Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A search for iPad and Kindle Cover Knitting Patterns

iPads are taking over the world. I am not a huge fan of being able to be contacted wherever I am, but even I will admit that the iPads are fun. Within a few days of the iPad release, free iPad knitting patterns began popping up all over the internet. Now creating a knit iPad cover would make a simple and fast knitting that knitters at any level could do. Therefore, I have searched the internet to provide you with free iPad cover knitting patterns and Kindle Covers!

Free iPad Knitting Patterns

Free Kindle Cover Knitting Pattens

Sure, the Kindle is not the same as the iPad... but they are similarly shaped, and a Kindle cover could be easily adapted to fit the iPad. Since Kindles have been around longer than iPads, there are more free Kindle cover knitting patterns available online.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A New Chevron Hat for a New Baby

One of my crochet club friends is expecting her first baby at the end of the summer!  She is a fantastic crocheter but doesn't know how to knit, so I decided to whip out one of my favorite hat patterns, the Chevron Baby Hat.  (Disclaimer, this pattern is my favorite because I designed it!)  I selected comfy worsted in marlin (15 g, 33 yards) and light blue (13 g, 28 yards) and my size 5 (3.75 mm) knitting needles.

My friends are going to wait to find out the sex of the baby until the birth.  This means that I want to make a hat that is gender neutral, but I didn't want to go full on green and yellow since I'm sure they're going to get a lot of those colors.  I opted for some blues, and just in case the baby is a girl I whipped up a quick crochet flower that could be sewn on if desired.  

I could have gone with teal and grey, but those were the colors I used the LAST time I knit the chevron baby hat, and I wanted to have some variety in my project page.  I also wanted to try out thicker stripes, so I'm going to change colors after every 4 rows versus every 2 as written in the pattern.  I knit 6.5 entire big stripes before starting the decreases.   

I chose a simple 5 petal flower for the embellishment.  I left the loose ends on the back of the flower so it could be secured to the hat if necessary. I used a size E (3.5 mm) crochet hook for the flower.

I really like the flower against the chevron.  I think I might embellish more of my designs in the future!  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Search for Independence Day Knitting Patterns (Patriotic Knits)

I am continuing my quest for non-winter knitting patterns by looking for patterns inspired by Independence Day, the 4th of July. I'm not sure why I associate July 4 with crafts, but it is certainly a day that I have always spent with my family. In this post you will find the links to free knitting patterns based on the red, white and blue. If you know of any USA themed knitting patterns, please let me know and I'll add them to the link lists below.

When the platform Squidoo existed, ChemKnits did multiple focused free knitting and crochet pattern searches.  These "lenses" were migrated to Hubpages at the end of 2014, but the Hubpages platform does not like Hubs that contain multiple links, especially if these links go to the same site (such as Ravelry.)  I am reposting the search here on ChemKnits.  I did all of the searching to find this list myself, and the descriptions are of my own writing unless otherwise noted.  Please let me know if any of the links are broken, I am working to migrate many pattern searches at once and may have missed one.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Bow-Tie in Celebration of a Fairy Godmother

Lucky's Godmother got married last fall.  Both Keith and I were in the wedding party, so I knew that we might have the opportunity for some amazing family photos.  Just in case, I decided to make Lucky a bow tie out of the remaining fabric from the hemming of my bridesmaids dress.

I got Lucky a tiny tux (Formal Black Tuxedo with Tail Cummerbund Bowtie Suit (Baby-Medium)) for the event, but I wanted to make him extra special.  The hemming of my dress came with a TON of fabric, both gauze and a more opaque fabic.  I would use both in this tie.

I cut an 11x2" piece of the solid fabric.  I knew that I could trim it down further if I needed to later.  I folded this into a loop.  Rather than using fabric glue, I decided that I would actually use a needle and thread for this project.  Surprise!  This isn't due to better sewing skills, but more that I don't have time to let the glue dry.

I took two 11" pieces of the gauzy fabric  and folded them over the opaque piece so no frayed edges would be visible.  (The edging of the gauzy layers on my dress is raw so I'm not worried about frayed edges here.

I folded this sandwich into a loop with the connecting edges in back.

I took two more 11" pieces of gauze and folded them in half, laying them on top of the previous sandwiched piece.

I stitched these three loops together and then cinched the center of the bow tie together by wrapping it with thread.

I removed the bow tie that came with the tux from the strap so I could use the same strap on Lucky's tux.  I secured my blue tie onto the strap by wrapping some extra gauze around the center and sewing it to the back.  I took care to not stitch through the strap itself since I might want to replace the original bow tie someday.

