Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Knitting in November

At the end of the month, it is fun to reflect back on knitting projects I have completed.  In November, I published three blanket knitting patterns and one free cowl knitting pattern.  It was also fun to open my box of handmade ornaments to hang on the Christmas tree.

Here's a few photos of my November 2016 knitting....


In the lower center photo you may notice the pale pink hydrangea.  Those usually bloom in the spring and summer here in Kansas City.  This fall was so warm and consistently beautiful that my hydrangea bush was confused and started blooming in early November!

In case you are curious about the knitting patterns...

All patterns shown are knit with super bulky yarn.  Click on each pattern name for more info:

Stones in the Road Blanket (upper left)
Flint Hills Blanket (upper right)
Across the Diamond Blanket (lower right)
Side Line Cowl (lower left) - this pattern is free every day on Ravelry and Craftsy

In the last couple of days I started working on a new blanket design using white yarn.  This new blanket is for my teenage daughter.  She loves simple, modern design.  I love having her input on new pattern ideas!


The white yarn is Lion Brand Hometown USA in the color 'New York White'.  This yarn is so soft and cozy.  It's great for making a blanket.

For updates as this pattern comes together follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

I can't believe it's almost December and time to put up the Christmas decorations!  I love making Christmas decorations to give as gifts for my friends and family.  I made these little red houses last January...these are in a box waiting to be wrapped up for gift giving.

The Little House Knitting Pattern with felt applique. 
Thanks for stopping by!  Happy knitting!


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Chunky Blanket Knitting Pattern - Across the Diamond

I'm so excited to announce my new chunky blanket knitting pattern called "Across the Diamond".

Across the Diamond blanket knitting pattern.
This blanket is easy to knit with super bulky yarn.  I used Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in the color 'Stone".  This yarn is sold at Michael's Crafts.  The yarn is very soft and makes a great blanket.

New chunky blanket knitting pattern - "Across the Diamond".
If you are a baseball fan, you may have already figured out the inspiration for the name of this blanket.  Sets of four purl stitches are similar to the layout of a baseball diamond.  I started designing this blanket while watching the 2016 World Series.  When I read an article in the newspaper about one of the games, the phrase "across the diamond" jumped off the page.  I knew that was the name I wanted to use for this blanket pattern.

I am a life long Kansas City Royals baseball fan.  I remember going to a few games as a child with my family and watching many games on TV.  When I attended college in another state, the Royals won the World Series.  I watched all of the games in the dorm basement on a small television with only one other person...a girl from St. Louis...who was cheering for the other team...the Cardinals.  Last year, our city was decked out in royal blue as we watched the Royals win the World Series. It was a really memorable event that brought our city together.

Easy to knit blanket with wide seed stitch border.
The pattern includes instructions for making five blanket sizes.

Approximate dimensions after blocking:

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

It is easy to make any of the blanket sizes longer.  The pattern includes more information, including estimates on how much additional yarn would be needed to make each size blanket longer.

The blanket is knit in one piece, back and forth on long circular knitting needles.  I use US size 13 knitting needles 38" in length.  This length can easily accommodate a 40" -  50" wide blanket...or a bit larger.  It's really worth investing in set of circular needles with a long cord if you like to knit blankets.

Stitch markers are handy for keeping track of the pattern.
Stitch markers are helpful for keeping track of the pattern.  Yes...it's an easy pattern to remember.  But, the stitch markers help knitters remember when to pay attention.  The green stitch markers show in the photo above are Clover Jumbo Ring Markers.  I can't remember where I bought my set of stitch markers but it looks like they are available on Craftsy and at JoAnn's.

Across the Diamond - easy blanket knitting pattern.
I can't believe this is my 10th blanket knitting pattern!  I really love knitting blankets with super bulky yarn.  Cozy blankets make great gifts.  The added bonus is these knitting projects keep me warm as I knit on a cold day!

The "Across the Diamond" blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry.

Thanks so much for reading!  Happy knitting!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Free Knitting Pattern - Side Line Cowl

I have been working on a lot of patterns this fall and I'm happy to announce my newest pattern...the Side Line Cowl.  This pattern is free...every day...on Ravelry and on Craftsy.

This cowl will keep you warm when you are sitting on the side lines at a football, baseball or soccer game!  And...the pattern is so easy to knit you can make one while watching a game...from the side lines.

Side Line Cowl - quick & easy knitting pattern.
This chunky cowl is quick and easy to knit with super bulky yarn.  It makes a great gift!

I used Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in the color 'Pewter'.  This yarn is sold at Michael's Crafts.  The yarn is 50% wool and 50% acrylic.  It's very soft and makes a great cozy cowl.

This pattern will also work well with other super bulky yarns including:

Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick - "wooly" texture & very warm.
Lion Brand Hometown USA - silky soft & cozy (pick a color to match your favorite team!)

