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

Lace Style Knitting Designs

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If you love the look of lace, then this Lace Style book is the key to your next knitting project.  Loaded with 21 knitting projects and tons of beautiful photos, this book has lace and lace inspired designs that are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and the upcoming Spring weather.

Lace Knitting Patterns

The Knitting Book

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If you’re looking for one knitting book that will be your go-to resource for questions, tutorials and instructions, then The Knitting Book by Frederica Patmore and Vicki Haffenden is a great choice.  This book is referred to as the “knitting bible”.  The book covers yarn, techniques, stitches and patterns.  A complete collection of information that allows you to create your own knitting projects and accessories for your wardrobe, or home.

The Knitting Book has an impressive 4.7 star rating and when you dig a little deeper into the reviews, it actually bumps this up to a 5-star book.  One reviewer gave the book 3 stars because as an older reader she thought that the text in the book was too hard to read.  But as far as the material included in the book, this reviewer thought that it was a beautiful book.  It just goes to show you that you sometimes need to dig a little deeper when looking at reviews, because some people take points off for things that really aren’t fair (or that may not be important to you).

The-Knitting-Book

 

What reviewers love about this book:

  • A beautiful, glossy book with tons of information
  • Covers the basics, but so much more
  • Has roughly 20 pages that cover the different methods of casting on
  • Discusses different types of yarns.  You’ll be happy with all of your projects when you choose the perfect yarn to match your needs.
  • Lots of knitting project ideas.  From hats, mittens and scarfs, to tea cosies, bags and baby gifts!
  • Clear, colored, detailed photos to help illustrate everything
  • A great How to Learn to Knit book for the beginner, but full of great information for experienced knitters too.  As a 37 year knitting veteran said, if you only add 1 knitting book to your collection, The Knitting Book should be the one.

 

Sunday Summary- A Look at My WIP Knitting

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I had a great week of knitting and actually knit a little bit almost every day.  I made some good progress on my Works in Progress (WIP), but I still have quite a list of open projects at the moment.  I used to limit myself to only having 1 or 2 active projects, but lately I’ve had more than that.  Here’s a look at all of my current knitting projects.

Project #1:  Afghan

afghan

I’ve had this afghan on the needles for a long time.  Years actually.  It’s one of those projects that I only like to work on during the colder months, so right there that reduces the time that I spend on this project.

It’s also a project that I don’t pick-up if I only have a short period of time to knit.  And with all of the colors involved, it’s not a project that I can tote around with me.

My last excuse for not working much on this project is that I need new needles for it.  I’m knitting this on 10.5 circular needles and at one point I put this project on a stitch holder and used the knitting needles for another project.  Now I can’t find the needles, so I need to get a new pair.  My LYS didn’t have what I wanted, so I need to order it online.

So my action items for this project this week is to buy new needles so that I can get working on it.

Project #2:  Twist-front Sweater

blue-sweater

This is the project that I worked on the most this week.  I know it’s hard to tell right now, but this is going to be a sleeveless v-neck with a twist-front lacey front.

I decided to knit this sweater in the round so that I would have less finish work at the end.  I’m almost done with the back and this week I’ll be moving on to the detailing on the front of the sweater (the fun part).

Here’s the one concern that I have with this project, I’m worried that I’m going to run out of yarn.  A knitter’s worst nightmare.

Goals for this week:

  • Finish-up the back of the sweater
  • Get started on the front
  • Investigate options for a complementary yarn to use in case I run out.

I have more on the agenda for the week, but I’ll share that with you tomorrow!

Learn Knitting Finishing Techniques

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Are you frustrated with your finished knitting projects and wish that they looked better?  Knowing how to block your knitting and sew your pieces together are what makes the difference and transforms your knitting into professional looking knitwear.  But how do you learn how to properly finish your knitting?

There are some really good books that can show you how to tackle sewing different types of seams.  Finishing techniques vary slightly depending upon the type of stitches that you’re sewing together.  Having a book handy is a great resource when sewing-up a sweater, or finishing a knitted project.

Here are two books to consider.  Both receiving high marks from knitters for their instructions and illustrations.  

perfect-finishThe Perfect Finish: No Nonsense Guide to Finishing Techniques is the perfect finishing book for knitters of all levels.  Beginners will find the instructions easy to follow, while more experienced knitters will also benefit from the wealth of information contained in this book.

 

Finishing-school

 

 

Finishing School by Deborah Newton has a 4.7 star rating on Amazon.

One of the best parts of this book is that it discusses how to prepare your project so that finishing it goes more smoothly.  Prep work goes a long way in producing a professional looking piece.

In addition to discussing sewing knitting pieces together, doing edging, and applying buttons, this book also has patterns.

One thing to note about this book…it is not for beginners.  It is more suited for experienced knitters.

If you’re someone who likes to take classes, then an online knitting class for finishing techniques is also a great option.  An online class provides the flexibility of learning the techniques in your own time and at your own pace.  With Annie’s Online Class in Finishing Techniques, you’ll enjoy learning techniques that will help you feel more confident and comfortable when it comes to finishing your knitting.

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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