12.27.2018

A Creative Mania

I put down two cardigans that I was knitting, one had a small amount of lace in it, and it is more of a summer cardigan. The other is a more complicated cable cardigan. I had decided to buy some cheap acrylic yarn and try a crochet cardigan.

IMG_6889 (2)

I’ve never crocheted a cardigan. I’m not very crochet experienced, I can chain and single and double crochet, but mostly flat things. After I had tackled the cable sweater I felt fearless and started shopping around for some nice acrylic yarn. Google informed me that Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn was highly rated. The price was right. I wanted to feel like I could make it nice but if it didn’t work out I hadn’t spent a whole lot on it.

I had looked at a few crochet cardigan patterns and the Staycation pattern really caught my eye! I bought some bright red yarn from Hobby Lobby and went at it. It didn’t take me too long and I didn’t have much trouble. Before I knew it I had my Holiday Sweater!

With big patch pockets and an oversized fit! I have worn it everyday since I’ve made it. The pattern is free on the Make&DoCrew website, or you can pay a small amount and get it without the ads in it.

I’m loving the Hobby Lobby I Love this Yarn so much that I bought enough for two more crochet sweaters. It is soft and warm. Not squeaky or plasticky feeling.

IMG_6894 (2)

At the same time I started a La Nuage wrap from Sewrella. I watched the YouTube video (blog link with video)  and it seemed simple, so I looked in my stash and found some beige wool yarn and made that, It was good Netflix crocheting.

IMG_6914 (2)IMG_6854

I also finished a Wurm Hat (free pattern) It is a fast knit and I used some leftover hand dyed. It is indeed Wurm and a good looking hat.

IMG_6926 (2)

Feels good to be creating again. I’ve got more sweaters and hats in progress. More info soon. How is your making coming? Let me know in the comments if you have some favorite crochet patterns!

12.13.2018

The Year of the Cardigans 2018

I seem to have a lot of UFO cardigans around the house. I haven’t blogged in a while so I’ll do a quick catch up.

I started with the Berroco KAL in the summer and picked out the pattern Atwells Cardigan, a lacy cardigan made with Berroco Remix light, which is a cotton/silk/nylon/acrylic/flax blend, which is a DK weight. I would actually say it is thinner than DK. I think this is going to be a well loved cardigan when I get it finished. The pattern is fairly easy. Knit in one piece to the underarms and then spilt to the top, then pick up and knit arms to the cuff.

atwells cardigan

I stopped working on this to start the next Berroco KAL which was cables! I picked Arya pattern (free pattern), and choose the Berroco Vintage to knit it up in, a wool/acrylic blend that was surprisingly soft and nice to work with. Pattern is free, and knit in pieces flat, my least favorite method of making sweaters. I think this is when I stalled out. I had knitted a sleeve and realized it was too tight for my liking. I frogged it and had to move on to something else for a while.

berroco cable kal

While I’m in love with how these are turning out, I needed some potato chip knitting to make me feel like I was getting somewhere. I accidently fell into the crochet world!

I’m not a advanced crocheter at all, but found YouTube can fix that! I found the Make and Do Crew website and started making the Staycation cardigan pattern. (free pattern) I purchased some 100% acrylic yarn from Hobby Lobby (I love this Yarn) In red. I forgot how quick crochet was compared to knitting & am enjoying seeing the quick progress!

staycations cardigan

Well I’ve turned into a bit of a crochet nut now as I have 3 sweaters in progress and a number of hats/scarves and misc.  projects!! More info soon. If you are interested in some free crochet patterns, check me out on Pinterest as I’m not into pinning them

https://www.pinterest.com/knitdragonflies/crochet-free-patterns/

https://www.pinterest.com/knitdragonflies/free-knitting-patterns/

Enjoy the links and let me know what you have been creating!!

7.06.2018

Ribbing Redo

I recently finished a sweater that had been in my knitting bag for 5 years. Whew, well it is only fitting that I frogged the ribbing around the bottom and reknit it. Good news is it only took me a day, now it was most of the day, and now I love it. The first ribbing was a k1, p1 and it was wavy and not tight enough. I was going to frog it and reknit in a tighter gauge (smaller needle size) but after I got it ripped back I thought, “what the heck!, I’m going to do a folded hem”, which I’ve never knitted.
Flat hems on hand knits
This is the after pic, notice the hem is flat! Yay!
k1p1 waist curling
You can see the k1 p1 ribbing on the bottom was curling up. I had cast off with a knitted cast off. So I had to
image1
Cut part of the very edge off to unravel it.
Then I reknit it in stockinette stitch with one purl row all around to make it fold over on itself and then tacked it down! Yay! Smooth, nice hem now.

Type of ribbing and hems
Ribbing
I used to think all ribbing was created equal! Not so! Ribbing in knitting is a combo of knit and purl stitches. Usually k1p1, k2p2, k3p3. Any of these would do the job, NO!, Some are more stretchy and better suited to pull in a cuff or bottom of a sweater. I almost always use k1p1, on a needle 2 sizes smaller than the main needle size. I’m a loose knitter and this gives me some stretch or a tighter gauge on the cuffs. Sometimes I don’t want as much of a size difference in the bottom of my sweater and I’ll usually do a k1pl on a needle one size smaller. (I did the above sweater originally on the same size needle and the result was a frogging after I was finished and wore it, not happy with floppy, loose ribbing) Also take into account the type of yarn that you are using. Wool = stretchy, cotton = not stretchy. As with all knitting projects, it saves time and heart ache to do a swatch with the ribbing you are thinking about adding. The swatch can be measured and you can see and feel how your ribbing is going to behave with the yarn you are using.
The other types of ribbing k2p2 is also fairly stretchy but not as much as the k1p1. I’ll link an article from The Spruce that explains why that is below. (Great article) It will help you decide what ribbing to use on all of your projects!
If you need a super stretchy and firm ribbing, you can knit the twisted rib, See this KnitPicks post (link) for more info on that, super easy, (knit through the back loops)
See The Spruce article on ribbing (excellent!!) (link here)
Folded Hems
Folded hems are easy and best suited for a area that you want to lay flat. It is simiply a stockinette stitch interrupted by one row of purl and then return to the stockinette stitch for about an inch and a half or so. This naturally folds over due to the purl bump, and then you just have to tack it down. Sweet!
For a post about folded hems see MsCleaver. (link here), Thanks Ms Cleaver!!
Rolled Hems
Super easy and simple, just keep knitting in stockingnette stitch and then bind off. This is a favorite for hats! Remember that this hem will roll up, and you will loose some length due to this. So whether you are making this on a cuff on bottom of a sweater, allow for a inch or two more to make sure it is not too short.
See this post from CreativeMissy for a free hat pattern with a rolled brim (Link here)
Enjoy your knitting!
May your needles fly as fast as Dragonflies!

6.20.2018

Too much knitting? Stretches for your body!

This summer I’m participating in a number of KAL’s (knit along s). If you have never signed up for one I would encourage you to do so. The first one I did was the Berroco Lopi Sweater. It made me try new patterns and get out of my comfort zone. Plus I met so many nice people online and learned a lot.

There are all kinds of KALs available to you, for practically any type of knitted project.  I’ll include more info on KALs soon. Ravelry is a great resource on finding/checking them out. Go to Ravelry, search in groups and type in KAL, and check the box (active in the last year). Browse around, if you see something that interests you click on that and the "guidelines” will be listed. The pattern may be free or need to be bought. Yarn can be your choice or sometimes from a specific company. The time it runs is stated.

But along with lots of knitting comes hand/arm/finger stress, and repetitive injuries. Protect yourself by doing some of the below stretches so you can knit for many years to come trouble free.

