How to block your knit and crochet.

If you have time to knit, if you've taken up knitting, it means you're not worried about the essential stuff.  --- Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee

This video was recorded during a live stream on Periscope. You may hear me talking to someone.  I am able to read peoples comments as I stream.  Part two is below.

The things you will need to properly block a granny square.

A craft blocking board. (They are available at Michaels, Amazon as well as your local yarn store.)
T-pins
Spray bottle
lavender essential oil is optional

I like to add two drops of lavender essential oil to my spray bottle, so when I spray the granny squares, they are lightly protected by moths.  My great grandmother always did this and then redid after every washing.  She never used moth balls and I still have all her crochet work.  I store her zillions of doilies in acid free paper in a cedar chest.  It helps to keep the yarn from yellowing and being eaten by pesky moths.

Granny Square blocking

  • Line up one corner to the edge of one grid.  
  • Pin it on an angle.
  • Line up the edge along the line of the grid.
  • Pin the next corner. 
  • Continue all the way around and then when all 4 corners are secure. Mist the fabric lightly with cool water.  Allow to dry overnight.  Then unpin to easy sew together into a blanket or jacket.

Knit garment pieces work the same way.  And yes it is worth the time to block all your pieces before sewing them together.  

Free Pattern :: Beginner Two Color Cowl

" Knitting not only relaxes me, it also brings a feeling of being at home. -- "Magdalena Neuner

" Knitting not only relaxes me, it also brings a feeling of being at home. -- "Magdalena Neuner

I loved making this simple slip stitch cowl. It's a great way use up little bits of yarn from previous projects, though in this case I had a couple of packages of Lion Brands BonBons which are 28yd balls of yarn, little fuzzy bits of colorful yumminess. This cowl is knit in the round, but there is no decreasing or switching to double pointed needles. If you are a beginning knitter give this pattern a go for learning to knit in the round and to learn how to work two colors across the fabric.  

Think of the designer fun. Instead of color, work a monochromatic palette from black to light grey.  Or go for a rainbow. Or switch the main color from white to black and add jewel tones for  a semi-stained glass affect. Don't want to sew in ends. Then just use one background color and a variegated yarn. The possibilities for fun are really endless.

This pattern is 27" in circumference. Just big enough to comfortably slide over an adult head and tuck into a coat.  For a child size make it 25".  I tend to add 6" to a an average child's hat circumference of 19" to get  my cowl size.  So adjust accordingly to your needs.

For the 27" circumference you will need:

1 skein of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in white1 package of Lion Brand Bonbon (I used two packages to get this color shift, but you could use just one.) Or if using up your stash, you 5 colors of 28yds each
26" #9 circular needle
stitch marker
row counter
scissors
tape measure
tapestry needle

Gauge" 16st and 22rows to 4" or 4sts and 5.5rows to 1" in stockinette

Cast on 108 stitches in white. Place stitch marker, join round. Mark each round as completed by counting it on your row/round counter to make it easy to keep track of where you are in the pattern.

©2018Lindsay-Obermeyer-Cowl-Detail.jpg

To read more about slip stitch knitting.

Round 1: Knit one round with the white.
Round 2: With Yellow, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 3: With Yellow, *Purl the yellow knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 4: Knit one round with white.
Round 6: With Yellow, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 7: With Yellow, *Purl the yellow knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 8: With Yellow, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 9: With Yellow, *Purl the yellow knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *.
Round 10: Knit one round with the white.
Round 11: With Light Green, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 12: With Light Green , *Purl the Light green knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 13: Knit one round with the white.
Round 14: With Light Green, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 15: With Light Green , *Purl the Light green knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 16: Knit one round with the white.
Round 17: With Light Green, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 18: With Light Green , *Purl the Light green knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 19: Knit one round with the white.
Round 20: With Light Green, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 21: With Light Green , *Purl the Light green knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *.
Round 22: Knit one round with the white.
Round 23: With Light Green, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 24: With Light Green , *Purl the Light green knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 25: Knit one round with the white.
Round 26: With Turquoise, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 27: With Turquoise , *Purl the Turquoise knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 28: Knit one round with the white.
Round 29: With Turquoise, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 30: With Turquoise , *Purl the Turquoise knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 31: Knit one round with the white.
Round 32: With Turquoise, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 33: With Turquoise , *Purl the Turquoise knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 34: Knit one round with the white.
Round 35: With French Blue, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 36: With French Blue, *Purl the French Blue knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 37: Knit one round with the white.
Round 38: With French Blue, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 39: With French Blue, *Purl the French Blue knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 40: Knit one round with the white.
Round 41: With French Blue, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 42: With French Blue, *Purl the French Blue knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 43: Knit one round with the white.
Round 44: With Sky Blue, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 45: With Sky Blue, *Purl the Sky Blue knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. 
Round 46: Knit one round with the white.

