Monday, May 21, 2018

Stay on the Ridge - New Blanket Knitting Pattern

I'm so happy to introduce my new blanket pattern - Stay on the Ridge.

This blanket knitting pattern is easy to knit with worsted weight (or similar) yarn.  The design features a seed stitch border and an easy to remember 8-row repeat pattern for the center of the blanket.

Stay on the Ridge blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Etsy, LoveKnitting and Craftsy.

Stay on the Ridge blanket knitting pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio

INSPIRATION FOR THE NAME OF PATTERN

The name for my Stay on the Ridge blanket knitting pattern is inspired by the historic wagon trails that crossed through what is now known as Kansas City...my hometown.

In the early 1800’s the Santa Fe Trail served as the ‘road’ to transport goods back and forth from the Kansas City area to Santa Fe, New Mexico, both central hubs for supplies.  Without railroads, the only way to transport goods was by covered wagon.  A well-worn rut in the earth showed travelers the way across the 900 mile trail (60+/- days of travel!) through Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico.  Traders from Kansas City packed their wagons with items to trade - popular items included cloth such as calico, chambray, flannel, gingham, linen and muslin, as well as needles, thread and buttons. From Santa Fe, the traders brought home silver coins, processed gold, wool, and mules. 

Can you imagine traveling across the country in a covered wagon?  Remaining safe through the entire trip was a tremendous challenge: inclement weather, starvation, dehydration, illness, wild animals...these were just some of the pitfalls they faced.  Bumping along over rocks, navigating across creeks and small rivers - there were spots on the trail where the wagon trains had to stay on the ridge to avoid rough terrain and muddy low spots.

As I designed this blanket I thought about this phrase: stay on the ridge.  When traveling by covered wagon it meant staying safe on the trail, but the phrase is good advice for life… even today.  Stay safe, stay out of trouble, avoid pitfalls, and take the high road.  


Stay on the Ridge blanket knitting pattern for worsted weight yarn.

SIX BLANKET SIZES

Approximate blanket sizes after blocking:

Baby Blanket: 28.5" wide x 33.25" long
Small Crib/Lap Blanket: 31.75" wide x 36" long
Medium Throw: 35" wide x 47" long
Large Throw: 38.25" wide x 48.5" long
XL Afghan: 41.25" wide x 50" long
XXL Afghan: 48" wide x 52.5" long

It's easy to make any of the blanket sizes longer (or shorter) by adjusting the number of pattern repeats.  Each additional pattern repeat adds about 1.25" - 1.5" to the overall length of the blanket.  The pattern includes estimates for how much additional yarn is needed to make each size longer.

Stay on the Ridge blanket knitting pattern
WORSTED WEIGHT YARN

I used worsted weight yarn for this pattern.  The pattern can be easily adapted for yarn that is slightly heavier or lighter.  Just pick the needle size that works best for your yarn and knitting tension.

Amount of yarn needed for each blanket size:

Baby: 610 - 650 yards
Small: 740 - 790 yards
Medium: 1050 - 1100 yards
Large: 1200 - 1270 yards
XL: 1360 - 1440 yards
XXL: 1630 - 1730 yards

Keep in mind that the amount of yarn needed could vary if your gauge is significantly different.

I used US 9 knitting needles and my gauge in stockinette stitch with this yarn was about 15 stitches x 21 rows = 4" (after blocking and allow the knitting to relax).

Circular knitting needles are recommended to accommodate the large number of stitches.

The texture of this pattern will show up best with a solid color yarn.

If you are interested in using super bulky weight yarn...see my Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern which uses the same stitch design.

Stay on the Ridge blanket - texture shows up best with solid color yarn.

PLYMOUTH SELECT WORSTED MERINO SUPERWASH

I made my Stay on the Ridge blanket with Plymouth Select Worsted Merino Superwash that I bought at The Yarn Shop & More in Overland Park, Kansas.  This cute yarn shop is just a few miles from my house.

I love how this earthy shade called 'Gravel' fit with the theme for this design...both in name and color!  And...I love this yarn!  It's very soft and has a pleasing springy texture.  It was a pleasure to use for this project and I will look forward to using it again.

Plymouth Select Worsted Merino Superwash in 'Gravel' colorway.
I worked on this blanket in April when the crab apple trees bloomed in our backyard.  I cut a few branches packed with pretty pink blooms to enjoy indoors...

