Pure Romance Inspired Cash Bag

January 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Colorwork, Organization

Pure Romance Cash Bag

Original Pattern by The Gypsy. Feel free to share, but please do not sell the pattern! Thanks!

In Indianapolis on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you have the awesome opportunity to be able to go to the zoo with free admission when you bring a canned food item. Given that today was the coldest day in two years, I decided to forgo the zoo trip and knit something. This super simple pattern will make a fabulous cash bag for my Pure Romance business, or a super cute little clutch for your afternoon out. Enjoy!




CO: Cast On

BO: Bind Off

RS: Right Side

K: Knit

STS: Stitches


Materials Needed:

Size US 11 knitting needles

A: One Skein Dark Grey

B: One Skein Bright Pink

(Or whatever colors your stash is begging you to work with)

Yarn Needle

Buttons, Velcro, Bows, or whatever you want to use to help the bag stay shut and look pretty.


With A, CO 40 STS. Knit 4 rows. Switch to B.

With B, K 2 rows. Switch to A. With A, K 4 Rows.

Switch to B. K4 rows. Switch to A. K 4 rows.

Switch to B. K6 rows. Switch to A. K 4 rows.

Switch to B. K8 rows.

Switch to A. K 8 rows. Switch to B. K 4 rows.

Switch to A. K 6 rows. Switch to B. K 4 rows.

Switch to A. K 4 rows. Switch to B. K 4 rows.

Switch to A. K 2 rows. Switch to B. K 4 rows.


Holding strands A and B TOG, BO.


Weave in CO ends. (Both yarns)

Thread needle with both strands from BO. Weave ends through the end stitch from BO row to end of 18th

row. (End of 3rd to last B stripe) (You are just trying to camouflage it.)

Lay piece flat with RS up.


With CO edge, fold first 3 A stripes away from you. This will be the opening flap.

What is not folded is the bag.

Fold this section in half and seam. Flip RS out. Add any buttons, velcro, bows, etc- whatever suits your fancy to keep it closed and make it pretty.

Knit Happy!

Smart Color Choices

November 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Colorwork

I absolutely love using color everywhere and every way that I can. One big thing that many people forget is that color can and does have purpose! Using a smart color choice can help add pizazz and personality to any yarn craft! There are SO many simple ways that color can add something new to an ordinary item. Hats, scarves, gloves, blankets, dishcloths, socks, sweaters, hand warmers- EVERYTHING! Every pattern can be suited for an infinite number of recipients just by switching colors!


Are you low on gifts for the holidays? Simple Garter Stitch hand warmers can be a great unisex gift for anyone- the comfort of gloves mixed with the ability to use a smart phone, swipe a bus pass or keep a grip on that latte would make lots of people happy! A simple coaster set used in a person’s or couple’s favorite colors are a wonderful housewarming gift! (You can add place-mats if you want to go all out!) The beauty of these gifts is that they are simple and easily personalized with the right color scheme. You can even make a stash-buster weekend out of it by knitting or crocheting up a whole bunch of these items for a stock-pile of ready-made gifts!

In an effort to help bring a bit more smart color to yarn crafts, I have compiled a list of color combinations based on anything from the color wheel to pop culture.


Basic Color Mates: (Based on the color wheel- these colors automatically compliment each other. These colors are found opposite of each other on the color wheel!)

Red and Green

Blue and Orange

Yellow and Purple


Harry Potter Houses:

Gryffindor: Red and Gold

Hufflepuff: Yellow and Black

Ravenclaw: Blue and Bronze

Slytherin: Green and Silver


Sports and Academics:

Indiana University: Cream and Crimson

Purdue University: Black and Gold

University of California: Blue and Gold

Columbia University: Blue and White

University of Texas: Orange and White

Indianapolis Colts: Blue and White

Chicago Cubs: White, Red and Blue

New York Jets: Green and White

Obviously, this list could go on forever. Be sure to utilize your favorite search engine to find whatever team or university colors you need!


Pop Culture and Other References:

Sure, everyone won’t get it. But YOU will. And that is what is important!

Blue and White are terrific snow references.

Red and Blue and Green and Blue are great for Mario and Luigi!

Don’t forget White and Green for Yoshi!

Black, White and Silver could be a KISS tribute!

Red, White and Blue could be a Who tribute!

Black, Red, and just a little White would make a FABULOUS Rocky Horror Picture Show reference! (Or even Sweeney Todd, if you did it right!)

