Tag Archives: knitting

variegated.bobbin.blanket

I did a post a moon or two ago about my own baby blanket, that at over 40 years old, is still in my possession (Lovey is held together with years of love, dirt and willpower these days). It was knit in the feather and fan pattern and was my obsession as a kid. I now knit the baby blankets I gift (and sell) in the same pattern, and each time I post a picture, my Facebook followers go all nutty and lust for the pattern and the deets. So, I figured it was high time to reblog, and share this winning beauty (literally – I have fair ribbons to prove it) with the masses. Huzzah!

Feather and fan is actually a super easy pattern that only requires counting (up to 6!) every 4th row. Combined with these totally amazing yarn bobbins I stumbled across from Premier Yarns, these blankets are absolutely drool worthy. The bobbins come loaded with 3 skeins worth of anti-pill acrylic yarn – which is totally perfect for baby blankets, as I am told that babies tend to leak and/or spew various liquids and things, and need to be washed often. These require no special laundering and are just as cozy as they are gorge.

I use US 8 circular needles, 24″ long. I use circulars as often as possible as your project is literally contained within itself. This pattern works in multiples of 18 (Whoa. Math.) but I find a cast on of 154 stitches works perfectly into a tiny human sized blanket (8 pattern repeats with 10 for a border). The pattern below is for my blanket, but you can obviously tweak for a smaller boarder, etc. I also slip the first stitch of each row to the new needle (which counts as your first stitch), which in the end automatically creates a nice clean edge.

  • Cast on 154 stitches and knit each row until you have a border approximately an inch wide
  • Row 1: Knit
  • Row 2: K5, purl entire row, K5
  • Row 3: k5, * k2 tog 3 times, (k1, yo) 6 times, k2 tog 3 times * repeat from * to * until last 5 stitches, K5
  • Row 4: Knit

Repeat these 4 rows until you have the desired width for your color band (or just go to town if you’re going the single color route) and knit the last inch to bind off your border. The Premier bobbins work nicely into 7 row bands, and give you 5 blocks of that gorgeous variegated hombre. 2 bobbins work into a single blanket with plenty left over for a crocheted border and a matching cowl or something similar of the middle block color.

My blankets knit into approx 30X40”, but since you have the magical key of the 18 stitch pattern repeat, you can make it as large or small as you want.

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the.england.scarflette

I cannot possibly be expected to travel any sort of distance without at least one knitting project in hand. Last week I plane, trained and automobiled my way to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, England and had some lovely yellow ochre yarn with me. I have challenged myself to not buy any yarn this year unless I need it for a specific project (this came after several episodes of Hoarders. God. I love that show. Read: please don’t let that be me.) and this lovely bit happened to be leftover from a feather and fan baby blanket I made for a friend.


It just so happens that this blanket is for the friend I was visiting! So it’s all very appropriate blahdy blah. Anyhoo.

  • Cast on 42 stitches on a size 7 round needle and knit 10 rows
  • K3, K2 tog 3 times, yo 6 times, K2 tog 6 times, yo 6 times, K2 tog 3 times, K3
  • Knit the next 2 rows
  • K3, Purl row, K3
  • *Slip the first stitch of each row as if you were knitting

Oh look! Baby yarn factories!!

I made this pin years and years ago but have never had the perfect thing to do with it. Until now. I love how these pieces go together.

And just in case you aren’t into knitting your own scarf, or smithing your own pin, I have them both listed in my Etsy shop – just click on the respective links.

And what is the next project you ask? A grey scarf similar to this with yarn I bought in England. Why did I buy it? Because I had finished this beauty and could not possibly be expected to travel without something to knit! I think that’s a rule at US Customs or something….Really. Look it up.

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crochet.for.knitters

I have been knitting for over 10 years. Each time I finish a rather substantial piece (read: any of the 5 baby blankets I made last year. Dear friends of mine: please take a break…) I tell myself “This is the project where you are actually going to learn to crochet and add a border. Do it, Annie. Do it.” And of course I never do. Until yesterday. There was some sort of popping in my wee brain and I started YouTubing instructional videos on how to crochet.

Now, I must admit. There is a story behind my hesitation to become a crafty hooker. When I was in elementary school, the elderly woman down the street was hired to teach me to crochet. My mother made some sort of arrangement for me to have weekly lessons starting on a particular Tuesday. The Sunday before lessons were to begin, we came home to find our little street closed down and full of fire trucks. There had been a fire. Our neighbors house was a total loss – burned to the foundation. Tragically, Florence and her dog Cuddles, didn’t make it out….For some crazy reason over the years, my brain worked up a totally superstitious load of hooey suggesting that if I did crochet, my house would also burn down (Hey, I was a kid.) Well, 4 years ago my husband and I did have a house fire. So, I guess crocheting had nothing to do with the likelihood of that happening.

I’m not sure why I decided that this particular project was going to be the one, but I think the ease of this particular video is the culprit as to make me actually stick to it and do it. This ‘crochet for knitters’ video was great step by step instruction. I suggest you:

  • Pull up a chair and dive right in.
  • Make sure you have decided to do this while you are at work, and be sure lots of customers come in to shop.
  • Now, turn off the sound so as not to admit you are watching videos and being unprofessional.

That makes it a lot easier, right?

 

Now, I know it’s not perfect. And I’m pretty sure I bastardized the actual pattern a bit, but as I see it – it’s jacked up all the same around the piece, so it works.

