Wedding Crafts : Bunting!

Hey there! We can’t believe it, but four years ago in June, Calder and I got married! It was such a fun day, and whenever the topic of our wedding comes up, we always look back on it with fond memories. Just the other day we were telling new friends about our “meat and greet” line, where Calder grilled the steak and salmon and got to say hello to every guest as he served them their main course. While we can’t offer you a fillet of salmon, we thought it would be fun to look back at our wedding and share some of the other homemade elements that we incorporated into the big day.

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{I had to include the photo above, because when do you ever get to use the wedding outtakes?!… and sometimes they’re so cute.}

We had the wedding at my parents’ farm in central PA, and being the hands-on, crafters that we are, everyone in my family was excited to help personalize the wedding. My brother designed and printed our invitations, my mom made the cakes and hand-beaded the sash for my wedding dress, my sisters helped with homemade signage, and styling the dancing barn that our dad had just finished rebuilding, and the list goes on.

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Project Sweater : Update II

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This is the third post in a series where I’m slowly taking you on the adventure* of figuring out how to recreate the sweater above. The original sweater belongs to a friend and has been well-loved and well-worn for at least a decade or so. Over that time, it also became slightly felted. I’m knitting a new sweater to be exactly like the old in every way except length – the new one will be a touch longer (one diamond cable’s length).

In the first post, I introduced you to the sweater, it’s three cable patterns, two yarn options, and two swatches using those yarns. Both of those swatches were too small to match the original sweater, but I was able to work out the stitch patterns. By the second post, I had found a yarn and needle combination that produced a swatch that was the perfect match to the sweater! I also discussed blocking in that post.

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Today I’m back to share a minor update ~ mainly that actual sweater knitting has commenced, and I’m about halfway done with the body of the sweater!

I also wanted to share my initial pattern notes for each of the cables. I often see a cable stitch that I’d like to incorporate into my own projects, but if it’s part of another pattern then I either have to buy the pattern of figure it out through trial and error. Of course, sometimes I get lucky and will find exactly what I’m looking for in a stitch guide, but even that takes a bit of hunting. Each of these distinct cable patterns can be incorporated into any variety of projects, from hats and sweaters, to throw pillows and afghans.

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The notes are written as if you’re knitting in the round and moving along each row from right to left, which is often the case for a sweater. If you need any help translating them to a flat piece of knitting, please let me know!

Cable 1

Worked over 7 stitches and 4 rows.

  • Row 1 : purl 2, knit 3, purl 2
  • Row 2 : purl 2, pass the third stitch on the left needle over the two stitches before it, knit 1, yarn over, knit 1, purl two
  • Rows 3 & 4 : purl 2, knit 3, purl 2

Cable 2

Worked over 14 stitches and 22 rows.

  • Row 1 : knit all stitches
  • Row 2 : knit 1, purl 5, c1b, purl 5, knit 1
  • Row 3 : knit all stitches
  • Row 4 : knit 1, purl 4, c1r, c1l, purl 4, knit 1
  • Row 5 : knit 6, purl 2, knit 6
  • Row 6 : knit 1, purl 3, c1r, purl 2, c1l, purl 3, knit 1
  • Row 7 : knit 5, purl 4, knit 5
  • Row 8 : knit 1, purl 2, c1r, purl 4, c1l, purl 2, knit 1
  • Row 9 : knit 4, purl 6, knit 4
  • Row 10 : knit 1, purl 1, c1r, purl 6, c1l, purl 1, knit 1
  • Row 11 : knit 3, purl 8, knit 3
  • Row 12 : knit 1, c1r, purl 8, c1l, knit 1
  • Row 13 : knit 2, purl 10, knit 2
  • Row 14 : knit 1, c1l, purl 8, c1r, knit 1
  • Row 15 : knit 3, purl 8, knit 3
  • Row 16 : knit 1, purl 1, c1l, purl 6, c1r, purl 1, knit 1
  • Row 17 : knit 4, purl 6, knit 4
  • Row 18 : knit 1, purl 2, c1l, purl 4, c1r, purl 2, knit 1
  • Row 19 : knit 5, purl 4, knit 5
  • Row 20 : knit 1, purl 3, c1l, purl 2, cir, purl 3, knit 1
  • Row 21 : knit 6, purl 2, knit 6
  • Row 22 : knit 1, purl 4, c1l, c1r, purl 4, knit 1

Cable Abbreviations:

  • c1b ~ place next stitch on cable needle and hold to the back, knit 1 next stitch from left needle, knit the stitch on the cable needle
  • c1r ~ place next stitch on the cable needle and hold to back, knit next stitch from left needle, purl the stitch on the cable needle
  • c1l ~ place next stitch on the cable needle and hold to front, purl next stitch on left needle, knit the stitch on the cable needle


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 Bobbles!

