Patterns: December 2011 Archives
With New Year's Eve almost upon us, I realized how tired I was from the holidays and the party yet to come. I wondered how I would recover. With a toddler, down time is a luxury and recovery time is not abundant. So whether you need to recover from an abundance of champagne or from just being out past midnight, my first aid pillow will speed your recovery and get you ready to break all your resolutions (unless you resolve not to make any). The magic is in the rice filling which holds heat and settles to shape to any part that ails you. Be sure and use only natural fibers because poly blends may melt from the heat. I recommend some of our wool suitings for the pillow case and some flannel for the red cross. Here's how to make one or several for you and your pals.
Materials for one First Aid Pillow:
1-2 lbs of rice
Download your First Aid Pillow Pattern and cut out just the square. Trace 2 squares onto your pillow fabric, cut out squares and set aside. Cut out the red cross and cut out 1 from flannel
Hand stitch or machine stitch your cross centered on your pillow, matching up edges. With right sides facing and using ½ in. seam, sew the front pillow to the back, leaving a 3-4 in. gap for turning and filling. Clip corners and turn.
Use a large funnel to pour the rice inside your pillow, stopping when it is ½ full. Pin and hand sew the gap closed.
Heat your First Aid Pillow for 1 min 30 sec to 2 min and apply.
You can make smaller versions (3-4 in squares) for boo-boo pillows. Make several and keep a few in the freezer for cold applications too.
It is always amazing for me to see the uniquely creative but simple pieces of knit accessories that are increasingly popular these days. I am constantly inspired by these pieces and love to challenge myself to recreate them simply because they are so beautiful. Another small, teeny, tiny reason barely to be spoken of merely because it is so trifling, I should not even mention it here because it is such a small reason but as I am amongst friends I shall spill it: I see little reason to pay so much for something I can create myself. See a petty reason after all.
Today's inspiration is the mother of all inspirations: Anthropologie. This uppermost of all fashion icons in the handmade world is coveted for their ideas and use of color. I am not alone in my worship of this store but I am also not alone in mourning my lack of funds to purchase all of their wares. Chief among them is the Sweaterknit Strand. A beautiful wool, cashmere, alpaca and silver necklace that is priced at $198. I made my own for around $10. It took about 4 hours. Here's how you can make your own.
1 ball of worsted weight yarn (I used Caron Simply Soft Ocean because I loved the color)
1 ball of bulky weight yarn (I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick N Quick in Grey)
1 ball of sport weight (I used fingering weight doubled)
Several small chains or jump rings (mine are repurposed from a thrift store find)
With the worsted weight yarn, cast on 8 sts and knit in i-cord for 14 in.
Switch to the bulky yarn and continue in i-cord for 4 in.
Switch to the sport weight yarn and continue in i-cord for 1.5 to 2 in. Cut tail to 6 in and weave through remaining loops. Knot and weave in ends.
Connect your chains or jump rings to an end of your i-cord. I used jump rings to connect my chains. I made the chain 6 in. long but you could go as long as 8-10 in. I used 5 chains in total. The completed necklace length should be 28-30 in. This was a fun and fast knit and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed combining the different weights and colors. The icing on the cake was the chain. The delicacy and different textures really complete the look.
You may remember my last adventure with Pajama Pants with a pattern from Amy Butler's InStitches. It was not as successful as I had hoped. That was not my first pair of Pajama Pants and certainly won't be my last. I love 'em. I wear them all the time because I am very cold natured. I have flannel pants for the winter and cotton for the spring/summer. They are great for late night runs to the nursery and the sleepy walk downstairs for my morning cup of coffee. I have been on the search for the pattern to make the perfect pair and I am very close. This go-around I made the Kwik Sew Sleep Pants (KP-3882) and I am very impressed. First, these were quick and easy. Second the fit is pretty close but I erred on the side of caution and made the Medium when I was between the Medium and the Small. I think I will make the small next time. Third, the length is pretty good but if I make the small, I will make the pants 1 in. longer since I have a bad track record with too short pajama pants and I would rather them be a smidge too long than too short. The only issues I had were that the waist was too high. I tried on my pants as I made them and realized that if I added the casing and ruffle at the top the pants would go over my belly button. I like mine to sit an 1-2 below my belly button. I did not add the casing and ruffle and instead made a waist facing that was the same length as the waist and 1 1/2 tall. I stitched it to the top of the pants and then folded it toward the wrong side and stitched along the bottom, leaving a 2-3 in. gap to add the elastic. I also did not add the drawstring. My modification still left my pants on the high but not enough to go back and adjust it further. I really love the contrast cuff at the bottom and think it is a fun and easy detail that should not be left off.
