Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lovely yarn

I love hand dyed yarn, whether it comes from dyeing yarn in my own kitchen or yarn dyed by someone else. Purple is one of my favorite colors, and was the dominant color of my wedding. One of my bridesmaids, Jamie, gave me this stunning handdyed (and handspun!) purple colorway for my bachelorette party.

Beautiful shades of purple. And 18 oz!!

The yarn was spun by Frank Osborne of Oasis Fiber. (Contact at: 505-384-4277 or email The fiber looks heavy worsted, and there are 18 oz (510 g) of this yarn. What should I make out of it?

I'm still learning how to use my phone to create blog posts. Even though I have rotated this photo on my phone, whenever I try to re-import it into blogger it still shows upside down! Hopefully I'll learn a way to fix this up sometime soon...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

More Pictures of the Anemone Coat Check Scarf

I designed the Anemone Coat Check Scarf because I wanted to solve a problem. When going to restaurants and parties in the winter, I would often brave the winter cold because I was afraid of losing my gloves and hats while hanging my coat. This coat check scarf is a big pocket, so you can store your mittens inside the scarf and securely hang all of your knit accessories on a hanger.

This pattern is available to purchase ($2.50) through Ravelry.

This was my first time using KnitPicks Capra yarn, and I have to say that I loved the way it felt on my hands. This project took just over 2 skeins of yarn, leaving enough of one skein for another small project.

The buttons I used in this scarf I also purchased through KnitPicks, but unfortunately they have been discontinued. I still have 3 of these buttons left, but I really wish that I could get a couple more this size for another knitting design I have in mind.

The hardest part of this scarf was aligning the snaps to sew them onto the scarf correctly. It was easy to sew one side of the snaps to the same position of the buttons, and for the other side I started at the corner and worked my way up the side. I would quickly fix each snap into place while I had some of the other ones snapped to make sure I had things aligned correctly.

The Anemone Coat Check Scarf is a fairly quick knit, and although there is a lot of repetition, I didn't find myself getting bored.

I am now waiting for cold weather so I can have the chance to wear this scarf out!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dip Dyeing Yarn on the Stove

Space Dyeing Yarn will give you random variation of a single (or multiple) colors. Dip dyeing yarn will give you more regular gradients of color, and if your skein is long enough you can end up with a beautiful gradual striping pattern.

There was enough dye left over to dye another skein of wool green:

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Just like with the Fetch! project, I decided I would rather knit this duck dog toy in the round. This time it is a very simple conversion: Just knit the rows where it says purl!

I decided not to felt the duck, so I knit the bird with size 3 needles so it would be tight enough to stand up against Indy's teeth. The pattern consumed 2 g of Berroco Peruvia in brown, 3 g of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes (WOTA) in Evergreen, 1 g of WOTA daffodil and 8 g of WOTA lake ice heather.

I wasn't sure if I would have enough of the lake ice heather to finish the back of the body... but I am prepared to have a short and fat duck if I have to! I cut rows 26-33, and picked up at row 34 in the pattern instructions. When I finished with this color, I had about 16" remaining. Man, I could have done one more row in the mid-section! For my other color changes:
  • Row 40 I switched to brown.
  • Row49 use some scrap white for a single row .
  • Row 50 changed to green
  • Row 68 changed to yellow
I had rescued a squeeker from Indy's Monkey toy, and felt that it would be perfect to include in this duck toy. I wrapped the squeeker in the pollyfill stuffing, and then inserted it inside the gray portion of the duck.

Indy already loves this toy. Too bad he cannot have it for keeps until Christmas!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another Peek into My Design Notebook

I love designing my own knitting patterns. I have a special notebook that I use to keep track of my ideas and where I start to work through the designs themselves. I have given you a peek inside the notebook in the past, and I felt that it was time to give you another glimpse.

I am so proud of my Fenway Convertible Mitts, they work great to keep my hands warm while watching baseball games in the cold and unpredictable Boston weather.

The Bumble Bee Pin Cushion is a fun variation of one of my most popular knitting patterns, the Bumble Bee Plushie.

The Teeny tiny Mittens pattern is one of the few that I started immediately with a chart... drawn by hand!

