Monday, March 21, 2016

Belleview Blanket Knitting Pattern - New!

I'm excited to announce my newest blanket knitting pattern...the Belleview Blanket!  The pattern is available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop.

This is my fifth blanket pattern designed with super bulky yarn.  It is fun to knit a blanket with super bulky yarn because it knits up very quickly and the finished blanket is so warm and cozy.

Belleview Blanket by Fifty Four Ten Studio
The Belleview Blanket is named for a street in the neighborhood where I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri.  The design reminds me of the charming 1920's homes lined up in an orderly fashion on the streets of the Brookside neighborhood in Kansas City.

I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick super bulky weight yarn in the color 'Glacier' for soft blue blanket above and below.  I love this icy blue color!

This pattern will work with many super bulky weight yarns.  I recommend Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (available at many craft stores in the U.S.) or Loops & Threads Cozy Wool which is sold at Michael's Craft Store in the U.S.

I recommend solid color yarn for the Belleview Blanket so the texture of the pattern will show up in the finished project.

Belleview Blanket - Instructions for Five Sizes
The Belleview Blanket is knit with super bulky yarn and knit flat, back and forth on US size 13 circular knitting needles.  You will need to know how to cast on stitches, knit and purl confidently, read a row by row knitting pattern, cast off stitches and weave in ends.

The pattern includes instructions for FIVE sizes:

XL Blanket: 48" wide x 49.5" long
Large Throw: 37.5" wide x 49.5" long
Small Throw: 37.5 wide x 38.5" long
Crib Blanket: 35" wide x 36" long
Baby Blanket: 27" wide x 27.5" long

Sizes are approximate dimensions after blocking.  I recommend blocking your finished project for best appearance.  Blocking this blanket pattern helps the border and the center pattern settle out nicely and improve its appearance.

Work in progress - before blocking.
After blocking - knitting looks more polished.
If you have not blocked a finished knitting piece before, it is not that hard.  However, with super bulky yarn I have found it's good to be cautious in how much I soak my finished knitting.  Each yarn reacts differently to the water in terms of how much it soaks up.  With super bulky yarn, the finished knitting can become heavy and stretch more than desired if it soaks up too much water.

I found that Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn does not soak up too much water and the knitting did not stretch after being soaked in a sink full of water.

On the other hand, Loops & Threads Cozy Wool soaked up too much water and became very water logged and heavy after I soaked it in a sink full of water.  It did not ruin my project but the blanket did stretch to a little larger than intended.  Next time I block Loops & Threads Cozy Wool, I will go back to the technique I used with my Brookside Blanket and hold the blanket under cold running water to slightly dampen it.

If you would like more info on blocking, read on...

Blocking Belleview Blanket Knit with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick:

First, I cleared off a flat, water resistant surface large enough to accommodate the size of my finished blanket.  (Don't block your knitting on a wood table!  To protect your surface you could use either blocking mats (or children's play mats) or perhaps a plastic tablecloth.)

I used my work table that has a Formica surface. The dimensions were the perfect size for my blue blanket.  I folded up my blanket and put it in my (clean!) kitchen sink.  I ran cold water over the blanket.  I noticed that the water sort of repelled from the Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn so I decided to try soaking it in a sink full of water.  This worked fine for this yarn since the yarn did not completely soak up the water like a sponge.

Run water over blanket in the sink.  This blanket knit with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn.
I left the blanket in the sink for a few minutes to allow excess water to drain out.

Press out excess water and allow blanket to sit for a few minutes to drain in the sink.
Then, I placed the wet blanket on an old towel and gently pressed out excess water.  I tried not to wring or twist the knitting!  Then, I placed my knitting on my water resistant work surface and carefully spread it out...flattening and adjusting the knitting to line up the stitches evenly.  I used a measuring tape to adjust the knitting so that all of the edges were as straight as possible.