Bind off all stitches loosely. Sew in all ends.

For another of my patterns using two color slip stitch knitting, take a look at this hat pattern.

Please note that Lion Brand and Clover USA provided me with my materials.

Craft A Terrarium!

 "The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses." --  Hanna Rion

 "The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses."
--  Hanna Rion

I moved south to get away from long cold winters, but ever further south I find the winters cold and dreary, though thankfully not as long.  After a few days of gray, I need a bit of outdoor sunshine, so I mad a terrarium, complete with whimsical additions. They are charming and a great project to do with children. They will loved the planting aspect and making little clay or lego figures to set in the landscape.

You will need:
horticultural charcoal
gravel, pepples or marbles
potting soil
fishbowl or glass jar of any size and style
plants of your choice (African violets, ferns, ivy, coleuses, small palms, baby tears, moss or lichens)
decorative pebbles
miniature figurines
small hand trowel
kitchen gloves
scissors
newsprint or brown paper 

Let's create!

1.     Protect your work surface.  Cover your table or counter with paper.  This will not only protect the surface, but make for easier clean up.  While you are at it, protect your hands and put on your gloves.

2.    Clean your jar or bowl in hot, sudsy water and air dry.  I supported my local charity shop by making container purchases there, but you could just as easily raid your recylcle bin.  Mason jars are also a cute touch.

3.   Add a one inch layer of gravel for drainage.  I used glass pebbles, but you could also use small rocks you've collected or even chips of broken crockery.

4.   Add a 1/2 inch layer of horticultural charcoal.  The charcoal pulls the impurities out of the soil and improves drainage.

©2012Lindsay-Obermyer-craft-a-terrrarium.jpg

5.   Add a 3-4 inch layer of potting soil.  Start fresh with a new bag of potting soil.  Have fun with it.  Make small hills for different viewpoints within your terrarium.  

6.  Planting time!  Arrange your plants in the terrarium until you have a composition you like.  Dig holes in the soil with the trowel (or fingers if your trowel is too large).  Snip off any dead leaves on the plants and then carefully remove them from their pots.  I bought a selection of miniature violets I couldn't resist!  

Book Love :: Book covers with an Embroidery or Knitting Theme!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. -- Charles Dickens

 

Every Christmas my Aunt Diane sends me a book, which I then promptly consume along with copious amounts of cookies and tea between.  For the sake of variety, this year she sent an Amazon gift card.

Too many choices can be overwhelming.  I've narrowed my selection to a classic title I've not read. Scrolling through the eye candy of  the new Penguin Classics Clothbound editions, I was completely taken by these covers.  Not only do they feature a repeat of scarves mid-knit, but this is the only Dickens I've not read and one which Mom frequently quoted.  Fate! A must purchase!

Of course, one can't stop with just one book.  I've read this classic several times over, but the new cover is too sweet.

The paperback version is equally delicious. I may have to get this edition if only to read the introduction by Jane Smiley, another favorite author.  I wish these books were as sumptuously illustrated as the covers. Aren't they amazing?! Embroidered illustrations.

Blog Love :: Mini Eco

A hundred hearts would be too few To carry all my love for you.   -- Author Unknown

A hundred hearts would be too few
To carry all my love for you.   -- Author Unknown

I recently came across Mini-eco's website and have fallen in love.  Kate's design esthetic is whimsical, urban chic.  Her tutorials are fantastic, such as this one for 3D paper hearts.

I love her printable cross stitch pattern for wrapping paper.  Stitch a single motif for a key chain or ornament and then wrap it in matching paper! 

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Free Pattern: Beyond Beginner Baby Beanie

Children are the bridge to heaven. -- Persian Proverb

Children are the bridge to heaven. -- Persian Proverb

I continue my series of Patterns for the American Heart Association's charity call "Little Hats, Big Hearts."  This is another beginner basic with a twist.  The beanie is knit in the round using circular needles, but what gives it the twist is the window pane brim knit from a series of slip stitches. If you've been wanting to try fair isle knitting, this is a pattern to get your toes wet.  Once you try this pattern, like a potato chip you will want to make more as the color variations are limitless.  This is sized for a newborn at 14" circumference, but it could be scaled up. 

