WIDN Wednesday and Little Bit About Me!

Hey Knit-Knackers (is it ok if I call you that?)!

Today I’m starting a new thing on the blog.

It’s #WIDN Wednesday!

WIDN stands for “What I’m Doing Now,” and it’s a common hashtag used by knitters on Instagram to show the current projects they’re working on. I also want to officially introduce myself and share a little bit about me, as well as welcome you to knitknacks.net!

So first things first, WELCOME! So glad you’re here.

And here’s #WIDN

widn Wednesday Copy Cat Hat pattern by Clementine Knits and Crochet

I just got started on Copy.Cat C.C (Colorado Chick)  Beanie by Clementine Knits & Crochet. 

I love her pattern title because this pattern was inspired by a trip to Colorado where she saw everyone wearing this hat. #Sotrue, girl, and #same. Last fall I saw this hat in ALL THE STORES. Every time I saw it, I thought that would be so easy to knit myself. I had planned to just improvise, and then I found this free pattern through Ravelry with all the work already done for me, so.. obvs I’m sharing it here to make you aware of it, too!

As for the current status of my hat..I’m about to frog this and start over! Haha, but also *sad face*. Did I mention that I jumped the gun, didn’t really read through the pattern, and I’ve now knit 2.5 inches of twisted 1×1 rib before just now realizing I was supposed to use provisional cast on so I could do some “fold the brim over” thing I’ve never done before? Whoops! I’ve never done a provisional cast on before, either.

At first I thought.. I’ll just stop the ribbing and continue to the hat body now..

Then I thought.. No, I have to be true to the pattern because it’s only fair.. kinda like you don’t improvise a recipe the first time you make it because then you don’t know for sure if it was good or not..

Then I thought.. Maybe I can just make my traditional cast on stitches work somehow for the foldover & join them with live stitches when I get there? 

Then I thought.. HA! Yeah right, Lexie!

So here I am. Ready to rip it out and try, try again. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! But first I have to learn provisional cast on. I’m going to try it with a crochet hook via this tutorial by Knitpicks.

And if you want to know a little bit about me, read on!

  1. My name is Lexie. Just Lexie, short for nothing.
  2. A combination of my grandmother and old magazines taught me to crochet about 8 years ago, and then a co-worker from Starbucks taught me to knit.
  3. I remember how awkward the straight knitting needles felt in my hands the first time I held them. Being an avid crocheter, I couldn’t even fathom how this was going to work without a hook on the end.  Then my coworker held up a pair of fabulous fingerless gloves (with half fingers & a detachable pull-over finger mitt) she had knit & I dramatically waived my hands around in the air while exclaiming that I did NOT understand how she’d managed to make something with dimension! My mind couldn’t fathom anything beyond a flat swatch of stockinette, and a hole-y mistake-ridden one, at that!
  4. I love to write!
  5. I’m an introvert, y’all.
  6. I never actually say y’all out loud. I heard my adopted cousin (from India, then Kansas) say y’all when she came to visit my family in Georgia once, and the awkward way it came out turned me off of the word forever! Being raised by a northerner and midwesterner myself, I don’t have a southern accent anyway.
  7. It’s too hot in Georgia for knitwear. I truly could not have picked a worse hobby for the climate in which I live.
  8. I’m currently reading Outlander, as demonstrated in above photo. But contrary to what the photo implies, I definitely don’t read it while knitting. And I definitely don’t watch the show while knitting since certain characters (ahem, Jamie) require my full attention at all times during viewing.

And that’s a wrap! Happy Wednesday, everyone, and  feel free to check out more posts on my blog, like Five Knit Pumpkin Patterns for Fall or Learn to Knit in Less Than an Hour.

Also, share a bit about yourself in the comments! I’d love to know more about you. Thanks again for reading, and I’ll check in with you on the status of my hat soon!

Seed Stitch Infinity Scarf – Easy and Free Knit Pattern

seed stitch infinity scarf

This seed stitch infinity scarf is my favorite fall/winter accessory! This is easily the hand knit item I wear the most out of everything I’ve ever made. So warm and cozy, plus it’s an instant gratification type project.

