Last Saturday I started on a new design. Let me say, it did not work out as per my original vision. I didn’t realize this until yesterday when I went to split the front and back. 500 yards into the project I discovered that I needed to REDO how the eyelets are done on the flat section and that I possibly cast-on entirely too many sleeve stitches because the 50″ body is swimming on me and I don’t really want the sleeves to reach my elbows. I wanted it to be oversized, with 5″-10″ of positive ease; so 50″ would put me in the 7″ over full bust measurement range.
Now my “PlumBody to Love” AKA I-didn’t-want-to-get-dressed-today-but-here-we-are is in time out until I can figure out exactly what I’m going to do with it. The idea of ripping out 10 inches (oh and I made it too short by an inch) and picking up 250 stitches makes me twitchy right now. And its Mother’s Day, “my day”. I plan on keeping the fold-over hem intact because that is the only thing that HAS worked out as planned!
My redo will include a lace panel up the front center of the body, which will only make the lace on the knit side of the flat section. Or perhaps an off-center lace panel that will not be effected by the neckline and run un-interrupted to the shoulder seam. Travel diagonally? I have given myself 24 hours to decide.
In the mean time, I have picked up my Round Yoke “Cute Fight” sweater. I’m about to divide off the sleeves. This sweater will never be a pattern unfortunately; I’m winging it and haven’t taken very accurate notes. But it will be a killer sweater that I will wear once fall rolls around.
Its been quite some time since I’ve worked on an old WIP. With all the baby blanket crocheting and pattern designing, I’ve had busy hands. Sometimes in the evenings, while my spouse is reading the kids a bedtime story, I work on an easy project that lives in my bedroom. This particular pair of socks were pulled out of hibernation back in 2019 when I found and finished my “Cabled Alaska Socks”.
The pattern is the Weasley Homestead sock, a free pattern available on Ravelry. The first sock and most of the cuff of the second sock were complete. I even KNEW which pattern it was and POSSESSED the pattern, no searching in vain and making it up necessary (unlike my Cabled Alaska Socks). So I did the obvious, I set the socks on my dresser (on a small tray) to encourage me to pick them back up and finish them in a reasonable amount of time.
Obviously this didn’t happen. For almost a year these socks were VISIBLE, just sitting on my dresser mocking me. Recently, I picked them up started the task of finishing them. Not arduous. This week, after I finished the Randclaw Blanket, I worked on my “dresser” socks in earnest. I finished the sock beyond the gusset in 3 days. I guess they match well enough, the gauge isn’t completely the same between the two. Nothing particularly noticable, perhaps the difference of one resting for 6 years and the
The yarn is Patons Stretch Sock, a blend of cotton, wool, nylon, and elastic. The fabric has a nubby hand. Pre-wash it is difficult to determine how much additional stretch the sock actually has. The socks are a little roomier than I prefer, and I didn’t really line them up well to snap these pictures this afternoon. The heel is a modified eye-of-partridge flap with a gusset- not my preferred method of heel.
Tonight I have plans to cast-on/design my “I-didn’t-want-to-actually-get-dressed-today, yet-here-we-are” top. Its going to be PURPLE with eyelets. Stay tuned for more exciting updates on that design process.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate marketing links. I make a small commission for purchases made from links contained herein, at no cost to you.
My college friends are so dear to me, they are the people who became adults with me. When I think of the defining moments in my life that make me who I am today, frequently one of them is part of those moments. I love them all so much, and even though we live in different states and are all busy adulting, I laugh at our inside jokes almost daily. In case you are wondering, 20 year old inside jokes age WONDERFULLY.
When life events occur for my “college friends” I love to shower them with my affection via handmade gifts. Blankets, matching his and hers aprons, baby sweaters and hats. If I love you, I’ll create things for you.
