Friday, March 30, 2012

Free Pattern Friday: Chunky Seed Stitch Knit Rug Pattern

It's my first Free Pattern Friday!  Come back every Friday for some great patterns to help you knit or crochet through the weekend.  For more of my free patterns, visit my free patterns page.

Some of you may recall how I've been crazy about knit and crochet items for the home, especially things that are big and chunky..... well, I finally have a pattern to contribute to your home!  I finished my Chunky Seed Stitch Knit Rug that is so very cozy on the toes.  If you can get over knitting with big needles and doubling super chunky yarn, this will be a breeze.  Some of you may be annoyed with the seed stitch, but it is worth it.  The stitch makes the rug so cozy and gives it a fun, textured look.




Size:
The size I knitted is about 2 feet by 3 feet, but it can be easily adjusted to make it the size you want 

Gauge:
  • Note that the gauge isn't too important -- in other words, don't spend a lot of time trying to match my gauge.  Create your own swatch and figure out how many stitches you'll need to make your desired width.
  • For my rug, my gauge was about 3 stitches and 4 rows = 2 inches

Materials:
  • 6 skeins Wool Ease Thick and Quick or another super bulky weight yarn.  The rug is knitted holding two strands together
  • Size US 19 (15mm) circular needles

Instructions:
Note:  I knitted this rug so that the length (the longer side of the rug) was the amount I casted on (this was because I had ambitions to make a bigger rug, but liked the look of the smaller one as I got going --- and well, I was excited to finish this!)

Holding two strands together, cast on 50 stitches.  
Row 1: K1, P1, repeat from * to end
Row 2: P the K STS and K the P STS to end
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until rug reaches desired length
Bind off in established pattern very loosely.  Tie off and weave in ends.

Yes, that's it!  Super simple but super great looking.... Enjoy!













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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Free Pattern Friday Sneak Peek!

I just had to share this quickly..... My little guy stayed asleep on the table before his 15 month check up yesterday.  He fell asleep in the car on the way there and stayed asleep in my arms all of the way to the table.  He wasn't too happy to wake up and find himself in front of the doc.....



And now for the sneak peek. Can you guess what this is???  Here are some pics of what I'll be sharing tomorrow..... get excited.  It was so nice yesterday and the kids took great naps.   I was able to sit in my new yard for an hour in the sun and work on my project.  I'm so looking forward to Free Pattern Friday! Come back soon and check it out.








Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Some Blogging Resources....

Happy Wednesday!  I saw a few things yesterday that I wanted to share with you fellow bloggers.  I'm always looking for some helpful tips and ways to connect with fellow bloggers (even though my career was in interactive marketing!).  There are so many blogs out there with a ton of information and it can be difficult to sift through everything and stay on top of it all.   I now follow a lot of blogs daily through Bloglovin' (this is the GREATEST way to keep track of what's going on everywhere).  I highly recommend this tool.  Today, I wanted to share the wealth and pass along some things that I've found that are worth a look.

First off, Tutus & Tea Parties has a great post on 7 Sites to promote your blog.  Lauren shared some tools to help you get your blog out there and drive traffic to your site.  Go on over and check out what she has to say.

Button

I really don't know how all of you bloggers out there have such great looking sites!  I know I will eventually spend some time and resources attempting to make my blog a little better, but for now, I'm trying to learn about all of the mommy blogger designers out there to figure out which direction I will go.  

Erin at Living In Yellow (an absolutely hysterical blog!),  is hosting a giveaway for Cherry on Top Blog Shoppe.  Melissa is a graphic design student and is offering a discount for future work if you don't win the giveaway.  She is super talented and is very reasonable!  Also check out her fun personal blog, 20 Going on 80.



Meet some other small business bloggers at Homemaker on a Dime.  SJ is hosting a Market Your Biz link party where you can meet Etsy shop owners, etc.  




Alright.... that's what I got right now.  Hope this helps some of you!




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Easy Button Bracelet

This is my first official Tutorial Tuesday!  Today, M and I will be sharing our Easy Button Bracelet with you.  We decided to make a bracelet because M is totally into jewelry now, partly because she wants to have more things to put into her jewelry box that she made at a birthday party, and partly because she just likes sporting things... whether it's a tutu or tiaras, anything colorful and sparkling does the trick.  This is super fun and simple to do with your kiddos.  M liked helping me figure out the pattern of pink, green and purple buttons.  She was so excited to wear this when she was done -- she wore it all afternoon!



