Spring Shrug Cocoon

Spring Shrug Cocoon

Back view in pattern above

I saw these really cute photos of the front and back of a hand knit cardigan and thought I would see if I could figure out how to make it by the photos.  This has no shaping as I knit the pieces, but is just 2 rectangles with a band sewn on the front and around the neck.  So simple and so much fun because the shaping is all done in how it is folded and sewn! I made this on the standard gauge machine because I wanted it to be as lightweight and Spring-like as possible, since it is short sleeved. Well…the sleeves come to the elbow, which is hard to see by the photo. I did a thread lace stitch pattern and used 2 ends of cone serger thread for the second yarn that was an identical match in color to the Tamm Estillo main yarn. I wrote the pattern from small to 2X, and since it is a loose-fitting shrug I only needed 3 sizes. The pattern is above in the drop-down menus. You can make this on any machine, using any yarn and any stitch pattern. How easy is that! But, it does require a carefully measured tension swatch, but you all are experts at that! 🙂  And if not, there is a tutorial for each gauge of machine in the drop down menu. I home-school my grandson for a history class and I need to write an end of year review. So…no more knitting until that is written! 🙂

Mixing Textiles in a Modern Design

Mixing Textiles in a Modern Design

There are so many unusual styles and mix of textiles for garments in the stores and online. They are cute with modern styling and just something out of the ordinary. I experimented by writing this pattern and this is the resulting garment. It has an asymmetrical hemline made with a 3 row hung hem, A-line shaping to give it the folds of fabric so common in today’s styles and has the raglan, lace sleeves. I did a cut and sew neckline and after thinking through how to finish it, I wished I had purchased enough lace to make a bias lace edge. But, I made a narrow band on the knitting machine. I sewed the whole project together on the sewing machine, but knit the body on the standard machine. I was not fond of the yarn – it is Tamm Spirit. When I ordered it, I did not realize it had all the bits of color in the yarn – my mistake for not being more observant. It was pink yarn – I mean…what more does one need to know?? 😊 It is knit in 4 pieces and the center front and back are joined in a sew-as-you-go method – meaning as I knit the first piece, I made eyelets along the center side. Then as I knit the second piece, I hung those eyelets on the left most needle every other row. The 2 pieces for the front (and later for the back) were finished when the second side was knit. The join gives an open, lacy-looking design feature and avoided the usual mattress stitch join. Now, onto a new technique I want to try. 😊

Never Be The Same

Never Be The Same

We all love Spring and Easter. It is so much fun to dress our families up in new clothes, have egg hunts and enjoy a fabulous spread of food at a meal to celebrate. And there is nothing wrong with any of those – they all make special family fun and give our kids great memories. But if that is our only focus, then we have sadly missed why we even have Easter. We must remember the cross – it is the very reason we have the holiday at all. Jesus was born to this earth and we celebrate that at Christmas, but at this season, we remember He was born to die on a cruel cross to pay for the sins of mankind – a debt we cannot pay ourselves no matter how good a life we live. What gives validity to this payment is the fact that Jesus did not stay dead but rose from the grave – victorious over death and that is the sweet celebration of Easter. Newness of life. If He lives, so shall we live forever with Him – when we put our trust in that work.

It seems like there are endless choices in life concerning religions or denominations or the choice of no religion at all. But there are really only 2 choices in life – what we will do…or not do… about Jesus. My prayer for you at this Easter season is that you will put your trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus – and then celebrate in all the fun, special ways with your families. Easter will never be the same for you, I promise. 😊

Some Spring Charity Knits

Some Spring Charity Knits

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I had a large skein of Loops and Threads Snuggly Wuggly brand baby yarn and decided to make up a set for charity giving. I really like that yarn – it is a #3 yarn and is relatively inexpensive Michael’s brand. The blanket is from Diana Sullivan’s Best Baby Blankets book. It utilizes the Long Stitch for the ribbing and the sides of the blanket so that the sides do not roll – but the middle is plain stockinet. It knits up so quickly – a plus for charity work. The bit of patterning in the blanket is just from the speckled yarn. I wrote patterns for the Quick Bulky Baby Cardigan and the Bulky Baby Hat and they are in the patterns above. I wanted a really fast sweater so it has the least amount of shaping possible – and it is a quick knit. If you are looking for a speedy baby gift or charity knit, I hope you will try them. 😊

Aquamarine Waterfall Cardigan

Aquamarine Waterfall Cardigan

 

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More views are with the pattern

I have been working on a waterfall front cardigan and decided to write the pattern up in several sizes. It is knit on the standard gauge with a one row tuck pattern in a light yarn. I like the one row tuck because it makes a lighter fabric than 2 row tuck and a lighter fabric is much better for draping on the waterfall. The hem is faux garter stitch and I edged the fronts and neck with a row of single crochet, but a very narrow knitted edge would work, as well. The pattern is above in the drop down menus. 🙂

