Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Christmas in July days 30 and 31

For these last 2 days, I have thoughts of electronics.  Most people have portable devices of one kind or another.  To wind down on a simple note, offer a little fun, and a chance to try out something new, I have this idea.

Get some wool yarn.  Yes I know we are heading into the dog days of summer.  Save this for later if you like or find an air conditioned place to sit.  Grab a hook or pair of needles that will match your yarn to give you a little larger gauge.  For this I mean that if your ball band recommends a size H hook or size 7 needles to get the suggested gauge, go up 2 sizes.  If you already have to change your hooks or needles, go up 2 sizes from that.  Now grab a copy of a stitch dictionary and pick a bunch of stitch patterns you want to try.

My idea is this.  felted sleeves for portable electronics.  Measure your intended appliance, add 30% more stitches  (3 more stitches for every 10 needed to get the desired measurement).  Then knit or crochet the stitch pattern you chose.  Seam it.  Wash it to felt it either a little or a lot, but only until it matches your needed size.  Let air dry.

Let us use this example:  I have a portable device measuring 2 inches wide by 4 inches tall and is less than 1/2 inch thick.  My yarn suggests a size H hook or 7 needle to get 16 stitches to 4 inches.and 19 rows to 4 inches.  I know that means that I will need to chain or cast on for 11 stitches.  My math is this:  16 stitches divide by 2 is 8 plus 3 for the 30% (I rounded up).  19 rows is 4 inches but I know that felting also pulls vertically more than horizontally so I will add up to 40% more rows to counter this.  So 19 x 40% is 7.6 rows more, round it up to 8 rows.

I know that my pattern has to have space for 11 stitches wide and 27 rows for one side.  Small patterns for small devices allow for more repeats.  Cables require even more stitches for width.  I would add another 20% (2 for every 10 of original number.  Then add the felting 30% ).  So if I choose cables, I would start with 8 stitches plus 2 for cable plus 3 for felting to give me 13 stitches.

I could even choose 2 different patterns for front and back.  I would not choose laces for felting though.  The felting is there to offer some protection from the daily bumps and drops some things get.  The felting will also offer scratch protection.

If you've never intentionally felted anything, have no fear.  It's easy.  Once the Pieces are done and sewn together (I find it easier to sew before felting,).  A bucket of hot water with some soap and a long handled wood spoon are all you need to get started.  The hot water is one felting agent.  The soap provides lubrication for the fibers to slide together.  The spoon provides the agitation, another felting agent.  Do this outside under a shady tree if possible.  It will get you wet.  The idea is to viciously stir the bucket with the soapy water and one or two small objects for felting.  You will need to remove them from time to time to see if the felting is done far enough but not too far that you can't get your final object in.

Once felting is achieved, let air dry.  You can then add a zipper to the open edge or ties or a clasp of some kind.  Have fun and thanks for this journey through July with me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Christmas in July day 29

Today part of my inspiration comes from a nephew whose birthday is the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.  For years he felt his birthday was skipped since presents and cake were not abundant or "lumped" together with a family celebration.  He also was unhappy since he favored summer sports and not winter sports but anyone who got him a present for his birthday invariably could only find hockey and basketball things at that time of year.  So today my inspiration comes from this website:


I think a fun and flirty hat for summer is just what is needed.  Keeps the sun out of your eyes, possibly doubles as sun protection.  Make one for yourself or someone you love.  The hats on the site above are not hand crafting patterns, but they can offer inspiration and these are some of what I found.













Note you will need to sign in to Ravelry.com to access any patterns there.  It is a free account sign up, if you are not already a member.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Christmas in July day 28

Most women like adding some sort of adornment to their hair for holiday parties.  These can be done in seasonally appropriate colors, metals, beaded.  The possibilities are endless.

A few ideas to get you started would be hair ties, cover them with knit or crochet, beaded or not.

Headbands embellished with flowers or other favored shapes.

Clips, combs, barrettes all glitzed or glammed up can add interest in smaller doses.

For this idea I turn to some books at Michaels.com,
Product 200 Braids to Twist, Knot, Loop, or Weave
Product Crochet Bouquet

Crochet Bouquet

Suzann Thompson

Product 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet

These are just a few.  Check out your local store for more

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Christmas in July day 27

Have you thought about doing jewelry with knit or crochet?  Kids can do friendship bracelets.  Teens can do the para-cord bracelets that are so popular.  But for something more sophisticated for tweens and older, you might want to try your hand at crocheting or knitting with wire and beads or fine crochet threads and beads.  There are a lot of nice patterns out there in beading magazines for this technique as well as some of the knit and crochet magazines.

