Friday, February 28, 2014

Maddy's Hat Knitting Pattern Posted on Ravelry Today!

The other day I wrote about the hat I made for my daughter. I finished writing the pattern and gave the hat a name - "Maddy's Hat".  The pattern is now available on Ravelry!

I used an inexpensive yarn we picked up at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store called Vickie Howel “Sheep(ish)”.  The main darker color in the listing photo is called Turquoise(ish) and the lighter contrasting color is called Robin Egg(ish).  (You can make two hats with two skeins of this yarn.  Just reverse the colors on the second hat and the little bit you have left from the main color of one hat can be used as the accent color on the other hat.) My daughter loves the super soft texture.  The color choices are very cute.  This is a pretty good yarn for a very economical price.

The pattern is written for one size to fit teens and women.

The hat is knit in the round using size 5 and 7 US double pointed needles.  You will need to know how to cast on stitches, knit and purl confidently, work in the round on double pointed needles, knit two stitches together and weave in yarn ends.

It's still cold here in the heartland of the USA (as it is a lot of places!). I can’t tell you how happy I am to see my daughter put this hat on every morning this week as she walks out the door to the school bus.  No reminders about “you might need a hat” because she wants to wear this hat.  In fact, a couple days ago she told me she loves the hat!  My heart melted….I’m a happy mom!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Finished knitting the hat just in time for the end of winter....we hope!

You may have read previously that I bought yarn way back in November with the intention of knitting a new winter hat for my teenage daughter.  We picked out the yarn together at the craft store.  We were drawn in by the very inexpensive price and the cute color that perfectly matched her new winter coat.   

Well, I got a little distracted with other projects and that hat was on the needles for much too long.  It's been one of the coldest winters in decades and the knitter's daughter has not had a hat to wear.  (The knitter's son doesn't have a hat either...need to work on that for next winter!)

It’s now February….hopefully close to the end of winter here in Kansas.  Last Friday, I finally finished knitting the hat. 

Maddy's Hat Knitting Pattern

The best part is she seems to like the hat!  As she put on her coat to go out the door to the bus stop this morning, I casually commented that it was a little cold and maybe (gentle nudge) she could wear the new hat.  I was prepared for a “no” or "not today" but she actually put on the hat and confidently headed off to school.  That made my day! 

Since the forecast says another “polar Vortex” is headed our way, she’ll have a few more days to wear the hat.

I’m planning to write up the pattern for knitting this hat.  I’ll let you know when it’s available!

Have a great week.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Favorite Knitting Project Ever - The Pink Dress

A couple of weeks ago, my Little House knitting pattern was featured on the Berroco Yarns Design Studio blog.  I am so appreciative of this opportunity to be included in their “Designer Spotlight” series! 

One of the questions they asked me as part of the interview was “What’s your favorite knitting project you’ve ever made?” 

This was a fun question because it brought back memories of special items I’ve made for my family over the years:  the sweaters I knit for my husband before we were married (I have to admit I haven’t made him a sweater in a while and it might be time to do that again!); the navy blue hat and mitten set with little sailboats that I made for our son when he was little; the many Christmas ornaments I’ve knit over the years; and many other projects.

As I answered the other questions for the interview, I was having a hard time pinpointing my favorite knitting project ever.  Then I remembered the pink knitted dress!  My daughter loved wearing that dress!  She wore it for two years for many special occasions including Thanksgiving, Christmas, her birthday, and even on Easter one year when it was a cool spring day.  The dress looked great with her black patent leather shoes, white tights and a simple white turtleneck.

The fun coincidence (remember I was being interviewed by the Berroco blog staff)…the ‘Missy’ jumper dress pattern I used to make the pink knitted dress is a Berroco pattern I bought at a little yarn shop about 10 years ago (time flies!).  

This jumper design is classic and timeless. Berroco now offers the 'Missy' jumper dress pattern as a free PDF download on their website.  (It looks like the yarn has been discontinued...bummer!  But, I'm sure other yarns would work.  Just make sure your gauge is spot on!)  Also, I would suggest buying extra yardage of yarn.  When I finished knitting the size 4 dress I only had about one to two yards of yarn leftover.  I still remember being very relieved as I held that small piece of  leftover yarn in the palm of my hand...pretty lucky!

It makes me so happy to know that my daughter has great memories of wearing the pink knitted dress I made for her.  The dress is safely tucked away and maybe someday she’ll have a little girl in her life who will wear the dress again. 

What is your favorite knitting project you have ever made?  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Time to Knit Christmas Ornament Presents for 2014!

It looks like knitters are starting to think about Christmas presents for 2014.  Last Saturday, the day after Valentine’s Day, there was a mysterious surge in sales of my Mini Mitten Christmas Ornament knitting pattern.   Love it!

