Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Easy Knitted Ruffled Scarf With Sashay Yarn

Monday, April 1st, 2013

I love to find fast & easy knitted projects and today I have the perfect beginner knitting project for you using a new yarn from Red Heart called Sashay Yarn. Red Heart Boutique Sashay Yarn is a unique yarn that creates a beautiful ruffled scarf with a simple six stitch cast-on. Red Heart sent me this yarn and some knitting supplies to show off just how easy it is to create a project with this inexpensive and fun yarn.

The first thing you will notice is that this yarn is very different than a traditional yarn. I will admit that I usually avoid novelty yarns except for trimming knitted projects so it is the type of yarn that I have probably walked by countless times at our local Walmart. Instead of a traditional single strand, this yarn is actually a woven yarn that features a touch of metallic for an extra edge to your ruffled projects. The yarn is made of 97 percent acrylic and 3 percent metallic polyester. One skein yields 30 yards of yarn, which can create a five foot ruffled scarf with just one ball.

Longtime readers may have remembered these amazing ruffled scarves I knitted for gifts one Christmas. As the last picture shows you, it was an insane amount of stitches that required an infinite amount of patience to cast on and to cast off. The last two rows on this scarf had over a thousand stitches each. The beauty of that ruffle made it all worthwhile, but for a beginning knitter, this process is both daunting and time-consuming. For an experienced knitter, it just takes a long time to  yield impressive results.

Knitting with Sashay Yarn creates a fast ruffle in no time and with only six stitches cast on!  As you can see from this picture, the yarn is already woven so it creates the ruffle without you needing to knit it and when knitting this scarf, you just gather this woven yarn into ruffles with simple garter stitches.

Rather than casting on with your traditional cast-on, you will simply pick up stitches off of the edge of the yarn. When knitting, you knit as you would normally, just picking up along the edge, but you skip the first loop of yarn and then slip into the second loop for the stitches. Casting off is done in the same way, with the skipping of one loop between each stitch, and then with the final loop of thread on your needle, you just weave the tail end through to finish your project. I then trimmed the edges of my scarf to make them even.

Some of my own personal recommendations when knitting this pattern (linked below)  are to choose needles that are shorter in length and to use bamboo ones (these are the ones that I use)  that will help to grip the threads better and keep your stitches in place.

The scarf is simply stunning and costs a mere $4.67 (at Walmart) to create and took about two nights of knitting to create. With simply six stitches and no pattern to follow, this is the perfect project to do while watching your favorite shows on television or to take with you while the kids are doing their extracurricular activities.

I imagine that this will make a perfect Mother’s Day gift this year and I can’t wait to show you what else I am up to with the next ball of yarn I have! What can I say? I am addicted to fast and easy projects these days!

Grab the Free Knitted Ruffled Scarf Pattern HERE.

 

Grab the Free Crocheted Ruffled Scarf Pattern HERE.

 

Let’s be friends on Ravelry (you can find my project there!) and check out my other Knitting Projects.

 
Watch my favorite You Tube tutorial I found on how to knit with this yarn below. It really helped me to get the hang of it and I think it can help you too!
 

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Knitted Coffee Cozies

Monday, November 5th, 2012

The giving season is just around the corner and for those that make handmade gifts for the holidays, it is time to start our engines! Today’s craft project is for easy knitted coffee cozies that can keep your coffee nice and cozy during the cooler seasons. These coffee cozies are the best mindless-activity-my-kids-have-hours-of-sports-or-I-need-an-excuse-to-catch-up-on-t.v.- and-sit-on-my-couch-without-guilt type of knitting project.

Why should you throw this on your knitting needles? First, it is a great yarn stash buster. You know all of those tiny balls of leftover yarn that you don’t know what to do with? You now have the perfect excuse to use them up!

Trying to think of the perfect gift to give to your child’s teacher, principal, bus driver, hostess gift, postal worker, best friend, or your mom that will cost you $5 or less? Well, this is the perfect project for you.

Looking for a gift for the person who has everything? I bet they don’t have a cute sweater for their coffee!

If you know how to knit in the round, you can do this project.  If you don’t know how to knit in the round, YouTube and Knitting Help are your BFFs.

I do not love knitting on three needles and I have not mastered magic loop knitting yet so I like to knit on tiny 12′ circular needles.  This is the exact set I bought and they are what I use when knitting all tiny knitted projects like this. These are one of the best tools in my knitting arsenal and help keep me out of practice with double-pointed needles.

I found my coffee cups and individual packets of Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and Peppermint Hot Chocolate at our local Gordmans. If you don’t have one of those stores, I am sure you could find something very similar at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx.

Use more of your scrap yarn to tie your cocoa packets or make your own homemade hot cocoa mix or homemade vanilla chai tea mix to include with your gift.

This gift cost me about $5, but I’m not telling the recipient’s that. I love when I spend $5 and make someone’s day. I have a feeling this little treat is going to do that for a few of the special helpers in our lives.

Rest assured, many $5-10 gift features will be happening these next two months! In the meantime, be sure to visit my list of 36 handmade gifts you can create for the holiday season!

Don’t forget to friend me on Ravelry! It’s where I share all of my fun knitting projects that I have been working on!

 

Grab the free and easy pattern over here!

 

Disclosure: The knitting needles are an affiliate link and is provided so you can locate what you need quickly and easily!

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Baby Knitted Viking Hat for Halloween

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Halloween is just around the corner and I wanted to share with you this adorable Knitted Baby Viking Hat as a fun way to dress up your little one. My dear friend’s daughter is my sweet little model for this knitted hat and I can’t wait to see her trick-or-treat in it this year!

