Friday, August 29, 2014

"Step in Time" Pillow Knitting Pattern - New!

The “Step in Time” Pillow knitting pattern is named after a song from one of my favorite movies….Mary Poppins.  Just ask my kids!  When they were little and wanted to watch a movie, I frequently suggested Mary Poppins.  One of my favorite scenes is Bert (played by Dick Van Dyke - one of my favorites!) and the other chimney sweeps dancing on the roof top to the song “Step in Time”.  Mary and the children watch the sweeps tap dance “over the roof tops”, on top of chimneys and on the railings.  Every time I watch the movie I’m mesmerized by the tap dancing of the chimney sweeps…though I’m completely afraid of heights and wish they didn’t hang off the edge of the roof!

This pillow knitting pattern is very simple and easy.  

I love the stitch pattern…evenly spaced steps…step in time.

"Step in Time" Pillow Knitting Pattern

I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease “Thick & Quick” super bulky weight yarn in the color ‘Glacier’.  This is a nice, economically priced yarn available at many craft stores in the U.S.  The pattern will work with many super bulky weight yarns.

I used a standard, inexpensive 16” x 16” pillow form.

The pattern includes step by step instructions for sewing up the side seams and the bottom seams.  There are a number of tutorial photos to guide you through the finishing process.

Pattern includes detailed finishing instructions with tutorial photos.

With super bulky yarn this pattern knits up very quickly.  If you want to knit a quick gift for a friend, you’ll be done with this project in no time at all!

Thanks so much for checking out the “Step in Time” Pillow knitting pattern.  

As always, you'll find this an all my other patterns on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bay View Pillow Knitting Pattern

This is the story of how I kidnapped yarn from my dear friend’s yarn stash and used it to design and knit her birthday present.
Back in July, I was visiting my dear friend and we were chatting about knitting and yarn.   She pulled out her “stash” of yarn while we talked.  The “stash” included two unfinished projects a friend of hers had recently passed on to her.  Apparently, the friend had lost interest in her half finished projects and wanted the yarn out of her house.  My friend told me she’d be happy to share any of the “gifted yarn” but I was having a hard time getting too excited about any of it.  One project was a partially started sweater knit with very bulky tweed yarn.  It looked like that sweater would be very, very heavy to wear.  The other unfinished project was a sweater knit with light weight, hot pink wool yarn.  You would really need to like hot pink to wear that sweater! 

However, what intrigued me the most in the assortment of yarn was an unopened 10 skein package of beautiful blue Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky yarn. 

Yarn I kidnapped from my friend's "stash".
I recognized that yarn immediately because my friend bought that yarn when we were traveling together about eight years ago and we happened upon a little yarn shop.  As I sat in my friend’s living room holding her beautiful blue yarn I realized that the color matched her living room perfectly.  She has lots of soft yellow in the natural wood paneled living room, with accents of blue here and there.  I asked her if I could take her lovely blue yarn and design a knitted pillow for her living room.   She thought it was a great idea!

Here’s the pillow I designed and knit for her birthday….which conveniently was only about two weeks after I stole her yarn!

The "Bay View Pillow" knitting pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio
I’ve now learned that the Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky yarn has been discontinued…a number of years ago.  However, this pattern will work great with any number of chunky weight yarns.  Berroco has a line called Vintage Chunky that comes in lots of colors and would work nicely.   Also, this pattern would look nice knit with Malabrigo Chunky.  When you are looking for yarn, look for chunky weight yarn in the “bulky” category of yarn in the United States.  I used size 10 needles and the gauge in stockinette stitch is 14 sts x 17 rows = 4 inches.

This pattern is very easy to knit!  Just knit and purl stitches. 

The pillow cover is knit as one rectangular piece which is then folded in half and seamed on the sides.  After inserting a 16” x 16” purchased pillow form the bottom seam is sewn up.  The pattern includes detailed finishing instructions with lots of tutorial photos.

Detailed finishing instructions included in pattern along with photos.
I wrapped the pillow up for my friend for her birthday.  She loved it!  I have to say that the pillow looks fantastic in her living room.  I also gave her back the three skeins of yarn that were leftover.  I think my friend was OK with me stealing her yarn and giving her a finished pillow in return.  :)

I named this pattern the “Bay View Pillow” because my friend has a lovely view of the lake from her living room.  And, her beautiful blue yarn reminds me of the color of the lake on a sunny summer day.

The “Bay View Pillow” knitting pattern is available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop. 

The "Bay View Pillow" knitting pattern.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Peace Pillow Knitting Pattern

I designed and knit "The Peace Pillow" for dear family friends who we have known for years.  The word "peace" has a special significance in their family.  I'm going to deliver the finished pillow to them today!

