Homemade Knitted Gifts

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I have been hard at work making homemade knitted gifts for the Holiday. Several people mentioned how they enjoyed receiving a handmade gift last year and I am planning on doing the same type of thing again this season.

Lately, I have been cranking gifts out of my free time in the evenings while I watch TV.

It’s become a favorite past time of mine. No matter what sort of day I have had, no matter how much or how little I have accomplished, I relish the thought of sitting down for some quite time with my projects in the evening.

I am most productive later in the day it seems.

I was recently captivated by this beautiful super bulky yarn by Bernat. It is so soft and cozy, you can just feel the warmth.

I followed the directions on the pattern label to make this chunky scarf. It was very easy and involves only the purl and knit stitches. Love it!

I don’t make anything that’s complicated, by the way.

I am just not there yet with my knitting skills. Don’t know if I ever will be!

I decided need to make one of these scarves in every color, but I especially love the white.

White is soooo luxurious.

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Here’s the instructions:

Supplies: 1 skein super bulky yarn by Bernat and a pair of straight needles size 17 US

Cast on 12 stitches.

Knit 3 rows.

Pattern Row 1: Knit 2, yo purl 2 (repeat 4 times), Knit 2.

Repeat pattern row until you have used up almost the entire skein, about 57″ in length.

Knit 3 rows, cast off.

Simple and beautiful!

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Here are some other things I have been working on: This variegated scarf will work well for that anonymous gift exchange with the relatives on Christmas Day. Red and green is so festive!

This one is just a straight knitted stitch with bulky yarn on a size 11 needle. I didn’t really count the stitches, but I believe I used a cast on of 24.

I just knitted without really over thinking it.

I do that sometimes.

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My kids are very interested in the fingerless gloves that I made. They work well for those busy fingers that need to touch a cell phone at all times. I see a pair of them for each kid this season.

They too were super easy, just a straight stitch on straight needles and only required one skein of yarn. The thumb holes fall right on the seam so there is no need to reduce stitches, you just sew the sides together. I also love that they are not sized. My boys have rather large hands and if I had to figure out how many stitches it would take to fit them, I think I would go CRAZY.

These are definitely a one size fits all item.

Love it! I need a pair of these too. Perhaps in white to match the scarf? Oh, YES!

Santa is allowed to get a gift for herself, isn’t she?

Don’t answer that.

It’s our little secret. If my kids knew that Santa was allowed to buy a gift for herself, I would never get to be Santa again. The gig would be over.

SHHHHH!

Are you thinking Christmas yet?

I have a number of Christmas decorating projects in the works, so be sure and stop back for the update!

Arm Knitted Scarf

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I admit defeat. I have given up on my 31 Days of Sewing Series from the month of October. If you want to read what I did accomplish during this series, click here. I will post more updates in the future.

I was eager to finish another sewing project, but my sewing machine has broken and needs repairs.

The last time I took it in for repair, it was a 3 month wait. Yup.

Apparently, fixing sewing machines is a lost art. At least around here it is.

Ridiculous.

So, I admit that I have once again started something that I am not able to finish. Big surprise, right? I bet you have NEVER DONE THAT.

My husband loves to remind me that I struggle in this area.

In my defeat, I sat down in front of the TV to watch the Hallmark channel’s Christmas movie marathon and I conquered the Arm Knit Scarf that you see here.

It’s super easy and only takes two balls of yarn.

It is completely knit on your arms, no needles or hooks involved.

If I can do it, so can you.

It takes less than 30 minutes, even if you have never knitted in your life.

I love how it turned out.

Makes up for my lack of success in other areas.

 

 

 

I found this great video with step by step instructions. This gal has very clear pictures and it is easy to follow. I love that she calls it “Arm Knitting for the Clueless“. I definitely fit into that category!

Give it a try, you’ll love it!

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I had so much fun making the first scarf, that I had to make a second one. I envision this scarf with my favorite blue jeans and a comfortable sweater. Cozy!

It would also make a great gift. Christmas is just around the corner!

Yikes!

Speaking of Christmas, I have to sit down and do some planning. I normally have planned out my holiday decor, food and such by this time of year but this year, I am struggling for direction.

I don’t like struggling. I don’t function well without a plan. Direction normally comes rather easily to me.

Not having it makes me stressed out, and it shouldn’t. Life is complicated enough without having to worry about the simple things.

Tomorrow is another day!

How do you find your direction and inspiration?

DIY Knitted Dish Towels

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I am back to the creative projects. I have been painting by day, and knitting in the evenings when I am too tired to do much else.

It’s been months since I was inspired to knit.

I have several large unfinished projects. I am a bit frustrated with them right now, so I have decided to set them aside and focus on something simpler.

Sometimes, the simplest things are the best. Like these little dish towels.

A simple project, easy to make in a few hours time.

I came across these beautiful Plymouth cotton yarns recently at the craft store. I thought they would be perfect for dish towels.

I immediately was captivated by them.

They are 100% mercerized cotton, very soft and smooth.

I loved the feel of them.

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I am also loving these Susan Bates needles. They are easy to grip and their smooth texture works great with this yarn.

These towels are super easy to make, even for the beginning knitter.

Aren’t the colors yummy?

Here’s what you will need:

Size 8 (5mm) Susan Bates needles, or similar needles

3 Balls Plymouth Yarn, one each in Maui Rose, Margarita and Cleo Tones Slate

Here’s what to do:

Cast on 44 stitches.

