Knitting & Crocheting

Beginning My Fall Knitting - Notes on Rosa Hat

In between other, larger projects (with more on that to come, including a peek at my Double Secret Probation Sweater) I've been whipping up a few smaller, fun fall knits. I've been using this as an excuse to take a tour of other blogs looking for free knitting patterns. The one I've started with is Soule Mama's Rosa hat (available as a free Ravelry Download). I've done it twice now, in both cases using some of my own homespun yarn working at different gauges. I love the mock-cable ribbing and the quick shaping done at the top that creates a ruffled star texture on the cap. It is super cute on my girls.

Here are some of my notes on the pattern for my own reference... just thought I would share if you are interested. In general I find that the pattern runs a tad small if you are actually working on gauge. At the given gauge of 5.25 sts per inch... for an adult hat I would be tempted to cast on 108 sts or use size 7 or 8 needles and work as written looking for a 4.5 sts per inch gauge. The 80 sts for a child size seems to work up more at a toddler sized hat (maybe try 92 sts).

My greenie hat... worked up at 5 sts per inch. I was running out of yarn and had to start decreasing at 7.5. Although it fits me... it just fits me. Fairy has claimed it... and I'm debating taking out a few rows... because the width is good for her but it is a tad too long.

My purpley hat worked up at 6 sts per inch. I CO 100 sts and worked as the adult size but used the child's length. It was a perfect fit for Pixie! She loves it and has been wearing it around the house. LOL.

We've had some chilly nights recently (such a nice treat after that blasted heat and humidity) and the girls donned their new hats while chasing fireflies in their PJs. Too cute!

Racerback Tank


I have completed my second project from More Knitting in the Sun, the Ramona Racerback Tank. Actually I finished it, with the exception of the crocheted edge around the arm holes while in Vermont and Fairy has worn it several times at this 99% done stage. I finally sat down last night with a crochet hook to officially check it off the WIP list.

I knit it with the left over yarn (less than 2 skeins) from the too big Ginny Shrug but this time in the size 6. It fits Fairy nicely and will probably fit again next year... needing maybe just a bit of length. I'm thinking it might be cute to add some lace to the bottom. You can read my project notes at Ravelry.



Variations Galore of Our Gnome Bookmark

You know how we are always saying that our patterns are just a starting point? We encourage our readers to use them as is, but also want you to use your imagination to personalize our designs. Well... I hardly know what to say here, but I got this email from Bonnie, an avid WFA reader. It said:

Hi - Your bookmark/greeting card template gave me lots of ideas.  So far, I have come up with about 40.  Here is a sample of my imagination at play.  (If you are interested in seeing the rest, please let me know via email.  I do not have a blog, so I will have to send the pages one at a time.  I am on dial-up & don't know how to send more than one.  There are 13 pages.  Sorry.)  (((hugs))) Bonnie
This first "installment" was included in the email.

She included these 3 as her first installment.

1 - made from paint chips (you know - those paint samples?)
2 - made from scrapbook paper
3 - plastic canvas; 10-count, I think

Okay, I was impressed and told her we would love to see her other endeavors. Bless her heart, she sent scans of all her projects... through dial-up no less! Well, they were just too impressive for Michelle and my eyes only, so after getting her permission, we are including ALL her gnomes. I asked her to do a little write-up on what made her take this on as a challenge, and here is her reply:

Oh, thank you!  Well, what prompted my imagination...hmmmm..  For starters, I just love your gnome creations.  Your artistry really appeals to me & when I saw the gnome bookmark, I knew I had to play around with it.  Also, I like patterns & things to have multi-purposes.  Once I got into the mode, the ideas just kept coming & coming.  I would be working on one project & another one (or 2 or 3) would come to mind. I like to think outside the box by using different mediums & sometimes mixing them.  I call these gnomie ideas: A-gnomie-lies.  hahahahahaha  Now the gnomies have run their course, I am off to find other challenges.  Thank you for sharing your ideas, patterns & especially the gnomies.  (((hugs)))  Bonnie J.

So, for your viewing pleasure, I give you ALL of Bonnie's little creations. Remember, all of these were made using the pattern from our Gnome Bookmark and Greeting Card. The pattern can be found HERE and HERE.

These are made with Christmas cards.  The one on the left has a little trim.  The one on the right shows the inside of the card.  Could use any greeting card, birthday card, etc.

This is like a paper doll, only made from felt.  Changeable cloak, beard, braids, etc.  Could make any of the costumes featured on your site.

Santa & Elf.  The eyes are punched from paint chips.  I didn't get the bell for the tip of Santa's hat cause it wouldn't copy so well in the scanner.

Ghost & Woodland Fairy.  I love the colors of the fairy.