Did you catch my last blog post Learn to Knit in Less than an Hour? If not, be sure to check it out because it’s worth learning to knit just to make this seed stitch infinity scarf! It’s an easy DIY knitting project perfect for beginners that yields the most gorgeous result.

Seriously, when you wear this, everyone is going to ask you where you got it, and when you tell them you made it, they’re going to ask you to make them one, too! Enough requests and you’ll start to consider launching your own knitwear shop on Etsy. Then you’ll be buying all the stock of Lion Brand WoolEase Thick & Quick at your local craft store. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But first, let’s learn the stitch pattern you need to know to make this fabulous seed stitch infinity scarf.

Seed Stitch requires the knowledge of knit stitch and purl stitch. If you need a refresher on those, check out this post first.

How to Seed Stitch.

To work seed stitch, cast on an even number of stitches. In the video, I cast on 12 stitches.

Row One & all odd rows: K1P1 to end.

Row Two & all even rows: P1K1 to end.

Be sure to scroll to the bottom for the scarf pattern! And here’s a video to help you get started.

 

Seed Stitch Infinity Scarf Pattern

  1. Cast On 18 Stitches
  2. Row 1 (and all odd rows): K1P1* Repeat to end
  3. Row 2 (and all even rows): P1K1* Repeat to end.
  4. Leave enough yarn to sew the two ends of the scarf together with a yarn needle.
  5. Wrap up! You have made a beautiful seed stitch infinity scarf that will keep you cozy all winter long!

 

Learn to Knit in Less than an Hour

learn to knit in one hourYou can learn to knit in less than an hour!

In this post, I’m going to cover all the basics of knitting to get you started with learning your new skill.

I’ve created the videos below so you can learn to knit in no time at all! Combined, the videos are only about 10 minutes total, so technically you can get a foundation within that time frame. But, I encourage you to go slowly and practice along with the videos. Move at your own pace, and remember: practice makes perfect! To really make it stick, you’ll want to spend a little longer than an hour practicing what you’ve learned.

In this series, You’ll be learning:

  • Long Tail Cast On Method
  • Knit stitch
  • Garter Stitch
  • Purl Stitch
  • Stockinette
  • Bind Off your Knitting

What you’ll need:

  • Yarn *any type, but choose a yarn weight suitable for your needles**
  • Straight knitting needles *any size
  • Scissors *to cut the yarn after bind-off

**In the videos, I’m using size 13 needles and a bulky yarn such as Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & QuickMost craft store yarns suggest a needle size on the back of the paper wrapped around the skein, as well as give a rating for the thickness of the yarn.

 

Learn to knit now by following the videos below:

  1. How to Cast On using Long Tail Cast On Method

    Learn to knit the Long Tail Cast On Method, which is how you’ll get the stitches on your needles in the first place. There are other methods for casting on, but you don’t need to worry about that yet!

  2. How to Knit Stitch

    After casting on, learn to knit the foundational Knit Stitch, which is key in creating stitch patterns like garter or stockinette.

  3. Garter Stitch

    You can learn to knit this stitch pattern using only knit stitches. Cast on and then *knit all the stitches to the end of the row. Turn your work around, and knit all those stitches to the end of the row*, too. You’ll continue to knit the front and back sides as described between the ** until you’re comfortable with garter stitch. You can even turn this into a scarf! Find a free pattern at the end of this post under Step #6.

  4. How to Purl Stitch

    Learn to knit another foundational stitch: purl stitch. After this video, you’ll be ready to create a swatch of stockinette, which will require both knit and purl stitches.

  5. Stockinette

    Learn to knit Stockinette. Ready for your stitches to look like the little “v’s” commonly seen on knitwear? This is probably the stitch pattern you imagined when you decided you wanted to learn to knit. Stockinette has two sides: a front side of knit stitches (little v’s) and a wrong side of purl stitches. But be aware: Stockinette will curl in at the ends and edges.