These pants feature straight legs and are roomy in the hips and backside. If you are taller than 5 foot 6 inches I recommend adding an 1 to the length so you stay warm while curled up on the couch and lowering the waist. I will be making this pattern again because it has so much going for it.
The fabrics featured in this pair of pajama pants are:
Knitted goods can bring a softness and splash of color- be it bright color or a neutral- that can really make a house a home. One unexpected place is a lampshade cover. Here is a free pattern for a delicate but bright lampshade cover that compensates for the increase in diameter by increasing needle sizes instead of increasing stitches. You can easily modify this pattern for a straight shade by not increasing needle sizes. The small ribbing at the top holds the shade in place.
Caron Simply Soft (1 skein for a 15 in. by 8 in. round shade) in Ocean
US size 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 cable needles in 16 in. and 24 in. lengths
To calculate the number of stitches to cast on for your shade measure the top subtract 4-5 in. and then adjust based on your gauge. Example: 10 in. shade diameter -4 in.= 6 in. Gauge is 4 sts/in. so cast on 24 sts.
Eyelet pattern: *yo, k2tog; repeat to end
The pattern is worked over an even number of stitches
With US 7 needles, Cast on and work in 2x2 ribbing for 1 in. Switch to US 9 needles and continue in eyelet pattern in US 9 for ¼ of the height of the shade (if your shade is 8 in. tall knit with US 9 for 2 in.)
Switch to US 11 needles and continue in eyelet pattern for another ¼ of the height. Switch to US 13 needles and work in eyelet pattern for another ¼ of shade height. Finally switch to US 15 needles for the remainder of the shade. Bind Off in pattern. Weave in ends.
Since the yarn is acrylic you can pull it off and wash if it gets dusty and there is no need to block. Slip if on over your shade and enjoy your new, warm, comforting atmosphere!
Here is my latest knit creation designed with window shopping, coffee breaks, cuddling on the couch and a general chill in the air. My Telfair Capelet is perfect to add a layer over a long sleeved tee or sweater, throw on over PJs to get the paper or to wear to grab coffee before the morning soccer game. Take your wardrobe up a notch with this striped and lace accented capelet that is tailored to your shoulder with ease through the chest and bust.
The Telfair Capelet was worked holding two strands throughout of Lion Brand's Martha Stewart Merino (100% Merino Wool) in both Peacock and Artemisia using 4 balls of each color. The increases along the shoulder line begin a subtle detailing that is extended down the remainder of the capelet. The lace edgings at the collar and bottom can be lengthened to make it extra cozy or dramatic. The Telfair can also be knit using one strand of bulky or heavy weight worsted yarn but stick to majority natural fibers since this capelet must be blocked to size and to achieve the best drape.
Here is another quick and relatively simple kids' Christmas present by Noodlehead: Bicycle Bucket Tutorial. I say relatively because if you read the directions as written and trust that the author recommends the right products and don't try to "make it better" it will be a fun and easy project. That said let me tell you why I had to cut mine out 3 times and spent the better part of the day making one. Let me add that the mistakes were all mine and I regret using my phone to view the tutorial instead of printing it out so I could read the instructions.
First I decided that I wanted my bike bucket to be SUPER strong and durable so I decided to use Peltex to interface both the lining and exterior. This makes it too stiff and unsewable. I was seconds from smashing everything and jumping up and down on it (begin recut #2). Do not use Peltex at all. The medium weight is perfect even for quilting/light weight cotton. Also, if you do not have double fusible medium weight interfacing you can use one side fusible interfacing but make sure you interface the exterior and not the lining (begin recut #3). Please follow Noodleheads instructions and do not follow my example. Once I had it assembled according to the tutorial I discovered that it is very stable, durable and just right for holding rocks, sticks, buddies, and snacks. Oh, one more tip, sew on the handle bar attachment after you complete the top trim. It is much easier to navigate the around the top of the basket if you don't have the handle bar part getting caught up on your machine. If you want to add a monogram or name tag on the front like Noodlehead's boy version do it on the exterior piece before any assembly. It is easier to center and sew on when you don't have to worry about the basket structure. I really love the wide trim at the top. It really helps to hide any cutting errors but also adds extra color and pattern to make it extra special.
