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 - Across the Diamond.

Across the Diamond blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and LoveKnitting.

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, LoveKnitting, Craftsy and Etsy.

Thanks so much for reading!  Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

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, LoveKnitting 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!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio


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, LoveKnitting  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, LoveKnitting and in my Etsy shop.

Have a wonderful day!  Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio