New Years resolutions

I don’t normally do resolutions this time of year, but since I also can’t do photo recaps of all my glorious knitting accomplishments I’d better at least start the year with good intentions, right?

Ok, here we go. I already joined a 2014 Stashdown project with my Ravelry/Goodreads group, so I’ll be doubly encouraged by repeating it here.

1. Keep track of my 128 skeins of yarn, bringing my stash down by half while knitting Christmas presents and a couple things for myself and my home. This mainly means using up my most unwanted yarns (super bulky and bulky wool for felting, acrylics for household items such as small rugs.)

2. Replacing those unwanted yarns with dearly loved yarn for specific projects: I want to dive into sock knitting this year, plus knit myself a hooded jacket.

3. Document all my knitting with photographs and blog posts.

4. Buy some books I’ve been holding off on until I had the money — thanks to an inheritance, this year is the year for yarn and knitting books!

5. Buy and learn to use a spinning wheel.

That’s it. Simple and doable.

Part of #1 means that almost half of my Christmas knitting for next year is completed already. How can that be? Well, my Toasty Toes felted slipper enterprise was a failure of sorts. I experimented with changing the original (perfect) pattern by knitting multicolor tops to the slippers, which for the most part made them impossible to put on. The tops felted more than the single-color bottoms. Ugh.

So I had the brilliant idea of turning them into Christmas stockings instead. I’ll fill them mostly with “Cuties”, those deliciously sweet little baby oranges that are in season in December. I’ll add toys, sachets, etc. and whatever comes out of my kitchen that time of year to top them off. I’ll need 17 of them, counting all the children and adults on my list; 8 are already made. This will use up all my bulky and super bulky yarns, plus some acrylics for the toys, sachets, and other little items.

I actually can’t wait to get started! Imagine that. Just when I’m recovering from such a hectic time of year, I’m full of energy to begin all over again.

knitted felted stockings

The Gang – can you see the stocking that isn’t felted yet?

And here’s the part of my stash that I want to use up:

bulky yarn stash

Bulky and super bulky yarns, minus that top section which is worsted yarns.

Have a happy, healthy, prosperous, and productive New Year!

What’s in your stash resolutions?

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Cubic Cats

knitted cubic cat

knitted cat cube

How can a little square be so cute?

Perhaps you have a granddaughter or daughter or niece like my granddaughter. She likes those little plastic critters that, to my eye, don’t look like anything real. Big eyes, some have bobble heads, and various appendages that I think makes them look like monsters, each and every one, but A. will come to me and say, “I can’t find Bubbly” (or whatever). I ask her, who’s Bubbly? and she’ll say, “he’s a dog.”

We go to her room and there on the floor is a mass of plastic blobs, dozens and dozens. Poking through them, I cannot find anything resembling a dog. A. is looking under her bed; “there he is!” and pulls out a purple and white…blob…with big eyes and something that must be ears, I guess.

Well…

I have yet to knit in plastic, but there has to be something out there in the knitting world that will appeal to her sense of cute – small, compact, and amorphous (leaves much to the imagination.)…

I found them. Cubic Cats. Think of how much fun it would be to have a whole herd of cats – you could stack them, line them up nose to tail. You can make them any color, striped, spotted, and so on and on.

Find the pattern here.

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Knitted Toy Elephant

knitted toy elephant pattern

knitted toy elephant

Elefante” is quite possibly the cutest knitted toy ever. This is a great project for using up some of your stash because so little is needed of each color, and almost any colors will do. The one I knit for my granddaughter is so adorable I’m including 2 pictures. On the designer’s website you can find the pattern and other pictures that show more accurately how big this toy really is — look for the one with Elefante standing on a book.

Elefante from the front

Knitted toy elephant from the front

You can make a lot of these by Christmas, please consider knitting up some for charity as well as your own gift giving.

Also, be sure to choose fiberfill for stuffing this little guy if knitting for an infant. I used wool fleece because it is so cuddly and warm, even when stuffed inside a toy.

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Knitted Felted Purse

fulled Lopi tote

Fulled Lopi tote (knitted with Lopi yarn and felted)

What I’d like for Christmas, Santa — a Lopi fulled bag!

I’m out of bags! My miscellaneous works-in-progress, finished objects, mending…the list goes on!…are finding themselves being stored in plastic shopping bags – how rude!

If no one gifts me with one of these, then I’m knitting one myself. Or two, or twelve. I will substitute whatever yarn I have, and knit one for a gift. And one for myself too.

Thanks to Hello Yarn blog for this free pattern: Fulled Lopi Tote

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Knitted Felted Bowls

This book contains the pattern for nested felted bowls

SPOILER ALERT if you’re on my Christmas list!

You knit these bowls like hats, then felt them in your washing machine and dry them with a bowl or jar in them to shape them however you like. I made one taller and thinner, and shaped it around a juice glass. I use it on my desk for holding change and pens.

I use the pattern in the book One Skein by Leigh Radford, which is a fantastic reference, I love her patterns, and they’re great for using up your stash. I especially like the felted clutch purse, the petal baby bib, the sachets, the knit cupcakes, the tank top, and the baby hat. But there’s more too – and she includes crochet patterns as well. Her crocheted geometric accessory bags are very nice.

