Tag Archives: crochet

Inspiration: Daylight Savings Time

Happy Monday Morning, everyone.  It’s a particularly early one today.

Oof.

It’s the first Monday of Daylight Savings Time, which is one of the stupider things we do.

We lost an hour last night.  And, now, even though it’s technically 9:00, it feels much earlier.

I could have been sleeping that extra hour!  Or I could have watched two extra episodes of Bob’s Burgers!  Or I could have knit up one of these super-quick projects.

So many lost opportunities.

I could have crocheted this gorgeous, chunky-textured cowl.

one hour textured cowl by Claire BorchardtOr I could have made these comfy-looking slippers.  (Which I could totally use! My slippers are starting to fall apart!)

1 hour Slippers by Mel PatonOr I could knit this adorable cabled cowl.  (I question the “one-hour-ness” of this pattern, but since I wasn’t able to knit for that lost hour last night we’ll never know.)

1 Hour Cowl by Stefanie JapelWhat would you have done with your lost hour if we didn’t have to deal with daylight savings?  Also, can you bring me some coffee? I’m sleepy.

Fall is… Falling?

It’s the end of October already, and fall is in full swing around here.  The leaves have all turned, and are shockingly beautiful this year.  I don’t know if it’s because of the warm, sunny weather we had all summer, or the strange number of downpours earlier this fall, but something happened and the trees are every shade of red and yellow (and purple and orange and everything in-between).

And, since Christmas is right around the corner (eep!), let’s not get bogged down in big knitting projects- no sweaters or afghans.  Let’s just look at adorable leaf patterns.

I love the texture of these leaves- The designer says they’re maple leaves, but they look more like sugar gum leaves to me.  Either way, they’re super cute.

Maple Leaves Applique Crochet Pattern, by GoldenLucyCrafts

img_9371-1_-_copy__2__medium21These oak leaves are great, too.  And so perfect!

Oak Leaves by In the Yarn Gardenoakleaves_rainbow_intheyarngarden_medium21These look like maple leaves.  Just adorable.

Fall Leaves by Michelle @ The Painted Hingefall_leaves_free_crochet_pattern-11_medium21Which is your favorite?  I can’t decide!  If I had time, I’d totally make a big pile of these and attach them to a great fall wreath, or maybe overlap them and sew them into a big afghan.  How cool would that be?

How’s fall treating you in your neck of the woods?

Inspiration: Tree Skirts

OK, I’m going to share a little peek into how my brain works.  I usually try to keep the weird, free-association-y part of my brain a little under wraps, but here we are.

Last week I talked about how I’ve been dreaming of a cozy knit skirt. And yesterday I talked about how Christmas is 81 days away (actually, now it’s 79 days away!  Eek!).

Skirt + Christmas = tree skirt.

It’s a bit of a stretch, logic-wise, but hey, that’s what I’m thinking about today.

So, let’s talk tree skirts.

For the last 10 years (or whatever it’s been since I left home after high school), I’ve always had a little fake tree.  At first it was a 2-foot tall plastic guy that I could fit in my dorm room.  Then I moved to an apartment, and I got a waist-high silver tinsel tree (it looked especially gaudy with multi-colored lights.  It was the best.  My roommates hated it). Then I got to grad school, and had a more grown-up apartment, with room for a full-size tree, so I got one for $10 from JoAnn’s After-Christmas Sale.  I really scored, since we’re still using that tree years later (though it is beginning to get a little threadbare… it might need to retire soon).

I’ve never had a tree skirt- I just shoved presents down there to hide the foot of the tree.  Or, if I felt fancy, I’d grab a blanket (white, if I could find it), and kind of mushed it around the bottom of the tree to look like snow.  It wasn’t fancy, but it worked well enough.

But, last Christmas, my mom embroidered me a gorgeous felt tree skirt, just like the one she made when I was a kid.  It’s covered in all dozens of little appliques, beads and sequins.  I’m so excited to get out the Christmas tree this year so that I can use my new tree skirt.  (I’ll show you pictures when I get it out from storage- if I dug it out right now, I think my husband would get worried.)

Anyway, with tree skirts on the brain, let’s look at some pretty knit and crochet ones, and wonder why I never thought to make one for myself…

I like the use of granny squares to make a star in this skirt, and the combo of ivory and cranberry red is gorgeous.

Christmas Tree Skirt Pattern by Kara Gunza

crochet_tree_skirt-1-3_medium1Here’s another classy star-shaped skirt.  The use of graduated chevrons is very clever, and by changing the colors or stripe pattern you could come up with some really beautiful variations.

Christmas Tree Skirt by Donna Mason-Svaraskirt2_medium21Or if you wanted to go really classy, this lace-y skirt is just gorgeous.  You could make it in ivory for a real antique look.

