Monday, September 22, 2014

Hello, Autumn!

Fall is in the air in our part of the country and colors are starting to pop up around the trees. My favorites are the deep purples and reds, but I'm partial to the brilliant orange/reds, as well. We are slowly changing the house stuff over to our autumn decorations and plates. Saying goodbye until next year to our summer plastic plates full of color. As I pulled out my decorations this year, I was surprised to find my Autumnal Wreath. How I completely forgot about making it, I have no idea, but it was a pleasant surprise. Fall is always inspiring to me for knitting and crochet designs. I thought I'd share a few here in case you are looking for some fall crafting! You can download the free patterns or buy the for purchase ones from BrownieKnits.com under the Patterns, View all Patterns tab.


Sunflower Scarf
100% crocheted!


Autumnal Wreath


"Fall"ing Candy Corn Hat (size newborn to child)


Flowers of Fall Hat (size newborn to adult); has sunflower and mum options.
Hat is knitted and flowers are crocheted.


Sunflower Wreath
100% crocheted!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Trends in Plaid

Over the last few weekends we went out and about on Saturday to take a break from work and get out into the world. (When you both work at home all day during the week, you NEED some outside interaction on the weekends!) We've both been absolutely slammed with work (Patrick writing 2 books, teaching 2 classes at a local collage, and working his day job and me working on new designs, test knitting/crocheting, and tech editing.) It is good to be so busy and to be busy with NORMAL things, not dealing with doctors and such. 

As we were doing a little shopping, it was more than apparent that plaid is the "in" thing this fall/winter. Wow. I was super excited to see this trend. I've always loved plaids (maybe it is being a teen/early 20s during the grunge era). Whatever it is, give me a good plaid. I've also been knitting up some plaids in my new Delphia Cowl design and the Madras Plaid Stocking pattern! I had to be a good girl while we were shopping and only purchased two plaid scarfs. One for fall and one for winter. That's fair, right? The real point of the shopping was to find brown boots, which I did. I must admit that I didn't anticipate wearing these items SO soon. But, they have already been in regular rotation because fall weather hit Indiana early. (Although it is supposed to be in the 80s this weekend.)


The following weekend, we spent Saturday at the Irish Festival in Indy. I failed to take photos of all the gorgeous tartans, but they were all over the place with loads and loads of kilts. Are you all watching Outlander? If so, there is another way to get plaid and knitting obsessed. Who doesn't want one of Claire's cozy chunky cowls? If I can ever get to it with all the other work ahead of me, I have some yarn that I think would knit up great in a chunky garter stitch cowl. It might even end up on the Brownie Knits Etsy store as a made item! 

After looking at all the plaids and talking about Irish and Scottish stuff, our conversation led to my maiden name probably being of Scottish decent. It never occurred to me before to think of heritage on that side. (I was not brought up around my bio paternal family and have always thought of the Brown part of my name as being just mine.) Well, what do you know! Scottish! So, I'm a mix of Scottish, Spanish, and Cherokee Indian. I guess that explains the dark hair.


The Modern Tartan for the Broun Clan, which is a Sept of Clan Macmillan.


I did manage some photos of the sheep dog herding demos at the Irish festival!



Check out how intense this dog was! She was on the job, much to the sheep's dismay.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Madras Plaid Stocking: New Pattern from Brownie Knits

Please meet the Madras Plaid Stocking! I'm plaid mad over here and couldn't resist pairing that up with a holiday stocking. I hope you like it and have fun knitting one. (As always, if you are not a knitter and want a stocking, email me at brownieknits@yahoo.com to order a custom-made stocking.) Patterns can be purchased on Craftsy, Ravelry, and Etsy for $3.99.


Christmas and plaid pair up to offer a classy holiday decoration in the Madras Plaid Stocking. This generous-sized stocking is knitted in the round using a stranded charted pattern. The i-cord top gives the stocking a top finishing and the stitches are picked up from the cord and worked down in pattern. Making the heel flap, heel turn, and toe is a snap in the featured one-color areas of the stocking. You will love making a Madras Plaid Stocking for your loved ones and it makes the perfect addition to your holiday celebrations and d├ęcor.



Yardage: 217 yards/198 meters of worsted weight yarn A (Crimson), 110 yards/101 meters of worsted weight yarn for both B (Cast Iron) and C (Snow Day) colors

One sample knit out of Berroco Vintage in colors Crimson (5154), Cast Iron (5145), and Snow Day (5100)

One sample knit out of Knit Picks Swish Worsted in colors Hollyberry (2 balls), Black (1 ball), and White (1 ball)

217 yards for Main Color (red in samples) 
110 yards for each of color B and C (white and black in samples)


Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Sizing:
20.5-inch circumference x 20-inch depth from top to toe. Measurements are approximate and are dependent on how aggressively you block the stocking.