The Pain in Learning and Growing

The Pain in Learning and Growing

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Most of us have a desire to do things that others appreciate. There is nothing like some “kudos” in life. But what if it falls under a category that is not healthy? What if we strive to please and get others approval – and then when we don’t, it sends us into a tailspin? I must admit I have had this happen to me recently. Not that I am proud of it. But I have a feeling I am not alone in this malady. I have a healthy outlook on life for the most part. But because of a crushing experience about 16 years ago, when someone I trusted turned on me, I now have a tender spot in this area. Understandably so. So, when I encountered what felt like a blow of disapproval from someone of similar standing in my life, I must say, I did not handle it well. But what I have come to realize is that I should never strive to gain others approval in an unhealthy way. We can never live up to everyone’s expectations of us. I am loved and accepted by God just as I am – I do not need to strive to win His approval. I am His child because of my trust in Him and I can be settled in that. And, I am also blessed by friends and family around me that love me as I am – so I need to hold very lightly the need for people, that do not really know me, to give me their approval of things they do not understand. Interesting that we never stop learning and growing in this life, isn’t it? 🙂

Relaxed Dropped-Hem Fashion Jacket

Relaxed Dropped-Hem Fashion Jacket

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I decided I wanted to draw up a pattern that mimics the newer fashions in the department stores. They are full of dropped hems, asymmetrical hems or some kind of addition to the hem or sweater body in some way – such as lace or organza hems or inserts, a peplum or maybe a self-fabric ruffle at the bottom hem. Anything other than the norm. So, I decided to make this pattern with a little shorter front than usual and a much longer shirt tail hem in the back. Then for a mixed media addition to it, I did the bias binding on the fronts and neck edge in a matching faux suede fabric. The top has self-lapels that lay back when worn. I did have to stretch my brain a bit, because the fronts get longer on the sides and the backs get shorter on the side to meet. 🙂 Then I had to figure out the short rowing to get the angle I desired. So, inevitably that ended up in knitting one of the fronts a couple of times…back to get advice from my mathematician husband – my ever-handy knitting advisor. 🙂 Then the other trend in the stores is much looser bottom hems like a Boho style jacket. With that in mind, this pattern is drawn up with a more fitted top edge and a more flowing, looser bottom edge – although this has dropped shoulder sleeves so that innately makes a looser fitting top, as well. Thus, this is a 1 size fits most pattern. I realize that does not mean it fits everyone, but a lot of folks. 🙂 It was a fun, challenging pattern to design and I hope you will give it a try. See the pattern above for details about machine, yarn, etc. The knitting is actually very easy! 🙂

TV Slipper Socks

TV Slipper Socks

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I love to get into my PJ’s and slipper socks for evening TV viewing or reading.  I have purchased a lot of pairs of “fat slipper socks”, as I called them, over the years, but they always end up feeling too tight and I constantly pull at them to make them more comfortable. So, I decided to make me some that were a bit looser and that would feel better. I think I inherited that trait from my mother – she was always having me hunt for loose socks for evening wear in her later years. So, I went to the bulky machine so they would be thick and warm. They looked huge off the machine, but when I got the toe stitched up with Kitchener stitch, they fit perfectly! Not too loose and more importantly – not too tight. No more pulling and adjusting my slipper socks all evening. 🙂 The pattern is above if you would like to try a pair. I used Red Heart 4 ply yarn and knit them in the round with the ribber. Ahhhh…comfy AND warm toes. 🙂

Img2track Baby Blankets

Img2track Baby Blankets

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Baby Girl
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Baby Boy

I have not done any work with Img2track Knitting Software for a while, so I decided to make a couple baby blankets for charity. I generally make much larger afghans, but these are both about 500 rows. They are double bed jacquard with 2 stands of 2/24 yarn and measure about 29 X 34. They are lightweight, soft and fun! 🙂 You can click on photos to get a close up look.

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

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As we begin a new year, many are not sad to see the old one end, as this has been a traumatic year for some in a variety of ways. And, I like new beginnings – although I am not one to make new year’s resolutions. I think lots of folk avoid them for fear of risking failure – again. But, I did begin a project in the last couple weeks to clean out drawers and closets that sorely needed attention. Where does all that stuff come from, anyway?? 🙂  So, I thought if I would resolve anything, it would be to continue that project until they all have been cleaned – again. A new beginning – to be able to find things I need and to just live a less cluttered and simpler life. Another new beginning God loves to give is to those that wonder what their future will hold. None of us know the length of days on this earth and we all need to be prepared for when the number of our days are up. The most important new beginning we can ever have is one with Jesus Christ as our Savior – to know that when we put our trust in Him, our future is secure. A new beginning that is a less cluttered and a simpler life to live – one resting in His work on the cross for us instead of striving to be good enough to make it to heaven. I wish you all a joyful and secure new year! 🙂