Knitting & Crocheting

Knitting a Little Sunshine

Dreary, gray days. Michigan has many, many of them, especially in the winter. The haziness can start to get you down. I find that this time of year I am drawn to bright, warm colors. This amazing, squishy, melon colored yarn (Swish Tonal Yarn from Knit Picks in Queen Anne colorway) that I'm currently working with helps bring some sunshine into the house.

I am working on the Pine Forest Baby Blanket available as a free download on Ravelry. My only mod is making it bigger to be a lap blanket. I CO 151 sts and am hoping my 5 skeins will give me enough length.

Knitting Stars

I know I should be packing up all the Christmas stuff and knitting more practical things right now (the kids could all use more mittens) but I wanted to make something new for my sweet, little yarn tree this year and didn’t get a chance to during the holiday season. Actually, I didn't MAKE anything this holiday season. No gifts, no ornaments, no winter woolies. I think I was a little overwhelmed with the shortened season (there weren't enough weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year) and we had family staying with us for an extended vacation at Thanksgiving. That combined with all the kids activities and I found that I just wasn't in a crafty mood. So many evenings I would hit the sofa and couldn't even be tempted by my knitting, let alone anything messier. But now, as some of the dust has settled, and the snow has bound us in the house, I've managed to finish off one of those big knitting projects that had been mocking me for weeks and found myself wanting something much, much smaller on my needles. I'm adoring this project. So fun, so cute, so easily portable in a tiny little basket (the basket alone makes me smile), and they give immediate gratification. No waiting, no stress. This feels just right at the moment. So my little yarn tree is still out and I’m adding these fun stars to it. Next year I may need a bigger yarn tree.

Visit JellyWares to get the Knitted Star tutorial at http://jellywares.blogspot.com/2011/10/knitted-star-tutorial.html.

Here is a list of links, in case you've missed some of the past projects on my Yarn Tree, that we've completed over the last couple years...
the Yarn Ball Ornaments
the German Paper Stars
the I-cord Rainbow Garland
the Colorful Crocheted Christmas Balls
and the Felt Wool and Ribbon Ornaments.

Enjoy a little, quiet post-season crafting... or start your list for next year. There's only 346 days until next Christmas. ;)

 

Waldorf Meets the Muppets :: Knit Doll Pattern

Last week Meghan and I were talking about Christmas gifts for the wee ones. She said the Little Guy was always running off with the Little Lady's doll that I made, and she wasn't were happy about sharing her dolly. Meghan suggested I make a doll for LG. I was all over that. I had already created a pattern for a knit-in-the-round doll, which can be found HERE, so all I had to do was create a pattern for pants and a sweater. In 2 days time I had made the doll, including the clothes. Yippie! Love when everything comes together quickly.

Just a comment about his hair... I used some fun yarns for his hair (more about that later.) My intention was to give him a haircut when I was done. When I saw his floppy mop, I said... Hey, he looks like Jon Bon Jovi! A young Bon Jovi! Before I had a chance to cut his locks, my family convinced me to leave Bonjovi's hair long and perky! It is awesome hair! It is so super soft and floppy. It is also very light weight so it doesn't weigh down his neck. I can always trim up his hair later, but for now he's a cross between a Waldorf doll and a Muppet! I'm sure the Little Lady will want the Little Guy to share Bonjovi with her :) 

The pattern for the doll can be found HERE. Make sure to add the belly button!

The pattern for adding the hair and face can be found HERE. Note: For Bonjovi's hair I used equal amounts of Lion Brand's "Romance" yarn in Champagne and Sensations' "Angel Hair" color #4729, cut in 6" lengths. I trimmed up the stragglers, but mostly left his hair alone.

Yarn for Sweater:
Worsted weight yarn - I prefer to use wool because it stands up to play better than acrylics which tend to ball up over time.

Needles:
Size US 6 needles or needles that fit the gauge. You will need double-pointed needles for the pant legs. I used double-pointed needles for knitting the sweater, too.

Gauge:
22 stitches and 28 rows = 4" square in stockinette stitch

Abbreviations:
CO = Cast On
BO = Bind Off
St st = Stockinette stitch

NOTE: This pattern has not been tried by anyone else. We've made every effort to be clear and mistake free, but please be tolerant :) If you find a mistake, please let us know asap so we can fix it. Remember, you are our beta testers! We have no editors to help us ;)

SWEATER

The sweater body is knit flat beginning with the front. The front and back have a rib stitch at the bottom, the rest of the sweater is knit in the stockinette stitch. (Knit one row, Purl one row.)

Sweater Body
CO 34 stitches with gold yarn.