Beads for this can be whatever your recipient or you like.  Too many glass beads though could make the piece heavy.  You could also do a mix of bead work (using head pins and such) with the crochet and/or knit piece.

Jewelry is always welcome for holidays, birthdays, births, anniversaries, any day of the week really.  Here are some ideas.

stranded necklace


star street ensemble



In addition to these, a search using your favorite search engine will provide more possibilities than imagined.  Do some or all of these ideas with bead wire instead of yarns or threads and some memorable pieces could be made.

There are books at Michaels.com that have more starting points.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Christmas in July day 26

Today I think about plants.  I love to garden.  I hate to weed though.  My idea for today is how to bring some of summer indoors for the winter.  The answer is a  plant sling and nice plant.  I try to make sure nothing toxic goes to families with small kids who put everything in their mouth or curious animals.  I have started geraniums from my plants to give as gifts as well as seeds of favorite vine-like summer flowers to grow in the winter and bring some cheer.

I try to do a mix of houseplants or even Christmas cacti rather than poinsettias.  Traditionalist that I am, I only like the dark red ones and even then I get overwhelmed by them being everywhere.

A nice plant or mix of plants in a nice planter that has the option to hang is ideal.  No hook?  no  problem, there's a nice planter to sit somewhere.  Ho horizontal places to put a plant out of reach?  Again no problem, here's the way to hang it.

I used to like the large macrame hangers some  people made.  Now you can't readily find materials for this.  I can find a few crocheted patterns though and yarn is abundant that won't disintegrate.

plant hanger



plant hanger

pineapple plant hanger

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Classes are Available

I'm pleased to announce that we have new classes to offer.  They are learn to crochet classes for the kids with kid friendly projects.  These classes are only an hour and a half long to help keep the interest of the children on task.  They cost $15 each.  There are 3 to get them started.

This class teaches chaining and bead stringing

This class teaches single crochet and embellishing

This class teaches double crochet, seaming and embellishing.

Classes will be added to the class schedule soon.

Christmas in July day 25

Today there are exactly 5 months until Christmas, 4 months until Thanksgiving and just over 3 months until Halloween.

For Halloween, I sit out with the neighbors and hand out candy to the little goblins and witches who come calling.  Every year there seem to be less and less though.  When my children were little, we got a little more into the spirit with decorating.  They did things with construction paper in school that got hung on walls and windows when brought home.  We did tissue ghosts.  (Wad up 3 tissues, place in the center of a 4th.  Gather the tissue around the wad.  Use a twistie tie from a loaf of bread that is white to tie the neck and make a hanging loop for fishing line/invisible thread to hang by)  I did things like mystery foot prints for them to follow.  A treat was usually at the other end.  Some years I tried to make them treat bags.  Others they were given them at school as part of the effort to make everyone have their treats X-rayed for potential issues.  treat bags

For November, like most parents, I focused on parent teacher conferences and a week or more of having the kids home.  I also did most of the big dinner cooking once they were older.  I was one to want all the table linens to be cloth and hopefully handmade by me, (napkin rings were nice.  I did them in plastic canvas, crochet and beads on wire.) the many components of the dinner to be raised by our family (excluding the turkey since we lived in an urban area) or at least made by us from scratch.  No supermarket pies or boxed stuffing mixes, please.  I have relaxed a good deal since then.  I still want to set a nice table, but I focus even more on the people around it.  As the kids have grown and moved out and parents started to not be around, I have cut down on the number of dishes made.  No longer do I need 5 vegetables, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing and 4 or more kinds of pie.  There just aren't that many people to eat that much.  We still play board games and card games after eating.  We also discuss where the various Christmas parties will be and when.  

Thanksgiving weekend is also the weekend (4 days of help from kids and husband) I decorate for Christmas.  There was only one year in all our marriage I didn't get decorating done.  Now I'm more lax about this too.  I still pull most of the stuff out and do most of what I did do, but it's more spread out.  I also make sure to have my cookie list made up, but like everything else, that has shrunk.  Not having an oven that works right now has helped with the lightening of this load.  Since we moved 12 years ago, I started putting up snowflakes.  See here and here for those posts.

