Friday, October 24, 2014

New Knitting Pattern - The Love Pillow

I'm so excited to publish "The Love Pillow".  I've been planning this project for months and had a few distractions that slowed me down in getting it completed.  This is my third "word" design pillow.  You may have seen The Peace Pillow and The Home Pillow that I published earlier this year.  After I knit The Peace Pillow, I had lots of other "word" design ideas (some of them are still in the works!) and it's not surprising that "love" made it to the top of the list. of the best words in our language.  

Hopefully you have many things you love.  For me it's family and home.  

The Love Pillow knitting pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio.
I picked blue and white for my version of The Love Pillow.  Blue is my favorite color so this was an easy choice for me.  However, it would be fun to knit this design in red and pink for Valentine's Day!

I used Loops & Threads 'Cozy Wool' in the colors 'Fleece' (white) and 'Seastorm' (for blue letters).  This yarn is available at Michael's Craft Stores in the U.S. and is available on the Michael's website.  This project will also work well with other super bulky weight yarns.

With the super bulky weight yarn, this pillow knits up very quickly.  It would make a great gift for someone you love!

This knitting pattern uses the intarsia knitting technique.  Experience with intarsia knitting is highly recommended.

All of my pillow knitting patterns include detailed step-by-step instructions for finishing.  There are lots of photos to walk you through the process.  

Here's what one of my customers said in an unsolicited review of one of my patterns:

What I appreciate the most about this pattern is the detailed finishing instructions. It really looks great sewn on the pillow and I would not have known how to get it looking this good if the instructions just said “sew together and put it on the pillow form”.

Example of finishing tutorial photos included in pattern.
You might be wondering about pillow forms.  I do not use any fancy, plush pillow forms!  I always pick the bargain pillow forms from the craft store. I prefer inexpensive, firm pillow forms especially for my "word" themed pillows.  The firm pillow form holds the word design in place.

The Love Pillow is available in my Etsy shop and on Ravelry.  

Thank you so much for taking a look at my knitting patterns.  I love what I do and it makes my day every time someone purchases one of my patterns or shares their story of how they used my pattern.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Little Gingerbread Houses Knit & Finished for Christmas Gifts

If you have read my "about me" page you already know that I love to make Christmas ornaments for my friends and family every year.  Shh....don't tell them...but this year most of them will receive a little gingerbread house ornament.  I knit these using The Little House knitting pattern which I published earlier this year.

These little houses are so fun to knit.  Over the course of a few weeks I knit all the pieces to make eleven little gingerbread houses.  I worked on the pieces in between other knitting projects.  The house is knit flat and then seamed at the corners to make a three dimensional house shape.

For the gingerbread house, I used Berroco Vintage Worsted ‘Cork’ #5156 – which I bought in December 2013. Just before publishing the final pattern, I discovered that this color may have been discontinued! You may still find ‘Cork’ online or at your local yarn store. These Berroco Vintage colors might be a good substitute: ‘Caramel’ #5196 or ‘Toast’ #51102. This pattern will work well with many other worsted weight yarns.

For the roof pieces, I used Berroco Vintage in the color 'Mochi'.  Here's all the roof pieces lined up and ready for assembly.

Once I finished all the knitting, I cut out the felt pieces for the doors, windows and little hearts to sew on the back of the gingerbread house.  I like to use wool blend felt.

Then, I used embroidery floss to decorate the front doors and add little door knobs.

Then it was time to sew the front door in place using blanket stitch and white embroidery floss.  I love using blanket stitch. Now the little gingerbread house is starting to come to life!

I stitched felt windows to each side of the little gingerbread houses.  

Then the fun part....sewing the roof to the house and stuffing the inside.  The pattern includes detailed step-by-step instructions and tutorial photos for all of the finishing steps.  There are also detailed instructions for all of the embroidery stitches used in this design.

The little gingerbread house is one of my favorite patterns I've designed because it reminds me of all the good times my kids and I have had baking and decorating gingerbread houses from scratch.  

I stitched a little heart on the back of each house. 

It's so fun to see all the little gingerbread houses lined up like a little village.  

Before I give these as gifts, I'll thread a thin red ribbon through the top of the roof to make a hanging ornament.  

If you would like to make some little gingerbread houses for your family, see more details about this pattern on my "designing the little house" blog post.  You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry or in my Etsy shop.

Friday, September 12, 2014

"The Home Pillow" - New Knitting Pattern

"Home"...such a simple, short word that means so much.

Whether you have moved a lot or stayed in the same place for years and years, hopefully home is a special place for you.  It is for me.

You may have seen my "Peace" pillow which I published a couple of months ago.  When I finished that pattern I was really excited to do other word related patterns.  I made a list of ideas and started working on a couple of designs.  However, I have to give credit for this design to one of my customers who sent me a message requesting a pillow design with the word "home".  I immediately knew it was a great idea and wondered why that simple, meaningful word wasn't on my list of ideas.

This was one of those cases where a new idea jumped to the front of the front of all the other knitting design projects in the works.

"The Home Pillow" knitting pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio
Conveniently, I already had the yarn on hand to knit this pillow.  I used Loops & Threads “Cozy Wool” super bulky yarn in the colors ‘Mushroom’ (light tan) and ‘Fleece’ (soft white). This is a nice, economically priced yarn. 

With super bulky weight yarn this pillow knits up very quickly!  I used US size 13 knitting needles.

This pattern is knit flat and then seamed on the back, top and bottom.  

Careful finishing makes a huge difference in the outcome of almost any knitting project.  All of my pillow patterns include detailed, step-by-step finishing instructions with close-up photos.  The photo below illustrates how to do an invisible horizontal seam.  Detailed written instructions and additional photos are in the pattern.

Detailed step-by-step finishing instructions & photos included in pattern.
This is a two-color knitting pattern using the intarsia technique. Experience with intarsia knitting highly recommended! Instructions for intarsia knitting are not included in the pattern but there are many resources available to help you through this process.  (If you have done two color stranded knitting or fair isle knitting you should be all set to try intarsia knitting.)

I always use inexpensive, craft store pillow forms for my pillows.  Nothing fancy required.  This pattern uses a 12” x 16” pillow form.

"The Home Pillow" knitting pattern
"The Home Pillow" knitting pattern is now available on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop.

Thanks so much for your interest in my knitting patterns.  Every time someone purchases one of my patterns it really brightens my day and inspires me to work on my next designs!

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!