How does one prepare for a holdiay craft fair? With my kitchen remodel almost over, I hit my first holiday craft fair of the 2017 season at St. James School, Stratford, Ct. on Saturday. As the installers, electricians and finishers were completing their final touches on Friday evening, I secreted myself in the the spare bedroom that housed my yarn and finished pieces. Most of the goods for the fair would fit into two large rolling suitcases and one large bin. I needed to pack strategically and make educated guesses as to what would sell at this particular venue. The big questions were:
What items should I pack?
Which items should I leave out?
How much of each style and size should I include?
Which small items would entice young children and their parents?
How should I display my pieces?
This was my second season at the St. James Fair, and so with last year's experience as a reference, I decided to leave out the baby afghans and larger luxurious shawls. Last year, I noticed that there were many vendors who sold the blankets at half of my asking price. Customers would touch the luxurious shawls and say how nice before moving on. Needless to say, the precious surface area of the table could be put to a more profitable use. Instead, I decided to take some newer shawlette designs that I could mark for a more affordable price for my customer base. As it turned out, a couple of these pieces were snapped up. One particular sale really made me smile. An attractive, slender young women in a camel hair coat had tried on a couple of pieces when she came to my new assymetrical, multiculored, striped shawl complete with shawl pin. I had modeled this piece for an earlier article for this blog. However when she saw her reflection in the mirror I brought, she beamed. I priced these pieces slightly less than I wanted, but I needed to move merchandise as my yarn room storage bins were bulging with finished pieces. I was thrilled to see my knitted work look the way it was supposed to. She paid me in cash and continued to wear her new accessory as she walked though the fair. The picture below is one of me, not the lovely young lady who bought my shawlette.
.My fingerless gloves were a strong seller last year, and so I packed a variety of colors and styles of crocheted and knitted pieces. My mismatched coordinated gloves that are crocheted with self striping yarn are an original design. I noticed that I was running low of this particular style, and packed most of my inventory. These gloves make me smile as I love the way the colors play themselves out in executing the gloves. The flower with the pearl and silver embellished button are the perfect accent. My decision was right again. One mother even wanted a pair of gloves for herself with a matching fingerless set for her daughter. I threw in a flower hair clip and that cinched the deal. These child gloves have not been a big seller. I might follow this merchandising idea of mommy and me gloves in the future. From one skein of Sweet Roll, I have enough left over to make a pair of child's gloves.
There is always one item that should have been cloned and recloned. As an experiment for my rustic knitted blog, I used one skein of Appalacha self-striping yarn with an original pattern. The fiber was 80% acrylic and 20% alpaca. Also many different colored strands were interwoven to create a unique and interesting and soft set of gloves. I had to do some cutting and adding of the different bands to create a more integrated use of the colors. The customer who eventually purchased the pair was interested because her dogs' hair would not show on the glove. Other customers who wanted to think about the purchase returned to find the gloves were gone. Unfortunately, I could not convert their interest to another pair. There are 10 days before my next fair. With Thanksgiving on Thursday, I do not know if I will have time to purchase the yarn and make the gloves in time.
Crocheted and knitted hats have always been craft fair favorites. This year I was particularly excited about my Pom Pom designs. I had invested in a Pom Pom maker to make colorful and playful beanies. Also this was my first season with faux fur Pom Poms. At this fair, there were several vendors who included hats in their displays. I thought I had a good spot for my table, but customers had stopped at tables before mine on both sides to purchase their hats. Also, these vendors had furnishings that could display their hats individually and at a height above the table. I guess it does not matter how lovely your workmanship if you can not catch the customers' eye. I have to decide if I want to invest in these set ups if I only do a few fairs a year. I will keep on the lookout to see how I can get height for my display at a reasonable cost.
Since this fair was held at a school, I wanted to have several items that were just a few dollars each that would appeal to the elementary age child. My girls' crocheted purchases were a big hit on the internet, but did did not garner much attention at the fair. I have completed a variety of crocheted hair accessories that I had expected to be popular with this age group. First, there were my flower accented ear warmers that I had featured for several years. There were also scrunchies, hair ties, flowers on elastic bands, chair clips and bobby pins with cluster flowers. I missed the boat on this one. I had to smile when a little girl held her dollar tight in one hand as she move through the box of clips with the other. I was selling the clips at 1 for $2 and 2 for $3, but I told this sweet miss that there was a special for young girls who were spending their own money. Her friend got the same deal, and they, too, walked away, proud of their purchases.
Other vendors were doing well with their stuffed animals, and so I thought my lovies would hit the spot. A lovey consists of an animal head and arms attached to a 12" square blanket. Mine were colorful and beautifully decorated, but did not attract as much attention as some larger, but plainer pieces from a neighbors booth. My question is do I expand my line to include some of these colorful stuffies? I just tried a crocheted sleepy head doll which is cute, but takes up more time than I am willing to give toward it.
Despite a slow start, by the end of the fair, I had taken in several hundred dollars, about my average for a holiday fair. The fair organizers had done a wonderful job in advertising and organizing the space. I was pleased to have an upstairs table in a well lighted room. At only $50 for an 8 foot table, I did not have to sell as much to pay for my table. The school provided a complementary breakfast for vendors and had student runners who took and delivered orders for lunch. Vendors were made to feel welcomed and valued. The customers who bought from me appeared to be delighted with their purchases.
What are my takeaway thoughts and insights?
My next fairs are on December 1 and December 3. Wish me luck.
