Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl

When Fall comes along, I love to be prepared for those cool temperatures with a fresh new scarf or cowl for the season. Today I am sharing my Dovetail Cowl that I knitted up for this season’s cooler temperatures.

The Dovetail Cowl pattern by Carina Spencer is a beautifully written pattern that breaks down a complex-looking pattern into smaller sections thanks to stitch markers. The pattern is only knits and purls, making it a perfect pattern for a beginning knitter who is looking for something a little more complex to tackle.

All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl

The stitching on this cowl is completely reversible and is textured. The pattern is written in a smaller version (not pictured here) and the larger version (shown above) and can be worn several ways thanks to it being completely reversible.

All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl All Knitted Up: Dovetail Cowl

Poppy Dovetail Cowl

Pattern: Dovetail Cowl

Needle Size: US  7 (40″ circulars work well for this project so you can spread your knitting out and keep an eye on your stitches)

Yarn: Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton in Poppy Red (2 skeins)

Notes: 

I was excited to create a cozy cowl for Fall. I purchased this Dovetail Cowl pattern and paired it with the Cascade Pima yarn for a beautifully textured cowl that would not be too itchy.

This pattern is beautifully written. Using the guidance from the pattern for marking each section off with stitch markers, it makes it very easy to follow and to stay on track with your knitting.

I did the Large size pattern which took me about six weeks to complete in the evenings. Although the pattern is easy to do with just knits and purls, it does require some attention to it to stay on track with your pattern.

I am awfully pleased how this turned out. Two skeins was just enough yarn for me to complete the project, even doing the rolled edge!

If you do the advised yarn on this one, I would just do the shorter version otherwise it might be too much bulk to wrap this scarf twice, unless you are looking to leave the scarf unwrapped. Thanks to the scrunchy cotton yarn I used, I am able to wrap this two or three times around my 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!

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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!

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How to Make a Pom-Pom Flower Bouquet

Monday, April 29th, 2013

How to Make a Pom-Pom Flower Bouquet

What could be a better gift for Mother’s Day than a bouquet of pom pom posies that you can enjoy all year long? You won’t believe how easy it is to make pom pom flowers for a special mom in your life. Walmart challenged us to come up with a fun Mother’s Day project that anyone can do for someone special in their life and we are so excited to show you how easy (and thrifty!) this little project is!

Supplies Needed:

Scrap yarn in any color (we used scrap yarn from my overflowing yarn bin)
Hot Glue Gun
Glue Sticks
Scissors
Large Clover Pom-Pom Maker
Wilton Cookie Sticks (over in the cake decorating supplies aisle)
Jar

How to Use the Clover Pom-Pom MakerHow to Use the Clover Pom-Pom MakerHow to Use the Clover Pom-Pom MakerHow to Use the Clover Pom-Pom Maker

How to Use the Clover Pom-Pom Maker

Directions:

 

1. Make an assortment of Pom-Poms using your desired method of pom-pom creating. Follow my picture tutorial above if you would like to use the Clover Pom-Pom Maker that I discovered.

Why I Am Using The Clover Pom-Pom Makers: I have tried every thrifty known method for making pom-poms from cardboard, to forks, to compact discs. To make this bouquet of posies, I decided to see if I could find a gadget to help me and I cannot rave about this Clover Pom-Pom Maker enough. It is the perfect tool to add to your arsenal if you are making pom poms and it is simple enough that my 7 year-old could use it.

How to Make a Pom-Pom Flower Bouquet

2. Open a package of cookie sticks and remove one from the package. Begin wrapping yarn around the cookie stick, covering all of the white parts. I start the yarn weaving the tail in at the top so that I don’t have to glue it at the top. It’s okay if there is a bit of white showing at the top because your pom-pom will cover it!

How to Make a Pom-Pom Flower Bouquet

3. Once you are almost to the bottom of the stem, add a dab of hot glue and continue wrapping until you get to the bottom. Snip the end of the yarn that has been secured with the glue.

4. Add a dab of hot glue at the top of your stem and then secure a colored pom pom to the top. Hold in place for thirty seconds.

5. Gently bend your stem (gently or it will break) to create a more natural looking flower. Set aside and repeat this process with the rest of the flowers.

How to Make a Pom-Pom Flower BouquetThat’s it!

TA-DA!

Easy yarn pom-pom posies that are sure to brighten any mom’s day! If you want to really make this cute gift stand out even more, here are a couple of more sweet ideas to really set the mood for a special mom in your life.

Pom-Pom Cupcake Topper

I went ahead and bought the Small Clover Pom-Pom Maker to show you how cute this one is for decorating a cupcake for a special mom in your life. We just hot glued this little cutie on the top of a toothpick and it only took a couple of minutes to add a little pom-pom magic to a store-bought cupcake!

How to Make a Pom-Pom Flower Bouquet

How to Make a Pom-Pom Flower BouquetWho could resist a gift as sweet as this?  Not only is it the perfect Mother’s Day gift, but it would make a sweet gift to celebrate any occasion. Pair these pom-pom posies with a gift certificate to pick up craft supplies for the crafty mom in your life.

I also joined Vine this weekend which is a fun app for making a quick 8 second video. Here is my 8 second video of my pom-pom making. I would like to disclose that I am in my favorite polka-dotted pajama pants here for this super professional tutorial!

How to Make a Pom-Pom Flower Bouquet

Happy Pom-Pom Making, friends!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

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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!

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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.

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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!