The hissy snake design page is a good example of how much a design can change from initial sketches, or how many ideas don't get incorporated into the final design.

I hope that you enjoyed this second peak into my design notebook. Even though I am now selling my first knitting pattern (the Anemone Coat Check Scarf), I will continue to offer the majority of my knitting patterns for free here on ChemKnits.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Baby Vermillion Berry Hat

My friend Alan's sister is expecting a baby girl, and I couldn't resist knitting the new baby a little berry hat!

I have a lot of KnitPicks Shine Sport yarn around (I love using it for baby hats), so even though the yarn is thinner than the berry hat pattern required, I decided to use it anyway and just increase the number of stitches for the hat.

I knit with size 3 needles and cast on 72 sts (24 stitches per needle). After the brim was complete (5 rounds), I switched to size 5 dpn's. Once the hat measured 4.5 inches (including rolled brim), I started the leaves. Since I used more stitches than required, I decreased 8 stitches (K7, K2tog across - 64 sts left) before starting the leaf charts.

The hat used 29g of pink (orchid) and 4 g of green (grass). I only knit 3 inches of the icord for the stem, but I felt that was sufficient.

Looking at the hat, I really wanted to add some strawberry like spots to it. Next time I will add these in as I'm knitting.

Friday, November 11, 2011

One Pot Variation of a Single Color

The following video tutorial is another version of the Space Dyeing Yarn Tutorial, but this time dealing with a single color. The result is a kettle dyed yarn effect, where you get random, subtle variation of the color you selected. (Note, in the Purple Space Dyeing experiment, we saw separation of the blue and red colors within that dye. This time, we are ending up with different levels of saturation of a single color.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Win your KnitPicks Wishlist!

I love KnitPicks yarn. I would therefore be THRILLED to win the "Win Your Wish List!" Contest. Winners will be announced 11/17, so make sure to enter soon!

Here is my wishlist.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Search for Free Hippo Knitting Patterns

My friend Jamie collects purple hippos. She has teased me about knitting one for her, and I wanted to see what kinds of hippo knitting patterns are available for free online. This is what I found:
  • Little Hippo - I have knit other items from this designer before, and I've loved the way that they came out. Very small, and could be knit fairly quickly.
  • Mybootee Sock Hippo - Not a Sock Monkey, but similar in the way they're styled. This would give you a larger stuffed knit hippo. The formatting on the blog post is strange, but there is a link to the PDF of the pattern near the top. I recommend looking at the pdf, as trying to read a knitting pattern all in one paragraph wouldn't be very fun!
  • Mini Hippo - Another cute stuffed hippo. I think this would be bigger than little hippo, but smaller than the sock hippo. You will need to create a free account to download this free hippo knitting pattern.
  • Mini-Nilpferd - Little Hippo - The pattern is available in German. There are some images of the construction, but until a translation comes out I would not be able to knit this stuffed hippo.
  • Hipponymous - "A nearly seamless hippo where short rows are used to achieve shaping. It’s “nearly seamless” because the ears must be sewn on." This looks fantastic! You will need to create a free account to download this free hippo knitting pattern.
  • Hippo! Cloth - a chart of a hippo (and the word Hippo) that you can knit flat.
There aren't too many free Hippo knitting patterns out there. If you are looking for patterns to purchase, the number increases by a factor of 5. I hope that you found the hippo knitting pattern that you were looking for!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dog Themed Knitting Charts

I just finished knitting a Christmas stocking for my puppy, Indy. I designed a lot of dog themed knitting charts for the project, and not all of them are going to make it into the final stocking. I therefore thought I would publish the 10 individual charts separately from the final stocking knitting chart. Enjoy!

Dog Silhouette Knitting Chart - 28x33 sts

Fire Hydrant Knitting Chart - 20 x 13 sts

Small Bone Knitting Chart - 5 x 12 sts

Paw Print Knitting Chart - 8 x 11 sts

Big Bone Knitting Chart - 15 x 30 sts. This is big enough to enclose a 5 letter high name. Just adjust the length accordingly.

