Thursday, March 14, 2013

Getting By

So far, 2013 has been a year of getting by. Not feeling great and my one consistent pleasure has been knitting and crocheting. It has really kept me from being a total mess. So, as I go into the middle portion of March I'm a little down, but I also have NCAA basketball and lots of knit and crochet to keep me busy.

The IU banner is hanging above the mantle for all the games this month. It turned out so cute!

This picture didn't turn out all that great, but this is one of those projects where the entire time you make it you wonder if it will be nice or butt ugly! I saw this sweater kit years and years ago at Stitches Midwest. It was GORGEOUS! I snapped it up and then kept myself from buying other yarns that year.  I promptly came home and put it away and never made the sweater. As I was diving into the cotton yarn bin for the ripple table runner, I came across the kit. It is a cotton/rayon blend from Twisted Sister. You knit the squares in strips and seam them together and you end up with this amazing sweater.  Right now, I look at it and think would I really put this on my body? Then I remember how beautiful it was all knitted up. It is so lightweight and will go great with a rib tank and white crop pants. My goal is to get it done by the time spring weather arrives. The little blocks make for great knitting sessions.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Daisy Wreath

The day is here!!! The new Brownie Knits Daisy Wreath knitting pattern is available for purchase! I just LOVE this wreath and is was super fun to knit, too.

This knitted Daisy Wreath brings the beauty of nature to your home d├ęcor. Welcome family and friends to your door with the cheerful flowers or hang it on the wall for your viewing pleasure. The wreath is knitted flat in garter stitch and seamed closed around a foam core. The daisies are i-cord that knits up super fast. You will be addicted to making these fun flowers!

Wreath: 500 yards of worsted weight yarn
Daisy petals: 150 yards of worsted weight yarn
Daisy centers: 30 yards of worsted weight yarn
18 each flat foam wreath
US 6 DPNs and circular or straight needles
Tapestry needle

Gauge: 5 stitches & 10 rows over 1 inch in garter stitch
Sample shown: Miss Babs Yowza - Whatta Skein, Berroco Vintage, and Spud & Chloe Sweater

Pattern available for $2.99 on the Brownie Knits Ravelry shop, Brownie Knits Etsy shop, & Brownie Knits Craftsy shop

Not a crafter? No worries! Let Brownie Knits make a wreath for you. Simply convo us on the Etsy shop and we will custom make you a Daisy Wreath!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hooks, Hooks, Hooks

So I thought I'd share these crochet hooks on the blog. (Several of you inquired about the hook in the previous post.) These LOVELY hooks were purchased from Polymer Clay Shed's Etsy shop. It was a late-night purchase for me when I was oh-so-stressed, sick, and wide awake. They bring a smile to my face as I crochet along.

I love all the fun colors and the little lady bugs, flowers, and butterflies. They are super comfortable to hold while you crochet. In addition to the hooks, she offers some other cute little items, including these pill boxes that double for me as stitch marker holders.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Table Runner

Despite the fact that the calendar says March and last year we already had temperatures in the 60s and 70s, this year we are still having snow and below normal temps. It has left me desperately craving warm weather and life and bright light. If you have been following the blog, you can already tell I've been trying to combat this with my choice in projects. My next crochet project kept that trend going! Meet the ripple table runner...

I went to the craft closet and pulled out lots of semi-matching skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic yarns. Armed with a US H crochet hook (that sort of matched the yarn!), I set out to make a ripple table runner full of color. The plan was to attach flowers and put on a green border, but I didn't like the green border and I also liked the idea of leaving the flowers unattached to move around the table. I think it will bring some fresh air and sunshine to the dining room. I'm using the ripple pattern from Attic 24 (isn't she AWESOME?!?). My foundation chain has 59 stitches. This thing was SO addictive. I had to make myself put it down the first night to get some sleep.

Did you know that March is Crocheting Month? Given how fast this project worked up, I'll need to find another crochet project to keep me busy!

The Diasy flowers are a Brownie Knits pattern that will be released soon (along with a Daisy Wreath pattern). These single Daisy flowers are lifted off the table, so they will work well to rest dishes on them and protect the table.

And I just love these little salt and pepper shakers with all the bright colors. They fit perfectly in the scheme. I plan to create a "grid" on the bowl with masking tape and put a flower arrangement in it. (That is a demo I saw pinned on Pinterest that I thoughts was super clever!)