The Peace Pillow by Fifty Four Ten Studio
 The yarn colors I used fit their family home perfectly.  They love all shades of soft browns and light sand colors.  I picked the light tan colored yarn to go with the soft ivory yarn I've used many times.  Specifically, I used Loops & Threads "Cozy Wool" in the colors 'Mushroom' and 'Fleece'.  I bought this yarn at Michael's Craft Store in the U.S. and I really like knitting with it.  I used about 170 yards of the main color and approximately 30 yards for the letters.

Knit on big needles with super bulky yarn using intarsia technique.
This pattern uses the intarsia knitting technique for the letter pattern.  I highly recommend that you have experience with intarsia knitting before using this pattern.  I changed back and forth from one color to the other about 60 times!  I like to weave in the yarn ends after I finish knitting the design as it is a good way to tighten up any loose stitches.  Also, I wove in the ends before binding I would get a good measurement on how the knitting fits the pillow form.

Knit too many rows!  Knitting was too long for pillow form.
However, when I was knitting the plain, back side of the pillow I got a little carried away with the easy stockinette stitch.  When I wrapped the knitting around my pillow form I realized I had knit a few too many rows.  If the knitting overlaps before binding off it will be loose and baggy on the pillow form.  This pillow is designed to have the knitting fit close and tight to the pillow form.  So, I ripped out about 3 or 4 rows and measured again....

Before binding off wrap, knitting around pillow form.  This is desired length.
This is how you want the knitting to fit around the pillow form before you bind off.  See how the cast on end and the edge still on the needle just barely meet up when I stretch the knitting around the pillow form....this is the desired length.  I bound off on the next row and then sewed up the back seam.

Detailed finishing instructions included in pattern with lots of tutorial photos such as this.
There are detailed instructions in the pattern reminding you how to measure your knitting around your pillow form and explaining how to sew up the seams of the pillow. Lots of close-up photos are included in the pattern!

The Peace Pillow Knitting Pattern is available in my Etsy shop.
This pillow would look great knit in any number of color combinations.  I think it would be fun to knit it in red and white for the holidays!

This pattern is available in my Etsy shop and in my Fifty Four Ten Studio Ravelry shop.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Making Strawberry Jam

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is make jam with fresh picked fruit.  The other day we were lucky to pick some beautiful, delicious strawberries.  I picked enough to make two batches of strawberry jam (it takes about 2 1/2 quarts to make a batch of jam using Sure Jell).

Fresh picked strawberries.

Hot, cooked jam in the jars.

Old lids.  Ready to process.

I've collected an assortment of jar designs over the years.
I'm working on two new pillow knitting patterns that I hope to have finished and ready to share soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Anchor Pillow – Knitting Pattern

Step into our house and you’ll immediately know that we have a thing for sailing and anything nautical.  I grew up sailing.  I met my husband through sailing.  Many of my favorite days of the year involve sailing.  So, it's no surprise that I picked a nautical theme for my latest knitting pattern!

"The Anchor Pillow" Knitting Pattern

Anchors symbolize different things for different people.  For me, the anchor represents a safe harbor, security and being home. 

“The Anchor Pillow” (it’s such an original name, isn’t it?!) was inspired by a photo of an old brass anchor.  I used that photo as a guide when designing my anchor knitting chart.  The chart is included in the pattern...on one full page so it's big and easy to read. 

This is a two-color knitting pattern using the intarsia technique.  Experience with intarsia knitting is highly recommended!!  Even though there are only two colors, there are many transition points between the colors.  I wove in more than 30 ends.  I know…I could have woven the ends into my knitting as I was working.  However, weaving the ends in after I finished knitting gave me a chance to tighten up a few loose stitches.

Experience with two-color intarsia knitting highly recommended!
This pillow is knit with super bulky weight yarn and big needles so it knits up very quickly.  I used Loops & Threads “Cozy Wool” super bulky yarn in ‘Sapphire’ (navy blue) and ‘Fleece’ (soft white).  This pillow is designed for a 16” x 16” pillow form.  I used a very basic, inexpensive pillow form from a craft store.

"The Anchor Pillow" knitting pattern is perfect for any nautical themed decor. For a classic nautical look, use navy and white yarn.  This anchor pillow would also look great knit with any number of other color combinations.

If you are interested, this pattern is available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Perfect Present Pillow – New Knitting Pattern

This weekend we are going to the wedding of the daughter of good friends.  This is the first time we are attending the wedding of a “child” who grew up with our children.  We have known the bride since she was about eight years old.  Our families did a lot of fun activities together when our kids were younger and this sweet girl was sort of the big sister to all the younger kids in our group of friends.  She was always a cheerful role model to the little ones.  I cannot believe she’s now in her early 20’s and getting married!