Hose Knitting Chart - 15 x 13 sts

Tree Knitting Chart - 16 x 11 sts

Bow Wow Knitting Chart - 5 x 31 sts (not including white border)

Woof Knitting Chart - 5 x 17 sts

These knitting charts were created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. You are not to distribute or reprint this pattern without the permission of ChemKnits. © 2011 ChemKnits

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Maple Leaf Knitting Chart

The following leaf knitting chart is based on the Toronto Maple Leafs logo, per request of Andrea on the Bruins Knitting Chart page.

Maple Leaf Knitting Chart 28x21 sts

I am happy to make charts on request if I have the time. But I have no intention of making knitting charts for every sports team imaginable. (I am more likely to make charts for teams that I have some personal connection to, such as Boston teams.)

These knitting charts were created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. You are not to distribute or reprint this pattern without the permission of ChemKnits. © 2011 ChemKnits

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The word ombré means "having colors or tones that shade into each other —used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark" It is derived from the French verb ombrer (to shade). I think that this aptly describes the following hat, where a simple colorwork pattern causes one color to shade into the next.


  • Up to 9 colors of worsted weight wool (between 1-11 g of each color; 67 g total). I used KnitPicks Wool of the Andes scraps in Evergreen (A - 11 g), Avocado (B - 7 g), Grass (C - 8 g), Spruce (D - 9 g), Wonderland Heather (E - 8g), Cloud (F - 8 g), Lake Ice Heather (G - 6 g), Blue Ink (H - 3 g), and Cobblestone Heather (I - 1 g). For the 2 color version you will need 34 g of one color, 33 g of the second color.
  • Size 6 (4.0 mm) circular or double pointed needles.
  • Gauge: 11 sts/2 inches and 11 rows/2 inches over colorwork pattern;
  • Notions: yarn needle to weave in loose ends.
  • Finished size: 18.25" circumference, 8.5" long.   

The Ombré Hat Knitting Pattern

  • Cast on 100 stitches on size 6 needles with color A.
  • Join to knit in the round and knit 6 rows of 2x2 ribbing (K2, P2 across the whole row)
  • Begin knitting the chart, starting at the bottom and following it from right to left. Note: The main body of the hat is a repeat of 4 stitches, but the charts for the crown decreases are in increments of 20. I have provided charts for both the 4 stitch repeat for the main body of the hat and for the 20 stitch repeat including the crown decreases.
    Color Key:
    4 stitch knitting chart key for the main body of the Ombré Hat knitting pattern. (See Below for a chart for the hat including the decreases for the crown.)

    Knitting Chart for the entire Ombré Hat pattern, including the decreases.

  • The crown decreases are illustrated in the chart above, but I have included general written instructions for the crown shaping as well. Note: these written instructions do not indicate where the color changes occur. The color changes for crown decreases start with a 20 st repeat. So while there are 10 decreases per decrease round, there are 5 repeats of the colorwork pattern. Please refer to the above chart for the color changes during the crown decreases.
    • *K8, K2tog* across (90 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K7, K2tog* across (80 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K6, K2tog* across (70 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K5, K2tog* across (60 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K4, K2tog* across (50 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K3, K2tog* across (40 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K2 k2tog* across (30 sts)
    • K1 round
    • *K1, k2tog* across (20 sts)
    • K2tog across (10 sts)
    • K2tog across (5 sts)
  • Cut yarn and pull through remaining stitches. Weave in all loose ends.

The inside of the hat looks pretty cool, too!

Two Color Version of the Ombré HatThe hat in the pattern instructions was knit with 9 different colors. I also made a chart for a two color version so you can get a simpler idea of how the pattern works:

I designed this hat for a close friend of the family (I cannot name her in case she ever checks my blog!) I hope that she likes it!

Abbreviations Used in this pattern:
Kfb - increase by knitting into the front and back of a single stitch.
M1 (Make 1)- increase stitch by picking up yarn between two stitches, twisting and knitting.
K - knit
P - purl
I-cord - knit stitches on dpn's without ever turning the needle (effectively knitting in the round with a small number of stitches.)
SSK - decrease by slipping two stitches then knitting them together. Alternatively, you could slip one stitch, knit one stitch and pass slipped stitch over.
K2tog - decrease by knitting two stitches together.

These knitting pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. You are not to sell, distribute or reprint this pattern without the permission of ChemKnits. © 2011 ChemKnits