Don’t forget to stretch your neck and shoulders also!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOpDVR4UGTs (you tube link if the above vid does not work)

https://blog.weareknitters.com/knitters-life/hand-exercises-for-knitters/

https://knitfreedom.com/top-5-stretches-for-knitting-pain-relief/

http://www.dummies.com/crafts/knitting/ten-hand-and-shoulder-exercises-for-knitters/

https://www.theloopyewe.com/yarn-shop/blog/2017/04/exercises-for-knitters

https://www.sheeptoshawl.com/charity/archives/2007/02/entry_232.html

Enjoy your knitting and take care of your body!

6.17.2018

Double Moss Stitch Cowl (knitted flat, free pattern)

This yarn was an impulse buy, I had other yarn in my cart and decided to try it, since it was on sale. I bought it from Craftsy, it is the Sprightly brand, the acrylic wool worsted (link) It is similar to the Lion Brand Wool ease I believe from the label info. 80% Manufactured Fibers – Acrylic, 20% Wool. I’m hoping it does not pill up and is nice and warm. It is very springy and light, but not as soft as I had hoped. I’ll review it in a later post or on Ravely after my cowl gets some wear.
Double Moss Stitch Cowl (knitted flat, free pattern)

I used two strands held together and made up my own pattern, but looking on Ravelry I found one that was similar, so I’ll link to it also. This linked pattern is wider than mine (link)
Super simple and fast to knit, It was not boring, due to the knit, purl combo and it was so quick to keck out. I could have done it in two days easy. It took me longer because it is summer out and I wasn’t knitting steady on it. But I still had it done in 3 days.
Double Moss Stitch Cowl (knitted flat, free pattern)
Double Moss Stitch Cowl
Size of my cowl was 10 inches wide by 68 inches around, for a double wrap
I used size US needles 13 or 9 mm.
Yarn: (For Double wrap around the neck, you can use half and get a single wrap one)  I used two skeins of the Sprightly worsted weight yarn (total of 432 yards), but you could use around 220 or more yards of bulky weight yarn. I think Lion Brand Thick and Quick (2 skeins) or if you want acrylic I have made another cowl using Lion Brand Hometown which is 100% Acrylic and super soft! (2-3 skeins)
Cast on 25 stitches, or more if you want it wider, in an odd number.
4 Row pattern, (First 2 and last 2 stitches are Knit to prevent curling)
Row 1: K2, (k1, p1)* repeat to last 2 stitches and then K2.
Row 2 : same as row 1
Row 3: K2, (pl, k1)* repeat to last 2 stitches and then K2
Row 4: same as row 3
Repeat these 4 rows until cowl is desired length, bind off.  Then sew together. (I’ll add some mattress stitch links for info. on joining the ends together)
This is how I joined the ends of the scarf to make a cowl (link).
May your knitting needles fly as fast as Dragonflies

6.15.2018

Twin Rugs (free crochet pattern)

I have a friend who wanted me to reproduce a crochet rug that she has. It was a wedding gift and was wearing out. She loves it and had someone reproduce it about 10 years ago. So I’m the 2nd person to remake it. Each rug lasts her about 10 years!  I told her OK, but don't consider myself an expert in crochet, by any means. so I held my breath with what I imagined the rug looked like. I was relieved when it turned out to look fairly simple!
She wanted it duplicated, that was actually not so hard. It was hard not to tweak the pattern. I kept wanting to make it thicker or change the stitches, definitely change the fringe, I wanted more of it, thicker, denser. But no she wanted the same rug.
Twin rugs (free crochet pattern)
New rug vs: Original rug, colors were picked out for me to use
It was difficult for me to figure out what stitch this was, I tried a cluster (bobble) stitch, popcorn and finally found a video explaining the differences between them! I had never done the puff stitch.
The difference between puff, bobble and popcorn stitch.
Thank you Bella Coco for making this helpful video!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct3TvXeHCkc
I finally found a pattern with a puff stitch. Bingo, we were in business. This puff stitch makes the rug nice and cushy on the feet. We picked out Red Heart 100% Acrylic yarn for easy care (that is what the original one was made in and what she wanted again) I’m giving her a copy of the pattern for 10 years from now, in case I’m not around, or if I am I probably won’t remember what I did.
original rugoriginal rug2the beginning
Original rug                                       close up of original center                   My reproduction, the beginning
Pattern that I used is linked below, Thank you charissapraydesigns.com, for sharing! The only thing I did different was make it bigger to match the original rug and add the fringe that she wanted. Her rug had lasted in front of her toilet for 15 years so I think it can be considered a sturdy rug. This pattern calls for a cotton/acrylic blend chunky yarn. I would try that if I was making it for myself.

on the right trackgetting bigger
Trying to make sure it is the same size!             Getting bigger!
Rug pattern: (link)

6.10.2018

High Plains Poncho (Reinvent your Knitting)

I knitted a shrug pattern a bit ago, and it turned out very nicely, but I wasn’t happy with how it looked on me, or the functionality of it.
High Plains Knitter Poncho
The Shrug is often seen as a bridging item for beginning to intermediate knitters. An item for the “I’m tired of knitting scarves, hats and shawls etc.., but don’t feel like I’m up for a sweater yet”. It attracted me because I thought it would be easy mindless knitting for watching TV or visiting, and also a useful addition to my wardrobe.
It was a lot of knitting. The pattern I picked was all stockinette stitch. Whew….really long and boring. I would recommend picking one with a simple pattern to keep it interesting. And while it looked nice, I didn’t find it to be very useful, for myself. My husband called it my buttwarmer, and that is a good description of it.
It stayed open in the front, where I was cold, and bagged in the butt area, which I don't need to emphasize. I did like the shorter sleeves and  that it was large enough to put over another sweater, or large top.
shrug to ponchoshrug to poncho1shrug to poncho new bottom seed stitch
Original Shrug                                 Laying it out after frogging               Adding the new bottom edge
After looking at it, and trying to decide if I was going to frog it. I had an idea to turn it sideways so that the sewn together edges would be the back and front bottom edges, pick up stitches at those edges and make it a little longer. (I used a seed stich here)  And steek a neck area. See end of post for some steeking info and video tutorials links. Hopefully this would give me the best of both garments, shrug vs poncho. Short arms, easy movement, yet warm and easy to toss on over other garments.
steek neckline inside lookshrug to poncho with Jodishrug to poncho neck ribbing
Inside of steek with neck ribbing       Neck stitches picked up                   Decrease at the sides                                                                                                                                   of   neck  ribbing
I started by just frogging the sides that were sewn together, to make the armholes. I looked at it, and since the sides were stockinette stitch it rolled. So I picked up stitches along the edge and did a seed stitch for about 2 inches on each side. I thought it could be a blanket if I decided to go no further. Went to bed to sleep on it.
Got up in the morning and decided to go for it, and cut the neck. I ran a zigzag stitch (with my sewing machine) around the entire area that I wanted to cut for the neck. Easy and fast, then I cut it and picked up stitches all around for the neck ribbing. It was incredibly easy. I used a needle two sizes smaller for the neck ribbing and did a k1p1. I marked the end stitch on both sides of the neck and then did a knit two together twice on either side of the marked stitch every other round to make sure it laid flat. (either purl 2 tog or knit 2 tog, depending on what stitch is needed in the ribbing pattern on the decrease stitches) The neck hole stretched & ended up larger than I anticipated, but it turned out ok.
I’m happy with how it came out and think it looks a little “Spaghetti Western” (Wiki link) I remember me and my Mom watching a lot of Clint Eastwood.
spaghetti-western-heroes
It was pretty easy and now I have the best aspects of the shrug with the ease of a poncho.
Steeking info
Blog articles below:
TinCanKnits crochet steeking method (link)
SeeEunnyKnit, great article on steeking, this covers, everything about steeking that you need to know (link)
YouTube Videos below (steeking)
VeryPinkKnits crochet method steek (link)
Jjones209 shows how to steek with the sewn method (link)
Arnie and Carlos show the sewing machine method (link)
Arnie and Carlos have great videos to watch, you should check out more of their videos!