Every year, I try to knit lots of ornaments throughout the year and then I have gifts ready to wrap up in December.  Well, truthfully….I don’t always succeed with planning ahead and I’m scrambling in December to finish knitting ornaments! 

Even when I’m behind on planning, I love making Christmas ornaments for my family and friends!  One size fits all!  Last Christmas, the mini mitten ornaments were wrapped up for my extended family.

If you’ve checked out my knitting patterns, you’ve noticed that I love to layer textures by adding felt appliqué designs.  The mini mitten pattern includes four different felt appliqué design ideas…a heart, a star, a snowman and a gingerbread house. 

The gingerbread house is my favorite!  I knit this mitten with Manos Maxima Worsted Merino Wool in the color “Stratus”.  I love this yarn!  This pale ice blue has gorgeous subtle color variations due to the kettle dye process.  With 219 yards per skein you can make eight beautiful mini mitten ornaments.

I keep a jar of my grandmother’s old buttons in my studio and I picked a couple of buttons to sew to the heart and star appliqué designs.

These red and white mittens with heart appliqué designs were made with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted.  I have used this yarn for many projects over the years and it is always dependable.  One skein will make seven ornaments. 

This knitting pattern is easy!  If you’ve never knit a mitten before this would be a great pattern to try.  The mittens are knit flat with straight needles.  I’ve assumed that you know how to cast on stitches, knit and purl confidently, knit two stitches together, sew up simple seams and have basic sewing experience.   

The pattern includes detailed photo tutorial instructions for M1 increase stitch (how to increase stitches to make the thumb of the mitten).  These are just two of the many tutorial photos included in the pattern.

There are patterns for the felt appliqué designs and detailed instructions for embroidery stitches.  If you would like to make a matching pair of mittens, there are instructions for both right and left handed mittens.

If you are looking for a fun gift card holder, these mittens are the perfect size to tuck a little cash or gift card inside.

You can purchase my pattern through my Etsy shop or on Ravelry.  Or, see the Pattern Store tab above.

These little mittens knit up quick and will be a special keepsake ornament for your tree or a memorable gift.  Make lots of these mini mitten Christmas ornaments and wrap them up to give to your mom, sister, aunt, cousins, neighbors, your child’s teacher, and your special friends.  Start knitting now, while you are watching the Olympics, and you be all set for gift giving next Christmas!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Free Little Owl Knitting Pattern!

This project was supposed to be a hat….but somewhere along the way it became a little owl card.

Back in November, the plan was to make my almost teenage daughter a new winter hat to go with her new coat.  We picked out yarn at the craft store.  We talked about a simple design with a very tiny owl on the side because she loves owls.  Well...I never knit the hat.  I got distracted with other projects.   She’s been standing at the bus stop every day in the freezing cold without a hat.  I feel bad about that!

Even though I wasn’t making progress on the hat, I kept thinking about the little owl design.  I sketched out some ideas and cast on a few stitches.  Before I realized what had happened, I had knit a little owl shape, cut out some felt wings, eyes and a beak and stitched them onto the knitting with embroidery floss.   Just like “Frosty the Snowman”, the little owl came to life! 

Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft yarn in 'Gray Pearl',
red, ivory, soft blue & gray felt,
black, light gray & ecru DMC floss.
This cute little owl knits up really quick!  In my free knitting pattern, I’ve assumed you have basic knitting and sewing skills.  Tutorial photos are included in the pattern for any techniques which may be new to you.   

You’ll need a few supplies:  size 5 (US) knitting needles, 5-6 yards of worsted weight yarn, felt in desired colors, DMC  embroidery floss, tapestry needle, embroidery needle, & other basic crafting supplies.

Stitch the owl to a blank note card or folded piece of card stock and you have a cute handmade card for a child or grandchild, Valentine’s Day, a new baby or anyone special to you. 

Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft yarn in 'Winter Sky',
red, ivory & gray felt,
black, gray & ecru DMC floss.

You could also frame the owl in an inexpensive craft store shadow box for a cute wall decoration. 

Berroco Vintage Worsted 'Fondant' yarn,
gray, white & periwinkle felt, black, pink & light gray DMC floss. 
Or, turn the little owl into a hanging ornament by stitching two pieces of felt together, adding a little stuffing and braid three pieces of yarn for a hanger. 

Berroco Vintage Worsted yarn in 'Cracked Pepper',
gray, white, black & red felt,
black, white & light gray DMC floss.
You get the idea….there’s lots of ways you can use this little knitted owl pattern.