Though I purchased a small gift from the bridal couple’s gift registry, I wanted to knit a special gift for them.  I scanned through their gift registry at three stores and noticed that my favorite color of pale blue was obviously a favorite color of the bride-to-be. 

A few months ago, I bought one skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease “Thick & Quick” in the color ‘Glacier’ on a whim.  Now I had the perfect project for it!  The only challenge was I only had one skein and there was no hope of finding a matching dye lot months later.  The solution…a reversible, two color pillow!

"The Perfect Present Pillow" - Knitting Pattern
I used the ‘Glacier’ colored yarn on the front in the textured knitting pattern.  On the back, I used Loops & Threads “Cozy Wool” in the color ‘Fleece’ and worked in basic stockinette stitch.  This pillow is designed for a 14” x 14” pillow form.  I used one skein to knit the front and one skein to knit the back…with a few yards leftover.

I love how the two color design worked out.  It isn’t immediately obvious that there’s a different color on each side.  If you prefer one color for both sides, you can work the textured pattern for both sides all in one color (instructions included in the pattern).

This pillow is very easy to knit!  With the super bulky yarn it knits up quick and can easily be finished within a couple of evenings or a weekend.  It’s a great pattern for any level of knitter...from confident beginner to advanced.  If you have not sewn up seams before, this pattern includes detailed, step-by-step finishing instructions with close-up photos.

Tutorial photos for finishing included in pattern.
This really is the perfect present for any occasion!  It's quick to knit, the materials are inexpensive (I spent less than $25 - not including needles) and the pillow design will go with almost any decor style. 

This knitted pillow will go with almost any decor style.
If you are interested, this pattern is available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop.

This weekend is Mother’s Day in the United States (and other countries).  Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Knitting with super bulky yarn again! New pillow pattern!

I think my stash of worsted weight yarn might be getting a little jealous!  For the past few weeks I’ve been knitting with big needles and super bulky yarn and it’s definitely addicting.   After I knit just a few rows I feel like I’ve made significant progress on my project and then I don’t want to put it down!  

I switched over to the super bulky yarn because I wanted to knit a few pillows to give as gifts for several spring occasions.  You may have already seen the first pillow I designed – The Parkway Pillow.  (This quickly became my most popular pattern!)  I made it for my mother for Mother’s Day. 

I recently published my second pillow knitting pattern called the “Fine Lines Pillow”.  You can find it on Ravelry or in my Etsy shop.   

Fine Lines Pillow - Quick & Easy!
I designed this pillow especially for my sister.  Her house is modern and she prefers a clean, uncluttered look….the exact opposite of me!  I choose a very simple, linear design and a smaller rectangular shaped pillow form.    

When I finished knitting the pillow, I realized the design would look great in almost any d├ęcor style….contemporary, classic, traditional, eclectic, cottage, rustic, casual, and more.  It’s a pattern that I know I will use again for other gifts such as a birthday, Christmas or a wedding.   

Simple, easy knitting pattern for any knitter.

The supplies for this pillow pattern are very simple and with a couple of craft store coupons you should be able to keep the cost to less than $25.00.   I used 180 yards of Loops & Threads “Cozy Wool” in the color “Fleece”.  I purchased this yarn at Michael’s Craft Store and it was inexpensive.  This is a great yarn for a very economical price!  I will definitely use this yarn again on future projects.  It’s very soft and I am very pleased with how it knits up. 

You’ll also need US size 13 knitting needles and a 12” x 16” pillow form.  The pillow form I purchased was not fancy….just a basic pillow form at the lowest price I could find.

This pillow pattern is great for any level of knitter…from confident beginner to expert.  You just need to know how to cast on stitches, knit and purl confidently, cast off stitches and weave in ends.  If you have never sewn up knitting seams before, there are eleven tutorial style photos and specific written directions to walk you through every step of the finishing process.  Careful sewing up of seams and finishing makes a huge difference in the quality of your finished knitting project.  Therefore, I include a lot of detail to help you be as successful as possible.  Here’s a couple examples of my tutorial photos:

Example of tutorial photos included in pattern.

On another note….yesterday I received a really nice e-mail from one of my customers who purchased “The Parkway Pillow” pattern about a week ago.  She said, “What a great project…I bought this on Etsy and flew right through it. It's soft and squishy and soooo beautiful. And much cheaper than the Pottery Barn store version I fell in love with! Thanks!”  I love to hear that my customers enjoyed using my patterns and were happy with their finished project!   

I hope you are having a great day!