6.08.2018

Crochet Hot Pads (double thick, free pattern link)

I have a girlfriend whose Mom crochets this pattern. She has so many and loves them. I made a few and they quickly became a favorite! These are great to make for gifts!
Pattern is fast and fun. I use any cotton yarn, even scraps. Due to diagonal nature of the pattern and the double thickness of the hot pads they lend themselves nicely to color changes. These hot pads are very effective and almost indestructible.
Hot pad pattern link Thanks mielkesfiberarts.com !!
The pattern calls to chain 26, but I have made all different sizes! Smallest = chain 15, Largest = chain 45. The size I found was most useful was chain 36 for a larger potholder. Experiment!
Diagonal double thick crochet hot pads (free pattern link)Diagonal double thick crochet hot pads (free pattern link)

6.03.2018

7 Day Sweater ….Done

I’m trying to get more adventurous with my knitting, well maybe that is not the word I’m looking for, although I need to be adventurous also. More fearless, I think. I hold myself back and wasn’t sure why, until I read a post (I’ll link it if I can find it here), about creativity and perfectionism. The fear of not finding the “right” pattern or it not turning out “good” keeps me from starting or finishing projects. I’ve tried to embrace the “it’s only yarn” mantra. This sounds silly but has helped me to finally bust out of a creative slump. The fear of not performing up to my expectations.
7 Day Sweater (free pattern link)7 Day Sweater (free pattern link)
Jodi gives the sweater a tail wag!

Check out all of the lovely versions of this and get your own creativity going….
In that celebration of going all in and creating something, I cast on a very simple sweater, knitting flat in garter stitch. Although it looks super plain, that is the beauty of it. Oversized and cozy, it has immediate appeal. Scrolling through the Ravelry lineup of those that had knitted it, I was amazed that this sweater seemed to look good on everyone, big, small, young and old.  I cast on and then got excited, due to the quick progress and I decided that I would attempt to make it in 7 days. I’m going to knit the #4DayKal from #Oliveknits (link) and after reading why and how she attempted this (the first one was in 2017), I decided, what the heck.
This 7 day sweater is the pattern from Maria Skappel it is the Mammas hjemmestrikkede genser! Skappelgenseren" which translates to Mom home-knitted sweater in English. Her blog post about it is linked (here) English translation of the pattern is (here). I modified mine due to yarn substitution, the original sweater is knit with two strands of yarn, one bulky and one finer. It is beautiful, but I’m in stash busting mode and decided to use some hand dyed yarn. It was described as worsted weight. I’ll add all of the info below….including tutorial links I used on grafting shoulders, sides and arms to body.

My version of the Mammas hjemmestrikkede:
I used worsted weight yarn
Worsted weight yarn a total of approx. 1600 yards.
Size approx. 50 Men's, length approx. 26.5 inches (front), back 2 inches longer
I made the arms wider, because my husband always wears flannel shirts under sweaters.
Arms: increased to 20 inches (flat measurement) at top.

