Helpful Organizations

As a designer, I’m very interested in being involved in the fiber industry beyond just a fun social stitching group. Plus, I’m one of those perfectionist sorts who likes to make sure I’m doing things “right”. Knitting and crocheting don’t really have “rights” or “wrongs” as long as you’re happy with the end result. However, if you need some reassurance now and then or if you’re looking for sizing information or want to take your crafting to the next level, it does help to have some sort of standard to compare yourself to. I’ve been compiling a list of organizations that I refer to, and wanted share, in case anyone else would find it helpful.

  1. Craft Yarn Council – let’s just call them a one-stop shop for pretty much anything!
  2. The Knitting and Crochet Guilds of America – check them out if you’re looking to start a group or for masters programs.
  3. Ravelry – if I need to explain why you should be on Ravelry, then you’re in trouble! 🙂
  4. National Association of Independent Artists – for those of you interested in joining the craft show circuit and turning your craft into an art form.
  5. And for all my generous, big-hearted charity crafters – you already had a blog post all to yourselves. 🙂

If anyone knows of other organizations that you think should be on this list, please don’t be shy about sharing! We crafters are a good bunch – I’m very happy, proud, and fulfilled to be part of the community. Happy Friday to all of you!

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Gifts to Make

I like to do a little holiday crafting for my closest loved ones. I learned the hard way to be selective so I don’t overwhelm myself and turn something that should be fun and loving into added holiday stress. I’ve moved away from seeing how many gifts I can crank out toward picking one or two stunning projects to give to the most special people in my life. But however you like to plan out your gifting, a word to the wise: START NOW!

Aside from the giving, the most fun part (in my opinion) is figuring out what to make! So for all of you who support me and read my blog, here is my little holiday gift to you! A list of the coolest patterns I’ve been bookmarking all year! I hope you enjoy browsing the list, and if you make any of these, please share your photos of the finished pieces because I would love to see!

  1. Being the art lover that I am, and Op Art being one of my favorite movements, this blanket speaks to me even though I don’t currently have anyone to make a baby blanket for! But I’m thinking it could also be a pretty awesome throw. Check out the pattern on Ravelry to see what other people came up with in color combos!
  2. This sweater is something a teenager with a forward fashion sense would enjoy. Big prints and images on sweaters and sweatshirts are very popular, so if you are looking for something for the hard-to-please teen category, this is definitely NOT grandma’s knitting!
  3. A classic go-to gift, fingerless mitts with a twist!
  4. Socks are so much work, but such a lovely gift for someone truly dear to you who is worth all the knitting time! For an extra-special pair for your extra-special someone, I recommend anything from Ravelry’s Tour De Sock, but I especially love Fields of Flowers.
  5. Technically, Minion things would be listed as children’s gifts, but I know plenty of adults who would enjoy having these too. Crocheted items usually work up quickly, so if you need a gift in a hurry, or a fun gag gift for a white elephant party, Minions are a fun option.
  6. I’ve never done Tunisian entrelac, so I have no idea how complicated (or not) this project would be, but it is so fantastic, I had to include it! Plus, I would love to learn how to do this, so I consider it a gift to myself AND the person who gets the FO. However, just given the size, I would recommend starting this gift this year in preparation for gifting next year.
  7. A tote is always useful! I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t have a use for this bag!
  8. Shawls are always a lovely gift, and this designer has a beautiful variety.
  9. And last, but not least, the classic holiday gift: a scarf. But not just any scarf – why do boring rib when you could explore the magic of illusion knitting?

I hope you enjoy the ideas I found. I tried to link to the original source of each pattern, but if you would like to see color ideas or projects other people have completed, these can all be looked up on Ravelry. Happy holiday gifting!

Unfurled

Inspired by an orchid, this shawl unfurls color as you knit it. This baby goat mohair is as close to the softness of flower petals as I could get!
Inspired by an orchid, this shawl unfurls color as you knit it. This baby goat mohair is as close to the softness of flower petals as I could get!

Just want to share my latest pattern, which I am also honored to have on display at Unwind! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed designing it. Colinton Australia is a total luxury, and I truly hope my design does it justice! Flowers are so full of color and texture, I can promise with certainty that this will not be the last pattern I design inspired by them!

Free Pattern: Chunky Rib Scarf

Now that you all know how to do fringe, here is the scarf pattern I designed that includes it! This is a fun, easy, summer knit – since you are just doing simple ribbing, you don’t need to think that much. I used up some acrylic from my stash, but you can pretty much use a bright color in any fiber and still have yourself a fun knit and bright accessory when you’re done!

Scarf

Measurements
With any scarf, you can make it as wide or skinny as you want, and as long or short as you want. Customize! But if you want the finished measurements for mine, it is approx. 82″ long and 6″ wide. These measurements do not count the fringe, so if you have a particular length in mind, account for an extra 10″ in length with the fringe.

Materials
US 17 needles
536 yds. of worsted weight yarn
Darning needle
Scissors
N – 9.00 mm crochet hook

Pattern Notes
I advise cutting the fringe first, because you can then knit until your yarn is gone, if you so choose.
To get the chunky knit look, I knit the scarf with two strands of worsted weight yarn held together. However, you can use half the yardage in a super chunky yarn like Malabrigo Rasta if you don’t like working with two strands.

Instructions
There are a total of 10 groups of fringe on each end of the scarf. Each group has 8 strands. Cut each fringe section by measuring 10″ lengths of yarn 8 times. (This adds 5″ to each end of the scarf, because the fringe will be folded in half when you attach it.) I recommend using hair scrunchies or bands to keep each fringe section grouped together and place in a Ziplock bag until you’re ready to attach them. You may notice that no matter how careful you thought you were in measuring, that all the ends just do not seem to be the EXACT SAME length, and I want to encourage you not to drive yourself nuts about this. Mine were not exact either, even though I tried to measure carefully. When you attach it and it all hangs together, it looks the way it’s supposed to, and if you happen to notice one piece that really stands out from the others, snip it to a length that allows it to blend in.

Once your fringe is cut, CO 22 sts. K1, p1 every row, until your scarf is 10″ shorter than you want it to be. BO in pattern. You do not need to weave in ends, because once you attach your fringe, you may simply hook the ends into the fringe and snip to the same length.

Check my tutorial on adding fringe if you’re not sure how to do it. Aside from cutting the fringe, which may be easiest to do at home, I advise making this a beach/poolside/airplane/gift knitting project because of how simple it is! Happy summer knitting!

 

Chevron Sands Wrap

Just wanted to let everyone know I published a new design! 🙂

Image

As you all know, I love nature. My favorite place is the beach, but I have visited the desert many times, and loved that too. I bought this yarn awhile back during a special event at Unwind and the colors together reminded me of sand dunes. This design attempts to capture the sense of how the colors wave and roll into each other. I hope other people will enjoy this as much as I did! Also, in case any of my fellow knitters wondered, yes, ZYG yarn is FABULOUS to work with! Enjoy!

Yarn Crawl LA 2014

Are you familiar with yarn crawling? If not, here is a quick description: in cities that host one, all the participating yarn stores have special promotions and events going on for a weekend, and people “crawl” with their friends. In LA specifically, you purchase a passport and tote bag and go from store to store and get your passport stamped. The more stores you crawl in and out of, the more stamps you get and the more goodies you’re eligible to win!

I am so honored and excited to design two patterns for Unwind, both of which will be free Ravelry downloads. One is knit, the other crocheted, and both are super fast, soft, squishy cowls made out of Manos Maxima. I thank Unwind for giving me the privilege of designing for our store!

Bright Doubles CowlDouble Posts Cowl