The messy bun hat was devised to solve a problem. How could a women, girl, and even some guys with long hair keep their heads warm in winter without squashing their hair under a tight beanie? The messy bun beanie or ponytail hat resembles other crocheted hats. However, it comes with a hole at the top so that the wearer can pull the bun or pony tail outside the hat for greater comfort. With holiday fairs in the next few weeks, I decided to explore and search out interesting patterns that were best suited for the messy bun design. In pursuing this project I not only learned to follow messy bun patterns, I converted several designs from complete hats to messy bun hats. I also discovered how to use the crocheted ribbing as a design feature in the body of the hat. The v stitch and the cluster V stitch were also new stitch patterns for me. The messy bun hat was quite popular last year, and I am hoping that potential customers will appreciate my efforts. I think the style will have staying power. Time will tell.
The Messy Bun Hat Free Crochet Pattern Size Adult from Mango Tree Crafts is crocheted with worsted weight yarn. An H hook is used for the hat, and a G hook is used for the brim and accent flower. Start by crocheting a Single Crochet stitches around a covered elastic band (H hook). Increasing bands of cluster stitches make up the body of the hat . Once the crown is at the desired diameter, use the same number of clusters to crochet the sides. When the hat is at the desired length, crochet the border with a G hook. A flower accent decorates the hat. Type the following link into your search bar: http://www.mangotreecrafts.net/2016/12/messy-bun-hat-free-crochet-pattern-size_29.html
A similar hat was crocheted with Unforgettable Yarn. This time I started with 24 single crochet stitches over the elastic band. I joined with a slip stitch and chained 1.
The second row had the same number, but used half double crochet stitches. I joined with a slip stitch and chained 2.
I followed the procedure outlined below to finish the hat.
r. 3 chain 2, hdc in same stitch , *, 1 hdc in next 2 stitches, 2hdc in next stitch*, continue around * and join with ss. 32
r. 4 Chain 2, hdc in same stitch, * 1 hdc in next 3 stitches, 2 hdc in next stitch* continue around. Ss to join 40
r 5. Chain 2, hdc in same stitch, 1 stitch in next 4 stitches, 2 hdc in next stitch. Continue around and join
Continue increase rows until the crown diameter has the required measurement for size and age.
To make the required height,ch 2, hdc around the circumference. Ss to join.
Continue same rows until required chart height is reached, ch 3.
To make ribbed border, dc around, ss to join
Ch 3 and make a Front Post Double Crochet stitch (FPDC)alternated with Back Post Double Crochet (BPDC) for 3 rows or until desired size of brim is reached. I also attached a flower accent and button to decorate this hat.
The Katniss Hat named after the heroine from Hunger Games offers design and structure. One of my pieces was executed in an oatmeal worsted weight yarn (4) with a J hook for the body and an H hook for the brim. The other was done with a grey bulky weight (5) with a K hook for the hat and a I hook for the brim.The design by Haken and Zoo was published by Yarn Ballin'. This hat was also started from the top down with a covered elastic band. I enjoyed playing with the Front Post Double Crochet and Crocheting off the third back loop to make the interesting texture. The band was created by alternating Front Post Double Crochet and Back Post Double Crochet Stitches. See: http://yarnballin.com/katniss-messy-bun-hat-pattern/ for the Katniss Messy Bun hat Pattern.
Sometimes mothers and daughters can use the same styles while coordinating by not replicating the same colors in a hat. The Mommy and Me Messy Bun hats by Sarah at Repeat Craft Me offers this type of design.The free pattern comes in child and adult sizes. This time the crocheter starts with a crocheted chain that is then covered with single crocheted.The design with an H hook is achieved by crocheting V cluster stitches around the hat. Increases are made by making extra V clusters in between existing spaces.
When the desired height is reached, use alternating FPDC and BPDC stitches to crochet the ribbed border.
Like the photo in the pattern I used tourqoise and white. The teen hat was predominantly tourquoise, while the youth hat was predominantly white. I made a looser adult hat with a J hook with pink and white.
I converted a v stitch messy bun beanie from a bottom up with a crocheted band to a top down to work with a single v stitch pattern. As with the other hats I used the alternating stitches of FPDC and BPDC to form a band. I do not have a specific pattern as of this time as I worked out the hat as I went along. I know I will get requests for a pattern for this two tone piece, and so I will have to put it on my "2 it" list.
My last messy bun hat was also converted from another pattern. The Crochet Ribbed Beanie Pattern by Renewed Claimed Path was quite intriguing. As I searched among my messy bun hat patterns on my Pinterest Board Crocheted and Knitted Hats for Adults, I could not resist the different way the rows of stitches were arranged. The pattern called for a regular beanie, but i was able to convert it by covering an elastic band with single crochet and proceeding to Row 3 of the directions. The pattern called for an I hook, but I used a J hook. At this point I had a circle of 30 Double Crochet stitches. I continued with increasing rows until I had approximately 70 stitches.The next row called for alternating FPDC with BPDC to create a ribbed effect. Although the pattern called for 7 rows, I went onto crochet 2 more since I like a deeper hat. The band was crocheted with HDC stitches with an H hook. Instead of a flower, I used an interesting button for an accent.
The messy bun hats are interesting and trendy. I am confident that there will be some interest at my fairs this season. My nieces and grand niece have long hair, I would love to give them this new accessory as a holiday gift. One benefit of making all of these new and exciting accessories is that I always have a gift on hand when the occasion calls for it. Are there any messy bun hats in your life? Is this a classic style or a fleeting fad? Please share your opinions and interpretations of these patterns and styles.