Taking the hat component & sometimes the head.
Ice cream cone - could also make a snowcone
watermelon slice
tussie-mussie - lace on top; flowers are punched from paint chips
candy corn

slice of pizza
icicle - there is clear glitter glue on it but you can't see it
mushroom - my 10 yr. old grandson sewed the mushroom & I left his stitches just the way he did them
cornucopia - the fruits are paper punched; could use stickers, buttons, etc.
piece of pie - that white blob on top is sposed to be whipped topping.  the crust is 2 narrow stripes twisted together.
safety cone

These would make cute ornies, party favors, could be made from paper, etc.
leprechaun - clover is paper punched
wizard - on his hat are gold sequins & silver stars; his hair & beard is fake fur

tomtem - Scandinavian elf
witch - that is a plastic spider dangling from her hat; hair is separated yarn

ok; these are not perfect but they would make cute dolls or beanbags.

This is the original made so that 2 regular ones would fit on a page.  I made a finger puppet out of it.  Then I used the hat to make a clover & a shamrock from paint chips.

These are using mostly the little hat.  the center of the star is the head shape from the large one.
Kiss - XOXO is punched from paper & mounted on ribbon
angel - the wings are paper punched & the bow is gold ribbon

Large hat - party hat
paper hat
crownie - large head, small hat
flower - large head for center
witch - large hat

Toppers - the large one could be for appetizers or in a bouquet; the smaller one for cupcakes, etc.
Halloween cone
megaphone - put high school initials on it, etc.
Boo banner

I cut 4 stencils from clear plastic, but I would rather have cut them from milk jug plastic.  this could be used on gift bags, a quilt block, etc.  It could also be cut out, sewn & stuffed for a soft doll.

This card will stand on its own when opened.  It could say any message: get well, happy birthday, etc.

This is the last of the gnomie things & by far, my personal fave.
Top left: doorknob hanger.  the leaf is paper punched.  the handle is yarn.  Tip: tie a knot in the ends of yarn, ribbon, etc., as they will grip the glue better & are less likely to pull out.
Top right: Santa hat; great for ornies, small gifts for guests, etc.
Bottom: Advent garland.  Numbers are paper punched, using Tim Holtz Carnivale die.  Candy canes are 4" pieces of red & white chenielle stems, twisted together.  Baker's twine bows (I just learned how to make my own - easy!)  Lollipop is a fabric yoyo on a twig stick.  (you can also use craft sticks, bamboo skewers, or a real paper lollipop stick.) 

So, there you have it. If you loved our little guys, I'm sure you can find plenty in this collection to your creative juices flowing. Thanks so much, Bonnie, for sharing with us. We really were awed and impressed!

Fairy's Summer Shrug

I just completed my first project from More Knitting in the Sun: 32 Patterns to Knit for Kids... a summer weight shrug for Fairy-girl, my little ballerina. It turned out adorable... but a bit big (sarcasm here). Huge is more like it. I really should have paid more attention to the finished chest sizes rather than just the size labels. Fairy is currently wearing size 6 in store bought clothing and they fit her just right. I like to size up sweaters a bit to make sure we get two seasons out of them so I cast on the size 8. Umm... well, yeah, she can wear it for a few years (3 or 4 possibly ;) ). LOL. I have only steam blocked the edges to stop them from curling... I haven't blocked the sleeves yet and I'm sure they will grow quite a bit in length when I do.

But sizing issues aside, this shrug turned out super cute. The pattern was easy to follow, came together pretty quickly and I love the bell shaped sleeves. If you would like to read more of my notes on this project you can check out my Ravelry page.

I must say I love this yarn, Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima. It is shiny, smooth and has excellent stitch detail. I didn't have any problems with splitting and it went a lot further than the pattern suggested. I expected to use 3.5 skeins and ended up using only 2 and a tiny bit of the third. I have plenty left to complete a second, smaller one or maybe the matching top.

And just 'cause I haven't shared it yet... I had to add a pic of my little dancing stars from their recital last week. They both did an amazing job and had so much fun.

Waterfall Scarf

Normally I don't knit much in the summer. It's hot and my energy is usually more focused outdoors. This year has been different. I don't know if this has been because this season has been mostly cold and rainy so far or due to the fact that my Raverly Queue is continuously growing rather than shrinking or simply that the more I knit the more I want to knit, but I haven't put down the needles much yet. For the most part though, I am at least knitting summery things. I love my new book, More Knitting in the Sun: 32 Patterns for Knit for Kids. I want to make everything in the book! I will be sharing some of my completed project from the book shortly.

Today I'm sharing my Rainbow Falls Scarf. Last fall I won two beautiful skeins of bamboo yarn from Knitty Grrlz. The first skein I used to make my Cross Stitch Scarf, the other has been sitting in my stash waiting for something special. In between a couple larger projects I've been working on recently, I needed a break and wanted a quick project for some immediate gratification. I found this lovely Waterfall Scarf Pattern by Cosymakes and thought it would be a great project to showcase this lovely yarn. This is the first time I completed a project with a drop stitch. It was fun and I will be playing with concept more in the future. I have additional notes on my Ravelry page. I love this one so much I just might have to keep it for myself.


Anyone else still knitting away this summer? What are you working on?

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