Pattern: Leap Day Hat

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Last month I was doing a little research on Leap Day, trying out a few ideas for a Leap Day knit. I discovered that gloves are a traditional Leap Day gift and at first I was excited, “Ohh I could totally design a pair of gloves!”. That is, until I read a bit further and realized why gloves are a Leap Day thing.

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Apparently in some cultures Leap Day is sort of Sadie Hawkins-esque, where women are ‘allowed’ (‘scuse me?) to propose marriage to a man. Shocking, I know. Unclutch your pearls, dears. It’s about to get worse. Now, tradition says that if the poor spinster’s proposal is turned down by her lover, he must recompense by gifting her with a dozen pairs of gloves.  That doesn’t sound so awful… But why gloves, you ask?

The reasoning behind this innocuous gesture is really quite cringe-worthy. It’s designed to cushion the blow of rejection by allowing her to cover her hands, thereby concealing the fact that she has no engagement ring. To shield her from the scorn of the world knowing that she’s husband-less. It’s to cover her shame. (oh rly?)

And why so many gloves?  So that she has a pair for every month of a calendar year, because rejection is the humiliating sting that lasts. And lasts. Or so they say.  That little tale of woe kind of turned me off to the idea of Leap Day gloves. 😀  What can I say. I’m a rebel Dotty.  I unabashedly expose my naked ring finger for the world to see! I’m not saying that a husband is a bad thing, quite the contrary. I’m just saying there’s no shame in not having one either.

So in place of shame gloves- here’s a fetching hat! It’s unisex, too. It’s a fun little take on the standard 1×1 ribbed cap. The ribbed panel leans to the left while the ribbing continues in pattern over the whole of the hat.

$4.00 US for the downloadable pattern PDF on Ravelry.

Today through Sunday 3/6 get 29% off the pattern PFD at checkout with code: TAKEALEAP

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Big huge thank you to the pattern testers in the Ravelry Pattern Tester forum! Besos!

Happy Leap day everyone!

As a bonus, here’s a little video showing how to do the m1pw (make one purlwise) stitch from our youtube channel, be sure to subscribe for more tutorials!

Pattern details-

Instructions included for both Beanie and Slouchy versions.

Beanie:
8.5in(22cm)wide, at bottom
8.5in(22cm)long
finished weight – 45g
Suggested Yarn
Woolfolk FAR(100% Merino)
shown in #4 Pewter
142yards (130m/50g) per skein
For project: approximately 1 skein
127-140yds(128m-45g)
Gauge in Woolfolk
13 stitches and 16 rows
per 2in(5cm)
k1, p1 ribbing un-stretched
swatch knit on US7(4.5mm)needles

Slouchy:
10in(25.5cm)wide, at bottom
10in(25.5cm)long
finished weight – 84g
Suggested Yarn
Purl SoHo Worsted Twist(100% Merino)
shown in Timeless Navy
164yards (160m/100g) per skein
For project: approximately 1 skein
140-145yds(132.5m-84g)
Gauge in Purl SoHo Twist
11 stitches and 13 rows
per 2in(5cm)
k1, p1 ribbing un-stretched
swatch knit on US7(4.5mm)needles

Notions
6 stitch markers
darning needle for finishing

Suggested Needles
US7(4.5mm)9in(23cm)needles
US7(4.5mm)double pointed needles

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Free Pattern: Reversible Liberty Print Sun Glasses Case

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I’ve had a love affair with Liberty print for about 15 years. I still remember the feeling of walking into the Liberty shop on Great Portland Street and seeing bolt after bolt of gorgeous fabric. Any excuse to use this classic beauty is jumped on. I didn’t  quite realize the size of my treasured stash until I was pairing fabrics for this project. Using two small pieces of fabric and a little ribbon, these cases are not only beautiful and practical but a great stash buster. I knocked several of these out in a lazy sunny afternoon.

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Download the free Pattern PDF Liberty Sunglasses Case

WIN A FREE CASE! Check out our Instagram page, like, repost by midnight June 5th and be entered to win!

Step by step directions:

Iron the fabric then cut two 8.5″ squares.

Lay fabric A with the right side facing down. Place a pin 1 1/4″ from top of fabric on both sides.

A little tip;

I originally left a 1″ opening because I wasn’t sure what ribbon I would thread through for the closure. If you have the ribbon already picked out feel free to alter the size of the opening to better fit the ribbon.

 Fold the top edge over 1/4″ and press with iron.

Fold the fabric in half the long way with the right sides together, matching the pins. Starting at the bottom folded edge, sew along the short side (the bottom) and then the long side with a seam allowance of 1/4″. Stop at the pin. Snip the bottom corner off.

Press open the seams. Make sure you press the long edge seam so it lays over and hides the edge of the top 1/4″ fold.

Repeat the above steps with square B.

Turn piece A so the right side of the fabric faces out. Piece B remains inside out.

Squeeze and wiggle B into A. B should be inside out. It’s a little fiddly. It’s important here to make sure the tops of A and B are lined up, and the 1/4″ seam allowance is sandwiched between the two pieces.

Pin the two pieces together along the top edge.  Here you can either sew A and B together on the machine with as little seam is humanly possible, or hand stitch them together using a ladder stitch. The latter method is actually my preferred way, I think it’s cleaner looking, even if it takes a little more time.

You’re almost done! Do a couple of tiny whip stitches at the base of the opening to join the two halves.Thread your drawstring through the opening, tie the ends off together and trim any excess if needed.

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I also like to hand sew the top 1/4″ above the opening for the ribbon.