There are many advantages as well as challenges to making a men's shawl or blanket scarf. They are a stylish vehicle as as well as a fashion statement for keeping the cold out on a frosty winter day. They can be wrapped around the shoulders while watching tv in the basement mancave. Men's fashion magazines showcase interesting patterns pieces and how to wear this up and coming fashion accessory. For those those who are temporarily under the weather or suffering from a more serious condition they are like a warm hug without the feeling of being buried under a blanket. My incentive for crocheting this men's shawl or Blanket Scarf came from my Threads of Love Group that gifts knitted and crocheted shawls for hospital patients and for the chronically or terminally ill. Ladies' shawls and child blankets were easy. There are so many patterns, and I have been making them for years. However, I wanted I wanted a shawl that would look manly and fashionable while conveying the feeling of warmth style, and love.
Men's shawls are much larger than the counterparts for women. If I invested the yarn resources and time in producing a piece I wanted a pattern that was interesting, but not too complex. I also wanted a piece that a man would wear. My husband, Bert, promised me he would model the Blanket Scarf for my pictures, and so the piece would have to pass his test. My research landed me in More Crocheted Prayer Shawls: 10 Patterns to Make and Share by Janet Severi Bristow and Victoria A. Cole-Galo. The shawl selected for this post was "Easy As 1,2,3 Shawl" by Pat Ross. The pattern of 3 double crochets alternating with a cluster stitch resulted in a series of subtle stripes. The pattern is gender neutral. I had been gifted 2 skeins of Studio Classic yarns by Nicole in Cottage Blue from A. C. Moore (worsted weight #4) for the project, but I needed to hunt down one more to make a piece that was 20 inches wide by 62 inches long. As I experimented with the yarn and pattern, I found that using a J hook (6.00 mm) gave me a better stitch definition and a softer feel. I extended the length to 66 inches so that it would look just right on my husband who is 5" 9" tall. Although I do not usually see men's shawls with a fringe, the photo in the pattern book showed a fringe that was the same as the color of the shawl as well as some strands of a somewhat lighter blue. What a wonderful idea!
This shawl has taken me several months to complete as I have been engaged in making items for this blog and for the fall fair season. Now in the midst of a kitchen renovation, I need to be home and out of the way of the series of workmen who are tearing my kitchen apart before they put it together again. My Blanket Scarf is been gently hand washed and blocked. The photographs are ready for publication in this blog. I look forward to meeting with my group again and sharing my masterpiece before we wrap it for our group of donated pieces.
For a future project I found a reversible striped shawl pattern, for a 16 inch x 86 inch piece. ( I would adjust the length to about 66-68 inches and make adjustments in the initial chain. It is published by spiffyniftyriffic.wordpress,com and is distributed by AllFreeCrochet.Com with the following link: http://www.allcrochet.com/Prayer-Shawls/Mens-Reversible-Prayer-Shawl.
These Men's Shawls or Blanket Scarves make an interesting gift for the gentleman who is willing to make a fashion statement, keep war on a chilly night, or just in need of warmth and caring. Any takers?
Writing patterns is a learning process. Designing original pieces and translating the process to written form is part of my journey as a fiber artist for lilcreates. Frequently I start with an idea or image or drawing and work out the details as I go along. There is usually quite a bit of frogging until I get the piece just right. If I make a hat or scarf there is only one piece to work out. However, if I make a pair of gloves, the challenge is to make both gloves the same. The purpose of writing down the pattern is to enable me as a knitter or crocheter to replicate the work consistently. Since I started lilcreates in February, I have presented several free designs. Eventually I hope to take my knitting and crocheting designs to the next level so that my readers and potential customers can follow a set of directions in a perfect pdf with photos and diagrams. However, while I am experimenting and exploring, I decided to make them available for free. Hopefully, I will get useful feedback as I learn to produce a pattern that I would pay for if I chose to purchase a design. In my last knitting post I offered a pattern with a cabled panel at the topic of my rustic fingerless glove. My goal for the next couple of weeks is to create a pdf and register that pattern with Ravelry.
In the same article I also introduced a glove knitted in bulky, self striping yarn from Appalachia by Premier Yarns. I did not have time to work on the pattern before my publishing date, but I thought it would be better to take more time to work out some of the kinks in the directions. The first glove was lovely, and I hope to repeat the project for sale, for gifts, or for my own personal wardrobe. As I wrote out the pattern, I wanted to show off the specific elements so that my readers could see what I was talking about. These gloves used a solid color in Chunky Dove by Big Twist Yarns. The fiber is soft and smooth and lends itself to revealing the stitch pattern and design. Another change I made in this project was to reduce the number of cast on stitches from 30 to 28 to make a slightly narrower glove.
Bulky Fingerless Gloves (Make 2 flat pieces that will be stitched to form the gloves.)
1 skein of bulky yarn (#5) I used Chunky Dove by Premier Yarns
1 pair #10 knitting needles
1 pair #9 knitting needles
optional: 1pair#8 knitting needles
1 tapestry needle
Cast on 28 stitches . Use #9 needle.
Knit 20 rows in pattern.
Row 1: Knit 3, Purl 2 to end of row, ending in Knit 3.
Row 2: Purl 3, Knit 2 to end of row, ending in Purl 3.
Change to # 10 needle
Rows 1-7: Knit Stockinnette for 7 rows, ending with knit row.
Row 8: With Purl side facing you, Knit 1 row.
Row 9: Knit 3, Purl 2 to end of row, ending in Knit 3.
Row 10: Purl 3, Knit 2 to end of row, ending in Purl 3.
