In 2012, something will happen that has never happened before. My hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana will host the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl XLVI Host Committee is calling for a grand total of 8000 scarves hand knitted or crocheted for volunteers.
The program launched in January 2010, but at current they only have about 1200 of the scarves needed by February 2012.
The scarves, which will all carry a handwritten note by the creator, will warm the necks and spirits of the many volunteers leading spectators to their destinations and answering questions in the Indianapolis winter weather.
You don’t have to be a Hoosier to help, so let’s get knitty with it and make some Super Scarves!!
Pattern doesn’t matter- just so long as it is the specified colors.
The colors that have been approved are:
• Yarn available at Wal-Mart, Michael’s, and other large retail stores:
Red Heart Super Saver E300 – Color 0311 White and Color 0385
• Royal Yarn available at some local knitting stores
Cascade 220 – Color 8505 White and Color 9457 Blue
• Alpaca with a Twist Touchdown Blue and Touchdown White!
Alpaca with a Twist is an Indiana-based yarn company.
The patterns can include football icons, but no team specific logos, please!
You can visit http://www.indianapolissuperbowl.com/super-scarves/ for full instructions, information, and pics of finished scarves!
They may have been as simple as a young child helping his busy mom make Christmas ornaments for everyone. Or as complex as a favorite aunt making matching hat, scarf, and mitten sets for my sisters and me — while taking care of her own growing family and working full time.
And in an economic downturn, maybe it’s time to consider — or reconsider —simpler . . .more practical . . .less expensive gifts.
So what are some projects to knit for Christmas?
- A lap-ghan or baby blanket This recommendation comes from Vanna White of Wheel of Fortune. She’s an avid crocheter, reportedly preferring these gifts. And yes, they do work also for knitters!What’s a lap-ghan? It’s a half-size afghan that an adult uses to warm his or her legs. This is a favorite of those bothered by chills and drafts. And yes, it’s not just confined to the northern areas. Southerners get chilly too!
- Scarves, hats, and mittens Well these will get more use in northern climates. Hats and mittens usually require knowledge at least roughly of the size of the recipient’s head and hands. Scarves on the other hand are small projects. And even beginning knitters can knit garter stitch scarves. Actually their biggest challenge may be binding off!Tip: When you want to make a scarf faster, knit it lengthwise. Instead of knitting back on forth on only a few stitches, cast on enough for the entire length of the scarf. This way you only have to knit a relatively few rows. Although they can get quite long!
- Toys You can knit toys for children, such as a teddy bear or doll clothes. You can also knit a cover for an I-pod or cell phone to protect an adult’s “toys.”
These ideas can help you get started for knitting your own memorable gifts.
And when you want to knit a special gift for use every Christmas, consider knitting a Christmas stocking. You can personalize it with names if you are so inclined . . .or just your own knitting style. When you’re looking for Christmas stocking kits, be sure to check out the kits Naughty Knitterz offer from patterns I designed. (Insert link)
When my friend Erika asked if I could design a Christmas stocking, I thought, “Why not?” Why let something small—like never having knit one before—stop a knitting project?
Deciding to start at the beginning with some basic research, I plowed into the project. After studying Christmas stockings’ construction, I decided it wouldn’t be any harder than knitting socks. And was pleasantly surprised to find they were easier to knit than I thought.
So just how do you make Christmas stockings?
- Knitting Christmas stockings is very similar to knitting socks. Yes, the original Christmas stockings were actually stockings children wore the rest of the year. So, the overall pattern is roughly the same as a sock pattern.
- Modern Christmas stockings tend to be larger than socks. Larger in diameter and leg length, although the foot is often knit shorter.
- To hide the stocking stuffers from little eyes, their stockings are often knit in stockinette stitch rather than a lace pattern. Stockinette stitch is also a traditional pattern for stockings. Stockinette stitch even gets its name from knitting stockings.
- Because most Christmas stockings are knit in the round, stockinette stitch is all knit stitches. Many knitters prefer the knit stitch to the purl stitch.
