Category Archives: The Life of a Knoodler

NEW Number Plush Toy Patterns

Only 14 days until Christmas!

14 days photo

I’m counting down with my new set of knitted numbers when I’m not baking cookies and decorating the house. My fave cookies that I made this year were the Lemon-Pistachio Wreaths from the Martha Stewart site. It’s a cut-out cookie, so there’s a little work involved. But they are soooooooooo delicious, it’s well worth the effort!

I’m also busy knitting scarves for gifts–one lacy and one chunky. I’m so pleased at how nice the lace one is coming along! But I had to force myself to take a break from that to let you know that my newest collection of knitting patterns is now available. A pdf pattern book of 10 plushies — numbers zero through nine.

Plush Numbers_final-cover

Notice how the stripes match the numbers? And how the stripes on the odd numbers are a different color from the evens?

I designed these with learning in mind. Like my alphabet plushies, these are knitted as two flat pieces, then stitched together and stuffed. The finished numbers are about 6 inches tall using recommended materials. They make great stocking stuffers! Available as an instant download through Ravelry.

 

Whether you’re busy knitting gifts, or kicking back with a cup of cocoa, ENJOY THE SEASON! Keep it simple. Keep it calm. Here’s a great, super-simple Christmas decorating tip:

Wrapping paper makes a plain battery-powered candle festive!

I wanted to jazz up my bathroom shelf for the holidays. So I added a battery candle. *Yawn* Even with a sprig of green behind it, it looked blah.  So I taped a piece of colorful wrapping paper around the base of the candle (only do this with a battery-powered candle!). Ta-da!…instant festive look!

Happy Knitting and best wishes for the Holiday Season!

 

Dani

“The Knit Knoodler”

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3 Reasons to Knit Socks

This year, whenever I needed a break from designing The Knit Knoodler’s newest set of patterns (coming soon!), I turned to knitting socks.

It really began way back in October 2012, when I mentioned in a post that I was knitting my first pair of socks. They turned out quite nice. Very pretty, aren’t they?

Love this color!

Pretty, but…

 

But a little bit uncomfortable. I found the intricate lace pattern annoying at times when it was sandwiched between my foot and a snug shoe. So I only wear these lace socks with looser-fitting clogs. On the upside, though, it was super cool to have a sock that fit my foot absolutely perfect.

1. As long as you take your time and measure as you go, you’ll have the best-fitting socks EVER.

I forgot about socks for a while. Then, this year, decided to push ahead. I bought some sock yarn that makes cute color patterns without having to knit with more than one yarn. I knitted a pair of socks using a smooth stockinette stitch. The result? The most comfortable socks I’ve ever worn in my life.

Comfy knee socks!

Comfy knee socks!

I was hooked! Not only was this now the best pair of socks in my drawer, but I’d been able to watch TV while knitting them. I didn’t have to sequester myself in a quiet room and concentrate on an intricate stitch pattern.

2. Socks can be wonderful social knitting projects.

Don’t get me wrong. I love a knitting challenge and the thrill of seeing a complex cable evolve before my eyes. But I also like what I think of as “social knitting.” The kind of knitting that you can do while talking with others or watching your favorite show. And with sock knitting, even if you choose not to make a fancy pair, there’s plenty to keep it interesting: turning the heel, decreasing for the toe, etc.

Gray striped short socks

Love my self-striped gray shorties!!

3. Socks on needles make great travel companions.

I’ve been traveling a lot this year, and have found that socks are also great travel knits. A sock is small and tucks easily into a purse. Especially when slipped into a double-pointed needle project case. I bought a pack of these cases at my local yarn shop. What a simple, inexpensive, brilliant concept. Just gather your needles together (including the empty working needle) and slide them—with your knitting on them—into the holder, put on the cap, and voila! A nice, neat package. And for those of you who may have wondered…I’ve flown many times with circular needles, straight needles, and double-pointed needles in my carry-on. Nobody cares.

If you’ve been avoiding socks in your knitting repertoire, give them a try. The first one will probably feel a bit awkward, especially if you’re new to double-pointed needles. But, by the end of the pair, you may very well be hooked.

Camo Mens Socks

Hey Hubby, put those shoes back on! : )

I even knitted a pair of camo socks for my husband. He loves them! And he doesn’t even mind that I ran out of yarn and finished up with a different sock yarn. What’s it matter when it’s inside the shoe, right?

 

Happy Knitting!

Dani

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BUTTONS! BUTTONS! BUTTONS!

I’m always looking for unique, handmade buttons to adorn my completed knitting projects. I say “adorn” because the buttons I attach aren’t always functional. They look awesome all by themselves—perched on the brim of a knitted hat or positioned playfully along the edge of a scarf.

Happy Silence skull buttons are fun!

Happy Silence skull buttons are fun!

Check out these fabulous handmade buttons for your knitting and sewing projects!

The owner of Brooklyn Weal fashions his buttons from reclaimed wood. There are two types – toggles or flat buttons. 

One-of-a-kind, gorgeous Brooklyn Weal toggle buttons!  Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Weal

Gorgeous, one-of-a-kind Brooklyn Weal toggle buttons
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Weal

The toggle buttons are made from maple branches or old beams. He collects branches that have naturally been blown out of trees along the streets of Manhattan. As he says, “No trees were harmed in the making of this product!” Then he lovingly crafts these gorgeous buttons, hand-sawing and hand-sanding them to perfection, and uses an all-natural, eco-friendly finish. I LOVE how each toggle button is so unique! As I write this, an order of Brooklyn Weal toggles and flats are headed my way! Can’t wait to get them!