Baby Knitted Viking Hat for Halloween

Pattern: Viking Girl Hat by Sara Fama; Pattern is $7.50, but you can use a coupon code (“Ravelry10″) to receive 10% off the pattern. Pattern kits can also be ordered with the yarn used in the pattern, but I was able to find similar colors of yarn at our local craft shop.  The pattern included the pattern for the boy hat as well as the hat in different sizes.

Needle Size: US 6 (I purchased this set of 12″ circulars for these hats)

Yarn: (Charcoal), Loops & Threads Charisma (Yellow), Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton! (Ivory)

Notes:  This hat pattern taught me a lot of new techniques and would be a great pattern for someone wanting to expand their knitting knowledge. Beginning knitters will need to know how to knit bobbles (brief description is available in the pattern), create i-cords, knit on dpn’s, and knit in the round. Luckily, YouTube offers great video tutorials on these techniques to make creating this a little easier.

With this hat, I opted to make the boy version of the horns and added a little stuffing inside each one to make them stand up more instead of drooping flat. These were whip stitched in the same cream color).

The braids are really fun to knit and are knitted in three separate i-cords (attached by two rows of knitting at the top). I finished them with tightly knotted yarn and then grosgrain ribbon bows from my craft supplies.

 

3 Things That Helped Me With Making Wee Baby Hats

1.Bamboo 12″ circulars- Here is the honest truth. If you are super coordinated with double pointed needles, you can skip buying these and knit the wee baby hats in the round. I have found that knitting baby hats in the round was more of a challenge than I expected, and my mother-in-law recommended purchasing 12″ circulars so the hats do not have to be started on the DPN’s. These were a lifesaver and I will always use these for starting my hats. They do require a bit of coordination since they are shorter & smaller than your normal circulars, but they are worth the effort.  I applied my Swagbucks towards Amazon gift cards to help reduce the cost on these.

2. Bamboo 9″ Double Pointed Needles- Again, these are an off-brand needle and they were extremely rough so they held my stitches really well. As a beginner on these, these rough double pointed needles were key for me to get the hang of it without dropping stitches. It was a lot cheaper to buy these as a set and I did apply my Swagbucks towards the Amazon gift cards so I didn’t have to dip in my pocket to pay for them. You could go with a different length on these, but I opted for these 9″ ones and they still work great for the baby hats as well as the adult hats I knit.

3. A Good Ring Marker- I was using the kind that you just slipped over the needles and was finding that I was losing my starting stitch marker for knitting in the round. Look for ones that will slip onto the yarn and put that at the beginning of my round. It will really help you not lose your pace and keep you on track with your knitting.

Here is my first little Viking hat I made for my sweet friend’s baby! She is getting so big now and I love that this was in one of her first pictures! (picture credit: Nancy Lary Studios).

Happy Halloween, friends!

 

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Disclosure: The links to books and supplies are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate what you need quickly and easily. Feel free to order a book, but we encourage utilizing the library system and buying me some yarn instead.  Wouldn’t that just be so much more lovely?

 

 

 

What craft projects have you been working on? Feel free to share any links to what you are working on and be sure to friend me on Ravelry if you happen to be a knitter too! Access all of our craft fun on MomAdvice by visiting our Craft Section. Happy crafting, friends!

 

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Fall Into Fall CRAFTS with MomAdvice.com

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

With Fall upon us, I suddenly get the urge to start tackling some crafts that have been on my to-do list for the year. Fall is also a great time to get a jump start on holiday crafts that you might want to tackle this year for our family and friends.

Today I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite crafts and DIY projects for the Fall season that have appeared on MomAdvice.com!

The GAP-Tastic Cowl

Cowls are still highly fashionable this year, especially the warm and bulky variety. I love this easy cowl that can be created with inexpensive yarn in your favorite fall color to add a little spice to a tired fall jacket you might have in your closet. If this cowl doesn’t get you excited to start knitting, be sure to check out these seven easy scarf and cowl patterns to knit this year!

Easy Felt Fabric Brooch

You are going to fall in love with this beautiful felt fabric brooch and it would be the perfect addition to your fall jacket this year or as an embellishment to last year’s winter hat. Check out this tutorial for these easy brooches!

Anthropologie DIY Ruffled Lampshade

Perhaps one of my most favorite projects in our house was this burlap ruffled lampshade made from inexpensive burlap. If you are wanting to dress up a tired lamp for fall, be sure to check out this tutorial! This project was so easy to create and would be so cute on a side table, in your office, or a cute way to spruce up a craft room.

DIY Chalkboard Food Label Frames

All you need is a dollar store frame to get started with this easy craft. These food label frames would be a great addition to your fall entertaining and tailigating this year. The best part is that this craft can be done in fifteen minutes, making it a great fast to create

Knitted Dishcloths 

If you are new to knitting, dishcloths are the perfect project because they are like swatches of pattern rather than tackling a larger project piece. On top of that, it can make you feel braver doing patterns with more complexity and learning new knitting techniques. For the first few months after I learned how to knit, I knit a lot of dishcloths. I happen to think these are one of the best projects for Fall, and they also happen to be a fabulous little hostess gift for the holidays!

Yarn Wreath (for all seasons)

It’s time to dress up your front door for Fall! Yarn wreaths are easy to create with a mere ten-fifteen dollars  in supplies and a whole lot of your own individual creativity. Find out how to create this easy yarn wreath that can be dressed up for all of the seasons with this simple yarn base!

Painted Tabletops & Reupholstered Chairs

If your kitchen table and chairs are looking a little tired, Fall is a great time of year to spruce them up!  Last Fall, I painted my kitchen tabletop and reupholstered my kitchen chairs and one year later, they are still going strong!