You will need about 120 - 130 yards of yarn to knit this chunky, cozy cowl.

I recommend solid color yarn to show off the pattern texture.  The subtle striping effect will not show very well with multi-color yarn.

Use an interesting large button to make your cowl one of a kind.
A couple years ago I purchased this large navy blue button at a craft store.  I wasn't looking for a button...I simply was walking through the store and this button caught my eye.  I love the color navy blue so my eye is drawn to that color.  I sketched out this design two years ago and it unfortunately got overlooked for a while.  I'm excited to have the button and pattern design finally come together as I originally intended.

Warm & cozy chunky cowl knitting pattern.

At first glance you may think this pattern is simple garter stitch.  Look again!  An easy to remember P3, K3 repeat pattern creates a subtle striping effect.

If you like this texture, you might also like two of my other free knitting patterns:
The Boulevard Blanket and the Side Line Scarf.

Meanwhile...I have a blanket pattern in the works.  Here's a couple behind the scenes photos from the last few weeks...

First rows of a new chunky blanket design.

On my work table - pattern designing and writing in progress.
If you like seeing behind the scenes photos...follow me on Instagram.  I love sharing photos as I work through new designs.  I also announce new patterns on Instagram and on my Facebook page.

Thanks so much for reading!  Happy knitting!


Monday, November 7, 2016

New Blanket Knitting Pattern - "Stones in the Road"

I'm excited to announce my new blanket knitting pattern called "Stones in the Road".  I'm thrilled with how this pattern turned out!

The "Stones in the Road" blanket knitting pattern is now available on Ravelry, Craftsy and in my Etsy shop.

Stones in the Road - Blanket Knitting Pattern
When I am working on a new pattern design I love thinking up name ideas as I knit.  I write down any ideas that come to mind and the names that don't get used are saved in a file for future patterns.  

The name for the "Stones in the Road" blanket knitting pattern was inspired by a beautiful fall day spent biking the Katy Trail in Missouri.  The trail was built on an old railroad right-of-way.  This trail is almost perfectly flat and is nicely maintained with a surface of crushed limestone. We biked 20 miles round trip between the towns of New Franklin and Rocheport.  

We were so fortunate to have a perfect day to get out in the country...biking along the long straight road lined with crushed stones..."stones in the road".  Coincidentally, I was working on knitting this blanket around the same time we biked the Katy Trail...the experience and the knitting pattern came together!

Stones in the Road - Biking on the Katy Trail

Old train tunnel near Rocheport, Missouri
This blanket is very easy to knit!  Use super bulky yarn for distinctive texture to make a cozy, chunky blanket.  

I used a few markers to keep track of the pattern.  Even though it's a really easy pattern it's good to have reminders of when to pay attention!

Markers are helpful for keeping track of the pattern.
I used Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in the color 'Mushroom'.  This yarn is available at Michael's Crafts.  This yarn is 50% wool and 50% acrylic.  It is very soft and is perfect for a blanket project.  One thing to keep in mind...this yarn is hand wash only.  The yarn is available in a lovely selection of colors.  I especially like...

'Fleece' - soft white
'Pewter' - soft gray
'Mushroom' - light tan
'Sea Storm' - medium grayish blue
'Sapphire' - great navy blue  
'Stone' - soft bluish gray
'Thunder' - dark greenish blue teal
'Claret' - a great 'Christmasy' red

This pattern will also work well with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick or Lion Brand Hometown USA.  I have made many projects with these yarns and both are available in a wide selection of colors.  If you would like a machine washable yarn...try Hometown USA.  

Also...I recommend solid color yarns so the texture of the pattern shows best.

Stones in the Road blanket - knit with super bulky yarn.
This pattern includes instructions for five blanket sizes.  Here's the approximate dimensions after blocking:

XL Afghan: 48.25" wide x 58" long
Large Throw: 40.25" wide x 50.5" long
Medium Throw: 36.75" long x 45.5" long
Small (Crib/Lap) Blanket: 34" wide x 38" long
Baby Blanket: 28" wide x 28" long

It is very easy to make any of the blankets longer.  The pattern includes instructions for adding additional length and estimates of how much additional yarn would be required.

Stones in the Road - Chunky blanket knitting pattern.
I love the texture of this blanket.  The pattern would work well in almost any home decor style. 

I recommend blocking the finished blanket.  This takes a bit of time but it really improves the appearance of the blanket.  Note: When I use Loops & Threads Cozy Wool...like I did for this tan blanket...I find it best to dampen the blanket a bit but NOT soak it completely in water.  This yarn soaks up a lot of water and with a big blanket a full soak in water can make for a very heavy, stretchy wet blanket.  So...I just place the blanket in the kitchen sink and run water over it with the drain open so excess water can run out easily.  I do not fill the sink with water when blocking Loops & Threads Cozy Wool.  Just getting the blanket damp all over is adequate.  For more tips see my March 2016 blog post.

