Honey Stitch Cowl

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I have a love affair with the Honey Stitch Cowl by Sheep and Stitch.

It has such a timeless look, and with changes in color, yarn weight, and fiber – the possibilities are endless.

For my own cowl, I chose a bulky Pima Cotton yarn by Knit Picks called Billow. The colorway I chose was Ash, and though it is a beautiful color, my first choice was Gosling – which they ran out of during the process of placing my order. (Beware ordering during Knit Picks’ BIG Yarn sale…it is a crazy frenzy of yarn enthusiasts).

I LOVE the soft tones of Billow’s colorways. They are not super saturated, and I like this look very much. It is also one of the absolute softest yarns I have ever felt, and it is a joy to have wrapped around one’s neck. The thick-thin aspect of Billow created an interesting look in the cowl as well. The only complaint I have is that with wear, the stitch definition on the honey comb portion of the cowl is not the greatest – but that is to be expected with cotton yarn.

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For my daughter’s cowl, I used Knit Pick’s Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn in Spruce. I chose worsted weight so that the cowl wouldn’t be quite so chunky and wide, since my daughter is only four years old. I did knit it the full length, however, so that she would still have enough room to wrap it around her neck twice as she grows, so hopefully this is a scarf she can where for a very long time.

The Wool of the Andes yarn is nice, and provides great stitch definition, but I do wish it was a bit softer. The wool is from Peruvian Highland Sheep, which is a mix with Corriedale and Merino. I cannot afford full merino yarn, or other super soft yarn blends…so all things considered, Wool of the Andes is a very nice yarn for the price point. Besides, I am probably just spoiled from the softness of Billow!

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I would love to knit another Honey Stitch Cowl for myself in a natural or light gray colorway, but I am not set on which yarn to use yet. I was thinking of going ahead and knitting in Billow again, this time in Gosling like I originally wanted, but I think I may want to choose a wool yarn for more warmth and better stitch definition.

In the future, I hope I can afford some of the amazing domestic wool yarns that are on the market these days… There are so many smaller yarn lines popping up all over the U.S. that have great products to offer. So many yarns are being created that are sourced mostly or completely within the states and dyed naturally.

Ideally, I would be supporting these companies since I think what they are doing is so very important, but right now it isn’t in the budget. My goal at the moment is to use up the small stash of yarn that I have, and from then on make fewer, and more thoughtful, purchases for my projects. No more wandering around in Joann’s picking up whatever yarn strikes me as attractive without a particular project in mind!

If I purchase mindfully and purposefully, perhaps I will be able to make the space for the nicer and more earth-friendly options.

Do you have a go-to pattern for a scarf or cowl that you love? Tell me about it!

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Lullaby Blanket

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Over the past several years, I have made many baby blankets, but my favorite pattern thus far is The Lullaby Blanket.

It comes together fairly quickly, the pattern has three size options, and if you play with colorways – the possibilities are endless!

I love the texture of the crochet stitch pattern, and the grounded edges with your standard half-double crochet stitches.

The baby blanket pattern size ( 30 x 36 inches) is generous, which gives a child plenty of room to grow with it.

For the one in the first photo, I used Caron One Pound yarn in Sunflower for the bulk of the blanket, with Bernat Super Value yarn in Dark Grey for the last two rows of trim on the outside.

I created a little knitted owl toy to match, and I hope to write that pattern soon for the public. But since I made it on the fly, I want to test my pattern at least once more before posting the pattern on here for you, to make sure there are consistent results.

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For the Lullaby Blanket above, I used Caron One Pound yarn in Soft Grey Mix.

I plan to use this pattern several times over – including full sized throw blankets for my own home and as gifts for others. While I prefer to use more natural fiber yarns such as wool, linen, and cotton, crocheting (and crocheting blankets especially) can often use a LOT of yarn – more so than knitting. And since I am always giving these as gifts or for personal use rather than selling them, I don’t have the luxury of purchasing more expensive natural fiber yarns for projects such as these.

Even with acrylic yarn, these blankets are soft, gorgeous, and a lovely addition to any nursery.

What projects have you been working on lately? Do you prefer to create gifts, or to indulge in projects for yourself?

Heirloom Linen Dishcloths

imageI am a knitter at heart, but I have been loving this crochet Heirloom Linen Dishcloth pattern I downloaded (for free!) from KnitPicks.

Its aesthetic is classic and lovely – especially when made with gorgeous neutral tones.

I have had the same store-bought, standard dishcloths for almost 10 years, and unsurprisingly they are looking pretty haggard. So I downloaded pattern after pattern for a variety of styles of dishcloths, but I loved none so much as this Heirloom Linen pattern.

I used KnitPicks Cotlin in Wallaby for three of them, and Peaches and Creme in Black (thought they almost look Navy) for the other three. I want to see which yarn holds up longer, and as the Cotlin is DK weight and Peaches and Creme is Worsted weight – I also want to experiment to see if I prefer one’s thickness over the other.

I have a sort of inexplicable obsession with all things Linen, so the fact that Cotlin is a cotton and linen blend, I am admittedly rooting for Cotlin over Peaches and Creme.

I altered the pattern to make square dishcloths rather than long, almost towel-sized cloths as the pattern dictates.

I would like to make hand-towels with this stitch pattern in the future, and perhaps matching place mats as well.

Have you ever made your own dishcloths? How have they held up over time, and what is your go-to dishcloth pattern and yarn?

Gifting the Force

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Whenever I meet someone new or if it is a time of gift-giving, I always have an intense desire to make something…to put my time and heart and creativity into something that was made especially for the receiver.

So it felt perfectly natural that I chose to dedicate myself to only giving handmade gifts this past holiday season. I had a relatively short list of people to give gifts to, which made the goal within my reach.

But there was a problem.

The problem wasn’t in physically making the gifts… The real problem lay in figuring out what to make.

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My three year old nephew was the one that really stumped me. Like most other kids, he already had a ton of toys and books, and I felt certain he didn’t need a knitted hat or scarf.

Besides, what a boring gift for a three year old, right?

I scoured the interwebs for the perfect idea – not knowing really what I was looking for. Then I stumbled across some knitted and crocheted Star Wars things on Pinterest and it hit me…

Of course! Star Wars!

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My nephew and his dad (my brother-in-law) both LOVE Star Wars. So I kept searching and I found exactly what I had been looking for –

A FREE CROCHET YODA PATTERN.

Free. Yoda. Pattern.

I don’t think I could have been any luckier. This pattern helped me to create a relatively large Yoda doll for my nephew that had Love woven into every single stitch.

A grand and sincere Thanks to AH! Creations for her amazing pattern and for posting it for the world to enjoy her talents for free. I bet there are many happy children out in the world that are one Yoda richer.

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I would love to hear from you! Have you made any fun toys lately for kids you love?

Materials used:
-One skein each of Red Heart Super Saver in Aran, Coffee, and Frosty Green
-Boye metal “G” Hook
-Stuffing