Oatmeal Cookies & Milk Bath

There is nothing I love more than a good long soak in the tub in the evenings when the weather is chilly. I highly recommend this easy oatmeal bath soak you can create in your kitchen. I call it Oatmeal Cookies & Milk because it blends together the ingredients of an oatmeal cookie with powdered milk to make a soft & soothing bath for anyone who has sensitive skin.

Coffee Filter Posies

Looking for a cute addition to a side table for Fall? I highly recommend making these cute coffee filter posies for a fun Fall decoration. Dyed in yellows and oranges, they would look beautiful in a jar on your kitchen table or a cute way to dress up a dresser in your bedroom.

Decoupaged Pumpkins

I love to create inexpensive decorations for fall and these easy decoupaged pumpkins are a craft that I have been wanting to try for awhile after spotting this technique in an old issue of Better Homes &  Gardens Magazine. You won’t believe how easy it is to decoupage a pumpkin and since they were so easy to create, I made two to adorn each side of my console table.  This pumpkin is made with paper napkins, if you can believe it, and some other inexpensive craft materials you can pick up at your local craft store!

Charity Knitting Craft Projects

This is going to be the season when my friends that knit & crochet really spring into action for hat drives for those in need! One things I am proud and humbled to do is to knit for those in need. You will find loads of fun projects to knit for those in need in the Knitting section of our site. While you are enjoying the latest season of Fall shows on the television, add a little something for someone in need to your knitting needles this year!

What is your favorite Fall craft project you have tried from our site? I would love to hear from you!

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How to Knit Great Chemo Caps For Charity

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

 

“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.”~ Thomas Kinkade

A couple of years ago I began focusing my knitting efforts on knitting chemo caps. I was inspired by my wonderful mother-in-law and my husband’s grandmother who devoted hours and hours into charitable knitting for hat drives and creating prayer shawls to be given to others. It is inspiring to see the power that knitting needles can hold for others. Since then, you will rarely find a pair of knitting needles that isn’t going to work for others in our home. It makes television watching feel noble and endless wait times for my kid’s activities feel useful

Over the years I have learned a lot about knitting great chemo caps and how to construct a cap that will truly be used and loved.

Select the Right Pattern

While you don’t need to necessarily select a hat that specifically is called a, “chemo cap,” in the pattern, you do want to be thoughtful about picking a pattern that the recipient will feel confident and beautiful in. Lacey hats, for example, may look beautiful, but imagine having tiny holes all over your hat when you have no hair? No fun!

Look for patterns that offer lace trim or details on the edge of the hat. Patterns that are closely knit and have details created from purl and knit stitches rather than large yarn overs will help your recipient keep his/her head warmly covered.

Seams can also be irritating to the scalp. If you are not able to do circular knitting, seaming will be involved, and that is especially why you will want to select a super soft yarn to help with that.

Select the Right Yarn

When I am selecting yarn for a chemo cap, I gravitate towards the same skeins of yarn that I would select for a newborn baby. You don’t want yarn that is itchy, scratchy, or that will further irritate the recipient’s sensitive head. It doesn’t mean that the yarn can’t be inexpensive, it just means that you need to be thoughtful about the yarns that you choose.

Caron Simply Soft, Naturally Caron Spa, & Hobby Lobby’s Bamboospun yarn are all great budget-friendly options that will also feel soft and wonderful against a bald head. Cotton can feel soft, but is a very stretchy yarn and if the hat is worn often, it is better to find a cotton blend that will retain it’s shape than a basic cotton yarn.

If you are not confident about a yarn choice, rub it against your own skin and see what reaction your skin has to it. If it feels itchy to you, it won’t be a good option for your chemo cap.

Make Her Feel Beautiful

To me, it is all in the details of the hat that really add that sparkle and will help your recipient feel truly confident. If you are knitting the hat specifically for someone, ask about their personal style. Do they love elegant buttons? Do they have a favorite color? Do they like a fitted hat or a more slouchy hat? Do they want a fabric flower on their hat?

I recently started adding my Fabric Flowers to my chemo caps because they are so cute and inexpensive to create. I also love to visit Hobby Lobby for sweet embelishments that can add a little sparkle to your hat.

Wrap It With Love

Half the joy for me is in wrapping the gifts with love for their recipient. Imagine that you are struggling through your treatment and someone unexpectedly gives you a beautiful gift filled with something that will help you feel beautiful and confident. I love to wrap my hats in pretty tissue filled boxes or in simple newspaper tied with yarn with fabric flower toppers that they can use to accessorize their hats.

I finish all my chemo caps with homemade gift tags.  As a  treat to myself, I bought myself a personalized stamp from Babyjewels (an Etsy seller) and I have to say, it really adds that professional touch to my gifts!  They have one for knitters and one for crocheters too. Sometimes I cut the gift tags with my Silhouette craft cutter and other times I keep it simple by just using my circle punch that I have in my craft supplies. These are tied with yarn to each hat.

Find a Home for Your Hats

If you don’t know anyone personally going through cancer, they are many people out there who could benefit from your donation. Check your local hospital’s oncology department to find out if they could use your donations. Usually baskets of these hats are made available to patients when they are undergoing treatment.

If you can’t find a place for you hats locally, you can mail them in to Head Huggers where your hat will find a good home through their organization.

Chemo Caps Come in All Shapes & Sizes

Sadly, I have had to knit wee chemo caps for tiny patients that shouldn’t even know what the word cancer means.  It breaks my heart to make these tiny caps and it serves as a constant reminder to me just how fragile our lives really are.

