Archive for the ‘Easy Knitting Patterns’ Category

The easy knitting patterns of which I am so fond are so quick to work up that I now have quite a stock of finished items. Despite being an eBay seller and starting several blogs, I have never tried to sell any of my handmade items online . . . yet. Today I discovered an offer even I may not be able to refuse.

I read an article on the Lion Brand Notebook site about a woman selling handknit scarves at a sports card show. And, in fact, I plan to sell some scarves at my church’s craft sale next month. But this article goes on to say that Lion Brand has partnered with ArtFire to offer an easy way to set up your own online shop. Plus it gives links to three podcasts with more tips on selling your handmade items.

Intrigued by this thought, I followed the link to the Lion Brand article about ArtFire.  This article says you can “start for free or get a ‘pro’ account for only $12 a month.” As it turns out, at the moment the deal is even better.

I clicked on the link in this second article to get to a Lion Brand page on the ArtFire site. This page says the rate is $15.95 a month . . . very confusing! But I went ahead and clicked the “Get Your Studio” button just to see if I could find out more. So, I came to a sign up page. Guess what!? They show the current Artfire Pro Account rate as just $9.95 per month with a no-rate-increase-ever guarantee.

OK, but I was interested in the free account, just to try it out. The way to make that happen is to click the Basic option where it asks for Account Type. As soon as you do that, the Billing Info section goes away. Ta-da! You can now just get a free account.

If you do sign up, I recommend you read the Terms of Use (TOU). In fact, savvy internet marketers will tell you to always read the TOU. Otherwise, you may get kicked out, or at least get a very nasty letter. (I accidentally got one from eBay once . . . and I don’t want to see any more like it!)

And one other thing, ArtFire wants you to enter a Studio Name. They tell you it cannot be changed. So think long and hard about this one. Here are some naming considerations to think about:

–It’s nice to have the name say something about the product. Ravelry and Google are cute names, but don’t think you can accomplish what they have. You need a name that helps people find you. (This is called Search Engine Optimization–SEO for short.)

–If you plan to start a consortium (you and your cousins want to sell together) then name accordingly. If you just call it Brown’s Handmade Scarves, what happens when your other cousin, Greta Black, wants to join you?

–Similarly, if you call it Cousin’s Handmade Scarves, what happens when you want to sell an afghan?

The best advice I can give is to look at some of the other shops before you decide what to do. This goes for what to sell, how to describe it, how to take your digital photos, etc.

Are you already selling online? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below. Include your website in the appropriate box so other readers can see your stuff.

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This is the third in my series of easy knitting patterns for scarves. It can be adapted for men or women depending on the colors used. I made this one for a young lady attending West Virginia University in the school colors.

This scarf knitting pattern is just a little different because it incorporates a crocheted border. If you aren’t familiar with working single crochet, check out this video. The other thing that makes this scarf special is that it is worked with Lion Brand’s Homespun yarn. This makes it extremely soft, plus it has a nice nubby texture. However, you have to be careful to put a knot in the loose ends to prevent raveling.

Yarn:

Color A:  Lion Brand Homespun Yarn (394) Golden

Color B:  Lion Brand Homespun Yarn (368) Montana Sky

OR any other two colors of Homespun or bulky #5 yarn.

Tools:

–Needles:  size 10

–Hook:  size K

–Yarn needle

Finished Size:  roughly 8-1/2” x 60”

Gauge:  14 sts = 4 inches

Scarf Knitting Pattern

Body of scarf in Color A:

Cast on 28 sts.

Row 1:  *K4, P4*, repeat across row.

Row 2:  *P4, K4*, repeat across row.

Row 3:  *K4, P4*, repeat across row.

Row 4:  *P4, K4*, repeat across row.

Row 5:  *P4, K4*, repeat across row.

Row 6:  *K4, P4*, repeat across row.

Row 7:  *P4, K4*, repeat across row.

Row 8:  *K4, P4*, repeat across row.

Repeat first eight rows until scarf is desired length.

Bind off. Weave in ends.

Contrasting Border in Color B:

Work a sc border around entire scarf.

Weave in ends.