I loved knitting my 'Stay on the Ridge' blanket!
WHERE TO GET THE PATTERN

Stay on the Ridge blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Etsy, LoveKnitting and Craftsy.

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Warm spring weather has arrived in Kansas City so I have been enjoying time outside.  It's a great time of year to eat dinner outside on the deck!  And, I love meeting friends to go for a walk, especially when we meet at one of our local parks and enjoy views of beautiful gardens, flowering trees and famous Kansas City fountains.  The tulips were in full bloom the day we visited the Kauffman Gardens a few weeks ago...

Kauffman Gardens in Kansas City, Missouri - May 2018
Thanks so much for stopping by and for reading!

Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

Stay on the Ridge blanket knitting pattern


Monday, April 23, 2018

25+ Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Knitters

Looking for a gift for a knitter....here's some ideas!  If you are looking for a gift idea for a birthday, Mother's Day...or just a little treat for yourself...here's a list of over 25 thoughtful gifts for knitters.

I've been keeping a running list of ideas for knitting related gifts for a long time.  Scraps of paper with notes about items I've admired are tucked between other papers on my desk, my 'Gifts for Knitters' Pinterest board has accumulated many ideas, and I've taken more than a few screenshots of interesting gift ideas on Instagram ....now I'm finally merging those lists and picking my favorite gift ideas to include in this blog post!

25+ Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Knitters

These are my favorite gifts for knitters (narrowed down from a much longer list) that I have either purchased or admired over the last couple of years.

I've included approximate prices currently listed for the items.  These are meant to give you an idea but, of course, the price (and availability of items) could change!  All links are to a website or Etsy shop that sells the item.  

I do not have a connection to any of the businesses listed in this post. All photos were taken by me...unless specified.

Bags - Knitters Love Project Bags!

There are many knitting project bags available...these are my favorites!

Fringe Supply Company 'Field Bag' - Fringe Supply Company's sturdy canvas bags are quite popular!  Beautiful, classic, functional design. (about $65)  This bag is on my wish list!

'Knitting Necessities' Tote Bag by Fringe Supply Company - cute, humorous screen printed tote bag at an affordable gift-giving price. (about $20)

'Maker Essentials' Notions Bag by Ozetta on Etsy - natural canvas little notions bag with cute 'makers essentials' screen printed design. (about $10)

Books

Look for any of these books at your local yarn shop or book store.  (Links provided for Amazon.)

Stories about knitting...

The Yarn Harlot: Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee - the first in a series of books filled with humorous and poignant essays about her love of knitting and yarn.  I've enjoyed all of her books! (about $15)

Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World by Clara Parkes - a book of essays reflecting on memorable journeys and experiences with knitters around the world.  I love the cover art!  (about $15)

'Knitlandia' by Clara Parkes

Knitting Ephemera: A Compendium of Articles, Useful and Otherwise, for the Edification and Amusement of the Handknitter by Carol J. Sulcoski - don't let the long title overwhelm you!  This little book is packed with tidbits and fun-facts about knitting. (about $15)

'Knitting Ephemera' by Carol J. Sulcoski

Great reference books...

The Knitter's Book of Knowledge: A Complete Guide to Essential Knitting Techniques by Debbie Bliss - this is a big book packed with just about everything you need to know about how to knit...casting on, knit and purl, cable knitting, casting off, advanced knitting techniques, and more.  It's a valuable reference book for the beginning or somewhat experienced knitter. (about $25 - $30)

The Knitter's Book of Knowledge by Debbie Bliss

Vogue Knitting The Ultimate Knitting Book: Completely Revised and Updated (February 2018)  The essential knitting reference book was updated in 2018 to include even more about knitting.  "From beginners needing to learn the very basics to seasoned knitters wanting a refresher on a complex technique, every knitter will cherish this guide for years to come."  I own the previous edition...this book really is the ultimate book about knitting! (about $35 - $40)

Mastering Color Knitting: Simple Instructions for Stranded, Intarsia and Double Knitting by Melissa Leapman - the is a great 'how to' book for any knitter who wants to learn all they can about using multiple colors of yarn in their knitting projects.  I own this book...it's a great resource! (about $20)

'Mastering Color Knitting' by Melissa Leapman

Magazines

Vogue Knitting - it's the knitting magazine that's been around forever!

Making Magazine - this lovely publication has two issues each year.  The high quality magazine includes beautiful patterns for a variety of crafts (mostly knitting) all wrapped up in an inspiring, keep for the long-term, high quality book-like magazine. (2 issues per year about $50)  You can also purchase back issues on their website. (about $25 each)

Making Magazine - two issues per year - it's lovely!