Keep your smaller chemo patients in mind as well as men who are undergoing chemo and might need a nice fitted cap to keep their heads warm in the winter time.

When making chemo caps, try making a variety of sizes and for both males and females so that donations are on hand for a variety of patients.

 

 Great Chemo Cap Patterns for Beginning Knitters

Pinch Hat

Pattern: Pinch Hat by Cecily Glowik MacDonald (available for purchase for $5.50)

Needle Size: US 8 Straight Needles

Yarn: Hobby Lobby Bamboospun in Purple

Notes: For knitters that want to make charitable hat contributions but don’t know how to knit in the round, this pattern is for you. It is an easy garter stitch pattern, knitted on straight needles, and then cinched to create a cute gathering on the side where you can add a fun pin or brooch. No crazy stitches, no knitting on circulars, and an easy & fast to knit.

Lace Trim Chemo Cap

Pattern: Lace Trim Chemo Cap by Maureen Keenan (available for free download)

Needle Size: US 5 (16″ circulars)

Yarn: Naturally Caron Spa (in Driftwood & Stormy Blue)

Notes:  This lace trimmed hat is the perfect chemo cap because the lace just hits on the edge of the hat. Great one to do while catching up on your latest shows since you only need to concentrate in the first eight rows of pattern.

I added a fabric flower to this hat to add a little splash of color. You can find that easy tutorial over here. These fabric flowers are a fun way to adorn a chemo cap and make the hat a little more fun.


Republic Hats

Pattern: Toddler Republic Hat or Adult Republic Hat (you can find the pattern in the side bar available for free download) with Lydia Flowers (Size Medium & Small)- The Lydia Flower is currently unavailable, but should be available for purchase soon!

Needle Size: US 5 Needles (circular) & US 8 (straight) for the hat embellishment

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted (for hat) &  I Love This Cotton! in Ivory for the flowers

Notes: If you are looking for a perfect hat pattern for a novice beginner who is learning how to knit in the round, then these patterns are the perfect patterns for you. In the pictures above, I actually used the Toddler Republic Hat pattern for myself since I have a smaller head than most normal adults. I adjusted the length to 5 1/2 inches long. Linked above is also the adult-sized version that would be a perfect holiday gift for just about any girlfriend or sister to wrap underneath your tree this year!

The embellishment is the Lydia Flower in both the medium & small sizes, stacked using size eight straight needles. If you don’t feel ambitious enough to knit a flower, you can finish it with a simple button and skip that step altogether!

These hats pictured here were knitted for my friend’s sister, Megan. Isn’t she just so beautiful? I understand that she is both beautiful inside and out.  Although I have never met Megan, when I heard about her I knew that I needed to put my knitting needles to work for this amazing girl.

Megan has a rare cancer called Leiomyosarcoma that aggressively forms tumors in the tissues and organs of her body. She has already completed 6 rounds of chemotherapy, and is determined to beat this. Megan has been on our prayer list and I hope she can be on yours too.

Megan’s family will be throwing a Benefit for her in town at Villa Macri in Toscana Park on Sunday June 24, 2012 from 12pm to 7pm. I can’t wait to be there to support Megan and her family and I would love for you to support them too. You can learn more about the benefit on Megan’s blog, “Miracles for Megan.”

We pray for you every day, Megan!

 

Sadly, cancer has now impacted our family personally. Our family is LIVING STRONG right now for a very special man in our own life. Ryan’s grandfather has been diagnosed with cancer and we ask that you add him to your prayer list and all of our family.

We couldn’t love our Pops more if we tried.

We sent our  sweet grandpa these pictures of our family to cheer him up and so he knew we were Living Strong for him every day. There is little that we feel like we can do except pray, but we do it fervently every single day.

We are thankful for high tech blessings like Caring Bridge (a free website host that families can use to create a page for their loved one) and Skype where we can see our Grandpa & Grandma since he lives so darn far away.

If you are looking for more pattern ideas, I would love to be your friend on Ravelry.com. My profile is over here.  It is a fun and free place to hunt for patterns and document your projects. I update my page often with chemo caps & knitted prayer shawls. Let’s be friends! You can also find other fun knitting projects in our Knitting section of the site.

I leave you with this final quote about my little hobby…

“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.

I will remember that not everyone understands. I will resist the urge to ask others what they do when they watch TV.”

― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

Make your television time (how ever you watch that TV) useful and make something beautiful that will brighten someone’s day more than you can know.

Feeling charitable today? Here are 10 Painless Ways to Give Back to Charities.

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36 Handmade Gift Ideas

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The holidays are here and for me that means lots of holiday crafting, baking, knitting, and creating.  Today I wanted to share with you 36 handmade gift ideas that you can create for gifts this year. It can be a challenge to come up with great handmade gifts year after year so I hope that these 36 handmade gift ideas will give you some inspiration this holiday season as you tackle your own holiday crafts.

Of course, all month long will be dedicated to baking, crafting, and knitting as we prepare for the holidays. After this month, we will get back to tackling the organizing and caring for our homes after the holiday aftermath.

For now, I am looking forward to reveling in a lot of one on one time with my glue gun and baking in the kitchen with you.

Let’s get crafting!

