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Did You Accomplish Your Christmas Knit List?

yarn stash projects in progress

Does your work-in-progress stash look like this one? Image via Ellie Belle

My answer to that question is a capital NO!  In fact, I am feeling downright bad about myself right now due to the fact that I did not finish one, yes NOT EVEN ONE, Christmas gift that I had planned to knit.

Oh sure, I started lots of projects—I got the ribbing done on a lovely red, wool, cable-knit hat for my mother, and I started a fur cowl but the fur got all funky and I had to rip out like 10 rows, so I put that aside in frustration. Oh, and I have half of a pair of socks finished.

knitting joke

Is this how you feel? Image Via Pinterest

Then there is that bag of yarn sitting in the corner of my den mocking me. Yes, that bag is full of unrealized dreams of fabulous knit Christmas creations that never even got near the point of a needle.

Alas, here I am—Christmas is over, so what do I do now? I really want to just sit and selfishly knit something for ME! Something that makes me feel better and feel accomplished. Why does that feel like such a bad thing? Are all of us knitters plagued with such guilt when it comes to making something for ourselves? Well, I dare say a little selfish knitting is just what the doctor ordered.

So join me in tossing aside that unfinished Christmas knit list (I’ll pick it back up next December). Don some comfy yoga pants, pour a glass of wine, grab some lush yarn from your stash (might as well grab some from that bag of unused Christmas present yarn) and make yourself something special. Hmmm a hat sounds good right about now…I hear it will be a cold January.

Did you finish all your knit or crochet Christmas gifts, or were you like me, a totally well-intended knitter who tragically failed to realize a single goal ?

Cable Knit Hat and Recycled Mittens

Brrrrrr! It was a chilly Halloween last night! Luckily, I had just finished my new cable knit hat! And I had these recycled  mittens on hand that my oh, so talented Mum made me last Christmas—they certainly kept my fingers nice and warm.

recycled mittens

Today, I will share the pattern my Mum followed to make these amazing recycled mittens! Essentially, I dug out some cashmere and angora sweaters that had moth holes, and then Mum cut the pattern out of the good parts of the sweater. Follow this link to view the free up-cycled mitten pattern that she used. These are fleece-lined, so they are sooooo warm and cozy!

My head was also nice and toasty thanks to this chunky wool cable knit hat that I just finished.  As you can see, my daughter very quickly decided that this one was hers LOL!

cable knit hat cable winter hat

This hat was so easy to make and is perfect for the beginner that is looking to try cables for the first time. I will say that the original pattern was meant to be very slouchy, but I altered mine into a snug-fitting hat. Try this free hat pattern  if you want to try the slouchy version of this hat.

Until next time,

Happy Crafting!!!!

Frog Feet Finished

I had to re-blog this AMAZING creation! This lady CAN KNIT!!!!

RachaelHandPaint frogfeetfinal3I cast off my latest project last night and let it block overnight.  What a crazy, crazy stitch pattern!  It’s called Fox Paws by Xandy Peters.  The pattern isn’t for the feint of heart.  There are massive increases and decreases (k5tog, SB2, k3tog anyone?) or (*KYOK, SB2* repeat 4 times) which leads to tight knitting and confusion on the needles.  I had to rip back many, many times because my stitch counts just didn’t add up and I couldn’t see or figure out where the mistake was made.  But, was it worth it, you might ask?  The answer is a definite “YES!”  😀  The pattern is so different, it almost doesn’t even look like knitting.

Up next on the needles will be some hand-dyed yarn. My youngest daughter dyed some yarn for herself and has asked that I turn her yarn creation into a beanie with cat ears. There…

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Knit Boot Cuffs or Boot Toppers

A new pair of knit boot cuffs or knit boot toppers, as some like to call them, have landed in my “completed projects” pile.  Check out this pair that feature a deep mustard yellow color and wood buttons—they are perfect for fall!

Here are a few more pictures for you to enjoy….

knit boot toppers

 

 

4 Free Stitch Markers That Are Perfect For Knitting And Crocheting

Those elusive little stitch markers seem to always disappear, don’t they?  One way or another, I am constantly losing mine. So what can we do in a pinch, when we need a stitch marker but cannot find one? We get creative!

I have come up with 4 unique stitch markers that you can use in your crochet or knitting—and I’m willing to bet that you have these in your home right now. Drum roll….here they are:

Rainbow Looms Make Great Stitch Markers

If you have kids, then you recently went through that wonderful Rainbow Loom phase. Now that half of these little rubbery circles have been sucked up by my vacuum, and now that my kids are tired of the craft; I had to come up with something to do with these little elastic circles (besides throw them out). Well guess what!? They make PERFECT knitting stitch markers 🙂

rainbow loom stitch markers

Earrings Make Convenient Stitch Markers

Yup! I have actually pulled out my earring and used it as a stitch marker!!! Think about it—it’s always there in a pinch, no matter where you are….your car, the park, soccer games…you almost always have on earrings, right? This style of earring I have shown in the image below is perfect for marking cables or for slipping right onto the needle in place of an ordinary circle marker.

earrings make great stitch markers for knit and crochet

Safety Pin Stitch Markers

Safety pins make perfect stitch markers for both knitting and crochet. I love them becasue they close tightly, keeping my stitches safe—and I know they won’t fall off.

safety pin stitch marker

A Simple Piece of Yarn

Have you just finished weaving in a bunch of ends on your latest project? If so, save those ends in a ziplock bag—They make great stitch markers!

string stitch marker

What unique household goods do you use for stitch markers?