This blanket was created as a baby blanket for one of my treasured college friends (and his wife). An oversize baby blanket that will last well into childhood. Or… big enough to enjoy a warm beverage alone on the couch if you don’t have a baby to crochet for right now. I’m REALLY bad at gauging how big a baby blanket should be, this one was a generous 42″x46″ upon completion. I wanted a blanket that would light weight, flexible, textured, easy to construct but not boring, durable, and with very few holes for little fingers and toes to make trouble with.
The stitch pattern is one row, two alternating stitches. You begin and end every row with a SC. It was incredibly easy to maintain the proper stitch count. The edges were so straight, I felt the blanket didn’t need an edging to feel finished!
For this blanket I choose to use Lion Brand’s DK Cake in Lakeside, an 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool blend. Easy care, drape, durability, and affordability were factors in choosing this yarn. This blanket uses approximately 2000 yards (5 cakes/skeins), be certain your dye lots match! Mine did not and I had to do some creative maneuvering to ensure the finished blanket would be harmonious. If you choose to use a worsted weight yarn and a larger hook, your final project will be larger. If money and the ability to machine dry were no object, I may have choose Manos del Uruguay’s Feliz in Stellar instead.
By Cinnamon of Miscellaneous Design Studio
For Babies and Beyond
Wrap your precious little one up against the elements (or overly air conditioned spaces) in a beautiful blanket suitable for crocheters of any skill level.
Acrylic, Acrylic Blends, and Machine-Washable Wool Recommended
Skills: Chain, Double Crochet, Single Crochet
Finished Dimensions: 42″ x 46″
Gauge: gauge for this project is not vital, but to obtain a finished product of the approximate size with the approximate yardage given in this pattern use the listed gauge as a guideline: 4 sts/in
Yarn: You can use any DK (size 3) weight yarn of your choice. Acrylic or Machine-Washable Wool, and their blends are recommended for drape, weight, and washability. You will need approximately 2000 yards depending on the size you wish to make and your native gauge. Smaller blankets will use less yarn, larger blankets will use more yarn.
Tips: You can easily make this project larger or smaller. Vary the gauge or the number of the starting chain (multiple of 2) or the number of total rows worked.
Abbreviations are in US terminology:
DC: Double Crochet
SC: Single Crochet
Chain: Yarn-over, pull through the loop
Double Crochet: wrap yarn around the hook, insert hook into the next stitch of the previous row, yarn-over, draw up the loop, yarn-over pull through two loops, yarn-over pull through the remaining 2 loops on hook.
Single Crochet: insert hook into the next stitch of the previous row, yarn-over, draw up the loop, yarn-over pull through the2 loops on hook.
Set-up row: Into the second chain from the hook, SC. *DC into next stitch, SC into next stitch* repeat across chain. You will end with a SC.
Row 1: Chain 1 (does not count as a stitch). SC into first SC, *DC into the next stitch, SC into the next stitch* across the row. You will end with a SC.
Check Yourself: You will be SC into the SC of the row below and DC into the DC of the row below.
Continue to work ROW 1 every row until you run out of yarn, or the blanket is as long as you want it to be. Fasten off
I’m engaged in a constant quest to use up odds and ends of yarn and subtly get my kids into fiber arts. We read “10-Minute Yarn Projects” by Sarah L. Schutte and were inspired by the “Stick To It!” project. We accessed the e-book via my daughter’s elementary school library and their partnership with Capstone.
Yesterday was a beautiful day. My daughter and I took a little walk in the neighborhood to find good sticks to use for the project. She initially wanted to make some kind of room divider for her little reading nook. Her room isn’t all that big. But you don’t want to discourage kids from executing their creative dreams. I let her choose her own stick. I choose smaller sticks for mine and my son’s projects; approximately 12-15″ . When we returned home we dove into my leftover yarn scrap bin and made our new Yarn-on-a-stick hangers! (See below for a tutorial!)