The pattern below is for four bobbles, two worked in one row and two worked in a second row, with the bobbles alternating in a vertical pattern. The four bobbles are worked over a multiple of 10 stitches 4 rows. I like this bobble pattern because they lay flatter and don’t seem to eat up as much yarn as some of the more traditional bobbles.

  • Cast on 3 stitches.
  • Set-up row. Knit 1, k1fb into next two stitches, knit 1, k1fb into next two stitches, for a total of 10 stitches.
  • Row 1 : (k1,p1,k1,p1) into the first stitch, k4tog through the back of their loops, (k1,p1,k1,p1) into the next stitch, k4tog through the back of their loops
  • Row 2 : purl all stitches
  • Row 3 : k4tog through the back of their loops, (k1,p1,k1,p1) into the next stitch, k4tog through the back of their loops, (k1,p1,k1,p1) into the next stitch
  • Row 4 : purl all stitches
  • Repeat rows 1 – 4

*Go ahead, you can laugh at my use of the word adventure to describe this series, and if you do, know that I won’t be inviting you over for knit night ;-).

 

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Weekend Project : Knit a Stocking (or three!)

Ok, maybe three’s a stretch, but we’re all a bit crazy at this time of year. This is the first year we’re celebrating Christmas morning as our own little family of three, and we didn’t have stockings. Knowing that, my original plan was to do something fun and easy. Maybe buy a couple pair of festive knee high socks or some cozy looking wool men’s socks and use those for this year. But a month or so ago I ran across some bulky yarn, decided it was perfect for stockings and worth just testing the waters.

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It’s easy to fall down the knitting hole, but with so many other balls in the air, I didn’t want this project to consume me. So I picked up two skeins of yarn (one red and one white) and wanted to see how long it would take to knit a single stocking and how far the two skeins would go. When I knit that first stocking in a weekend using only those two skeins, it was a no-brainer to knit the other two!

If you have ever knit a sock before, this is a project that you can easily finish in a weekend. If you’ve never knit a sock before, then this project may take you a little bit longer, but knitting big is such a great way to learn some new sock-knitting skills, and I include links to some of my favorite resources in this post. Plus, a common problem for a first time sock knitter is finishing that second sock and/or getting it to match the first; you won’t have that problem here!

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Whenever I hear “knit stocking” the one thing I worry about is how dense the stitches are. If you have a loosely knit stocking, then as soon as it’s filled with treats, the stocking will stretch and you’ll get that holey look between the stitches. I wanted to avoid that, and one of the easiest ways to do it is to knit with a bulky yarn on needles that are a few sizes smaller than what you would normally use. That’s exactly what I did here, and it produced a nice dense fabric that doesn’t stretch out of shape too much when filled.

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Resources

  • Cast on. Turkish Cast On
  • Increasing. M1L and M1R
  • Short Row Heel : basic instructions or a video with a method for eliminating the little holes that are common at the start and finish of the heel. This heel is really easy to make, and the holes are so (soooo) minor, so I don’t want that to deter you. I have my own way of dealing with them by picking up extra stitches and then decreasing them later, but since you’re knitting a simple stocking that won’t be worn, you could easily just use some extra yarn to stitch the hole closed – if you even get them!
  • I cord bind off. You will have to use the cable cast on before starting the I cord bind off.

Materials

  • Yarn : Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in fleece (white) and claret (red)
  • Needles : US 10, you will need either one long circular for the magic loop method or a set of double pointed

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Instructions

You will be knitting these stockings from the toe up to the cuff. I’m going to give you a set of generic instructions that can be used to knit any stocking of this size, and then I’ll give you the details for the specific patterns you see in the photographs. I’ll assume that your stitches are split evenly between two needles (i.e. that you’re using the magic loop method).