I looked at the blanket from each side and adjusted the knitting as necessary.  I did not have blocking mats when I blocked this blanket.  I found that pins were not necessary for the super bulky yarn.  The knitting stayed pretty much in place over the course of drying.

Carefully spread out blanket on water resistant table.

Blocking Belleview Blanket with Blocking Mats:

I recently purchased a set of mats to use for blocking, as well as a box of  rust resistant T-pins.  I purchased two sets of POCO-DIVO "child play mats" on Amazon.  Each set includes nine 12" mats that fit together like puzzle pieces.  I purchased two sets so I'll have enough pieces to make a mat large enough to block large blankets.  I set up nine of the mat pieces on my work table to block my baby size blanket made with Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in the 'Mushroom'.  

When I put this blanket in a sink full of water it soaked up the water like a sponge.  The last time I blocked a blanket with this yarn, I held it under the water and did not allow it to get overly wet.  That is what I would do the next time.  Soaking the blanket in the sink made the blanket far too wet and heavy due to the thick yarn.  It stretched a bit more than I wanted it to...but it did not ruin the project.  That's the great thing about blankets...the finished size does not have to be exact!  

Blanket knit with Loops & Threads Cozy Wool - it soaked up too much water.
After squeezing out the excess water in the sink and on an old towel, I carefully spread out the small blanket on blocking mats.  Then I adjusted the knitting so the edges and knitting pattern in the center of the blanket were straight.  I used rust proof T-pins to pin the edges of the blanket in place.

Blocking with mats and rust proof T-pins.
It took about three days for my tan baby blanket to dry but it was well worth the time.  Yes...the knitting stretched a bit after I soaked the blanket in water.  But, after drying it looks lovely.

After Blocking - Loops & Threads Cozy Wool yarn - Belleview Blanket Pattern.
I love how this baby size Belleview Blanket knit with Loops & Threads Cozy wool in the color 'Mushroom' turned out after blocking.  The knitting shaped up beautifully!


Summary - Blocking Super Bulky Yarn/Knitting:

Blocking super bulky weight yarn in not hard.  As with all yarn, each yarn will react differently to being blocked.  Some super bulky yarns can soak in so much water that the knitting becomes very heavy and the knitting can be overstretched when you spread it out on the work surface (see my tan blanket above).  The knitting just needs to be very damp...not soaked...to have successful blocking.  If you are nervous about the knitting getting overly soaked, just hold your knitting under gently running water so it gets moderately damp.

Thank you so much for your interest in my knitting patterns!  Happy knitting!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Brookside Blanket Knitting Pattern - New!

On Super Bowl Sunday I published my newest blanket knitting pattern...the Brookside Blanket.  It's knit with super bulky yarn on big needles so it knits up very quickly.  I am so pleased with how this chunky, warm blanket design turned out.  I love the subtle block design.

Brookside Blanket Knitting Pattern - Knit with Super Bulky Yarn
The Brookside Blanket is named for the Brookside neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri.  I grew up in this older, charming neighborhood.  The grid inspired pattern in the knitting reminds me of the grid layout of the neighborhood streets in Brookside.  The neighborhood blocks are lined with charming homes that were built in the 1920's.  There aren't any dead end cul-de-sac streets like so many newer suburban neighborhoods.  Nearly all of the streets are set up in a uniform grid.  Many times I don't come up with a name for a knitting pattern until the project is nearly completed.  However, this time I decided on the pattern name when I had only finished a few rows of knitting.  

Brookside Blanket - Pattern includes directions for 4 sizes.
The pattern includes directions for four sizes including: Large Throw, Small Throw, Crib Blanket and Baby Blanket.  Here's the approximate finished sizes after blocking:

Large Throw: 39.5” wide x 52” long 
Small Throw: 39.5” wide x 41.5” long 
Crib: 32.25” wide x 38” long
Baby: 25” wide x 31” long

It's pretty easy to make your blanket longer by adding pattern repeats.  Adding an additional pattern repeat (the subtle block pattern in the center of the blanket) will add about 3.5" to the length of the blanket.