  6. How to Bind off your Knitting

    Learn how to cast off your knitted projects. After watching this video, you will have a foundational knowledge that can even be used to knit your first project!

Now that you have the basics, practice practice practice! Refer back to this post (bookmark this page to make it easy to find again) or playlist on YouTube as often as you like until you are comfortable with each step. You can also turn these basic stitches into your first project. For example, this project on Ravelry. If you don’t have a Ravelry account, it’s free and easy to sign up. If you need more convincing than that, read my post about Why Every Knitter Needs a Ravelry Account here.

Don’t hesitate to comment or email me if you have any questions about the methods used in these videos. Happy knitting!

Why Every Knitter Needs a Ravelry Account

Why every knitter needs ravelry

Whether you’re new to knitting or have been crocheting afghans for your grandchildren since 1952, if you knit or crochet, you want, nay, NEED a Ravelry account.

What is Ravelry?

“Ravelry is a community site, an organizational tool, and a yarn & pattern database for knitters and crocheters.”
-Ravelry.com

Here are 6 Reasons Why Every Knitter Needs a Ravelry Account.

1. RAVELRY IS FREE

There was a time long ago when you had to sign up and get on a waiting list to join Ravelry, but now sign up is simple and immediate. Sign up for a free account with your email address, create a username and password, and you’re IN! Now you have access to, arguably, the greatest online knitting and crochet resource in existence.

You can use the full features of Ravelry without ever having to purchase anything. The only thing you’ll ever pay for is patterns that cost money, and that is paid to the designer of the pattern. However, there are hundreds of free patterns available, and most of them are just as good as the paid ones.

 

2. FIND FRIENDS & GROW YOUR KNITTING SKILLS

Ravelry has a global user-ship, and it can help you connect with your local knitters. You can join groups, make friends, and even find knitting events close-by. It’s like Facebook for knitters, but without the annoying political rants in your home feed.

Of course you don’t have to take advantage of any of those features if your personal knitting preferences are more hermit-like and less stitch ‘n bitch. But by making friends, you’ll have an opportunity to connect with others, which can help you grow your skills and knowledge. You’ll be inspired to tackle projects you might not have tried otherwise.

 

3. FREE PATTERNS

Exploring patterns is easily my favorite part of Ravelry, and it’s what I spend the majority of my time doing. Sometimes hours!

By clicking the Patterns link in the top navigation, you can easily search for specific patterns by name or designer, or browse popular patterns under “hot right now”. If you’re looking for a specific type of pattern, say a seamless top-down sweater worked in the round, you’ll find it through the advanced search feature. There are tons of great free patterns to choose from as well as paid patterns. Paid patterns can often be purchased directly on Ravelry, or a link will be provided where you can purchase the pattern elsewhere.

Stjernedrys by Rachel Søgaard

For example, here’s a pattern I found that meets the following search criteria: FREE, Pullover Sweater, Fingering Weight Yarn, Seamless, Top-Down, In the Round.

It’s Stjernedrys by Rachel Sogaard, and it’s lovely enough that I want to knit this sweater for myself right away! It’s also available in 4 languages!

Another bonus is that each pattern has tabs at the top where you can view yarn ideas, projects by other ravelers, comments, and whether the pattern has been mentioned in forums or blog posts. These are great sources of inspiration or help if you get stuck.

 

4. BROWSE FINISHED KNITTING PROJECTS

Next to browsing patterns, this is my favorite feature of Ravelry. One of the deciding factors of whether I knit a pattern or not is by researching the finished projects of other fine Ravelers. If I find a finished project I love, I can usually also see the exact yarn and colorway they used. I click on the “yarn ideas” tab frequently to help me decide which yarn to use for my project. I also spend time reading notes about the finished project for extra details of how a user may have modified the pattern to better fit their needs.

 

Malabrigo Merino Worsted
Ravelry Yarn Search

5. BROWSE PROJECTS BY YARN

Being able to browse projects by yarn is super handy. Sometimes I get a yarn in my stash that I’m not sure what to do with, and this gives me lots of ideas. If you already have the pattern, just click on “yarn ideas” on the pattern page to see how many times a certain yarn was used on that particular project.

