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Monthly Archives: November 2018

Indie Design Gift Along 2048 – Cowl and Scarf Faves

Hi everyone, I’ve been browsing the sale pattern bundle at the Indie Design Gift Along and looking through the Participating Designers list for 2018.   So much talent and incredible patterns for both knitting and crochet.

There are 349 designers, 263 knit designers, 51 crochet designers and 33 who offer both knit and crochet.

I wanted to focus on cowls and scarves today, there is so much to choose from, but here are a few that caught my eye as I was helping to assemble the giant sale bundle of over 6000 patterns.

First up

Urban Frieze

I love to see Paola’s patterns and photos, she’s such a fun lady and has an amazing sense of style.   This particular cowl combines two of my favourite things, modular knitting and mosaic knitting.   The colourwork (mosaic) is achieved by using only one colour at a time and slipping some stitches, it’s very easy but has big impact.   Modular just means the pieces knitted and joined as you go, working one piece directly from another (no seams).

Cowl Trick

Unusually for Mary, this cowl is in Aran weight yarn, she’s the Queen of laceweight yarns and has a fabulous selection of shawls, so for her this must have felt like knitting with rope, lol.    This is a reversible piece and a very clever construction, it’s also a great one for stash busting as each layer could be a different colour.

Orbital Cowl

I had to include a crochet cowl and this one really caught my eye, all that purple and smooshy stitches.  You could have a lot of fun with colour and play with contrast levels too, lots of potential here.

Cailleach-Oidhche

Don’t ask me how to pronounce this, I have no clue, lol.   However, as brioche seems to be the new black, then I had to include a brioche cowl in the mix today.    The instructions include options for both a long and a short cowl, my personal preference for Winter is the longer, but in Autumn/Fall, I like a shorter cowl, so I guess I’ll have to make both.

Thanks, It Has Pockets!

I had to include this one, as it’s the only cowl I’ve seen with zips and pockets, great idea for those of us on the go and dashing around on the school run.

Sledge

I chose this one partly because I love the colours, yes I am a sucker for this olive/mustard combination, but also because it’s a simple knit, worked in the round with plain stocking stitch and some ribbing for interest.  It’ll be a good beginner knit and one of those go-to classics you wear every day.   Choose a colour to match your winter coat and pair it with a contast colour to add interest.    I’m thinking purple and mustard for mine.

Cowl Owl-Light

This cute crochet cowl can be subtle, as shown in the picture with gentle colours or in-your-face pops of colour with high contrast, intense colours.   Your choice, either way, I’m sure you’ll love it.

Pick-Me-Up Posey Scarf

Another crochet choice, this would be great to use up those self striping yarns you have no clue what to do with and is quick to work.   I love the motif, it’s delicate and pretty without being over the top.

Glide

Sometimes you just need a scarf, something relaxing to knit with a simple pattern repeat you can ‘read’ as you knit and that’s easier to remember as you work along.    Pretty lace, would work in any weight of yarn, what’s not to love?

Twitterpated

I like this one for lots of reasons, the lace panels, the asymmetry of the shaping, the ability to use up a ton of scrap yarn and change colour whenever I feel like it and to top it all, stripes.

Bouquet Cowl

I picked this one, partly influenced by the joyous colour but also because it has lace and is part of a really pretty set that I can absolutely see myself making for ME.

Cosmos Flower Scarf

Another crochet beauty, couldn’t resist the colour or the beautiful shawl pin in the photo.  The designer suggest it’s good to have some experience of cluster sts, but the rest is pretty basic and there are a ton of youtube tutorials available to show you how to work cluster stitches.   Give it a go.

Pebbles and Scales Cowl

I love texture and would love to make this one, but I must admit it also looks a bit like a Christmas Tree in this photo, if you like a textured cowl which is a fun and interesting knit, this is one!

Winter in Star’s Hollow Cowl

I love this cowl by knitting superstar Annie Modesitt, it’s a great way to use that mini-skein set you bought because you love the colours but have no idea what to make with it.    Clever use of short rows and slipped stitches make for very simple colour work with a WOW factor.

Caribou Wildflower Cowl

I couldn’t resist adding this stranded cowl pattern, great for using stash and odd skeins your bought because they were pretty, or soft, or just there.     Super warm, worked in the round then joined to make a loop, as long or short ass you like.