My Gauge was approx. 3.8 to 4 stitches per inch.
(15.25 stitches per 4 inches)

I’ll put my finished measurements here and modifications:
CO 100 stitches for both the front and back. (approx. 25 inches wide) I made the back about 2 inches longer than the front.
CO 44 stitches for the arm. inc to 78 stitches.
I used a k1p1 for the neck ribbing.
I cast this on 5-22-18 (in the evening) and decided I would try and complete it in 7 days. It is pretty hot and muggy out and am staying indoors more right now. I’m going to use yarn from my stash, not sure I have enough yardage, but I’m going to “make it work” (maybe a stripe?)
5-23-18 knitting on front all day, had to make a critical decision of color change vs. Stripes . Think I would have run out of yarn . So decided to color block the top using a neutral color I had in my stash . This is after looking at the Ravelry knitters finished projects, Inspiration was the red and greyish sweater, I love it!
Destash with color blocking
5-24-18 Done with the front of the sweater. Taking a break before casting on the back.  Love how my colors turned out!
   IMG_6624
5-25-18 I had cast on back last night and worked about 3 inches. Worked on the back all day. Had some other things to do so I didn’t get as far as I wanted.
5-26-18 still on the back, almost to the color change! Trying to decide how much longer to make the back.
Knitted all of the way up to the bind off of the back & quit. Was undecided on the neck. Pinned the front and back together and the neck felt too small. Added 4 more rows to the front, with a decrease at the neck edge on each side twice. (2 ridges, 4 rows)
5-27-18
Decided to bind off some middle stitches for the neck as per front directions. Now the neck feels and looks better. Grafted the front & back together. Time to start the arms, knitted first arm 2/3 of the way, & tried to decide when to switch colors. (around 15 inches)
5-28-18
Finished 1st arm and started 2nd arm. Pinned it together & had my husband try it and it looks pretty good. Finished arms and pinned it together to see how it looks, trying to decide if arms are wide enough. If they are I’m all ready to knit the neck ribbing.
Destash with colorblocking!
5-29-18
Ok frogging the arms back and going to make them wider. Did some math=painful. Restarted the arms.
5-30-18
Reknit the arms wider and it looks much better. Going to knit the neck ribbing k1p1 and then sew it together.
Destash with colorblocking!
5-31-18
Knitted the neck ribbing and cast off, but it was not stretchy enough, I ended up knitted twice around in stockinette and then doing the Elizabeth Zimmerman sewn cast off, because it is so stretchy. Looks good.
6-1-18
I’ve never grafted together garter stitch (the arms and shoulder, in different directions) watched some videos & found one. Got them sewn together. Started weaving the sides together.
Side by side garter stitch tutorial by VeryPinkKnits on YouTube (link)
Horizontal to Vertical on shoulder to body by Arenda Holladay on YouTube (link)
Garter stitch grafting tutorial links

6-2-18
Finished the second side of the sweater and although it wasn’t blocked yet, took some photos! It fits and I’m really happy.This turned out to be an 11 Day Sweater instead of 7, but considering I had some frogging in there I’m really happy. It is the fastest I’ve ever competed a sweater and it fits and looks good!
I am planning on making another one of these!

5.26.2018

Crochet Mesh Hat (free pattern link, tutorial)

I had some acrylic yarn in my stash and had been knitting on a sweater, as a fast break I decided to make a sun hat. I found some video tutorials from BobWilson123, (YouTube link). If you are not familiar with her, she makes a lot of video tutorials on YouTube on crochet projects. She also has them written out in PDF on her website (link) I believe all of her patterns are free, as of this writing. Her videos are excellent and I found her when I was trying to understand a crochet stitch pattern. I would highly recommend checking her out!
The pattern I choose was her Mesh Sun Hat (link). If you look at the people that have made it, there is one who used less increases than called for in the pattern to get a flatter brim. One increase every 4th Stitch instead of what is called for. I liked the look of this, and went with her suggestion. This pattern was very easy, and I’m not an advanced in my crochet.  Also I completed it in 2 hours. The  videos goes through the entire process of making the hat, so anyone could make this.
Love the results!
Crochet Mesh Sun Hat (free pattern link, tutorial)Crochet Mesh Sun Hat (free pattern link, tutorial)
My husband is wearing it for the photos! I think it could be for either sex.
Another sun hat I was interested in making I’ll (link here), it has a wider brim. From Rainbow Warrior on You Tube. It is called the Crochet Sun Hat
It gets very hot and humid here, and I have a few sun hats that I’ve made with cotton yarn. I was curious to try some acrylic from my stash. It is surprisingly cool, I think the mesh stitch is the key. I think I’ll also try this hat in cotton yarn.
Keep cool this summer!