7-Hour Tree Skirt by Katherine Eng6148_1_medium1But who says Christmas is a classy holiday?!  Not me!  I may have graduated to a tree-colored tree, but I still have that silver tinsel tree with the bright, multi-colored lights.  Christmas should be tacky and fun, in the best possible way.  And, this multi-colored tree skirt is just the ticket.

Granny Tree Skirt by Ann Regislw3208_project_medium21What’s your favorite Christmas style?  What do you celebrate this time of year?

 

Inspiration: Early Summer

It’s weird outside, guys.  And it’s starting to freak me out.

We’ve been having ridiculously good weather here for the last month or so.  It’s been sunny.  The sky has been cloudless, and we haven’t had more than a sprinkle of rain in the last few weeks.  It’s even gotten over 80 degrees.  That’s August weather for Seattle, and it’s only the beginning of May.

If it wasn’t 8 in the morning, I’d want to be sitting outside sipping on a can of my favorite IPA and a reading good book.

Like I said, it’s weird.

But, as a former resident of Austin, Texas, I know how to knit for warm weather.  So at least I’ve got that going for me.

First, focus on light, flowy layers knit in thin-gauge wool, like this lovely summery cardigan with beautiful openwork detailing.

Summer Festival by Georgie Nicolsonfestival14_medium2[1]Or if you were determined to go big, instead of a chunky pullover, think about an adorable sundress, like this one.

Summer Sundress by Mari Lynn Patrickep1044_medium[1]But, sometimes, even the thought of knitting up something bigger than a handkerchief is too much in hot (OK- 70 isn’t actually hot, it’s just Seattle hot) weather.  In that case make something tiny and fun, like this ridiculously adorable floral headband.  (If only I could pull this off… sigh.)

Summer Girl- crocheted headband by Monika Sirna3-4_medium2[1]What do you knit when it’s too hot for sweaters and blankets?

And Now For Something Completely Different

Do you ever get a bug under your skin, and suddenly, you can’t imagine anything you want to do less than work on the projects you’ve already got on your needles?

It’s not just me, right? (Please tell me it’s not just me!)

Well, this weekend, the last thing I wanted to do was anything to do with knitting.  And I certainly didn’t want to steam block my husband’s sweater.  (I’m definitely not procrastinating or anything… Ha!)

I got it into my head that I wanted to do something utterly useless, and totally pretty and silly.  So, I thought about the supplies I had on hand, and it came to me:  a doily.

I have never made a doily.  Because I’m not an 80-year-old grandma.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)  But I poked around on Ravelry, and found this beautiful pattern, published in 1969, that was (amazingly) available online:

Brocade #A-792 by Coats & Clark4263729381_b3c5f43ded_z[1]I pulled out a size 10 steel crochet hook (it’s super tiny!) that used to belong to my great-grandmother, and a big spool of crochet cotton that I inherited from a friend of a friend.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd I went to work!  Three days and a small callus later, My doily is finished!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s huge (about 15″ across)!  I ran out of thread, so I  couldn’t finish the last three or four rows of the pattern, but I am still pleased with how it turned out.  I even got to learn how to use starch, which was a kind of fun old-fashioned skill to gain. (And I’m all about old-fashioned skills.)

Now the question is what to do with the finished doily.  I’m not really a “doily” kind of person, and my house isn’t really a “doily” kind of house.  Right now, it’s hanging out on a little end table in my knitting studio, but I’m open to other suggestions!

What projects have you done while avoiding stuff you “should” be doing?

AND! Don’t forget to sign up for the Aura Giveaway!

Inspiration: Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day this weekend, and I haven’t gotten my husband anything.  To be fair, we said “no presents” this year, but I always have trouble with doing “no presents.”  I think it must be a knitter thing.  Or maybe it has something to do with my Midwestern upbringing.  Either way, I feel a compulsion to make something. It’s a problem.

And since I’ve only got a couple days, any gifts I make will have to be very small.

I could go completely silly (yet adorable), and make a herd of these tiny heart-carrying bunnies.  But, I don’t think I can translate this pattern before Sunday.  If only I’d taken French in college, instead of German!  Dang.

Valentin by Anisbee Anisbee20_medium2[1]Or I could make something marginally more useful (again, the Midwesterner in me is showing- I love a useful gift!), like these adorable nesting baskets.

Heart Nesting Baskets by Sonya BlackstoneHeart_Baskets_3wm_medium2[1]But my husband is not the kind of guy that likes cutesy little things like heart-shaped baskets.  Maybe he’s the kind of guy who likes miniature little cupids on strings?

I could knit up one of these guys (sans halo):

Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi Angels by Anna Hrachovecangels2_mail_medium[1]and add a teeny bow and arrow:

Valentine Cupid Bow and Arrow by Linda DawkinsValentine_medium2[1]And, hey presto!  Cupid!

Oh, I don’t know.  That’s probably too silly a gift for my husband, too.  I suppose I’ll just get a bottle of something yummy and make him dinner.  You know, like a boring grown-up.