Stick Yarn Scissors Glue (Optional) Beads (Optional) Crochet Hook (Optional) Yarn Needle (Optional with use of Beads)
Get a Stick
It doesn’t even need to be a real stick. A dowel, a discarded knitting needle, a piece of re-bar, an embroidery hoop, a curtain rod. Use your imagination: any object that you can wrap yarn around and hang up is all you need. I recommend a length between 12-30″. But this is your project, it can be as large or small as you want. For this tutorial I’m using a size 19 wooden needle. Its raining today, and I didn’t want to go fetch a wet stick.
I’m using some scraps of Lion Brand Thick and Quick for these photos a Super Bulky weight yarn. In the original projects, we used Worsted/Medium weight yarn.
You can either cut all of your lenghts at once, or cut them as you need them. We’ve done it both ways. Neither is a superior method.
The length you need depends on how long you want your hanger to be. We will be folding each piece of yarn in HALF when we attach it. So your cut length will be twice your desired hang plus double the circumference of your “stick”. The length in the tutorial is approximately 27″ long . The one over my desk, those lengths were about 22″ long. For the largest one, approximately 6 feet for each length (trimmed after installation). Go ahead and test a couple lengths out before you commit, err on the side of too long. You can always trim at the end, but you cannot reasonably add length at the end.
Step 1: Fold each piece of yarn in half, with the loop facing up, the tails facing down. Place it behind the stick.
Step 2: Pull the loop over the top of your stick with the tails between the loop.
Step 3: Pull the yarn tails through the loop.
Step 4: Pull the tails down to tighten the yarn around the stick.
Repeat Step 4 until the desired amount of fullness is achieved. You can use as much or as little as you want.
You will need to add a hanger. I choose to crochet a chain for aesthetic reasons, but you can simply knot a length of yarn to each end for hanging. My hangers are between 20 and 36 inches. If you are unsure of your knot skills or just desire additional stability, please feel free to glue the hanger knots to the stick (optional). If you are using glue, please allow the glue to dry completely before hanging!
At this point you may desire to trim the tails of your Yarn-on-a-Stick hanger. You can make them even, or irregular, or angled.
If you want to get extra fancy, add some beads to your project (also optional)! I used random beads we had in the bead box. I threaded a yarn needle (a large eyed needle) with the yarn tail, pulled through the hole in the bead and made a knot to secure. If the hole in your bead is particularly large, you may need to make a knot AROUND your bead, this will prevent the tail from hanging completely flat.
Hang Your Project and Admire!
Please choose a hanger appropriate for the finished weight of your project! All of our Yarn-on-a-Stick projects were relatively light. A command hook, a push-pin, a ceiling hook, and a mounting for a baby monitor were all sufficient to hold the weights of our hangers. You may need to anchor your project into a wall stud depending on the weight of your finished project (if your project is particularly large or you’ve used re-bar or some kind of metal rod).
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will share your own Yarn-on-a-Stick projects to Instagram using #yarnonastick.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate marketing links. I make a small commission for purchases made from links contained herein; at no cost to you.
For months I have been working on baby blankets. AND FINALLY, I’m nearing the end of my epic baby blanket crochet-fest!
Since late February, I’ve started 4 blankets. Frogged one, finished two, and will finish the final blanket tomorrow. All of the blankets were finished by the baby’s DUE dates…. But babies do what they want and ALL of them were EARLY!
The Failed Bobbles
I had dreams of designing/creating a super textured bobble blanket for the twins. From the beginning, I had difficulty maintaining my stitch count. Even in my swatch I lost a stitch. But for whatever reason, I carried on and worked on it for over a month. It was SO heavy, used SO MUCH YARN (because of the bobbles) and they edges were a wreck. I could fudge a couple lost stitches, but not 8. No edging on the planet could have saved it. Plus the weight alone would have crushed a small child. I needed the yarn to complete both blankets, so I frogged as I worked the C2C blankets that ultimately were created.
