Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Stash busters

I spend too much time on Ravelry. It is truly addictive. I was recently looking for some stash busters and was amazed at the variety of projects and ideas.I thought I would share a few of my finds with you.
The first 2 are not Ravelry. I found this while Goggling (another addiction of mine) when looking for some craft ideas to do with my young nephews at the cottage this summer.

Dream catchers

Many children will be familiar with Dream catchers from their studies in First Nations Cultures which (if I remember correctly) is about grade 3 in York Region. The Ojibwa believe that a dream catcher changes a person's dreams. Only good dreams would be allowed to filter through… Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day.Good dreams would pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.
For more information on Dream catchers, use the following wikeipedia link which also contains other helpful information links.

Dream Catchers are great cottage projects for kids.  The base can be made from a variety of easily accessible items - coat hangers, paper plates, margarine lids. Cover them with yarn, web the center and then decorate with found objects from the beach - feathers, shells, pine cones. The following link is a very kid appropriate set of directions for Dream catchers.

God's eye

A God's eye is a yarn weaving and a Huichol spiritual object. The Huichol or Wixáritari are a Native American ethnic group of western central Mexico, living in the Sierra Madre Occidental range.

http://www.katcoyle.com/blog/2007/11/gods-eyes/   provides the following instructions

Treasure Pouch

A little fun something you can knit for kids with just a few meters of sock or DK yarn - a Treasure Pouch. If you are spending time at a beach, it is a perfect little pouch for special stones or shells.

Little Ditty Bag

A nice little pouch you might enjoy for yourself is a Little Ditty Bag.

A 50gm ball of cotton makes a bag the perfect size to be a project bag for socks

You could use small left overs to create stripes.

Knit with variegated cotton , you can get some funky colour pooling.

Deep Sea Flower Dice Bag

Knit with just a few meters of Kureyon or Silk garden
Pattern at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/deep-sea-flower-dice-bag---anemone-de-mer

Minnow Hat

We took this little hat knit with left over sock yarn to the Frolic. It got more attention than anything else in our booth. It is a scaled down version of the Dead Fish Hat from Knitty (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fish-hat-dead-or-alive 
and uses just a few meters of sock yarn. And what sock knitter doesn't have tons of left over bits of sock yarn. The pattern only offers one size,  newborn. I am playing around with resizing to fit slightly older children.The one I knit used a mere 10 gms for the red sections and 20 gms for the body.

Baby Surprise Jacket

There are over 17,000 Baby Surprise Sweaters posted on Ravelry. It is the third most posted project. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-surprise-jacket

Mitered Sock Yarn Blanket

Free Pattern at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sock-yarn-blanket
If you are unfamiliar with miters, don't fear this project. All those little squares/diamonds are joined as you go, not seamed together at the end. Gabriela is doing a class on the technique used to make this project  this summer.

Christine's Stay On Baby Booties

These adorable booties use just a few meters of sock yarn. I recognize this yarn as one of my favourite colourways of Trekking, now unfortunately discontinued.
FREE Pattern on ravelry at

Saartjes Bootees & Easy Peasy Newborn hat

Saatjes bootees & Easy Peasy Newborn hat in Regia Kaffe Fassett Design Line colour Snappy 02900
Easy Peasy in Zauberball Crazy1701

A diagonal knit scarf/shawl using random bits of left overs.


Mini Mania Linen Stitch Scarf

One of my favourite stitch patterns is linen stitch. I have used it dozens of times in various projects. One of its most popular uses is as a scarf with hand painted yarns. . The young lady below has knit a huge version using up a ton of different colours of sock yarn. I love it. It is on my list of must do projects.

Squishy Love Shawl

The shawl/wrap below appeals to me also. I love all Noro Yarns. I can't bear to throw away even the smallest scrap of Noro. The shawl below uses a unifying skein of solid yarn knit in random garter stitch and eyelet stripes with a selection of small amounts of various Noro left overs. I have all the left overs, just have to select a solid unifying colour.