By mid December, we try to have the gifts we wanted to buy all purchased.  I work to make sure the gifts that needed making are done.  Like some many women though, I have a lot of late nights finishing things.  I have been known to weave ends on the way to a party and jam things into a gift bag.  I have also been known to give only one sock when I don't have the recipient handy to measure and need to make sure it will fit.  This is easier with immediate family than extended.

This year the gift I'm giving me is the gift of me.  I don't have to be perfect.  The Pope, Martha Stewart, President (insert your own imagined tough critc) won't be visiting.  Yes, I want to make it nice for people, but being nice is more important that being stressed to the breaking point.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Christmas in July day 24

Today is about nativities.  I know not everyone puts one up.  I know further that mothers and grandmothers who put up very old or very fragile ones don't want little hands touching and breaking.

Here are a couple of links to ones that can be handled and not broken.  They can also be easily washed when they become soiled.  Make sure to put them into a lingerie bag to prevent snags.

Nativity #1  This is crochet.  This pattern is from Red Heart.  

knitted-nativity-scene  You have to be a member (free to sign up) to access this pattern.

knit nativity #2  This uses Panda Disco yarn.  This yarn is not available in US that I have found, it's Austrailian.  An equivalent would be Caron International Simply Soft.  The Panda Disco is a sport/DK weight.  This pattern is worked at a gauge of 26 sts and 36 rows to 4 inches.  

For any of these you want a fairly firm fabric so the fiber fil doesn't show through.  Once you have the figures made, you can embellish as you wish.  That's half the fun.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Christmas in July day 23

This is a bit of a departure.  Yesterday was sweaters, and as I noted yesterday, those patterns are all over.  Today the quest is for skirts that are knit or crochet.  

I have several knit skirts in my closet.  They are the very simple "pencil" skirt.  I knit 2 panels 150 stitches wide each and a length of about 24 - 28 inches for each, then seamed them together.  I turned under one edge 1 inch sewed it down and ran elastic through for the waist.  The bottom hem can be done several ways.  I can turn under an inch or so and hem it.  I can do something like garter stitch or seed stitch for a couple of inches.  I would not do anything like ribbing though since that will pull in the hem and make my hips look even wider.   This would not be bad if I wanted them emphasized, but I choose not to.  I could also handle them hem by doing crochet work around.  I have done this.  I like this look sometimes.



fringed skirt

Have fun with this idea.  You never know what could be the new fashion trend.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Christmas in July day 22

Sweaters are a main focus for many.  They use a majority of knit and crochet skills.  There are tons of neat patterns out there.  Sizes range from micro preemie to 5 and 6 XL.  They can be matching sweaters for the whole family or all different.  Holiday themes or something for the whole winter's wear is the next choice.  Colors are also important to pick carefully.  What looks good on one might not on the next in line.  You can also use knitting graph paper and take a plain sweater and put your own graphic on it.

Here is a raglan baby/child crochet cardigan

Here is anne's spencer

here is emily's sweater

one piece baby pullover


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Christmas in July day 21

Today is about the sports enthusiast.  Gifts could include anything from previous posts done in someone's favorite team colors, camoflage for the hunter/fisherman.  In the past I have found a lot of difficulty in getting free patterns of the licensed logos.  For that matter, I have found difficulty in getting paid patterning for licensed logos.  If you are really determined, though, you can use graph paper and draw it out yourself.  For crochet, use single crochet and graph paper found anywhere that is square.  For knitting, you need specialized paper that is wider than tall to mimic the nature of the stitch.

Here is a link to some


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Christmas in July day 20

Today my focus is on travel carriers for the goodies we take too and from all the holiday parties.  I personally fluctuate between generic totes that can be blinged up with a knit or crochet decorative item and the cute turkey/santa/jackolantern type of project that takes up room in my closet.  I'm also more likely to give these as gifts with something like a crock-pot or set of dishes.  There are not too many patterns out there for this kind of thing.  

Here is an evaporative beverage holder



Friday, July 19, 2013

Christmas in July day 19

Socks!  Socks!! Socks!!!  Lovely socks!  Love to knit them in worsted weight to wear in the house.  I'm a barefoot kinda girl.  I have done socks with fine yarn and given them away and they are worn out.  I have done the slipper sock  in worsted weight and some felted after mishandling in the washing.  

When I teach socks, I have new people do a training sock with thicker yarn and needles to learn the parts of a sock and to make it easier to learn fundamentals of socks.