Here's what you'll need:
  • Buttons - you can choose 4 hole or 2 hole buttons.  With 2 hole, use 1 strand of elastic and with 4 hole, use 2 strands of elastic
  • Elastic - we found some silver elastic to add some sparkle
  • Scissors


We Found some cute buttons in the dollar bin at Michael's.  They have a bunch of different sizes in the containers -- I'm sure we'll be using these for other projects!


Start by cutting 2 strands of elastic if you're using 4 hole buttons (use 1 strand of elastic for 2 hole buttons).  Draw the elastic through one side of the button and then the other side.





Continue to string other buttons on the same way, making sure not to pull the elastic too tight.  The buttons should rest next to each other comfortably when the elastic is not stretched.



Once you have all the buttons on for the desired length, tie a knot to bring both sides together.


Enyoy!




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Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

It's hard to believe that I've been blogging for almost five months now.  It has been a fun journey and I love corresponding with creative people and learning about the blogosphere.  At first, I was very anti- "scheduling" or making commitments on specific days of the week with this blog because I didn't want it to become something forced and, frankly, something I dreaded.  I didn't want it to feel like "work".  Many of you bloggers know that your blog evolves and there are periods where you feel a little lost and frustrated.... there are so many talented people out there and you feel like a very small fish.  After feeling a bit blog-frustrated, I've decided to try a few changes.  I'm in the mood to stretch myself and connect more with my readers.  You will see a few new things so come back often this week and let me know what you think.
Source: xaxor.com via seeke on Pinterest


This is a little peak into our life here at A Crafty House.  Let's face it, Monday mornings can be tough.  It's difficult coming off of the weekend with friends and family and getting back into the daily grind.  Sometimes there's just nothing like that first cup of coffee on Monday morning to get you going.  Whether you're at work booting your computer up or at home packing your kids' lunches, that cup of coffee just makes life feel a little better sometimes.  This is our chance to catch up over a cup of coffee and ease back into the week......

The weather in Chicago was a bit crazy this weekend.  Temperatures were all over the place.  It was sunny, it rained, we got some fog......The only thing it didn't do was snow (don't hold your breath though).  We spent lots of time outside once our fence went up.  If you haven't seen the 'before' pictures, check them out here.  I'm in love with red cedar right now..... our backyard smells amazing and it's great to have some real privacy outside.  More 'after' pictures will come once we get the yard finished up.




M and I worked on a project that we'll be sharing with you tomorrow on Tutorial Tuesday.  Here's a sneak peak..... it involves buttons :)




In other news, we played with our new water table and some other fun toys found at the dollar section at Target.  Who would have thought that spray bottles could provide hours of fun!?!



We also celebrated Grandpa's birthday and M learned how to officially catch a ball..... C got more comfortable with the backyard and just wants to do everything that his sister does.  It's quite comical to see the two of them interact now.  I hope your weekend was filled with fun, relaxation, and crafting of course!





And now it's time to focus on the week ahead.... there are swim lessons, ballet, and school to look forward to with some much needed playdates mixed in.  As I mentioned, I'm hoping to introduce some new themed days this week, so I hope you come back and check it all out.  What are you up to this week?

Come meet other bloggers at The Kurtz Corner's Blog Hop!




Friday, March 23, 2012

Free Dolman Sleeve Crochet Sweater Pattern

I have to admit, many crocheted sweaters out there look like something my great great great grandmother might wear (sorry to offend any of you crocheters out there).  Yes, sorry to be harsh, but it's rare that I come across crochet sweater patterns that I would actually make and more importantly wear.  While I think many designers out there are making improvements, it is still hard to come across fun and stylish patterns. I think crocheting has a bad reputation -- and while knitting has "come back" as cool and fun, crochet hasn't quite caught up yet.  I hope to maybe start changing that reputation, one pattern at a time. My goal with my Design Week Dolman Sleeve Crochet pattern was to create an easy and good looking sweater that would inspire people to pick up a hook and try crocheting out if they haven't yet.  And for those of you out there who crochet already but wouldn't be caught dead wearing a crocheted sweater, I wanted to design one that you might actually wear.  This is great for the spring and summer.  You can wear it with a shirt underneath if it's chillier or with a tank if it's warmer.  Please don't be intimidated by this.... it really is easy and I'm going to walk you all through it step by step.