Voila!  A custom bow tie that matches my bridesmaids dress!  I didn't know whether Keith would wear a bow tie or a long tie with his tux, but if we were all dressed up together we would be a smashing family.

Thank you, Indy for trying on the tie while Lucky was napping!

In the end, we decided to let Lucky stay with a babysitter for the wedding itself.  Keith and I had a blast staying out late as only adults whose baby is home sleeping can!  Lucky did wear his tux and made a splash at the rehearsal dinner, even if we couldn't keep his shirt tucked in.  

I still got to have a lot of fun dancing with my boy!  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Monkey Chevron Birthday Banner - FREE PRINTABLE!

My best friends' baby is turning one!  Well she turned one back in April, but I was so excited for this darling baby (and her parents) that I wanted to celebrate even though I lived across the country.  The Mama mentioned that they were having a Monkey themed birthday party so I decided to make a Monkey Banner to hang in my own home to celebrate with them in spirit.

You can download the Monkey Chevron Birthday Banner PDF through Google Drive.  I used the free BANAAN font to create the lettering.  I love the design of these bananay letters!

This banner has the same basic shape as my Dr. Seuss Baby Shower Banner and the Chevron Fish Banner.  Since I was NOT the party host I printed the shapes two to a page for a smaller banner, but you could print one letter per page if you wanted a larger one.

The PDF is 18 pages long and contains all of the pages to cut out monkey faces spelling "Happy Birthday" on alternating yellow and teal chevron backgrounds.  There is a smiling monkey and blank monkey face on each color so you can customize the banner message yourself.

After you've printed out the banner, just cut along the dotted line and tape or stable the letters to some ribbon. 

I used some of the blank monkey faces to create a card to send to the birthday girl.  I debated whether I should send the PDF I created directly to the parents of the birthday girl, but I didn't want to intrude on their party plans.  I know that I had put in a ton of effort to plan out ever detail for Lucky's under the sea birthday party and am not sure how I'd feel if someone else sent me a banner that I felt obligated to use.


We hung this up in our living room and took pictures and videos with it to wish the little one a happy birthday.  

I hope you enjoy this free printable birthday banner!  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How to Make a Crochet Loop Bobble

I love my wide brim skull cap pattern, it is a simple and fun adult hat that is warm and cozy in the winter.  I've been asked many times to create a smaller toddler version and this winter I was happy to deliver with the What's This? A toddler skullcap! pattern.  I decided that the toddler version of this popular pattern needed to have some whimsy, so I designed a crochet loop bobble to put on top of the hat.

Crochet Bobble
The pompom/bobble is a series of crochet chain loops secured to the crown.
  • With a size H (5 mm) crochet hook, Chain 26 sts (or 6") and join with a slip stitch in the first chain.  
  • Repeat 14 times or until you have the desired number of loops - I made 15.  The slip stitch should be approximately in the center, it doesn't need to be perfectly in the same stitch each time.  Join where makes the most sense for your bobble to keep the center tight.  
  • Stitch to the top of the hat.  

Since this pattern is classified as a knitting pattern, not a crochet pattern, I decided to create a video tutorial on how I created this loop pompom to help you create your own.  All you need to create one of these bobbles is a crochet hook and some yarn!  

Please let me know if you have any other questions on the technique.  I hope that the video helped!  

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Peak into My Vogue Knitting Magazine Stash

Over the years, I've reviewed my entire knitting library here on ChemKnits, plus other books that I've checked out from the library.  But did you know that I am also a hoarder subscriber of Vogue Knitting Magazine? My now mother-in-law gave me a subscription for Christmas many years ago and I've been a faithful subscriber ever since.

Now with all of these issues and patterns, how many items have I knit from Vogue Knitting?  ONE.  From Spring/Summer 2010 - the second issue I ever received.   (Well two if you count the cardigan back in high school, but I don't think that counts since I wasn't a subscriber at that point.)

I don't always read the magazines cover to cover, but I love getting a glimpse of what is hot right now in knitting design.  I love to look through pictures of notions and accessories and to be introduced to new tools that will fit right into my hoard collection.  There is also a thrill of seeing "celebrity" contributions.   I have seen patterns from Project Runway Alumnae, and models from ANTM between the covers.  I see so many delicious sweaters that I would love to knit for myself someday.  

A key part to managing my subscription is keeping my Ravelry library updated.  It is much easier to tag the patterns I love as my favorites in Ravelry than to sort back through dozens of old issues.  Now when I'm searching for a new project these can come up tagged and I'll be ready to go!  