For instructions on working a sc border, click here.

Tip about knitting with Homespun:

Sometimes this yarn bunches up, especially when knitting. If you are having this problem, try holding the yarn more loosely. Pull a yard or two out of the skein at a time to help reduce the tension.

If you are still having problems, you can cut out the bunched up part and restart with the fresh end, or rewind the skein and start knitting from the opposite end. In either case, make the switch at the end of a row.

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Worried about taking the needles for your easy knitting patterns through airport security? The official rules for what you can and can’t take on an airplane can be found in an informative pdf document called Rules and Regulations from the Transportation Safety Administration.

Basically, you may take knitting and crochet needles regardless of the material they are made from (metal, plastic, or wood). Also, you may take either plastic or metal scissors as long as they have blunt tips.

The pdf document cited above does not address small needles at all. However, an article entitled Transporting Knitting Needles & Needlepoint on the TSA website specifies

Items needed to pursue a Needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside which cannot go through the checkpoint and must go in your checked baggage.

So based on this article, it appears that you could carry on a small sewing or yarn needle, but you need to leave your box cutter and Olfa blades in your checked bag.

In a tip on the Lion Brand website, alert reader Cynthia G. suggests that you carry a printed copy of the TSA rules referenced above when traveling by air. Apparently, not all TSA employees are aware that knitting needles are allowable items.

Another place where having a copy of these rules might come in handy is at a courthouse. (In fact, knowing about this may have saved me some money when I went on jury duty a while back. See an Ezine article I wrote called Easy Knitting Patterns Work Best on These Needles.)

And to be really safe, you might want to carry along a priority mail flat rate envelope with correct postage to either the airport or the courthouse, just in case the guard still won’t let you in with your valuable equipment. Just pop the offensive item in the envelope and mail it back home. (Or if you’re going on a long vacation, address it to your destination.) It will save you from having to go back out to your car when you’re probably running late anyhow.

On a slightly related topic, I discovered a cute children’s pattern for easy-to-spot luggage tags on the Lion Brand website here.

What has been your experience in flying with needles? Leave a comment below and share your story.

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After figuring out the number of rows and color scheme for my Spumoni Crib Afghan pattern, the only step left is to figure out how much yarn to buy.

There is no magic math, unfortunately, to calculate how many yards of yarn it will take to make a given square of knitted material in a given baby knitting pattern. However, there are some charts available that give some approximate amounts. For a chart from Lion Brand, click here.

The Lion Brand chart gave me a place to start. Read the rest of this entry »

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In my last entry, I described figuring out the number of stitches I need per row in my Spumoni Crib Afghan pattern. The next step in developing this baby knitting pattern is to figure out how many rows to work, plus to pick the color scheme and stripe design. Recall that the wave pattern I am using is a repeated set of four rows. The first thing I need to calculate is the size of one four-row repeat.

The gauge for worsted yarn says 22 rows = 4 inches. I want to know how many inches for just 4 rows: Read the rest of this entry »

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In my last post, I discussed choosing yarn and finished size when cutting down a full-size afghan pattern to a smaller baby knitting pattern. The next thing to do in cutting down the pattern is to figure out how many stitches will be in each row.

First, I need the gauges for both old and new yarns. In the case of the Spumoni Crib Afghan, the original pattern (Cromwell Court Afghan) used bulky yarn and the new pattern will use worsted yarn.

The gauge on the (original) bulky yarn package said 9 st = 4 in.

The gauge on the (new) worsted yarn package said 16 st = 4 in.

The original pattern was 114 st wide.

So if all I was doing was reworking the original pattern in a different yarn, but not changing the finished size, the new number of stitches would be calculated as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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Like most knitters, when I work a baby knitting pattern I like to use a lighter weight yarn. The popular choices are #2 (traditional “baby” weight), #3 (sport) or #4 (worsted). Since I’m all about getting things done fairly quickly, I went with #4 for my Spumoni Crib Afghan. I chose Vanna’s Choice Baby Yarn because I liked using it for her Saw Tooth Edge Afghan I reviewed earlier, and I like the colors she offers.

