siren seafoam beach topYou might have noticed that I quietly released a new pattern a few weeks ago.

Siren Seafoam is a fun, cropped beach top (22” long) designed to cover you up, but keep you cool when you’re out during the hot summer months.

The top is knit in the round from the bottom up, with a simple lace repeat for the design. The pattern is written out with instructions, no chart.

My quiet little release was picked up by Buzzfeed as a project perfect for summer (woot, #6) – and it really is a great summer top!

buzzfeed siren seafoam

It’s knit up in a super soft bulky cotton from Wool and the Gang* on US 11 needles. It has tons of holes so you can keep cool at the beach, but it’s structured so you’re still able to cover up.

I’m really excited about it, and I’m going to offer the pattern for you free – but only for the next 24 hours! So check out the details either here or at Ravelry, and use the code SUMMERKNITS if you want the freebie.

The freebie offer has expired, but check out details here or at Ravelry for more info!

And one more thing: I knit this with Wool and the Gang shiny happy cotton* – one of my new favorites! It’s ridiculously soft, and I hope you love it as much as I do.

*This is an affiliate link – and it also gets you 15% off your first order, woohoo!

Let me hear from you! Let me know what you think of the new pattern, if want more sizes, if you want help knitting it up – I can have a course up in no time! You can either respond to this email or let me know in the facebook group. Talk soon!

When you’re knitting right along, you might not even notice it until it’s too late: a stitch, that you so carefully knit has not only fallen off your needle, but fallen down a row!

Check out today’s video for a simple and easy way to fix dropped stitches on the edge of your knitting work – and check back next week where I’ll show you how to fix dropped stitches in the middle of your row.

After you get the knit and purl stitches down, and you’re ready to start on something fun and new: patterns!, you realize you can’t get very far because knits and purls suddenly appear in the same row.

Don’t worry! This really isn’t as difficult as it first appears. I’ve put together a quick video that shows you how to make a knit to purl transition, and back again from a purl to knit stitch. It’s just a simple moving of the yarn before you continue.

Let me know if you have any questions!

All right, so last week we talked about distinguishing between knits and purls. Hopefully now you’re a pro at telling them apart!

If you are, or even if you’re still getting used to it, but can at least see a difference, then you’re going to love this!

In a lot of beginner patterns, and even in my mini course, there are a lot of knits and a lot of purls.

If you’re trying to knit, say, 10 rows of knit stitches, there are a few ways to keep track of that. You can keep track in your head, you can mark each row off on a sheet of paper, or you can learn to count your rows so you don’t have to worry about remembering if you marked off Row 8 or not. 😉

Let’s check out the first example. You know how to find knits, but now you can easily count the rows.

countknitstitches

 

You can see I’ve marked off 10 rows by identifying the 10 knit stitches all in a row. Can you ID the knit stitches in other columns?

(And so, for our example above, I’m clearly not on Row 8! :D)

And now for the purl section. While knit stitches are easier for me to count, sometimes it’s easiest to count the purl stitches, especially if I’ve been cabling in the front or if there’s a special border on the outside.

countrowspurlstitches

So I’ve outlined 8 rows here by counting the purl stitches. You can see how each purl stitch is formed by a little bump or a half circle. You can also see that it has connected loops from stitch to stitch that link each purl stitch together.

I’ve gotten quite a few questions about some of the basics of knitting, so I’m going to dedicate the next couple of blog posts to some great tips for beginners, and today’s post is all about telling the difference between knits and purls.

If you’re still in the practicing stage, where you just make a row of knits followed by a row of purls (or however you choose to practice), and you’re not really making anything in particular, this might not be entirely relevant to you.

But it’s a necessary skill when you start to advance and knit from patterns for one main reason: you want to be able to read your work.

This is what I mean when I say reading your work:

Say you just knit Row 9 of a knitting pattern, and Row 9 of this fictional pattern is K2, P4, K2. And then, say, you became distracted and forgot what row you were on. Should you knit Row 9? Did you just finish Row 9?  Or was it Row 7 that you were on?

Once you’re able to tell the difference between knits and purls, you can just look down at project, see what you knit, and be able to figure out that, yes, you did just finish Row 9.

So let’s take a look at the knit stitch first.

Here is a giant wall of knit stitches. I made black marks on various stitches, and I highlighted what you’re looking for when it comes to live stitches on your needle.

Knit stitches look like arrows or Vs, and there are two parts to a knit stitch to form these shapes.

Knit stitches.

Knit stitches.

 

Now let’s look at purl stitches.

Here’s a giant block purl stitches. Purl stitches on the needle have little bumps that distinguish them from one another, and multiple purls make waves or half moons.

Purl stitches.

Purl stitches.

Can you see the difference? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Next week, I’ll show you another way to determine your place if you get lost, and that involves counting rows.

I’m so excited to show you these gloves!

I saw this pattern in a blanket and I thought it would be so fun for gloves – or maybe a skirt at some point? – and I set about creating a pattern for them.

I hit a few roadblocks when I first started trying to convert this pattern into gloves, but something about airplanes and flying really does it for the knitting part of my brain because it all came together perfectly before I even left the runway.

Of course, it’s being released this late because I had to work out sizing and figure out my notes and whatnot

But here it is! I’m so excited that these are finally ready, and I hope you love them as much as I do.

I consider this an advanced beginner pattern. If you’re nervous about the lace – don’t be! Once you get the hang of it, it’s a simple repeat. Just go slowly and carefully.

Supplies
skein of worsted weight yarn
double pointed needles, US size 7 (4.5mm)
tapestry needle
scissors
measuring tape (optional)
stitch marker (optional)
t-pins (optional)

Gauge
With US size 7 needles, cast on 10 stitches and knit 14 rows. Gauge swatch should be 2’” by 2”.