Rows 1 - 4
Odd rows K2, *P2, K2 repeat from * to end of row.
Even rows P2, *K2, P2 repeat from * to end of row.

Rows 5 - 10
Continuing with gold yarn, begin knitting in stockinette stitch (St st), knitting odd rows (right side) and purling even rows (wrong side).

Rows 11 - 14
Switch to blue yarn.

Rows 15 - 16
Switch to cream yarn.

Rows 17 - 22
Switch to blue yarn.

Rows 23 - 24
Switch to gold yarn.

Rows 25 - 26
Switch to blue yarn.

Rows 27 - 36
Switch to gold yarn.

Row 37
K15, BO6, K13. (There should be 14 stitches on either side of the center bind off stitches.

You will now be working the right shoulder (left side when looking at the sweater) Row numbers will indicate you are working on the right. i.e. Row 38R. Leave the 14 stitches from the left side on the needle but you will not be working them at this time.

Row 38R
Purl 14

Row 39R
BO6, K7. (8 stitches remain)

Row 40R - 42R
Continue in St st. Cut yarn leaving tail.

You will now be working the left shoulder (right side when looking at the sweater) Row numbers will indicate you are working on the left. i.e. Row 38L. Leave the 8 stitches from the right side on the needle but you will not be working them at this time.

Row 38L
BO6, P7. (8 stitches remain)

Row 39L - 42L
Continue in St st.

Row 43
You will now be working both sides again. K8 (left shoulder), CO(cast on)18, K8 (right shoulder). You are now back to your original number of stitches (34).

Rows 44 - 54
Continue in St st.

Rows 55 - 56
Switch to blue yarn.

Rows 57 - 58
Switch to gold yarn.

Rows 59 - 64
Switch to blue yarn.

Rows 65 - 66
Switch to cream yarn.

Rows 67 - 70
Switch to blue yarn.

Rows 71 - 76
Switch to gold yarn.

Rows 77 - 80
Odd rows K2, *P2, K2 repeat from * to end of row.
Even rows P2, *K2, P2 repeat from * to end of row.

Row 81
BO in rib pattern.

Sleeves:
Row 1
With gold yarn, from the right side of the sweater, Pick up 34 stitches along a shoulder. (Note: Pick up 1 stitch from each row, centered at the shoulder. i.e. 17 stitches from the front of the sweater and 17 stitches from the back.)

Rows 2 - 10
Work in St st.

Rows 11 - 16
Odd rows K2, *P2, K2 repeat from * to end of row.
Even rows P2, *K2, P2 repeat from * to end of row..

Row 17
CO in rib pattern.

Make other sleeve in the same manner.

Assembling sweater:
Fold in half at the shoulder. Sew side and sleeve seams. Tie off and work in any loose threads.

Neckline:
Using double pointed needles, from the front side, Pick Up 46 stitches around the neckline (basically, every other stitch), place marker. You will now be knitting in the round.

Rows 1 - 3
K1, P1 repeat to end of row.

Row 4
CO in rib pattern.

Tie off and work in any loose threads.

PANTS

The pants are knit in the round using size US6, douple-pointed needles.

CO 60 stitches. Divide on 3 or 4 needles, join, and place marker.

Seat:
Rows 1 - 6
K2, P2, repeat to end of row. (This forms the waistband.)

Rows 7 - 26

Place 30 stitches on holder. Divide the remaining 30 stitches on 3 double-pointed needles. (Each leg is worked independantly.)

Legs:
Rows 1 - 10
K row

Rows 11 - 15
K1, P1 repeat to end of row.

Row 16
BO in rib pattern.

Pick up the 30 stitches from the holder and knit the other leg.

Tie off and work in any loose ends. There will be a small hole between the legs that you will need to sew.


 

http://www.weefolkart.com
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2013. All rights reserved.
 
Photos 11/19/13

 

Three Cheers for Soft-Boiled Eggs

Last fall Tim and I were sitting side-by-side at our computers just surfin'. It was a leisurely Saturday evening, we were staying in, and we were playing a little game we often do where we take turns sharing songs, usually songs that have meaning to us, or songs that we grew up listening to. One of the marvelous things about marrying a man your own age... we both graduated from high school in 1972... you sang the same songs, watched the same movies, and experienced the same social and cultural phenomena. All-and-all, it makes for many delightful conversations... but I digress! Shocker, right?

Anyway... songs like You're So Vain, Super Freak, Knights in White Satin and Dreams by the Cranberries were filling the air (btw... totally extraneous info for the true story, but I'm setting the mood ;) So, in my surfin' the net, I stumble upon these a.dor.able egg cozies. I have never owned an egg cozy, as a matter of fact, I've never owned an egg cup BUT I now NEED to, if only to own these cute cozies. While reading about the cozies, the writer spoke of "soldiers". Now, I know she's not talking about people in uniforms, it has something to do with soft-boiled eggs. I ask Tim about it. He knows EVERYTHING. Truly, this man is amazing... the amount of trivial info bouncing around in his cute head. But, shockingly, he comes up empty.