Jewelry

Wood Knit Stitches Earrings by Katrinkles - these earrings are unique and beautiful! (about $15)

Sheep Earrings by One Happy Leaf on Etsy - a cute little sheep silhouette is laser cut from honey brown bamboo wood. Made in Australia. (under $20)

"Knit" and "Purl" hand stamped silver earrings from sparklegarden on Etsy - silver earrings with 'knit' stamped on one earring and 'purl' stamped on the other. So cute! (about $25)

"Knit" silver earrings by rosetwistllc on Etsy.  Check out rosetwistllc's shop for other knitting and yarn themed jewelry, hair barrettes, shawl pins, etc.  (about $20 - $40)  Photo below provided by Rosetwistllc. 

"Knit" silver earrings by Rosetwistllc on Etsy

Keep Calm and Carry Yarn pendant necklace from ThePendantEmporium on Etsy. (about $10)


Knitting Tools: Notions, Scissors, Yarn Bowls, etc.

Beautiful Wood Yarn Bowl by IdeasInWood on Etsy - these 'bowls' are really wooden boxes that look absolutely stunning.  (around $75+)

'Knitters Rule' Wood Gauge Tool by Katrinkles on Etsy - such a pretty and functional gauge tool!  I love all of her pretty bamboo buttons, too!  (about $10)

Sheep Scissors - little project scissors for clipping yarn from Barrett Wool Co. (about $11)

For the Knitter's Home

"Knitted" Notions Dish or a "Knitted" Coffee Mug handmade by CreativeWithClay on Etsy - the texture of knitting stitches in clay!  ($28 - $50)

"Knitter's Eye Chart" Poster Art by ILiveOnAFarm on Etsy - this 12" x 18" art poster is a creative twist on the traditional eye chart - designed using knitting terms and abbreviations. (about $25)

Just for Fun! Pins, Stickers & T-shirts:

"Knitrovert" Enamel Pin from MakersMerch on Etsy - it's a little blue flag pin for all of us who are introverted knitters....or knitroverts! These are brand new as of April 2018...I just received mine in the mail! (under $10)

'Knitrovert' Flag Pin - Gift for Knitters

Knitting Sheep Enamel Pin from Knit Picks - a cute little sheep knitting! (under $10)

"Knit Girl" Vinyl Car Decal by AbbysVinylWallArt on Etsy.  Whimsical and cute design!  If you love another crafts...check out her other designs in her shop. (under $10)

"Love to Knit" t-shirt from DesignsbyKimW on Etsy - cute screen print design!  (about $20)

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Other ideas...

A free gift...the gift of your time!  Simply make plans to spend time with your favorite knitter....even if you don't knit, they will enjoy spending time with you!  Or, offer to do the chores around the house for your favorite knitter...so they can spend time relaxing and knitting. :)

If you want to splurge on the knitter in your life...treat them to a shopping trip to their local yarn store.  Let them pick out their favorite yarn for a project for themselves. (Plan on at least $50 - $100 for the shopping spree!)  It's really hard to buy yarn for someone else so this is a case where it's nice to let them do their own shopping.

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I hope you enjoy this list and discover interesting gift ideas to celebrate the knitter(s) in your life.

When I discover new gift ideas I'll add them to this post!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

Monday, April 9, 2018

Flint Hills Blanket - Easy to Knit Chunky Blanket

Recently, I knit a little blanket using my Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern.  I love the texture of this easy to knit pattern!

Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and LoveKnitting.

Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio
This blanket knits up very quickly with big needles and super bulky yarn!

See my Stay on the Ridge blanket knitting pattern if you prefer worsted weight yarn.

The Flint Hills Blanket is named for the Flint Hills - a large region in the east central portion of the state of Kansas which features rocking, rolling hills of limestone and flint (hard gray rock).  Early settlers in this area were unable to till the earth due to the rock so the land was mostly used for cattle ranches.  Today, the area is know for the largest intact tallgrass prairie in North America.  I know what you are thinking...you thought Kansas was perfectly flat!  But...much of the eastern portion of Kansas has beautiful rolling hills.

I love how this 'Aspen Tweed' shade of Lion Brand Hometown USA represents the natural, rocky, rolling hills landscape that inspired this pattern.

Flint Hills Blanket - knit with Lion Brand Hometown USA in 'Aspen Tweed'.