Row 11: Knit 3, Purl 2 to end of row, ending in Knit 3.
Row 12: With Purl side facing, Knit 1 row.
Row 13-19 Knit stockinette for 7 rows, ending with a knit row.
Rows 20-31: Repeat Rows 8-19.
Rows 32 - 38: Knit stockinette for 7 rows.
Row 39: With purl side facing you , knit 1 row.
Change to # 9 needle. (for those who like a tighter upper cuff, use a # 8 knitting needle for these 3 rows and bind off.)
Row 40: Knit 3, Purl 2 to end of row, ending in Knit 3.
Row 41: Purl 3, Knit 2 to end of row, ending in Purl 3.
Row 42: Knit 3, Purl 2 to end of row, ending in Knit 3.
Bind off in pattern. Leave a tail long enough to sew down or crochet finishing seam.
Fold glove in half lengthwise so that the wrong side faces out.
From the top of glove, use a whip stitch or mattress stitch for 3/4 inch to begin finishing seam. Make sure to match stitching rows of pattern. Stop at this point and whip stitch only one side of glove for thumb hole
for 1 1/2 inches.
Match pattern sides and resume stitching both sides to bottom. Weave in ends from the cast on yarn and stitching yarn.
When the glove is folded in half for the stitching the piece appears to be very narrow. However, the pattern and yarn are very stretchy. The glove easily fits an average to slightly above average hand.
Turn glove right side out.
Place gloves on flat surface so that the thumb holes face one another. Select a coordinating button and sew in place on middle pattern rows.
Moisten and block gloves. Lay on towel to dry.
Please note that if you prefer the wider glove, add 2 stitches to the cast on.. Your lower and upper cuffs will then end with Purl 2 in Row 1 and Knit 2 in Row 2 of the pattern as you knit through the rows of the glove.
Last night I thought about my large stash of worsted weight wool. How could I use this bulky (#5)weight yarn pattern to work with worsted (#4)? Knitters who prefer to work with worsted yarn can use the basic design by casting on 37 stitches. The the pattern design starts with k2, p3 and continues to end with k2. Row 2 starts with p2, k3 and continues to end with p2.
I hope you enjoy this pattern. Please give me constructive feedback so that I can make any adjustments.
Was there any part that you did not understand? When you followed the pattern did your work look like the photos? Do you have any suggestions for improvements in the design or in the instructions.
iWhen I wrote "Outlandish" Knitting Styles on cowls and caplets based on the knitted wear from the Outlander Saga, I knew that I would create fingerless gloves and gauntlets to accompany these pieces. My first set of fingerless gloves were knitted, but since I write for different audiences, I knew that I would have to create a set of crocheted fingerless gloves as well. Besides, I just enjoy the many creative possibilities that crocheting allows me. If you are a crocheter who also likes to knit, you can find my set of knitted rustic fingerless gloves at http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/rustic-knitted-fingerless-gloves
My first crocheted hand and arm warmer project was actually a gauntlet. It covers the hand and much of the arm, but there is no thumb hole. For this piece I chose a skein of Appalachia by Premier Yarns. It blends strands of pinkish and light bluer and gray in subtle self-striping bands. My piece was based on a pattern by Polly Foo Foo called Mrs.Fitz Wrist-warmers for Worsted Weight Yarns. (http://pollyfoofoo.blogspot.com/2014/10/mrs-fitz-wristwarmers-worsted-weight.html) Since I was using bulky weight yarn (#5) instead of worsted, I had to make several changes. To construct the arm piece I started with a chain of 22 stitches instead of 28 stitches. The original pattern called for single crochet off the back loop. I preferred the look of the half double crochet off the back loop. Once I sewed the seam and was ready to crochet in the round, I picked up 24 stitches instead of 32 stitches, put a place marker to show starting point and continued around with single crochet off back loop as I spiraled around. The pattern finished the hand piece with a scalloped edge. However, I found the yarn too thick for this decorative border and substituted a 3 stitch picot separated by 3 stitches. A jewel-like pearl button edged with silver was the perfect accent for this work. I guess all in all while I kept the basic concept, my version was quite different in the details. Look up the original in the link provided and see which version you like better.
Since I taught myself to do the DCFRont Post, DCBack Post, I have had so much fun creating crocheted cuffs for my fingerless gloves. This version was rendered with a heathery Purple Mist from Vanna's Choice , a worsted weight yarn (#4)Lion Brand. The body of the glove was done in cluster stitches. Although I usually decorate this type of glove with a crocheted flower, I wanted to maintain the outdoorsy, rustic charm, and ended with a straight edge and a coordinating plum/purple pearlized button for an accent.
When I began the blue denim glove from the same yarn, I was not sure how I would execute this piece. Eventually, I chose the cuff I described in the first gauntlet. I crocheted 22 stitches and began my HDC on the second stitch of the chain. In this way the bottom of the cuff would have a smoother edge. When the rectangle fit comfortably around my wrist, I joined the two sides together so that the raised ridges went from the hand toward the arm. Counting the joined seams, I now had 10 raised ridges. I made a row of single crochet around the top and joined with a slip stitch. The hand part of the glove was stitched with 6 rows of double crochet. There were four more rows for the thumb hold and two more rows of double crochet at the top. A last row of SC finished the piece. This time I choose a bronze tone button to place on the center back of the glove. Confession time: I ran out of yarn with two rows to go. Luckily, I had purchased 2 skeins before I started this project. If I want to make this glove from only one skein, I will have to make the cuff shorter.
