Thursday, October 25, 2012

'Little Buddy' Hat

Fall is my favorite time of year! Fall is also the busiest time of year for my family, which means less time for yarn, Facebook, and blogging. I did, however, manage to get this little project done, Yayyy! I made this little hat for a dog, appropriately named Gilligan. I can't wait to get some pictures of the hat on him to share! He is the cutest little dog, truly the best 'little buddy' ever!:)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

knitted owl hat

I just finish this gift for a friend, who just had a baby girl! I decide to make her an infant sized owl hat.  I have seen so many really adorable owl hats and patterns lately and wanted to design one of my own.  This hat was made with mostly Knit Picks Yarns and Vanna's Glamour, to add a little sparkle and make it girly.  The checkered portion, 'feathers', were made using the stranded knitting technique, alternating the colors in a 2 x 2 ribbed pattern.

I love adding details to my knit projects with embroidery and crochet.  On this hat I added a single crochet border around the edge of the top of this hat.  The eyes/beak were crocheted and the fur was attached with crochet as well.  And, after completing the hat I decided that it would look better if there were dark brown 'feathers' between the eyes, contrasting the white fur.  To add the brown feathers after the hat was complete, I embroidered them on with chain stitches, which looks very similar to stockinette stitch.  And, lastly, I made a simple garter stitch bow and sewed it on.

I was pretty happy with my little owl hat and my friend said she loved it!  The thing I love most about being able to Knit and Crochet is that  I can make personalized, one of a kind gifts.  I love to surprise my friends and family with something made just for them :)  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

So Many Projects, So Little Time

If I could pick one super power, it would be to freeze time so that I can catch up on all my projects!  I haven't been blogging lately because I have been busy knitting and crocheting!  I have so many projects on my needles and hooks! I finished my granny square scarf that I mentioned in my last blog entry.  I am really happy with how it came out.  The colors matched my skirt beautifully and the black SC border gives it a sort of stained glass look, which I really like.
Granny Square Scarf, made with Vanna's Choice yarn.

Granny squares can be quite addicting.   I find that I have so much fun coming up with different color patterns that I can get a little carried away.  I also have an abundance of scrap yarns left over from past projects, so I decided to start this One piece Granny Square Blanket.

One Piece Granny Square Blanket.  I am still working on it, about 1/3 of the way done.  Made with some left over Red Heart and Caron one pound Yarn.

Then after I started my Blanket, I decided to put it aside for a minute and start a pair of Cable knit fingerless gloves for an upcoming class I am giving.

Cable knit fingerless glove.  I finished knitting it, now I just have to sew the seam.  
After I started my gloves, I learned that I was going to get to meet our friends new baby at the end of this month, so I thought I should set aside this project and get to work on a gift.  I decided to design an infant sized owl hat for her little one.  I can't wait to get to the eyes!
this is the beginning of an infant sized owl hat I am making for my friends new baby.  I am using Knit Picks shine worsted and simply cotton for it.  the body is going to be knitted and the eyes, beak, and ears will be crocheted.  I am also incorporating Vanna's Glamour for a little sparkle.  I am using stranded knitting for a multi-color motif.

I now have these three WIPs, on top of the sweater that started a few blog posts ago.  Then I thought fruit cozies would make a great gift for my daughters teachers...  I may have a problem, I can't seem to stop starting new projects!  The good news is, I have plenty to do!  But now I need to finish some of them, beginning with the owl hat, since that has the earliest deadline :)  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Not your Granny's Squares :)

What have I been making?  Granny Squares!  I am going to be teaching a class on Granny Squares in September, so I have been making some class project samples.  I love making Granny Squares, because they are easier than you might think, they work up quickly, and you can make just about anything with them. Of course there is the obvious Granny Square project, a blanket/throw; but you can also sew them together to make sweaters, scarves, market bags, pillow cases, hats, and the list goes on.  The projects for my class will be a market bag and/or a scarf.  Once you understand the basic principles of making a Granny Square, you can easily customize them to fit your needs.  The other great thing about Granny Squares is that they are small and make for the perfect project to carry with you.  

