New Double Knit Pattern ​+ A Dungeons & Dragons-Inspired Knitting Pattern Bundle

Dungeons & Dragons-inspired Knitting Pattern Bundle

Today, I’m welcoming Witch Bolt into the world (and by world, I mean Ravelry)! Witch Bolt is a Dungeons & Dragons-inspired, reversible double knit hat that is great for double knitting n00bs!

Witch Bolt - a double knit, reversible hat patternA beholder stands before you, ready to wipe out your entire knitting group in one fell swoop! Little does he know, you’re a Level 3 Knitting Wizard. You point your knitting needle towards the beholder and a beam of crackling energy launches and attaches to it! You’re able to defeat this giant beast with your knitting prowess alone!

Okay, that’s not exactly how a fight with a beholder would go, but we all know this is really about knitting. Witch Bolt is a Dungeons & Dragons-inspired double knit hat. You knit it up using two colors and when you’re done, it’s magically reversible! Just kidding, there’s no magic here, just your awesome knitting.

I have included links to video tutorials made by myself and others to get you up-to-speed on double knitting, so even if you’re a double knitting n00b, you can make this hat. This was one of my test knitter’s first double knit projects!

The color ‘pattern’ is very easy to memorize, making this knit fairly simple and brainless — I was able to knit this very easily while streaming on Twitch (and if any of you have watched a Twitch stream, you know how distracted a streamer can get with chat)! 😀

Get 3 Dungeons & Dragons-Inspired Knitting Patterns for $12!

Dungeons & Dragons-inspired Knitting Pattern Bundle

To celebrate the release of Witch Bolt, I have bundled up all three of my current Dungeons & Dragons-inspired hat patterns! (Yes, there are more D&D patterns coming! I can't stop dreaming about new ways to interpret spells into knitting. 🤓😍)

Put a Bird on My Cuppa Pattern Release

Put a Bird on My Cuppa - a unique, complex stranded colorwork knitted hat pattern

Teacups come in all different shapes, sizes, and designs, just screaming to be imitated through knitting! Like the Nice Cuppa hat before it, the Put a Bird on My Cuppa hat is inspired by dainty teacups. Featuring a complex colorwork pattern of blue and white, you’ll love watching the pattern emerge as you mindfully knit this hat. Remember to prepare your favorite cuppa before sitting down to knit!


Buy it now on Ravelry!


Put a Bird on My Cuppa by @arossen2000
Put a Bird on My Cuppa by @arossen2000
Put a Bird on My Cuppa by KellyGirlKnits
Put a Bird on My Cuppa by KellyGirlKnits

CONSTRUCTION NOTES
The hat begins with 2×1 ribbing and a row of purls for flair. The rest of the hat is knit in stockinette stitch, using two colors, following the provided chart. A few rows after the color chart is complete, decreases begin to shape the crown and finish the hat.

TECHNIQUES

  • Knit, purl, cast-on Stranded colorwork
  • Decreases (k2tog)
  • Working in the round on circular needles
  • Working in the round on DPNs / with magic loop / with two circulars

MATERIALS
Needles

  • US 1 / 2.5mm, 16”/40cm circulars or size to obtain gauge
  • Matching DPNs (or preferred tools) for working the crown

Notions

  • 8 Stitch Markers (1 unique to mark round)
  • Tapestry needle

Yarn


Buy it now on Ravelry!


Free Knitting Pattern: Saturday Afternoon Armwarmers

Free Knitted Armwarmer Pattern

It’s been almost a year since the Saturday Afternoon Armwarmers were published in Knit Now Magazine and if you never got a copy of the magazine, you may have felt like you were missing out… but wait no longer! Fill out the form below to download a free PDF of the pattern.

These armwarmers are inspired by my favorite kind of weekend: The kind where I have no plans and nowhere to go. Soft, cozy and oversized, these armwarmers are what I would want to wear on a chilly Saturday afternoon while knitting in my favorite chair.

 

Knitting these armwarmers is like reading your favorite book for the third time. Simple stockinette in the round, a few inches of ribbing, a few increases, decreases, and just the slight complication of the thumb hole make this a relaxing knit. The two-color pattern allows for fun customization, too! Show off your own style with a unique color combo.


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GREEN FLAME! Cowl Pattern Available on Ravelry

A D&D Inspired color work knitting pattern

Buy now through Ravelry

Take on the challenge of this fiery colorwork pattern that knits up faster than Viari can sneak past a giant!

This GREEN FLAME! cowl sits close to the neck for +5 to warmth and +10 to geeky fashion.

