The Kaitlin (Knit Cowl)

Every year for our Christmas party, we do a Secret Santa gift exchange.  For this year’s exchange, I had my beautiful friend, Kaitlin.  Although I love to give all types of gifts, homemade/handmade/diy are my favorite.  So, every year for the gift exchange, I try to give at least one thing that I created.

Like myself, Kaitlin is a teacher, so I can relate to her style and wardrobe.  I chose to make a cowl for Kaitlin because I knew it was a piece that she could wear both indoors and out.  It is a simple addition to winter outfits that can keep you warm, but still be stylish.  (Pattern Below)

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If you are a novice in the world of knitting, this is the perfect pattern for you.  It’s straight knitting, every row, with super-big needles and super-thick yarn.  I was able to finish this scarf in two sittings, and I am a very slow knitter.

Yarn: Lion Brand Thick & Quick / Charcoal (1.5 skeins)

Needles: US Size 19

Pattern:

Cast on 23 stitches

Knit every row until piece measures 30 inches (2 1/2 feet)

Bind off end

Join together ends with a large yarn needle (be sure not to twist the scarf before the ends are joined together)

Enjoy!

Pink Zig Zag (My First Quilt)

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Last Christmas I got my very first sewing machine as a gift.  The following January through August, however, I was finishing up my Master’s degree, so casual sewing wasn’t exactly something for which I had an abundance of time.  After our move to Colorado, I decided it was finally okay to really take it out of the box and do some experimenting.

After a few smaller practice projects, online tutorials, crafty blog reading and some phone calls to my Grandma, I was ready to try my hand (or machine, rather) at a simple quilt.  The result was this cute little pink and white zig-zag/ chevron quilt.

I originally intended to give it away to the first person I knew who popped out a baby girl.   However, I kind of fell in love with it.  It is by no means perfect, but that is what is so great about it.  I think that’s kind of why I like the idea of quilts in general.  You have the ability to incorporate so much of yourself into them, and they can hold some really good stories.  I think I am just going to finish this one and hold onto it as a keepsake to remind me of my humble beginnings as a seamstress in my first months as a Colorado-an.  It is a piece of my story that can hopefully be passed onto many generations after me.

Teacher’s Recommendation:

The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy, Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

‘Where’s Waldo’ Knit Hat

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So by now, the four of you that actually follow this blog are considering never coming back because you think I am a liar.  This week, I set a schedule for my blog to make it easier for all to follow, and for me to write.  However, the blogs gods must not be on my side, because every time I try to put effort into it, I fail.  So for that, I apologize.  I hereby promise to do my absolute best in writing the blog and making something that is worthwhile to read.

Moving on…today’s post is about a hat that I made for Halloween this past year.  I will start by setting the scene…

I am a teacher, which means that dressing up on Halloween is not only allowed but encouraged in the workplace.  I always try to be something that the kids will appreciate (so my favorite pun-ny and french maid costumes are out).    Since I just moved, I don’t have an abundance of resources, aka my Grandma’s closet, available at my disposal.  Working from my own closet is hard, because that basically means I am dressing up as a version of myself.  But alas, I found a red and white striped sweater that instantly reminded me of everyone’s favorite M.I.A. guy – Waldo.  With only a few hours til my deadline (my 9:00 bedtime) I set to work making a matching hat for my costume.

This hat is a quick knit.  As I stated above, it was whipped up in only a few hours.  Because it was knit double-stranded, it is both snug-fitting and super warm.

Pattern

Worsted weight yarn (1 skein main color, 1 skein secondary color)

With two strands of the main color, CO 48

Knit 3, Purl 3 (repeat 3 more times)

Knit 1 row, Purl 1 row (repeat 3 more times)

In two strands of the second color, continue in K 1 row, P 1 row pattern for 14 rows

Switching back to a double-strand of the main color, begin the decrease as follows

**Knit 6, knit 2 together (continue across from **)

Purl 1 Row

**Knit 5, knit 2 together (continue across from **)

Purl 1 row

** Knit 4, knit 2 together (continue across from **)

Purl 1 row

** Knit 3, knit 2 together (continue across from **)

Purl 1 row

** Knit 2, knit 2 together (continue across from **)

Purl 1 row

** Knit 1, knit 2 together (continue across from **)

Purl 1 row

Bind off and knit up the side.  (I knit my hat on straight needles, but this pattern is adaptable for circular needles).

Intervention: Yarn Addict

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As most knitters and other fiber artists know, collecting yarn is an addiction.  That’s right.  My name is Amy…and I have an addiction (intervention, please!).

Unfortunately for me and my wallet, I am an impulse shopper.  What can I say?  It just looks so warm and cozy and wonderful sitting there on the shelf with no one to buy it.  This problem has led to what is now an overflowing basket of yarn that is increasingly taking up space in our living room.  If I don’t so something soon, I will be the next star of Hoarders, and I’m just not emotionally stable enough to watch perfect strangers throwing away my beloved belongings.

When I look at my beautiful collection, I see a million different possibilities for what I could do.  However, that’s just the problem.  How do you decide what to do when you have a million different choices?  To get past this road bump, I have decided to use things I love in the world around me as inspirations for my projects.

Project 1: Crazy for Colorado Hat

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In honor of my new home state, I have decided to base my first project after the Colorado flag.  I love the colors in this flag, as well as its overall simplicity.  It is a popular print here in the Rocky Mountain area, seen on t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers, and other daily items.  So here’s to hoping that it transfers well into a knit creation!

Check back in a few days to see the results and the pattern!

Knit Infinity Scarf

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Now, Pittsburgh isn’t exactly ‘Beautiful Weather’ capitol of the world.  Even its most devoted and loving citizens will tell you that.  However, snow in November, October, and even September is something that only the beautiful state of Colorado could offer.

As a young child in Pittsburgh, as a surprise to us all, it once snowed on Halloween.  I got to wear my princess costume over my one-piece snow suit (every young girl’s dream).  You can believe, then, how overwhelmed I was when it snowed here in Boulder at the end of September.  As I snapped pictures, called everyone I knew, and got dressed up in all of my winter gear, the locals continued on with their daily lives in shorts and flip flops.

In honor of Colorado’s 6-month winter season, I decided to make my first infinity scarf.  The scarf was knit based off of the pattern found here.  However, I made a small change to the original scarf by only knitting the first 27 rows and casting off.  For me, this change was ideal because it made the scarf less bulky so that I could wear it both indoors and outdoors.  I’m super happy with the way this one turned out, but I do look forward to knitting the entire scarf at some point (Christmas present, perhaps?).