I am making these squares using Vanna's Choice yarn.  I plan to sew them together to make a scarf, which will be a sample for my class.

I chose the colors that I did, so that I could also use my scarf as an accessory to go with this skirt :)  I think I  might join the squares using rows of single crochet and black yarn, in order to match the skirt colors.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bunny Hat and Piano, life is good!

I just had to share this picture!  So, I come around the corner and there is my youngest daughter, Simone, playing the piano in her jammies and her bunny hat, that I made for her last winter! It made me laugh, so I had to share this! I am a big fan of Bob's Burgers and it reminded me of the little girl on there that is always wearing bunny ears :P
My daughters are such a huge source of motivation and inspiration for me.  They remind me of what it was like to be a kid.  They are so free, energetic, and genuine in all that they do.  My girls help me to tap into those aspects of myself, that sometimes get lost when I am busy being a grown up.  I am so grateful to have them as a constant reminder of what is truly important in life, of the good things in life; I cherish these little moments and never want to forget them.  
As a parent, my goal is to teach my children all that I can in order to help them be successful in life, but, quite often, I am finding that they are the ones that teach me.  They have helped me to grow and become a better person, providing me with a fresh and new perspective.  Because everything is still so new to them, they often question the absurdities in life, that we adults just accept.   I expect them to listen to what I have to tell them, but I think that is reciprocal; I make it a point to really listen to what they have to say too.  They remind me that it is the little things, the journey, and not the end goal that is your life.  I love them more than any words could ever express, and when they are old enough to understand, I plan to thank them for all that they have done for me.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Here's what I have been Knitting and Crocheting lately!

Over the last few weeks I have been busy preparing class samples and making a display to promote my classes.  A few of the things on my display were things I already had, such as the children's hats and the Sashay scarves.  I was in Michaels yesterday promoting my classes and I brought Mini-Me to work with me!  I had fun meeting and chatting with some very nice people and I got some of them to take my business card and calendar.  All in all, I consider it to be a successful day!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mini Me got a make over!

A few years ago I made a Mini-Me, a puppet caricature of myself.  At the time I was really proud of her, but she was one of my first puppet likenesses and I have learned a lot since then.  Like most Artist when looking at their earlier work, I felt she could use some improvements, so I decided to give her a few upgrades.

This is her before picture:

I have also gotten a better camera since making her.  My new camera is so much better, what a difference in quality!
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a before picture with the good camera before refurbishing her, but you get the idea :)

The first thing I did to refurbish Mini Me was take off her glasses.  Although I often wear my glasses when I knit and crochet, I thought the glasses blocked her eyes and lashes.  Maybe later I will make her some thinner framed glasses.  The next thing I did was knit her a new top.  My earlier puppets where all crocheted, but after making a few, I found that I liked the look of a crocheted body with knitted clothes better.  The other reason I decided to make her a new shirt is because this one was a little too low cut and her boobs kept falling out.  I removed the lip and nose ring, since I had taken my own out a couple years ago.  And finally, I added stuffing to the boobs and head to give them a better shape.  I am very happy with her make over and have decided that she is going to work with me, so I made her a name badge too!  

I think Mini-Me looks better than ever and I can't wait to bring her to work with me tomorrow!  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Creativity in Knitting

I have been a busy girl; the creative juices have been flowing!  I haven't written a blog entry in a while, but I have added more content to my blog.  I have been busy preparing to begin my knitting and crochet classes in August.  My class schedule and information is now available, just click the 'classes' link at the top of the page.  I have been knitting and crocheting like crazy these last few weeks!  I wasn't even sure what I should share first, so I thought I would start with my most recent project, 'knitted creativity'.

