1.1.16

My Current Works in Progress


Happy new year! I hope you all had a safe & fun new year's eve!
In the spirit of all things reflective, today I'm going to be showing all of my WIPs that have been carried over from 2015 to 2016. You should know (and I'll talk about this more later) that I received a new camera for Christmas, so enjoy these beauty shots!
 Let's dive in! 

#1: Sock Yarn Crochet Blanket (incredibly long-term)
 
For whatever reason, I have a ton of sock yarn. I've only knit actual socks out of sock yarn once so I don't know how I have amassed such a collection. I'm ok with it though because fingering weight yarn is just so pretty. The only problem is that I own a lot of pretty. I need to use some of it up, so I decided to crochet myself a blanket. As you can tell, it's not even close to being done (and probably won't be next new year's day either to be honest) but it's all about the process, right?


#2: Crochet Collar (sort of finished)

This little darling is technically finished, but it hasn't been blocked, so I'm still calling it a Work In Progress. I got inspired by the cute collared dresses that are oh-so-trendy right now. I LOVE those things. They're so vintage looking and precious. With this pattern though, you can turn any old high-necked shirt or dress into a fashion statement. The pattern will be up next Friday!


#3: Scrappy Hexagon Blanket (somewhat long-term)

Somehow I ended up with a bunch of scraps of Red Heart in various colors and a whole pound of red acrylic. I still, to this day, have no idea how, but I'm not complaining. This blanket was inspired by a few things. 1) Cozy Thing's Felicity's Lipstick Granny Blanket & 2) Le Monde De Sucrette's Love at First Sight Hexagons. Both of which I've loved for ages. 


This blanket almost looks like it was taken out of a home & garden magazine in the 70s. I like it that way.



#4: Big Huge Granny Blanket (almost done!)
 
Look at that gorgeousness. This one is kinda like that fingering weight blanket in the fact that it's was created out of a need to get rid of old yarn. I compiled all of my old acrylic and went to work. I only have two more colors left to go!


#5: The Mermaid Shawl (Almost done - pattern coming soon!)

Here's the only knitted item currently in my list of WIPs. It's my Mermaid Shawl - a knitted take on the classic crocheted crocodile stitch. I'll be releasing this pattern in February. I'm in love with it.


And that's it! I hope you guys enjoyed this little post about my WIPs. Tell me what you think about them in the comments below!
Until next week,
Grace

18.12.15

The Stories Behind My Most Popular Patterns

It's almost Christmas. Obviously, this doesn't come as a surprise to you; you're well aware of this fact! And with Christmas comes new years. New years, I must say, is one of my favorite "holidays" out of the year. I'm that weird person who's obsessed with productivity and time management so I love looking back on the year and reflecting on what I accomplished. I'm going to take some time today to do just that, and you get to read it! In this post you'll find the stories behind the creation of the 3 most popular patterns that I have on Ravelry. I'm measuring popularity by the number of favorites each pattern has. I think it'll be fun to look back in a few years and compare the numbers. :)

Let's go!

#1: Tulip {2380 favorites}


Man, this thing. I published it August 3rd, 2013. I had NO idea it would do as well as it has. So how was it created? Well, if you look back even just a little bit on this blog, you'll see that crochet used to be my main focus. I started out as a crocheter and have slowly made my way into the knitting realm. There was one point when I was sitting right in the middle; I was just as much knitter as crocheter. I remember there was a pile of colorful yarn laying on the table (always a dangerously inspiring situation). This yarn was destined for this bag, the solid granny square bag, which is crocheted (picture to the left). You can get more information by clicking the link, but the simplified explanation of the construction of that crocheted bag is this: Crochet a square made in the round, increasing on each of the four corners until the base is as large as you want. Then, just stop increasing and crochet the sides straight up in the round. I loved crocheting these bags, but this particular afternoon the idea dawned on me to try knitting it. The (sort of) same construction could be applied. And ta-da! About a month later, tulip was born! It's a super simple pattern which yields an absolutely stunning how-did-you-do-that kind of result. I love it.


#2: Crochet Japanese Flower {1847 favorites}
 NOTE: That's not my picture!! One of my favorite things about this pattern are the magical things that people have done with it. One of those magical things is featured above.

This pattern was born out of necessity. It was published on February 5, 2012 (WHAT EVEN) around the time of my Japanese flower OBSESSION. I was seeing them everywhere (emphasis placed on this particular post from Lucy of Attic24) and I needed to make some of my own. The problem was that I couldn't seem to find a pattern in English that looked the way I wanted it to. So I made my own by zooming in on (what else?) Pinterest photos. I think it came out quite nicely, and apparently other people think so too! Yay! Find the free pattern right here!


#3: The Wavelength Shawl {661 favorites}


This thing is one of my favorites. Who am I kidding; they're all my favorites, but this one holds a pretty high rank. After publishing Tulip and realizing people really enjoyed the whole "chevron" thing, I decided to play around with it some more. I knew I wanted to make a garter shawl, and I knew it had to have really inventive construction, while still being dead simple. I sat down with a pen and a fresh notebook and started doodling and playing with yarn. A few months later, I had a finished product. It was finally published on June 6th, 2014.
Also, throughout the process of knitting this, I was engrossed in the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. If you've ever read this, you know it's dangerously addictive and heart-wrenching and beautiful and suspenseful and and and (can you tell I'm still emotionally attached??). Anyway, the navy yarn I knit the shawl with (Knit Picks' Capretta) is named "Admiral." If you've read the Legend books you know how nicely that name pairs with the storyline. I was quite pleased with myself throughout the process and I still call this the Day and June shawl in conversations sometimes. :) (Appropriately, it was published on a day in June!)

There you go folks! There's a peek into how my brain works. I like taking multiple things from different creative worlds and mashing them up into one grand combo (or at least I hope it ends up grand!). 
I look forward to the new year and all the patterns I'll meet :)
I may or may not blog next week (bc Christmas) but I'll try to get something up for your guys!
Merry Christmas,
Grace

4.12.15

Four Free Christmas Themed Fair Isle Charts

Hello all,
This Friday I have a little bit of knitting inspiration for ya. A while ago, I designed a few Christmas-themed fair isle charts because I wanted to try my hand at fair isle designing. Today I thought I'd share those charts with you guys! I hope you enjoy them!

All four of these charts are 36 stitches x 54 rows. You can fit them into any panel of plain stockinette in any project, just as long as that panel is at least 36 stitches x 54 rows. To print them, right click on the one you want, and click "Save picture as.." Save it to your computer, then open it up and click print!

 1) Pointsettia
 2) Christmas Trees
 3) Hollyberries
 4) Reindeer & Argyle

Let me know in the comments what you would use these for! A bag? A sweater? A stocking?
Until next Friday,
Grace

27.11.15

Last-Minute Christmas Gifts to Knit - A Round-Up

It's officially the Christmas season! You know what that means: finish up ALL the Christmas knitting! Oh, you haven't started anything yet? Well, me neither.

Here's a collection of quick knit-up-in-an-afternoon-or-two gift ideas. I must say though, just because they're quick to make doesn't mean they lack that WOW effect!


1. For the homemaker... Rollicking Bauble Ornaments by yours truly!

2. For the coffee drinker... Forest Folk Cup Cozies from Stitch & Unwind

 3. For the fashionista... Cable Knitted Ear Warmer from Mom Advice

 4. For the kiddo... Knitted Christmas Trees from The Twisted Yarn
 (perhaps just knit the trees up and include a little kit full of decorating supplies?)

5. For the dude... Sideline Beanie also by yours truly (it's my blog, I can self-promote, OK?!)

6. For the tween... Gift Card-igan (converts to a phone case after the fact!) from Simply Notable

And there ya go! I hope this post gave you some gift-giving inspiration.
Until next Friday,
Grace
 

20.11.15

How to Cover Headphones with Knitting - A Tutorial

I love music. I have since I was little. Besides the fiber arts, music is my absolute favorite art form. So why not combine my two favorite things?



Today I'm going to show you how I covered my headphones with knitting. Let's go!

First things first: I used white Sony headphones. The exact model I used can be found here on Amazon for around $15. Obviously, I can't provide a tutorial that will cover ALL the headphones out there, so you may have to do a bit of customizing to fit your specific pair. This will be more of a recipe rather than a pattern.