Here are the techniques you'll need to know for making this sweater.  I will have links to these techniques in another post that will show you how to do everything:

  • CH = Chain: This is the foundation row that you start with when crocheting
  • HDC = Half Double Crochet:  This is the only stitch 
  • SC = Single Crochet
  • Turning the work and crocheting the other direction.  
  • Seaming the pieces together
  • Making sure you have the appropriate gauge or can adjust your gauge to make the sweater fit you
This sweater is worked in two pieces and is then seamed on the sides, under the armpit, and then at the top of the sleeves to the neck.  With both pieces, you'll be crocheting the body, the piece will then be turned and then you'll crochet the sleeves.  This gives you the vertical look for the body and then the horizontal look for the arms.

Materials:
  • 3 skeins Caron Simply Soft yarn in the color of your choice
  • Size US 9/I 6.0mm Crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle to seam and weave in ends
Gauge:
7 HDCs and 5 HDC rows = 2 inches (this is approximate -- don't stress about the gauge, you can pick what you want and then adjust according to the measurements you'd like to make)

Instructions:
  • Determine the length you'd like your sweater to be from the underarm to the waist.  On the version of my sweater, the length from the underarm to the waist was 12 inches total: 9 inches of the vertical body piece and then another 3 inches horizontally before extending for the arms.  Determine the totally length you want from the underarm, then subtract 3 inches.  This is how wide you will need to make the initial piece of the sweater.  Remember the gauge here is the WIDTH since this piece will be worn sideways.
    • For example, since my piece needed to be 9 inches, I needed to have about 32 HDCs to meet the gauge
  • CH the appropriate number of stitches for your gauge plus an additional CH. So for my sweater, I chained 32 + 1 CHs.
  • Row 1: Skip the first CH from the hook and HDC all of the way across 
  • Row 2: CH1, turn, HDC all of the way across, making sure to keep the original number of HDCs for each row
  • Continue the piece in this manner with HDC rows until the piece measures the width you need.  So for my sweater, I made my piece about 18.5 inches wide so it would measure about 37 inches in circumference when both pieces were sewn together.  I am about a 36 inches around and gave myself an extra inch -- you don't want to make this too tight or too loose.
  • When the piece has reached the desired width of the sweater, CH1 and turn to crochet horizontally across the vertical rows

  • You will now crochet 6 SCs for about every 5 HDC rows across (SC in each row 4 times and then 2 SCs in the next row).  On my piece, I ended up with 56 SCs across.  
  • Now crochet 6 rows of HDCs


  • Once these rows are complete, you'll be extending for the arms.  At the end of your last row, CH 21 (or how ever long you'd like to make the sleeves).  

  • Skip first CH from hook, and HDC in each CH and then continue to HDC across the main body of the sweater.  Once you've hit the end of the row, you'll continue out for the other sleeve by chaining 21.  Turn the work.
  • Again, skip first CH from hook, and HDC in each CH and then continue to HDC across the main body of sweater and across the other arm.  
  • You'll now be working back and forth across the sleeves and body until this part has reached the desired height.  To achieve this Dolman Sleeve look, make sure you allow for ample room for the sweater to hang down below your arm.   I continued the HDCs rows so that the sleeve height was 10 inches.  Tie off.
  • Complete these same directions for the other side.

  • Lay both piece on top of each other and seam up the underarms and sides.  Then seam up the tops of the arms and the neck, leaving enough room for the neckline.  I left about 11 inches open at the top for my neckline.
  • Weave in ends and wear with confidence!


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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All Buttoned Up Knitted Cardigan Pattern For Sale!

I just finished up the pattern for my All Buttoned Up Knitted Cardigan!  This is a fun but simple top down raglan cardigan that can be buttoned or left open. Whether you’re out and about or hanging out at home, it will definitely keep you warm and cozy. Please note that this pattern can be easily adjusted to fit your body size if necessary. Please use these directions as guides and measure as you go along to make the necessary adjustments to fit you.  I used the Bernat Softee Chunky here, which is listed as a bulky yarn, however, a heavy worsted will work just fine on this.  You could use a cotton blend and make a great spring/summer sweater for those cooler nights!  You can buy the pattern by clicking the "Buy Now" button below or visit my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Page.  Enjoy!  More pictures to come....










Materials
Size US 10 (6mm) 24” Circular Knitting Needles
Size US 10.5 (6.5mm) 24” Circular Knitting Needles
4 Size US 10 (6mm) DPNs 
5 Skeins Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn
4 Stitch Markers
Scrap Yarn
5 Buttons (1 1/8” diameter)

Sizes
XS (S, M, L,) to fit chest sizes 28-30” (32-34”, 36-38”, 40-42”)

Gauge
7 STS and 10 rows = 2 inches on US 10.5 needles