Friday, January 30, 2015

Techniques for the Brownie Knits 2015 Block Blanket-Along

This video contains demonstrations of some of the knitting techniques used in the Brownie Knits 2015 Block Blanket-Along. To join in the #bkblanketalong, go to and join the Brownie Knits group. Each month a new free block will be made available for download in Ravelry and on All discussion of the blocks will take place in Ravelry and in the BrownieKnits YouTube video podcast.

Techniques covered in this video:

Long-tail cast

Continental Knitting and Purling (demo only; You do not need to knit continental to make the blanket.)

Reading charts

Knit through the back loop (ktbl)

Yarn over (yo)

Knit 2 stitches together (k2tog)

Knit through the front and back (kfb)

Slip 1 knit 2 together pass slip stitch over (sl1 k2tog peso)

Slip slip knit (ssk)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Brownie Knits Episode 8: The One with Carol

Welcome to episode 8 of the Brownie Knits podcast! In this episode we are on location in Cincinnati, Ohio with my dear friend Carol. Join us for a sit and knit or crochet as we talk about our projects and share a few stories from our 20-year friendship.

Finished Projects:

IU Sock out of Yarn Hallow and Madelinetosh Tosh Sock

Life of Leaves Shawl by A Knitter's Life out of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Ember

Socks out of Simply Socks Poste Jollyville

Tea Leaves Cardigan by Melissa LeBarre out of Tosh in Amber Trinket and Well Water


Crochet squares out of leftover DK and worsted yarns (check the Brownie Knits blog at for a future post with the instructions)

Snow White socks out of Turtlepurl Yarns

Other mentions:

Turtlepurl yarns in City Girl colorway

Curls book by Hunter Hammersen

Join the Brownie Knits 2015 Block Blanket-Along via the Brownie Knits Ravelry group! Our hashtag for the along is #bkblanketalong. You can download the free block patterns from Ravelry or

Special note: My hubby was just watching the episode and I heard myself say Berroco Vintage gets 4.5 on a 7 and 5 on 8. ARGH!!!! It gets 4.5 on an 8 and 5 on a 7. Sorry if I confused anybody with my brain toot!

For any beginners, the smaller the needle the more sts you get in an inch. The larger the needle the fewer sts you get in an inch. I can’t believe I said that AND didn’t catch it in editing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Making the Crochet Tiara Headband

I was so taken with this project that I decided to give you some more detail in a blog post. The pattern is from Fable of Five's Kate Dimech and is available here on Ravelry. The pattern is free and the way it is written, you can use pretty much any yarn you want as long as you adjust your hook size. Kate's original pattern used a DK weight of yarn and a G hook. I held fingering weight doubled and used an F hook.

First, gather your materials...
Crochet hook
Child's headband
Beads or buttons
Hot glue gun and sticks

I picked up a headband from a kid's clothing shop. It was impossible to find a plan one there, but I just snipped the original covering off. I used a rather thin headband, but you could easily adjust to a thicker one. My yarn is Koigu fingering weight held doubled in a cream colorway. The hook is from Furls and is part of their Candy Shop line. (I love the hooks, but I do find that if you crochet further down the neck, the size is larger so I tend to not use them for gauge critical garments.) Believe it or not, I had all those little buttons in my stash! I had them from a jar of buttons I purchased at an antique shop. Many were missing the backs, but you didn't need the shank for this project as you hot glue them in place.

First, you crochet around the headband to cover it. I placed a dot of hot glue on the bottom ends to just make sure the yarn doesn't move around with play. My headband was plastic and a bit slick. If you are covering an existing fabric, you probably would be okay. (The fabric I cut off my headband had this fabric flower things sticking off of it, which is why I didn't just leave the fabric.)

Next, you crochet on the crown points. Kate does a great job of telling you how to place these if you ended up with a different stitch count on the initial covering round. The right side (i.e. public side) of the crown does end up being the wrong side of the initial crochet round. But, if you look closely, that makes it look like a real crown, imo. I secured the ends and then glued the buttons on. Perfection! Like I said on the podcast, I totally want one for me! Wouldn't something like this out of crochet thread be just perfect for a garden wedding? This little one is off to Florida to crown Princess Ella. I hope you will check out the pattern, it's totally worth the hour or less!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Yarn Dogs, Stash Organization, and a Calming Bedroom: Yes, Please!

PK went back to work on the 5th and I got down to business working on my 2015 goals. Last week was super exciting as I launched the Brownie Knits 2015 Block Blanket-Along on the 7th. I was BEYOND thrilled with the reception the KAL has received. I truly thought it would be me and my knitter friend making blankets and that might be it! I'm so happy to have so many of you cast on and plan out your blanket. Knitters are AMAZING! If you haven't signed up and want to join in, you can pop over to the Brownie Knits Ravelry board to read all the details and get started. (This type of project can easily be picked up a months in, too, if you are reading this post later in 2015 you can still join in.)

This photo has zero to do with this post, but I just loved wearing my hand-knit socks with these shoes and thought I'd share! The yarn is Turlepurl Striped Turtle Toes in Trenchcoat. The red stripe hits my foot exactly right for the shoes.

Here is the #bkblanketalong logo if you would like to use it for your project image. (Be aware that the KAL is NOT a mystery KAL, so you will see photos and video of the block of the month when it is released.)

We got the house put back together from all the Christmas decorations. I put out the IU bunting and decor on the mantel. The bunting doubles nicely for Valentine's Day, too! The spider plants are happy to be back in the sunny spots. Anybody in the Indy area need some started spider plants?