- If this is one of your first projects knit in the round, the yarn and needles are usually heavier than those used to knit socks to be worn. This makes knitting Christmas stockings easier, especially if you’re not used to knitting with either a set of double-pointed needles or two circular needles.
- Christmas stockings usually are knit from the top down, although there’s no reason they couldn’t be knit from the bottom up. You might have to adjust a motif or graph if you’re knitting your sock in more than one color.
- Because the stocking is for decoration, the heel usually looks squared and is often different than the main stocking color.
- The toe is often the same contrasting color as the heel.
- And left-handed knitters will be happy to note that Christmas stockings can be knit left-handed, too. If the pattern has an asymmetrical motif, you may end up with a mirror image unless you reverse the graph. The good news is most Christmas motifs are either symmetric or can be just as lovely as a mirror image.
So you can see that knitting Christmas stockings isn’t so complicated after all! And they’re fun to knit, then display or give away. There is a picture of the Victorian version of Christmas Stocking to the left on this page. See all 3 designs on the Stocking Kit page.
Keep knitting to your heart’s delight — or someone else’s…Ina
When you’re ready to try a Christmas stocking, check out the kits The Naughty Knitterz made from the patterns I designed. Find all three kits at http://theknittingyarn.com/stockingkits.
Article Source: http://theknittingyarn.com/?p=2506
It’s that time of year again! Yes- summer! Know what that means? Christmas knitting! Yes, I know it seems like a long ways away, but I assure you, it’s closer than it seems.
There are only about 150 days left until Christmas, and that’s only 150 days to knit. If you are like me and panicking about the looming perpetual deadline, here are some tips for you.
- Santa isn’t the only one that needs a list, and check it more than twice. I suggest making a master list with projects, then separate lists for yarn type, yarn color and needle size; receiver personal information (age, measurements, favorite colors, fiber allergies), and completion status. Microsoft Excel is amazing for this. (openoffice.org has a free office suite that is compatible with any version of Microsoft Office. )
- Knit a little every day. I have a bit of PADD, or Project Attention Deficit Disorder, so I have many projects going at once. I try to do at least a few rows every day. Need to fit a little extra time in? Well, a full article is coming soon about that, but here are some tips: I knit on the bus, in waiting rooms, and while watching movies, whether in the theater or at home. I also listen to audio books so I can enjoy my Harry Potter and fiber fun at the same time.
- Stay calm, organized, and prepared. Now is the best time to stock up- grab some plastic storage tubs to keep FOs in (toss in some lightly scented soap bars to keep them smelling fresh!), and keep the project yarn together and separated from each other for quick and easy access. I mean, let’s face it- nothing kills motivation like having to clean. Store the needed needles with the yarn to be sure they are free for use. Make photocopies of the patterns (esp. if they are from library books!) and store them with the yarn. Stock up on notions and post its (for tracking a place in a pattern).
- Winter is the best time for yarn, so have fun with all of the fibers, colors, and textures! Step out of the sock box and test yourself. Learn something new, revive something old, and just have fun with it!
Building a stash of handmade gifts – Nine knitting patterns to use again and again (by Robyne Devine)
Almost every knitter I know loves to gift handmade presents for birthdays and holidays, but we also all find ourselves remembering this at the very last minute. While a plethora of “last minute knit” patterns exist, I’ve taken to keeping a list of “go to” patterns that I whip through whenever I have some spare knitting time. I store all these finished knits in a drawer of my yarn dresser (where I store my yarn stash), so that when a birthday, holiday, or celebration sneaks up on me I’ve got something waiting in the wings!
Babies – Everyone knows someone who is having a baby, and most new parents love the gift of handmade items. I love to give smaller gifts – hats, sweaters, and booties – that can grow at least a little bit with the babe.
- My go-to hat pattern: Cabled Hat (http://heyjulie.wordpress.com/2006/08/18/cabled-baby-hats/). This hat looks great made in any color, and stretches unbelievably – I’ve known babes to wear it for their first six months!