Be the nerdiest nerd at your next D&D session and show off your love for Acquisitions Inc with this GREEN FLAME! cowl. Or better yet, be the first one to wear a GREEN FLAME! cowl to the next Acquisitions Inc session at PAX. Yeah, I know you’re their biggest fan.

SIZING
Circumference approx. 20.5in (52cm)
Height approx. 5.75in (14.5cm)

GAUGE
Gauge in the round, in stockinette, blocked
26 sts x 38 rounds = 4in (10cm)

MATERIALS
Needles
2.75mm (US 2) 16in circulars or size to obtain gauge

Notions
4 stitch markers (1 unique to mark round)
Tapestry Needle

Yarn
DK-weight wool in 3 colors, approximate lengths:
104yd (95m) in lime green (MC)
38yd (35m) in dark green (CC1)
60yd (55m) in gray (CC2)

Yarns used in sample:
Sheepish Yarn Co, Merino DK, 100g/231yds in Summer Fields colorway
Knit Picks, Swish DK, 50g/123yds in Jade and Ash

Buy now through Ravelry

When to let go of a WIP (and how to decide)

Too many WIPs!

This weekend, the gals and I are getting together for another Lost Projects Club. So I’m took out my WIPs (works-in-progress) to get a good idea of what I might want to work on while sipping tea and chatting.

I have 9… and then I walked out of the room to get some coffee and noticed another one not organized with my stash of WIPs.

So I’m wondering “When do I give these up and use the yarn for something else?”, “Why haven’t I finished these when I obviously felt like I wanted to knit them in the first place?”, and “What can I do to spark some interest in these again?”.

One thing I’m noticing here is that 3 of the projects that I’ve stopped working on are scarves. I think it’s because it’s hard to keep my knitting mojo up for a garment that I will only get to wear when we go on vacation. Or I go on a walk at 5am in January. Maybe.

That jewel-toned, striped scarf at the top is my weather scarf, started in 2013! The scarf is already 8 feet long and I think I was a little over halfway done with it. For as much time as I spent on this, I could have created a Doctor Who scarf! It’s time to cast this one off and just call it finished.

There are two cross stitch WIPs there too. I stopped cross stitching because I feel like I’m not very good at it. I didn’t think there would be much technique to making neat Xs with thread, but there is! It seems like I end up splitting my thread with each stitch. But my new motto is “Done is better than perfect!” so I’m going to finish these. Plus, I have 4 more cross stitch kits waiting to be made after these!

Because it’s not entirely enthralling, I’m not going to give a synopsis of every WIP, but I have figured out whether or not I want to keep each one by answering a set of questions.

Do you have a ton of WIPs collecting dust? Want to do something about them?

Get them all out. Notice what types of projects they are, what kind of yarn you’re using, even what needles/hooks you’re using and ask yourself:

Is there a certain garment I always quit working on? Why?

Try ripping out your yarn and use it for something you think you’ll use. Or get someone in mind for the current  project – think of how happy they’ll be to receive your item and start working for them!

Is there a certain type of yarn I quit working with? Is it too soft? Scratchy? Thin?

Maybe give this yarn to someone else and try your project with something new and more exciting!

Do those needles, that crochet hook, or whatever tools you’re using just suck?

Maybe it’s something as simple as a stitch marker that just kept getting caught on your work, annoying you to no end. You’re gonna hate me, but dammit, go splurge on some awesome tools! Treat yourself and get excited about your project again!

Is it the stitch pattern?

Do you find it too difficult? Try a new pattern with a more TV-friendly stitch pattern. Too boring? Get some lace on those needles!

Has it been 10 years since you started the project?

It may just be time to let it go…

Maybe none of these issues applies – you still love the pattern, the yarn, the needles are fine… but you just put down your project and you’re not sure why. My best advice to spark your interest in the project again would be to go on Ravelry and look for other finished projects using the pattern you’re using. Get jealous of what others have completed and tell yourself, “Self, I don’t have to be jealous! I can kick butt and finish this project so I too can have this garment (or whatever)!” Find the inspiration that led you to start the project in the first place, keep it fresh in your mind, and pick that project back up.

I hope these questions help you figure out what to do with your old WIPs. If you have any advice for what you usually do with WIPs, I’d love to hear them!

Nice Cuppa pattern now available!

Nice Cuppa hat knitting pattern

For your knitting pleasure, let me introduce my newest pattern, Nice Cuppa!

This is a stranded colorwork beanie, knit up in primary colors, with a bit of vintage style that was inspired by a friend and her teacup. Read about my inspiration here.

I used O-Wool’s O-Wash Fingering yarn because the primary colors are deep, the yarn is organically processed to be a superwash wool, and O-Wool produces their yarns with a concern for animal welfare and the environment. The big bonus is that they also sell their fingering weight yarn in smaller mini-skeins, which is perfect for colorwork!