I forbid him from Googling soldiers. Instead, I hop on Wee Folk Art's Facebook page and ask our readers about "soldiers". As I expected, lots of people knew about "soldiers" and I was delighted to learn about them from "friends" rather than just off a search. (For those of you that have no idea about what I'm talking about, you'll find out soon :)

So, Tim and I spent the rest of the evening looking at egg cups and egg cozies, egg spoons and egg cutters. By the time the evening drew to a close, I felt like a bit of an authority on soft-boiled eggs, and gave sufficient hints, knowing full-well I'd be receiving egg paraphernalia as a Christmas gift. Although my Christmas stocking... actually, my Christmas shopping bag... was filled with many "squealable" delights, I was rather surprised that there were no egg cups, cozies or cutters amongst the gifts. It wasn't like Tim. He ALWAYS picks up on those kind of things. But, we shared a perfect Christmas together, so it was soon forgotten.

HOWEVER, Michelle had not forgotten about my continued intrigue with the whole soft-boiled egg experience. And, this Mother's Day, I received 4 adorable chicken egg cups and spoons, a handy-dandy egg snipper AND (drum roll please) 4 felted GNOME HATS that she knit to keep my eggs cozy while waiting to be ate! How exciting!

So, this morning, I set out to make my very first soft-boiled egg. As I said before, I had read all about them, so I was ready. I decided to steam my eggs. It was simple:

Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a steamer. Add eggs directly from the fridge. Steam for 6 1/2 minutes.

When you remove the eggs from the steamer, run directly under cold water to stop the cooking process.

While the eggs are cooking, make your "soldiers". (Told you I'd get back to them!) Soldiers are simply a piece of buttered toast, cut into long strips, so you can easily dip them in your egg. Brilliant!

Now, the fun part... place your egg in an egg cup, and cover with an egg cozy to keep it warm until you are ready to eat. 

Use your spoon or an egg cutter to remove the top of the egg, removing any little pieces of clingy shell. If you like, you can salt and pepper your egg. (I found the buttered toast added enough flavor without condiments.) If all went well, you have a perfect soft-boiled egg. The white should be thoroughly cooked, but the yolk should still be runny.

Now, dip your soldiers in and eat up! Note to self: when using the wide toast, make sure to cut into 5 pieces instead of 4 so they fit in the egg better!)

Yum! For a first go at making soft-boiled eggs, I'd say it was a major success. 

Note: Make sure you check your eggs before you steam them. If there are any little cracks, the steaming process with cause them to crack open while cooking, and you have an egg that develops this globby thing that looks like a goiter! BTW... the dogs said it tasted just fine :)

If you are interested in knitting some gnome hats for your eggs... and if you are a regular reader at Wee Folk Art, I'm going to assume you've got your yarn and needles out already... Michelle found the pattern for the hats over at  Silver Lining Knits. You can visit them to get the complete directions. 

Thank you so much, Mich. I love them AND you :)

Photos 5-14-13

 

Ball of Yarn Applique Block

Here is our latest applique block. I love doing hand sewing, so all these lines were right up my alley! As always, they were designed to fit a 6" x 6" block, but you can enlarge or reduce the pattern to meet your needs.

I'm often asked what to do with the completed blocks. First off... I only sew them to blocks because it makes them all uniform. I haven't used the blocks for anything other than display purposes. But, you can use our appliques in any way you'd use any appliques. I designed this block to use in a panel of a quilted knitting project bag I was making for a friend. I forgot to take a photo, but this is basically what it looked like:

It turned out lovely! How will you use this applique?

The pattern for the Yarn Ball Applique Block can be found HERE.

The tutorial on How to Enlarge and Reduce can be found HERE.

The tutorial on How to Cut Out Felt can be found HERE.

The Stitching Glossary can be found HERE.

DIRECTIONS - Refer to pattern and photo for applique placements and cutting instructions.

Make a copy of the pattern.

Cut out felt using the photo and pattern as a guide. Transfer any embroidery markings.

For this applique, stitch pieces to the block following the lines on the pattern. Use a running stitch and 3 strands of floss.

Make sure when piecing together the yarn ball, you do it in the following manner, making sure to cover the overlap lines:

Piece "A"
Piece "B" 
Piece "C"
Piece "D"
Piece "E"

PHOTOS: 6-26-11
 

http://www.weefolkart.com
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 - 2013. All rights reserved.

 

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