 Knitter's Journey Afghan - This

 Becomes this

 Using Stephanie Pearl McPhee's pattern for the Knitters Journey Afghan

Pattern Description from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: “This is one of my favorite projects and one that can reflect a knitter’s journey as well as any scrapbook or postcard collection. It was inspired by a quilt I had as a little girl made of the leftover scraps of fabric from the clothes my grandmother sewed. There was a square that was a piece of my mother’s favorite nightie, a square of an uncle’s flannel shirt, bits of a summer sundress and a soft bedsheet. Our lives and stories about what people did and where they went in the clothes made from those fabrics were laid out in bits and pieces and backed with pink cotton, and I loved it. This knitting project serves the same purpose: It uses the leftovers of projects gone by (or as they go by, my personal choice) to work a traveler’s afghan.”
This pattern may be found on pages 206-209 of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off.


Becomes this

Or this

I hope you have found some inspiration to help use up your stash. If not I have one more option. At Serenity Knits we are happy to accept donations for 2 local schools with knitting clubs and a local church which knits charity afghans. If you have any yarn or knitting needles you would love to get rid of, drop them off and we will get them to the schools or church. 

Happy knitting

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Magical Miters

The design that got many knitters hooked on mitered knitting is Shelly Kang's Mitered Sock Yarn Blanket. On her blog (http://www.shellykang.com/category/blankie), Shelly shared her journey as she knit her sock yarn scraps into the colourful blanket shown below.

 If you are unfamiliar with mitered knitting, don't fear, the squares are connected as you knit, not knit separately and pieced together at the end.  Ravelry now has over 1200 mitered blankets posted.


Most are a rainbow collection of random bits of sock yarn.

Others, while still several  sock yarns have a more cohesive colour scheme.

Or use a single colourway of selfstriping yarn,

Various shades of Noro Kureyon

This baby blanket has all the squares in the same colourway of Kureyon sock yarn.

The Mitered Squares Afghan below is a free pattern on the Lion Brand website;
It uses several complimentary colourways of self striping yarn.

If desired, specific colours can be selected. This pair of blankets was knit for a brother and sister, same design, different colours.

Some knitters positioned their squares for specific colour effects.
The colour spectrum


Colour spectrum again.

A variety of edgings can be used on a mitered project.
A solid band can be picked up and added at the end.

The edging can be left with triangle, and a round of single crochet added to finish.

A ruffle was added to this baby blanket version.

An I-cord edge for this one.

This blanket was knit with a black edge around each miter.

This blanket combined miters and squares knit according to the Barn Raising Quilt Pattern

Not every one used sock yarn. This stroller blanket was done with Rowan Colourscapes, a beautiful self striping chunky yarn.

A baby blanket in several pastel shades of DK cotton.

Mitered knitting would be great for group projects. Once you get started, more than one person can work on it at once.

Once you understand the basics of mitering, you will not be challenged by some other great patterns.
Mitered Diamond Bag

Miters and Lace Scarf

Mitered Scarf from the book 60 Quick Knits for Cascade 220

This mitered scarf is a FREE design on Drops, using several colours of self striping sock yarn.

A mobieus cowl with self striping yarn

a cute baby's bib

Another FREE Drops design. The fronts and backs are miters with stitches picked up and knit in garter stitch for the sleeves.

A coat of many colours wrap.

A shawl,

Knitted shawl in domino squares in sock yarn, a FREE pattern by DROPS design

Smoking Hot Socks designed by one of our customers.

A FREE mitered slipper pattern from Drops

 A simple top from Japanese Inspired Knits

These are just a few of the MITERED KNITTING DESIGNS you will find on Ravelry. If we have sparked your interest, Gabriela will be offering 2 mitered knitting classes this summer;  a one session introductory class to get you started on a MITERED SOCK YARN BLANKET and a 4 week DESIGN YOUR OWN MITERED SUMMER TOP.

Happy Knitting