Tag Archives: patterns

Inspiration: Stormy Weather

When we moved to Seattle, I knew what I signed up for.  Rain (often, but not a lot), cloudy skies (a good excuse to stay in the house and read), and cool weather (perfect for wearing sweaters).

This year, that has not been the case.

We had warm weather (in the sixties) almost all the way through September with sun (SUN!!) nearly every day.  Then the weekend before last, we had snow (SNOW!!) for several days in a row.  It didn’t really stick, but, still!  And the last three days we’ve had pouring rain and whipping winds.  (My yard is a disaster- leaves and branches everywhere!  But I figure I should wait to clean it up until the storms have passed, so I’m just sitting here looking out the window at the mess outside.) It’s like being back in the Midwest!  It’s bananas!

I guess there’s just one thing to do.  Knit.

(What, you can’t really be surprised that that’s my response?)

I love this cowl.  I know the lace pattern is supposed to be waves, but I think it looks like my big pine trees whipping back and forth in the wind.

Storm Water Cowl by Kim McBrien Evans

And this little pullover is too cute (and too cozy) for words.  It’s exactly what I’d want to wear on a stormy day if I was a cute little kid.  Ah, who am I kidding, I’d wear this today, if it was big enough!

Stormy Day Jacket by Hannah FettigAnd this shrug is so perfect- I might actually need it.  It would bring me one step closer to my goal of wearing nothing but blankets all day.

Stormy Shrug by Charm KnitsI’ll keep my fingers crossed that the weather breaks soon, but in case it doesn’t, at least I have some cute knitting to think about.

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?

Mt Rushmore Knitting

Last week, when I was talking about my love of Hermione’s Everyday Socks, I mentioned that they were probably on my Mt. Rushmore of knitting.

I’m not sure why, but that phrase got stuck in my head and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

And this happened (I’m not great at Photoshop, but it is fun):(I think Roosevelt looks particularly fetching in his PussyHat.)

What patterns (besides the Hermione socks) are really on my Mt. Rushmore?

Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Baby Surprise Jacket is definitely up there.  I love how it’s constructed- it’s so clever and interesting.  And, it’s perfect for using up all my leftover sock yarn!If we’re going by sheer number of times I’ve worked a pattern, the Mother Bear teddy bears have got to be up there.  They’re simple, quick (ish), and are for a great cause.And, it feels a little weird to put this on here, since it’s my own pattern, but I flipping love my Socks By the Numbers pattern (though I should probably look it over again… it’s been years since I actually read it, and I’m sure it’s full of typos).  I love this simple technique for making perfectly-fitting socks in any size.  I’ve made dozens and dozens of socks using this system, and it makes me happy every time.I know you’ve got all-time favorite patterns, too.  Are they perfectly-written, interesting patterns?  Or some simple pattern you’ve knit dozens of times?

Favorites

Everyone has their favorite patterns.  My favorites are well documented:

Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth ZimmermanOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHitchhiker by Martina Behm

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAApparently I have a thing for garter stitch. Who knew?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get into a bit of a rut when it comes to patterns.  I keep falling back on my favorites- evergreen patterns that I cast on time and again.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing better than working up a friendly old pattern, one you know like the back of your hand and you’re sure is going to give you reliable, fantastic results.

But sometimes you want to try something new.

So, here’s my question for you:

What are your all-time favorite patterns?  What’s a pattern that you turn to again and again?  And why do you love it so much?

I’d love to hear from you, and if I get enough comments, maybe we can have a whole post next week about your favorite patterns!  I’m excited! I always love finding a great new pattern!

Inspiration: On the road again

I’m on the road again.  Somewhere between the Shell gas station and the Wendy’s on the side of the freeway.  I’m having a great time hanging out with my extended family and I’m getting tons of time for knitting. Win-win!

I can’t stop at any yarn stores (which is probably good, since my suitcase is already full), but all the hours in the car have made me think about all the other road trip knitting I could be doing.