- My go-to sweater pattern: 5 hour baby boy sweater (http://gailbable.tripod.com/id41.html ). It looks good on both boys and girls, and most babes can wear it for up to four months if you make it long enough (the sleeves can be rolled up for the first month or two).
- My go-to sleep sack pattern: Snug As A Bug sleepsack (my own pattern – http://robyndevine.blogspot.com/2010/05/snug-as-bug-sleepsack-free-pattern.html ). I can whip one of these up in three days flat, and for babes born in colder months, this can be a god-send!
Men – Men can be a bit harder to knit for. They look for utility above all, I’ve learned, which means neutral colors and design, less flourish and pattern drama but more classic lines and design. A good go-to pattern for men has to be something you’d give to your father, your husband, and your son.
- My go-to gloves pattern: Cigar mitts (http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer05/PATTcigar.html ). I make the pattern either with all fingers fully completed or with all fingers left open, and always in black, grey, navy or brown – and always in Patons wool. They stand up to anything, are great for working outside or on home improvements, and are classic enough for any man to love.
- My go-to hat pattern: Vancouver (my own pattern – http://robyndevine.blogspot.com/2010/05/vancouver-hat-free-pattern.html). This hat is another fast and classic knit. It’s simplicity hides the fact that any man on your gift list will love it and wear it out – ask my father-in-law!
Women – The women in your life will end up being the hardest to knit for. Every woman I know has a different style, favorite colors, and fabric loves. None the less, I keep a few patterns on-hand for last-minute gifts – I’ve found these classics will make almost any woman happy!
- My go-to scarf pattern: The Star Scarf pattern (http://crafthope.com/2010/01/project-6-orphan-foundation/ ) from Vickie Howell (made for Craft Hope) became an instant classic for me. Simple enough to memorize quickly, this is a great traveling project, and can be worked into a skinny scarf or a more substantial shawl. Again, the yarn makes the style for this beauty – knit in a neutral the scarf becomes perfect for anyone on your list, but by adding a fun color to the pattern you’ve got an instant favorite for those looking for an up-to-the-moment accessory.
- My go-to hat patterns: Any hat by Jane Richmond (http://www.janerichmond.etsy.com/ ) is a winner in my book! Every woman I’ve made one of Jane’s hats for, from friends to family members and spanning generations, has loved her hat to death! They can be made slouchier or snug, and are classic enough that by simply changing up the color of your yarn, you end up with a hat that is traditional to funky and fresh!
Kids – If you thought knitting for the women in your life could be difficult, try knitting for the kids you know! From the minute they become mobile, kids start expressing their likes and dislikes, and that definitely includes knit-wear! I’ve found that sticking with simple items, knit with super soft and WASHABLE fabrics increases the chances the kids in your life will love what you knit for them.
- My go-to hat pattern: Baby Beanie by Ulli Shibuya (free Ravelry download). The pattern calls for fingering weight, so by sizing up to sport weight or even worsted weight, you end up with a hat to fit any kid from a toddler to a teen. Leave off the tab at the top for older kids, and this hat is sure to be worn by girls and boys alike.
- My go-to sweater pattern: Drive Thru, by Knit and Tonic. You can work this sweater into a cardigan (my preferred method) or a pull-over, and it can be made solid or with any variety of patterns to suit any boy or girl. I’ve made these for my nieces this year, and they fell in love instantly!
And if you’ve got a little extra time on your hands, my go-to blanket pattern is the Project Linus blanket from Knitting For Peace. This blanket works up great in any color, and can be adjusted for smaller or larger blankets. We’ve got a few in our home, even!
One of the best ways to socialize with fellow crafters is to host a knitting party (or a crochet party- we’re not prejudiced!). So go ahead- invite your stitch-y friends and eat, stitch, and be merry!
“So what’s the difference between a knitting meeting and a knitting party?”