I was trying to come up with a creative idea for my display to promote my classes.  I wanted to share with others why I love knitting and crochet, because the creative possibilities are endless.  For me, knitting is not just a way to make warm winter garments, it is a form of expression.  I love to use the numerous textures and colors that the yarns of today have to offer to express ideas and feelings; simply put, I love Yarn Art! Then it hit me, what better way to show that than to literally put 'creativity' into my knitted sample.

There are a few ways to go about adding letters to your knitting.  You can use duplicate stitch, waste canvas(like in my free tutorial), or you can use Stranded Knitting, like I did here.  You can also use a technique called Intarsia to add color and images to knitting.  Intarsia, is a technique where you can add blocks of contrast color by having a separate strand of color for each section, usually held on bobbins on the wrong side of the work.  As you knit along, you simply pick up the contrast color when you reach that section.  I opted to use stranded knitting for my project rather than Intarsia because my sections of contrast color are quite small and Intarsia works best if you have large blocks of alternating colors.  Perhaps if my letters were bigger and bolder I would have chose Intarsia.

Stranded Knitting can be a bit tricky, especially when doing letters, because the pattern of alternating colors is irregular.  In traditional Stranded knitting(Fair Isle), the pattern of alternating colors is usually repeated several times across a row.  Such as for this Cowl pattern (from the Discover Gifts Class curriculum at

back and front view of Fair Isle technique

When the color pattern is repeated regularly the strands are carried more evenly across the back of the work, and not usually carried across more than two, maybe three stitches.  When using stranded knitting for letters, as I have done, the alternating colors are not in a regular pattern, across the work.  This makes the color work a little more tricky, but I love a good challenge!

As you can see in the back of my swatch, there is a lot more white than the front, because I carried the White more often than the pink across the back.  I love the way stranded knitting looks on the wrong side too!  Stranded Knitting can be a bit time consuming, but I love to do it because I look at as a puzzle to be solved.  I started my project with this chart.

After I plotted my letters on my knitting chart, I followed the chart in a zig zag fashion, going from right to left on the knit side of my work and left to right on the purl side.  Stranded knitting is also easier to do when knitting in the round, because the strands are carried in the same direction as you work around.  When working on a flat piece you have to carry your strands up to the next row, so you have to be mindful to carry strands loosely as to not cinch the stitches.  I enjoy stranded knitting in the same way that crossword puzzle addicts enjoy word games.  I get great satisfaction from seeing my idea go from paper to yarn :)  Stranded Knitting, one of many techniques I use to express my "creativity" with yarn :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My new Business Cards!!!

I Got My New Business Cards in the mail today!  Yayyyy!!! 

Knitted Sock Monkey Jumper and hat

A long time ago I was browsing on the internet and came across this sock monkey gown and thought that it would be really cute to make a sock monkey dress for a baby girl.  Recently a friend of mine happened to give birth to a beautiful baby girl and I knew she would love the sock monkey theme so I decided to make it!  The hat and jumper are my own design; the booties are made from a free pattern I found on  Being that it is summer and a little to warm for knit wear,  I tried to make the outfit the size that I thought she would be this fall and winter.  Having two girls of my own, I know how fast babies can grow, so let's hope I guessed right on the size.

To get the sock monkey grey marl look, I knitted Bernat Satin's Grey Mist and Vanna's Glamour Diamond together.  The Vanna's Glamour gave it a subtle little sparkle, which I really liked!

I really liked how the twisted cable pleats turned out across the waist and bottom.   They were tight to work, but the result was nice!  I love to use seed stitch in projects because it adds such a nice texture, it also makes a beautiful edge, perfect for straps.  The trim and straps were made with Vanna's Choice Scarlet, one of my favorite reds to use because it is so bold and bright.

I had to add some bows and Sparkle(Vanna's Glamour) because I wanted it to be really girly!