Pebble Brook

This is great for using those odd skeins of Malabrigo Rios (other yarns available) that you can’t figure out what you’re going to make.   I have a couple of skeins of Rios in Archangel lined up for this beauty.
That’s it for today, tomorrow is a Sock Spectacular!   See you then.
Loraine

Indie Design Gift Along 2018 Hats Part 3

Hi everyone, today I’ll be showcasing some of the gorgeous hat patterns that caught my eye, I’ll be listing them in yarn weight order, starting with 4ply/fingering weight yarn and working my way up to super bulky.    They are all available from participating designers of the Indie Design Gift Along, on the group home page, right hand side are links to any bundles, the Sale Bundle will be retired at the end of this week and the Giant Bundle of ALL the designers patterns will be made live on the same day.   Part 1, showcases Super Bulky and Bulky hats, here.

Part 2, showcases Aran and Worsted Hats, here.

Let’s get back to it and begin with DK, sport and 4ply/fingering weight hats.

A few things to note with this pretty hat, asymmetry with just one cable being featured, texture and it has both a beanie fit option and a slouchy option.     I also love the designers username shown above because Knit does equal Joy.

Coronal

Cables and colourwork without stranding and all those floats?   Yes, yes, yes, it is possible and here it is.   A stunning crown detail, great use of colour, what more can I say.   This is sport weight I’d probably use the dk I have at hand.

 

Indie Design Giftalong 2018 Hats Part 2

Hi everyone, today I’ll be showcasing some of the gorgeous hat patterns that caught my eye, I’ll be listing them in yarn weight order, starting with 4ply/fingering weight yarn and working my way up to super bulky.    They are all available from participating designers of the Indie Design Gift Along, on the group home page, right hand side are links to any bundles, the Sale Bundle will be retired at the end of this week and the Giant Bundle of ALL the designers patterns will be made live on the same day.   Part 1, showcases Super Bulky and Bulky hats, here.

Let’s get back to it and begin with Aran weight hats.

Winter Wonderland Ear Warmer

Not everyone loves hats, bizarre, I know.  Some of us like headbands, so I’ll feature two today, first up is Winter Wonderland Ear Warmer, it’s using Aran weight yarn and has a cute Christmas tree design that isn’t over the top Christmassy.

Vintage Lace Shells Slouchy

Aran yarn, 5mm hook, shells and post sts are used to create this beautiful, slouchy hat.    This is another quick make and a great stash buster.

Off Campus Hat

This cute hat features a cable panel and stocking st, covers the ears for warmth and is another quick knit, I love the yarn used in the sample, look at those colours.

Frosty Cables Hat

Delicious cables are the main event on this lovely warm hat, instructions are included for both Aran and Worsted weight versions, a great stash buster and one my nieces would love.

Reindeer Baby Hat

I just had to include this one, it’s to ridiculously cute for a baby’s first Christmas and I love it.
Crocheted with a 6.5mm hook, this one is so fast and couldn’t be more fun if it tried.

Ritorto Rib Headband

This is a good beginner project and uses only 50g of Worsted or Aran weight yarn, a good gift for any runners in your life, for teens or those of us with longer hair who are always pushing it away from our faces.

Spiral Style Hat

Sized from child to large adult, another winner for family hat knitting.   I love the chance to play with colour and you could go with something subtle or a contrast with real pop.     It’s a very clever design and while it looks like cables, it’s all done with colour and slipped stitches, working with one colour per row – no stranding.    I love this and I’d also like to make the matching mittens.

Evergreen Cable Hat

Classic cables but this time it’s all crochet, great fun to make and they do look spectacular!

Attack of the Killer Rabbits Hat

This fun colourwork hat has a matching cowl, great for gifting and another chance to bust that stash and use up odd balls of yarn.

Indie Design Gift Along – Hats, Hats and More Hats Part 1

Hi everyone, today I’ll be showcasing some of the gorgeous hat patterns that caught my eye, I’ll be listing them in yarn weight order, starting with 4ply/fingering weight yarn and working my way up to super bulky.    They are all available from participating designers of the Indie Design Gift Along, on the group home page, right hand side are links to any bundles, the Sale Bundle will be retired at the end of this week and the Giant Bundle of ALL the designers patterns will be made live on the same day.