I see the work that goes into making patterns for others to follow. To make a pattern that someone can visualize and repeat is quite an endeavor. My hat is off to my fellow designers. I have been promising myself that I would finish the directions for my mismatched mittens for some time. Now I have added this double crochet heather mitten to my list.
Rustic fingerless gloves provide a wonderful medium for exploring creativity by combining heathery colors with textures. In my last posting I shared my interpretations of knitted pieces inspired by the Outlander saga. To accompany the lovely cowls, I knew I wanted to explore the many fingerless gloves and gauntlets that would keep the Highland folk's hands warm in the chilled Scottish weather. I have been knitting and crocheting fingerless gloves for several years. However this new slant provided me with a new slant to my creative projects. Fingerless gloves are useful as well as decorative in that they leave the fingers free to accomplish tasks which keeping the hand warm. I will be writing about these rustic fingerless gloves in two articles. This page is devoted to knitted styles. For my friends in the crochet community you can also refer keep posted for my next article on Rusted Crocheted Fingerless Gloves and Gauntlets.
My first style, based on a glove warn by Mrs. Fitz, was knitted in a flat panel with bulky yarn (#5) on US 9 needles. It was adapted from a pattern by Polly Foo Foo (http://pollyfoofoo.blogspot.com/2014/09/mrs-fitz-mini-mitts.html?spref=pi). As I like to experiment with new yarns, Appalachia by Premier Yarns fit the bill. The yarn is 90% acrylic and 10% Alpaca. The Roanake colorway has heathery strands of grayish purple, and brown. The bottom half of the piece is knitted in stockinnette, and the upper cuff is knitted in garter stitch. When completed, the flat panel is seamed, leaving 1.5 inches for the thumb hole. I altered the pattern by casting on 24 stitches instead of the 22 called for. I also knit 8 inches for the stockinnette section instead of the 6 directed in the pattern. I love to add a coordinating or complementary button from my vast collection to add the perfect accent. This glove could easily accompany the gray cowl from my previous post. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/knittisg-outlandish-styles) To touch this piece is to love it.
Sometimes you have a pattern in mind and look for the right yarn to knit the project. At other times, you hold the yarn in your hand and think about the perfect pattern. My skein of Wool-Ease by Lion Brand Yarns was oatmeal intertwined with the slender threads of dark brown that gave a truly rustic effect. This glove was also knitted in a flat panel with a cable that ran the length from arm to finger tips. My finished version was 8.5 inches long and used most of the single skein. I adapted a free knitting pattern from Lion Brand for my project (Free Knitting Pattern Lion Brand Cashmere Blend Knit Cabled Wristlets # 60157AD). I had expected the cable to run up the middle of the back of the hand, when I attempted to follow the construction directions, the cable ran up the side. I still like the finished project. The dark brown wooden button with the scatched surface brought out the brown in the slender threads. At 8.5 inches this glove reaches midway up my forearm, but it could easily be extended to be an arm warmer that comes closer to the elbow. The twisting of the cables could be symbolic of the intertwining relationships between Claire, Jaime, and Jack in the saga.
I found two sources for the armwarmer gauntlet that featured a cabled panel at the top of the glove, but I ended up adapting the design and making my own pattern as I went along. The "Heal's Hands Gauntlets" designed by Kristen Brooks in Highland Knits provided a stitch guide and a chart for the cabled section. However, there was no option for a thumb hole. Also I must confess that at this point, I have not yet learned to follow a knitting chart. Another version showed up as "Claire's Fingerless Gloves" in Warm Up With Knits published by Leisure Arts. This pattern was attractive and complex, but I decided to leave this project for another time.
Still, I liked the idea of the cabled pattern to adorn the top of a glove. After several run-throughs I finally executed a glove that was interesting and relatively easy to follow. I am still working on the specific details, but for those who want to tackle this glove with the premliminary directions, here you go:
For this project I used a heavier worsted weight charcoal yarn from my stash that I knitted with #9 needles. This glove knitted from the top down in a flat panel and is executed in two main steps.
Cabled section: Cast on 16 stitches.
Row 1: P3, K2, P6, K2, P3
Row 2: K3, P2, K6, P2, K3
Row 3: P3, K2, P6, K2, P3
Row 4, K3, P2, Place 3 stitches on cable and bring to front, Knit next 3 stitches, Knit 3 stitches from cable, P2, K3.
Row 5: P3, K2, P6, K2, P3
Row 6: K3, P2, K6, P2, K3
Knit this pattern a total of 6 times and bind off, but leave a 2 foot tail.
Hand and Arm:
Place cabled section face up on table. On the side opposite the yarns from your bind off, start to pick up stitches from the k3 border. You should have 30 stitches in all.
Continue in stockinnet for 6 inches.
Rib k1P1 for 8 rows and bind off pattern.
Fold rectangle in half lengthwise with wrong sides showing.
Single crochet edges from top of cabled panel just up to top of last 3 knitted stitches in panel.
Single crochet on one side only for 1.5 inches. This is your thumb hole. Join both sides together again and crochet to bottom before finishing off.
Use the tail from the end of the cable section to single crochet on the other side of the thumb hole.
Weave in ends and turn glove right side out.
Moisten and lay flat on towel to block.
My final rustic knitted fingerless glove is also from a design that I created. The Appalachia yarn (#5) by Premier Yarns is called Bramwell. This acrylic-alpaca mix is a self striping yarn with tone and strands ranging from darkest browns and navies to autumn rusts and wheats. When I first started this glove I decided to use the strategy of knitting from yarns on the outside and inside of the skein. In this way I could knit both gloves at the same time and have a better chance of making them both equal. However, the self striping was deceptive. The first glove was wonderful. Colors started from muted gray-rust combo to the darker browns, to a more brown and rust and finally to wheat. However, the second glove gave me a few surprises.