At a knitting meeting, your group is usually meeting at a public place at a set time and date. The menu is limited to what the venue offers, and there’s often a lot of other noise at the venue, which can break both concentration and conversation. On the other hand, a knitting party is a special time in between meetings that can liven up your stitching routine in addition to your social routine. You can get together and enjoy some great food and drink, conversation, and get some extra stitching in.
Step One- Choose a Theme
The first step to good entertaining is always to pick a theme. Sure, we know its a knitting party, but are we talking about brunch, dinner, or even cocktails? Indoors or outdoors? Is this a Christmas party, a Tim Burton marathon party, or a tiki party? Once you have the theme, its smooth sailing!
Step Two- Pick a Date/Time and Send Out Invitations
When deciding on the date, you’ll want to pick a date and time that will be fairly convenient for your guests. If there are a lot of parents in the group, you’ll want to make sure its not close to graduations, soccer games, or award ceremonies. (Try to avoid the last week of May and the first week of June, and try to pick a time after 6 pm on weekdays. Mornings will be best for weekends and stay at home moms.) The best times for weeknights will be after the average time people get off work, and mornings or evenings on weekends (Most errands are done in the afternoon). After the date and time are selected, send out invitations. You can buy them pre-made, or if you have scrapbook supplies handy, you can make them. Include date, time, location, theme, and RSVP. Slipping in the theme is as easy as picking up invitations with a coordinating motif. For instance, for a beach themed party, you could pick up invitations with seashells. Feel free to use yarn as an accent on the invitation to give it a stitch-ier look!
Step Three- Menu!
To create your party’s menu, you’ll want to take several factors into consideration. These factors are time, season, theme, and guests. Time will dictate the type of meal. For instance, a party that starts around noon would make a fabulous brunch, 2 or 3 would be good for cookouts, 5 or later would be best for dinner, and 7 or later for cocktails. You’ll want to make sure to use foods that are of good quality and in season, since those will taste the best and will give you more bang for your buck. When it comes to theme, you can find recipes for any occasion- Harry Potter themed recipes, beach themed recipes- you name it they make it. Possibly the most important factor to consider is your guest list. You’ll want to make see if any of your guests are dieting, diabetic, vegetarian/vegan, or have allergies, and you’ll want to make sure there are alternatives for any guests with any dietary needs. Also, be sure to pick desserts and finger foods that won’t bother anyone’s knitting!
Step Four- Decor
When it comes to decor, you have to be careful. Make sure it looks appropriate for the theme, but be careful not to go over the top, especially when it comes to table setting if your guests will be stitching at the table. Its best to have a dining area separate from the seating area if the party is taking place indoors. But similar to the invitations, if you can dream the theme, there’s an infinite amount of decorations that you can purchase and make.
Step Five- Party Time!
Now that the party’s all planned, its time to put your plans to good use and have fun with it! Be sure to have food prepared when your guests arrive (unless its a barbecue or similar type of party), and whatever you do, don’t stress yourself out! The most important part is to enjoy all your hard work and the company of your knitty friends!!
Here are some great resources:
Williams – Sonoma: Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch
Ruth Lively: Cooking From the Garden
http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/ (for Harry Potter themed parties)
Be sure to (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any quesitons!
Say what you will about me, but I’ve already begun my 2010 holiday knitting. One of the joys of the holiday season for me is giving the gift of something hand-made; from hats to sweaters to mittens, I love the look on a loved-ones face when they open a package full of items I’ve made just for them.
Gifting handmade takes far more time than gifting store-bought, however. Making each individual item takes a far amount of time – there’s the picking out of patterns and yarn, sizing items properly, not to mention the actual knitting! To keep myself from losing my mind (and giving myself Carpel Tunnel) this November, I’ve already begun my holiday knitting.
Getting your holiday knit on this early is as easy as a few simple planning steps. Here’s how I got myself into the holiday groove so early.