5.23.2018

7 Day Sweater Challenge (free pattern link)

It is getting hot and muggy outside. I’ve been working in the yard a lot and enjoying spring. Now it is heating up and I’m doing more knitting inside. Going through some of my stash I found some  hand dyed yarn (my own, I’ll link here the blog post about it). I’ve been trying to knit my stash down so the search for a pattern started. After spending quite a bit of time on Ravelry and Pinterest looking at.options, and finding lots of patterns I would like to make. I started a sweater then frogged it and finally settled on this simple over sized pattern. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mammas-hjemmestrikkede-genser-skappelgenseren
7daysweater cast on free pattern Mammas hjemmestrikkede genser! "Skappelgenseren" by Dorthe Skappel
Written by Dorthe Skappel it is the Mammas hjemmestrikkede genser. It is a super easy garter stitch oversized sweater. Taking a look at all of the knitters that had completed it (almost 900 when I looked at it) I saw that it flattered a wide selection of body shapes and ages. From toddlers and up. I feel in love and cast on.
Mammas hjemmestrikkede genser! "Skappelgenseren" by Dorthe Skappel (free pattern)

It went so well I decided to try and knit this in 7 days! I had done a Berroco LopiKAL and finished that in 6 weeks. Just found another KAL the beekeeper, which is a 4 day sweater challenge that I’m going to participate in. So hey 7 days sounded like a long time.
If you want to join me I’m going to be posting pics #7Daysweater on Instagram. let me know ! @knittingdragonflies
May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies……

5.21.2018

Slinky Silky Scarf/Shawl

Asymmetric shawl/scarfs/wraps! Wow, all of the sudden they are everywhere. I have knit a couple and now understand the attraction.
Arlequin Shawl, Free knitting shawl/scarf pattern link
I love the added interest of the shape. A little quirky and different. Love the way the yarn, if it is self striping, patterned or hand painted, looks. The horizontal stripes will lay in a diagonal manner when you put it on. I think it is also easier to wear, the smaller end can be tucked in and make your scarf secure.
Arlequin Shawl, Free knitting shawl/scarf pattern link

This pattern is a free one from Peggy Maxheim, it is the Arlequin shawl (Pattern link). I made my first one (link here) extra large. I liked the way I could wrap up in it, all cozy. The small end helped everything stay where I wanted it to be. This one I wanted to be smaller, more scarf rather than blanket/wrap . (This pattern is very easy and suitable for a beginning knitter).
A rather mindless knit, good for Netflix or movie watching. Or even ball games, sporting events and car knitting. I like that it has a little interest with the rows of knit and purl that make the texture, but once you do a couple repeats your on auto piolet!
Yarn and needles:
I knitted this with US size 13 needles and two skeins of Red Hearts Unforgettable yarn, colorway is Petunia (yarn link)  It is a 100% acrylic yarn, but I really liked the color repeats and it has a silky and slightly shiny look (in a good way) to it. The colors are very vibrant, the color changes are a nice length.  in addition to being super soft. It is a one strand roving like yarn with a very slight twist. I didn’t have to frog any, but bet this could be a headache if you had to.  I did knit this with aluminum needles and it was very slippery on them, but it didn’t bother me enough to switch to bamboo needles.  I used a total of approximately 560 yards of yarn and it is listed as worsted weight.but I think it is closer to what I think of as DK or even sport weight. This is the 2nd time that I’ve used this yarn. I also made another shawl and have worn it quite a bit. (link, colorway is sunrise) It has not pilled or other wise worn in a bad way. It is 100% acrylic, so if this is worn on your neck it can be a little sweaty  Nice for a shawl but I wouldn’t recommend knitting something that would lay against your skin. I believe I paid about 5 to 6 US dollars per skein of this, it does have 280 yards on each skein. I have three more skeins in the colorway sugarcane & I can’t decide if I’m going to use them. I do love the vibrant color of this yarn & the color spacing of the changes, I guess the 100% acrylic is the downfall for me. But if that does not bother you, it feels nice and soft.