This blanket can be made with many super bulky weight yarns.  I used Loops & Threads Cozy Wool from Michael's Craft Store.  This is a very soft, light weight yarn that knits up easily.  The colors are very nice as well.  The navy blue yarn I used is called 'Sapphire'.  This is a lovely shade of navy!  The ivory / white yarn I used is called 'Fleece'.

Here's the recommended yarn quantities for each blanket size:
Large Throw: 810 - 840 yards
Small Throw: 640 - 680 yards
Crib Blanket: 480 - 510 yards
Baby Blanket: 335 - 350 yards

I highly recommend blocking your finished blanket for this pattern.  Blocking of this pattern will help flatten out the border edges nicely.  For the white blanket, I folded it in thirds and held it under cold running water at the kitchen sink.  I flipped the folded blanket over to get all sides moderately wet.  I covered my durable, Formica work table with an old sheet.  Then I carefully unfolded the wet blanket.  Then I spent some time adjusting all the edges so they were straight.  I checked dimensions with a tape measure to make sure I had the blanket evenly positioned and I looked the blanket from many sides to double check that the grid knitting pattern was as even as possible.  


Blocking recommended!  
I set up a fan to try to encourage quicker drying time!  The photo above was taken at night right after I arranged the blanket.  With the super bulky yarn, I found that I really did not need pins to hold the knitting in place.  (Note that it is important to set up this wet project on a water proof surface!)

By the next morning I could already tell that taking the time to block this blanket was worth it!  Even without pinning, the knitting remained in position.  The blanket was still very damp so I turned the fan on for a few more hours.  (Since this was set up in my home studio, I did not have the fan running all the time...it got too cold on chilly winter days!)  


Blanket blocking in progress.  The fan helps!
I think it took about a day and a half for the blanket to dry completely.  I am very pleased with how the blanket looks after blocking!

Brookside Blanket - after blocking!
I used US size 13 circular knitting needles which are 32" in length.  This length is essential to make a throw size blanket and accommodate all the stitches.  A little bit shorter length circular needle could be used for the crib or baby size blanket.  However, if you are going to buy only one set of circular needles for blankets...I'd pick at least 32" in length so you'll have the flexibility to make a larger size blanket if you decide to later. I used Knitter's Pride Nova Platina knitting needles.  I've used them for many projects and would definitely recommend these knitting needles.

The Brookside Blanket is an easy knitting pattern.  You will need to know how to cast on stitches, knit and purl confidently, read a row by row pattern, cast off stitches and weave in ends.  As discussed above, blocking is recommended.  If you haven't blocked a project before, not to worry!  It's not that hard and you will be glad you did it.

If you would like to purchase the Brookside Blanket knitting pattern, it is available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop.

Thank you so much for your interest in my knitting patterns!



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Felt Applique Mitten Christmas Ornament - Updated Pattern!

I've completely updated one of my first knitting patterns!  My Felt Applique Mitten Christmas Ornament knitting pattern has received a cosmetic update as well as new ideas.  I made some revisions to the pattern layout and updated some photos.  The best part is...the update includes new felt applique design ideas.  I've added patterns for felt uppercase letters in a cute font style, as well as numbers in two sizes.

Felt Applique Mitten Ornament - Updated Pattern!
Initially, I planned to make some minor updates to my pattern layout so it would more closely match the style of my newer published patterns.  As I was working on the updates and knitting lots of mittens with my stash worsted weight yarn, I came up with the idea to stitch felt letters and numbers on the mittens.  

I love how the letters and numbers look stitched on the mittens!  There are so many ways to use the letters and numbers to make special personalized gifts.  Children love receiving gifts with the first letter of their name.  For a family gift I'll make custom mini mitten ornaments with the last name initial.  The number patterns can be used to celebrate a child's age or team number.