  • Cast-on. use the Turkish method to cast-on 20 stitches (ten on each needle). Fortunately, these instructions show you how to do the Turkish cast-on with exactly that number of stitches, so you can follow it step by step.
  • Begin Knitting. When I start a sock, I like to knit one and a half rounds before starting my increase rows (I always think that knitting across the first needle creates a single row for the tip of the toe, and then knitting a complete round creates my first official round – I may be crazy).
  • Start the increase rows (this comprises the toe area of the sock). Round 1 (increase round) : k1, M1L, knit to the last stitch on the first half of the stocking, M1R, k1. Repeat over the stitches on the other half of the stocking. Four stitches added. Round 2 : knit all stitches.
  • Continue repeating rounds 1 and 2 until you have 44 stitches on your needle.
  • Knit the foot. Knit straight for 27 rows.
  • Knit the heel. Use the short row method to knit the heel. You will work the heel over the 22 stitches that are on one half of your sock. When making the stockings, I wrapped 7 stitches on each side of the heel, leaving 8 unwrapped in the middle.
  • Knit the leg. Once your heel is finished, knit the leg of the stocking for 53 rows.
  • Bind off using the i cord method. This is a great technique for binding off the stockings because it creates a strong final row that will not stretch out over time (unlike a ribbed cuff) and as you’ll see, it also seamlessly morphs into a loop for hanging your stocking. The only problem is that you may not be able to really stretch the cuff if you want to sneak an over-sized present in the stocking! The other problem that arises is that the loop for hanging your stocking will be placed where ever you start the i cord bind off. Thus far we have been knitting the stocking in the round starting from one side of the sock; you don’t want your loop on the side, but on the back of the stocking. Before beginning the i cord bind off, knit 11 stitches so that you are now positioned at the center back of the stocking. You will work the i cord bind off over three stitches, just like these instructions (lucky you!).  Once you come to the end of the cuff, don’t cast off the three i cord stitches, rather continue knitting an i cord for 21 more rows.
  • Finish your stocking. Sew the live stitches of your i cord to the start of the i cord row ~ creating a seamless-looking i cord band with a loop in the back. Weave in all loose ends. Hang your stocking and cross your fingers that it doesn’t get filled with coal!

Santa’s Sock Stocking Detail

  • Knit the toe. Use the basic instructions from above, casting on with the white yarn and using it to knit the toe area.
  • Knit the 27 rows of the foot in red.
  • Switch to the white yarn and knit the heel.
  • Knit 40 rows of the leg in red.
  • Switch to the white yarn and knit 11 rows in seed stitch.
  • Knit one complete round plus 11 stitches to position the start of the i cord at the back of the stocking. Finish with the i cord bind off.

Striped Stocking Detail

  • Knit the toe. Use the basic instructions from above, casting on with the red yarn and using it to knit the toe area.
  • Begin the stripes. Switch to the white yarn, but don’t cut the end of the red yarn (you can carry both colors up the length of the stocking, drastically reducing the number of loose ends that you’ll have to weave in). Knit five rows in white. Knit five rows in red. Repeat this pattern for 25 rows (ending with five white rows and just before starting a red row). Knit two rows in red.
  • The heel area. I like to work the heel in the middle of a stripe so that there aren’t any funny color switches immediately before or after the heel. Continuing to use the red yarn, knit the heel. Once the heel is complete, knit three more rows with the red yarn. When looking from the front/top of the stocking you should see the five red rows of the stripe pattern.
  • Knit the leg. You are now at the start of a white stripe. Continue working the five row stripe pattern for 50 more rows.
  • You are now at the top of the stocking. Knit 11 more stitches to position the start of the i cord at the back of the stocking and continue using the red yarn for the i cord bind off.

Snowflake Stocking Detail

  • Knit the toe. Use the basic instructions from above, casting on with the white yarn and using it to knit the toe area.
  • Knit the 27 rows of the foot in red.
  • Switch to the white yarn and knit the heel.
  • Knit the 52 rows of the leg in red (not the 53 listed above!).
  • Switch to the white yarn. Knit one round plus 11 stitches to position the start of the i cord at the back of the stocking. Work the i cord bind off.
  • Finish the stocking by embroidering a snowflake design into the side of your stocking. I make a very simple design using a backstitch. I decided to embroider the snowflake because I wanted it to have six points (like in nature), but it’s hard to find and/or to design a knit snowflake pattern with points rather than eight. As for other embroidered embellishments, the skies the limit! I added a line of running stitch around the toe and heel areas. You could add number of snowflakes, varying their size and shape.

