Archive for the 'patterns' Category


Knitting for the birds

Usually by the time some “knit [insert name of garment or item] to help out the [insert name of animal]” campaign gets widespread attention on the Internet, the organization that issued the original call for help has already reached it’s original goal. Also, some of those campaigns aren’t actually helpful. (Remember the “knit jumpers for penguins” thing? Here’s a bit of info on how that turned out. Hint: it was not a very effective way to help penguins.)

For once, I’ve managed to catch wind of one these campaigns while it’s in full swing! WildCare in San Rafael, California, is asking for knit and crocheted birds needs to help orphaned baby songbirds during baby bird season (i.e., NOW). You can submit your e-mail address here to get a link to the free pattern PDF. (They even have a Ravelry group, which was locked at the end of August when the 2014 campaign ended but will start again with the 2015 campaign.)

The FAQ is pretty interesting, especially these parts:

Is this like penguin sweaters? Do you really need nests or are you going to sell them for money?We really need nests. Our Birdroom director at WildCare says they’re like towels in a nursery, one can never have too many. Our commitment is that every single nest we receive will go to a bird rescue facility.

Why do you need so many nests?  Because bird poop happens. Nests get very dirty over the course of a day in the Birdroom. Each baby bird must be fed approximately every 45 minutes from dawn till dusk. Although the nests are lined with tissue, they still get dirty from food and poop and need to be changed. When your baby birds need to be cleaned, you just put them into a new nest and put the old one into the dirty laundry basket.




Free lunch: Christmas knitting

It’s a stocking. With a dinosaur playing a guitar. Seriously, this is so incredibly cool that I’m amazed I’m not knitting it right now instead of writing this post.

Here’s a ball-shaped ornament that doesn’t actually involve knitting but does use yarn and would likely be appreciated by a knitter.

And here’s a ball-shaped ornament that does involve knitting. It’s from Handknit Holidays, one of my favorite knitting books. (I haven’t actually knit anything from this book yet. But I love nearly all the projects in it, so I like to imagine that one day I will.)

It’s a little snowperson wearing a scarf! And a little elf wearing a scarf!

If you’re a fan of reindeer, you’ll appreciate this ornament and this hat.

If stars are more your style, try hanging these little stars or this knit-and-felted star garland in your home.

What? You prefer mini stockings? Look for further! Here’s a mini stocking for you . . . and an even mini-er mini stocking!

And while we’re on a “mini” theme, don’t miss this mini Santa hat ornament.

I love these little pine tree-shaped sachets, too, and think it would be great fun to fill them with all sorts of nice-smelling stuff. The folks at the Purl Bee do come up with some nifty patterns. I just wish they didn’t usually use the most expensive yarn on the planet for them.

For years I’ve saved wine corks, thinking I’d do something crafty with them. These little korknisser are one option. I made one of these a couple of years ago with Lamb’s Pride bulky. It looked great, but it wasn’t easy to knit these tiny things with such thick yarn. The one I made sits out on an end table during the holidays, though Sylvia often co-opts it for her toy bin.

Use jersey-knit fabric (old t-shirts, anyone?) to finger-knit a bracelet.

If you live in a place that gets cold from time to time, have a touch-screen device, and don’t want to remove your gloves or mittens to use it, try knitting conducive thread into some gloves.

Make your own knitting (or crochet) journal! This site has free PDF downloads of pages you can print out. Yeah, I know you can keep track of this sort of thing on Ravelry. But some people (*raises hand*) prefer the immediacy and flip-through-ability of a paper-and-swatch-filled binder for this sort of thing.

Need to destash some wool quickly? Make some felted wool balls. I think these would be awesome for fluffing clothes in the dryer.

You know you’ve always wanted to create your own intarsia patterns. This site makes it easy! Just draw your chart, save it, and print it!



Socks with the opening text of Beowulf? I may just have to knit these one day.


Design your own amigurumi

I’ve not yet been bitten by the knitted amigurumi bug, but those of you who have might enjoy taking a look at this online amigurumi pattern generator.


Free lunch: Knitted animals

If holiday knitting is on your agenda but you find yourself running out of time, here are some small projects that you (or Santa…) might be able to accomplish in short time.

