Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In one more week it will be St. Patrick's Day. I have a soft spot for that holiday because my father was born and lived the first 12 years of his life in Dublin, Ireland. He came from a large family of 8 brothers and sisters and they all were born in different countries as they worked their way to the America, but he grew up in Dublin. He's no longer living, but this post is fondly dedicated to him and the slight Irish lilt in his speech that he never lost.

Could this be why one of my favorite colors is green? You'll always find green things in my online shops. Here I've featured some things from my Etsy shop.

First, a selection of green scarves, shawls and sweaters.

Starting with the sweater on the upper right and going clockwise these are:  Knit and Crochet Bolero Sweater, George Bernard Shaw Men's Scarf, Organic Cotton Crochet Cowl, Irish Moss Scarf, Emerald and Teal Lace Shawl, Olive Mohair Knit Shawl, Seaweed Crochet Scarf, Walk in the Woods Wrap.

Next I'd like to share a selection of green crochet fiber art jewelry that's available at my Etsy shop:

Starting with the lariat at the upper right and going clockwise these are: Leafy Vine Lariat, Irish Shamrock Necklace, Beaded Crochet Sea Flower Ring, Leafy Vine Lariat (worn as hair jewelry), Under Sea Flora Lariat, Emerald Green St. Patrick's Day Necklace.

Finally, there's still plenty of time to knit and crochet one of these gifts for St. Patrick's Day:

Starting at the top these patterns are: Garter Rib Knit Cowl / Capelet Pattern, Leprechaun Baby Cocoon Set Pattern, Go Green Dishcloths Pattern. You will be able to finish any one of these designs in anywhere from two hours to an evening or two.

If you have any questions about anything in this post, please contact me here or at and I'll be glad to speak with you. 

To celebrate the holiday, use coupon code STPADDYSDAY10 at Etsy checkout through March 31, 2015 and get 10% off any or the items shown in this posting! (Please note that except for the patterns, each item is one-of-a-kind only so there's only one available.)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy New Year - Next Up Valentine's Day

I wish you all a Happy New Year 2015 and am looking forward to making some pretty things now for Valentine's Day.

I last posted on Thanksgiving, and since then there's been nothing but celebrating in our home with family get-togethers and also the arrival of twin boys in the family! My needles and hooks have been Very Active!

Now, with Valentine's Day only about a month away, I'm working on some "heart-felt" projects. If there's any small project you'd like me to design, contact me here and maybe there'll be time to complete it. In the meantime, here are some suggestions for things to knit and crochet for Valentine's Day.

Project 1 -- Valentine Knitted Scarf

I'm very fond of this Here's My Heart Scarf and Headband. It's quick to knit and is a great stash-buster since it uses only an ounce or so of worsted weight yarn. 

Part of the heart shaping involves knitting several stitches together. This is clearly explained and illustrated in the pattern. You will also need to graft the two sides of the scarf together. There is a tutorial to show you how to do this. The pattern is suitable for advanced beginners and intermediate knitters.

However, everything is presented in clear step-by-step fashion, so an intermediate knitter would be able to make this and it's also really fast to knit.

The headband may be worn in the two ways shown here and has a very boho quality to it. It would be quite fetching for Valentine's Day.

The pattern includes a variation I call Hearts and Flowers since there are sweet little crocheted flowers on the scarf heart ends. This is definitely for the romantics among us.

You can get the pattern Here.

Project 2 -- Bulky Crochet Cowl for Beginners 

The design for this cowl came about because I saw a fascinating Jumbo Crochet Hook from Lion Brand. It was a size S (19mm) and really, really big. 

I wondered if something could be made with it that would only take a few minutes, but that would allow the yarn to form graceful stitches and a soft, draping fabric. I used several different yarns to make samples of this cowl and they each looked and felt great. 

The pattern gives suggestions for different yarns to use - both high-end and inexpensive. The cowl can also be made from 3 strands of knitting worsted held together as one. 

The real beauty of this design is that even new crocheters can make this in 1/2 hour - using only 1 skein of yarn!!

If you're an experienced crocheter, you'll be able to make this in 15 to 20 minutes. Think of all the Valentine Gifts you can make! 

I'm showing it here in red, the traditional Valentine color, but it looks good in any color and if made in masculine shades, it's also great for men.
You can get this pattern Here.
Project 3 -- Heart Lace Knit Scarf

This beautiful scarf is perfect for intermediate knitters who want to use a lace panel within a textured background. 

The pattern instructions are written out without abbreviations in Standard American Terminology (as are all KnittingGuru Patterns). I know that abbreviations can be confusing and knitters find themselves checking continually with the Key that explains them. This slows you down and makes the knitting more cumbersome. I only use complete English sentences in my patterns.

In addition, some of us (myself included) are visual learners who find it far easier to follow charts than to read words while knitting. I've included a chart here for this two-pattern design. It will help you keep track of the rows as you knit.

I've made this pattern many times since I designed it several years ago. It is, in fact, my personal favorite scarf. I made it in White Paton's Merino Wool and have been wearing it often for years. I always get compliments when people see it. You will too! 

You can get this pattern Here.

    Wishing you all a very Sweet and Loving Valentine's Day!