Let’s start with those super bulky, mega yarn and mega fast hats.

Super Bulky, Super Fast, Super Warm

Mighty Oak Hat

This is a super fast knit, lovely textured pattern and you can add ribbon or not, your choice.    It’s worked in the round on 6.5mm needles (fast, fast, fast) and is sized from small child to large adult.    You could make one for everyone and still be done in a couple of days.  That’s what I call fast gifting.

Hasten Hat

I like the streamlined shape of this one and you’re guaranteed to have lovely, warm ears.  This is again worked in the round, 8mm needles and sizes from newborn to adult, you could have fun with colour and add pops of contrast and I think it’s be a nice in a self striping or speckled yarn.

Polar Vortex Hat

If you fancy a spot of colour work, this is a super warm and cosy hat to knit, worked in the round, stranded colourwork (or you could duplicate stitch after if that’s easier for you), it’s sized for a 20 inch head circumference but that’ll stretch a bit so it’s flexible.
I have made this hate, the brim is worked sideways with a cable pattern and then the brim is picked up and worked in the round up to the crown.   It was a surprisingly quick knit and everyone that sees it wants to touch the bobbles.  Yes, they’re as mad as can but, but I do love it.

Kingsbury

Do you have teenage girls in the household?   They’ll love this slouchy, lace hat, add a bobble and they’ll be wearing it every day.    Worked in the round and sized women’s small and large.

Bulky/Chunky Weight – still fast, warm and wonderful

Popcorn Cozy Beanie

I do love this crochet hat, pretty stitches and a great showcase for that variegated yarn that’s been staring at you for ages and wants to be something.      Bulky/chunky yarn and a 7mm hook for a ladies medium size, this will fly off the hook and be ready in no time.

All You Need Is Love

Everybody now, All you need is love, da da da dada……..
I love the cables and garter on this one, lovely textures and isn’t that an adorable photo?   Chunky/bulky yarn, 6mm needles and sized small through to large to fit a good range from kids to adults.

Silly Old Bear

Another bulky hat, great pattern and sized from baby to XL adults with mahoosive heads.    It features a honeycomb cable and was inspired by Pooh Bear.

Ziyad

I like the swirl effect of this one, like whipped cream on top of a steaming mug of hot chocolate.    Sized from baby to adult large, you could make one for all the family.

Walk the Moon Hat

This one features a super easy mosaic or slipped stitch colourwork, no strands or floats and you only use one colour per row.    Sized in womens medium it should fit most people.

Rhonda in Midwinter Hat

I’ve made this one, maybe last year or the year before, done in an evening and so warm and cozy.   The cables are super cute and it’ll be a big hit for gifting.   Bulky yarn, 5.5mm and 6.5mm needles and sized in medium and large, it’s stretchy so there is plenty of flex in the sizing.

Mittens, Mitts and Men, Oh My!

Today I want to talk to you about mittens, mitts and choosing patterns for the men in our lives.     I’ve been browsing the sale bundle in the Indie Design Gift Along for 2018 and picked out some suggestions and chatted a little bit about why I think they’ll be great man gifts.

First up is Camlost by Ravenknits, now these are sized from small right the way up to a mahoosive 10 inch palm circumference.   These are perfect for men like my Dad, who has hands like shovels.    They feature a simple, but stylish texture pattern (a slipped st pattern) and a ribbed cuff which is on the longer side for those who feel the cold or work outdoors.     They’re part of a collection inspired by Lord of the Rings and an absolute must whether you like Tolkien or not.    Raven used sport weight yarn but says that row gauge/tension rather than stitch gauge/tension is the most important for a good fit.    The men in my family prefer simple designs like this one, no fancy embellishments or clever colour work for them.   Classic and stylish works for them and I think Camlost fits the bill on both counts.    For my men, browns, greens, blues (denim in particular), any grey or if my tired eyes could cope, they’d all want black – but that ain’t happening in this house.   A kettle dye yarn would work really well with the slip stitch pattern.

