Chevron Pillow

My friend Cassie bought me a knitting pattern book, Knitting 24/7, for my birthday last year.  It is full of fun, modern patterns.  She pointed out that there was a really cool pillow.  I took note and decided she was getting the pillow for her birthday.  While the pillow looks nice, I really hated making it.  I started it at the beginning of October on the car ride back from our wedding and just finished it two weeks ago!

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Why I didn’t like the pillow:

  • Construction Type:  I very much like my projects to be seamless if at all possible.  This pillow was the opposite of that.  The front of the pillow was made by knitting in a round with a steek.  A steek is basically an extra stripe in the fabric that you will cut through.  Yes.  You have to cut into your knitted fabric.  Then you have to sew up the edges so it doesn’t unravel.  Scariest thing ever.  You also have to knit a bunch of extra stitches, and I’m lazy.  After the front is made, the knitter must pick up stitches at the top and bottom of the pillow and knit the two back halves.  After all of that, the sides have to be seamed.  It would have been much easier to start at the center of the back, knit to the top, knit the front from the top to bottom, and knit the back from the bottom to the middle.
  • My Own Error:  I started out making the pillow on some very old circular needles my grandma gave me.  They were stiff and I was having a hard time working the project in the round and pulling the front design a little too tight.  I was really frustrated with the needles and was really wishing for new needles.  For Christmas, my husband bought me a new set of circular needles.  He wanted me to try them and I was super frustrated with the ones I was using.  I knew that the tension in the project may change a little if I switched, but I was ready to quit on the project.  I switched needles.  They were wonderful.  It was so easy to keep working the project.  After about an inch of more fabric, I noted that my tension had gotten looser.  I was concerned, but decided the pillow should stretch it out.  As I kept going, I noticed a major difference in the old knitting and new.  I didn’t know if a pillow was going to be able to overcome the problem.  I sat the project down for a couple of months.  I didn’t want to make the back (the pillow was very large) if I couldn’t fix the front.  My husband talked me into finishing it.  Despite the fact that the pillow was knitting too tight horizontally, it turned out wide.  The height was perfect.  Several people complained about this problem on Ravelry, so I wasn’t the only one.  I ended up sewing and stuffing my own pillow to fit it perfectly.  The change in tension isn’t obvious in the overstuffed pillow.

Difficulty:  Easy/Moderate

Time Required:  Many Movies

Overall Experience:  Poor

Ballband Dishcloth

I’ve found a knitting buddy in Houston (that’s really exciting since all of the rest of my knitting buddies are online friends that live far away)!  She swears by ballband dishclothes, so I whipped one up.  The project was quick and the colors and design were fun.  I love the texture.  I’m excited to try it…even if that does mean I have to do dishes.

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Difficulty:  Easy

Time Required:  2 Movies

Overall Experience:  Excellent

Multiplicity

I finished my Multiplicity purse this afternoon, and I love it!  The purse is knit using double knit, which I had been wanting to learn for some time.  The technique is interesting because one creates a double sided fabric by knitting one stitch from one side then one stitch from the other.  The stitches from both sides are alternating on one set of needles.  In the case of this purse, the fabric was grey with yellow details on one side and yellow with grey details on the other.  The purse features a large main pocket that folds over a smaller pocket.  I purchased the leather strap from Homestead Heirlooms.

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Difficulty:  Moderate

Time Required:  12 Movies

Overall Experience:  Excellent

Crafternoon Tea Preemie Hats

Some ladies in my Sunday School class are interested in learning to knit and crochet.  We decided to add a missions component to the learning experience and make preemie hats to donate to local NICUs.  We had our first meeting yesterday and it was a blast!  We taught some crochet skills and made some hats.  I wanted to show off some of the hats and give the ladies some digital resources concerning what we learned yesterday.

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Stitches Learned

Yesterday we taught the basics of crochet to the beginners.  We taught some combination of the following stitches.  If you didn’t learn all of them, no big deal!  You can learn them next time.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask Shanda or me anything you would like.  The links below describe the stitches using words and figures.  The Crochet Crowd also provides a great series of YouTube videos for beginners.  After you learn these basic stitches, you can make any of the hats featured above!

Patterns

I had several patterns printed out yesterday and wanted to make them digitally available to everyone.  I found these patterns on Ravelry, which is a great source for everything knitting/crocheting.  If you join Ravelry, friend me!  My profile is here.  Feel free to be creative with the patterns!

Micro Preemie Hats – Crochet

Both of the hats we made have an added on edging.