 

I’m super proud. And very sore. This whole single needle witchcraft thing is a whole new set of muscles. And I felt like I couldn’t stop!! With knitting, you can cap your needles or leave your project to sit at the end. Crochet? Nope. Needle will fall out and your project will be ruined, ending in tears and frustration. And probably the prompt flamage of the entire project (there’s a fire theme with my work – you getting that?). I was a crazed, maniacal crocheter. Must. Finish. Border. Can’t. Sleep. Yarn. Nerd.

Now that the mystery and stigma has been removed, I’m stoked to start adding borders to anything that sits still long enough. Look out family dog. I’m coming for you.

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basketweave.baby.blanket

I am quite pleased with how well this blanket turned out. Despite a slow start and some panicked text messages to my friend Steph in Japan (who kindly talked me off the crafty ledge), it ended up being an easy, fun and fast pattern. You can find the pattern on Ravelry here, but I definitely recommend skipping the chart and investing in a  stitch counter that won’t self destruct as soon as it comes out of the package. IMG_0404

  • Cast on 161 stitches, and slipping the first stitch of each row (for the entire blanket) knit 8 rows
  • Row 1: (K5 – border) P1, K4, P5 repeated until the end with another K5 for the border at the end
  • Row 2: (K5 – border) K1, P4, K5 repeated until the end…..K5 border
  • Rows 3,5,7,11,13,15: (K5) P1, K4 (K5 border at end)
  • Rows 4,6,8,12,14,16: (K6) P4, K1 (K5 border at end)
  • Row 9: (K5) P6, K4 …(K5)
  • Row 10: (K6) P4, K6 …(K5)

Basically, when you are knitting the right side, your first stitch after the border will be a purl, and the wrong side is a knit the ensure the variations in weave. And don’t panic that the pattern looks terrible until you hit row 11 or 12 – the little cross hatches will finally start to pull it all together. IMG_0491 Work to the desired length, then knit 8 rows and bind off. Hooray! This is the last of the baby blankets as gifts for a bit (thank you all for finding a new hobby for the moment), but begins my state fair entry making. I plan to double this pattern and make a couch sized blanket as an entry this year….because clearly I am insane. IMG_0859

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baby.blanket.in.action

Norman is making my work look good!

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knitting.fool

I’ve been an absolute knitting fool lately. I’ve been cranking out cowls, trying to prepare for the Harry Potter scarf Etsy explosion (it’s coming…), fill a few custom holiday orders and work on a baby blanket or two. Are you tired ready that?

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The latest pattern is for a hip granny – custom holiday order. It’s a super easy and quick scarf that only requires that you know how to knit, purl, and count to 2.

 

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  • Cast on 30 stitches
  • Row 1: knit across
  • Row 2: purl across
  • Row 3: (k2,p2) across; end k2
  • Row 4: (p2, k2) across; end p2

When you reach the desired length, bind off, weave in your ends, etc etc etc. This will need to be blocked when you are finished, but will be a great conversation starter. And it’s so easy!

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fan.and.feather.scarf

I have started my holiday making already and though to some it seems early, I feel I am months behind. But hopefully the frantic work will be appreciated by the recipients. I am caught up on my baby blankets for the moment and decided to take the pattern for a spin as a scarf, and I love it. The fan and feather makes for a lovely and light scarf perfect for chilly fall days, or as a wrap at the office.

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  • Cast on 42 stitches on a size 6 round needle and knit 10 rows
  • K3, K2 tog 3 times, yo 6 times, K2 tog 6 times, yo 6 times, K2 tog 3 times, K3
  • Knit the next 2 rows
  • K3, Purl row, K3

Then repeat the counted row through your simple knits and purls until desired length and you’ve got it!

 

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guest.blog.post:free.knitting.pattern

I finally finished that awesome checkerboard baby blanket! And just in time to blog about it on the fabulous Robin’s Crafting Mommy of Two blog. You get to see the finished piece, snag a free pattern, and learn a little more about me! (I used to throw clay – the cool kid way!)

 

guest blog

Click the image for a direct link to the blog post. Hooray!

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baby.blanket.boom

It seems everyone I know is expecting these days (if you don’t think you are, you better check again) and I have been a baby blanket making fool. Coincidentally, I have also been a guest blogging fool! Keep an eye on Alaska Knit Nat‘s blog for a tutorial on the famous Lovey blanket (feather and fan), and the fabulous Robin of Crafting Mommy of Two has asked me to tell you about the latest checkerboard blanket.

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I make the blankets for folks I know will appreciate them (not everyone “gets” 40-50 hours of one’s time as a gift) and it is the absolute best feeling when the recipient gets really excited. It is the definition of ‘warm and fuzzy.’

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chunky.funky.infinity.cowl

I basically production knit these days, and cowls seem to be the big winner. They are so super duper easy to make, I almost feel bad *not* telling you how to make them. So, here goes.

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  • Using the chunky yarn of your choice, cast 28 stitches onto size 19 (15mm) needles
  • Garter stitch (knit each row) a long panel (usually 2 skeins of yarn or so) and bind off
  • Twist 2 -3 times and join endssuper-chunky-knit-cowl

This is the super quick cheater way to make a “mobius” knit cowl, and if you’re really good at joining the seams, no one will know the difference.

Now I’m off to knit some more…’Tis the season and all….

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