36 Handmade Gift Ideas

1. Knitted Anthropologie-Inspired Scarflet
2. Coffee Filter Wreaths
3. Close to My Heart Barrette
4. Honey Nut Granola
5. Treasure Chests (For a Boy or Girl)
6. Yarn Wreath For All Seasons
7. Cinnamon Delight Bread
8. Cabled Knitted Headband
9. Personalized CD
10 Light Banana Oat Bread
11. Waffle Stitch Fingerless Gloves
12. Peppermint Syrup (for Homemade Peppermint Mochas)
13. Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies
14. Gap-Tastic Cowl
15. Hot Cocoa Mix
16. Knitted Dishcloths (Part One)
17. Knitted Ruffled Scarf
18. Knitted Dishcloths (Part Two)
19. Oreo Biscotti
20. Movie Lover’s Gift Basket
21. Hand Painted Mugs (DIY Painted Pottery Day)
22. Spiced Pumpkin Bread
23. Vanilla Scented Granola
24. Gorgeous Gathered Scarfs
25. Merci Scarf
26. Photo Journals With a Unique Spin
27. Vanilla Chai Mix
28. Shades of Gray Knitted Headband
29. Yarn Ball Wreaths
30. Cozy Knitted Fingerless Gloves
31. Oatmeal Cookes & Milk Bath Soak
32. Stretchy Ribbon Bookmarks
33. Rolled Rosette Rings
34. Snickerdoodle Biscotti
35. Candy Cane Bath Salts
36. Knitted Prayer Shawls

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All Knitted Up: GAP-Tastic Cowl

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

gap-tastic_cowl_2

Last year was the year of the Ruffled Scarf for my scarf knitting. This year I wanted to try my hand at my first eternity scarf to keep me warm. I had asked for these super long circular needles last year for Christmas for my baby blankets and specifically to make an eternity scarf, but never got around to it with all of the other knitting projects on my needles.

I got the urge to crank this out after seeing this fun, free pattern on Ravelry. I happened to have two balls of chunky gray yarn in my growing stash of yarn (to which I must now sit upon to shut the tote in our basement, almost like a really scary yarn Jack-in-the-Box) and I thought I would put it to work.

I could not be more pleased with how this turned out, if I tried. It is the perfect accessory with your favorite fall coat and I spent less than $10 to create this Gap scarf knock-off.

Fall-Tastic Cowl

Pattern: GAP-Tastic Cowl (available as a free Ravelry download with your free Ravelry membership)

Needle Size: US  13 (40″ circulars work well for this project)

Yarn: Lion Brand Hometown USA in Dallas Gray (2 balls, purchased at Walmart)

Notes: This pattern is the perfect pattern to tackle while catching up on your favorite shows since it is a mindless seed stitch pattern.

I made my cowl 7” wide and cast on 111 stitches for this cowl. I had only a tiny bit of yarn leftover so I would think if you did the pattern as directed that you may need three skeins.

This cowl will loop three times when worn around my neck. Due to the bulk of the chunky yarn, I don’t think you need more than 7” width if you are planning to wear it snugly around your neck.

You definitely want the longest circulars you have for this one because of the amount of stitches and having enough space to knit this in the round. I used my 40” bamboo circulars, which worked perfectly for this type of yarn and project.

I am in love with this cowl and would highly recommend this cute pattern for a fun holiday gift or for a gift to yourself. I look forward to wearing this a lot this fall!

gap-tastic_cowl_3

gap-tastic_cowl_4

gap-tastic_cowl

Just to crack you up, it was a billion degrees out on the day that we took these pictures in front of my little house. The neighbors always seem amused by our family, but I had a feeling that they were really amused by this little photo shoot while they mowed their lawns in their shorts and tank tops.

It is hard to explain that a girl is working on her Fall/Winter calendar while it is still hot out.

cowl_comedy

Always one to draw attention away from myself,  we really started hamming it up for the neighbors. Under all of this fall loveliness was a sweaty mess.

Now that it is finally cooling down, I can’t wait to wear this fun and fashionable cowl all fall and winter long!

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Disclosure: The links to the knitting supplies are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate what you need quickly and easily. Feel free to order your supplies elsewhere, but we always try to highlight the best deals when we see them.

What craft projects have you been working on? Feel free to share any links to what you are working on and be sure to friend me on Ravelry if you happen to be a knitter too! Access all of our craft fun on MomAdvice by visiting our Craft Section. Happy crafting, friends!

Round-Up of Knitted Pumpkin Hats

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

It is not only the time for pumpkin eating in our house, but it is also the perfect time for pumpkin knitting. I decided to whip up a few of these wee pumpkin hats for a few special newborns for the fall season. My pattern came from a book that I have in my knitting library, but I wanted to round up a few free pumpkin hat patterns you can use to create the same thing for free, if you don’t have my book.

Are you my friend on Ravelry? If not, I would love to be friends! My username is momadvice on there and I am always looking for new friends to knit with and share project ideas!

Wee Pumpkin Hats

Pattern: Little Pumpkin by Susan B. Anderson from Itty-Bitty Baby Hats

Needle Size: US 6 (for smaller hat), US & for slightly larger hat  (12″ circulars)

Yarn: Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids (in Pumpkin, Lush, & Chocolate)

Notes: This knitted up quickly, but also a bit bigger than I was expecting. I decided to do this with a needle size down (to a US 6) which helped alleviate the larger sizing issue.  The pattern is so easy to follow and I absolutely love the chocolate stem and sweet leaf on top. This would make a wonderful baby gift for an autumn baby!

Here are a few free options that are available to you, if you would like a free pattern:

Kürbis* Baby Hat

Eat Your Veggies Baby Hat

Pumpkin Hats by Sarah Hood (free Ravelry download for members)


Punkin Head

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If you are just beginning the world of hats, these are the three things that really helped me have success getting comfortable with double-pointed needles and knitting in the round.