This project used up 750 yards of stash yarn. Taking into account the new pattern projects that also used up stash yarn, I am up to a total stash yarn used in 2013 of 5,013 yards. Not bad...just over 2.75 miles of yarn.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Initial Hats

Over the last few weeks, I have been obsessed with i-cord. I haven't the slightest idea why or how this came about, but every design idea I had involved i-cord. I couldn't escape it. One of the main reasons I enjoy crocheting is because of the way the fabric can be manipulated into different shapes. Knitting often doesn't offer the same three-dimensional options. Unless, you are talking about i-cord!

It plays a major feature in an upcoming new pattern design from Brownie Knits that I hope to share with you all later this month. As I was knitting and writing that pattern, I was bouncing around thoughts about what baby gifts to make for some high school friends. As I was holding the cord in my hand, I started shaping it into letters and out came the idea for an Initial Hat.

I can't wait to see how they look on the little newborns. A little h for Hayden and a big J for baby girl. Now, I'm not sure that I will release this as a pattern anytime super soon as there are 24 more letters to plot out. But, I do think I'll be making some of these up and putting them on the Etsy shop. (Okay, I have to share that every time we talk about this hat, Patrick and I laugh about the Big Brother contestant years ago who tried to argue there are 27 letters in the alphabet. You know..."Y, AND, Z" isn't a letter. Oh my!)

Continuing on the i-cord train, I have some plans to make some stems with cord and straws. What about you? Any knitting obsessions as of late?

(Total yardage for these hats: 150; Total stash yardage used for 2013: 3354)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pom Pom Flowers: Free Pattern!

Ever want to add some flowers to your home to add some brightness? Have allergies or are you just not great with checking the water level or don't want to spend lots of money on fresh flowers? Well, these Pom Pom Flowers just might meet your needs!

As I was playing around with i-cord for my upcoming new pattern and the Initial Hats, I started wondering what might happen if you add a little structure to the inside of the cord. I grabbed some drinking straws, yarn, and my pom pom maker. Thus, the Pom Pom Flowers were born.

Aren't they adorable? They fit perfectly in my guest room that has these colors in the comforter. (They are nestled in a sweet little vase with knitting cables on it that my good friend Carol gave to me.)

You will need:

  • 10 yards of green and 10 yards of flower color for each flower/stem; sample used Cascade 220 Superwash and Spud & Chloe Sweater scraps
  • Size US 6 DPN needles
  • Pom pom maker (There are lots of makers on the market or you can look on YouTube for videos on how to make one from cardboard. I have a tree sort of like this one.)
  • Drinking straws (one per flower)
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors
Gauge is not critical for this pattern. 

First make your desired number of pom poms. I used the 2 inch size on my pom pom tree and wrapped it about 50 times. The more you wrap, the fuller the pom and the prettier the flower.

Next, with the stem yarn and the DPNs, cast on 6 stitches using the long-tail cast on. Working in i-cord, knit until the stem will just fit over both ends of the straw. (For me, that was about 7 inches with the i-cord slightly stretched.) Insert the straw into the middle of the cord. Using your cast on and bind off tails, sew the ends shut. Finally, use the tail (or a cut piece of matching yarn to your pom flower) to sew the flower to the stem. Ta-Da! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Knitted IU Bunting

This basketball season has been so much fun for us. Always a Hoosier fan, this IU alum has been enjoying the ups and downs of being ranked. Patrick, well, he has officially been converted to cheering for the cream and crimson. But, we have also been watching all sorts of teams. Many weeks we have watched a game a night and spend most of Sunday going from game to game with the remote.

What does this have to do with knitting? Well, after I made my IU-inspired Kitchen Sink Blanket, I looked at my little bag of scrap yarn and wondered what else I could do to use up those last bits. A bunting was the solution. I looked around for a pattern, thought about doing my own thing, and then remembered that Christina had a free bunting pattern. Woohoo! Off I went to her blog link, which can found here.

Now, I tossed it up just to take a few pictures for the blog. However, I plan to use it across the top of the entryway from our front room to the family room. (I hope to get a total and better picture at that time.) It will go up in a few weeks for the Big 10 tourney and the NCAA tournament.

I knitted mine on US 7 needles and crocheted the connecting chain with a US H hook. All of the yarn is scrap so I don't really have any idea on the yardage. I suppose next year, I can hang it up for Valentine's day, too!