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

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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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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

One of my patterns is practically famous!

I love Ravelry.com for those of you that don’t know, it’s a site for everything knitting and crocheting. I’ve recently started posting some of my original patterns to the site. I just opened the main page to discover my Baby Turkey Hat pattern featured as one of their six Thanksgiving patterns! Someone else made the hat in the picture, but that is still really awesome. I love that someone else made one if my creations. I made four of these hats in the last two weeks!

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Don’t Get Cold Feet

Before our wedding, I secretly knitted a pair of socks for my husband.  I gave them to him the morning of the wedding so he wouldn’t get “cold feet.”  I knitted the socks using the Deborah Norville Collection Serenity Garden Yarn in Twilight.  I loved how the color work turned out, and the yarn feels amazing.  I used a free pattern available on Ravelry titled “Basic Ribbed Socks.”  The pattern was easy to follow.  I didn’t make any adjustments to the pattern.  He married me, so I guess he didn’t get cold feet!

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Difficulty:  Easy

Time Required: About 20 movies

Overall Experience:  Good.  The only thing I didn’t like is how the socks came together at the toe.  The joining technique caused a slightly pointed toe.

Finished Nachtfalter and Misadventures

Behind, behind, behind…

Due to work vamping up right before my dissertation defense, I got way behind on my summer knit-a-long project. The website said I had until Monday, July 22 to post my finished picture. I took that to mean that I could post a picture on July 22, but I wasn’t sure. I knitted all day on Sunday, July 21, but at 11 pm I was worn out. I had all but three rows of knitting finished, but I still needed to bind off, sew up the sides, and tuck in all of my ends. On July 22 I was disappointed to find out that I had to submit my picture before July 22 to be eligible for prizes. I was still planning to finish my sweater on July 22; however…

The cat peed on my wedding dress

I picked up my dress about two weeks ago. My fiance has two extra closets with basically no clothing in them. I chose the taller closet, hung my plastic enclosed dress in it, and shut the stiff-hinged accordion-style doors. My fiance has a cat. Somehow she managed to get the door open and pee on the dress. I don’t have a clue how she got the door open. It’s difficult for me to open. Most of the pee was caught by the plastic bag, but some of it seeped through. There were only a couple of spots of yellow, but the dress reeked of cat pee. I spent all of Monday evening trying to get the smell and yellow out. I did both successfully. Yay! Needless to say, the cat is in trouble.

Kittyface and Kittyface

Finishing the sweater

I didn’t finish the sweater until Tuesday night. I wore it to work today (Wednesday). It turned out really cute! My colleagues couldn’t believe that I actually made it.

Nachtfalter Front

Nachtfalter Back

Pattern Tips

The pattern can be purchased at Holla Knits (the store/blog that hosted the knit-a-long).

Usually I post tips and hints for things that I make, but I basically made this pattern as written. I lot of other people were making this sweater at the same time, so they posted tips about what they were doing. You may find these resources helpful.

  • Stefanie (the pattern author) gave some helpful tips for the butterfly lace on her blog
  • I used a crocheted seam on the sides of the sweater, already described here
  • There is a Ravelry discussion that talks all about the project here
  • A lot of people ran out of yarn because the quantities in the pattern were a little off. I think that the pattern has been remedied, but I’m not sure.

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

The lace was difficult if you have never knitted lace before.

Time Required: ~50 movies

Overall Experience: Good

This was really fun to knit, and I love how it turned out!

Wedding Doilies

I’m currently working on various projects for my upcoming October wedding.  Our colors are purple and grey.  For the centerpieces, I chose groups of three glass cylinders containing a single eggplant calla lily.  The cylinders will be filled with water with a floating candle floating on top of each.  The effect will be similar to picture below.

My dress is extremely lacy, and I am incorporating lace into various aspects of the decorations.  I wanted to include both lace and grey into the centerpieces, so I chose to crochet doilies to place under the centerpieces.  I searched Ravelry for free doily patterns and chose Doily 4403 8 Point Star.  The pattern creates a 9 3/4″ doily.  To achieve a more appropriate size for my purposes (17 “), I used a size 0 crochet hook rather than a size 11.  I’m making the doilies out of Bernat Handicrafter Crochet Thread in Misty Grey.

Doily

I recruited my grandmother and great aunt to help me make some of the 20+ doilies need for the reception.  That’s a lot of doilies!  Since I will busy with these, my summer knit-a-long project Nachtfalter, and some surprise projects for my wedding party, I won’t have “new” project to blog about for quite some time.  I have pictures of quite a few old projects to blog about until I finish.