FIVE BLANKET SIZES:
The knitting pattern includes instructions for five blanket sizes.

Approximate sizes after blocking...

Baby Blanket: 30" wide x 32" long
Small Crib/Toddler/Lap Blanket: 35" wide x 37" long
Medium Throw: 37.5" wide x 47" long
Large Throw: 40" wide x 49.5" long
XL Afghan: 47.5" wide x 54.5" long

Any of the blanket sizes may be made longer by adding additional pattern repeats.  Each pattern repeat adds about 2.5" to the length of the blanket.  

Flint Hills Blanket is quick to knit with big needles and super bulky yarn.
SUPER BULKY YARN:
This blanket knitting pattern is designed for super bulky yarn.  

Approximate yardage required for each size...

Baby: 380 - 410 yards
Small: 520 - 560 yards
Medium: 690 - 740 yards
Large: 820 - 900 yards
XL: 1150 - 1250 yards

The pattern includes estimates for additional yard needed to make each blanket size longer.

Circular knitting needles are recommended to accommodate the large number of stitches.  The knitting needles I used (in photo below) are US size 13 Knitters Pride Nova Platina fixed circular in 32" length.

I love knitting a chunky blanket with Lion Brand Hometown USA.
I used Lion Brand Hometown USA in 'Aspen Tweed'.  I love how this lovely nature inspired yarn color works with the design!  I have used this yarn for many blanket projects and I'm always very pleased with the results.  Hometown USA is very, very soft with a lovely silky texture.  See all the beautiful color options for Hometown USA on the Lion Brand Yarn website.

Be sure to note...tweed options of Hometown USA have less yardage than solid color options.  Hometown USA tweed colorways have 64 yards.  Solid color options have 81 yards per skein.  

Also...I suggest sticking to solid colors of Hometown USA for baby blankets.  The tweed colorway has little flecks of contrasting color fibers that give extra texture and dimension...but would not be good for little ones who could pull the fibers off.

Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio
Where to get the pattern:

Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and LoveKnitting.

Happy spring!

I love spring and watching everything outdoors brighten up.  And...the sunshine is the best!  At the end of March I went to visit one of our Kansas City treasures...The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.  It was the perfect day for a walk through the garden in front of the museum and perfect timing to see the daffodils in full bloom. (It's hard to believe that since that day it has snowed on at least two days!)

Daffodils in bloom at The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.
As the days get longer...and the temperatures warmer...I get motivated to spruce things up around the house. The other day I moved a few things around in our spare bedroom and added my Parkway Pillow to accent the bed.  I love how the texture of the pillow and this pretty icy blue color yarn looks with the dark gray headboard and the bright white bedding!  (Yarn is Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in 'Glacier', white bedding is from IKEA and my husband made the headboard!)  Read more about The Parkway Pillow knitting pattern here on my blog. 

The Parkway Pillow - easy knitting pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio
Thanks so much for reading!

Happy spring!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Across the Diamond - Chunky Blanket Knitting Pattern

Hi knitters!  This month I used my Across the Diamond blanket knitting pattern to knit a cozy little blanket for a baby gift.  I love how it turned out! 

Across the Diamond blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and LoveKnitting.

Across the Diamond - blanket knitting pattern for super bulky yarn.
Our dear family friends welcomed a new baby to their family a couple weeks ago and this soft blue blanket will be the perfect gift for their little guy.  (They live in the northern part of the US where cooler temperatures are the norm and a thicker, cozy blanket will be perfect most of the year!)

The new dad is a huge baseball fan so I thought my baseball inspired blanket design would be the perfect choice.  The texture of this pattern has sets of four purl stitches in a diamond arrangement.  This stitch pattern reminds me of the bases on a baseball field!  And...this pretty bright blue yarn makes me think of clear blue sky on a beautiful spring day at the ballpark.

Across the Diamond - chunky blanket knitting pattern.
The blanket design has a seed stitch border...I love the chunky texture!

Seed stitch border on the Across the Diamond blanket design.
I used Lion Brand Hometown USA in the 'Charlotte Blue' colorway.  This yarn is easy-care, 100% acrylic and very, very soft!  The yarn has a bit of a silky texture and sheen that gives it a clean, modern appearance.  I have used this yarn for so many knitting projects and have always been very pleased with the results.  Visit the Lion Brand Yarn website to see all the pretty colors offered in Hometown USA.

