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!