The hat is made to fit adult heads with some wiggle room. I’ve included measurements for the pattern repeats so that you can alter the circumference and the height if you need or want to.

You may want to have some colorwork experience, since this pattern uses 3 colors to a row in places. But hell, I’m all about challenging yourself, so go for it! Some tips on colorwork: Trapping long floats in colorwork by Paper Tiger & Three Color Stranding video by KnitPicks

The Nice Cuppa pattern is available on Ravelry, where you can find more details about the pattern and purchase it for download.

Brooklyn Tweed’s Fall 2015 Lookbook

Willamette Scarf from the Brooklyn Tweed Lookbook

Brooklyn Tweed released their gorgeous Fall 2015 Lookbook today and it’s focused around one of my favorite things: The Pacific Northwest! Since they’ve moved their offices to Portland, I guess they’re feeling a bit inspired. I know the feeling.

The lookbook is beautiful and makes me want to pack up my needles and knit in Oregon somewhere.

Brooklyn Tweed's Quarry in Lazulite colorway
Brooklyn Tweed’s Quarry in Lazulite colorway

They have also released a new line of yarn: Quarry – a beautiful, bulky yarn that comes in the loveliest, earthy colorways! I’m a sucker for roving-style yarn and this one is sourced from Targhee-Columbia sheep in Wyoming, dyed in Philadelphia and spun in New Hampshire, keeping the process all in the US. It will definitely have a spot on my holiday wishlist!

30MinKnits Challenge

#30MinKnits Challenge

I’m challenging you all to knit for 30 minutes-a-day for 30 days!

Wait, why…?

I think many of us knitters, fast or slow, have gone through patches of knit-neglect. Our UFOs (unfinished objects) start piling up in a corner. We look back at the past few weeks and realize we haven’t knit at all or have only knit a couple of times and, with regret, we exclaim,

“If only I’d just knit for a few minutes every day, I’d be done with that project already!”

I want to gift myself with 30 minutes a day of knitting so I can…

  • Start and finish that second sock
  • Finish that beautiful red shawl I’ll never wear
  • Finish the shirtie I really want to wear
  • Finish the annual temperature scarf I started… in 2013

And I want you to gift 30 minutes to yourself as well! If you have unfinished knits or haven’t picked up your needles for a while, join me!

How the heck am I going to find 30 minutes?

  • If you’re a morning person, set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual for 30 days, grab your cup of coffee (or tea!), settle in somewhere comfy and knit.
  • Knit between bites during lunch!
  • Knit at stoplights on your way to work. (Okay, that might be dangerous…)
  • Watching TV? Multitask and knit!
  • When you find yourself mindlessly surfing Facebook, Reddit, Ravelry, or anything else on the internet, put down your phone and pick up your needles.
  • Be mindful of your time – are you doing something you’ll regret not having done tomorrow? If not, knit!
  • Knit on the toilet…? (We’re heading into creepy territory.)
  • Knit in bed, right before you go to sleep because you almost forgot you were doing the 30MinKnits challenge!

Alright, I’m in. What are the rules?

Just a few… and I’m not going to be that picky. This challenge is a gift to you — you, the knitter, who wants to finish that UFO over there (and there, and there). Do what you can, when you can, but be nice to yourself and give yourself the time to do what you really want to do!

  • Work on whatever project you’d like for at least 30 minutes per day for 30 days in a row. That’s 30 minutes of actual knitting time, not Ravelry browsing or stash fondling to figure out what you want to knit.
  • When you want to, share your progress with everyone using the #30MinKnits hashtag on Instagram (or wherever you’d like).
  • Knit happy!

I’ll be starting this challenge on September 1st and I hope you’ll join me.

Making sense of variegated yarn

Making sense of variegated yarn

I have a problem.

Every time I walk into a yarn store I become enamored with hand-painted yarn. My pupils dilate, I grab a skein and cuddle it to my face, naming it Fluffy and promising to bring it home to be made into something amazingly beautiful.

I have done this many times… my yarn stash is full of skeins like this beauty:

Manos del Uruguay - Alegria
Manos del Uruguay, Alegria in Agave colorway

I bought this Manos del Uruguay skein while in Alaska (read about our Alaskan adventures on Off to Earth) because it reminded me of the aurora.

Whenever I get settled in at home after buying such a skein, I log into Ravelry and check out what’s been made with the yarn.

And I’m almost always disappointed.

Manos del Uruguay Alegria shawl
A pattern featuring the Manos del Uruguay Alegria yarn. I know some people love the way this coloring looks, but I can’t stand it. 