Red and Yellow for Winnie the Pooh!

Blue, Magenta and White for Dance Dance Revolution fans!

Red and White for Coca Cola!

Black and Yellow for Batman!

Green and White for Green Lantern!

Brown and Yellow for Curious George!

Yellow and Black for PacMan!

Pink and Green in neon hues would make an awesome Fresh Prince of Bel Air reference!

Orange, Yellow and Brown for Resse’s!

Pink and Black for Pure Romance!

Red and Silver for Smirnoff!

Red, Blue, White with a little Yellow for Ernie! (You know? Burt’s buddy!)

Pink and White for Candy Land!

Blue and Yellow for the Human Rights Campaign!

Light Blue and Yellow for Gleeks!

Black, White, with a little Green for Beeltejuice!


As you can tell, the lists REALLY CAN go on forever! Add a little new life to your tried and true patterns using smart color choices!


Until next time, Knit Happy!!!

Knit Intarsia (by Connie Johnston)

March 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Colorwork

Knit Intarsia:

Intarsia is actually a woodworking term, where it refers to inlaying different colours or types of wood to create a design.

Intarsia is also a knitting technique used to create patterns or designs with more than one colour in a block or section. The intarsia sections can be any shape or design you like.

From my perspective there are 4 types of intarsia knitting.

  1. Knit a picture as you knit the garment – such as a truck on the front of a boys sweater, or a heart on a girls sweater. The pattern is provided on a graph.
  2. Create a geometric design over a whole garment such as tumbling blocks as per a Kaffe Fassett design.
  3. Let your mind take over and knit in a freeform way using many colours as I do on all or part of your garment or art piece.
  4. Icelandic Intarsia – where all the work is completed in garter stitch only.

Unlike Fair Isle knitting, in intarsia the yarn is not carried across the back of the work. You knit with a separate length of yarn for each block or section of colour

Knit Intarsia – basics:

Straight vertical stripes are the simplest intarsia design to create. After the first row, the pattern is continued by always knitting each stitch in the same colour as the previous row, changing colours at the exact same point in each row.

When you wish to change the colour bring the new colour up under the old, and trap the old yarn between the new yarn and the knitting which reduces the risk of a hole at ajunction of two colours.

The twisting and changing of yarns always occurs on the wrong side of the work.

Getting this right reduces the risk of holes at the colour changes and is the most important technique to master.  

Do try to keep your tension consistent as you switch colours and to not knit too tightly or too loosely with a new colour although blocking will improve slight uneven tension in the knitting.

Learn to manage many yarns in one row without too much tangling. The yarns will tangle, so it is a matter of working out the best way for you to manage them. You can use bobbins or use lengths that are more manageable. Run your fingers through the yarns as you do to reduce the problem works well if using many short lengths of yarn.

Weave in the ends of the yarn as you go where possible.

Swiss darning can be used to change a section if you wish.

  1. When knitting a picture – to change the colour of a section of the design.
  2. If you missed a colour change add it when garment is completed.
  3. Embellish an intarsia knit

Knit Intarsia – work a simple design:

Create a washcloth using the intarsia technique:

Knit a wash cloth in cotton in two colours with a stripe knitted up the centre 15 stitches using the intarsia method.

  1. Cast on 45 stitches with an appropriate needle for the cotton being used.
  2. Knit 15 st white, 15 st red, and 15 st white.
  3. Knit to the desired size.
  4. Cast off


  1. Knit 16 rows
  2. Reverse the colour sequence – knit 15 st red, 15 st white, and 15 st red
  3. Repeat 2 times more or till the wash cloth is the size you wish it to be
  4. Cast off

Create a scarf using the intarsia technique:

Knit as above with wool or mohair yarns and an appropriate needle size and continue with the 16 rows of each sequence until you have the right length for a scarf.

Knit Intarsia – work a simple charted design: coming next!

In the Shadows (by Jen Chambers)

June 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Colorwork

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Have you discovered Shadow knitting yet?  It’s a lot of fun and makes for some interesting discussions with folks who see your project.

When viewed from the “normal” straight down angle, your knitting looks like a colorful ribbing project.   You can use any colors you wish, but contrasting colors work best.   Alternating colors every 2 rows.

The fun comes in when you change the angle of view.  Looking at a 45 degree angle at your project, and you’ll discover some clever knitting and purling! 

Found this great little book called Shadow Knitting by Vivian Hoxbro.    The book contains very nice detailed patterns for winged shawls, squared bags, a matching cap and scarf, vests, sweaters, and Japanese-style kimonos.  $14.93 on Amazon.