This beanie is just too perfect for words, after all it’s a “Road Trip Hat.”  I love the interesting, minimalist use of cables  I could see this becoming a favorite for years and years.

Road Trip Hat by Emily Williams

Roadtrip-cover-rev-600px_medium[1]Of course, my perennial favorite, the Hitchhiker Shawl, would be perfect for knitting on a road trip.  A simple, easily memorized pattern and acres and acres of garter.  I can’t think of a more perfect pattern to work on while staring out the window, watching the scenery go by.

Hitchhiker by Martina BehmCIMG7885And, if you’re looking for something a little more practical… maybe a pair of driving gloves?  You could wear them to keep your hands warm while the A/C is blasting.

Men’s Driving Gloves or Fingerless Gloves by Tara Smolinski

IMG_0163_medium2[1]But, really, if you want the perfect road trip project, it doesn’t get any better than this adorable road cowl.  Cute!

Road Trip Cowl by Ping Woodvalleypat550.550.zoom.1_medium[1]What do you work on when you go on a road trip?

Soup Knitting

I feel like I have been consistently sick, under the weather, or allergy-ridden for the last six months.  I’m not sure if my immune system has just decided to give up, or if my students’ germs are getting stronger.  Either way, I am in no shape to be learning new stitches or doing complicated math.

So instead, I’m going to sit on the couch and think about my favorite Soup Patterns.  (I would say “Chicken Soup Patterns,” but I’m vegetarian.)  These are patterns that are tried and true, with simple construction and excellent instructions.  Patterns that I’ve knit over and over again.

Patterns like the the Hitchhiker, by Martina Behm.  Just learn a handful of rows, and you’re set.  You can use whatever yarn you’ve got on hand (a skein or two is plenty), and whatever needles you can reach in your Sudafed-addled state. Before you know it, you’ll have a lovely, comfy scarf with almost no thought required.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOr, you could make the perennial classic, the Baby Surprise Jacket from Elizabeth Zimmermann herself.  This tiny sweater is a perfect way to use up leftover bits of sock yarn (stripes!), and a great excuse to go button shopping.  I like keeping a couple completed BSJ’s in my stash, in case I get asked to go to a last-minute baby shower (which happens more frequently than you’d believe).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe last one is kind of cheating (or at least tooting my own horn), but it’s totally a pattern I go back to over and over again;  Socks by the Numbers, by me.  It’s so totally simple to make socks of any size you want.  And, this pattern is so plain that it’s easy to modify.  Stripes? Lace? Cables? Yes, yes, and yes.  In fact, everyone in my family got socks last year, and they were all knit up following these basic instructions.Finished_Sock_medium2[1]What are your Soup Patterns (Chicken Noodle or otherwise)?  Why do you keep going back to them?

Dishcloth Mania!

I got a lovely surprise in the mail the other day!  Apparently KnitPicks made a beautiful book of all the 52 Weeks of Dishcloths patterns that they published for free all last year.  32978[1]The book is filled to the brim with literally dozens of patterns for beautiful dishcloths.  Some are simple and classy (Checks and Eyelets Facecloth):55829220[1]Some are silly and fun (Pumpking Dishcloth):55834220[2]And everything in-between.

I’ve even got three patterns included in the book, the Maritime Dishcloth:55807220[1]The Pinwheel Dishcloth:55826220[2]And, the Snowbank Spa Cloth (It’s a “spa cloth” because I like alliteration.  You could totally use it as a dishcloth):55831220[1]I’ve got an extra copy of the book , so let’s do a giveaway (I love doing giveaways!  They’re the best!).  To enter, respond below with your favorite dishcloth from the collection!  I’ll pick a winner some time next week.

And, if you don’t win, or if you’re too impatient to wait until your copy of the book arrives, all the dishcloth patterns are available here for free!

Inspiration: Last Minute Gifts

We’re in the home stretch, folks!  So, today, I’m highlighting a few (FREE!) patterns for last-minute gifts from yours truly.