Fraternal Stripe C2C
I wrote a post a couple of weeks about learning a new skill under a deadline, C2C crochet. Here are the results! Both blankets measure approximately 36″ (91 cm) square. I used some stash yarns: the light blue, the cream, the taupe. And purchased the navy and the light green. My gauge is different between the two blankets; therefore I needed to add additional rows to the 2nd (blue cornered) to make them even. The borders are single crochet. I wanted something simple and unifying to avoid the focus being removed from the stripe pattern. Both blankets are reasonably weighted and large enough to carry to boys through early childhood. I finished the two blankets between 4/5-21, about 2.5 weeks. I only have a few hours a day to dedicate to fiber arts, with the largest block of time in the evenings after the kids go to sleep.
These blankets were also a commission, something I rarely undertake. But they were for a close friend and I had creative control so it wasn’t too restrictive of a project. I challenged myself to do “random” striping. I did OK in that aspect. I enjoy regularity and strict pattern; randomness is chaos in my brain. I will definitely do another C2C blanket in the future, I have some yarn that I plan on using for said project. Since both of these blankets are square, I may venture into rectangular C2C. You know, to grow my skills set.
I hadn’t really heard about these until a week and a half ago. Amigurumi isn’t really my thing, because of the tight stitches. Yet when the situation arises, one must rise to meet it. It took me about 5 hours to work this guy out. I ripped out my first attempt because I wasn’t thinking and out too many stitches into the beginning magic loop. I used Sugar and Cream cotton worsted weight yarn. I only kind of followed a pattern mainly for the tentacles. I couldn’t find my small hooks, so I used a G/4mm and purposely tugged my stitches tight. I was feeling unsure that my gauge would be sufficient enough to hold in the stuffing through washing and use, so I stuffed the poly-fil into a new “knee high” to keep everything in order. I think it’ll survive the hot wash intact! I also embroidered a little face on it- no buttons, safety eyes. But I forgot to snap another picture before I put it in the box and shipped it off to my friends. My embroidery skills are rubbish. Add to my long list of skills building I guess.
Despite all my kvetching, I’m thrilled with the completed project. However, my fingers ached from the super tight gauge with cotton yarn. If I ever need to make another one, I will in a heartbeat. But I don’t think making these will become my new passion, they made my left hand ache.
I’m so close to completing this blanket! Its been a labor of love since late February. I’ll give it its own post and the (free) PATTERN upon completion. I cannot wait to send it off to its new family. Two amazing people who have been blessed with their first child.
Quarantine Dye Job
I always color my own hair, so my dye job isn’t outside of my wheelhouse. But it is the first time since college that I’ve dyed my hair a crazy color. My blonde hair needs to be toned occasionally. I can’t just pop over to the beauty supply store and grab a bottle of Wella T-18 toner, so I decided to play the long game. Enter my (temporary) purple hair! By the time we are free to move about the community, it will have faded to an ashy blonde. I think. My kids are tickled by my current purple hair.
A friend, from my first job out of college, sent me these pictures last week. She was going through her “old” knitting stuff and found this gem. The pattern is for a hat, knit flat then seamed up the back. It was a gift for her father.
I have so many memories wrapped into nearly two decades of knitting (and teaching my friends to knit, and designing projects). The two are intertwined to the point where my life and my craft have become one and the same. Knitting on through anguish and joy, grief and happiness, through all the stages of my adulthood. Projects that can transport me to different places and times of my life; seeing life through my own eyes all over again.
The basement yarn store, Rosie’s Yarn Cellar, where I purchased my first yarn and needles- I can feel in my mind walking down the steep stairs and being transported into that new world of knitting. I remember how nervous I was that cold January day, I was afraid the ladies in the shop would laugh at me and how I knew NOTHING about knitting (just that I wanted to learn).