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Wrapped with Love – Crochet

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Baby Cowboy Hat – Crochet

This turned out looking a little more like a Fedora than a cowboy hat.  I might edit it a little next time I made it.

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Baby Bear Hat – Knit

I made one edit to this pattern.  The pattern calls to knit until the hat is 6″ long.  That is very long for a preemie hat.  I knit it to 4.5″.  It looks about right.

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Preemie Football Hat – Knit

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Enjoy the patterns and feel free to ask me questions!

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Bombshell Shorts

I finally finished my Bombshell Shorts!  It took me a while because I had several other projects in the works at the same time.  They turned out adorable.  I love love love them.  The pattern was very customizable.  My goal here is to share how I customized it and what I would do differently if I made them again.

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  • The length of the shorts is customizable.  The length that is suggested is longer than I would wear, but a short length suggestion isn’t given.  I knitted the band at the bottom of the shorts and knit the first 8 rows of the first 16 row repeat before joining.  I like the length of the front of the shorts, but my butt requires more material in the back.  They are shorter than I would prefer in the back.  I would knit 12-16 rows of the first 16 row repeat before joining if I were to make them again.  Ideally, the back could be made longer.  At least on me, the difference in length in the front and back is noticeable if you are really looking.  I don’t think there is really any way to do that with this pattern.
  • The pattern suggests that the knitter can decrease for butt shaping if a gap starts to form, but doesn’t give any details on where to decrease.  I didn’t have a noticeable gap until I reached Row 8 of my fourth 16 row repeat.  I made a size medium and decreased as follows:
    • Row 9:  Pearl each stitch until two stitches before the first 4-Stitch Cable, pearl two together, follow established pattern until last 4-Stitch Cable is complete, pearl two together though back loops, pearl until end of row (following rows will have two fewer pear stitches in back panel)
    • Row 10:  Follow pattern until second 4-Stitch Cable is complete, pearl 1, pearl two together, Celtic Cable, pearl two together through back loops, follow pattern until sixth 4-Stitch Cable is complete, pearl 1, pearl two together, Celtic Cable, pearl two together through back loops, follow pattern until end of row (the following rows will have one fewer pearl stitch on each side of Celtic Cable)
    • Row 11:  Pearl each stitch until two stitches before the first 4-Stitch Cable, pearl two together, follow established pattern until last 4-Stitch Cable is complete, pearl two together though back loops, pearl until end of row (following rows will have two fewer pear stitches in back panel)
    • Row 12:  Follow established pattern
    • Row 13:  Pearl each stitch until two stitches before the first 4-Stitch Cable, pearl two together, follow established pattern until last 4-Stitch Cable is complete, pearl two together though back loops, pearl until end of row (following rows will have two fewer pear stitches in back panel)
    • Row 14:  Follow established pattern
    • Row 15:  Pearl each stitch until two stitches before the first 4-Stitch Cable, pearl two together, follow established pattern until last 4-Stitch Cable is complete, pearl two together though back loops, pearl until end of row (following rows will have two fewer pear stitches in back panel)
    • Row 16:  Follow established pattern
  • My shorts bunch a little bit in the front crotch area.  If I were to make these again, I would try to work out some shaping in this area.

Difficulty:  Moderate-Hard

Time Required:  40 Movies

Overall Experience:  Excellent

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Owl Baby Hat

My cousin Amber asked if I could come up with a pattern for a baby owl hat.  I combined the hat from my Hello Kitty Hat with an adorable owl keychain I saw on Ravelry.  The outcome was quite cute.  She wanted the main hat color to be peach.  I usually work in jewel-tones, which aren’t available in baby yarn.  I made this hat in pastel baby yarns.  The yarn is so unbelievably soft!  It was quite a bit less stretchy than what I normally use, so I had to start over with larger needles halfway through the project.  I should actually start recording my gauge and experience with different fibers.

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Disclaimer:  Feel free to make this pattern for your personal use, for your platypus, for charity, or to sell.  The only thing I ask is that you please do not sell it on Etsy.  If you are interested in purchasing a koozie from my Etsy store, you may do so here.

Materials:

  • 5 Size 8 Double Pointed Knitting Needles
  • US Size 0 Crochet Hook
  • US Size 2 Crochet Hook
  • 1 Skein Bernat Softee Baby in Soft Peach (P)
  • Small amounts of crochet thread in black (K) and white (W)
  • Small amount of orange yarn (O)
  • Scraps of various sport weight/baby yarn (I used the following:  Bernat Softee Baby in Flannel (G), Lion Brand Jamie in Little Boy Blue (B), Lion Brand Jamie in Light Yellow (Y), Bernat Softee Baby in Little Mouse (N))

Gauge:

9 stitches =13 rows = 2 inches Stockinette Stitch

The hat is about 14″ in circumference unstretched and stretches to about 19.”