Overall I am very pleased with my bike bucket and next time I will print out the instructions and haul them up to my studio. If you follow the instructions it is a fun and worthy project that any kid will love to call their own. Thanks Noodlehead!
Rarely have I had so much fun in my studio and the cause was the Molly Monkey Doll by mmmcrafts. My Molly Monkey came out just as cute as the original thanks to some very well written instructions and an excellently drafted pattern. I was able to place the eyes just so and get just the right angle of Molly's secret half smile. I loved picking out my fabrics: a combination of chocolate velvet and designer quilting cottons as well as felts in various colors. This project combines a variety of sewing skills from machine to hand sewing and embroidery. I loved each step.
The bonus is not only do you get a very large, 24'', super cute moneky doll but you also get some fashionable accessories to dress your Molly: a smart pair of Mary Janes, one sassy beret and a twirly skirt. The accessories are even easier to make up and simple enough to embellish (rick rack, more embroidery or appliqués) but you can also choose different fabrics for special outfits. I am dreaming of mary janes in faux leather, a plaid skirt and Santa hat for Christmas; black shoes, a lace overlay skirt and basket for Easter; a birthday candle skirt in bright colors and hot pink shoes for birthday parties.
I do have just one tip to make your Molly Monkey last through the years, interface the cotton pieces of your doll. If you use corduroy (as recommended) or velvet as I did, there is no need to interface these fabrics as they are thick, but the quilting cotton is thinner and interfacing it will make it more durable and help reduce a lumpy appearance when stuffing.
My Molly took about 2.5 naps to complete which translates to about 6 hours. This may seem like a lot but there is a good bit of hand sewing and embroidery. However, it is all worth it as you will be creating one of the cutest dolls ever. The hand sewing and embroidery can also be done with a nice cup of Hot Cocoa and a good movie nestled into the couch as I did. I cannot wait for Christmas morning for my little one to open her first Molly Monkey. Thank you Larissa for sharing this wonderful pattern!
I have no idea why but whenever I plan to decorate for Christmas my first thought is: Pillow covers. I guess it is because being a knitter I spend a lot of time curled up on or staring at the couch so of course I want to decorate it first. AND I love a good cozy pillow, so this year when I planned my pillow covers for Christmas I was drawn to flannel. Flannel everything- background, appliqués, you name it. And no zippers as well, they ruin the coziness. No need to take notes, you can just add these pictures to your Pinterest boards. Last year I made a pillow from Velvet with I-cord embroidery and it was soft and squishable as a pillow should be but I was always worried about my little one pulling off the I-cord so this year I went all out. We are talking Heat n' Bond and zig zagging all over the place. I even managed to couch on some yarn for the ornament hangers. All easy and all so soft and cozy.
1 yd of Flannel for pillow cover (I used Quilter's Flannel 90 in. Wide in Natural)
½ yd of flannel for ornaments (I used Cozy Cotton Flannel Grid Marine)
A smidge of wool felt for the hangers on ornament in Red
10 yds of wool yarn in Navy
First find an image of an ornament that you love and print it out. I did a quick search of Ornament Clip Art.
Trace this image onto the back of your Heat N Bond 3 times and cut out all images in one big piece (don't cut out each ornament shape yet) and apply, according to instructions, to the back of your green flannel. Now cut out each ornament, peel off the paper and arrange on your pillow cover made from Hot Patterns Giving Thanks Pillow Cover Pattern in White Flannel. Once you have an arrangement you like, iron your pieces in place. Cut out little squares roughly ½ by ½ in. from some wool felt. Wool felt is a little too thick for Heat n Bond so I like to keep it in place with a glue stick. Zig Zag stitch around your complete ornament. Finish off by pinning some navy wool yarn from your ornament to the top of your pillow. Slowly Zig zag stitch over your yarn keeping an eye on it so it doesn't creep out of place. Trim all loose threads and enjoy!