My pattern includes two sizes of number patterns.  The larger font size matches the letter patterns in scale and works well for one digit numbers (see #7 mitten above).  I've also included smaller, narrower numbers so you can fit two digit numbers on the front of the mitten (see the #24 mitten above).

Did I mention that all of the felt patterns are easy to print and cut out?  No resizing of patterns is necessary!

I've succeeded in using a good amount of stash yarn by knitting a bunch of mitten ornaments to give as Christmas gifts.  The #7 ornament will be for my nephew who will be seven years old by next Christmas.  The "R" ornament will be for my son.  The red mittens below were knit with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in 'Red Hot Passion'.  The light blue gray #24 mitten is the first for a countdown to Christmas mitten garland!  I'm really excited about this project.  I'm going to use as much stash yarn as possible and have the mittens be a variety of colors.

Pattern includes full set of uppercase letter & two sizes of numbers.

It's fun to stitch on a felt letter to make a personalized gift!
This month I also made a few mitten ornaments with felt hearts and another mini mitten ornament with a felt house...which kind of matches our home!  The blue mitten below was knit with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in the color 'Brite Blue'.  I used aqua colored felt for the heart and light aqua DMC embroidery floss to stitch the heart on the mitten.

Mini Mitten with Felt Heart Applique Design

The white mitten below was knit with Berroco Vintage.  I purchased my felt for these projects from SweetEmmaJean on Etsy.  I love their selection of colors and they ship very quickly!

Mini Mitten Ornament with Little House Felt Decoration

My mitten ornament pattern still includes instructions for all of the original designs: heart, house, star and snowman.  These mini mittens can be made with just about any worsted weight yarn.  Each mitten requires about 25 yards of yarn.  You will also need felt in desired colors, DMC embroidery floss or #5 pearl cotton, US size 3 & 5 knitting needles, two stitch holders, two stitch markers, a tapestry needle and a sharp embroidery needle.  And, if you would like, an old button for the heart and star designs.

Pattern includes Heart, Star & House felt applique designs.
Learn more about this pattern on Ravelry.  Thank you so much for your interest!





Monday, January 4, 2016

Knitting my way into the new year!

It's possible that I did more knitting in December than any other month last year!  I was definitely motivated to knit several Christmas ornament gifts as the deadline for wrapping up gifts approached.  (Happens every year doesn't it?!)  Then, in the last week of the year I got started on gifts for Christmas 2016.  It's possible (maybe!) that I won't be in such a rush next Christmas.  :)

Here's a few photos of my December knitting projects...

I made this mini sweater Christmas ornament for a sweet girl who is like a niece to me.  I stitched on a felt heart with DMC embroidery floss and added an old button to the center of the heart. (By the way...my pattern includes directions for how to make a mini wire hanger!)

Mini Sweater Christmas Ornament with Felt Heart Applique
I liked the aqua sweater with a heart so much that I made one in red!  I used Lamb's Pride Brown Sheep worsted weight yarn to knit these ornaments.  

Mini Sweater Ornament in Red with a White Felt Heart
For a boy who played football last fall, I modified my mini sweater ornament pattern to make a "jersey" style ornament with his team colors and his #11 jersey number.  I hear that he loved seeing his jersey number on his custom ornament.  (I'm working on writing up the pattern for this short sleeve sweater ornament with options for felt applique numbers and letters....more info soon!)


These are just a few of the small knitted gifts I made for Christmas gifts! To see all the photos check out my Instagram page.

After all the Christmas festivities were done I had time to do more knitting.  I pulled out that red yarn again and knit a few little red houses.  I used my knitting pattern which can be found on Ravelry.

Little Red House..."under construction".
After sewing up the seams on the base structure of the house, I knit the roof in white...to represent a snowy roof.  Did you notice the cute holiday sweater napkin in the photo below?  My sweet sister-in-law gave a package of those to me last year.  Pretty much a perfect little gift for a knitter!