Knitting on the train, the bus, the subway. In Physics lecture. Outside the office of the Geology Department: 4 of us just knitting and laughing and enjoying life. I remember sitting in a cafe reading all afternoon knitting a pair of too chunky cabled mittens with thumbs that look like a closed bud. The feeling of being overwhelmed by all the yarn, people, and scents the first time I attended MD Sheep and Wool.
All the items that I’ve knit for my family, lovingly preserved in photographs.
I’m reminded of friends I’ve made and lost touch with over the years. Knitting groups formed and dissolved and left, the never ending passage of time. With my yarn, my needles, my hook as my constant companion.
I look forward to all the new memories my yarn and I will make in the coming decades.
I’m always thinking about my design work. My current project, my next, the next next, the someday I’ll sit down and figure out how to execute this weird construction project that won’t likely get released for mass consumption project.
This week, I’ve been about super comfy. I since mid-March I have made it a point to get dressed every day. Actual pants that I would wear in public, a real bra, sometimes I even blow dry my hair and/or put on make up. This week, its been a lot of barely-qualifying-as-pants (they have buttons, zippers and pockets) and oversized sweaters and sweatshirts.But the last few days I am beginning to realize, its going to be too warm to wear sweatshirts and my oversized long sleeve sweaters soon.
This got me thinking, what do I need in my closet to continue my almost schlubby fashion aesthetic? What looks like you put thought into your outfit but in reality you just grabbed the comfy thing to throw over your favorite stained tank top? A top: short sleeved, oversized, slightly cropped (to avoid it looking “tent like”), not too heavy, probably not wool, that utilizes yarn I have on hand, and that matches my wardrobe. Yeah, and I want it to work up within 30 hours of work time. Easy, right??
And I think I want to call it” I didn’t want to actually get dressed today, yet here we are”. No. Don’t tell me: the name needs some work. I’ll admit, I’m pretty rubbish at naming my patterns. Its a lot of pressure. I err on the side of absurd in general, so giving my work something vaguely descriptive is my go to. Enter the tremendously original and memorable pattern name Wide Garter Stripe Shawl. I don’t think “Examining Existential Dread #4” has quire the same appeal as the “Bromeliad Cardigan”. You can’t go naming your knit and crochet pieces like some kind of college art class project series. Can you??
Are you enticed by pattern names? Or is it entirely the photography of the project that draws you in?
FINALLY! I published this design. After months agonizing that the formatting and photos were JUST RIGHT, I said “Its time”. Even if the photos aren’t perfect.
About the Design
This year has been dedicated to mindful stash reduction. I have a modest stash, but it overflows the space I have allocated for it. Being an adult, I COULD just allocate more space and let my yarn take over the house like Kudzu. However, my goal for the next decade is to become more minimal in my consumption and accumulation. Its a difficult habit to break.
Part of stash reduction is actually WORKING FROM MY STASH. All of yarns I knit this pattern with were acquired BEFORE 2012. I did a few swatches to find good combinations. I loved the subtle stripes of my large cowl: I started the pattern design back in January. The combination reminded me of the first blooms of spring: something to keep us hopeful through dreary, grey, winter days. The two yarns were perfect together, it was almost as if the yarns were made for each other. As I worked through this first cowl, I thought about how amazing it would look with high contrast. Once I finished the first, the second was cast-on soon after.
The mitered squares are a simple way to take simple stripes and garter to the next level. The construction is simple enough to work through without much thought. Perfect for remote meetings, homeschooling your kids, or binge watching you newest series obsession.
There is an optional border: feel free to omit. My large sample has a border, the small version does not. Both are equally wonderful. Although not included, an i-cord border would look really nice too.
Any fingering weight soft enough to wear next to your face is suitable. Both of my samples are two color, but a single color (fewer ends to weave in!!) or a multitude of colors would also be beautiful. You are only limited by your imagination (or your stash if working from yarns on hand)! Non-wool fibers could be equally suited for this project. I have not knit this in cotton, linen, silk, or acrylic; I suspect they would produce a different look and feel. I would love to see how other fibers work up!