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Free Pattern: Knit Lamp Shades

lamp, glas bord, ikea, knit, knittingI’ve had this set of two lamps from IKEA for a few years now, and while they’re pretty they were a bit plain. Enter- Knitting! I saw that someone had knit a nice cabled cover for their lamps and I knew I could come up with something pretty for mine. After a bit of playing around this is what I came up with and I thought I’d share it with you. I’m not sure IKEA still sells this particular lamp, but it would work with any lamp of approximately the same dimensions. Small lamp: 11″ high and 4.5″ square. Large lamp: 14″ high and 5.5″ square.

Download for FREE on Ravelry!

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Free Pattern: the Steppe Cowl

Steppe4Happy New Year!!

Florrie has designed a beautiful stranded color work cowl in squashy, soft and gorgeous Blue Sky Extra. As our New Years gift to you, here it is… Happy knitting! Download now on Ravelry.


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Advent Trees

IMG_3968When I was little I always found the countdown to Christmas Day so exciting. Waking up every morning and carefully peeling open the door of my Advent calendar to see what was inside. I loved how the tension would build the closer to the 25th it got. As and adult it’s easy to lose that thrill and get swept up in the commercial craziness. Through my Tiny Terrors I get so see that same innocent unbridled excitement. A little envious this year, I thought the whole family should be in on the fun.

Simple and understated, these little trees have pockets on the back to hold activity cards, everyday pull out the card and have some fun.

Below you can find the pattern and step by step instructions to make the trees and printables for the cards.

CLICK HERE –> Advent for the free download. The PDF includes the pattern for the tree and printable activity cards.

You will need:

1yd of mattress ticking fabric, or fabric of your choice (front)*

1 1/2 yards of solid cotton (back)

16 inches of twine or ribbon

Thread

Colored felt (for star and trunk, optional)

Card stock

24 3 x 4 inch paper bags (Mine were purchased at Michael’s)

*If you cut very carefully you can get all of your trees with just 3/4 yd of the front fabric. Pattern pieces include 1/4 seam allowance.

If you are adding a trunk and star to the tree then you’ll also need a few sheets of felt for each.

I used my sewing machine to embroider the numbers on to fabric scraps and then stitched them on at the end. If you are hand embroidering you may way to do this step after cutting out the front pieces. You could also use iron transfer paper for the numbers, or you could number the back of the cards and/or envelopes.

Cut out and iron all your pieces.

The pocket

The pocket

Fold one

Fold one

Press along fold

Fold two

Fold two

Fold under

Fold under

Open first fold and fold and press on fold 2, hiding the raw edge. Press again

Stitch

Stitch

Stich the fold down, I used a contrasting thread to match the colour of the front of the tree.

Assembling

The back

The back

The pocket

The pocket

Lay the back of the tree right side up, place pocket onto the back of the tree, right side down.

The twine

The twine

The front

The front

Cut an 8″ length of twine, tie it in a knot. Place it on the tree back with the knot touching the top of the tree and the loop hanging down.

Place the front of the tree on top, right side down.

The opening

The opening

The reveal

The reveal

Pin around the edges of the tree, leaving and opening between the markers. Stitch the tree together, with a 1/4 seam allowance. Turn the tree right side out. Press flat, making sure to poke out the tree points fully.

Here is where you’d add the trunk. Cut two pieces for each trunk and pin wrong sides together, and top stitch the two pieces of felt together. Insert the seam allowance of the trunk into the opening left at the base of the tree.

Top stitch around the entire edge of the tree.

Stitch on the number

Stitch on the number

The number

The number

Stitch on the number.

Make the star now, if using. Cut two pieces for each star and pin wrong sides together, and top stitch all the way round. Sew onto the top of the tree.

Pick a card

Pick a card

Print the cards, and sort through which ones you’ll use. There are a lot to choose from and there is a blank page so that you can add your own ideas.

Tuck the activity inside

Tuck the activity inside

Once I’d narrowed it down I wrote numbers 1 – 24 on a sheet of paper and jotted down which activity we’d do on each day. Then popped the cards into the bag and slipped it into the pocket of the corresponding tree.

I decieded to hang mine from a branch I dragged in from the garden, but I think they’d look just as adorable hanging from an old frame with lights wrapped around it or lined up neatly in a box.

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Postcards from Rhinebeck ’14

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IMG_6516.JPGIt was so good to get out of the city this weekend and head upstate to Rhinebeck for the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival. The weather was the most perfect October weather you could ask for, by turns dramatic, steel grey skies with the woods all orange and red and gold and the clearest blue sky and sunshine with cold air and chilly breeze. It was perfectly cold and that meant that the hand knits could be worn comfortably, but not so cold that you needed a jacket over them. Florrie finished her Aunt Fred and it looked so great on her, I would have lost my marbles knitting a whole sweater in that fiddly sport weight wool. Kudos to her. I wore my Astoria cowl, it was snug and perfectly warm.

Florrie had much more shopping restraint than I did, I bought two skeins of Miss Babs Yowza in a really pretty green/blue/grey colorway (Shaken Not Stirred), the line for Miss Babs wool was predictably long, a giant bag of Maple Cotton Candy, some Hot Maple Mustard (it’s seriously the best thing ever), a gorgeous cherry wood stirrer/spatula from Chester B. Basil’s stall, some beautiful grey/green ceramic buttons from Melissa Jean and on the way home when we stopped off in Tivoli at Fabulous Yarns I got a squishy red skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Extra.  I’m not sure if it was because it’s the third or fourth year that we have gone, or if it was in fact smaller this year. Not sure, but it was fun and we got to scratch a few goats and sheep under their chins, and see so much beautiful wool.

Until next year Rhinebeck, maybe I’ll get my act together in 2015 and have my own sweater to wear. 😀

-Marie