Monday, January 24

Dream Weaver Baby Blanket

Looking for an easy and fast to knit baby blanket that looks spectacular? How about this one?

When I saw this stitch in a stitch dictionary I knew I had to make it into a baby blanket. :)

Dream Weaver is a reversible baby blanket knit in a woven ribbon pattern with a garter stitch border. The pattern repeat is easy to knit and easy to remember.

You'll need about 500 yards of worsted weight yarn and size 7 (4.5 mm) and 8 (5 mm) knitting needles for this project. I used Lion Brand Pound of Love in blue for mine. It measured 27" x 27". (I include instructions on how to make it bigger if you want a bigger blanket.)

This stitch pattern draws in a bit on the sides. I compensated for that by knitting the beginning and ending border with a smaller size needle than I used for the body of the blanket.

The pattern sells for $3.00 through my Ravelry patter store.

 Pattern prices subject to change without notice. Check my Ravelry Store for current pattern prices.

Kitty Cuddler & Pet Snuggler

The Kitty Cuddler is a comfy bed to crochet for your favorite feline. I used a total of 5 oz (about 300 yards) of acrylic worsted weight yarn and a size H (5 mm) hook for the bed. You'll need a main color for the bottom and 3 or more contrasting colors for the sides. The bottom is worked as a hexagon and the sides in an interlocking stitch. Crochet the sides twice as tall as you want the finished cuddler to be and fold them down to form a tube. You can stuff the tube with an old T-shirt, polar fleece, or quilt batting if you like. Mine measured 15" across and 2" tall with the sides folded down. It is sized for kittens and small cats. You can easily enlarge it by working more rows on the bottom before you begin the sides. The pattern is a free download on Ravelry. Click the bolded pattern name above to download a copy of this free pattern.

The Pet Snuggler is a pet bed knit using 3 strands of acrylic worsted weight yarn (or one strand of bulky) on size 11 (8 mm) circular knitting needles. (10 oz/about 530 yards of worsted weight or 176 yards of bulky weight.) Begin by knitting a garter stitch square. Pick up stitches around the edge of the square. Join and knit the sides in the round. End with a little ribbing or I-cord. The bed should fit a cat or a little dog. Make the bottom bigger for a larger bed. I tried to get Solitaire to sit down in the bed for a picture. She wouldn't cooperate. So here's one of her standing up in the bed. She's a timid little beastie even at the ripe old age of 17! Click the bolded pattern name above to download a free copy of this pattern from Ravelry.

© August 2010 Vicki Mikulak
For personal, non-commercial use only. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 13

Winter Wonderland

Snow, snow, and more snow is all we've been getting lately. That doesn't make us special. They said on TV last night that 49 out of 50 U.S. states have snow on the ground (even Hawaii!). I feel for places that aren't used to snow/ice and don't have the equipment to deal with it. It's bad enough here where it is our usual wintertime condition.

Our normal snowfall is about 68" for the season. We were just a few inches short of that figure by last weekend and before more snow fell this week. We will no doubt have record January snowfall.

Less than 2 weeks ago there was no snow on the ground and the roads were clear. Since then we've been hit by record snowfall and lots of lake effect snow. If you're not familiar with lake effect snow you're lucky. A cold wind coming across warmer lake water can dump massive amounts of snow on the unlucky recipients. I live east and south of Lake Michigan. When the wind is from the right direction as it has been lately we get SNOW!

South Bend, just east of me, received almost 40 inches of snow over the past weekend. Most of that was actually received within a 24 hour period. We had 18" on the ground by Saturday afternoon. It takes that much snow to really slow traffic down and close schools and churches here.

We've had some welcome sunshine this week that has melted the roads a bit. Though every time they start to get bare tire tracks it snows again. :( As you might expect, I'm not leaving the house much. Such is January in this part of the world.

On top of the snow, temperatures have been below average. Our normal daytime high is about 32 degrees or right at the freezing mark. We're lucky if the daytime high gets into the 20s and our night time lows have been in the teens or single digits. Even in the house bundled up with wool socks, long sleeves, a wool shawl, and fingerless mitts, I am not truly warm unless I am snuggled into bed or in a hot shower. This time of year our bed is made up with flannel sheets and a down comforter. Heavenly warmth! Getting out of bed in the morning and leaving all that heat is not an easy thing to do.

Over the holiday break, hubby began a new remodeling project. Our half bathroom is now an empty room. Destruction has occurred and shopping has been done for a new pedestal sink, faucets, and a dual flush toilet. (That was before the snow started again.) The paint and wall cabinets we already had on hand. The plumber has been here to put in new shut off valves for the water, move the sink pipe for the new sink, and install a new toilet flange where the toilet goes. He'll come back and install the sink and toilet after we get the wall repaired, the walls painted, and the flooring installed. It's always this has to happen before this can be done type of scenario. And nothing has happened in a week mostly due to all the snow we've received. Hubby's free time has gone to keeping the driveway clear so we can get out of our drive. If the snow doesn't take a break soon, I don't when the bathroom will be finished. Thank goodness, we do have a second bathroom!

On the design front, I have a new crocheted lace shawl that is currently in testing. I hope to have it available before the end of January.

I'm also in the process of revising and uploading all 19 patterns I donated to the Holiday Mystery Group in 2010. The Quinto Beret, Double Diamonds Scarf, and the Archer scarf have already debuted here on my blog from HMG. I've posted several more patterns to Ravelry but haven't blogged about them yet. New freebies on Ravelry are: Heady Stuff (headbands/earwarmers), Green Grocer Bag (crochet), Hobo Bag, a Kitty Cuddler (crochet), and a Pet Snuggler. Two that are up for sale are the Dream Weaver Baby Blanket and Nerdle the Turtle cloth and coaster set (crochet). There's a few more to come as I have time to finalize them. I'll post descriptions, pictures, and links here on my blog soon.

As I promised in an earlier post, I can show you a picture of the gifts I knit for family and friends. The men got striped hats made from my Hip to Be Square hat pattern and a solar flashlight. I revised my hat pattern for Lion Brand Chunky yarn and bigger needles (not the worsted weight it's written for). I called them my 58 row hats. (grin) They knit up really fast! In the lower left corner, are two helmet style hats in blue and rust. Those were for my nephews. I used the same hat pattern bur resized it for smaller heads and with an ear flap that goes all the way around of the back of the hat. This can be flipped up if not in use. Much less fiddly than knitting little earflaps on either side of the hat.

The pink and blue half circle scarf/shawlettes were for my nieces. They were each made with one ball of Red Heart Shimmer using Pi shaping. I made a larger version in black/white for my hairdresser using one ball of Patons Lace. I love how these turned out!

The upper part of the picture shows all the hanging dishtowels and scrubbies that I made for the ladies. Paired with a bottle of scented pump soap, they made a nice, but inexpensive, gift. You could add a button to the dishtowel if you like. I crocheted a loop for hanging it up. The scrubbies may look like other ones you've seen but the construction is different than any that I've tried out in the past.

Let me know if you'd like to see me post any of these patterns. (grin)