Chunky blanket knit with Lion Brand Hometown USA in 'Charlotte Blue'.
FIVE BLANKET SIZES:

The pattern includes instructions for five blanket sizes.  Approximate sizes after blocking:

Baby Blanket: 30.5" wide x 32" long
Small (Crib/Lap) Blanket: 34" wide x 37" long
Medium Throw: 37.5" wide x 42" long
Large Throw: 41" wide x 47" long
XL Afghan: 48" wide x 52" long

It's easy to make any of the blanket sizes longer by adding additional pattern repeats.  The pattern includes estimates for additional yardage needed to make each size longer.

I used Lion Brand's Hometown USA super bulky yarn.
SUPER BULKY YARN:

Baby: 380 - 410 yards
Small: 500 - 540 yards
Medium: 620 - 670 yards
Large: 740 - 800 yards
XL: 1000 - 1100 yards

Solid color yarn is recommended to show the texture of the pattern best.

When shopping for super bulky yarn...look for the #6 yarn symbol on the yarn label.

As noted above, I used Lion Brand Hometown USA to make my blanket.  This lovely bright blue is called 'Charlotte Blue'.

Other yarn options include Lion Brand's new Thick & Quick Bonus Bundles which are 100% acrylic and have a lot of yardage for an economical price.  If you prefer a bit of a woolly feel and texture for your yarn...check out Lion Brand's Wool-Ease Thick & Quick which is available in many colors in the standard skein size.  Wool-Ease Thick & Quick is also available in Bonus Bundles (lots of yardage...great for blanket knitting!) in a limited selection of colors.

I recommend circular needles for knitting blankets.
Blocking of the finished blanket is suggested...but it's not essential with this pattern.  If you would like tips on blocking...click here to see my blog post about blocking a blanket.

WHERE TO GET THE PATTERN:

Across the Diamond blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and LoveKnitting.

--> Pin this to your Pinterest knitting board to save this knitting pattern idea...

Across the Diamond chunky blanket knitting pattern.
Today is opening day for baseball in Kansas City! Our Kansas City Royals are celebrating their 50th year of major league baseball.  I'm looking forward to knitting while watching lots of games this season. :)

Thanks for stopping by and for your interest in my knitting projects.

Have a fabulous day!  Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My first visit to WEBS - America's Yarn Store!

This month I spent a week in the New England area visiting dear friends and family...as part of a college visit tour for my teenage daughter.  We packed in tours of six colleges, relaxing time with our friends in Vermont, dinner with my cousin and his family in Boston, and a visit to WEBS Yarn Store in Northampton, Massachusetts. (And...somehow we managed to successfully dodge two big snow storms during our trip!)

Though I am very familiar with the WEBS on-line store, this was the first time I have had the opportunity to visit their beautiful store in Northampton...it was such a treat!

WEBS has a huge inventory of yarn in every imaginable color.  The store is large, spacious, extremely well organized and has great lighting.  The WEBS team is very welcoming!  My only wish is that I had been able to spend all afternoon checking out every corner of the store!

WEBS - America's Yarn Store
WEBS has a number of my most popular Fifty Four Ten Studio knitting patterns available for sale on their website.

And...WEBS included my Westport Blanket knitting pattern in their beautiful 2018 spring catalog!! (If you have the catalog...see page 63.)  I'm so honored to be included in this publication!

If you are interested...click here to request a WEBS catalog.

They knit up the Westport Blanket pattern using their lovely Valley Yarns Valley Superwash Super Bulky in the 'Burgundy' colorway and offer a kit to make the blanket as shown in your choice of five sizes.

It was so fun to see the Westport Blanket sample in person when I visited the WEBS store...I love it!  I took a couple of quick photos shown below...thanks to my daughter for serving as the model outside on a cold New England day!

Westport Blanket knit in Valley Yarns Valley Superwash Super Bulky for a kit!
A note about the yarn color....this yarn is definitely a classic burgundy shade!  In the photos here and in the WEBS listing for the kit, the blanket can appear more of a pinkish, raspberry shade....but this yarn is a deep, rich burgundy.

You may also purchase the Westport Blanket knitting pattern separately from WEBS and then choose your own Valley Superwash Super Bulky yarn color!  This yarn is available in so many beautiful colors!  And, I love the stitch definition of this yarn...as shown here...

Westport Blanket - knitting kit from WEBS Yarn Store

Westport Blanket in Valley Superwash Super Bulky - Kit
I'm so appreciative of the WEBS team for offering my Westport Blanket as a kit in their store and online.  I'm really touched that they selected my pattern to feature in their catalog! 

