New Patterns

It’s Here! Crochet Pattern for the Space Man Hat + Scarf + Pocket


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By popular demand, this crochet pattern includes the instructions for a the beanie with a panel for a nice timey wimey button AND for the hat with attached scarf and secret buttoned pocket.

I had tons of fun designing this ultimate warm winter accessory for the Doctor Who fan that is modern enough for any wearer. The lights are on inside the time machine with two stripes of creamy white. Tweedy navy blue yarn is crocheted in a raised stitch pattern to mimic a wood paneled police box all the way down the scarf to the secret pocket. The timey-wimey buttoned pocket stores your soul alongside headphones, phone, mp3 player or keys. This hat and scarf combo will really get your eco-geek on!

The directions for making this textured crochet pattern are easy to understand and do. I aim to design crochet patterns any knitter would envy. Two patterns in one, with directions for each in all four sizes. Each size requires just one size hook and is worked from the top-down in one piece with no joins. Includes color changes, front and back post stitches, and an adjustable loop.

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I’d love to see your finished products and customer action shots on the pattern’s Ravelry page or on Knits for Life’s Facebook wall! The finished items are also for sale in the shop.

Tutorials

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String


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I know a lot of women haven’t outgrown the joy of creating a special package for someone on a special day. My best friend and I used to compete to wrap the most presents for each other’s birthdays. One year we wrapped not just packages of candy, but every piece of candy! Christmas is full of people to wrap for and I love sitting down to a big, clean table, a pile of odd-shaped gifts, and a stash of gift wrap. The last few years I’ve used brown paper and natural jute twine to as a canvas for other embellishments. This year my cranberry and popcorn garlands as well as our tradition of decorating oranges with cloves inspired me to use pretty spices and cutouts to create a natural woodland gift wrap. Pictured are cedar boughs, star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, construction paper and jute twine. I think they turned out so pretty! What are your favorite wrapping materials?

New Patterns

Pottery Barn Knit Hack


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You always walk through stores remarking to yourself “Pshaw… I could make that!” But how often do go home and prove it? Here’s a free project I created to help you restore that balance and make your holiday hostess and guests squeal with delight. It’s a knit hack of one of Pottery Barn’s wine bottle accessories, a teeny hat and scarf. They sell it (probably machine made) for about $8. Now you can whip up a priceless hand made one with just half an ounce of yarn! Super duper holiday stash buster to keep your vin chaud or Sierra Nevada Christmas Ale cozy all winter.

Be sure to share your finished hacks on the pattern page over on Ravelry.

Knits for Life Knit Hack!

Pottery Barn product photo

Pottery Barn Wine Bottle Accessory Knit Hack by Knits for Life

Yarn:  0.55 oz (32 yd) Malabrigo Worsted Merino in Amoroso.
Needles: Five US 7 (4.5 mm) DPNs

Hat
CO 24. Divide evenly onto 3 DPNs and join to work in the round.
K2, P2 rib for 2 inches.
(C4B, P1, K2, P1) 3 times.
(K4, P1, K2, P1) 3 times, repeat for a total of 3 rows.
Repeat last 4 rows for a total of 4 times.
K2, K2tog to end.
Cut yarn, leaving 6 in.
Thread through remaining sts, pull tight and knot.
Make a two-finger pom pom and sew in top.
Weave in and trim ends.

Scarf
CO8
1.K2, P4, K2
2.P2, K4, P2
3.K2, P4, K2
4-5. Repeat rows 2-3.
6.P2, C4B, P2
Repeat rows 1-6 to desired length.
Repeat rows 1-5.
Bind off in pattern.
Make a fringe.

Have fun!

New Products

Fall/Winter 2011 Neon Line


Announcing my new line of Merino wool hats and headbands in day-glo neon colors! Get them in the shop here.
I’m starting to appreciate neon signs everywhere now. I especially like the Bella Mangiata sign in my neighborhood. What are the best neon signs in your hood?

New Patterns, New Products

November Giveaway: Alpaca Ear Flap Hat Kit


Do you know about alpaca fleece? Yes, there’s an inside scoop here. If you know it, you’re likely to prefer it to merino wool and even cashmere. Be warned: asking an alpaca lover about it will launch a long list of qualities.

Oh, do ask! Alpaca fleece (and yarn spun from it) is warm as all get-out, squishy not stiff (unlike many wools), soft as cashmere (seriously), easy on allergies, and doesn’t pill up with wear. Plus, alpacas are enviable for their sense of style (above) and deliver adorable candid moments (see cats cuddling with baby alpaca below – wha???!).

This November I’ve teamed up with a family farmer in Alberta, Canada, A to Z Alpacas, to create your best winter hat.


You can buy it in my shop here or make it yourself from the pattern here and yarn here. Or, you can enter to win both in our giveaway here. Remember that all purchases in the shop plant one new rainforest tree.

Lucky you, swaddled in alpaca fur. I can’t be held responsible if this hat makes you run around your neighborhood with exuberant delight like the alpacas it comes from:

New Patterns, Tutorials

Vintage Book eReader Cover Tutorial


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Penguin Books publishes the best introductions to reprinted books. I always appreciate their relevance and expertise over other publishers. Can you tell I love to read? So, for Cut Out + Keep’s Nov ’11 contest to win a copy of Keri Smith’s “Finish This Book” published by Penguin Books, I wanted to pay tribute to the vintage penguin logo.

My family has shelf-fulls of books and both Barnes and Noble’s nook and Amazon’s Kindle, so I made this to fit all of them! I thought the process would be best to share so you can insert your favorite image on your own. Maker sure you’re familiar with intarsia knitting when you cast on this project! Click any of the images to go the step-by-step tutorial where you can download the chart.

News

Knit a Sweater for a Penguin in Need


Rena, an oil tanker that cracked a couple weeks ago when it ran into a coral reef off New Zealand’s coast is slowly leaking onto that island’s shores, which harbors some of Earth’s most unique biodiversity. And treehugger.com says it’s only getting worse as storms buffet the damaged ship. Awash in grief and futility as usual, this time there’s something we can do to help–knit a shivering oil-slicked penguin a sweater! The yarn store Skeinz is organizing efforts and posted this pattern.

Photo by Lena Nargi

Penguin Jumper in 8ply  – Must be 100% Wool Yarn
1 pair 3.25mm , 1 pair of 3.75mm needles , 1 set of 3.25mm dpn’s or circular
Cast on 36 stitches using 3.25 needles.K1, P1 to end of row. Repeat this row 7 times.  Change to 3.75mm needles and K2, P2 rib. Work 4 rows increasing at each end of every row. (44 sts)
Continue until work measures 15 cms.
Decrease 1 st at each end of every row until 28 sts remain.
Decrease 1 st. in middle of next row (27 sts.)
Leave on needle.
Make second side the same.
Transfer the 54 sts from both pieces to 3 of the set of 4 3.25mm needles.(18 sts on each.) and work a round neck in K1 P1 rib for 10 rows.
Cast off.
Stitch up sides to decreasing to 27sts (opening for flipper). Add elastic to the top and bottom to prevent the penguins getting out of them. Top: 15cm of elastic; bottom 17 cm (knots allowed). Flat elastic OK.