Most of the patterns are geared towards women, but there are occasionally some designs for men.  (Early Fall 2014 I'm looking at you!  Love the bow ties!)  Most of the designs are garments, with a few accessories sprinkled in each issue.  Since my shape changes so frequently I don't knit many sweaters, but I always find at least a couple of patterns that really make me itch to go yarn shopping.

If I could make changes to Vogue Knitting (ha!), I would like to see more designs for kids and men.  I know that ultimately the demographic is for women's apparel, and I wouldn't want to change the essence of the magazine but there are many male knitters out there and they should be included in the industry.  Having the magazine show up 5 times a year (I seriously never know when to expect it since the publishing dates are seasonal and not monthly) is one of the highlights.  This is seriously one of the best knitting gifts I've ever received.

Have you ever knit anything from Vogue Knitting? If not, you should subscribe to Vogue Knitting today! 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Moving Again - Rushing to Get Stuff Done

I'm moving again.  For the first time, however, our stuff is going into storage while we wait to move into our new residence.  This means that my yarn is going into storage!  I will be without it for at LEAST a month.  Not just my yarn, my spinning wheel, fiber, needles, EVERYTHING.  I have so many things that I want to get done before we move, because I've been meaning to get them done for a long time.

On 5/3/2015, I posted the following on the ChemKnits Facebook page to give myself some accountability (edited to add #'s.)

Goals Before I Move (and the stash goes into storage):
  1. Finish my hibernating beaded shawl that I started before Lucky was born.
  2. Finish spinning my 2ply luxury Into The Whirled fiber (spinning very thin so it is taking a long time. Hoping for 2 py fingering in the end)
  3. Finish 1 and start a second stashbusting crochet project. 
  4. Figure out what to bring from my supplies to serve the projects I need to complete while in limbo.
  5. Pack my own yarn and fiber - no "professional packer" is touching my stash! 
  6. Order yarn to meet me at my destination
  7. Film one more dyeing video (can edit during limbo.)
Sound possible?  

Now I probably should add to this list things like, add all yarn to my Ravelry stash (or at least handspun)... but that is just unreasonable when I only had a few weeks left to go.  Maybe when I set up my stuff in the new home I can catalog everything...  

I'm happy to say that starting this list has lit a fire under my butt and I started checking things off of my list.  
  1. On 5/4/2015 (May the Fourth be with You), I finished #1 realizing how silly it was for me to let something hibernate when I was that close to finishing it.  
  2.  FAILED. On 5/16 finally brought my wheel back out.  I got through almost half of the second spindle but then got knocked on my butt with things to prepare for the move.  Unfortunately, I failed to complete #3.  
  3. On 5/3/2015, I technically completed #3 by finishing a stashbusting crochet project and starting a second, although I want to finish that second small project before we leave.  On 5/5/2015 I finished the second one.  
  4.  Finished 5/17.  This one has been on going.  In mid May I started a bag that I would bring with me to Massachusetts to put yarn I would need for certain projects.  This step is also very related to #6.  
  5. Completed 5/19/2015.  Most of the fiber was in boxes for a while but I waited to close the boxes until the last possible moment.  
  6. Completed 5/4/2015.   I'm always hesitant to finalize a KnitPicks purchase because I am almost guaranteed to remember something else I needed right after I click submit.  I also have to vent because I needed to order a second ball of yarn for a very special project to do while I'm in housing limbo, but the pattern's page on Ravelry has no yardage information.  I hate overbuying yarn for a project, but I'd rather over buy than under buy!  Additionally, this extra ball of yarn got me to $50 free shipping without adding something extra to my card. 
  7. FAILED.  On 5/12/2015 I decided to let this one go.  I love making dyeing videos (and I know you all love them, too!) but there just isn't time left for me to film and let the fiber dry.  I am supposed to be putting things away and letting fiber sit out for a few days is feeling counter productive.  

Let's talk about packing.  This move is a little different because our stuff is going into storage.  This means that I have to let my fiber OUT OF MY CONTROL and worry about it being damaged by rain and other stuff.  I therefore am putting all of my fiber in clean trashbags to protect it.  A lot of my yarn lives in gallon sized ziplock bags to help keep things organized.  This makes it much easier to find what I'm looking for, plus protects it from spills.  I hope to have a whole new system in the new house.  

Bye bye yarn.  See you in a number of weeks when we're ready to unpack you in our new home.  Maybe then I'll finally inventory everything....  (Laughter is filling the halls right now!)