I love to make these simple Mary Jane style booties!  They are so quick and easy to make and just adorable.  And of course very girly!!  I made these from Knit Picks CotLin, one of my favorite black yarns because the color is so rich.

Friday, July 6, 2012

My New Knitting Tattoo!!

I got a new Tattoo last night!!  It was done by my husband, Lonnie Moon, at Anvil Tattoo.  It is exactly what I wanted and I love it!!  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Red Heart Boutique Sashay Yarn Demo

On Saturday I did a Demo at Michaels Arts and Crafts in Burlington, WA.  It was a Demo of knitting and crocheting with Red Heart Boutique Sashay Yarn .  I spent the week prior playing with this fun craft yarn.  The thing that I loved most about this yarn is that some of the work is already done for you so it makes for quick and easy projects, that even a beginner can do.  The yarn is actually not your normal yarn, it is really strips of  a lace/net material that you can knit, crochet, or craft with.  I came up with a ton of ideas for this yarn, these are samples that I came up this last week.

This is a scarf I made with Sashay(Waltz).  I made this by doing rows of
5 SC, but picking up every other loop.  Skipping a loop, made it more full
and I still got a nice length with only one ball.   I timed myself to see how
quick it really is to make a scarf with this yarn, it took 2hrs and 13 min.,
pretty fast!

I made this scarf with Sashay(Jive).  This scarf was made by knitting
rows of 6.  This time I picked up and knitted every loop across the top
of  the yarn, rather than every other.  The ruffles were less dense and I
was able to get a longer scarf from one ball, making a long skinny scarf.
This scarf was 21 inches longer than the above crocheted one, and still
only took me 3 hrs and 17 min to knit, not bad!

This is the the finished scarf, that I mentioned in my last post that I
was working on.  This one is not Sashay, it is Premier Yarns Starbella.
It is similar to Sashay, except the loops of the netting are bigger, but
it is used in the same way, by knitting or crocheting the loops across
the top of the material.  I spent another 30 minutes, working the rest of
the ball, and finished this scarf.  It has a nice fun look, and I love the
bright colors that Starbella has to offer.

After Making the scarves, I decided to do some experimenting.  I love to play with texture and stitches, some of my best project ideas have come from doing just that!  These are some of the other things I came up with using this self ruffling yarn.

Knitting every row with this yarn causes the ruffles to go in a spiral pattern, so I wanted to see the effect if worked in
Stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row and repeat).  The result was this really cool material, with one flat side that shows the  V's of Stockinette and one ruffled side, where the ruffles lay in a zig zag pattern rather than spiraled.

Red Heart had instructions for making a bloom by first crocheting a base and then making a chain of Sashay and sewing it in a spiral pattern onto the base.  This is the what my bloom looks like, front and back following their instruction.  It was pretty quick to make, nice and full and had a base which makes it easy to attach to a garment or pin.

I thought it might be easier to make a bloom by just crocheting in the round Rather than making a base and sewing so I made this swatch by crocheting in the round.  I did rows of 12 SC in the round, making a swatch that is 6 SC wide when laid flat.  And it looked like flower to me and was a little quicker than making a base and sewing.

These are some flowers I made by crocheting 2 rows of  Sashay in the round.  The blue one is a small flower attached to a hairpin. I found that if I folded the Sashay in half and picked up both layers of loops just below the fold I was able to easily make a mini flower.  These flowers only took minutes to make!

This kind of self ruffling craft yarn is great for adding ruffles to a knit and crochet projects, so I made some swatches of that to see how it works.  I found the easiest way to work it in is to pick up a loop of Sashay, work the stitch with regular yarn as usual, then pass the Sashay loop over the stitch. 

Sashay yarn worked into a knitted swatch.

Sashay yarn worked into a crocheted swatch.

I could see this yarn being used in other craft projects besides knitting and crochet.  I thought it might be ideal to use to add ruffle trim to sewing projects and paper craft projects such as card making.  I ran out of time before my demo to make up any sewing samples, but I did manage to whip together this little butterfly that I thought would make a cute card.  