3 Things That Helped Me With Making Wee Baby Hats

1.Bamboo 12″ circulars- Here is the honest truth. If you are super coordinated with double pointed needles, you can skip buying these and knit the wee baby hats in the round. I have found that knitting baby hats in the round was more of a challenge than I expected, and my mother-in-law recommended purchasing 12″ circulars so the hats do not have to be started on the DPN’s. These were a lifesaver and I will always use these for starting my hats. They do require a bit of coordination since they are shorter & smaller than your normal circulars, but they are worth the effort.  I applied my Swagbucks towards Amazon gift cards to help reduce the cost on these.

2. Bamboo 9″ Double Pointed Needles- Again, these are an off-brand needle and they were extremely rough so they held my stitches really well. As a beginner on these, these rough double pointed needles were key for me to get the hang of it without dropping stitches. It was a lot cheaper to buy these as a set and I did apply my Swagbucks towards the Amazon gift cards so I didn’t have to dip in my pocket to pay for them. You could go with a different length on these, but I opted for these 9″ ones and they still work great for the baby hats as well as the adult hats I knit.

3. A Good Ring Marker- I was using the kind that you just slipped over the needles and was finding that I was losing my starting stitch marker for knitting in the round. Look for ones that will slip onto the yarn and put that at the beginning of my round. It will really help you not lose your pace and keep you on track with your knitting.

*******************

Disclosure: The links to books and supplies are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate what you need quickly and easily. Feel free to order a book, but we encourage utilizing the library system and buying me some yarn instead.  Wouldn’t that just be so much more lovely?

What craft projects have you been working on? Feel free to share any links to what you are working on and be sure to friend me on Ravelry if you happen to be a knitter too! Access all of our craft fun on MomAdvice by visiting our Craft Section. Happy crafting, friends!

Seven Easy Scarves & Cowls to Knit This Fall

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

I was madly in love with scarf knitting when I first began to knit. Knitted scarves are a fabulous way to learn pattern, try stitches you have never tried before, and can be an elegant  (and frugal) gift to give when the holiday season rolls around.  I love to knit scarves and I want to share with you five fun patterns to add to your knitting projects. Each of these is uniquely special and the patterns are free!

It may not feel like scarf season just yet, but for knitters, it is time to start our engines for holiday knitting. Each year I try to knit a scarf for our teachers, friends, and family. I already have my eyes on a few new patterns to try for this year, but wanted to share with you a few of my favorite scarves I have done in years past and how to package them for gift-giving this year.

Are you my friend on Ravelry? If not, I would love to be friends! My username is momadvice on there and I am always looking for new friends to knit with and share project ideas!

I knitted three of these ruffled scarves last year and all of them turned out so pretty! These ruffled scarves are definitely a statement piece, meant to add a punch of femininity to your winter coat! I made one in this light gray for my best friend, one in a charcoal gray for my sister, and one in ivory for my mom.  I am determined to knit one of these in a fun jewel tone this year for myself.

Beautifully Ruffled Lace Scarves

Pattern: Ruffle Lace Scarf by Suzie Blackman

Needle Size: US 10 Needles (40″ circulars)

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Heather Gray

Notes: If you want a scarf that is wildly impressive, can be created with a single ball of yarn, and looks like a million bucks than this would be the perfect gift to give this holiday season. It is a very mindless knit, but is an INSANE amount of stitches, especially in the last two rows (over one thousand stitches!). The beauty of this scarf though is that you only need to know how to knit, purl, and yarn over to create it.

The twisting is created by knitting the scarf length-wise, rather than width-wise and through the series of yarn overs. As pictures above, you can see that it is really hard to see your stitches, let alone if it is actually going to twist. The good news is, as you cast off, you will see that scarf naturally twists, making that beautiful ruffled twist.

This one is definitely a statement piece and is also a statement of your absolute love for whoever you might make it for!

I followed the pattern that is linked above, but added four more rows to give the scarf a fuller appearance. I repeated rows 11-14 two times before I started rows 15-16. I am really glad I did and love the lush fullness of this scarf.

Gorgeous Gathered Scarves

Pattern: Gathered Scarf by Maryse Roudier

Needle Size: US 4 & US 7

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Lime

Notes: I knitted two of these beautiful scarves in a soft lime green and in ivory for my sister and best friend as holiday gifts and they both wore them often with their winter coats. This was the first time I attempted anything that ruffled or gathered, and would be a fun pattern for someone who just wants to start trying a pattern with some texture in it.

This pattern is so easy for a beginner and was a gift that was loved by both of them.  You actually use two different needle sizes to create the gathered effect on these scarves which added beautiful detail and a bit of ruffling to the scarves. I loved that the cotton is so stretchy and soft. I would definitely recommend this pattern especially to a beginner who is looking to add a little variation to the traditional scarf!

Merci Scarf

Pattern: Merci Scarf by Susan Rainey

Needle Size: US 8 Needles (I used size US 9 needles, which created a little bit wider scarf, but you could use the US 8’s that are recommended)

Yarn: Premier Yarns Serenity Chunky Weight in Molten Lava (2.5 skeins)

Notes: This scarf is so simple and fast to whip up that it would make the perfect gift to give to any man in your life. The pattern is one that you can complete while watching your favorite shows on television and is almost impossible to get off track.  This yarn was also perfect for creating a really warm scarf, perfect for our Midwest winters.  This pattern is perfect for a beginning knitter or for a last minute gift for someone special in your life!

I made these for my husband and brother in last year’s holiday crafting marathon and they both wore them every day. It made me so proud to see my knits were loved by them and to know they were wrapped in something that I made just for them.

Anthropologie-Inspired Scarflets

Pattern: Anthro-Inspired Scarflet (available as a free Ravelry download with your free Ravelry membership) by Kim Seio & Lydia Flowers (optional, for embellishment) or cute buttons.

