Weighted Pincushion Organizer

I love pincushions, especially functional ones.  When I was at my LQS taking a class, I noticed a few of the women had a pincushion next to their machines that also held their scissors, ripper, and a couple other tools of the trade.  Some of them also had a scrap basket attached to it too.  I had seen patterns for this type of pincushion on-line, but when I saw them in person I fell in love.  I just had to make one for myself! 

The pattern I used is found on Sew, Mama, Sew! designed by Elizabeth Hartman in 2009.  This pincushion has become my favorite.  I love having my scissors, marker, ripper, pins and needles always in the same place.  Before I couldn’t remember which side of the machine I had set them down and I was always misplacing things.  I did not want my thread basket attached.  I like having it sit next to my machine.  Don’t you just love the spool of thread design around the top.  It’s just one of the special stitches on my Janome Horizon.   

I also like the strip down the center of the pincushion for needles.  If I only use a needle a little and I want to switch to a different needle, I don’t want to put the used one back in with the new.  This way I have my needles handy and I know which ones have been gently used.  My pincushion is lightly stuffed with a small amount of the finest steel wool to keep my pins sharp along with stuffing and weights used for toys and stuffed animals I had on hand. 

If you are in need of a pincushion yourself, or just like to make them, this is it!  I love mine and the pattern was easy to follow.  Happy Sewing!  Kathryn

Soft & Comfy Fingerless Mitts

Berry Frappe Fingerless Mitts

 Fingerless gloves and mitts seem to have gotten very popular over the last few years.  They come in a variety of styles.  Some prefer a mitt without a thumb gusset and some like a mitt with a thumb gusset.  Others choose the glove type without the finger tips or thumb tip.  And then, there are people who like their gloves to only be missing a couple of finger tips or the thumb tip so they can text.   

The patterns and designs are even more varied.  Everyone has their own likes and wants.  I’ve made all types and styles over the last few years.  Just like hats, my family wants more.  Now they are becoming picky!  They know what they like and want.  One thing is for sure, they all seem to like and use this type of glove and mitt. 

I made myself a pair of fingerless mitts with a thumb gusset last winter.  I used a DK weight yarn on size US 2 needles and I knit them in the round.  I don’t like seams.  I also like a tighter knit for warmth.  I am very particular about my thumb gusset and I find some are not as comfortable as others.  I also don’t like the cuff ribbing to hit my wrist bone.   

One of my girls tried on my pair of fingerless mitts and asked for a pair just like them.  They are so soft and comfortable.  I didn’t add any frills, cables, or fancy patterns.  I just made a basic mitt without finishing it off.  The trick is getting the glove to fit just a little snug to your hand and end with a couple of rows of ribbing before your knuckles. The pictured fingerless mitts are the pair I made for myself.  I used Caron Spa yarn in Berry Frappe. It took 1 1/2 oz. of yarn to complete the pair.  

This is how I made them:  Cuff:  With size US 2 dpn’s I cast on 42 stitches and ribbed (k1, p1) for 3″.   I then knit 2 rounds even before starting to shape my thumb.   (If you want a little looser cuff, CO 44 sts.  and rib for 3″.  Then knit 1 round and decrease 2 sts. in the next round.)

Shaping  thumb gusset:  knit 22, M1, k1, M1, k19.  Knit 5 rounds even.  Knit 22, M1, k3, M1, k19.  Knit 5 rounds even.  Knit 22, M1, k5, M1, k19.  Knit 5 rounds even.  Knit 22, M1, k7, M1, k19.  Knit 5 rounds even.  Knit 22, M1, k9, M1, k19.  You now have 52 stitches.  Knit 3 rounds even.     

Decrease for Thumb:  Knit 34, slip the last 13 stitches you just knit onto a stitch holder and knit the remaining stitches.  Next round: Knit 21.  Turn your work and cast on 3 stitches.  Turn back around and knit the remaining 18 stitches.  You are now back to the original 42 stitches.    

Knit even for 15 rounds (1 1/2″).  Rib (k1, p1) 4 rounds (1/2″).  Bind off in rib.    

Thumb:  Slip the stitches from your stitch holder back on 2 of your US size 2 dpn’s.  With a 3rd dpn pick up 5 stitches where you had cast on the 3 stitches.  Knit 1 round even.  Knit 13, k2 tog., k1, k2 tog.  Then rib (k1, p1) 1 round.  Bind off in rib.     

Make one more mitt the same way and you have yourself a comfy pair of fingerless mitts.  Enjoy!

2 in 1: Wash ‘n’ Scrub Cloth

2 in 1 ♥ Wash N Scrub Dishcloth

The other day I posted about my favorite dishcloths.  I mentioned my 2 in 1:  Wash & Scrub Cloth.  It is a great pattern for using up leftover yarn.  I also like the fact that the pattern is so easy to memorize.  I can knit it while watching TV or carrying on a conversation.  It also knits up in an interesting pattern and would make a nice gift.  

I use 100% cotton and US size 7 needles. You can use whatever yarn or needle size you want to get your desired look.  If you want a bigger cloth or smaller cloth, just add or subtract two stitches.  I also found the different brands of cotton yarn come out in different sizes.  Experiment.  Have fun with it. 

The cloth has a smooth side and a textured side.  Smooth for washing, textured for scrubbing – thus “wash ‘n’ scrub!  Now, this cloth is not just for dishes.  No, it also a wash/face cloth.  Use the smooth side on your face for washing and the textured side for exfoliating your skin. (Like my infomercial lingo!). LOL. 

Who could ask for more?   Oh ya – you need the pattern!  Here it is.  Have fun.  Knit a bunch.  Make them in a variety of colors.  Give them out to family and friends.  Sell the finished cloths at bazaars.  But, the pattern itself is free, let’s keep it that way.  Happy Knitting! 

2 in 1: Wash "N" Scrub - Michigan (blue and maize)

2 in 1: Wash "N" Scrub Cloth - Candy Cane (Red & White)

Schlep Bag

This is Earth Week and yesterday I shared with you a slide show on the damage plastic bags can do to our planet. 

As you know, I love bags!  I love to make bags and I love to use bags – of all types.  One of my favorite bags to make and to use is the Schlep Bag.  Why?  Because the bag holds a ton, feels good hanging on my shoulder and it looks really cool.  I’ve made a dozen of these bags and I gave a few bags away as gifts.  My granddaughter uses hers as a school book tote.  One of my daughters lugs her work-out clothes for the gym in one.  They also make great beach bags and handbags. I love to use mine at JoAnn’s.  It holds a heap of material and yarn.

The bag itself is unique and easy to make.  I’ve seen the same style of bag knit and quilted.  What makes this bag unique is the construction; a square bottom with connecting sides.  I line my bags and even add pockets on the inside.  The pattern I found, with nice easy to understand directions, was written by Sentimental Stitches.  The pattern does have a couple of errors.  Just Sew has written up and diagramed a few tips along with corrections.

These are a few of the bags I’ve made for myself.  I love how easy it is to make one pattern look so diverse by the placement and utilization of different material.  They are well used!

City Girl Cap.

Here is a photo of my City Girl Cap as promised.  I went down 2 hook sizes (used an H instead of recommended J).  The fit is nice but I’m thinking it could be a little tighter around.   It needs an adjustable band to stay on my head.  The color is rust.  Again the pattern is by Celeste Young  and can be found here:   Celestial Creations.  The pattern is also a free direct download on Ravelry.