern is being free willing and letting your creativity shine.

When I designed this years ago, I did it with the idea of constantly changing so that I didn't get bored and not making a lot of fuss when you when from one section to the other. Each and every one looks so different from the last much so that people have thought this one was a brand new design! You can get a copy of the pattern on Craftsy, Ravelry, or Etsy.

Not a knitter but one a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind afghan? Brownie Knits will be offering this afghan as a finished product in "solid" colors soon. For example, one will be all shades of green. If you would like to place a hold on a color, email us via our Etsy store.

IU Afghan

As I was knitting samples of my designs, I was quietly plotting the yarns I wanted to use for a new Kitchen Sink Blanket sample. The original afghan was designed to:

  • Use a variety of yarns
  • Use up stash yarn and leftover partial skeins
  • Keep the knitters attention by constantly changing to different stitch patterns
  • Allow for lots of creativity
  • Result in a functional "fluffy" afghan
As you might imagine if you have followed the blog for very long, I had lots of red and cream/white yarns. I've always loved red and then I went to IU and that just fed the use of red in my wardrobe. So, out came the size 11 circular needles and bunches of partial yarn balls. The result is my IU-themed afghan that will see many basketball games on our couch.

You can purchase a copy of the pattern from our Brownie Knits shop on Etsy, Ravelry, and Craftsy. This project used up an estimated 1600 yards, which brings the 2013 total to 3204.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pattern Samples: Grady Sack

OMG! This might be my favorite Grady Sack that I've ever knitted. The colorway is SO super cute.

The Grady Sack
This pattern is available for$4.50 USD  buy it now

Knitted out of two skeins of Shi Bui in color Orchid on size 2 and 3. (You guessed it: more stash yarn for a total 2013 used of 1476 yards.) You would need 382 yards of a sock yarn to make a Grady sack. This pattern comes in The Ella and The Grady pattern, which means you get two patterns in one! It is our most popular design. How could it not be with my lovely niece and her little friend as the models?

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Week of Crochet

This week has been a hermit week. It was either cold and dreary or warm and rainy. So, I gathered up a bunch of yarn, my patterns, Netflix, and my size H crochet hook. In four days I made two Sunflower Wreaths, a Sunflower Scarf, and three Walking on Sunshine Headbands. I also devoured House of Cards (loved it).

Other than the novelty eyelash for the center of the sunflowers, all of the yarns used are Berroco Vintage. These are for a potential trunk show of Brownie Knits patterns. So, they are all knitted from our original designs that are available on our Craftsy, Ravelry, and Etsy shops.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pattern Samples: Flowers of Spring Hat

Last week this little treasure helped to keep the spirits up while the cold set in and the snow fell. The great thing about this pattern is the varied looks that you can get by how many flowers and leaves you make and how you arrange them on the hat. For this sample hat, I went with a big bundle of sunshine!

Flowers of Spring
This pattern is available for $4.00 USD  buy it now

Had to take the photo inside, so I sat it next to the sheep tree! Wouldn't this look adorable on your little ones? The pattern is sized from newborn to adult, so you can make one for yourself, too. Knitted on size 6 needles and DK weight yarn, it is a pleasure to knit the hat. Then, you get all the fun of crocheting up the flowers/leaves, which use a size F hook size. I used Plymouth's Jeannee DK yarn, but you could use any DK weight yarn that gets 5.5 stitches to an inch. All from stash for a total of 204 yards used up on the hat. Total for the year is 1,094!