If you’ve got a week until Christmas, think about knitting up a Lazy Susan Beanie.  Worked in the round with worsted-weight yarn, this little hat goes super quickly.  And, the clever spiral stripe technique creates jog-less joins with virtually no effort.  Try knitting one up in your nephew’s favorite colors, or your cousin’s school colors.

P8265286_medium2[1] Get the pattern here:  Lazy Susan Beanie

What’s that? You’ve only got the weekend?  Maybe try working up a Cabled Coffee Sweater!  These use just a fraction of a skein of yarn, so you probably have plenty hanging around your stash.  After all, everyone likes coffee!  (Or is that just Seattle?)

coffee_sleeve_medium2[1]Get the pattern here:  Coffee Sweater

Oh no!  You’ve only got a half hour?  Well, then you’ve got to break out your scrap yarn, glue and toothpicks and make yourself a WIP Ornament.  With a total of only about 50 stitches, these ornaments knit up in literally no time.  And they’re so cute!

PB175734_medium2[1]

Get the pattern here:  WIP Ornaments

What is your go-to last-minute gift pattern?

A Proposal

I have an idea.  Dangerous, I know.

I want to ask you guys if you think it’s a good idea, because without your participation, it would be much less fun.

So here it is:  Would you be interested in a “Surprise Sock Pattern of the Month Club?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor a flat fee, I would deliver a brand-new sock pattern to your email inbox every month for the next year.  The patterns would be adult-sized sock patterns in a variety of sizes and knit in a variety of styles from light, lacy, girly socks, to manly, utilitarian socks and everything in between.

Please let me know if you’d be interested.  I think it would be totally fun!  I’ve got ideas!

Feel free to explain your answer in the comments section below!

 

Pattern: Pinwheel Dishcloth

When it rains, it pours, right!  Another day, another free pattern!  This one’s a cute little dishcloth, and it’s available through Knit Picks!

55826220[1]The Pinwheel Dishcloth is a cheerful little project with vintage flare. Based on a traditional American quilt block pattern, this dishcloth is a fantastic way to play with color and use up scraps. The Pinwheel Dishcloth is cast on between a Main Color and a Contrast Color section using the provisional cast on. Using short-rows and wrap-and-turns, the washcloth is knit to form a square, and finished with a few stitches of Kitchener stitch.

Get the free pattern here!

 

350 (yards)

It’s my 350th post!  That means I’ve written almost enough posts for you to read one every day for a year (if you wanted to go back and re-read them, I suppose.  Though why would you?).  I’ve got some awesome things planned for the next few months, and I can’t wait to show them to you (hopefully I’ll have time to realize all my ideas.  That’s always the problem.  Too many ideas and not enough time).

I’ve even got three free patterns churning around in various stages of not-quite-finished yet.  In the meantime, here are three awesome patterns from Ravelry that use about 350 yards of yarn (See what I did there?).

In the next couple weeks, I should have a very cool shawl/scarf pattern (not this one) finished up.  I just need to take some pictures and do some formatting on the final pattern.

TGV (High Speed Knitting) by Susan Ashcroft

rainbow_10_medium2[1]I’m working on baby sweater for a friend that’s expecting.  Once she gets her present, I’ll be posting the pattern I designed for her.  It’s not as fancy as this one, but still pretty cute.  (And, sorry to be vague.  I think she reads the blog.)

Latte Baby Coat by Lisa Chemery

DSC_0414_medium2[1]And, this one you know about.  We’re getting dangerously close to casting on our Design Series Socks.  I can’t wait!  (But, I suppose these are cute, too.)

Simple Garter Stitch Slippers by handepande

DSC_6605_medium2[1]Thanks for being patient!  I am excited about these upcoming projects (and other ideas bouncing through my head.  Soon, guys!  Soon!

(And don’t forget to enter your name into the drawing for a copy of Cute, Cuter, Cutest! I’ll be picking a winner on Friday!)