4.23.2018

Warm Snuggly Cocoon Shrug

This is one of my long term projects that I just wanted to get off my needles. When these types of patterns started showing up I was interested in making one. It looked simple and fast and cozy. What more do you want?
Warm Snuggly Cocoon Shrug (free knitting pattern, easy)Warm Snuggly Cocoon Shrug (free knitting pattern, easy)

Described as a wrap, shrug, bolero, and even sweater, it is just a large rectangle, either crochet or in this case knitted. When the rectangle is large enough. Just fold it in two, sewing the sides together. .

Easy concept. I picked out a free pattern, The Lion Brand, Speckled Shrug (free pattern here) I always like to look at the finished projects on Ravelry and read the comments everyone has made that knitted the item.  Seems like knitters were split into two camps. The make it smaller and more fitted and Bolero jacket like. The other group was to make it bigger. I noticed that the problem with this shape of this pattern is a baggy bottom after sitting. (like once). I had already made another pattern that was a bolo jacket so opted to make mine fairly large and oversized to make it snuggly for the cold.
It turned out good. I did try to add sleeves, and they really didn’t look good. I wanted a ribbed sleeve. I tried picking up stitches all around and doing a k2p2 pattern, but it looked bad. I also tried to crochet some looser sleeves and didn’t care for those either.
I used 3 skeins of Lion Brand Fisherman’s yarn (which I love), the pattern was all in stockinette stitch, which was good for TV, movie knitting, but went on for quite a while. I would recommend using a simple pattern to keep it interesting. I just use a shawl pin to keep the front together.
IMG_6597IMG_6596
41 inches across                                                            about 19.5 inches wide
Photo above is already folded in half, leave approx. 7 inches at fold open for arm holes.
IMG_6598 (2)When the pattern is folded and sewn together the seam is right in the middle front of the shrug.
IMG_6602
I’m happy with how this turned out, but would not knit it again. In fact I’m entertaining the idea of frogging it and reknitting the yarn into something else.  OK update  I would reknit this, I started wearing it and can throw it over anything due to the large arms and general size, I’ve put it over sweatshirts and tees. The thing I didn’t think I would like (no arms) is actually a big plus. We keep our house cool and it is nice to be able to work around the house and not have sleeves getting wet or dragging through stuff.
I would say it is as much knitting as a real sweater, and not near as flattering . My husband calls it my “bottom warmer”, haha, If you are a pear shape, as I am, it can emphasize this. But with this amount of knitting, if you are using this as a “bridge” between scarves and simple knitting to sweaters,  I would recommend an easy sweater/cardigan pattern instead. You could do it!!
A couple of simple sweaters I would recommend are: (free patterns) that are suitable for beginners as well as experienced knitters.
Caora Sweater -- https://www.craftsy.com/knitting/patterns/caora-sweater/167905
The sweater is worked in the round from the top down with raglan sleeves. Instructions are given for a wide range of sizes. The top down style is easy and lets you try on as you go. Making it quick to see if you have a gauge pattern before too much is knitted. (Also rewarding to actually try on what you are knitting), In the round eliminates pieces to sew together. I try to make all of my sweater in the round.
caorasweater_aiid777246
Dockside sweater - https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dockside-sweater (free pattern) by Alexandra Tavel
This free pattern is a bottom up, in the round sweater. This is  the first type sweater that I successfully finished. Holding two strand together makes this a super fast knit. Or you could use a bulky yarn.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset
May your knitting needles fly as fast as Dragonflies…….