Needles:
US 8 (5mm) 24-inch circulars
US 8 (5mm) DPNs in a longer length or a second US 8 (5mm) 24-inch circular
or size needed to get gauge

Notions: 
Scissors
2 stitch markers (one should be distinct from the
other)
Tape measure
Tapestry needle

Gauge:
4.5 sts / 5.25 rounds over Stockinette Stitch = 1 inch


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Bit of Brownie Knits Bunting

I dropped off the blogging front for a little bit, but I was B-U-S-Y! I've been knitting and crocheting at least 10 hours a day (sometimes 12+)! So, that means now that I have a little time to breathe, I have lots to share with all of you!!!

First up is this little bunting that I knitted up. I'm toying with the idea of a YouTube-based podcast. (Not certain if I'm comfortable in front of the camera, but we shall see.) Anyway, if I'm going to start a podcast, I wanted a Brownie Knits banner. Thus, the bunting was born. Although I didn't initially intend to release this as a pattern, I was asked by a few people for instructions. So, in this blog post you will get "guidelines" for knitting the bunting.


Yarn: For 12 flags, two i-cord hangers, and 12 i-cord letters, I used 1 skein each of Berroco Vintage
Needle: US 6 (4mm) circulars or straights and DPNs (for i-cord), use a needle smaller than normal for your yarn weight to give a firm fabric.
Notions: 2 buttons per flag, scissors, tapestry needle, thread for buttons, sewing needle that fits through buttons

BO = bind off
CO = cast on
K, k = knit
K2tog = knit 2 sts together
P, p = purl
P3tog = purl 3 sts together
pm = place marker
RS = right side
slm = slip marker
SSK = slip 1 knitwise, slip 1 purlwise, knit these 2 sts together (I like to slip them differently to get a flat stitch.)
WS = wrong side

Bunting:
CO 30 sts using the long-tail cast on.
K 6 rows. (Creates 3 garter st bumps on the RS of work.)
Row 1 (WS): K3, pm, P24, pm, K3.
Row 2 (RS): K, slm as you come to them.
Row 3: K3, slm, P24, slm, K3.
Row 4: K3, SSK, K20, K2tog, K3.
Row 5: K3, P22, K3.
Row 6: K.

Row 7: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.
Row 8: K3, SSK, K to last 5 sts, K2tog, K3.
Row 9: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.
Row 10: K.
Row 11: K3, P to last 3 sts, K3.

Repeat rows 7-11 until there are only 10 sts on the needle.

Next RS row: K3, SSK, K2tog, K3.
WS: K3, P2, K3.
RS: K3, K2, K3.
WS: K3, P2, K3.
RS: K3, K2tog, K3.
WS: K2, P3tog, K2.
RS: K1, K3tog, K1.
WS: P3tog

Cut tail and weave in ends.

I-cord Hangers:
CO 6 sts with DPNs, being sure to leave a long enough tail to seam the end of the i-cord closed. K in i-cord until the cord is desired length to fit behind the bunting triangles. BO and weave in tails on both ends to close up any gaps on the ends. Using a tapestry needle and a cut long piece of matching yarn, sew the bunting to the i-cord. Then sew on the buttons to each triangle with thread and a sewing needle.

Note: I didn't leave extra i-cord on my ends, but instead seamed the triangles to the very edge of the i-cord. If you want, you could leave it longer for use when hanging the bunting.

I-cord Letters:
CO 6 sts with DPNs, being sure to leave a long enough tail for sewing the letters to the triangles. K in i-cord until the cord reaches the length you need to make your letter. This is not very scientific. I simply knitted along and tried to shape it as I went and when it was the size and shape I wanted, I BO leaving another long tail. I then sewed the letters using a tapestry needle and the two tails. You can easily hide your stitching inside the "tube" of the i-cord. For some letters, I found making several smaller i-cords and shaping those to form a letter to be a bit easier.

I hope you enjoy making some bunting for your special events or for an everyday decoration!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Delphia Cowl: A New Brownie Knits Design

This is my favorite Brownie Knits design yet and I am incredibly excited to finally share it with all of you! Please meet Delphia!!! This a stranded colorwork cowl that was inspired by last year's cold winter. I hope you like the pattern and enjoy knitting it. You can purchase the pattern for $4.99 via Ravelry.com, Craftsy.com, or the Brownie Knits Etsy store.


Delphia is a plaid cowl knit in a tube to provide a fully finished look to both sides of the garment. The stranding work is knitted in the round and charted instructions are provided in the pattern. Because of the construction of Delphia, it is effectively 4 layers thick to provide extra warmth during those cold months of winter, but it still remains soft and comfortable. The stylish plaid cowl is the perfect accessory to keep you warm, cozy, and looking classy!


(The pattern uses a provisional crochet cast on method, but could be replaced with a normal cast on and bind off and then a normal to attach the beginning and end.)