Char by Andrea Rangel

Char is made with fingering weight/4ply yarn and a nice way to bust some of your sock stash, it’s  a simple, clean design and a full glove for those who insist on warm fingers.    I’d go for a charcoal, brown, forest or olive green or if your poor eyes can stand it, black.   Classic neutrals are best.   Again this one uses a slip stitch pattern which also adds warmth and you could have fun with hand dyed or kettle dyed yarns.

Argiope Mitts by Settlers Grove Designs

I like this one and I do know some men (aspiring X Men or the more outgoing type) who would love these with the big X on the back of the palm and stripes that could be subtle or really pop.    They are great fun with their stripes and slip stitch cables (one colour per row, my kind of easy colourwork and no stranding).

Gorm Cliath Gauntlets by Ms. Mal

I like these, another simple design with a textured cuff and ribbed for a good fit, comes in sizes Medium for women and XL for men.

Badlands Mitts by Kathryn Folkerth

I do love the thumb shaping on these, very clever use of shaping and the sample shown is in one of my favourite colours, very on trend this season.     Sized up from tinies to Large Adult, you could make a pair of the whole family.  Would they be in team colours each  have their own favourite?     This is another slipped stitch pattern, I’m seeing a theme here, I must love them?    Nice and warm too.

Dragon Hide Mitts by Karen Troyer Ladman

Inspired by Harry Potter, have you got your letter from Hogwarts?  Then you need some Dragon Hide Mitts right away.    This one used dk weight yarn (or sport weight might do) with a textured pattern (great for kettle and hand dyed yarns) and is sized from Child to Adult L.    Another family mitt to make.

I think that’s it for today, I’ll be back on Wednesday to feature some hats, Thursday to talk about Cowls and Friday is Sweater day.

 

 

 

 

 

Indie Design Gift Along – Shawls I love

Hi everyone, I’ve been browsing the sale pattern bundle at the Indie Design Gift Along and looking through the Participating Designers list for 2018.   So much talent and incredible patterns for both knitting and crochet.

There are 349 designers, 263 knit designers, 51 crochet designers and 33 who offer both knit and crochet.

I wanted to focus on shawls today, there is so much to choose from, but here are a few that caught my eye as I was helping to assemble the giant sale bundle of over 6000 patterns.

First up is this designer by Peggy Jean Kaylor, I know PJ very well and she’s created this in both shawl and shawlette versions, I’ll only show one but you can easily find the other, click on the image to go to the pattern page.

l’Affichage Demoiselle Shawl by PJ Kaylor

The one by Marcela Chang

I’ve shown a close up of this one, it’d be fabulous for all the trendy speckled yarns in the shops and available from Indie Dyers at the moment and I love the pretty stitch pattern,  isn’t it lovely?   Click on the name of the pattern or on the image to visit the page.     Marcela used 3ply/light fingering yarn but I think I’d use 4ply/fingering weight from my stash, this really is a beautiful shawl and in these colours, would be perfect for Summer.

Ultravioleta by Lena Fedetova

This one is crochet, but it’s hard to tell from the photo and I just love purple, so how could I resist this?   The shawl features a gorgeous zigzig pattern, achieved with chains, shells and simple stitches, nothing too taxing and it’s easy to see if you’ve gone wrong very quickly.

Happy Stitches Shawl by Dawn Ortega

I’ve included this one, partly because I love the colours and simplicity of this one, great for a shawl beginner but also because it’s a good one for those self striping yarns you don’t know what do with, or using up scrap yarn and making a magic yarn ball.

Whitewater Wrap by Amy van de Laar

I love Amy’s designs and have made her Beeswax Hat in a previous Gift Along, but this shawl, inspired by a waterfall near to Amy’s home, really stands out for me.    It has lace, angles, texture and a real sense of movement.

Vanishing Point by Paola Albergamo

I love, love, love Paola’s designs, her brioche patterns are simply stunning.    This shawl is a more recent publication and I am desperate to make it.

Cornfield by Christelle Nihoul

I really love Christelle’s designs, always chic, stylish and on trend.   This pretty shawl is a great way to play with colour and have fun with and isn’t her daughter absolutely gorgeous?

Trollius Shawl by Sandra Nesbitt

I hadn’t seen Sandra’s patterns before the Gift Along and I am blown away by this brioche shawl, a brilliant way to use up stash and combine colours.