For something seasonally appropriate, try your hand at making a little reindeer.

Make a sheep from a knitted square. This is something that young knitters and new knitters might especially enjoy. Easy peasy!

Just be sure to keep the sheep away from these baby alligators!

If the alligators get uppity, these tiny pigeons can easily fly away from them. As can these other little birds.

And if you’re really in a rush, you can probably whip up some of these snails and slugs in no time at all!


Free lunch: Revenge of Scarf-o-rama

This double-sided cable scarf has one cable down the middle–a great project for anyone approaching cable knitting for the first time and with trepidation.

If knitting lots and lots (and lots) of I-cord won’t drive you mad, this I-cord scarf may be just the ticket for you.

The Coal Springs scarf is knit in the round (in a tube) and, according to the author, offers a great introduction to two-color knitting. I think it looks pretty spiffy.

This waving chevrons scarf was originally knit in three colors of worsted, but I wonder how it would look in a variegated yarn.

For the little ones, here’s a kid-sized snake-themed keyhole scarf that looks awfully fun.

If you’re more of a cowl person, check out this pattern, which offers basic instructions for knitting a simple cowl in pretty much any weight of yarn.

And if you’re a cowl person who doesn’t want to drop $750 on a Burberry design, check out this DIY version. I’m not the biggest fans of cowls, but this one may make it onto my to-knit list.


Free lunch: Warm hands

I know we’re at the height of summer right now, but winter (and the main gift-giving season of the year) will be upon us before you know it. So if you’re hoping to wear–or give–new handknitted handwear this winter, you may want to get started on it soon!

Looking for a challenge? Look no further: these Sanquhar gloves look mind-bogglingly difficult. But wow, the results sure are stunning.

Did you see the movie Coraline, based on the very excellent book by the same name by Neil Gaiman? Someone’s figured out a pattern for Coraline’s gloves. It’s wonderful when geekery and knitting overlap, isn’t it?

If you like unfettered fingers, try some fingerless mittens. Here’s a pattern for some nice and simple ones.

These rainbow-colored fingerless mitts were designed for homespun, but the author says that Noro would be a good substitute (and I bet they would look great in that yarn!).

I like these XO cable fingerless mitts, too; I’d love to try them as full-on mittens.

And here’s a fingerless mitten pattern sized for a man’s hands.

These daisy-stitch fingerless mitts are awfully cute. That daisy stitch, though–how in the world did someone first figure out to do that?

And if you like unfettered fingers but want to make sure your forearms (and maybe elbows, too!) are nice and toasty, check out these extra-long fingerless gloves.


Free lunch: Covering baby toes

Let’s take as our starting point some classically styled booties.

Then let’s move on to knee-high booties, for those babies who always manage to disengage themselves from their footwear.

These socks help babies express their inner Wicked Witches of the East.

Or maybe their inner monsters?

If you’re a sock knitter, you may especially enjoy these baby booties made with leftover sock yarn. Best of all, there’s no seaming whatsoever!

The person who wrote that pattern then upped the cuteness ante with these munchkin slippers, also made with leftover sock yarn and sized for newborn feet. Again, no seaming!

These are made from worsted-weight yarn,

Prefer your baby booties to come in mindless-knitting versions? Check out these slippers, formed from simple squares.


Free lunch: Bags

I love the look of this felted bucket bag.

The Kelly bag looks much more like a regular purse than most felted bags do.

The Giles bag is nonfelted and has a huge cable on the front and a cabled strap. One thing I always wonder about nonfelted knit bags is whether they stretch or sag when you put stuff in them. Anyone know? And if you put anything pointy in there (say, a pen), does it poke out?

I really like this market bag (which, unlike most so-called market bags, doesn’t have lots of holes all over it). But six skeins of Euroflax? Holy cow, that’s one expensive piece of knitting. I’d never spend this much on yarn for a bag, but if someone gave me the yarn I’d happily use it to knit up this spiffy project.

Here’s a market bag that looks more like what I’m accustomed to seeing in this category. It has lots of holes. (But they look small enough to constrain more groceries, I think.) It also has a beautiful handle.

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