200 yards (183 meters) of worsted weight yarn in each of the selected 3 colors 
10 yards (9 meters) of worsted weight scrap yarn for cast on 

Model with white color as A knit out of 1 skein each of Berroco Vintage in colors Snow Day (5100), Cast Iron (5145), and Crimson (5154) (217 yards/198 meters; 52% acrylic, 40% wool, 8% nylon)

Model with beige color as A knit out of 1 skein each of Berroco Vintage in colors Mushroom (5104), Cast Iron (5145), and Sour Cherry (5134) (217 yards/198 meters; 52% acrylic, 40% wool, 8% nylon) 


Gauge: 5.25 sts and 5.5 rounds over 1 inch of St st
Needles: US 7 (two pairs of circus) or size needed to get gauge
Hook: US H (for cast on only)


Notions:
Scissors 
2 stitch markers 
Tape measure 
Tapestry needle 



Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Catch Up: Part IV It's In the Bag

Picking up where we left off yesterday...shopping! All things considered, we stayed pretty constrained. I was in need of a few project bags and had been on the hunt for the last month. I knew that I wanted the zebra bag from KnowKnits and I was pleasantly surprised to find the Baggu bags.


Zebra bag is the large size from KnowKnits.com. The blue and white polka dot bag is from Baggu and they come folded in these little pouches. I was in great need of large project bags and these two fit the bill. The pricing on the Baggu bags is excellent, too!

When we attended TNNA this spring, we looked at the various Wonderland Yarn kits. I ended up going for a fall colorway pack and Carol went for a purple toned one. Excited to cast this one on...MUST finish up work knitting before letting myself cast on.


I snagged this lovely skein on the right, too. Not sure what it will become just yet. In the meantime, some of my "fun" knitting is a bunting out of Brownie Knits colors. I'm hoping to start a video podcast soon and need a little background. Do you watch knitting podcasts? What do you love about them? What do you not like? I'd love to hear your feedback before I launch the Brownie Knits podcast this fall. You can email me at brownieknits@yahoo.com.

On Monday, I organized all of my various projects into the individual bags and set to work.


I keep all my notions in this little case that my MIL made years back. 
I just love it and it gets LOTS of use!


Pretty bags all in a row...


My journal all divided and in full use...


...and it all lives in this great big Brit-inspired bag!


I can't really show you more than the bunting and this piece. Any guesses on what it will be? Maybe I'll have to run a guess the design contest this winter! Hmmmm....


Carol gifted me this sheep coaster and he was added to the flock!


A few of the said sheep...


She also gifted me this Tosh Sock in Home. 
I'm thinking it will become a Trillian shawl. 
Thanks so much, Carol!!!


So, for those who know me well, a zebra print bag might seem out of character. I don't trend toward animal print often. However, I bought these bag with the intention of getting a zebra button and band to attach to it. The zebra is the cancer awareness "color" for neuroendocrine cancer/tumors. My hope is that one person who has symptoms like I did sees this bag, asks me about it, and gets an answer to their chronic issues. Doctors are taught to think of the common (horses) and not the unusual (zebra). Some of us are zebras!!! To learn more about neuroendocrine cancer/tumors, please visit the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation site.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer Catch Up: Part III The Brownie Knits Trunk Show

This past weekend, I got to hang out with my friend Carol and go to Knitwits Yarn shop. I wanted to swing into the shop as they are currently hosting my Brownie Knits trunk show. The boys dropped us off at the shop and we had a great time shopping, talking to other yarn lovers, and chatting with the staff. Knitwits is a great supporter of local and indie designers. We met Elizabeth from Felted Sky Studio. Check out her needle felting kits and designs! They are adorable and make beautiful works of art.


Click here for the Felted Sky Studio Etsy shop.



There was yarn by Nerd Girl Yarns...
This yarn would make GREAT Millie Infinity scarves. Grab a skein, my Millie pattern, and knit up some scarves for fall! It's just around the corner...


I also loved these cards and tags. (Shout out to my MIL...I thought of you when I saw these.) I actually have plans to swap out these buttons for some other ones so that I can still use the card and use those awesome buttons for a knitting project.


Shameless plug time...I tossed in some free pens and they were using them for the raffle entries. Everything in the shop is so well thought out in how each items is displayed.


Carol, Christina (A Knitter's Life), and I chat about all things yarn on a daily basis. There are lots of emails floating about between the three of us, so we felt a little lost without Christina making the trip. We popped around the corner of the shop to see where many of my items were on display and right there in the basket was Christina's smiling face!!!! We were stunned. The Birthday Cake Cowl is a free pattern from Christina's Classic Cable Knits line and the shop owner told us that she just loves it.


My items were in a few different spots...


Tune in next time for the shopping wrap up. You didn't think Carol and I went to a yarn shop and didn't buy yarn!!!