Sweetheart Bag Pattern

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This cute drawstring bag is inspired by an old embroidery design.  It’s the perfect size to use as a small bag when heading out for the night.  Or, how about using it as the decorative cover to a vase or flower pot?  The shape lets you easily place a vase inside it and then cinch the bag closed to hide the vase.  Another option would be to use it as a doorstop.  Knit the bag and then fill it with a small pillow, bean bag, or old children’s toy.  This knitting pattern is so pretty I think it lends itself to being used as part of your home’s decor.  Get creative and see what ideas you can come up with for putting this pattern to use.

Knit Bag Pattern

Learning Brioche Knitting

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brioche-knitting-class

If you read my weekly summary yesterday, you may be surprised to hear that I started a new project today.  Yes, I do have many WIP projects that I need to complete, but I had an opportunity to take an online knitting class and I jumped at the chance.  First, because it’s about Brioche knitting and second, because I wanted to be able to share my experience with everyone.  I know that many people wonder about online classes, so I figured that I would give you a first-hand report on the benefits of taking an online knitting class.

So why Brioche Knitting?  Well, I’ve read about brioche knitting before, but I’ve never tried it.  I consider myself an advanced knitter, but this is one form of knitting that I haven’t tried yet.  So I figured that this was the perfect type of project to tackle through an online video class.  That way I’d have the visual reference to help explain the new stitches and techniques.

Knitting has standard abbreviations and knitting terms, but brioche has a language all it’s own.  Do you know what a burp, or a bark is?  Nope, I didn’t know before the class either.  Read along with me as I update you on the progress of this project and I’ll share what I learn.

More tomorrow, with hopefully some samples to show you.

 

Felted Carpetbag Pattern

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Felted knitting is a fun way to make a variety of projects.  One of the great things about felting is that it is very forgiving, so it’s a great technique for beginners.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s not fun for all knitters.

Take this Labyrinth Carpetbag as an example.  The design is knit in hexagon sections, which give the bag a unique look.  I love the color combinations that you can create with this bag.  Go as wild and crazy as you want with colors, or stick with neutral tones that will go with any outfit.  This carry-all bag is one that you’re sure to use day-in and day-out.

labyrinth-carpetbag

 

2013 Calendar for Knitters

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Knitting-calendar

If you’re looking for a new calendar for 2013 and you’re also a knitter, then why not get something that mixes these two together?  The Knitting 2013 Calendar comes chalk full with 101 great projects to tackle throughout the year.  I picked-up a 2012 calendar last year and I really enjoyed seeing all of the fun projects that I could make throughout the year.

What I like about a knitting calendar is that it inspires me to knit every day.  Wake up every day to see a new knitting idea.  When knitting is on your mind, then you’re more likely to make time for it.  So you won’t end the day wishing that you had picked up your knitting needles.

The other thing that I enjoy about this calendar is that it offers a variety of knitting projects, many of which are great knitting gift ideas. Break away from scarves and socks to see what else interests you.

Happy 2013 and Happy Knitting!

Best Knitting Projects for Beginners

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As a new knitter you may be wondering what type of project you should tackle.  A scarf tends to be a good place for a new knitter because you don’t have to worry about the shape of the scarf.  You also don’t really have to worry about your gauge because if you knit a little loose, or a little tight, it just means that the size of your scarf may be different than you expected.  But you’ll still be able to wear it.  If you work on a sweater, or more advanced project, you need to make sure that your gauge is spot on.

Best Knitting Projects for Beginners

Scarf:  As I mentioned above, a scarf is a great place to start for beginners.  Even advanced knitters enjoy making scarves because it’s a great way to test new patterns and stitches.  So once you’ve knit a couple of projects, branch out and try some more adventurous scarf patterns.  Scarf projects are fun, portable and usually don’t take too much time.

Knitting Patterns for Beginners

Photo by Chris Phan

Blanket:  Blankets, especially baby blankets, are another option for knitting projects for beginners.  Essentially just a big scarf, blankets are also very forgiving when it comes to tension and gauge.  You can mix-up the patterns and even test your skills working with colors.  Some blankets can be very intricate and more suited for experienced knitters, but simple baby blankets are usually straight-forward and a good choice for new knitters.

Hat:  Knit hats are also great knitting projects for beginners.  A hat can have a very basic stockinette stitch for the pattern, but the shaping and need for accurate gauge is a good test for beginners who wish to try something new.  Knitting a hat also tests your skills in mastering decreasing stitches.  Decreases, gauge and shaping are all important skills to work on before you work on a sweater, or more advanced project.

Handbag:  A felted handbag is a great project for beginners.  Felting is very forgiving, so you don’t have to worry about having perfect stitches and even tension.  When you felt the yarn it will hide the inconsistencies in your knitting.  This makes any sort of felted project a good choice for beginners, and a felted handbag is a fun way to show-off your knitting.

Sweaters:  A lot of new knitters are reluctant to work on a sweater.  They think that it is beyond their skills and intimidation takes over.  The fact is that a basic sweater can be very easy.  A lot of beginner sweaters are simply a stockinette pattern.  The benefit of working on a sweater is that you’ll gain exposure to a wide array of additional knitting skills.  In addition to working on gauge and tension, a sweater is a great way to test your ability to follow directions and read patterns.

Knitting is a fun hobby that is the ideal way to unwind after a stressful day.  The number of knitting projects for beginners is endless, but hopefully the few that we’ve mentioned give you some ideas to head out and tackle your next project.  The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong project for a beginner.  If you feel like jumping in and testing yourself with a sweater to start, then by all means do so.  It’s what I did when I first started!

 

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  • best beginner knitting projects

Bolero Jacket: Debbie Bliss Knitting Patterns Simply Soft

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I recently finished a bolero shrug that I’ve been working on for a while.  It wasn’t a difficult project, but just took me a while to finish because it was one of many ongoing projects.  I’m pleased to finally have it completed.

Closeup View of Bolero Jacket
Front View of Bolero Jacket
Back View of Bolero Jacket

The bolero jacket pattern is from the Simply Soft Pattern Book by Debbie Bliss.  Although the book is designed to be used with the corresponding Simply Soft yarn, I chose to use Mano del Uruguay yarn instead.  I fell in love with the deep red and burgundy colors in the yarn that I chose.  I felt that since the pattern for the jacket was essentially just stockinette stitch, I needed a yarn that provided some depth and character to it.  A solid color yarn would have been too boring.

I enjoyed knitting this jacket/sweater.  The pattern uses short rows to create a full collar that really adds so much to the design.  Additional detail includes a longer rib on the sleeves, which you could choose to roll-up if desired.  I enjoyed the pattern for the jacket, but the yarn was not my favorite.  Although Mano del Uruguay produces a beautiful yarn, my problem is with the consistency of the yarn.  There is great variance in the thickness of the yarn.  At times the yarn became so thin that it was like knitting with sport-weight yarn.  Other times the wool was so thick it felt like a chunky yarn.  The thicker sections I could tolerate, but the thinner sections really bothered me.  I feel that it weakens that section of the jacket and made the stitches not look as crisp.

Debbie Bliss Knitting Patterns Simply Soft

Debbie Bliss Knitting Patterns Simply Soft

There are several patterns in the Debbie Bliss Simply Soft book that I would try.  There is a Patterned Yoke Jacket for a baby that looks nice and there are several sweater and shrug patterns that I find appealing.  At this point I’ve started another project, but once I get it is completed I may start on another Debbie Bliss design.  I find her patterns easy to follow and her designs are always appealing.  Next time I may even choose one of her yarns to go with the pattern.  You simply can’t lose with her soft, cashmere yarn.

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