To search for patterns by yarn, click the yarns link in the top navigation bar. In the right search bar, type in the yarn you want to search, for example: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, then press search. I can then click on pattern ideas or view the 129,933 projects filtering by craft, category, color, etc.

 

6. ORGANIZE YOUR KNITTING

Sadly I don’t take advantage of the organizational features of Ravelry very often. For some reason I prefer to have a basket full of tangled skeins and mismatched needles. I find knitting needles are quite like a pair of socks in the dryer where one always comes out missing. Doubtless many of my knitting needles are living a happy life not far from the Land of Lost Socks. Still, if you put in a little work, Ravelry can get your inventory sorted in no time.

Under the “My Notebook” link in the navigation bar at the top, you’ll find features such as

  • Projects
  • Stash
  • Queue
  • Favorites
  • Needles & Hooks
  • Library
  • Purchases, etc.

You can use these features to keep track of the yarns you have, what projects you’re working on & when they’re complete, what projects you want to start next, and even what needles you have. By adding patterns to your library, you’ll never lose them. You can upload pictures of your project from cast on to completion, and if you take advantage of these features, you’ll have built up a nice little knitting portfolio for yourself in no time at all.

 

So what are you waiting for? Head to ravelry.com now and sign up for your free account.

Feel free to connect with me by typing L3XLE into the people search!

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5 Knit Pumpkin Patterns for Fall

If you think September 22 marks the first day of Fall, you’re wrong. Forget about seasons and equinoxes, Starbucks now decides when Fall starts, and it’s whichever day of the year they first premiere the pumpkin spice latte again. I may be too health conscious to actually drink one, but per Starbucks’ cue, I threw my fall wreath on my door on September 1, 93° heat and all.

And just like my front door, I’m ready to deck out the rest of my home with cute fall decor! And what better way than a diy knitted pumpkin? I love this project because you can easily make the pumpkins to coordinate with the colors of your home. Pink pumpkins, teal pumpkins, striped pumpkins? Why not! They’re also a great conversation piece or even a great gift.

In this post, I’ve rounded up 5 Pumpkin Patterns to Knit this Fall.

All of these patterns are easy enough for beginner knitters, and they only take a couple hours to complete. In no time at all, you’ll have a totally unique knit pumpkin to decorate your house for fall.

Can’t knit? I’ve even included an option that requires no knitting skills whatsoever! But if you’re interested in learning to knit, check out my free guide –> Learn to Knit in an Hour.

If you’re an intermediate to advanced knitter, get creative with color-work by adding stripes or fair isle patterns for a true statement piece! And don’t think you have to make small pumpkins for a table top, because these projects are easily adaptable.. use giant needles and bulky yarn for instant gratification. Bonus points if you make a huge pumpkin pouf for your living room!

  1. Knit Picks Spice & Clove Knit Pumpkins

    I love this free pattern by Knit Picks and have used it many times. It has both a knit and crochet option. Follow the link above for the free pattern

  2. “No Knit” Knit Pumpkin by Alexandra Hedin

    Here’s a knit pumpkin that requires zero knitting skills! It’s made using a thrifted sweater and a hot glue gun to add the twig stem! Click the link above to get the diy tutorial from Alexandra Hedin.

  3. The Patch by DROPS Design

    This pattern from DROPS Design is worked flat and even includes video tutorials incase you get lost. The garter stitch effect is a nice textural change from the standard stockinette or reverse-stockinette.

  4. Autumn Pumpkins by Jan Lewis

    You’ll need a Ravelry account to access this free pattern by Jan Lewis. This is an intermediate pattern worked in the round with a nice icord stem and leaf detail! If you don’t have a Ravelry account, check out my post about Why Every Knitter Needs a Ravelry Account. Ravelry is free to join, and it’s an invaluable community and resource for knitters.

  5. Pumpkin Dishcloth by Teresa Gregorio for Knit Picks

    This is the cutest dishcloth to get your kitchen ready for fall! Knit it in cotton yarn for a washable, reusable dishcloth.

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