To make this card, I cut a length of Sashay yarn and folded it inward, so the ends meet in the middle.  Next I secured the ends in place and cinched the center by wrapping some thread around the middle and tying a knot.  After making the simple bow with Sashay, I took some black yarn and made a butterfly body by making a short crocheted chain, turning and working a SC in each chain.  The beginning tail and ending tail ended up on the same end so I trimmed them and left them to use as butterfly antennas.  I glued the pieces to a piece of card stock.   From start to finish it took me about 10 minutes to make, plus drying time for the glue.  Pretty quick and easy.

As you can see I had a lot of fun playing with Red Heart Boutique Sashay.  And I had a good time meeting some new people and sharing my projects at my Michaels Demo.

This is me at my Demo table modeling my scarf and matching flower hairpin I made.

This is me Demonstrating How I made the crocheted Sashay Scarf.

This was my first in store Demo at Michaels Arts and Crafts.  I had fun and look forward to the next one!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

RED HEART Boutique Sashay yarn and other projects

I have been a busy girl!  I have had a lot on my needles lately!  Since my last post I have completed a gift for my friend, who just had a baby girl.  I will be sharing and posting about that project soon; I just sent the gift off in the mail today and I want to keep it a surprise.  In addition to that project I have started a top for myself that will go with an old skirt that I plan on embellishing with some crochet.

 Top I started knitting for myself.  I am using a great quick and easy free
tunic pattern I found on Lion brand  Yarns website.

I am going to embellish this skirt with crochet to match the tunic that I
 am making.  This is the Before picture; after picture will be posted soon.

Most recently, I was hired by Michaels Arts and Crafts in Burlington, WA and will be teaching Knitting and Crochet classes there, so I have been busy trying to organize and make samples for the classes I plan on offering.  Once I get my class schedule made up, I will be posting it here on my blog.
This Saturday I will be doing my first in store Demo, featuring Red Heart Boutique Sashay Yarn.  I am excited to do this Demo because I have come up with so many possible uses for this fun craft yarn.  I can see this yarn being a great embellishment for knitting and crochet projects alike.  I also think Boutique Sashay yarn would be great for other crafts as well, such as trim for sewing projects,  card making and paper crafts, re-fashioning clothing, flowers, and the list goes on. 
The in store Demo will specifically be of a Crocheted and Knitted version of a scarf made from this self ruffling yarn.  I have decided that I am going to try to make as many samples of possible uses as I can, in order to inspire crafters viewing my Demo.   Once I got used to managing the ruffles, the project worked up pretty quickly.  The progress shown in the photo below took less than 2 hours to crochet.
***Unfortunately in my haste, digging through the bin of yarn to choose my colors I did not realized that one of the balls I chose was Premier Yarns Starbella rather than Sashay.  So the photo below is actually of Starbella and not Sashay.  Thank goodness I shared this photo with my fellow instructors online and they made me aware of my mistake, I would have felt rather foolish calling this yarn by another name :P  The Structure of (and method for knitting and crocheting) the Sashay and Starbella is similar enough that I don't consider it a total loss, it was still good practice.

This is a scarf made from Premier Yarns Starbella.
It is amazing how quickly time flies when you are having fun!  I love experimenting and letting my creativity run wild!  Hopefully, I will have some Sashay yarn projects to share with you soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

CYCA and swatching my way to a better me!

I have been a bad blogger lately, but I have a good excuse, I have been busy finishing my swatches for the Craft Yarn Councils Hand Knitting Instructors Program.  