You can also find my Westport Blanket knitting pattern on Ravelry and Etsy....and read more about the pattern here on my blog.

WEBS - On the Map Blanket Kit:

WEBS also offers a kit to knit my On the Map blanket in their Valley Yarns Valley Superwash in the beautiful colorway 'Colonial Blue' that I used (photo below).  This yarn is a worsted weight and it's simply lovely!

The kit includes the pattern and enough yarn to make your choice of six sizes: Baby, Small (Crib/Lap blanket), Medium Throw, Large Throw, XL & XXL Afghan.

On the Map blanket - kit available from WEBS Yarn Store
The On the Map knitting pattern is also available to purchase on WEBSRavelry or Etsy

Valley Yarns Valley Superwash is a worsted weight yarn that is available in a beautiful selection of colors on the WEBS website.

Happy Spring!

I've been home for a few days and enjoying the beautiful spring weather here in Kansas City.  I love seeing the bright sunshine!  

Spring always gets me inspired to do a little rearranging of things...tucking away heavy blankets and pulling out a few favorite lighter colored accent pieces.  In the photo below...I added one of my favorite hand knit pillows to the guest bedroom decor - The Parkway Pillow

I knit The Parkway Pillow using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in the lovely shade 'Glacier'.  See all the beautiful shades of this yarn on the Lion Brand Yarn website.

The Parkway Pillow - easy to knit with super bulky yarn

Plans for the week...

In the knitting department...I'm finishing up a baby blanket using my 'Across the Diamond' knitting pattern. (Photos of this finished blanket coming soon!)  I'm currently reading (and enjoying) The Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig.  Tomorrow, I'm planning to head to my favorite local plant nursery to pick up some pansies...my favorite for this time of year.  And...this week we'll be cheering on our favorite basketball teams in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament...the University of Kansas and Kansas State University!   

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful day!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Knitting the Coastline Scarf from 'Making' Magazine Issue No. 4 / LINES

In early February spent most of a Sunday afternoon organizing my yarn and making a list of projects I wanted to work on using some beautiful yarn I have purchased in the last couple of years. A lot of the yarn was purchased when I was on a trip...'souvenir yarn'!

I have a trip planned for March so I decided I really needed to use some of the pretty stash yarn I have on hand before I buy more!  One of the goals in using my stash yarn was to make a few wearable items for myself...it had been a really long time since I've knit something for myself.

Coastline Scarf

The first project I decided to tackle was the Coastline Scarf which is part of the beautiful collection of designs in Issue No. 4 of Making magazine. (See the lovely cover of the magazine included in the photos below.)

I love how my Coastline Scarf turned out! I love the texture...the yarn and the stitch pattern worked beautifully together. Here's how it looks after blocking...

Coastline Scarf knitting pattern from Making magazine Issue No. 4 / LINES.
About the yarn...

For my Coastline Scarf I used the two skeins of Shepherd's Wool in 'Great Lakes' from Stonehedge Fiber Mill that I purchased last fall.  I love this yarn!  It's simply gorgeous.  

This 'Great Lakes' colorway has a subtle tweed combination of rich teal and blue.  I thoroughly enjoyed knitting with this yarn and I'm looking forward to using it again.

Making Magazine - Issue No. 4....Coastline Scarf knitting pattern
This stitch pattern for the Coastline Scarf is easy to remember but it does involve an intermediate knitting skill: knitting...and purling...into the back of stitches.  This twists the stitches to create an interesting appearance and it is a nice companion to the garter stitch stitches.    

I really enjoyed knitting this scarf while watching the Olympics!  I love watching the Olympics...especially figure skating. I'm also intrigued by the cross country skiing and short track speed skating events.

Knitting the Coastline Scarf  with Shepherd's Wool from Stonehedge Fiber Mill
In case you are wondering....the little wood rectangular tray is from Crate & Barrel. It is sold in the 'appetizer' section....but I thought it would make a great addition to my studio table for corralling my knitting notions.  The best part...this beautiful tray was only about $10! 

In the photo below...I only had a couple more rows to finish on my scarf...

Almost finished with my Coastline Scarf - love the texture!
I made my scarf about 68" long...a bit longer than specified in the pattern.  I was able to keep knitting away because I had plenty of yarn.  Shepherd's Wool comes in generous 250 yard skeins.  I used approximately 400 - 425 yards of yarn total.