Until Next Time,

Happy Crafting!!!

 

 

 

Knitting for Charity

knit hats

Knitting for charity is very rewarding! Image Via: Learn to Knit With Katie

It eventually strikes all of us— the desire to donate our knitted or crocheted creations to someone in need. Some of us have been inspired to donate chemo caps because we know someone with cancer, while others were introduced to the healing comfort of prayer shawls from a church prayer shawl ministry.

No matter what method we choose, knitting and crocheting for charity is one of the best things a yarn-crafter can do with their time (and their huge stash). What better way to offer someone comfort in a time of need than to cover them in the warmth of homemade love?

Personally, I love to donate prayer shawls. I have given shawls to my mother, to complete strangers, and mailed them to towns that have experienced school shootings (hoping to comfort grieving parents).  Donating your yarn creation is a selfless act —you may never know the recipient, you may never get a thank you….you just hope that the receiver feels the  extent of your caring and comfort, and that it brings them a moment of peace/happiness.

Whether you knit, crochet, sew, quilt etc… no matter what your craft choice, you can help those in need. Here is a directory that offers an extensive list of charities world-wide that are in need of your home-made love.  If you prefer to go it alone, then consider mimicking this amazing charity idea of the mystery yarn bomber(s) in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.  Wouldn’t you love to do this in your hometown!?

knit charity

Whose life can you touch with a donation of your home-made craft? Image Via: Dianne-Jones

You never know whose life you can change with a simple donation of your time and talent.

What charity do you like to donate your creations to? Please share, we would love to hear from you!

Why Everyone Should Learn to Knit or Crochet

crochet hat

This crochet hat pattern is great for a beginner. The pattern is from Lionbrand and is called the Metropolitan Hat.

Tossing aside all the laundry, dishes, paper work, and homework in order to sit and knit or crochet is something that everyone must try!!! Ignoring the squalor can be hard—I tend to feel guilty when I push aside all my writing work and housework so that I can work on my latest yarn creation, but then I quickly get lost in the clicking of needles, the texture of fibers running through my fingers— I transcend to a calm state of mind that is like no other. I forget about all my other worries and cares.

This is why we ALL need to learn to knit or learn to crochet! The power this craft has to transform you from a tight, stressed ball of energy to a calm, meditative mind is amazing! In fact, there have been studies on this craft’s meditative power that prove knitting and crocheting have the ability to calm the mind.

Learn to Knit — It’s Life-Saving

Not only does it calm your body and soul, yarn-crafting has the power to literally save your life. I have heard numerous stories of people that took up knitting in order to fight their alcoholism, or put down the cigarettes for good. Others have used this craft to stop eating past 7 o’clock at night, or to stop biting their nails.

Then there are the heart-wrenching stories of how knitting or crocheting has helped to heal someone’s loss of a loved one or to distract their mind during their fight of cancer.

Are you going through a hard time in your life? Do you need to find some solace? Try taking up this amazing craft—it has the power to transform your mind and take you to a place of peace.

Follow this link to begin to learn to knit now! Or if you prefer, learn to crochet, or maybe try both to see which one you like best.

3 New Adventures In Knitting

cable ear warmer headband

This one had me in knots for awhile but I did manage to complete it. Pattern courtesy of Craftsy.

Knitting Acceptance:

The first steps to admitting that you are an addict is acceptance, right?  Well, I formally admit to the world that I, Shelley Little, am addicted to yarn.

I know that I am not alone in this addiction. All you other yarn-a-holics out there need to accept your addiction, as well. Go ahead, shout it out from the roof-tops — Yarn is my addiction! It could be worse, right?  Yes, we spend a lot of money on something that seems frivolous to others — especially to our husbands (or wives of those male knitters/crocheters). But it is sooooooo worth it when we find that perfect pattern to match that perfect skein that has been hiding in our stash for years.

knit shawl scarf

I love wearing shawls “backwards”. This was a free shawl pattern from Lion Brand

shawl scarfshawl

How it Began:

My addiction began rather innocently with a trip to Grandma’s house. At the ripe age of 6, my grandmother taught me to knit, and soon I was obsessively knitting row upon row of garter stitch (ignoring the weird triangular shape the scarf was taking on).

Over the years, my knitting expanded to crochet. For many years, I was only crocheting because I found it quicker, easier and more satisfying — I had three young children who certainly were not conducive to counting complicated rows of knitting.

Now that my children are getting older, I have taken up the knitting needles again. I had to re-teach myself some basics, but it was mostly like riding a bike.  In the past few weeks, the addiction has firmly taken hold of me and I cannot stop knitting. I have been obsessively trying new techniques — especially cables — oh! the wild ride of those tempting little yarn twists and turns…you never know where they are going to take you.

cable scarf

This was my first attempt at cables. The finished scarf was mailed to my Mum for her birthday.

cable scarf close-up

Here is a close-up of the cable pattern. Not too bad for my first try, right?

Have you recently become addicted to yarn? Or are you already a junkie? Please share your adventures in knitting or crochet, and don’t be shy! Show me some of your most recent masterpieces  (or should I say, your most recent high’s?)

finished cable ear warmer headband

I finished it! Had to rip out a few rows at times, and I still see a few mistakes, but who cares!? I did it!!!

 

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