My swatches are finally done and blocked.  I really took my time doing these swatches because I saw it as an opportunity, as with most things I make, to become better at my craft.  Although I am happy with my creations, there is always room for improvement.   I am a big fan of multitasking, so while making these swatches I experimented a lot with my knitting style in order to perfect those little things that I don't like about my knitting.  When making projects, I have learned how to hide or compensate for these little imperfections, such as hiding loose end stitches in my seams, using selvage edges, or making stitches more even by knitting in the round.  I feel like I have made some great progress upon completion of my swatches, but I am hoping that the Master Knitter that reviews my swatches will give me some pointers and useful feedback.  I have never had a more experienced Knitter critique my work before and I have to admit I am a little nervous, but excited for some direction.
The next things on my to-do list are writing my lesson plan for a beginner class and then actually teaching.   I have come up with a project, now I just need to write my plan.  Having never taught before, I am hoping to find some friends that would be kind enough to let me practice teaching them.  The program requires 15 hours of documented teaching time in order to receive your certificate.  I think my biggest obstacle when it comes to teaching will be keeping it fun and interesting.  I am passionate about knitting and all things yarn related and could probably go on and on about it, but I don't want to bore my students.  My hope is that my excitement about my beloved craft will be contagious and inspiring.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Free Knitted Flower Pattern

Today I thought I would share with you how I made the knitted flower for this Monkey Hat.

Knitted Flower Pattern:

Tools:  you can use any size needles, keep in mind small needles make small flowers and big needles make big flowers.  (The sample was knitted with 4mm needles)  Also, for the petals it is easiest to use the magic loop method, for which you will need the longest circular needles you have.  The longer your circulars are the easier it will be.  If you are not familiar with the Magic Loop method for knitting small diameter tubes in the round, you can find lots of videos that demonstrate it on You Tube. You will also need a set of straight needles that are the same size as your circulars, a yarn needle for sewing, and Clothes Pin style stitch markers. 

Yarn:  Any yarn will work, keep in mind the heavier your yarn the bigger your flower will be. (The sample was knitted with Vanna's Glamor yarn and worsted weight yarn knitted together)

CO - cast on          st - stitch          K - knit          M1L - make one left        

K2tog  - Knit two together             BO - bind off  M1R - make one right

SSK - slip slip Knit                         ST - Stockinette

Petals: (make 5 petals)
CO 10 sts onto long circular needles and divide them evenly, so you have 5 sts on each needle. Leave a long tail for sewing your CO edge closed.  Join for knitting in the round.

R1:  K
R2:  *K2, M1L, K1, M1R, K2* Repeat 1x  = 14 sts
R3:  K
R4:  *K3, M1L, K1, M1R, K3* Repeat 1x  = 18 sts
R5:  K
R6:  *K2, SSK, K1, K2tog, K2* Repeat 1x = 14sts
R7:  K
R8:  *K1, SSK, K1, K2tog, K1*  Repeat 1x = 10
R9:  K
R10:  *SSK, K1, K2tog*  Repeat 1x = 6
R11: K

Sew the CO edge closed. Weave in all ends, including the tail of the live stitches (except you may want to leave a long tail on the last petal for sewing later) Use clothes pin style stitch markers to secure the live stitches while you turn your petal right side out.  I used one marker for 3 stitches on each side.  Place the live stitches of each petal on a holder or spare needle, alternating 1 stitch from each side of the petal.

 Flower Center:
CO 10 sts onto straight needles
K 15 rows in ST st
cut yarn, leaving a very long tail
string tail through all edge sts
pull tail tight, forming a ball,
tie off, leave tail for sewing to flower.

With either the long tail of the last petal or a separate long strand of yarn, string the live stitches of the petals.

Pull Strand tight, bunching the base of the petals together.

Tie off and weave in end.

sew flower center to flower.

And that's it!  You now have a flower!  You can easily change the size and look of this basic flower to match any garment you are embellishing by choosing different yarn, stitch pattern, or needle size.  And, because the petals are thick and have two right sides, these flowers can also stand alone by simply adding a stem.  Another great use for knitted flowers is as decoration for gift wrapping, hair bands, etc.