Knit one, purl one the length of the row. Repeat.

Purl one, knit one the length of the row. Repeat.

Repeat rows until you have reached a 10″ square.

Cast off, weave in ends.

I can’t wait to make more of these for holiday gifts!

Enjoy!

DIY Knitted Hat

 

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We had a birthday here yesterday. Our sweet boy turned 16. It’s so hard to believe, seems like we just brought him home from the hospital yesterday. He is growing up far too fast. One of the issues I have with my kids growing up is that they have become harder to buy inexpensive gifts for.

Remember the days when you could find a cute little outfit for a few bucks at a rummage sale? Or the simple gift of a few precious new books to read?

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Teenagers are hard to buy for.

Even harder to make things for.

I am undaunted by this challenge, I refuse to give in to conventional gift giving rules.

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 A few weeks ago I signed myself up for a knitting class on how to make hats. Living in Wi, we always have a need for hats. In fact, we loose about 3-4 of them per person per year. Somewhere there is a giant pile of lost hats from our family.

I have decided to personally make my own so that they will stand out in a pile of lost hats, and will be distinctive and easy to find. I tend to favor bright colors, especially for the boys.

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This is the hat I made for our boy for his birthday. He loves it. He actually wore it IN PUBLIC. This is a good start!

You would be amazed how easy it was to make. I am not saying I didn’t have issues, because I did. My dear friend had to come and help me finish the top of it because I had accidentally knitted it into a lopsided point. But, we figured it out and I can’t wait to make another one.

If you can knit and purl, you can make this hat. It’s that simple.

If you are not a knitter there are tons of videos on how to do basic stitches on You Tube. Don’t be daunted, you can do it.

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Here’s what you will need:

2 Skeins of color coordinated bulky yarn ( mine were neon yellow, and tweed blue)

Size 8 circular needles, 16″ long (or needles appropriately sized for your yarn)

Set of double pointed needles in same size as the circular needles

Darning needle

This pattern is based on one created by master knitter Liz Avery. This hat fits a medium head of 23″- 25″ circumference. If you need a larger size, increase the number of cast on stitches.

Directions:

Cast on 64 stitches.

Using blue yarn, knit 2 stitches, purl 2 until end of round, place marker. Join needles to knit in the round.

Knit as directed, K2, P2 until ribbing is 2″ wide.

Begin increase round, adding 8 stitches evenly throughout the first round (you will have 72 stitches total).

Knit every stitch for 2 rows using blue yarn.

Change to yellow yarn color, leaving a 4″ tail. Knit 3 rows. Change back to blue yarn by pulling yarn up inside the hat to the next section.

Continue to Knit 3 rows blue, then 3 rows yellow. Repeat 4 times to make stripes.

Change to blue yarn, knit until hat measures 9″ in length from the edge of the brim. Change to yellow yarn to begin decrease round.

Begin decrease round, divide number of stitches by 4, knit evenly onto double pointed needles, adding a marker at each interval (tip, use different colored markers than the beginning of the round marker).

Round 1 Decrease: Knit by k2tog before marker, skip marker, K1 SSK, repeat until end of round. Make sure to make both decreases before and after each marker ( or the top of your hat will be a lopsided point).

Round 2 Decrease: Knit

Repeat rounds one and two until there are only 8 stitches left. Cut yarn leaving a 6″ tail. Thread yarn through darning needle, pick up remaining stitches from the double pointed needles. Thread needle through all stitches, then down through the top of the hat. Turn hat inside out, weave in end of yarn, snip to finish.

Let me know how it works, I would love to see your finished projects! I am also on Ravelry, you can follow me at designermom4.

Have a great day!

Christmas Knitting for Gifts

I have been inspired this last week to make a few last minute Christmas gifts. It all started with our recent visit to Chicago. Everyone there looked so nice in their beautiful hand knit hats and scarves. They didn’t seem to mind being out in the cold because they were dressed for it.
I decided I am under-dressed for the weather. I also decided, that everyone else I know is under-dressed as well and it’s my duty to fix it.
Hence, the flurry of last minute knitting.
Then I discovered the most beautiful line of imported yarn from Germany.
I am obsessed with it!

I love how quickly it knits on these jumbo needles. I always wanted to learn knitwear design in college. But back then knitwear was just ugly.
You remember those giant T-shirts with the word “WHAM” on the front?
I rest my case. Knitwear today is so much more attractive.
I call this cowl blue smoke. It’s a gift for my sister in law, shhhhh don’t tell!

This teal number is for my mother, she loves teal. Hummm, I think I am going to need one of these too.
The other nanna is getting neutrals. I love Oatmeal-like color combos.
This infinity scarf took me forever to finish. I am keeping this one, but I decided to show it to you anyway. I wore it to the movies for the first time the other day.
 I love how you can wrap yourself up in it. It is so soft and warm. I can’t wait to make another one.
I call this cowl bubble gum. Aren’t the colors just amazing? You could wear this with a million different things.

This scarf is for Gramps. Salt and Pepper is a perfect color combo for him.
This last one is still in progress, but I decided to show it to you anyway. It has a bit of gold in the yarn, nothing like a little Sparkle for the holidays. 
As soon as the snow storm lets up I will head back to the yarn store again so I can finish it.
As of the first of the year, I will be adding these items to my Etsy store. They will be available for custom orders after the holidays, more details to come!
Have a relaxing day!
Only two more days til Christmas! Plenty of time to knit a few more last minute items!