Sep 25, 2016

Pattern | Christmas Trees

These classic, decorative Christmas trees are so fast, easy and versatile, you may find yourself making every size from tiny ornaments to Advent trees.

The possibilities are endless. Make gift tags, hotpads, mug mats, ornaments, pillow accents, table toppers, toys, wall hangings, washcloths, and much, much more. 

Decorate gifts or your front door. Accent your holiday table. Create a garland. Make stuffies. Stitch tiny trees to hats, scarves or Christmas stockings for an instant holiday statement. Tack two together to create a gift card holder to hang on the tree as an ornament and use as a double-layered mug mat once the gift card is removed.

Truly, the only limit is your imagination. From sweet and simple to shiny and sparkly, the clean graphic design knits quickly. Whip up a virtual forest of reversible tree ornaments or make a complete set either with or without the optional tree stand, the choice is yours.
Briefly, the:

  • Twisted garter stitch is easy to execute and produces a stable, fully reversible fabric.
  • Colorwork is a cinch, because only one color is worked on a row.
  • Top-down construction keeps work compact and portable, so you can work trees anytime and anywhere.
  • Elements like the optional tree stand allow you to tailor each tree to suit your tastes or those of the recipient.
  • Pattern is simple enough for any moderately experienced beginner. It's concise but complete, and includes a basic schematic along with directions, stitch counts, yardage and dimensions for five sizes.
  • Yarn choice is completely up to you. The pattern includes yardage estimates for each size in yarn weights ranging from sock/fingering to bulky.
  • Design suits everyone young or old, and it can be worked in solid colors or stripes, different yarns and countless combinations. 

Christmas Trees | Holiday Ornaments, Decorations & More
Skill Level 2: Easy
Yarn: Any weight, sock/fingering to bulky

Shown: DK, worsted, Aran, bulky *
Needles: Recommended size or whatever works for you
Sizes: XS to XL (3 ins to 17 ins)
Yardage (approx.): 25 to 110 yards

The pattern includes directions for five sizes (XS to XL) both with and without the optional tree stand, and the design accommodates any fiber you might choose. As an added plus, the handy Quick Reference guide provides dimensions and yardage estimates for every tree size in yarn weights ranging from sock/fingering to bulky.

Have fun and experiment. Try rainbow shades for a whimsical approach, harvest hues for a fall statement, or vivid jewel tones for a vibrant holiday look. Add glitz with metallic yarns, texture with rustic handspuns, or cushy softness with chenille.

Christmas is coming! Whether you're casting on today or planning ahead, buy the Christmas Tree pattern now to save 30% (through midnight Oct 1 EDT). 

Just be forewarned, these trees are so fast, fun and addictive, you too may find yourself making them for family, friends, colleagues, and everyone on your holiday gift list.

Shopping at your favorite LYS? All patterns are activated for in-store sales.
Experimenting with color combos? These articles offer ideas and inspiration.
Considering a multi-strand strategy? See this helpful conversion chart.

* Yarns Shown
   Cotton Fleece (Brown Sheep)
   Four Seasons (Classic Elite)
   Korall (Laines du Nord)
   Merino Grande (Gedifra)
   Superwash Bulky (Valley Yarns)
   Torino Bulky (Tahki)
   Touch Me (Meunch)

Sep 18, 2016

Who's Winning the Stash Wars?

For those of us who knit, crochet, weave, spin and dye yarn, stash management is a part of life. I can't speak for you, but in my case, the stash is constantly expanding and contracting, which means sometimes I'm managing it and sometimes it's managing me.

Yarn in: Knit, knit, knit. Yarn out: Replenish the supply. Yarn in: Knit. Yarn out: Replenish.

You get the picture. Since September marks the start of yarn season in my corner of the world, it seemed like a good time to pause and take a moment to assess recent stashbusting efforts. Here's a quick roundup:

Alaris Wrap
Stash: 50% (all CCs)
New: 50% (black MC)

Stash: 80% (black, purple, red)
New: 20% (turquoise)

Stash: 100% (red, cream, green)
New: 0%

Christmas Trees Worsted
Stash: 100% (red, white, green)
New: 0%

Christmas Trees Chenille
Stash: 100% (magenta, blue, green)
New: 0%

Lucben Rose (WIP)
Stash: 85% (all CCs)
New: 15% (cream MC)

Stash: 15% (purple)
New: 85% (blue, teal, rose, buttercream, cream)

(Unnamed Object, WIP)
Stash: 50% (all CCs)
New: 50% (black MC)

What does this mean in terms of yardage? I don't yet know. Eventually, I'll sit down and crank the numbers, but for now, I'm simply reading the runes and searching for signs.

So, who's winning the stash wars?

Based on the evidence above, there was one brief, glowy, completely delusional moment when I thought I might be. Then the glow faded as reality crept in: The yarn cupboards are packed to capacity and countless skeins are roaming around in the form of projects on the needles and in the planning pipeline.

Whether it's cuddled in the cupboards or free ranging, the evidence is clear: In the ongoing struggle known as the stash wars, the yarn is still winning. (Must. knit. faster.)

If you, too, are fighting the stash wars, you might enjoy these posts:

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Sep 11, 2016

Knitting the Rainbow

When we looked at rainbow color combinations a few months ago, I realized for the first time just how many of my projects incorporate rainbow themes.

Please don't misunderstand. I wasn't oblivious to this phenomenon, I just hadn't fully recognized how often they crept into the picture. Some versions are bright, others are muted. Some focus primarily on color, others feature a blend of color and texture. In all their variations, rainbow combinations continue to pop up everywhere. The most recent examples include:

Angletyn Rainbow
A delightful Raveler in the Afghans & Blankets group called this a sophisticated rainbow, which is a lovely description:

Breidan Baby
When this was released, readers and Ravelers commented on how much they enjoyed the muted shades rather than the conventional baby pastels:

Color Check
Together, the two Color Check panels create richly varied rainbows in vivid, mid-range and soft shades:

Drumlin Gemtones
On their own, the saturated gemtones of Drumlin are an incomplete rainbow. This afghan can usually be found draped over the back of an easy chair in the family room, however, and it's painted a creamy yellow which completes the rainbow scheme:

Tikkyn Rainbow
Clearly I love rainbows in all their forms, but I especially like the play of color and texture in Tikkyn. On the front, the colors are frosted with cream and slightly more subdued, while on the back (upper left corner) they're more prominent:

Twegen Berry & Harvest
It's a bit of a stretch, but when these two afghans are displayed together, they create a modified rainbow. (And yes, I do sometimes drape them in tandem on the back of the couch just to see this effect in action. I can be goofy that way.)

Through the years, rainbow schemes have surfaced in toddler sweaters, baby hats, cardigans (Moore Colors), scarves, and too many dishcloths to count.

The recent flurry of colorful knits means the stash is awash in partial skeins and leftovers in almost every shade of the ... well, you know.

To put them to good use, I'm working on several new concepts. One's in the swatching stage, and another's just been cast on. It doesn't look like much yet, but bear with me, the end result could be interesting:

Gradually the many-colored remnants will begin finding new futures, which is a very good thing. Once they're gone, I'll face the classic dilemma: Either stop knitting rainbows, or bite the bullet, buy more yarn, and start the cycle all over again.

What's a knitter to do?

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