And…I just received my order of incredibly cool clay buttons from Happy Silence! The Day of the Dead inspired skull buttons are artful and fun for lots of projects. Sew one of these on a hat and – BAM! – suddenly it’s obvious your hat was NOT store-bought or knitted by a decrepit aunt. And the assorted buttons are absolutely beautiful!

A colorful assortment of Happy Silence clay buttons!

Colorful Happy Silence clay buttons

As you can see, I received a gorgeous, colorful array in my order. All Happy Silence buttons are handmade from stoneware clay and then glazed and fired for a beautiful finish.

My holiday wish for you:

Peace, Happiness

and

May All Your Knitted Gifts be Completed!

(I’m still knitting like a maniac, trying to get two more scarves done.)

Dani

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And…&!

Shemika & Harry?...who knew?

Shemika & Harry?…who knew?

 

One of my customers had the clever idea of knitting the initials of her son and his betrothed as a wedding gift. But she wanted an ampersand. You know, one of these — & — so she could join the initials together in a loving way. So, at her request, I’ve designed one and it’s now available on Ravelry.

One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door. After receiving many requests, I’ve been working diligently (okay, maybe semi-diligently…there are so many distractions in the summer) creating patterns for number plushies. Yes!…a set of patterns for number plushies will be available before the year is out.

Happy Knitting!

Dani

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Learn to Knit Something New

I was looking for something different to knit. I’ve knitted scarves, hats, gloves, sweaters, cowls and pillows. I’ve done cables, laces, color work and Fair Isle. I’ve knitted with every size and type of needle. I wracked my brain. What was something new, something I hadn’t tried before?

It finally dawned on me….SOCKS! 

Why hadn’t I knitted any socks? Two reasons. First, I was busy doing all that other stuff. Second, it just looked complicated. I didn’t have the gumption to try it on my own. And because of various family obligations, I was unable to take a knitting class at one of my local yarn shops.

But, lo and behold, one day I was browsing Craftsy’s online knitting class offerings. They have a wide variety of classes, but one really caught my eye: a toe-up Knit Sock Workshop with Donna Druchunas. In this class, she shows you how to make two sock patterns, one lace and one color work design. The ladies’ lace sock is simply gorgeous! They had my attention.

I had never taken an online knitting class before, although I’ve found various You-Tube stitch tutorials helpful over the years. Was this going to work for me? I browsed the benefits associated with Craftsy’s knitting class. A message board to ask the instructor questions. Printable instructions and sizing charts. I watched a sample video of the class. The knitting instructor went at a comfortable pace, was easy to understand and easy to watch. Plus, I could go back and watch a section again, to make sure I got it right.

So I dove into it! What a great experience. I purchased the Knit Sock Workshop and then something came up that kept me away from my knitting for several weeks. No problem. Once purchased, the class was there for me to go to when I did have the time.

Image

My first lace sock!

Online knitting classes should never totally replace the social interaction you get at your local yarn shop classes. But they are an excellent solution if you either: a) can’t leave the house or aren’t as mobile as you’d like to be; or b) have personal obligations that keep you from a regularly scheduled class at your local yarn shop.

I highly recommend trying a Craftsy class. Once you sign up to get their emails, you’ll receive notices when the classes are on sale, as well.

I just wanted to share the great experience I’m having with my Knit Sock Workshop. I’m thrilled with how my sock is coming along!

Happy Knitting!

Dani

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To Embellish or Not to Embellish

Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “Knitter’s Almanac”

Last weekend, I visited the book sale at the local Senior Center and dug up an absolute treasure—Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “Knitter’s Almanac.” What a find! I love her prose and her clean, lovely designs…one for each month of the year.

On a related (believe it or not) note, I finished my lopapeysa sweater. I’m pleased with how it turned out.

Love the design of this sweater!

I plan to make another sweater from this pattern, but this time will use the authentic Iceland wool and choose different colors. Something that doesn’t look so much like school colors, something a bit more subdued. As nice as it looks paired with blue jeans, I still feel a bit clownish in it. I’ll save it to wear on days when I don’t mind standing out in a crowd. : )

Now, to get back around to my point. I had a skein of Cascade Soft yellow wool left over from the lopapeysa project. So I decided to make a pair of Mitered Mittens from my new book.

Mitered Mittens from “Knitter’s Almanac”

I love how they turned out! They were a FUN knit, they fit really well and are oh so soft.

The big question is…to embellish or not to embellish? And, if I do chose to embellish, should I keep it simple or go wild?

Should I add a simple blue felt flower?
Or perhaps a multicolored patch of posies?

Please tell me what you think… I could use some thoughts on this.

Happy Knitting!

~dani

PS – I’m working on a new pattern. Hopefully it’ll be ready to unveil in the next week or so…  ; )

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New Knitting Project for a New Year

2012 promises to be a GREAT knitting year! Why? Because I received some beautiful yarn for Christmas. Three skeins of Misti Alpaca Lace Weight Baby Alpaca in a lovely heathered green (Melange Forest).

Baby alpaca is oh so soft!

I’ve decided that my first new project for the year will be the beautiful “Sanderling” lacy summer vest designed by Asami Kawa.

Photo © Asami Kawa

I just think it’s an adorable little vest/tank top and can’t wait to cast on this afternoon.

 What’s your first new knitting project of 2012?
 
Happy Knitting!
~dani
 

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