Sunday, February 16, 2014

Wrangling Loose Ends

The posts over the next couple of days will be short and sweet.

I have to say it was great fun seeing several Silly Scarf & Hat projects worked up. Love the super bulky yarn.

Considering what I'm seeing in fashion blogs and runway reviews, bulky knit cowls will be with us through next year.

When finishing, I've never liked the thick lump caused by weaving in a bulky loose end. But there's a solution: split the strand in two and weave in each half separately.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Celebration

Today I have something very special for you, my Valentines.

No, it isn't a scarf. Instead, I've changed the price of my crocheted Scrappy Bear to … free!

You should have just enough time to make one for a special someone on the 14th. It works up very quickly using small amounts of yarn.

Click here to download the instructions for "Scrappy Bear".

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Today we're revisiting one of the most popular scarves published on this blog to date: "Purple Peacock" by Angela Boehm.

We're doing this for two reasons. First and foremost, I have surgery Wednesday at (Holy Hospitals Batman!) 6:30 a.m. So Tuesday night I went to bed too early to finish creating the pattern for the scheduled scarf.

The second reason is that so many of you loved the scarf and the photo tutorial for broomstick lace. Doesn't Angela have beautiful hands?


Click here to download the "Purple Peacock" pattern and instructions by Angela Boehm.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez

Forget the beads … you won't be showing them anything but your skills when you strut with the crew wearing "Mardi Gras".

A little ditty, it only takes 130 yards to whip up this scarf.

Despite and snow, this afternoon I trekked around the neighborhood with a pile of scarves around my neck. It was time to shoot some scarves for patterns. You know, I must be getting quite the reputation for being weird because no one stares at me anymore.

Click here to download the instructions for "Mardi Gras".

Monday, February 10, 2014

Behind the Camera

Thought you'd get a kick out of what I see through the camera lens before I crop to show only the stitching.

I shoot in front of an old fireplace. It looks a bit rough because it's 200 years old, and I'm renovating. Slowly. Very. Slowly.

I like to shoot here because I can tape and nail to the plaster because it'll soon (hah!) be gone.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas

When you knit or crochet there's plenty of time to think. Or watch TV. Or a movie. Most evenings I get through the boring parts of the stitching with TV. I've tried talking books, but I lose my train of thought.

So, anyways, the stitching frequently leads to other stitching ideas. Bet the same thing happens to you. In fact, I bet that the number of ideas we have well exceeds the amount of yarn in our stash.

For those of you on Ravelry, I'd love to know just how many patterns are in your library, waiting to be stitched.

A tease: here's a scarf you'll see when the weather gets warmer. It's called "Open Windows".

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Head's Up

What? You expected normal? That's just a setting on a dryer.

Over on I have a group called Year of Scarves. One of the discussions invites people to tell me what kind of scarves they'd like to see, as well as yarn preferences and other details.

I got a request for a scarf with a hood. Tried that. Got bored.

The "Silly Scarf" hat fits most heads.

(And here's what I've learned making and selling hats at the Easton Farmers' Market: adult medium and child medium are the same size.)

The back of the hat has a short row so that there's a bit more warmth at the base of the head. And the ends are long enough to wrap around your neck.

Click here to download the "Silly Scarf" hat pattern and make your own.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mulling It Over

I had no intention of including a felted crochet scarf in the 2014 collection. While many people do successfully created felted (fulled) crochet, I've been less than satisfied.

Throwing caution to the wind, and avoiding the label of being a crochet bigot (I actually crochet more than I knit), I'm including this scarf, "Felt Like Crochet".

And, for the record, it did felt quite nicely.

The felted piece did, however, sit on my cutting table for over a month as I puzzled over what I could do with it. The stitches are still slightly visible, which means there are tiny weak spots throughout the piece.

I wanted to take advantage of that. Only yesterday I finished a technical edit of a beaded jewelry book. And that got me thinking about beads … then jump rings (the round metal circles that you can open) … and so, here you go.

Click here to download the instructions for "Felt Like Crochet" and see how it's done.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Not a Brain Surgeon...or Actor.

The day slipped away from me. Before I knew it midnight was creeping up on me and I hadn't finished the instructions for the next scarf. So Wednesday's crocheted scarf,  "Gates", is free for a second day.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Posts and Gates

You can thank Taff for today's scarf. That's her name or Ravatar, as it's called over there.  In the Year of Scarves group, she has been pointing out every time I release a crocheted scarf. So here you go. Another one.

I've been crazy for front and back post double crochet stitches ever since Jane Snedden Peever introduced me to Aran crochet. In fact, it was her design submission to a book I was developing, Crocheted Sweaters, that caught my attention and led to two books entire filled with her work: Aran Crocheted Sweaters and More Aran Crocheted Sweaters. (I still have a couple of boxes of first edition Aran Sweaters if you're interested in one. Order from huxley90 at

Anyhow, "Gates" doesn't have cables, but it's an excellent way to get used to working front post double crochet and back post double crochet stitches. Because single crochet is worked in the center of many rows you'll really get a handle on the placement of the posts.

Click here to download the "Gates" pattern and learn how it's done.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Hole in My Heart...

…and a mangled cookie cutter. My plan was to fast-track the heart cutting by tapping a shaped cookie cutter through the scarf. The felted was too bouncy. And did you know a cookie cutter collapses really easily when you hit it with a hammer?

I made this scarf just a few days before Christmas. Like most stitchers, it's best to start holiday scarves long before that holiday arrives. This prevents the 11th-hour scramble to finish a gift on time.

Did you just snort? Me, too. It was just a fluke that I started early on this one.

I had a hankering for felting. I'm going to stop here because, although I'm not a stickler for specifics, I am about this term. Felting is packing loose fibers together. What us stitchers do with our knitting and crocheting is fulling.

It took a while to develop a nice ratio of red to yellow rows for "Heartless."

Click here to download the instructions for "Heartless".

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Soul Searching

In mid-December, as most people were gearing up for a festive season, me and my husband were on a somewhat different trajectory. We were awaiting test results. Shortly after the planned launch of Year of Scarves we learned that I have breast cancer.

Now don’t suck in your breathe and start worrying. I’m one hell of a tough old bird, having already faced my share of adversity and health threats during my life.

What this means for you, the wonderful people who are playing along with my Year of Scarves adventure is ... not much.

This project is going forward for the entire year no matter what. I have helping hands and scarves lined up.

My Wonder Woman cape, however, is packed with my gear for surgery and later treatments (not traditional chemo; I won’t be so sick I can’t continue). But I won’t be working weekends. I’ll continue to blog those days. There will be fun tidbits and tips to keep you in the stitching mood.

AND THERE WILL STILL BE FREE, ORIGINAL SCARF PATTERNS TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY. This project and the interactions I’ve had with you have given me too much joy and pleasure to let slip away.

At the end of the year I won’t have 365 scarves in the can. But I will be alive, kickin’ butt, and have so many new, wonderful stitching friends.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Do the Wave

I wasn't planning to offer another crocheted chevron scarf so soon after "Zipping Along".

But, well, here it is.

Angela Boehm is so good at creating these—and coming up with fun color combos—that I couldn't resist.

Besides, the stitching is simple enough that you can work on it while watching the game this weekend.

Hmmmm….maybe "Odd Balls" worked up in team colors?

Click here to learn how it's done and download today's pattern.