The yarn from the center also started with the same muted gray-rust combo, but then the colors transitioned to a brighter rust, wheat combo. That was okay, but the color band was so long that my second glove looked completely different from the first. I pulled out all of the yarn remaining, hoping that I would find some of the darker shades. When I found what I was looking for, I frogged glove #2 half-way back and then attacked some of the darker yarn and knitted in pattern until the last few rows. I attached the wheat color again. The clothes were not look alike, but harmonious. A dark brown wooden button finished off the piece. I am currently knitting the same glove in a solid charcoal bulky and will publish the directions in the near future.
These rustic fingerless gloves are a new line for me. I hope to present them at a couple of upcoming Holiday Craft shows. I hope that you enjoyed the gloves featured. I would appreciate your feedback.
Please share your photos and experiences in comments or on Facebook.
Put some pizzazz in your winter headgear. beanies keep your head warm in colder temperatures. However, you really need the wow factor to put a smile on your face. My flower decorated beanies have been one of my top sellers since I started on my lilcreates enterprise. this winter season, i decided to add a new embellishment-- pompoms. Pompoms add height, textures, a colorful accent, and a playful attitude.
Before we examine the pompoms, let's take a look at the foundation, the beanies. While beanies can be constructed from the bottom up or the top down, I find that most styles start with a circle of increasing rows at the crown. Charts are available to help the crocheter scale the beanie based on the age of the wearer, the circumference of the crown, and the height of the beanie. The following useful chart has helped me to create my beanies when I work without a fixed pattern. (Type into your search bar: http://thecrochetcrowd.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Hat-Sizing-Measurements.pdf) Once I reach the diameter for my chosen wearer, I fix a marker to the edge and continue to crochet down the sides with the same number of stitches as I used in the last row.
A simple beanie will end at the last row. I usually use a need one size smaller for the last couple for rows to make for a snugger fit. For a cuffed beanie, I continue crocheting for an additional 1" -1/2" so that I can fold up the added rows. For a ribbed edge, I stop my basic pattern stitch about 1"-1 1/4" before the desired height and create a rib based on alternating stitches of front Post Double crochet (FPDC) and back post double crochet (BPDC) these beanies may be crocheted in single crochet (SC), Half Double Crochet(HDC) and Double Crochet (DC). Sometimes the crown may be worked in one of the above stitches and the sizes will be stitched in clusters before returning to the stitch used for the crown for the border. When I am working on my own without a fixed pattern, I prefer to crochet in worsted with an h hook (5.0) and use a G hook (4. 5) for ribbed border. When done I add a coordinating button and pompom. If you need to work directly from a pattern the following sources are helpful:
When beanies are worked from the bottom up, the crocheter usually makes a separate band that is joined to make a circle. The crocheter then works stitches onto the band before continuing up the sides. Sometimes the crochet just cinches up the sides to meet in the center. At other times, the crocheter makes a series of decreases before cinching the stitches at the top of the crown. The hat below was crocheted with alternating rows of puff stitch and HDC. The Crochet Puff Stitch Beanie can be found at www.rescuedpawdesigns.com
At the end of the last winter craft season, I was able to scoop up some ready made pompoms in red, white, and cream that had been reduced from $4.00 to $1.00 a piece. They sat in my resource tub, until I was ready to embark on this season's pompom project. at 3.5" in diameter these full and puffy decorations set securely on the navy toddler and child beanies pictured below.These cuffed hats were crocheted in HDC.
Since my supply of pompoms was limited and would soon be exhausted, I obtained a Clover Pompom Maker manufactured by Clover Needlecaft, Inc. so I could make pompoms on my own. After my first spindly pompom, I realized that I had to wind my wool over several layers to obtain the right number of strands for my pompoms. I used a heavy bladed scissors to cut through the layers and tied the a piece of yarn between the two halves of the devise.When I separated the arms and popped off the devise, I just needed to fluff up the strands to form a perfectly round pompom. I gave the ball a bit of a haircut, and we were all set. The manufacturer included a diagram on the back of the device to show how to make the perfect pompom.
Solid pompoms are attractive accent, but there are several other ways to add excitement to your yarn pompom.
use striped yarn with bright colors. Cut your yarn so that you include yarn from two bright contrasting or complementary color bands.
A low tech option would be to take 2 plastic lids, cut off the trim, and cut a matching C-like shape in each. you till then wind the yarn in much the same way as you did with the Clover device. When finished winding, cut between the layers and tie as above. The same objective can be accomplished with using cardboard to make your own cardboard pompom maker.
Last winter, I admired the lovely beanies with the fur pompoms affixed to the top. I researched several sources for pompoms and found them to be quite expensive. By chance I stumbled upon a Pinterest Tytorial on how to make a pom pom from fun fur (How to Make Faux Fun Fur Pom Poms in Mintutes from Heart, Hook, Home) What is more, from a 1/4 yard of fun fur fabric, I could assemble more than 2 dozen. I traced lids and bowl on the fabric backed side to get the desired diameter. Then I cut with a sturdy scissor also from the back, trying not to cut the fur. I needed about a 4" circle for a toddler, a 5" circle for a child, and a 6" circle for an adult. I sewed around the edges, gathered the stitches, used a light stuffing, and secured the bottom before attaching to the top of the hat. The fluffier, long furred furs looked the best.
