It’s a new year, and for me, it has meant, thankfully, new followers here on WordPress, many thank you’s. Also, I’m  returning to some enjoyable knitting projects of long ago when knitting for our children as teenagers and young adults and just finished this Fair Isle pullover or jumper. It’s a free pattern and was the sweater Scarlett Johansson wore in the film, “We Bought a Zoo” with Matt Damon.

fair isle 007

Sharon Watterson

Fair Isle design gets a once every 20-year push and is all the craze again this year as it was in the 60’s and 80’s.  (more…)

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You probably thought I’d forgotten, frogged, or fallen off the edge of the earth after my post, “two free shawl patterns”, re: the Holden Shawlette free knitting pattern, at the end of July. What with an earthquake, a hospitalization, a wedding and a hurricane, it’s a near wonder, not one of those “3 f’s” failed to happen.  Please read more…
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I have spent this week writing about new styles and new patterns for Fall Fashion 2011. Find out what’s new, get free patterns for big yarn, and oh, so stylish easy floofy or straight knitted skirt patterns for little or big girls and women. Lace is big, but so are slouchy chic sweaters knit with bulky weight yarn. New scarf patterns, as well as shawls and shrugs and jackets to knit or crochet up to size 3X.

Enjoy these free pattern links, all with pictures:

Slouchy chic pullover patterns

Knitted skirt patterns

Jackets and shrugs to knit and crochet with big yarn

Fall Fashion 2011: Vogue Knitting

In pursuit of a wrap to wear for our son’s wedding in late August, I’m knitting the Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes. It’s a free pattern download on Ravelry. I wanted a lace shawl pattern that was an easy project, as I am pushed for time as usual. But I also needed it to be fairly dressy. There are two free shawl patterns, using only one skein of sock yarn, in this posting, one that begins at the bottom and the lace one that is cast on from the center neck. Both are easy shawl patterns for beginner first time shawl knitting…great accessories to wear as shawlettes, cowls, or a triangle scarf. You’ll find even more free shawl patterns and Princess Kate’s shawl at knitnscribble.com, link below.

The Holden Shawlette, cast on from the center neck, has several inches of stockinette stitch in the beginning rows divided by yarn overs on the edge and in the center. The pattern is so easy to remember, you don’t need markers, as your knitting does the marking for you. I don’t enjoy using markers anyway, but sometimes you just have to. This photo is a little lop-sided, because the circular needle’s gone all wonky, should have run it under hot water to straighten it out before I started casting on.

Then the pattern changes to the lace pattern. This one is Mindy’s. She used one skein of Malabrigo sock yarn, a lovely yarn, hand-dyed with tonal color qualities.

I’m using another Merino wool and silk hand-dyed sock yarn. I’m a little disappointed in the color, as it was called ‘silver’, but it’s actually the color of ‘squirrel’. Lesson learned here is to go to your loyal yarn shop if you are wanting a special colorway of yarn, so you can see it up close and personal. May or may not use this shawl for the wedding, jury is still out. It’s a lovely yarn, no doubt, just not the colorway I wanted for this project.

You begin by casting on 3 stitches, using a long-tail method, with a US 6 (4.25mm) needle at the top center of the back, then picking up three stitches on the bumps of those and then three more, sounds confusing, but it isn’t really.


The number of stitches are then gradually increased to equal 193 via yarn overs, 4 on every right side row, two yarn overs in the center, and one on each side.

It’s actually much easier than casting on and counting 270 or so stitches as for the Abyssal shawl, which I have made several times in an Old Shale pattern, also mistakenly called ‘feather and fan’.

The Abyssal is a fun free shawl pattern to knit, available written in French or English, too, but it begins from the bottom up and requires the tedious counting to start. The pattern is also a free download on Ravelry. Here’s one I made for a birthday present for one of our daughters. Just like the Holden Shawlette, Abyssal can be worn as a shawl or a scarf, very versatile accessory.

In any case, the Holden Shawl continues every evening, and I will shortly have reached the lace portion of the pattern.

The depth from the center down is about 9 inches now. The finished width will be approximately 55 in by 25.5 inches long from the center down, depending on how it is blocked. Wish me luck! (to be continued…) For even more free patterns, even Princess Kate’s shawl pattern, her famous shopping ruffle shawl, visit knitnscribble.com, where you can enter any keyword to search for free knitting and crochet patterns. Language translation available as well on knitnscribble.com.

The felted tote bag I told you about recently is finished. You can find the link for a felted bag pattern I made earlier, below. The free knitting pattern works well with KnitPicks 100% wool yarn. Always heave a sigh of relief to get one of these handbags finished, more or less 30-35 hours of work. These handbags are great for carrying all year round, but especially fall, winter, and spring. This one is posted on Etsy now,  the “Chicken or the egg felted cross-body tote bag.” Eclectic and one-of-a-kind!


For free pattern felted tote bag, please read more (more…)

One heavy gardenia

In New England, it’s time to move those heavy ficus trees and pet plants outside to their sunny summer spots. For those gardeners who are not so strong, it’s an ordeal every season. Since I found the Pot Mover, I no longer have to bribe one of our sons to help. It’s  one of the best garden tools I’ve found in a long time and also makes a great Father’s Day gift or birthday present. (more…)

I’ve always been a sucker for bonnets and when I saw Larissa Brown’s new bonnet eBook, Love Bonnet, I wanted to knit them all. Problem is, I don’t have many infants to knit for these days, and needed a larger size.

So, I have created a larger bonnet pattern, based on Larissa’s “Juniper Bonnet”, which is a free pattern.  Hoping that the bonnet for older kids and toddlers in bigger sizes will be the new trend, so I can knit some more….. a natural transition from the earflap hat and sock monkey hat fads this past fall and winter.

Call me “crazy,” but the bonnet is so practical…great hat to wear with ponytails. In the Nordic countries, all ages wear ski bonnets…just because it’s called a bonnet, doesn’t mean it’s for babies.

This one is trimmed in a little dove gray cotton and knit with about one skein of soft grape wool and alpaca for Easter, which is rarely a warm time in New England. The bonnet doesn’t have to be tied, but the ties can hang down, like the older children usually prefer to wear them.

There are five repeats of the feather and fan in this larger bonnet pattern. The finished size of this one is about 17 inches around and will fit up to a six year old.

If you are interested in this larger size feather and fan bonnet for toddlers, kids, and older heads, please subscribe to this blog and let me know by leaving a comment. I also plan to write a larger bonnet pattern for a plain stripe design.

For Larissa’s Juniper Bonnet pattern, written for infants, click here.