Roof construction in progress.
Then I stitched a felt door to the front with DMC embroidery floss. A french knot makes the perfect door knob.  I added tiny windows to each side of the house.  After the felt applique pieces were complete, I stuffed the house with a little bit of polyfil and stiched on the roof piece.  I will thread a piece of yarn to the top of my tiny red house to use it as a Christmas ornament on our tree next year.  And, I have a few more of these little red houses in progress to give as gifts next Christmas!

The Little House knitting pattern is available on Ravelry.
I also ended 2015 having discovered Instagram...finally!  I love it!  I'm so inspired by the many talented knitters, makers, photographers and artists I have discovered on Instagram.  If you would like to see more behind the scenes photos of my knitting, follow me on Instagram @FiftyFourTenStudio.

I'm really looking forward to designing more knitting patterns in 2016!  Happy knitting and best wishes for the new year.  :)

Monday, November 30, 2015

November Wrap Up

In November, I finally joined Instagram!  I've been sharing behind the scenes photos of my designs in process...as well as a few non-knitting pics.  The best part about Instagram is being inspired by the many creative people and their images.

Here's nine pics to sum up my November....home, knitting, reading, family, holidays, being thankful...


Clockwise from the top left corner:
- Home Felt Applique Pillow - pattern was published in November on Ravelry. 

- Felt numbers for new "design your own" felt applique pillow pattern that is in the works.

- Knitting with navy blue Loops & Threads Cozy Wool from Michael's Craft Store.

- My homemade jam and pickles set out for Thanksgiving dinner.  Much to be thankful for!

- My State Line Blanket knitting pattern published in November and available on Ravelry.

- Checking out the knitting section of my neighborhood Johnson County, Kansas library.

- Working on the Love Felt Applique Pillow knitting pattern design.  More details in this blog post.

- Getting out my homemade Christmas ornaments.  These are a few of my favorites!  Patterns available for the Felt Applique Mitten Ornaments and The Little House ornament.

- (Center) I bought this cute handmade USA ornament at Stuff in Brookside (Kansas City, Missouri).  The centrally located heart is placed right over my home state - Kansas.  This will be a great addition to our Christmas tree!

Hope you had a good November!  Lots to look forward to as we wrap up this last month of the year.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Peace : Love : Home - New Pillow Knitting Pattern with Felt Appliqué

I'm so happy to publish my new Peace : Love : Home pillow knitting pattern!

I started this design a year ago but it got sidelined.  A few weeks ago, I pulled the knitting back out and finally got to work on finishing these easy, fun pillows.  I love the combination of the chunky knitting with the felt applique letters!

This pattern is especially meaningful to me...in ways that I can't fully explain.  However, I'm sure most can agree...that these three words sum up the most important things in life.  It all comes back to a desire for Peace in our world...Love in our hearts...and Home with the people who are important to us.

The Peace : Love : Home pillow knitting pattern is knit with super bulky weight yarn and has felt applique letters. The pattern includes directions to knit the pillow cover flat in one piece and detailed instructions for stitching up the seams.  It also includes ready to print patterns for the felt applique letters for all three words.  The finished size is just a little larger than the 12" x 16" pillow form.

The Peace : Love : Home pillow knitting pattern is available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop.

Peace : Love : Home pillow knitting pattern with felt applique.

Felt applique patterns for three words: Peace : Love : Home
These pillows are knit with super bulky yarn.  They knit up very quickly!  I used Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in the color 'Granite' for the PEACE and HOME designs and 'Claret' for the LOVE design.  Loops & Threads Cozy Wool is sold through Michael's Craft Stores in the U.S.  It is very soft and good quality for a very reasonable price.  This pattern will also work well with other super bulky weight yarns including Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick.

Quick & easy knitting pattern.  Makes a great gift!
The felt applique letters are added after knitting.  I like to use wool blend felt.  Sometimes you can find this at quilt shops or some of the craft stores will have a selection of higher quality felt.  I love the selection and quality of felt I have purchased from SweetEmmaJean on Etsy.