For durability, I personally prefer some nylon in the yarn and a good pedicure on the wearer.  The pedicure is to get rid of rough spots on the feet to prevent snags or excessive wear.  The nylon is because I like to be barefoot.

The basic "vanilla" sock pattern out there is fairly simple to follow whether it is toe up or top down.  You need 3 basic measurements of your intended recipient.  1) From the floor up the leg to the desired height.  2) From the back of the heel to the tip of the toe minus 1/4 to 1/2 inch.  3) Around the ball of the foot, also minus 1/4 to 1/2 inch.  Remember knitting stretches and socks should have negative ease.

Patterns abound since the sock craze hit in the early 2000's.

ribbed socks
slipper socks

There are even crocheted socks.  colorful crochet socks  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Christmas in July day 18

Today I look at gloves.  One they are more popular than mittens.  Two they are requested by more shelters. Three they are a challenge for some.

I offer these patterns for consideration.  Most are more advanced than most of my other patterns.  HOWEVER, even a beginner can do them if time is taken to read the pattern.

Lion Brand Fledgling Gloves

LIon Brand Atelier Gloves

I also offer this pattern for gloves.  It is a simple garter stitch glove.  Urban Rustic Gloves  This is similar to the pattern I learned on so long ago.

Enjoy them.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Christmas in July day 17

When we entertain for the holidays a large group or have overnight guests, I make sure to have some face cloths available for guests.  Moms love this for kid clean ups and the overnight guests love the soft, cushy, smooth feel of hand crafted cloths to use in the mornings.

Here are a few patterns




Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Christmas in July day 16

Christmas is more fun with little ones around.  I think most will agree.  I know how much they love toys too and someone to play silly games with them.  Today is about making some timeless toys and some just for fun.






These ideas should spark some ideas.  Share what you create for the young ones in your life.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Christmas in July day 15

Yesterday was such a big topic, it needed two days.  Today will touch on those pieces that sit around for decorative purposes, kind of like the animated things seen in malls and store windows.  Unless you have skills to animate these, they are still lives.  I don't possess those skills.

Angels  tree top angel angels of all kinds 

Santas  Santa-gnome-ornaments  a bunch of jolly old elves

This can also be a skirt for your tree, Christmas stockings, gift bags.  The list goes on and on.  In addition to links online, I know Leisure Arts puts out a lot of pattern books for holiday knit and crochet patterns.  I find them at thrift shops, yard sales, in stores.  Sometimes all that is needed is an update of the colors because the item is back in fashion.

One thing I wanted to do for my kids but never seemed to find the time for was an Advent Calendar.  Advent Calendars might not have gotten done, but we did have an Advent Wreath each year, complete with handmade candles.  (I could never find the 3 purple and 1 rose colored candles over Thanksgiving and never thought to look earlier in the year)

Each year, I have a collection of Santas I put on top of my refrigerator on one side and a collection of snowmen on the other.  These are small collections.  However, one of the snowmen is a knit creation with a knit scarf and wearing a stocking hat.  I will post a pattern and picture of him closer to the holidays.  My Santa that is hand made is a crochet creation made by someone in my dad's side of the family.Since most of these relatives are no longer with us, I can't ask.  Again I will post a pattern and a picture.  One year I gave my husband's grandmother a crocheted moue for Christmas.  His name is Christ Mouse and was a Leisure Arts pattern.  After she passed, the mouse came back to me.  My mother in law wanted a similar one but sadly my pattern had flown the coop by that time.  Christ Mouse now lives with her.  I will see if I can get a picture of him to post.

As you might be able to tell, Christmas and it's traditions are a big part of our family life.  I might just be getting out of one of the traditions though.  The annual Cookie baking frenzy.  My oven controls are shot and I don't intend to fix them anytime soon.  With just a husband and me, we can use a toaster oven.  I'm not crazy enough to bake cookies in one of those.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Christmas in July day 14

Ornaments.  This covers so many things  I know I am covering this on 2 days.

Today's ornaments will be the smaller things you hang on your trees or use as gift tags.  There are literally thousands upon thousands of patterns out there.  Let your imagination soar.  These are just a few to get you started.