Stones in the Road - easy blanket knitting pattern.
More details on the "Stones in the Road" blanket knitting pattern available on Ravelry.  This pattern is also available on Craftsy and in my Etsy shop.

Have a wonderful day!  Happy knitting!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Flint Hills Blanket Knitting Pattern

I'm excited to announce my new blanket knitting pattern...the Flint Hills Blanket.  This blanket is knit with super bulky yarn on big needles.  It is an easy pattern that will work well for confident beginners or experienced knitters who enjoy an easy knitting project.

Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern
This pattern is named for the Flint Hills - a large region in the east central portion of Kansas which features rocky, 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 known for the largest intact tallgrass prairie in North America.  You may think all of Kansas is perfectly flat, but the east central portion of Kansas is full of beautiful rolling hills.  Here's a photo I took this past August as we drove through the Flint Hills...

Flint Hills in Kansas
The texture of this blanket design reminded me of that drive through the Flint Hills.

Flint Hills Blanket - the stitch pattern reminds me of rolling hills.
I used Loops & Threads Cozy Wool super bulky weight yarn from Michael's Craft Store.  The color is called 'Thunder'.  I have used this yarn many times for other projects.  It is very soft and easy to knit.  One thing to keep in mind...this yarn is hand wash only.  (If you would prefer a machine washable yarn you might try Lion Brand Hometown USA.)

Weaving in the ends on the Flint Hills Blanket.
For best results, I recommend blocking the finished blanket.   Note: When using Loops & Threads Cozy Wool...I find it best to dampen the blanket moderately before blocking...NOT soak it completely in water.  This yarn really soaks up the water and can become very water logged and stretch too much.  I placed my blanket in the kitchen sink and ran water over the blanket...but I did not fill the sink with water.  For more tips on blocking the finished blanket, see my blog post from March 2016.

The Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern includes instructions for five blanket sizes so you can make a very small baby blanket, a crib size blanket, a medium or large throw...or a very large afghan.  It's easy to adjust the length for any of the sizes...details in the pattern.

Pattern includes instructions for five sizes:
XL: 49.5" wide x 55.25" long
Large: 41.25" wide x 49.75" long
Medium: 38.5" wide x 47" long
Small (Crib/Lap): 35.75" wide x 36" long
Baby: 30.25" wide x 30.5" long

This blanket is knit flat in one piece.  I use 38" long circular knitting needles in US size 13.  The long length makes it easy to accommodate a lot of stitches when knitting a blanket.

Flint Hills Blanket - knit with super bulky yarn.
One more thing about the Flint Hills...a few years ago I had the opportunity to go with a dear friend and her parents to the "Symphony in the Flint Hills".  It has become a tradition for the Kansas City Symphony to hold a summer outdoor concert out on the Flint Hills.  It is an incredible event.  People purchase tickets months in advance.  On the day of the event people drive from all around to park in a field, hike about a half mile or so, and set up their folding chairs on a hill to view the concert.  The backdrop is the panoramic view of the rolling Flint Hills...it's simply breathtaking and my photos from 2010 do not to it justice.

Symphony in the Flint Hills June 2010
After sunset at Symphony in the Flint Hills - June 2010.

Thanks so much for reading!

The Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern is now available on Ravelry, Craftsy and in my Etsy shop.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Easy Blanket Knitting Patterns

In the past year and a half I have been addicted to knitting blankets!  I love using super bulky yarn to knit blankets because they are quick to knit.  Also, I love the chunky texture and the cozy finished blanket.

I have two new blanket designs in the works that I hope to publish very soon.  Here's a little look at the projects I have been working on recently...

Stitch markers are helpful even with easy knitting patterns.
The tan yarn above is Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in the color 'Mushroom'.  This yarn is available at Michael's Crafts Store.

Weaving in the ends on a new blanket.
The yarn for the blanket above is Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in the color 'Thunder'.  Pattern coming soon!  (Hopefully early November 2016.)

Last week the weather finally started to cool down around here and I pulled a few blankets out of storage.
Belleview Blanket in tan & blue / Brookside Blanket in white
If you are looking for a very easy blanket knitting project here's a few ideas....

My Third Street Blanket knitting pattern has quickly become my best selling blanket pattern.  One of my customers described it as "TV knitting at it's best"!  The pattern is very easy to remember.  Instructions for five blanket sizes including baby, crib, medium size throw and XL afghan.  It's very easy to adjust the length for any of the sizes.