This owl pattern would be fun to do with a youth group (probably ages 12 & up with a little knitting and hand sewing experience).  Girl Scout leaders….this would be a perfect teen Girl Scout “OWLS” project! 

I haven’t forgotten about the hat for my daughter.  It’s on the knitting needles and maybe someday, before winter is over, I’ll finish her hat.

You can download my free owl knitting pattern on my Ravelry 5410Studio Shop.  Or, I’d be happy to e-mail it to you.  Contact me at:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Designing "The Little House" Knitting Pattern

A few months ago I started sketching out an idea for a little three dimensional knitted house.  I wanted it to be tiny….small enough to be a hanging ornament for Christmas.  From the sketch, I estimated how many stitches, how many rows of knitting, etc.  I cast on stitches using some very, very old worsted weight yarn.  It took a few tries to find the right stitch choice to make the bottom stay flat and the right number of stitches and rows to have visually appealing proportions. 

When the knitting came together and the roof was sewn on straight, I had a cute little house in my hands.  But, it didn’t have a door or windows.  It wasn’t very interesting.  The house needed something to bring it to life.  Felt!  I dug out some felt and embroidery floss and sewed on doors and windows.  I love layering and mixing different materials!

Adding the felt appliqué to the design process sparked all kinds of ideas about customizing the house for many occasions.  I found myself waking up at 4:00 a.m. thinking of other themes for “The Little House”….a gingerbread house, a new home, welcoming home a new baby….the list became pretty long! 

One of the first ideas was a little pink house to celebrate Valentine’s Day…with little hearts on the door.  I made this version with Berroco Vintage Worsted.  It’s a lovely yarn at a reasonable price.  I fell in love with this delicious pale pink called ‘Fondant’.  The dark gray, called ‘Cracked Pepper’, tops off the house perfectly.

"The Little House" knitting pattern includes photos and directions for six variations.  The pattern includes row by row knitting instructions, specific instructions for finishing the house, patterns for the felt appliqué pieces, embroidery stitch instructions and lots of tutorial photos.  

I have assumed that you know how to cast-on stitches, knit & purl confidently, cast off stitches, knit two stitches together, sew up simple seams and have some basic hand sewing experience.  Detailed instructions are provided for any other techniques which may be new to you.

For example, I could have written simply: “sew up seams of the house” and “sew on roof”.  But, it took me a few tries to sew up the seams consistently and sew the roof on straight.  I want you to have the same results.  The pattern contains lots of photos (such as the one below) and tips to guide you through this process step by step.

You can purchase my pattern through my FiftyFourTenStudio Etsy Shop or in my  5410Studio Ravelry Pattern Store.  Or, see the Pattern Store tab above.

For me, “The Little House” pattern is all about home and love and family.   

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Welcome to the Fifty Four Ten Studio blog!  Little things to knit, stitch and craft.

My goal is to share project ideas, techniques and photos which will inspire you to create.   Whether you are making a gift or looking for a project to do with your children or a youth group, I have lots of ideas to share.  Some projects will have photos and info in the blog post, occasionally there will be a free pattern you can download (check out the “Ole the Owl” pattern!) and more complex patterns are for sale through my Etsy store.

At the recommendation of my husband, I’ve been slowly reading a book by Louise Dickinson Rich called We Took to the Woods.  It is her memoir of living in the woods of Maine during the 1930’s.  Among other talents, she is a confident knitter.  She wonders why people say they can’t knit.  “I think the difficulty with people who can’t follow printed directions for knitting or anything else is that they try to understand them.  They read the whole thing through and it doesn’t make any sense to them, so they start with a defeatist attitude….they get discouraged…” 

I don’t want you to get discouraged!  For more my complex patterns, which I offer either free or for sale on my Etsy shop, I include lots of tutorial photos and break down the steps into an easy to understand format.  My e-mail address is included in my patterns so you can contact me if you need help.

Louise Dickinson Rich goes on to say, “You don’t have to understand the directions.  All you have to do is follow them; and you can follow them only one step at a time.”  A great life lesson….take it one step at a time.  I hope my blog will inspire you to try something new, try a new craft, learn how to knit or learn a new skill.

I had thought about setting up a blog for sometime but the task seemed a bit daunting.  There were a lot of technical aspects I did not know how to do.  Fortunately, I have two tech savvy children who are home from school due to a big snow storm!  Yesterday, they taught me how to use “HTML Code”, navigate Blogger, set up hyper links and so much more.  (My daughter even redesigned my blog banner in about three minutes!)  We took it one step at a time and I learned so much about setting up a blog….on a very snowy day here in Kansas. 

Thanks for stopping by!  If you would like to be notified when I post a new entry to this blog, add your e-mail address to the “Follow Me By E-mail” box.