There are snowflakes, do them in thread for a delicate look, do them in yarn and have a more robust look.  See these posts for more ideas with these http://wendyteaches-mrsscubafish.blogspot.com/2012/07/more-about-snowflakes.html and http://wendyteaches-mrsscubafish.blogspot.com/2012/07/idea-for-christmas-crocheting.html 

There are full on ornaments like we all think of.as well as more novel approaches to ornaments and for something different you can use something like these.  You can do a simple ball but change it up with novelty yarns.

And finally a popcorn garland that I can no longer find on the internet where I initially found it.

I use Red Heart Super Saver in aran because to me that looks like my popcorn.  You can add red beads if you want the popcorn and cranberry look or leave it plain.  I did mine plain.

Popcorn Garland

Red Heart Super Savor, 8 oz in color Aran
Size I hook

Ch 5, work 5 dc in 5th ch from hook.  Remove hook from last loop, insert in top of ch 3 and then back into the loop and pull through.  (popcorn made)

* Ch 8, (5 dc in 5th ch from hook, remove hook from last loop, insert in top of ch 3 and then back into the loop and pull through).

Rep from * until your garland is as long as you want.  Gauge for this project doesn't matter.  If you use the whole skein for this you will have around 75 ft of garland.  My knitting guild made these for a bazaar one year and we measured.  If you add the red beads, put them in the second chain of the 3 chains between the popcorns.

This is fast and easy (unless you do the whole skein) and can be kept from year to year unlike the edible version.  It also doesn't draw bugs or mice.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Christmas in July day 13

Headbands continue to have a following.  I will admit to using these on occasion.  The reasons why people wear these instead of hats are many and varied.  There are some who wear them with hats as well.

Here are some quick and easy patterns

and finally  cold weather cables

Some of these sites require registration.  All are free.  Sign in to access your preferred pattern.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Christmas in July day 12

E-readers are a big thing again this year.  Will you be giving one?  Do you know someone who is going to get one?

How about giving a felted sleeve for it?  For felting, you will work at a larger gauge than usual and use larger needles or hooks for the patterns.  Paton's Classic Wool is great for this type of project.  It will felt.  Synthetics won't felt and neither will superwash wool.  Plant fibers also don't felt.

http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory/cases_caddies.php  This link has a bunch of electronic case patterns to felt.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Christmas in July day 11

Boots are a fun fashion for Christmas for every one.  Boots are also a must have for those in snowy climes.  Dress up those boots with cuffs.

warm-ribbed-boot-cuffs  There are knit and crochet versions of this pattern available.

ruffled boot toppers

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Christmas in July day 9

Hats are a quick and easy project.  The can go from simple watch caps to more elaborate creations like jester hats and beyond.

There are also books dedicated to hats sold in Michaels.  Check the selection at your local store.  Here are a few links to free patterns.  


Judy's hat

Electric ear flap hat

Hats for everyone in the family - crochet

Hats for everyone in the family - knit

Monday, July 8, 2013

Christmas in July day 8

Today is all about cowls.  Small and quick to finish or larger and a little more time consuming, cowls are things with staying power.



fast and easy cowl

Amazing 45 minute cowl  I really like this one.  It works up in 45 or less minutes, looks fantastic and is great for fall or spring.

Grande Wrap  This is larger but still easily doable.

Do a bunch of these in different colors or yarn textures and have a bunch of gifts ready to go.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Christmas in July day 7

Today is all about shawls.Whether they are triangles, rectangles, squares, circles or half circles, they are incredibly useful and stylish.  They can be just for show or keep you warm as well.

Here are links to just a few

Lacy Shawl

Square in a Square shawl

Here is a link to the Patons Yarn company list for shawls

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Chirstmas in July Day 6

Today is the day to think about who might need an afghan as a gift.

Do you have a wee one coming into the family?  Feather and Fan baby afghan is a quick and easy pattern to be completed in time for the new arrival. This is one that would work equally well in Christmas colors.  

Do you have a new couple in the family?  Tree of Life Afghan for knitting  or  Tree of Life afghan for crocheting  is a very nice gift for the newly weds gathered under your tree.  Lion Brand even  a has a baby version.  

Do you just want to keep someone warm?  Try these beginer choices choices in knit and crochet.


You might enjoy these more challenging choices.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Christmas in July day 5

A Scarf Just for YOU!!

Advent usually comes right around the first of December.  However, knowing that we have so many things to do during the holiday season, here is a gift for YOU early.  You could do it over a period of 4 weeks just like Advent normally runs but you could also take longer to do it.