'I was able to find a bag of two inch furry pompoms 40 to a bag. They are suitable for a baby hat. However, I think I would prefer to make the smaller version of the pompom with the pom pom maker. I am currently in the process of crocheting pom poms from fun fur yarn. When I have perfected the operation, I will alter this article and post online.
These hats should make an exciting addition to my beanies at this year's Holiday Fairs. I think that family and friends will be be thrilled to receive a playful pom pom beanie as a winter fashion accessory. Have you tried to accent your hats with any of a variety of pompoms? I would love to see your efforts. Please share your photos and experiences.
Take a favorite yarn and shift your creative efforts in a new direction. I started my blogging journey with luscious fringed Homespun shawls Homespun Yarn, manufactured by Lion Brand is a silky beautifully colored, textured yarn that works up quickly. Both the regular Homespun in bulky weight #5 and Thick and Quick Homespun in superbulky weight #6 enable the fiber artist to produce pieces with a wonderful finish. My early projects were knitted in garter stitch on large needles. (Size 10.5 for homespun weight #5 and size 13 needles for Thick and Quick #6). The heavily textured yarn obscured the fact that the entire shawl was knitted with such a simple stitch. However, as much as I enjoyed this rich fiber, I had been stuck in a knitted rectangular prayer shawl rut for too long. I imagined that there must be other ways to explore this yarn's creative potential. Then, on a recent browsing trip to a favorite megacraft store, I spied Quick Styles For You by Leisure Arts. With a closer look I realized that the book was dedicated to my favorite Homespun yarns. My excitement built up when I realized for the first time I had a crochet option in the 10 patterns. I could not wait to begin.
Since I wanted a project that was interesting and different, I selected the Two-toned Shawl that called for 2 skeins of of regular homespun for the main part of the shawl with an additional skein for the wide border. I had already purchased Baroque and had remnants fo Barrington left from a previous shawl. A wonderful quality of the Homespun yarns is additional threads that run through the main color. Baroque was predominantly raision, but it was blended with blues,grays,whites, and other hues. The predominantly blue Barrington made for the perfect accent. The pattern intrigued me with a mix of Double Crochet, Large and Small Shells, as well as Front and Back Post Double Crochet.
As I was crocheting this shawl, I learned a valuable lesson. A common problem with triangle shawls is that the ends of the triangle sometimes angle up like wings. After frogging the piece when it was almost half done. I discovered that I could overcome this problem by making sure that the initial and final chains in a row were loosely crocheted. This strategy allowed the shawl to relax and lie flat. While I had plenty of yarn for the body of the shawl, I realized that my remnants were not quite enough for the entire border. Therefore, I eliminated row six and altered the final row with five single crochet between picot stitches.
The completed shawl met all of my expectations. The project was unique and attractive. The feature that I liked best was the raised rows of stitches that met in a V along the back. They occurred in 5 inch intervals and were produced by repeated rows of the Front Post Double Crochet. The shawl can styled in several ways. Traditionally, the deep V would fall down my back with the narrow ends falling in front. I actually prefer to angle the shawl over one shoulder and tie ends at the opposing side. An attractive shawl pain can also be used to secure the ends in place. This piece will be the perfect accent to my denim jackets, jeans, and skirts.
The next piece I tackled was a simple crocheted cowl that called for super-bulky Thick and Quick Homespun. The Pearls skein in the book photograph was a soft off-white blended with light shades of taupe. While it is challenging to find the holes for inserting knitting needles, I found it an even more difficult job to crochet the superbulky yarn. Again, it was essential to crochet loosely, or this process could be stressful. The pattern called for single crochet through the back loop. This stitch produced a lovely ridged pattern that could be mistaken for knitting. The pattern listed the cowl's measurements as 13 inches high with a 33 inch circumference. Since I had some extra yarn, I crocheted until I had 36 inches before slip stitching the short ends of the rectangle together. The extra couple of inches gave me stylish option as I was able to bring the bottom of the cowl over my shoulders, much like a caplet.
Although I crochet many hats, I can only wear hats that fit comfortably and loosely around my head. The hooded cowl pattern was the answer to my comfort problem. The piece could be worn around the neck or picked up as a loose hed covering in extremely cold weather. The light grayish blue and light grayish taupe bands would coordinate well with my black winter coat.
When I was finished with the shawl, cowl, and hood, I still needed to find a way to keep my hands warm. I was able to adapt a favorite simple fingerless glove pattern that called for worsted to my bulky yarn by reducing the number of stitches.I used the bluish gray from my hood for the cuff of my first glove, the raisin yarn with gray threads for the hand, and the taupe for a two row top accent. These gloves were slightly mismatched. The second cuff was more taupe, but I followed the same procedure.
After further research, I found a fingerless glove pattern for Homespun yarn. The glove has a shorter cuff and features a thumb gusset. See: http://www.imfrayedknot.com/2017/06/24/homespun-fingerless-gloves. The same pattern is available as a paid pattern on ravelry.com. See: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/homesspun-fingerless-gloves
Normally, I do not look forward to the cold weather, but with my new Homespun fashions, I am all set. As Homespun works up so quickly, I was able to finish all of these pieces in about 10 days. Please share your photos and experiences with Homespun yarn. I would love to see your creative efforts with this wonderful fiber.
Our blond, curly headed, two year old guest wanted to shop like mommy,. With a big smile, she selected a bright pink crocheted purse decorated with a pink and white crocheted flower from my stash of hats, headbands, loveys, and purses.