This pattern includes easy to print and cut patterns for the PEACE, LOVE and HOME letter designs. No resizing of patterns necessary!  Just pick the page for the word you want to use and print that page.  Carefully cut out the letter patterns, pin them to your felt, cut out the felt letters and you are ready to go.  The pattern includes detailed step by step instructions for finishing the pillow!  Tutorial photos included.

Detailed finishing instructions included in pattern. 
I used a very inexpensive 12"x 16" pillow form from the craft store.  Nothing fancy!  In addition to felt and a pillow form, you will also need DMC embroidery floss, embroidery needle, tapestry needle and good quality scissors for cutting out the felt letters.  Full details in the pattern.


This a fun, easy project!  The Love design is perfect for any time of the year but would be especially appropriate at Valentine's Day....of course!  

The Peace : Love : Home pillow knitting pattern is available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop.

You might also like my Joy & Believe Pillows or Merry & Cheers Pillows.  These pillow designs also have felt applique letter designs with the same letter style.

Thank you so much for your interest in my knitting patterns!  I love designing new project ideas and can't wait to get started on my next design.

Peace...and happy knitting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

State Line Blanket Knitting Pattern

I'm so excited to publish my newest blanket knitting pattern - the State Line Blanket.  This is a warm cozy blanket that is easy to knit.  The pattern is available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop.

State Line Blanket - Knitting Pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio

The name of this pattern is inspired by one of the key streets in Kansas City...my hometown.  One of the first things to know about Kansas City is that about half of the 2 million people in the metropolitan area live in the state of Missouri and the other half live in the state of Kansas.  As the name implies, State Line Road is the dividing line (at least in the southern part of the city).

I grew up two blocks east of State Line Road on the Missouri side.  When my husband and I got married we bought our house in Kansas....about two blocks west of State Line Road.

There are times State Line Road really is a "dividing line" for our big city...different taxes, different state governments, different public schools, etc.  But, most of the time it's not a big deal.

Recently, people from both sides of State Line Road got excited about the Royals baseball team winning the World Series!  In case you are wondering, the baseball stadium is located in Missouri.  The "little" parade we had last week (an estimated 800,000 people showed up!) to celebrate the Royals success was held in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  It was a memorable day for our entire city!

Back to the blanket design...the State Line Blanket!  I love how the simple, repeating line design looks....short lines and long lines.

State Line Blanket by Fifty Four Ten Studio


This pattern uses super bulky yarn and big needles so it knits up very quickly.  For the ivory colored throw blanket pictured above, I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in the color Fisherman #99.  This pattern will work well with many super bulky weight yarns.

The State Line Blanket pattern includes instructions for two sizes: a throw size & a baby blanket.

Finished sizes are approximately:
Throw / afghan blanket: 40" wide x 50" long
Baby blanket: 28" wide x 31" long

The photo below is the baby size blanket I knit with Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in the color Sapphire.  I used approximately 350 - 360 yards of yarn for the baby size blanket.  (Note: Loops & Threads Cozy Wool is a hand wash only yarn.  I'm saving this for a special gift...probably long in the future...as a "for show" baby blanket!)  There are lots of washable baby yarns that would work for this blanket including Lion Brand "Baby's First" yarn.

Pattern includes instructions for two sizes: Throw & Baby Blankets

The State Line Blanket knitting pattern is now available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop.

When I took the photo below on a beautiful fall morning, the sun was shining brightly outside on the orange maple tree in the front yard.  The orangish light reflected off of the tree and through my front door windows onto the old wood cabinet...making the cabinet and the floor appear much more orange than normal.  The magic of the light changing through the seasons!

Quick and easy blanket knitting pattern.


And...here's the street sign that inspired the name of the State Line Blanket...


State Line Road in Kansas City - the dividing line between Kansas & Missouri
Thanks so much for reading!  Happy knitting this fall and winter!