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Exorcising Color Work (by Aubrey Mayes)

February 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Colorwork

I know from my experience and the experiences of knitters around me that color work has a lot of demons. All these fancy, demonic words, like Fair Isle and Intarsia can cloud a lot of really straightforward concepts. I know that even some veteran knitters don’t do color work, just because of how scary the prospect seems. Today, I just want to try to make it seem less scary. These tips are not advanced color knitting, just basic, beginner steps to the wonderful world of color.

Let’s start with my personal favorite, Fair Isle. Fair Isle knitting is not only beautiful to look at, but can be really fun to knit once you get the hang of it. It does require a little more concentration than knitting in one color, but the finished object will be well worth it. I started looking for videos on Youtube, like I always do when starting a new technique, but I soon discovered that no one was really explaining it well. Sure, they made it look impressive and flashy, but it’s difficult to see the technique through that. I’m going a step further, to show the process, rather than the flash.

When knitting in Fair Isle, you need to remember a few things. Firstly, you should always use the Stockinette Stitch when knitting Fair Isle.  You will need a clear Right and Wrong side to your project. Secondly, you will need to remember that Fair Isle knitting should use no more than 3 colors, and, depending on yarn weight, only 2. Since the yarns are carried across the Wrong side, that side will become the back or inside of the object. If you have too many yarns carried across the back, the object will become heavy (and overly warm if it is a wearable object).

Before you cast on, you have to know how to read your pattern chart. This is very simple. Use the key on your pattern for less obvious marks, like you would on a map. If there is only a difference in color, and there are only two colors, there will not usually be any specific markings. You will need to reference your key for additional color and stitch information when necessary. Unless otherwise stated in your pattern, you should begin your chart in the bottom right corner. Reading from right to left, look at how your row is worked, taking note of both color and stitch changes. Go on to the next row, reading from left to right, noting the same information, and that’s all there is to it!

Now, cast on your project. Unless otherwise stated in your pattern, you will begin your chart on the row immediately following cast on. Follow your chart stitch by stitch. I have trouble sometimes remembering where I am on a chart, so I like to tick off every few stitches on my chart and sometimes, for short patterns, even right it out in numbers. For example:

“Row 4: knit 8 sts in white, 3 in black, 8 in white.

                                                5:Purl 8 sts in white, 3 in black, 8 in white.

                                                6:K6W, 7B, 6W.

                                                7:P6W, 7B, 6W.”

            “But how do you add the second color?” This is where most people get skittish. Do not cut the strand of yarn on the first color. When it comes time to add the second color, make sure you are on a WS row. Simply let go of the first color, take the second color, leave a short tail, and simply use the new strand to continue knitting or purling the row. That’s all there is to it! That’s not so hard, is it? Then, when you need the first color again, let go of the 2nd color and continue knitting with the 1st, carrying it along the WS. (Make sure you carry on the same side when doing the knit AND purl stitch.) It will come quite naturally once you get the hang of it.

Need something a little simpler? This next tip is just for you! Maybe you’re just looking to try some simple stripes, or even just starting a new ball of yarn. There are SO many different ways to do this- I’m about to tell you my favorite, and probably the most simple. Starting at the end of a row, leaving a short tail, snip off the first yarn. Make a slip-knot. (I like to do this by holding my left hand in front of me with my thumb up and index and middle fingers pointing to the right. Starting at the top, loop the yarn around your middle and index fingers once from back to front. Push the strand between your middle and index fingers inside the loop, pull off, and tighten. Voila, slip knot!) Slip the strand of the first yarn through the slip knot of the second yarn. Tighten. When tightening, make sure the knot goes all the way up to the needle, and that your new yarn is attached snugly.

            Key points for Color Knitting;

  • Pay good attention to the chart and pattern for color AND stitch information.
  • Always make sure the new yarn is joined snugly.
  • Always add new yarn on the WS.
  • Be sure to weave in all ends. I like to make a small knot on the WS before weaving them in if the FO will be used a lot.
  • Remember that color work is only as scary as you make it.
  • It may take a few tries to get it right, so don’t be afraid to frog it. Just make sure the 2 colors don’t get tangled.
  • When carrying a color, make sure the strand doesn’t have to go too far unsupported.


I hope this helps you! Be sure to email me at thegypsy@naughtyknitterz.com if you have any additional questions!

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