I was "tickled pink" that she was so easy to please. A month later, her mom showed me pictures of her daughter in her grown-up, dress-up play clothes. As I was preparing for the autumn holiday fair season, I decided to make several other purses as a draw for my youngest potential customers. A few weeks ago, I started working in a focused way to transform my yarn scrap pile into attractive, useful pieces. I could make one or two purses out of the larger balls of yarn, contrasting flaps, out of medium balls, and varigated yarn flowers or contrasting two layered flowers from smaller amounts of yardage. As a gift to my to fellow crocheters, I decided to share my original pattern. As you can see my granddaughter already has her eye on one of my special editions.
CROCHETED GIRLS' PURSE FREE PATTERN
Main Color: Worsted Weight Yarn (#4) If you don't have enough yarn of one color to make an entire purse, crochet the front and other color for the back. You can also use smaller amounts to crochet striped bands. I also like to make the strap from the same color as the main color of the purse.
Granny Stitch Flap: Smaller amount of contrasting worsted.
Two-Layered Flower: Varigated worsted or two complementary or contrasting colored yarns
Crochet Hook: Size H
Sewing needle and cotton thread
Small button for center of flower
1" size button for flap closure
Flower and Finish:
I hope that you enjoy this pattern and that you make many girls happy with your efforts. You are welcome to crochet this purse for your own personal use or for sale. Please do not copy or reprint or sell this pattern. If you make items for sale or post your purses, please reference my site to give me designer credit.
In the near future, I plan to post this pattern on Ravelry.
Three years ago I was introduced to the Outlander Saga, and like many of my friends I eagerly anticipated each next episode. The story had been published as an 8 book series, but now it came to life on the television screen. I was hypnotized by the passion of the leading characters, Claire and Jaime, and eagerly followed their adventures and perils across the Scottish Highlands. The knitted costumes were created by Highlanders to provide realistic clothing for the 1700's. The movie producers were challenged with keeping Claire and the other characters warm, while creating accurate and attractive wool garments. This third season, as I sat entranced once more, I decided how fitting it would be to join my interest in fiber arts with the Highland mystique. Much to my delight, I found many resources in print and on the internet.
My first Outlander project was Claire's signature "Sassenach Cowl," designed by Kristen Brooks for Highland Knits (Knitwear Inspired by the Outlander Series). The elongated circle is worked with two strands of extra-bulky yarn (#6) on size 35 needles in one long piece. Then the short ends are sewn together. To wear this warm and stylish cow,l wrap the scarf two times around the neck. For specific directions, consult the book published by Interweave.com. For my "Sassenach Cowl" I chose a rustic Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Grey Marble. I enjoyed watching the ridges develop as I continued to work in garter stitch. However, since the needles were so thick, I felt as if I was working with broom handles. I have not decided if I will sell the cowl at an upcoming fair, gift it to family for the holidays, or keep it for my own wardrobe. I can't go wrong, no matter which choice I make. Even though I can only wish I looked like Claire, the cowl will be so cozy and stylish in the cold weather.
"The Castle Leoch Ribbed Cowl" by Karen Clements is also found in Highlander Knits. It is also worked in extra bulky yarn (#6), knitting with a large circle needles. I added 4 stitches to the 40 cast on to make the piece more comfortable for me. I chose Lion Brand Hometown in USA Norfolk Merlot yarn with a smooth finish that was just right for the 3 K- 1P ribbing. This piece also works off quickly and can be done in a day or two, depending how much time you devote to your knitting. This elegant piece sets off any sweater, cape, jacket or coat. However I found my version to be narrower than the piece shown in the photograph from the book.
"The Romantic Capelet" by Red Heart is a free pattern that is easily accessed on line (#LW4679). The capelet sits on the shoulders and comes midway down the arm. Instructions are given for women sized small through extra large. The piece features a collar and ties in front. I already have a plaid shirt like the dress worn on the model. Since I have size 17 needles and a K crochet hook, I am glad not to have to purchase them. The yarn I chose for the capelet is Lion Brand Hometown USA Little Rick Granite, a heathery greyish brown with lighter highlights.. This bulky yarn knits easily and does not split.I have not made this style before and I am looking forward to trying out this unique and stylish accessory to accompany my fall wardrobe.
There are numerous patterns devoted to "Outlander Inspired" styles. Lion Brand has specialized in developing patterns as well as kits so that the reader can produce these styles. although the "outlander" patterns are typical knitted, many of these garments can be crocheted in a manner that mimics the knitted stitches. The following link offers several of their patterns. Type the link into your search bar. http://www.lionbrand.com/blog/outlander-inspired-patterns. Pinter also offers a showcase of favorite "Outlander Inspired" styles as well: https://pinterest.com/explore/outlander-knitting/?p=true. In fact, the cowl that I crocheted from the Leisure arts book using Homespun yarn was very similar to the "Outlander Inspired" styles. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillianssblog/quick-and-trendy-styles-with-homespun-yarn)
Gauntlets or fingerless gloves fit the bill for keeping hands warm while leaving fingers free to do numerous tasks. I had intended to include some of those pieces in this post, but the article was getting loo long and unfocused. Besides I want to offer my readers some free rustic patterns in addition to published styles I found in my research. As I take a break from knitting my capellet, I am in the process of designing, knitting, and writng about these pieces. My plan is to prepare fingerless gloves and gauntlets much like the cast of
"Outlander" would wear, while offering a contemporary flair. So keep posted for future articles of Lilcreates.
Has the "Outlander" craze captured your knitting imagination and creative spirit. Please share your photos and experiences. What is old becomes new again.