I also found a nesting felted bowls pattern for free, check it out here if you’re not interested in buying the book.

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Knit a Gift Bag

This basket welt pattern is from Barbara G. Walker’s “A Treasury of Knitting Patterns” and is only one of a multitude of patterns that are very simple to do and produce lovely patterns for as many little gift bags as you would like to knit.

basket welt stitch

Knitted basket welt stitch

 

A small bag like this one is perfect for holding DVD’s, Blue Ray’s or CD’s. It could hold a cell phone, iPod, eyeglasses or who knows what all else, and is easily knitted up in an evening. Or make it larger to hold anything! It is so nice to give a present in a reusable bag.

Supplies Needed:

One pair of knitting needles, size 6.5 mm (US 10 1/2);
100 gm yarn, your choice of color
Scissors;
Blunt tipped darning needle; and
Contrasting colored ribbon.

Instructions:

1. Cast on 50 stitches.
2. Row 1 and 2: *Knit 5, purl 5, repeat from *.
3. Row 3: Knit.
4. Row 4 and 5: *Purl 5, knit 5, repeat from *.
5. Row 6: Purl.

Repeat until the bag measures the desired size, and bind off. Fold the bag in half and sew bottom and side pieces to each other. Turn the bag inside out and thread the ribbon through stitches across the top. Tie the ends together.

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Knitted Dodecahedron Star

dodecahedron

dodecahedron

A dodecahedron is a geometric shape with 12 sides. A dodecahedron star has a point on each of these 12 faces.

You can make this star smaller or larger by changing needles and yarn, and it can be a toy, an ornament sitting on a table or hanging, or a tree topper. If you follow the pattern exactly, the star will be about 10″ across.

Materials needed:

-2 hanks BERROCO ULTRA ALPACA LIGHT (50 grs), #4201 Winter White (This is a DK, or Light Worsted weight yarn)

-1 Set (4) double pointed knitting needles, size 2 (2.50 mm) or size to obtain gauge

-5 St markers (1 a different color)

-Tapestry needle

-1 Bag Polyester stuffing

GAUGE

28 sts = 4″; 40 rows = 4″ in St st

To save time, check your gauge

NOTE: Each point is made separately, but they all are joined together as you work.

You can find the pattern and a picture of the finished star on the Berroco website: Celestine

I used some wool fleece to stuff my star — it works great.

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Knit Stars

knit_starThese little gems are about 4 inches wide if you follow the directions, but of course varying the thickness of the yarn and the size of the knitting needles will increase or decrease the size of the finished star. I love what the padding does for them. They are just begging to be squished. A really big star would make a great pillow. They are like flowers in winter — they make me smile.

Add more padding and use thicker yarn, and the star can be a potholder. Knit some up with sparkly yarn, add a loop at the top, and they become shiny Christmas tree decorations. Sew a string of them together for a garland.

Is it just me or is there a tiny gnome waiting to be discovered in one of these stars? Knit a white star and one tip could be knitted in red for a hat, two opposing tips could be black for boots, the other two tips red for mittens. Then embroider on two eyes, a nose, and a mouth? A cute toy knit up in minutes.

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Knitted Christmas Stocking Ornaments

stocking-decorations

Knitted stocking decorations

Got a long list? Knit little things!

Knitted Christmas stocking ornaments gifts can be shipped in time to be hung (empty) on a Christmas tree and then filled by Santa with small treasures – a piece of candy, a tiny toy, a gift certificate, a Christmas wish, or anything that is small enough to fit. These knit up in minutes, so make a bunch every night from now til the last mailing day before Christmas. Then send them along with small gifts inside. Children especially are delighted with tiny things.

The pattern is extremely simple so feel free to embellish with sparkling yarn, embroidered patterns, or a simple stripe or other color pattern.

5 ply main color and white wool
3mm (no. 11) knitting needles

Cast on 30sts in main color.

K 6 rows.
Row 7, K 14, K2 tog, turn, slip 1, K4, K2 tog and turn.
Cont until 17 sts remain.

K 20 rows in garter st in main color.
Join in white wool and K 6 rows.

Cast off leaving a long thread to make a loop for hanging on the tree.

Sew up seams.

Fasten a bunch of these to a string for a garland for a doorway, window treatment, or a tree.

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Holiday Boutique Knitting by Mary Jean Daigneault

Christmas gift knitting pattern book

Knitted Christmas decorations and gifts

Holiday Boutique Knitting contains some decor items I hadn’t thought of, such as knitted wreaths (duh I should have thought of them), knitted Christmas trees, a knitted vine/garland, and a tree skirt (another duh moment), besides some apparel, towels, pillows, and stockings, 29 items in all. Way less than a dollar a pattern and obviously, considering all my ‘duh’ moments, I could use the inspiration this book affords.

While they do all require at least a rudimentary knowledge of knitting, there are lots of online instructions and videos for anything you don’t already know how to do. If you like soft, warm Christmas items, then this book will help you and yours enjoy a fabulously cuddly holiday. EnJOY.

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