The way these beautiful skeins knit up into a barfy, disorganized mess makes me want to cry. In my head, I always imagine a finished knit that gradually fades from one color to another, like the skein, even though I know it won’t happen! What I’m really looking for is a gradient yarn, like these, but I keep buying variegated yarns instead.

If you’re like me, then perhaps you’ll find this Ravelry bundle of knitting patterns for variegated yarns to be helpful! I’ve found a few things seem to make variegated yarns look a bit more organized:

A small number of rows in the variegated yarn color separated by a solid color. The separation of color lets your eyes make sense of the color changes in small sections, giving a sense of organization. Each bubble in the sock below is kind of like a tiny window.

Sunnydayknitter's Stained Glass Bubble Socks
Sunnydayknitter’s Stained Glass Bubble Socks

Patterns to try for this effect:

Tall or dropped stitches. Taller stitches seem to give the colors some room to breath and the color changes don’t seem as abrupt. I didn’t see any examples, but I imagine treble stitch crochet would look pretty awesome as well.

Frazzledknitter's Drop Stitch Scarf
Frazzledknitter’s Drop Stitch Scarf

Patterns to try for this effect:

Linen stitch. The exact opposite of long/dropped stitches, the way colors mesh in a tight linen stitch seems more pleasing than stockinette / garter stitch.

Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf Pattern
Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf Pattern

Patterns to try for this effect:

Plan the pooling of your colors to create a pattern. I’ve thought about tackling the task of planned pooling for a while now. Planned pooling allows you to create a pattern using a variegated yarn using a bit of math. I’m not sure I’m totally up for all of the planning this entails since I usually like to wing it, but it’s definitely worth a try.

Color pooling on knit shawl
Really cool pooling occurring on this shawl made by Karla Stuebing

Learn about The Art and Science of Planned Pooling by Karla Stuebing.

Do you have any go-to patterns for variegated yarn?

Cute Knit & Crochet Patterns on Ravelry

Cute knit and crochet patterns on Ravelry

I know, I know, it’s been over a month since I last posted and it’s especially embarrassing that although my last post was about finding my passion and hopefully getting motivated, it seems like I have nothing at all to show as far as progress of my own.

Because I have nothing to show that’s my own, I thought I’d just collect a bunch of knit and crochet patterns that tickle my fancy at the moment for your enjoyment. I hope you find these delightful and that they put a smile on your face as they do mine!

cupcake kitten hat by tiny owl knits
Cupcake Kitten Hat
by tiny owl knits

Super cute hat with a bit of colorwork and cat ears by Tiny Owl Knits, one of my favorite knit designers for all of her whimsical and woodland-y knits.

Fluufie the Amigurumi Sheep by Momomints
Fluufie the Amigurumi Sheep
by Momomints

A free amigurumi pattern of the cutest flipping sheep I’ve ever seen! Momomints is a duo who design cute amigurumi patterns and polymer clay keychains. They sell a DIY amigurumi sheep kit on their Etsy shop, if you want to crochet this cutie.

Gooey Bun by Anna Hrachovec
Gooey Bun
by Anna Hrachovec

Anna Hrachovec is the designer behind Mochimochi Land, a world of knitted happiness. I came across this tiny sweet roll and couldn’t resist a squeak of delight! You can find this pattern in her latest book, Adventures in Mochimochi Land — a book of cute stories accompanied by knitted scenery and characters, along with patterns for all of those characters.

Fezzes are cool by Nyss Parkes
Fezzes are cool
by Nyss Parkes

I can’t resist a nerdy knit, especially a Doctor Who related nerdy knit. These are cute and clever!

Women's Bunny House Slippers The Classic and Year-Round Slipper by Lorin Jean
Women’s Bunny House Slippers The Classic and Year-Round Slipper
by Lorin Jean

Who wouldn’t want to prance around in these cute bunny house slippers? I bought this pattern forever ago and need to get it on my hook!

(Get off my) Cloud by Kate Davies
(Get off my) Cloud
by Kate Davies

Kate Davies is another favorite designer of mine, she does lovely cable and colorwork and her blog always seems to be full of dreamy pictures of knits on the country side, or sea side, or garden side… Anyway, this hoodie really caught my eye when I found it because it was so cute and seems very different from Kate’s other designs. I can’t resist that cute cloud pocket!

LoveSocks by Devon Clement
LoveSocks
by Devon Clement

Sometimes it just takes one little detail to take something from ordinary to super cute. I love this sock pattern and everyone’s different versions of it on Ravelry!

What are your favorite cute knit or crochet patterns? Share them with me in the comments!