A few things to keep in mind:
1) Make sure your headphones have screws visible somewhere. Otherwise, you won't be able to disassemble your headphones to cover the individual pieces.
2) Ultimately, use headphones that are made of simple basic shapes, just two circles and a rectangular band. Knitting around crazy shapes can make this project pretty tough.
3) If you can, use headphones that are all one color. Depending on your gauge, you may be able to see through your knitting slightly. Solid white or black will make your work look a lot cleaner.

I used worsted weight yarn and a size 3 (3.25mm) needle. Wowzers, yeah, that's a pretty tight gauge. True, but it's important that you can't see through your knitting for this project. If you use 3s and can still see through your knitting, go even smaller.

Let's start by taking everything apart. Use a little eyeglass screwdriver to unscrew whatever you can. You should end up with something kinda like this. (PS. DON'T LOSE THOSE SCREWS! I learned this lesson the hard way I mean, that's just common sense, right?)


Let's cover the band first. I cast on 16 stitches provisionally and knit in the round. You'll want to cast on as many as will fit snugly around your band without stretching too much. Knit this tube until it's as long as your band, plus like a quarter inch. Don't bind off. Rather, thread some strong fingering weight yarn through those top stitches. I'd suggest cotton or linen. :) You'll want to use this same yarn for your provisional cast on.



Now we're going to knit 2 octagons that will cover the round ear parts of the headphones (because octagons are easier to knit that circles!).
Note: If you're doing any sort of fair isle pattern on the ear circle, duplicate stitch it. Otherwise, it'll be upside down! :) Again, there's that common sense shining through! ;)
Pattern (make 2):
CO 8
Row 1: p1, yo, p across to last stitch, yo, p1
Row 2: k1, yo, k across to last stitch, yo, k1
Row 3: p1, yo, p across to last stitch, yo p1
In row 4, we're going to yarn over in the middle of the row (and then knit it regularly on the next row) to create a hole for the place the band connects to the ear puff. That sounds really confusing, but bear with me.
Row 4: k1, yo, k5, yo twice, k5, yo, k1
Row 5: p1, yo, p to yo, drop 1 wrap of the yo, p2tog (the yarn over and the stitch next to it), p to last stitch, yo, p1
Repeat rows 2 & 3 until your piece is as wide as your earphone circle plus a little bit. I went until I had 26 stitches. Then, work straight stockinette for a few rows (I did 7) just to add a little height.
End with a purl row.
Row 6: k1, k2tog, k across to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Row 7: p1, p2tog, p across to last 3 stitches, p2tog, p1
Repeat rows 6 & 7 until you have 10 stitches left.
Now we're going to create a little slit in the top of our octagon so that we have a space for where the wire comes out of the ear.
Row 8: p1, p2tog, p2, drop yarn, continue row with tail end of ball, p2, p2tog, p1
Row 9: *k2, pass 1st stitch over 2nd, k1, pass stitch over, k1, pass stitch over, cut yarn and pull through final loop,* pick up original strand of yarn and repeat the steps within the asterisks.

Ok. All the knitting is done!
We'll start by covering the circle parts. There are 3 steps to this process:
1) Glue down any movable parts on the headphone.


2) Place your knitted piece onto the headphone by tying the slit around the wire spot and popping the yarn-over space onto the plastic bit at the top.


3) Notice the little space in between the hard plastic of the headphone and the ear puff (for lack of a better term). Use a flat, thin object (I'm suggesting a knife but PLEASE BE CAREFUL. Only an adult should be doing that!) to shove the knitting into that little space. You really don't need glue! It's gonna be a tight fit. And since we aren't using glue, you can give your headphones a makeover as many times as you want!


All right, you should now have this!


Ok, the rest is pretty self-explanatory. Slide the band into the knitted tube, pop your ear buds back on, and screw it all back together. Oh! Remember that cotton we put into the ends of the knitted tube? You can use that string to gather up the tube around where the band connects to ear phones. This will give a nice, finished look.

Boom! All done!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Feel free to leave comments, questions, and suggestions in the comments below.
See you next Friday!
Grace