Skills
To make these gloves, you’ll need to know how to knit in the round on DPNs, have familiarity with knits and purls, and decreasing and increasing with both knits and purls.

Here is the ravelry page, if you want to queue these babies up.

If you’re ready to cast on, you can order these here.

Because I’m really excited about this, I wanted to offer them to you, my amazing readers: use discount code WARMMEUP at checkout until February 25, 2015 to get them for free!

Like the color? I used M275 Spice Gingerbread from Brown Sheep Company.

I hope everyone has enjoyed the holidays so far! I’m gearing up for a very busy new year, working on new video courses and new patterns that I hope to roll out over the next few weeks.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing the Basketweave Coffee Cozy video course for yourself (or someone you love), grab it soon because it’s half off until January 4th!

I found a story on a lovely woman who credits her longevity (she was born in 1910!) in part to knitting. She spends her spare time knitting wool hats for a charity that distributes them to needy children in the area.

Another inspiring story: A jailed Egyptian activist is spending her time behind bars knitting handbags with the label “Made in Prison” that she sells for £6 each. Money isn’t the main goal, but rather: “It’s just to deliver a message. Even if you’re jailing us, you can’t stop us. Our souls are free. Whatever happens, prison won’t stop our imagination.”

Wishing everyone lots of love, hope, and happiness in the new year!

The day is finally here! I’ve been working for months on end to complete my first video course, and finally I have something ready for you! 

The basketweave coffee cozy is the seemingly easy project, perfect for beginners. I say seemingly because while you only need to know how to knit and purl, you will be switching back and forth between the two different stitches, which can be problematic, especially if you’ve never attempted it before. The repetitive nature of the pattern ingrains the knit and purl stitches into your brain, preparing you for many knitting projects to come.

This nearly 2.5 hour video course serves an introduction to your first knitting project, and I will take you through 11 separate lessons, each at least 10 minutes long, so you know exactly what kind of yarn to buy and how to fix the stitch that you just dropped without starting all over – unless you want to! I show you how to rip out your work, just in case!

You should already know how to cast on, knit, and purl. (If you don’t, I have videos that will help!)

The course is available to purchase exclusively at Curious.com. If you’re not familiar with Curious, it’s a site that has videos teaching you about everything from knitting to excel spreadsheets to coaching basketball. Each video is broken up into segments so that the teacher can quiz you, and you have the chance to ask questions. I really love searching through and finding various topics, and I’m so pleased to announce that my course is now up there as well!

A general list of supplies for this course*:
worsted weight yarn
US size 7 (4.5mm) double pointed needles
button
tapestry needle
measuring tape 
t-pins
towel
mug or vase

*There are variations for a few items if you don’t want to purchase all new items. I go over supplies, especially needle sizes, extensively in the supplies and gauge sections.

Note: The links above go to examples and/or items I have used. There are many other excellent brands out there.

I’m really excited to let you know about a project I’ve been working on over the last few months: a slouchy lace hat knitting pattern!

I had some super bulky yarn that I was trying to use up, and I decided it would make a great winter hat. Because I wanted it to be slightly more intricate than a standard knit hat, as lovely as they are, I settled on a lace pattern and set about designing it. I’m so happy with the way it turned out, and I was right: the yarn is wonderful, as it’s incredibly warm.

Material
1 skein of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick Yarn
US size 15 DPN needles (10 mm)
Tapestry Needle
Scissors
Stitch marker(s) (optional)

Gauge
To make gauge, CO 10 stitches and knit 10 rows of stockinette stitch. The gauge swatch should measure 4.5” across and 4” in length.

I’m offering 50% off this week (until the 7th of November) for my subscribers. Use the code HappyHalloween when you check out.

You can find the pattern here on ravelry if you want to bookmark it.

If you’re ready to cast on, you can purchase the pattern here.

The Basketweave Coffee Cozy PDF can be downloaded here. (Or click here to have it emailed to you.)
The PDF for the XO cable cozy pattern can be downloaded here. (Or click here to have it emailed to you.)

Cozies, especially knit cozies, are incredibly cute and darling, but in a way that almost makes me hate them. You know, like when a dessert is too sweet?

They’re impossible to remember to put on your mug (until you burn yourself, of course), but when I finally do slip it on in the morning, I just smile to myself because it’s an added touch that isn’t necessary, but still pulls breakfast or brunch together perfectly.

Also, these are amazing first projects for beginner knitters so hopefully you’ll learn to love your cozies as much as I did!

I feel the need for a disclaimer: Just because I’ve assigned gender to each version of the cozy does not mean that one is more masculine or the other more feminine. No man should feel embarrassed for whichever he’s using, and if the couple is both male or both female, well, everything will still be grand.

Basketweave Cozy Pattern

Basketweave Coffee Cozy

So first up is the basketweave cozy, which is the seemingly simple version of switching back and forth between knitting and purling. I say seemingly because if you’ve just learned to knit, even switching back and forth can cause many, many problems. This is a great way to get your hands used to knitting, and I credit this pattern with helping me move forward to tackle bigger and better patterns. The Basketweave Coffee Cozy PDF can be downloaded here.

XO Cozy Pattern

XO Cable Cozy

The second is the XO cable cozy. This is perfect for anyone learning to cable. It’s also great if you’ve mastered the whole switching back and forth between knitting and purling, which is the main focus of the basketweave cozy. The PDF for the XO cable cozy pattern can be downloaded here.

Supplies
skein of worsted weight yarn
double pointed needles, US size 7
(4.5mm)
button
tapestry needle
scissors
measuring tape (optional)
t-pins (optional)
Gauge Swatch
With US size 7 needles, cast on 16
stitches and knit 10 rows. Gauge
swatch measurements: 3 inches x
1.5 inches.

 

Enjoy!