Third Street Blanket knitting pattern
My Westport Blanket knitting pattern is also very easy to knit.  I used Lion Brand Hometown USA in the color 'Dallas Grey'.  I love this yarn! It is very economical and I love how the subtle sheen of the yarn gives this blanket a bit of a modern look.  This pattern also includes instructions for five sizes...and it's easy to adjust the length for any of the blanket sizes.

Westport Blanket knitting pattern - very easy to knit!
If you would like to start with a very easy free knitting pattern...you might like The Boulevard Blanket.  This pattern is easy to knit with super bulky yarn.  It has great texture and makes a super cozy blanket.

The Boulevard Blanket knitting pattern - FREE pattern!
I recommend using solid color yarns for any of these patterns so the texture of the knitting shows best.  If you are a beginning knitter...I highly recommend light to medium color yarns and definitely solid colors.  Dark colors and variegated yarns are challenging for new knitters.

These patterns will work with a number of different super bulky yarns. My three favorite super bulky yarns are...in no particular order...

Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick - favorite colors 'Glacier' & 'Fisherman'

Loops & Threads Cozy Wool - favorite colors 'Mushroom', 'Thunder', 'Fleece', 'Stone' & 'Pewter'

Lion Brand Hometown USA - favorite colors 'Dallas Grey', 'Houston Cream', 'Chicago Charcoal', 'Washington Denim' and 'New York White'

If you like seeing behind the scenes photos, follow me on Instagram!

Thanks for reading!  Happy knitting! :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Westport Blanket - Quick & easy knitting pattern!

My new blanket knitting pattern is quick and easy to knit!  I'm excited to announce the Westport Blanket knitting pattern is now available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop.

The Westport Blanket is named for the oldest neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri...my hometown. The blanket design was inspired by the many old brick buildings that line the streets of Westport. Though the design is inspired by very old buildings, the knitting pattern has a simple, modern appearance.  

Westport Blanket Knitting Pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio
Westport was settled, starting in about 1835, along the Santa Fe Trail.  Businesses there provided goods for those traveling west.  Today, Westport is located in the heart of the Kansas City metropolitan area and is home to many local restaurants, bars and small shops.  My favorite shop in Westport is Pryde's - "the hardware store for cooks".  This charming store is located in a very old brick building and the inside is packed from floor to ceiling with the best kitchen products available. 

Westport Blanket - a warm, cozy blanket that is easy to knit.
I used Lion Brand Hometown USA super bulky yarn in the color "Dallas Grey" for this blanket.  I loved knitting with this yarn!

Lion Brand Hometown USA in the color "Dallas Grey"...so soft! 
This was the first time I had used Hometown USA.   I really enjoyed knitting with Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn!  It is so soft!  This yarn is 100% acrylic, machine washable and very reasonably priced.  I found a great deal on this yarn and only spent about $32.00 (including shipping cost) for 8 skeins.  This was the perfect amount of yarn to make a 37" x 37" small crib/lap blanket.  I am very pleased with the Hometown USA yarn and I will definitely use it again!

I used Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn in color "Dallas Grey".
The pattern includes instructions for five blanket sizes.  Approximate sizes after blocking....

XL Blanket: 48.5" wide x 49" long
Large Blanket: 42.75" wide x 43" long
Medium Throw: 39.75" wide x 40" long
Small (Crib / Lap): 37" wide x 37" long
Baby Blanket: 31.25" wide x 31" long

All of these sizes are for square blankets but it is easy to make any of the blankets longer by adding additional pattern repeats.  The pattern includes tips on making the blanket longer and estimates of how much additional yarn is needed.

Westport Blanket - a simple, modern blanket design.
I recommend blocking your finished blanket.  It's not essential but it does improve the appearance of the finished blanket.  Here's what I did to block my finished blanket....

First I soaked the blanket in a sink full of water for a few minutes.


Then I pulled the drain plug and allowed the water to drain out of the sink.  I left the blanket in the sink for a few minutes to drain off excess water.  Then I carefully lifted the blanket out of the sink and set it on a couple of old towels.  The entire time I was careful not to wring or twist the blanket.  


I set up my blocking mats on my craft table.  I transferred the blanket to the blocking mat and carefully spread it out.  I spent at least 10 - 15 minutes arranging the blanket on the mat...adjusting the knitting so that the edges were straight and square...and adjusting the center part of the knitting so the stitches throughout the blanket were in straight lines.  I pinned the blanket in place using rust proof T-pins.


It took about two days for the blanket to completely dry.  I love how it turned out!

Westport Blanket - a quick & easy knitting pattern.
This blanket is so soft and cozy!  I will definitely use Lion Brand Hometown USA super bulky yarn again for future projects.  

The Westport Blanket pattern is very easy!  It's a great pattern for beginners who know how to knit and purl confidently...or for experienced knitters who enjoy an easy to remember pattern.  

The Westport Blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry. You do not have to be a member of Ravelry to purchase the pattern.

Happy knitting!