Stitches Used:

Instructions:

Band:

Cast on 72 stitches with P, knit in round being careful not to twist

R1-R4:  (k2, p2) 18 times (72 stitches)

R5:  (tr, p2) 18 times (72 stitches)

R6:  (k2, p2) 17 times, k2, p1 (71 stitches), leave last stitch unworked, this stitch becomes the first stitch of the next row

R7:  (pr, pl) 18 times (72 stitches)

R8:  (k1, p2, k1) 17 times, k1, p2 (71 stitches), leave last stitch unworked, this stitch becomes the first stitch of the next row

R9:  (tl, p2) 18 times (72 stitches)

R10:  (k2, p2) 17 times, k2, p1 (71) stitches), leave last stitch unworked, this stitch becomes the first stitch of the next row

R11:  (tr, tl) 18 times (72 stitches)

R12:  k71, leave last stitch unworked, this stitch becomes the first stitch of the next row (71 stitches)

R13:  (tl, k2) 18 times (72 stitches)

Knit each following row until the hat is 5 inches long.

Crown:

R1:  (K4, K2tog, SSK, K4) 6 times (60 stitches)

R9:  K60

R10:  (K3, K2tog, SSK, K3) 6 times (48 stitches)

R11:  K48

R12:  (K2, K2tog, SSK, K2) 6 times (36 stitches)

R13:  K36

R14:  (K, K2tog, SSK, K) 6 times (24 stitches)

R15:  K24

R16:  (K2tog, SSK) 6 times (12 stitches)

Cut the yarn with several spare inches.  Thread a tapestry needle and pull yarn through all 12 stitches on needles.  Work in ends.

Owl (Adapted from Owl Keychain Pattern):

With G and size 0 hook ch3 and sl st to form ring.

R1:  Ch3, work 7 dc in ring, sl st in third ch of ch3 which acts as first dc (8 dc)

Fasten off G and work in ends.

R2:  With B sl st between any two dc from R1, ch2 (acts as first hdc), hdc in same space, 2 hdc in each space around, sl st in second ch of ch2. (16 hdc)

Fasten off B and work in ends.

R3:  With Y sc between any two hdc from R2, ch1 , (sc, ch 1) in each space around, sl st in top of first sc (16 sc, 16 ch)

Fasten off Y and work in ends.

R4:  With P sc in any ch 1 space from R3, sc in same space, ch 1, (2 sc, ch1) in each ch 1 space around, sl st in top of first sc (32 sc, 16 ch)

Fasten off P and work in ends.

R5:  With N sc in an ch 1 space from R4, 2 sc in same space, ch 1, (3 sc, ch1) in next 10 ch 1 spaces, 3 dc in next ch 1 space, 2 hdc in next ch 1 space, sc in next ch 1 space, 2 hdc in next ch 1 space, 3 dc in last ch 1 space, sl st to first sc (44 stitches)

R6:  Ch 1, turn, skip first stitch, sc, hdc, dc in same stitch, trc (mark stitch with extra yarn or stitch marker), dc in same stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, dc, trc in same stitch (mark stitch with extra yarn or stitch marker), dc, hdc in same stitch, sc, sl st

Do not fasten off.

With O, embroider beak as shown in picture.

Eyes (Make 2):

With K and size 2 hook, ch3 and sl st to form ring.

R1:  Ch 1, sc 8 in ring, sl st into first sc (8 sc)

Fasten off and work in ends.

R2:  With W, sc in a sc from R1, sc in same sc, (2 sc in each sc) around, sl st to first sc (16 sc)

Fasten off leaving long tail for sewing.  Sew the eyes onto the owl using the picture for placement.

Owl (continued):

Modified sc (msc):  When you insert your hook under top 2 loops of the stitch below, also insert it under the hat loop directly underneath the stitch on the owl, yarn over, bring loop through hat loop and owl stitch, yarn over and bring loop through both stitches on hook.

R7:  Ch 1, turn, msc in each stitch around, 2 msc in marked stitches, sl st in first msc.

Fasten off and work in ends.

Difficulty:  Moderate

Time Required:  5 Movies

Overall Experience:  Excellent