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If you knit a stocking, we would love to see it! Leave us a comment below or tag us on instagram @liveseasoned. Happy knitting or happy rushing around buying those last minute presents ~ either way, we hope you have a great weekend!


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Little A’s New Winter Hat

Two months ago I shared some of the projects sitting in my knitting basket. Since then there’s been a bit of progress made on almost everything in that post. The socks have doubled in length. I’ve repaired a few of the moth-eaten hats (going to share some of that soon!). I gave you a detailed update about the sweater and am working on a second post in that series. Today, I’m sharing the pattern for Alex’s little hat, which doesn’t look anything like it did in the previous post. All in all not bad work considering those long winter knitting and TV evenings are just getting started!

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I tried Alex’s hat on his big head before the last post, and thought it was a bit snug, but didn’t want to admit it to myself. Trying it on him again last week, which involved wrestling that little 18 month old to the ground for a tickle-fest, confirmed my worries that he would quickly outgrow it. Over the weekend I finally ripped out the original hat and started again. A small sacrifice for that little cutie.

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In the process I scrapped the tire track pattern for something that was more detailed, would cover the whole hat, and that included at least one traditional motif.  This hat is knit from the bottom up, and I developed the patterns as I went, completing one row of color before thinking about what to do next. A quick Google image search for “fair isle knitting” turned up this sample (shown below) and I decided to use the bottom snowflake for the lowest band on Alex’s hat. I knew I wanted to incorporate a heart somewhere (because how many more years do I have to knit hearts into his clothes), so why not a whole band of hearts? Then I finished the top with a red circle to keep the color repeats going.

Fair-Isle-Knitting-Design-Idea

I’m sharing the pattern here for the exact hat that I knit. I haven’t put any work into up- or downsizing this pattern, but I do think that it would be a fun experiment to knit it with bright chunky yarn and big needles to create an adult-sized hat (just a different version of the simple fair isle hat I knit for our sister Kristin a few Christmases ago).

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Pattern

Yarn : Malabrigo worsted in two colors, I will refer to the color that you use for the patterns as the contrast color

Needles : US 7, 4.5 mm

Pattern Chart : Charts are  below, but you can also download a PDF of the charts by clicking here.

  • Using your contrast color cast on 96 stitches. Use your preferred stretchy cast-on method (I like the long-tail method).
  • Row 1: Begin a K2 P2 rib using the contrast color.
  • Rows 2-9: Switch to your primary color and continue the K2 P2 ribbing for 8 more rounds.
  • Rows 10-15 : Using the primary color, knit in stockinette for 5 rounds (knit all stitches).
  • Rows 16-29 : Snowflake pattern. Repeat Chart 1 six times around each row (you should read the chart from right to left and bottom to top, with the dark squares representing stitches knit with the contrast yarn).
  • Rows 30-35 : Using the primary color, knit in stockinette for 5 rounds.
  • Rows  36-43 : Heart pattern. Repeat Chart 2 six times around each row.
  • Rows 44-51 : Using the primary color, knit in stockinette.
  • Row 52 : Decrease row. *K2 K2tog*, repeat ** for the entire row. 72 stitches remaining.
  • Row 53 : Knit all stitches.
  • Row 54 : Switch to the contrast color. Knit all stitches.
  • Row 55 : Decrease row. *K1 K2tog*, repeat ** for the entire row. 48 stitches remaining.
  • Row 56 : Knit all stitches.
  • Rows 57 & 58 : Decrease rows. *K2tog*, repeat ** for both rows. 12 stitches remain.
  • Finish off the hat by cutting your working yarn, weaving it through the active loops, tightening and weaving in all ends.

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 All in all it’s a super simple hat that will keep any Colorado kid’s head warm with its double layering of yarn from the fair isle knitting. I love it, but I think if I were to knit another one, I might add more little color flourishes between the rows of pattern. Who knows. I do know that I still have yarn left on both of these balls – possibly enough to knit a baby hat for Little A’s little bro!

 

 

 

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