This scarf definitely needs blocking for best appearance. I used my inexpensive blocking mats and Knitter's Pride T-Pins. 
Blocking the Coastline Scarf
The Lost Sheep Yarn Shop in Sheboygan, Wisconsin

I first discovered this beautiful Stonehedge Fiber Mill yarn when we were in Sheboygan, Wisconsin for a family wedding last October.  My very first stop after checking into our hotel was to visit The Lost Sheep Yarn Shop...it's a darling shop!  

I had heard a bit about the shop in advance because the shop is owned by "the pastor's wife"...."the pastor" performed the wedding ceremony for my brother-in-law and his bride-to-be!  I had a great time shopping at this cute little yarn shop and I will look forward to visiting again in the future.  Here's a couple photos of the inside of the shop:

The Lost Sheep Yarn Shop in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
I think some of the Stonehedge Fiber Mill yarn is displayed in the metal washtubs on the wall...so cute!  And...note the Green Bay Packers (green & yellow) and University of Wisconsin (red & white) themed yarns offered...since the shop is in Wisconsin!
The Lost Sheep Yarn Shop - Sheboygan, WI.
Look for Shepherd's Wool at your favorite local yarn shop.  There's a handy directory on the Stonehedge Fiber website to check for retailers...sorted by U.S. state.

Working on ideas for my next project...

I have a few other options in my stash yarns that are competing for attention.  I think the yarn that will get used first is this lovely 'Lakeshore' colorway in a super wash option of Shepherd's Wool. I purchased this yarn at The Lost Sheep Yarn Shop also...I have four beautiful skeins (1,000 yards!) to work with...still deciding what I will make. :) 

Shepherd's Wool superwash worsted in 'Lakeshore' from Stonehedge Fiber Mill.
I baked these oatmeal cookies a few days ago.  I had been craving them for a couple weeks...it had been far too long since I made these!  The recipe is not fancy...just the basic recipe provided on the inside of the lid of the canister of Quaker Oats....except I left out the raisins.  I love the cinnamon smell when these cookies are baking!

Today...winter weather has returned...ice and freezing rain.  Hoping we don't loose our power and internet!  

Thanks so much for reading!  Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio



Monday, February 12, 2018

New Cable Blanket Knitting Pattern - Childhood Wishes

I'm so happy to announce my new cable blanket knitting pattern - Childhood Wishes!

This cable blanket knitting pattern is designed for use with worsted or Aran weight yarn.  The pattern includes instructions for four sizes: Small (baby blanket), Medium (Crib/Lap blanket), Large Throw, and XL Afghan.

Childhood Wishes cable blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry.  The pattern is also available on Etsy, LoveKnitting and Craftsy.

Childhood Wishes - cable blanket knitting pattern
LION BRAND KIT 
Lion Brand Yarn is offering a kit to make either the Large or XL afghan blanket!  Pick from a choice of four yarn colors...'Ice' (as shown in my photos), 'Cafe au Lait', 'Cream' or 'Slate'.  You can check out all of the pretty shades of Lion Brand New Basic 175 on their website.

CHILDHOOD WISHES

When we are children...our wishes seem so simple.  We hope for a new toy, a visit to the ice cream store, an afternoon playing at the neighborhood park, a big snow storm (so school will be cancelled for days), and candy on Halloween.

When we are adults....our wishes for our children and grandchildren...are so much bigger.  We hope they are healthy and safe...and happy.  We want to provide all those fun opportunities our children dream of...but we know that what is really most important is the bigger picture...that they are safe, healthy and loved.

I know that my customers enjoy knitting blankets for their children and grandchildren (of all ages!) and in doing so they create a lasting gift...and a visual reminder of their good wishes and love for the children in their lives.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FOUR SIZES:

Approximate blanket sizes after blocking...

Small (4 cables): 29.25" wide x 32.5" long
Medium (5 cables): 35" wide x 36" long
Large (6 cables): 40.75" wide x 46.5" long
XL (7 cables): 46.5" wide x 53.5" long

All dimensions are after blocking...using blocking mats and pins...and allowing the blanket to relax a bit after it is dry and pins are removed.  Blocking is essential for the best appearance of this blanket pattern!  

Any of the blanket sizes may be made longer by adding additional cable pattern sequences.  Each additional cable pattern sequence will add about 3.5" to the length (after blocking).

Cable knitting with Lion Brand New Basic 175 in 'Ice'.
WORSTED OR ARAN WEIGHT YARN:

Amount of yarn needed for each size....