First, I spent some time making my Gift List. I put everyone’s name into a document on my computer, and started to figure out what each person might like. For some, it’s as simple as a hat or a pair of mittens. For others (like my nieces and nephew) something more substantial like a sweater was in order. I made this list as large and “Ideal World Knitting” as possible – practicality comes into play later.
Once the list was made, I started to figure out what I already had yarn for. This is key in getting as many hand-knits made for the holidays as possible, truth be told. If you’re constantly running to the store for more yarn, you’re cutting into precious knitting time and spending far more money than you may want.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find much of the yarn you need in your stash – in my case, I had enough yarn for at least five of the projects on my list. That’s when the fun really starts. I updated my list to reflect the yarn I already had, so that I could start figuring out what yarn I needed. If you don’t know what you need, you won’t know what to get!
I watch the sales at my local yarn shops as well as at the big box stores, and when I saw yarn on sale for a holiday knitting project I wanted to tackle, I snapped it up. Thanks to this, I was able to purchase almost all the yarn I’ll need for holiday knitting before April 1!
Once you have your yarn, or have begun to figure out what yarn you already have for your projects, you can begin knitting! I started knitting some of the smaller items (scarves, mittens, etc) right away. With the weather turning warmer every day here in the Midwest, I don’t want to get bogged down with too many larger pieces on my lap. Plus knocking out a bunch of smaller items will get more names crossed off the list faster – a huge mental boost! Figure out which project you want to knit first, and jump right in!
Finally, I designated an area in my craft room for holiday presents – it’s actually the top drawer of my “knitting dresser” for now. As I finish gift-able hand-knits, I write down basic information (who it’s for, yarn content, care instructions) and pin that piece of paper to the hand-knit so it doesn’t get lost. Then I store finished items until it comes time to gift! You may also want to keep a running list of what you’ve knit up and who it’s for, to help remind you at a glance which projects still need to be tackled. I’ve been using Ravelry for that so far, with much success.
Even if you don’t start your holiday knitting as early as I do, if you love to gift hand-made presents, a little organization can go a long way to keeping your gift-giving in order – and help keep you sane!
Are you considering making a unique Easter basket for a special child? To get your ideas flowing, here are 9 free online patterns for bunnies, chicks, eggs, and even Easter baskets.
- Pocket Bunny for beginning knitters. At 5-inches long this cute bunny can fit in a pocket. It’s is made from a garter stitch square, folded and stuffed. The Lion Brand Yarn site requires sign in, however an account is free!
- Cuddly Bunny listed as easy (advanced beginner) by Lion Brand Yarn. This bunny is larger at 12 inches and fuzzy. While the Lion Brand Tiffany yarn is not available as of this writing, the website lists alternatives that sound soft and cuddly.
- Easter Bunny for intermediate knitters is about 20 inches tall. This bunny from Berroco Yarn has an adorable pocket for added treats.
- Easter Peeps: These cute ducklings would make great additions to any Easter basket. And the come with a surprise! At the end of the pattern there are directions for making chicks and even a bunny from the same pattern!
- Knitted Felted Basket and Crocheted Chicks: A felted basket for your Easter treats, and soft crocheted chicks are both in this free pattern from Berroco Yarn.
- Felted Easter Basket with Handle: Traditional round basket, which is knit and then felted. The pieces are separately knit, felted and then sewn together.
- Round and Oblong Easter Baskets with Handles: This pattern uses blocks of stockinette stitch (a basket stitch variation) to simulate woven baskets.
- Easter Eggs reminiscent of Ukrainian eggs. These eggs are knit flat and then sewn into shape. The instructions include pattern charts. And they’d be adorable knit in solid colors too.
- Sock Yarn Easter Eggs: Use your leftover sock yarn to make these colorful eggs. They’re knit on double pointed needles, and stuffed as you knit.
So, whether you want to tackle a whole basket, or just an Easter egg, you can knit treasures. You could even choose one pattern at a time, knitting a yearly tradition. For Easter as always, remember to Knit Happy!