Friday, November 13, 2015

Gift-A-Long 2015

If you are active on Ravelry, you may have heard about the Gift-A-Long. It's a massive sale and knit-a-long that has happened the last two years in November and December.  It's a fun way to get motivated to knit all those Christmas knits, while participating in all sorts of fun games and winning some awesome prizes.

I've participated in the Gift-A-Long the past two years, and am excited to add 6 new designs to my sale this year!!!
Here's how it works:

Hundreds of independent designers, like me, have joined together to offer an awesome sale on our patterns, as well as a fantastic KAL/CAL to help you get all of your holiday knitting done before Christmas!

From Thursday, November 19th at 8 om (EST) to Friday, November 27 at 11:59 pm (EST) 20 of my patterns will be discounted 25%.  Use the coupon code: giftalong2015 to get the discount.

Once you've got your patterns, you can join in on the KALs/CALs for just about every variety of knit.  The KAL/CALs will run right through to Thursday, December 31 at 11:59 PM.  There are games, tons of prizes, communion with fantastic knitters, and a whole lot of fun.

If you've never been part of a KAL/CAL of this magnitude, it is seriously so fun. It's like being part of a knitting club that includes the entire world!!!

I'm looking forward to knitting along with all of you!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

People are Good

I posted Oh Christmas Tree yesterday, with the disclaimer that all proceeds would go toward providing Christmas to a family in need.  I can't believe the response that I've received.  I've had so many nice comments and messages, and sold many more patterns already than I thought possible.  Thank you, knitters, for being so good.  I tend to worry more about the state of the world than I should, but my faith in humanity is always renewed when I see things like this. I'm excited for Christmas!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Embroidered Star Stitch on a Knit - A Tutorial

Oh Christmas Tree is darling as is, with unique Christmas trees all the way around.  But, to complete the look, I thought it needed something a little more.  A star to top one of the trees!  I love embroidery, but am aware that sometimes the art doesn't look that good on knitwear, as the embroidery stitches tend to pull through the knit stitches.  This embroidered star, though, is perfect for the top of a Christmas tree.

1. Cut a piece of yarn about 1 foot long.  I used Knit Picks Hawthorne in Compass, which is a Fingering weight yarn. I thought the thinner yarn made the star easier to see. 

2. Start from the inside of the hat, and follow the order of the numbers in the diagram.  Go up at the #1 spot, then down at #2, and so forth.  Make the star bigger than you think would look good, because it will pull tighter through the stitches and "shrink."

Up through #1, down through #2.

And, finish off going down through #8.

3. When you are all done, the star will still look pretty messy.  This is inevitable, as you should go in and out of knit stitches, and so it may not be exactly even. To finish it off, go up through the hat at the center of the star, across the star, and back down the same hole into the hat.  Do this once across horizontally, and once up and down vertically.  Once back in the inside of the hat, weave the tails in on the wrong side.  

No Tools Pompoms - A Tutorial

I know you can buy fancy little pompom tools. I even know that you can make similar ones pretty easily with a pair of scissors and a piece of cardboard.  But, to be honest, I'm way too lazy for either of those methods. I can make a perfectly fine pompoms with just my fingers and yarn, so why bother with all the other stuff? Ya, I can't think of a good reason either.

Oh Christmas Tree has one of those perfectly fine pompoms of which I speak right on it's top, and so, for those not versed in the method, let me show you how I make a tools free pompom:

1.  First, cut a piece of yarn about a foot long.  

2. Lay that yarn between your middle and ring finger.  Keep it there for later. 

3. With the yarn you are using for your pompom, start wrapping it around your fingers. I wanted the pompom for Oh Christmas Tree to be nice and full, so I opened my hand a bit, and wrapped generously.  I also wanted to use both the colors I used in the hat, so I held them together and wrapped away!  If you need a much smaller pompom, use less fingers.  Just make sure that the yarn you put between your fingers in the last step is between the fingers you are using to wrap your pompom. 

4. Wrap, wrap, wrap until you have a whole lot of yarn.  Try to spread it out evenly from the tip of you fingers to the base.  You will notice I am only using the pink at the end here. That's because I wanted more pink than white in the pompom, so I stopped wrapping pink after 40 times around my hand, then wrapped pink only for another 40 rounds. 

5. Now, using that length of yarn resting between your fingers from step 2, pull it tight around the center of your pompom and tie it tight!

6. I usually let my littles sacrifice their tiny fingers to the cause of really tight knots.  And, I wrap the yarn around a time or two to make sure it's really secure. 

There it is, tied all tight. 

7. Then, take a pair of sharp scissors and cut the loops all the way around.

 8.  Then you will have a somewhat messy little ball of yarn that may or may not resemble the giant pompom you would want to put on top of a hat.  Now's the time to take those scissors and trim it.  Go all the way around it, straightening the pieces of yarn, and cutting them all so that they are a uniform length.  This is when having wrapped the yarn evenly around your fingers pays off, as the pieces will all be fairly even. 

9. And just like that you'll be done, and you can sew that baby onto the top of your hat.  I usually use the tail from knitting the hat (before I weave in the end). I thread it through the center of the pompom and back down the top of the hat.  Then I weave in the ends, and that pompom is secure as it can be.

Oh Christmas Tree - A Knitting Pattern

Oh Christmas Tree is an ugly Christmas Sweater for the head. But it's not ugly, it's darling. And, once you knit one for yourself, everyone else will want one, too. So, be warned!

You can buy on Ravelry for only $2 for the 2015 Christmas Season!  And, I will be collecting all the proceeds from Oh Christmas Tree to donate to the family that we adopt for Christmas each year!  So, buy away. Help us help another family.