DOWNLOAD THE PATTERN
Its free on Ravelry from April 14, 2020-May 31, 2020 with the code SPRANG Get it HERE! Then share your progress on Instagram using the #springsprangsprung tag. I can’t wait to see what kind of beauties you knit up.
In the last decade, things happen to make me realize I’m the “grown-up” in the room. The Fish is my favorite character in the Cat in the Hat. I don’t get drunk and attempt to climb water towers in the middle of the desert anymore. I have a favorite grocery store. I own multiple pairs of sneakers for SPECIFIC activities and don’t wear them for situations beyond their intended purpose (like I would NEVER wear my lifting sneakers on a bike ride!). Well yesterday, I got a new desk chair delivered. And let me tell you, IT’S REALLY EXCITING.
I’ve been contemplating a new desk chair for months. The chair I had, I never actually liked; it was a gift. It had arms that didn’t fit under my desk. Recently the bonded leather started to separate, in little schmutz all over the floor and my clothes. It was sad looking, and annoying. I hope my cat doesn’t destroy the fabric- literally my only holdout on replacing the chair. Bonus points for it not adding to the messy appearance of my “office” corner.
Don’t get me wrong, I still do things that make me question my ability to function as an adult. Like last night, there was A BUNCH of leftover candy from making up the kids’ Easter baskets. In my infinite wisdom, I ate SO MANY Reese’s’ Pieces Eggs that I’ve had heartburn since LAST NIGHT. Well played universe, well played.
I’ve also made progress on the baby blankets. I finished the body of one this morning (Saturday) and started the second (or ripped out and restarted the original) this afternoon. I’m still on track to make my goal of next weekend completed and delivered!
The striping pattern is somewhat random. Which is a REAL struggle for me. I like pattern, I like predictability. I want things to have a balanced look, but still have a spontaneous feel. Also, I already purchased 2 balls of yarn for the project. I want to maximize the use of the yarn with as few leftovers as possible (I’m sure another blanket is on the horizon to make use of all this yarn). Finished dimensions about 40″ x 40″. The original bobble blanket is being frogged for this current blanket. I like it, but I don’t love it. Its too heavy and between the first set of bobbles and the last I misplaced 8 stitches. So much for being good at crochet! I may attempt a similar pattern in the future, but not striped like this one was.
I’ve been talking about the baby blankets for twins that I’m crocheting for a couple months now. I made the first, a bobbled pattern and was completely underwhelmed with the result. SO much that I haven’t woven in the ends and I was dreading making a second that coordinated. Now I have less than two weeks to deliver the goods to my friend. What does a life long procrastinator do?
If you said learn a new crochet skill, you guessed right. Because nothing says looming deadline like changing course on the project, COMPLETELY, at the last minute.
I’ve been seeing other sing the praises of C2C (corner to corner) crochet for months now. I’ve seen some really beautiful blankets (shout out to the C2C graphgans!!). Yesterday afternoon I popped open Pinterest to look for a picture tutorial. Honestly, I’m not a video skills kind of person- finding a text/photo/chart based tutorial is not always easy. The first tutorial seemed to leave out a pivotal step, and I couldn’t figure out how to start row 2. The second tutorial was from Winding Road Crochet, and was everything I wanted! It had photos, text, charts, and video. It also has LEFT HAND specific video, my lefty pals, no excuses now!
In 24 hours (4 hours of actual work) I completed the first 29 rows. Based on my rough calculations, I will increase until 47-50 rows before I start my decreases.
If I can finish the project by 4/10, I’ll deconstruct the original and make a C2C. I think it will use A LOT less yarn, because I won’t be making 7 (or was it 9) loops for each bobble!
SO, if you’re on the fence about learning the C2C technique- JUST DO IT. Its super easy, and yields a really modern looking finished product. I also highly suggest the tutorial from Winding Road Crochet, she makes the whole process super easy.