Needle Size: US 8 Needles (straight) for both the flowers and the scarflet

Yarn: Premier Yarns Chunky Weight in Pristine (scarf) & Yarn Bee Boucle Traditions in Black (for the first scarf) & Premier Yarns Chunky Weight in Brown with simple ivory button threaded with pink embroidery thread (for the second scarf)

Notes: I followed the sizing and increases that ilikecookies(another Ravelry member)  had shared in her pattern. She said, “Increased until 30 stitches, worked 15 rows even until ribbed section and knit 15 rows of ribbing to make a slightly larger scarflet.”

I added a black Lydia Flower (size small) with a red button center to finish it or colorful buttons with contrasting embroidery thread to finish! For more pictures of these, please visit this post.

For a sweet and simple gift idea, create one of these scarflets and tuck a small denominator gift card in the pocket where the scarf slides in.  I made a stack of these for our teacher gifts last year and each one had a $5 Starbucks gift card tucked into the pocket that was created in the scarflet. Next time I make this, I will have to write on the label though that these were scarfs. The teachers thought they might be hats…which I guess you could do too!  Regardless, I got such wonderful compliments and tried to make each of them unique with flower embellishments or different unique buttons and colored embroidery threads on each one.

Dolce Neck Cozy

Pattern: Dolce Neck Cozy by Fiddle Knits Designs

Needle Size: US 9 Needles (straight)

Yarn: Bamboospun Natural Bamboo (purchased at Hobby Lobby)

Notes: This was one of my first projects when I learned to knit and would be a perfect project for a newbie knitter.  At the time I had no idea how to do buttonholes or how to knit with two strands of yarn so this was what I was able to do with my limited knitting knowledge. I completed the Dulce #2 (Browns) Pattern. This took almost all 148 yards, but I knitted loosely so I would not have to make the buttonhole. I opted for one button instead of two and chose a black wooden button to bring the cowl together.

This would be a great pattern to take on a trip because it has only one row of real pattern and alternates only between two rows one of purling and one of pattern. It has a herringbone type of look to it and looks far more complicated than it is.

I made this in bamboo which was so soft, it felt just like a blanket.

This is a great project for instant gratification! Wonderful pattern for a newbie knitter in understanding yarn overs.

Rainy Day or Snow Day Scarf

Pattern: Rainy Day Scarf by Beth Collins

Needle Size: US 9 Needles (straight)

Yarn: Bernat Cottontots in Strawberry

Notes: I remember being so darn proud of these scarves because these were my first scarves that I had ever knitted and gave as gifts to our kid’s teachers. This is a great pattern because it is easy and straightforward for a beginning knitter because  you only need to know how to do the purl and knit stitches.

This scarf was packaged with my homemade cocoa and vanilla chai mix in a green and lovely way… in those old Crystal Light containers. I used some holiday gift wrap to cover them and tied a gift tag with some raffia around the drink mix containers. These are ideal, particularly for teacher gifts, because I don’t have to worry that my children will break the jars in route to school. Waterproof and airtight, it keeps the drink mix nice and safe. With a handmade or store-bought scarf, it makes a perfectly cozy gift to give.
I finish all of my knitted gifts with fun homemade gift tags. I used my Silhouette Craft Cutter and used the rounded rectangle template to make these simple tags out of ivory card stock or you can simply buy a package of tags to add to your handmade gifts. As a holiday treat to myself last Christmas, I bought myself a personalized stamp from Babyjewels (an Etsy seller) and I have to say, it really added that professional touch to my gifts!  They have one for knitters and one for crocheters too.
If that isn’t enough patterns for you to kick of that fall knitting, be sure to visit my Knitting Trendy Gifts of Warmth or my holiday craft factory that I ran out of my house last year.
Happy knitting, friends!

Looking for more knitted projects?  Be sure to visit our Crafting section and Gifts section of the site for more inspiration!

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Oh, Baby: Sweet Knitted Baby Hats

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
Photo Credit: Nancy Lary Studios

Baby hats are my latest knitted obsession since they are so easy to create and to give. I admit, I used to lovingly knit baby blanket after baby blanket for my friends. Those, unfortunately, require a lot of sweet love and endless amounts of free time. I decided I wanted gifts that could be knit in a couple evenings worth of television shows and that their mommies could actually use instead of storing them away. Hats really seem to fit the bill and their are endless patterns for adorable baby patterns out there.

Once you get the hang of knitting in the round, baby hats are a piece of cake! I will share with you my new favorite patterns and a few tools that can help you achieve baby hat success when knitting!  I usually try to highlight only free patterns, but these were a few that I did pay for. I do promise that the patterns are well-written and are the type that can be  made over and over again for gifts. I hope that this post will still inspire and give you a fun new gift to knit for a special little one in your life.

If you are a knitter, I would love for you to be my friend on Ravelry. My username is momadvice and I try to keep my little notebook updated with the current projects.


Photo Credit: Nancy Lary Studios

cherry tomato hat (in red) & sprout hat (in green)

Pattern: Greenleaf Baby Hat by Evelyn Uyemura (available for $1.00 as a Ravelry Download- join Ravelry.com to access the pattern)

Needle Size: US 8 (I purchased this set of 12″ circulars for these hats)

Yarn: Naturally Caron Country (Claret) & Caron Simply Soft in Dark Sage for stem. The green hat is done only in Caron Simply Soft in Dark Sage

Notes: If you are looking for a great beginner pattern for making hats then this is the perfect pattern for you. This simple roll brim hat is simply knit in the round until you get to the top and then you create a basic i-cord to create the stem of the flower.  An easy set of increases and then decreases creates the leaf at the tip of the hat.