Next I considered the finished size. Vanna’s Saw Tooth Edge Afghan measures 27 x 32 inches. The recommendations from Allison Isaacs in How to Make a Baby Blanket Part 1 are that baby blankets should measure 24 x 36 inches. The super-easy baby knitting pattern from How to Make a Baby Blanket Part 2 is 32 inches wide. After reviewing these three options, I decided to go with the larger dimension (32 inches wide). I figured this would be more of a crib or nap blanket and would maybe continue to be used while the child was in preschool. To keep a nice proportion, I figured the length should be about 48 inches (1.5 times the width).

Here’s a picture of the blanket half done. You can see the stitch markers on the needles. In case you are wondering, Spumoni is a flavor of ice cream. It has layers of chocolate, pistachio, and some variety of pink, such as strawberry or cherry. I picked the colors of yarn after looking at websites for crib linens. Then I noticed how similar the combination looks to the ice cream. Hence the name.

Next: Figuring Out Number of Stitches

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Spumoni Baby Afghan

After making the Cromwell Court Afghan, I decided to try to cut it down to make a baby knitting pattern. I wanted it to be a bit bigger than a regular baby blanket so it could be used on a crib or toddler bed, or become a preschool nap blanket. As far as easy knitting patterns go, I would rate this as an Easy+ (on the difficult end of easy) because of the increases and decreases in every fourth row, plus frequent (optional) color changes.

The final Spumoni Crib Afghan measures about 34” wide by 45” long. Here is the basic pattern, minus the color changes. To download a pdf file of the entire Spumoni Crib Afghan pattern for free, click here.

Read the rest of this entry »

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fabric.com Deal of the Day

fabric.com Deal of the Day

Most of the knitting I do is making gifts for others. And most of those gifts are scarves or afghans because they fit with my philosophy of working easy knitting patterns that I can take with me, that don’t require my total focus, and that I’m likely to actually finish. I also tend to buy nice but inexpensive yarn, in keeping with my frugal living philosophy. My usual place to buy yarn is at my local Michaels store. I am signed up for their weekly emails and I try to plan my purchases to make best use of their sales and coupons. (Sign up here.) But not everyone has access to a local store, and sometimes the store doesn’t carry or has run out of a color I want. So I decided to look at the online options. As I quickly discovered, buying just one or two skeins of yarn online is not a good idea because of the shipping costs. By the time you add shipping, the cost of your one skein could easily be doubled or tripled, especially for an inexpensive yarn. That having been said, buying yarn can be a good deal if you need a lot of it. For example, I took a look around to see where the best deal was to buy yarn for the Cromwell Court afghan I reviewed in my last blog entry (Easy Knitting Pattern Review–Cromwell Court Afghan). That pattern takes eight skeins of Lion Brand Wool-ease Thick & Quick yarn which normally retails for $6.99 to $7.99 per skein. I discovered that fabric.com has the lowest price on shipping of any of the yarn websites I’ve looked at

Read the rest of this entry »

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Most of the easy knitting patterns I either present or review on this site are for smaller quick-to-finish items such as scarves and baby blankets. (I try to practice UFO avoidance, as in “un-finished objects.”) But the topic of today’s entry is a grown-up-size afghan that measures about 46 x 54 in. This easy knitting pattern, called “Cromwell Court,” is available for free on the Lion Brand Yarn website here. (Note: You will have to register with the Lion Brand website to download the pattern.)

Many of those who submitted reviews on the Lion Brand website felt this pattern should be rated Easy+, even though the stated skill level is intermediate. You do need to know how to increase and decrease. In case you haven’t learned that yet, the pattern’s webpage has links to directions within the Abbreviations/References table near the bottom of the page. These directions are very nice, with both drawn diagrams and video to show you how to do it.

This pattern makes up fairly quickly (for an afghan) Read the rest of this entry »

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Freedom of Knitting!
KNITTING IN MEETINGS - because falling asleep – IS JUST RUDE
Do people give you dirty looks when you knit in public? Now you have an answer for them. Just bring along a tote, coffee mug, or notebook with this clever message:



KNITTING IN MEETINGS

…because falling asleep

IS JUST RUDE.



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