(But that doesn’t mean that I won’t make a teensy Cupid for myself!)

Do you have any Valentine’s Day knitting plans?

Apparently It’s Leftovers Month

I feel like I’ve been talking about using up leftovers a lot lately.  I suppose, I have been trying to use up my stash before I go buy more (I’m almost out of space in my yarn bins).

And this week isn’t any different.

Over the years I’ve collected a bunch of Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in a selection of natural heathered colors from off-white to dark, chocolate brown.  I’ve used this yarn in a bunch of projects- mostly blankets, and no matter how carefully I plan, I always end up with a bunch of half-skeins leftover.  I even had several half-skeins of the same colors, but different dye lots.

I had to figure out what to make with this ragtag bunch of yarn.  Anything fancy, like a sweater, was out because of the weird amounts of each color yarn.  Anything that took a lot of planning was out, too- I wasn’t in the mood to do a lot of math on this one.

So, I arranged the yarn in a gradient from lightest to darkest, dug out my crochet hooks and just started making a granny square.

And kept on going- using up one skein after another.  (The little bits leftover are going to turn into another Mother Bear– I think I have a problem.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe blanket ended up about 4 feet by 4 feet- a nice size for a lap blanket or maybe a baby blanket (though I don’t know if I’d give a baby an itchy wool, non-washable blanket).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOllie seems to like it.  He saw me taking pictures and came over to give it the official “Dog Seal of Approval.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And then he fell asleep- because he leads a very high-energy, stressful life.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat have you been doing to use up your leftover skeins of yarn?

Mother Bears On the Needles!

I can’t get the Mother Bear Project out of my head.  The stories of little kids with next to nothing positive in their lives just break my heart, and I can’t stop thinking about them.Mother_Bear_in_Liberia_1_medium2[1]So, I took the plunge and ordered my pattern!  The patterns are available for $5 (proceeds go to running the charity and helping with shipping and handling), and is mailed to your house via snail mail.

size

I’m itching to pull out my scrap yarn and get to work on a whole army of bears!

But here’s the thing- I’m only one person, so even if I do nothing but knit teddy bears from now until the end of time, I won’t be able to make that much of a difference.

You guys, however, are more than one person!

So, I propose that this year for the holidays, everyone who reads On the Needles knits a teddy bear or two!  We can make it into a big On the Needles knitalong!  I’ll post updates about my bears, and whoever wants to play along at home can send in pictures of their bears, and we can all share our projects!

What do you say?  Want to join in?  How many bears do you think we can make before New Year’s?  20? 50? 100?!

Mama Bear

I don’t know about you, but I’ve already got Christmas on the brain.  I’ve been cranking through lots of projects… that I can’t talk about here because family members read my blog (lame!  Not really, but it does throw a cramp in my blogging this time of year).

But when I do a lot of targeted, purpose-driven, knitting sometimes I get a little burnt out.  I can start to feel like I’m “manufacturing” projects, not actually knitting.  Sometimes I want to just make something fun- like a stuffed animal.

And, you know, if it’s a stuffed animal for a good cause, that’s even better!

So, imagine my excitement when I found this amazing teddy bear-making project (or rather, re-found… I had read about it before, but totally forgot about it).283434_220092554695040_4064929_n[1]The Mother Bear Project  makes adorable, one-of-a-kind, hand-made teddy bears and then distributes them across Africa to children whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS.  Could you ask for a better cause?lesotho1[1]I went over to their website, and saw that they have patterns for the same bear, both knitted and crocheted, worked flat and in the round.  bear_about[1]The best part (other than that whole helping-children-in-need thing) is that the pattern is so simple, it just begs to be embellished.  Take a look on Ravelry to see everyone’s take on the basic Mother Bear.  There are bows and dresses, overalls and striped shirts,  and teddies of every color of the rainbow!Mother_Bear_in_Liberia_1_medium2[1]This project is just inspiring!

Have you ever taken part in a big group-knitting project like this?

Inspiration: Shark Attack!

Remember a couple months ago when I was mildly obsessed with these mermaid tails?

1962699_10153195383503330_642696267624178778_n[1]Well, I’ve gotten a new obsession, and I think it’s even cooler.

SHARK ATTACK BLANKETS!

Bulky & Quick Shark Blanket by MJ’s Off The Hook Designs003_medium2[1]So fun, right?

Someone posted this to my Facebook wall a while ago, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them for weeks.

Fast and Easy Shark Tail Blanket by Sheila Hunt11781678_10153449629468632_5745988423847236629_n_medium2[1]They’re essentially the same as the mermaid tail blankets, but much more bad-ass.   (Just look at those sharp, sharp teeth!)

Can I justify spending the time and money on something as silly as a shark attack blanket and still conciser myself a grown-up?

Maybe.