I did the roll brim pattern and made the i-cord about a 1/2” longer than the pattern specified. I also knit this hat on size 8 needles (for a 0-6 month size versus the newborn size).

This pattern could be knit into a variety of cute fruits and vegetables or in a solid color as I did for the second hat pictured above. Fall hats could be created into pumpkins, red and green would look adorable for a Christmas baby, and I can’t wait to try other fun additions to this adorable pattern.

The beautiful model in these photos is my sweet friend Andrea’s beautiful baby girl, Evey. She was so kind to let me share her photos on the blog. I could not have asked for a prettier model to model them!

Photo Credit: Nancy Lary Studios

brunhilde hat

Pattern: Viking Girl Hat by Sara Fama; Pattern is $7.50, but you can use a coupon code (“Ravelry10″) to receive 10% off the pattern. Pattern kits can also be ordered with the yarn used in the pattern, but I was able to find similar colors of yarn at our local craft shop.  The pattern included the pattern for the boy hat as well as the hat in different sizes.

Needle Size: US 6 (I purchased this set of 12″ circulars for these hats)

Yarn: (Charcoal), Loops & Threads Charisma (Yellow), Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton! (Ivory)

Notes: Ever since I learned how to knit, I have been dying to make this hat. This has literally been bookmarked for over a year, in hopes that one day I would feel brave enough to knit it. A baby shower gift was the perfect opportunity to splurge on the pattern and give it a try. I can’t begin to tell you how much pride I had making this hat.

This hat really taught me a lot of new techniques, but the piecing of it was a little tedious. Beginning knitters will need to know how to knit bobbles (brief description is available in the pattern), create i-cords, knit on dpn’s, and knit in the round. Luckily, YouTube offers great video tutorials on these techniques to make creating this a little easier.

I made the Brunhilde pattern, but once I made the little wings for the hat, I did not think they looked like a Viking hat. It may have been to the stretch and give of the cotton yarn, but they just did not stand to attention like I had hoped. I opted to make the boy version of the horns and liked them much better. These were whip stitched in the same cream color).

The braids were really fun to knit and are knitted in three separate i-cords (attached by two rows of knitting at the top). I finished them with tightly knotted yarn and then grosgrain hot pink ribbon bows from my craft suppplies.

There is a lot of freedom with this pattern and it was written well, with a lot of comedic style and fun mixed into it. I am really proud of how this hat turned out and still can’t believe I actually made it!

purple pom pom hat & pom pom gray baby bear hat

Pattern: Pompom Bear by Amanda Keeys; I purchased this Baby Beanies Book to get the pattern. This is one of only three knitting books I own- I promise, it was a worthy investment if you are looking for easy hats to knit for baby gifts.  I have already knitted four hats from it and plan to knit many more patterns in this one.

Needle Size: US 8 (I purchased this set of 12″ circulars for these hats)

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Heather Gray (for the boy version) & Naturally Caron Country in Dark Purple (for the girl version)

Notes: This hat is so fun to knit and is as cute as could be. In fact, each time I make this hat, I get an order request from another friend who wants one for her own little one. The hat has an easy ribbed edge and then is made into a garter stitch from there by just alternating rows of knitting and purling in the round.

It really is the most perfect hat for a beginning knitter because you don’t have to ever decrease this hat or use double-pointed needles to finish it. It is made even easier with a three needle bind off….which has changed my knitting world. I will link to a tutorial on this to help explain it, but if there is ever an opportunity for a three needle bind off in any of my projects, I am doing this. I used the circulars as though they were two straight needles and then used a DPN to knit them together and then bind of the stitches.

**************************************

If you are just beginning the world of hats, these are the three things that really helped me have success getting comfortable with double-pointed needles and knitting in the round.

3 Things That Helped Me With Making Wee Baby Hats

1.Bamboo 12″ circulars- Here is the honest truth. If you are super coordinated with double pointed needles, you can skip buying these and knit the wee baby hats in the round. I have found that knitting baby hats in the round was more of a challenge than I expected, and my mother-in-law recommended purchasing 12″ circulars so the hats do not have to be started on the DPN’s. These were a lifesaver and I will always use these for starting my hats. They do require a bit of coordination since they are shorter & smaller than your normal circulars, but they are worth the effort.  I applied my Swagbucks towards Amazon gift cards to help reduce the cost on these.

2. Bamboo 9″ Double Pointed Needles- Again, these are an off-brand needle and they were extremely rough so they held my stitches really well. As a beginner on these, these rough double pointed needles were key for me to get the hang of it without dropping stitches. It was a lot cheaper to buy these as a set and I did apply my Swagbucks towards the Amazon gift cards so I didn’t have to dip in my pocket to pay for them. You could go with a different length on these, but I opted for these 9″ ones and they still work great for the baby hats as well as the adult hats I knit.

3. A Good Ring Marker- I was using the kind that you just slipped over the needles and was finding that I was losing my starting stitch marker for knitting in the round. Look for ones that will slip onto the yarn and put that at the beginning of my round. It will really help you not lose your pace and keep you on track with your knitting.

*******************

Disclosure: The links to books and supplies are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate what you need quickly and easily. Feel free to order a book, but we encourage utilizing the library system and buying me some yarn instead.  Wouldn’t that just be so much more lovely?

What craft projects have you been working on? Feel free to share any links to what you are working on and be sure to friend me on Ravelry if you happen to be a knitter too! Access all of our craft fun on MomAdvice by visiting our Craft Section. Happy crafting, friends!