Advent scarf from 2012  I have linked the English version.  There is a German version that you can find if you want it.  You can use lace weight, sock weight, sport weight or even worsted weight for this scarf.  It will affect the finished size though.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Christmas in July Day 4

Because today is the 4th of July, a day that holds a lot of meaning in America, I have something that will remind me of fireworks.  I remember as a child sitting on a blanket or possibly a lawn chair watching the fireworks display.  As I got older, the colors and shapes held even more appeal but were less visual since the store that sponsored them went out of business.  The community park that put on a display at the other end of town had very large trees obscuring the view that I discovered I had from the second story of my soon to be home with my soon to be new husband.  I still love seeing the reds, greens, blues, and bright whites of the displays.  I'm not such a big fan when the large BOOM!!! hits though.

Today's projects are holiday party appropriate and a nice reminder of this day.  The patterns for today are evening bags, those tiny little purses to hold just enough to get you through a party or a nice evening out.  This idea hit me when I read 
"Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair: The True-Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split" by Laurie Perry.

 She has some really cute patterns in the back of the book.  Her pattern that I zeroed in on was for a lightly felted yet sparkly fun fur wallet sized purse hanging from a bracelet or two.  The bracelet idea really appealed to me.  Keeps things close that I may need and doesn't get in the way except for eating.

I took this idea and decided to run with it a bit.  What about holding 2 or 3 strands of sparkly yarn together without the wool for felting and using a smaller needle size?  Good just don't keep pens or loose change in there.  What about holding a strand or two of sequin studded yarn with or without the furry yarn?  Also good.  Either one of these with the wool?  Interesting.  I came up with all kinds of things.  Let your imagination soar with this.

Then I thought what else is out there for this???  I know I'm usually up for a nice new bag for a special occasion.  I don't always have something though.

Here are some links for your consideration.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Christmas in July Day 3

Today is all about the mittens.  There are serious mittens.  There are fun mittens.  There are thrummed mittens.  They can be big or small.  Basic mittens are a quick and easy project to make.  Be sure to check sizes before starting yours.  Some of these are for kids and some are for adults.  Some are in between.  There is even one for the hand holding set.

Knitting pattern links such as these are fun.


Crochet pattern links such as these are quick, easy and fun.



For the young and young at heart who hold hands everywhere.  http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/us/pattern.php?id=4531&lang=us

One knit mitten for each and one mitten with space for both hands

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Christmas in July Day 2

Some days only links will be posted.  Others I will write a bit more.

Today on my list of growing ideas for gifts:  Slippers.

Some are easy.  Some are simple.  Some are great for staying warm.  Some are really cool.

Here are a few ideas for you.

A blast from the past with these crochet cuties:  http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/pudgy-piggy-slippers

Something a bit more feminine that can be customized for Christmas if you choose.  http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/cottage-slippers

Something warm and for everyone in the family: http://www.patonsyarns.com/pattern.php?PID=4943

The Paton's site requires you to sign up for free to access their patterns.  If I remember correctly, you need a user name and a password.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Christmas In July

It's that time of year again.  Time to think of what, if anything will I make for family and friends.  Even though the temps are 90+* for most of us and the last thing we want to contemplate is holding all that nice warm wool, we can think of what to make and gather patterns and materials.  Even I don't do much knitting or crocheting in summer.

Will you do sweaters?  Those do need time to complete.  Depending on how you work and what you do, a lot of time is required to finish a sweater.

Will you do quick and easy projects for more people?  Things like hats and mittens are quick and easy.  Slippers fall into this category.  

Are shawls and afghans on your hit list for gift giving?  Perhaps you have wee ones on your list who might like toys.  Possibly you and your recipients are of a practical nature and gift giving is of the use it up variety.

During this month, I will be linking to things of all types that might be on your gift recipients lists.  Some sites will require you to register to access the pattern.  All are free.  Most will want no more than your user name and a password.

To get us started and stay cool for now, try these ideas.  Pair them up with new cooking utensils or a set of pans.  Add these personal touches to a dinner basket that has all the fixings for a favorite meal for the cook in the family.  

Crocheted potholder  Knit potholder  Don't like these?  Try these links for more options.  One thing to keep in mind for this type of project of to use either wool or cotton.  Acrylic will  melt. 

More crocheted potholders   More knitted potholders

As always, if you need help with a project, either directions in the pattern or a specific technique, check with your local Michaels to see when your Knit or Crochet Instructor is available.