I spent days going through ALL of my yarn. There was a major talk with myself about all the partial skeins I had. After so many years, they just were NOT going to get knitted or crocheted. So, I kept my sock yarn leftovers and organized those in a bag and did the same for worsted/DK weight designer yarn leftovers. I have design plans for both of those bags. The rest of the leftovers went out the door. All the full skeins and balls were photographed, counted, organized, and are being put into Ravelry. This was one of my BIG goals for this year. It makes searching for yarn in your stash so much easier when you find a pattern you want to knit or have a design idea. I also pulled out yarn that I knew I wanted to knit or crochet this year. Those are in a basket along with my basket of started projects. Can't wait to get started on them all after I get more of the blocks designed and my current project finished.

Kennedy helped to organize and Riley slept on me while I worked. 

Kiki required ear scratches as a reward for her patience.

"Mom, your hand smells like wool."

One of my other big goals was to create a calm, relaxing, and coordinated bedroom environment. I spend SO much time in there. In the winter, our downstairs is pretty cold and the upstairs is toasty. So, some days I sit in here and knit all day while watching TV and podcasts. I HATED our old lamps with a passion. So, out they went and in came these cool dudes. Then, I found this headboard online for a great price. We feel like adults now. No more just-a-frame college-ish bed for us! Next up, I will be crafting up a large wall hanging for above the bed. 

I just love how it feels like a beach!

Buddha belly Kiki approves.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Brownie Knits Episode 7: Block 1 Brownie Knits 2015 Block Blanket-Along

Welcome to episode 7 of the BrownieKnits video podcast! In this very special episode, we start the 2015 Block Blanket-Along!!! I hope that you will join in our KAL, but if not there is still plenty for you in the podcast, too.



Patterns Discussed:
Block 1 of the Brownie Knits 2015 Block Blanket-Along
Flossie Hat, Emmalie Mittens, Millie Infinity Scarf, and Tressie Cowl by Brownie Knits
Handspun Show Off Socks by Caryn Lantz of
Crochet Tiara Headband by Kate Dimesh of Fable of Five

Other content:
Portrait of a Woman Brushing Her Hair poem by Patrick Kanouse
Karma card game

Don't forget to join the Brownie Knits Ravelry group for discussion about the #BKBlanketAlong and answer the questions in the Getting to Know You thread to enter for our January 2015 giveaway!

Brownie Knits can be found at
YouTube: BrownieKnits channel
Instagram / Ravelry / Craftsy / Pinterest: BrownieKnits
Facebook: Brownie Knits

Monday, January 5, 2015

Starting Out 2015!

Welcome, 2015! Not going to pull any punches. The last two years have been full of challenges for me. I go into this new year full of hope that I am due a little calm, normalcy, and joy. If you are a long-time reader of the blog, you know that I have often set out goals of things I'd like to achieve for the year. For 2015, I wrote my goals with one thing in life. Each goal is geared toward bringing making my life full...take nothing for granted. So, here they are, interspersed between photos of our holiday celebrations.

Bird of Happiness knitted out of Berroco Vintage on a US 4 needle.

Complete the Craftsy classes I have already purchased.
Read more books.

Star Ornament crocheted out of Madelinetosh Tosh DK and Berroco Vintage DK.

Participate in more KALs and maybe some yarn swaps.
Podcast at least twice a month and watch as many as I want.

We went to Yuletide and had a GREAT day. Love this picture of us.

Upload stash to Ravelry so that I know all the goodies I have!
Knit lots of shawls and socks out of my stash, at least 6 of which will be for me.
Put all of the photos and clippings I inherited from mom into a Heritage album. (I think this will be a productive way to continue recovering from grief versus wallowing in the loss.)

Raleigh and I built a snowman inside. He loved it! I was sad to take it down.

Drink more water.
Participate in four 5Ks.
Take back control of my care and find a new oncologist!!!
Cut myself breaks when my health days are hard. Beating myself up does nothing but make it worse.

I managed to get my nephew into one of my IU shirts, much to his Duke-loving dad's dismay!!!

Work on several ebook ideas I have.
Say no to teaching...this is a hard one for me. As much as I know people appreciate my classes, I get so stressed about teaching. I enjoy the designing, editing, and testing processes so much more. It is NEVER easy to say no to opportunities, but I need to follow this one to keep stress levels low. It will be my hardest goal to achieve!

Ella loved her princess dress!

Spend as much time as possible with Patrick.
Play lots of board games.
Knit and crochet as much as I want with no guilt.
Continue painting classes.
Worry WAY less.
Get together with friends as much as I want to and can.
Go to an IU game.
Go to a concert.
Take at least two trips.

I have a multitude of business goals, but I won't bore you with those here. Instead, let see some more celebration pictures:

We made Ninja Turtles out of TP rolls and felt.

We made garland, a Raleigh elf, and some ornaments.

Patrick and I played board and card games for two weeks. LOVE the Karma card game. It is a great one for just two people.

Kiki napped in the new fleece blanket...

and Riley was a good sport on Christmas Eve and wore a bow.

Here are all the yarn goodies that are now a part of my stash to organize!!!

Turtlepurl yarn

Dancing Dog Dyeworks

Eaden Yarns

More Turtlepurl...

Voolenvine in the Outlander colorway!!!

And a new bag from the FeltedFlowerShop on Etsy.