Small: 620 - 650 yards
Medium: 820 - 850 yards
Large: 1250 - 1300 yards
XL: 1650 - 1750 yards

I used Lion Brand New Basic 175 in the lovely color 'Ice'.  This yarn is 25% wool and 75% acrylic.  It has a soft, woolly feel....a very classic texture.  New Basic 175 is available on the Lion Brand Yarn website in a wide selection of pretty colors.

This blanket pattern will work well with many worsted or Aran weight (or similar) yarns.

KNITTING NEEDLES & GAUGE:

I used US size 9 knitting needles and had a gauge in stockinette stitch (after blocking) of approximately 14 stitches x 22 rows = 4".

Pick the needle size that works best for your yarn and knitting tension.  Exact gauge is not essential but if your gauge is significantly different it will alter the finished blanket dimensions and could result in needing more or less yarn than indicated above.

The yarn listed above are 'cushioned' to allow for variations in gauge, etc.....but, it never hurts to buy a little extra yarn just in case.

Childhood Wishes - cable blanket knitting pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio
STITCH MARKERS:

When I was working on my River of Dreams cable bed runner blanket pattern a couple of knitters asked me what the clip on stitch marker is for when I'm knitting cables.  Great question!

I clip a stitch marker to the first stitch of the first cable in the row when I work the cable pattern.

When I was knitting my Childhood Wishes blanket...I worked 20 rows and then knit another cable row.  Instead of marking on the printed pattern each time I complete a row...it's easy to look at the stitch marker and know exactly where to start counting the 20 rows.  The stitch with the marker is on row 1.

In the photo below....I have worked 14 rows.  When I completed 20 rows I worked another cable sequence row.

I use clip on stitch markers when working a cable pattern.
These clip on 'lock ring' style markers are made by Clover and available on the Lion Brand Yarn website...and so are the little ring markers on my knitting needles.  These ring markers are very durable...and extremely helpful with many knitting projects!

SKILLS NEEDED:

Experience with cable knitting is highly recommended.  This is a very easy cable design but it's important to have some experience with cable knitting before diving into a blanket project.  Other skills needed: cast on, knit and purl confidently (changing back and forth from knit to purl), cast off, weave in ends....and blocking!

BLOCKING HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Blocking of this blanket is essential for the best appearance of your finished project.

Blocking trains your knitting to be the shape that you want it to be.  It's a process that might sound challenging but it's actually very easy.

Click here to see my blog post for lots of tips on blocking your blanket.

Due to the nature of the cable pattern...the blanket has a strong tendency to bunch together in the center.  See the before and after photos below...

Childhood Wishes cable blanket - before & after blocking.
Here's another view of my Childhood Wishes blanket before I blocked it....honestly...it didn't look great!
Cable Blanket - BEFORE BLOCKING!
Blocking mats and pins are essential to block this blanket.  I used rust resistant T-Pins but you can also use sewing pins.

It's important to pin all the edges in place...and make sure the edges are straight. Remember you are training your knitting to be the shape you want it to be!

Notice how the shape of this blanket changed dramatically!  Before blocking it was long and narrow...after blocking it was almost a perfect square....and looked a lot more attractive.

Blocking my cable blanket.
KEEPING WARM THIS WINTER!

We've had some cold days in Kansas City this winter so my collection of chunky hand knit blankets has been put to use.  We keep our house pretty cold by most standards so we keep several throw blankets handy in all rooms to cozy up and keep warm!

Here's a photo of me holding a few of our favorite chunky blankets.  I talked my daughter into taking this photo a couple weeks ago when we had a few snowflakes one afternoon.  Unfortunately the snowflakes didn't show up in the photo!  I much prefer being behind the camera...or a stack of blankets!

A few of my hand knit blankets I've designed.
All of these blankets were made with super bulky yarn. Here's a list of the blanket patterns from the top of the stack down...click on links to read more about each pattern on my blog:

Over the Rooftops Blanket (gray)
Belleview Blanket (light blue)
Winter Dance Blanket (dark blue)
Westport Blanket (gray)
State Line Blanket (ivory)

WHERE TO GET THE CHILDHOOD WISHES PATTERN

Childhood Wishes cable blanket knitting pattern is available on RavelryEtsyLoveKnitting and Craftsy.

Hopefully spring is right around the corner....maybe wishful thinking?!

Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

Childhood Wishes cable blanket knitting pattern.