Salhas Shawl by Cheryl Chow

Another crochet shawl, this time by Cheryl Chow, isn’t it pretty?  Inspired by cherry blossoms and using texture and colour to evoke Spring.

Simplicity is Key by Red and the Wolf Designs

This is a simple and quick knit, great way to use up stash, play with colour and get used to shaping a shawl.   It is easy, but it’s not boring, a great knit for tv watching where you want to keep up with the plot and not lose your place in your knitting.

Gokyo by Allison Janocha

Stripes, lace, texture and the sample is knitted with Yarn Love Mr Darcy, what woman could resist that combination?

Andean Feeling Shawl by Lilia Vanini

This one has a section of mosaic knitting, an easy colourwork method that uses only one colour per row and looks fabulus.

Rainbows! In Space! by Carolyn Macpherson

I had to include a rainbow somewhere and as a Sci Fi fan, to have rainbows in space was a fab combo.   I love the twinkly stars and the rainbow colours.    I think I’ll make this one with an Autumn coloured rainbow and an inky purple for the starry sky.

Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies pattern Christmas Knitting

Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies

Introducing our super cute Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies, or should that be Mug Cosy?   Anyway, just in time for Christmas knitting, these super cute mug cozies will warm your heart and your cuppa.   With a hood just big enough to hold your cookies or shortbread, you’re good to go.   Linky here to purchase the pdf pattern for the  Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies

Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies Pattern by Loraine Birchall

Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies Pattern by Loraine Birchall

About the Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies

I woke up one morning and with a desperate need to knit and design a mug cozy.   I knew I wanted a Santa Mug Cozy, so he was the starting point, but then I had so many ideas all at once.   I’m still thinking about a Bigfoot Cozy, what do you think?

The Christmas knitting theme turned into something of an obsession.  Now there are four characters, Santa Claus or Father Christmas Cozy, Elf ‘n’ Safety Cozy, Gingerbread Man (or lady) Cozy and a Snowman (or Snowlady) Cozy.

I wanted to add a hood to the mug cozy to make it stand out from the crowd.  I think it works well and it was fun to play around with the design.

A friend, Folksworthfarmer suggested that if that hood would hold biscuits, then she was sold.   Helen also kindly sent the Christmas tree buttons used on the Elf Cozies and black buttons for Santa’s jacket.

Thanks to bluesocks, who brought a selection of bells in assorted colours and sizes.  I used these for the points of the cozy hoods and as cute buttons on the snowman cozy.

The body of the cozies are knitted sideways and it’s easy to customize the length to fit the circumference of your favourite mug. Stitch counts are include for 3 1/2 inch depth and 4 inch depth standard mugs and as written they will stretch to go round a 10-11 inch round mug.

The cozies have knitted arms with mittens, the arms are worked from the fingertips up to the top of the arm/sleeve. I used Judy’s Magic Cast On, but feel free to just use longtail cast on and seam the fingertips of the mittens afterwards.

The Snowman has optional twig arms or you can make the mitten/sleeve arms to match the other cozies.  I enjoyed knitting the twig arms for the snowman cozy.  They’re very quick to knit and use only scraps of yarn.

Instructions are included for striped options for arms and hoods.

I used duplicate stitch to add a belt for Santa Cozy, Elves Cozies or the Gingerbread Man Cozy and also to add a ribbon for the gift embellishment.

I’ve had fun sewing on bells to the hoods, using them instead of buttons or ‘coal’ on the Snowman Cozy and adding the Christmas Trees, Sacks and Gifts to each character.

The expected gauge/tension is 20st/28 rows per 4 inch/10cm and I used a variety of yarns from DK, Aran, Worsted, 4ply/fingering weight double stranded. It’s a great way to use up scraps. Use the needle size that gets you 20 sts over 4 inches and it’ll work just fine. The length is easily adapted to fit a wider mug, or smaller one.

Make as many or as few as you like.  Play around with colours, stripes and I’d love to see one in stranded knitting.  I hope you love them as much as I do.  My friends have had great fun customizing their Elf Cozies and I love what they’ve come up with.

With grateful thanks to bluesocks, who test knitted the pattern, tried them with a variety of yarns and is the most amazing friend.

Linky here to purchase the pdf pattern for the  Festive Hoodie Mug Cozies

 

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