The brim is a variation of Barbara Walker's Window Pane Stripe pattern.

You will need:

 I used Lion Brand Yarn Vanna's Choice in Red and White
16" #8 circular knitting needles
#8 double point needles
stitch markers
Tapestry needle
tape measure
Scissors

Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows per inch.
in Stockinette n the round
Always do a gauge check.

A=Red
B=White

14" (16") hat sizes. 

Round 1: With A, Cast on 56 (64) stitches. Place stitch marker. Join ring.
Round2: Knit all stitches. 
Round 3: Purl all stitches.
Round 4: Repeat Round 2.
Round 5: Repeat Round 3.
Round 6: With B, *Knit1, Bring yarn to back, Slip next stitch* Repeat from * to *
Round 7: With B, *Purl the White knit Stitch, bring yarn to the back, slip the next stitch.*  Repeat from * to *. Switch to A. Carry the non working color on the inside of the hat. Don't pull the tension tight.
Repeat Rounds 2-7 two times.  You should have the stripes of red with white dots.
Repeat Rounds 2-5 with A.
Repeat Round 2-3 with B.
Repeat Rounds 6-7 reversing the colors. 
Repeat Round 2-3 with B.   

Your brim will be 3".

©2018Lindsay-Obermeyer –Window-pane-beanie-little-hats-big-hearts-detail.jpg

 

Cut B.  Leave a 6" tail. Switch to A.

Knit another inch in A. On the last round, place stitch marker  every 7 (8) stitch.  

Begin decreases.
Round 1: knit to stitch marker.Slip stitch marker, K2tog next two stitches. 
Round 2: Knit all stitches.
Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 until only 7(8) stitches remain.  Switch to double point needles when necessary.
Cut a 6" tail. Thread tapestry needle and run the tail through the final 7(8) stitches. Draw it closed.  Weave in all tails.

Now that you've made one for the American Heart Association, try a few colorful variations. Instead of white, try a variegated yarn to see the color flicker around the brim. Or do it in team color so your newborn is Super Bowl ready.

Download the PDF of this pattern.

Free Pattern :: Baby Beanie with a Diagonal Rib

©2018Lindsay-Obermeyer-baby-beanie-little-hate-big-heart.jpg

Sometimes you need a little change.  You've done the basic rib at least a zillion times. So let's shake things up.  This rib travels on the diagonal and is as easy as the basic rib. It has a lovely heavy texture that dresses up any beanie with ease.  This pattern is part of my ongoing series for the American Heart Association project Little Hats Big Hearts. Make one for  the newest member of your family and then make one to donate.

You will need:

 I used  Red Heart Soft in Cherry Red and a variegated for the PomPom.
16" #8 circular knitting needles
#8 double point needles
stitch markers
Tapestry needle
tape measure
Scissors
pompom maker (I use on from Clover).

This one was designed for a baby at 16" in diameter.

Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows per inch.
in Stockinette n the round
Always do a gauge check.

Stitches: 3x3  Diagonal Rib in the round.
Round 1:  *P3,K3*; Rep from * to *.  End with a  1K stitch past the stitch marker.
Round 2: *P3,k3,*  Rep from *to*. End with  2K stitches past the stitch marker
.
Round 3: *P3,k3,*  Rep from *to*. End with  3K stitches past the stitch marker.
Repeat Rounds 1-3 for desired length.
This creates a diagonal shifting of the rib.  This rib will add some lovely texture at the brim.

©Lindsay-Obemeyer-baby-beanie-little-hats-beig-hearts.jpg

 

Let's Knit

Cast on 65 stitches.
Place a stitch marker. Join circle.

  1. Start knitting the 3x3 Rib.  Continue in this pattern for 2 inches ending with round 3.  
  2. Switch to Stockinette. Work in Stockinette (which in the round is just knitting) for 2.5 inches.
  3. When you have knit 4.5 inches from the beginning, K2Tog before the stitch marker, for a total of 64 stitches. Place a stitch marker after every 8 stitches.
  4. Begin decreases. 
  5. Round 1 Decreases: K2Tog before every stitch marker.
  6. Round 2 Decreases: Knit.
  7. Repeat this round sequence (5 and 6) until only 8 stitches remain. Switch to double point needles when necessary.
  8. Cut yarn leaving a 6 " tail.  Thread tapestry needle an run the tail through the final 8 stitches. Draw it closed.  Weave in all tails.
  9. Make a PomPom and sew it to the top of the beanie.

Download this patttern.

Mushroom Risotto in a Pressure Cooker or Instant

"The belly rules the mind." --  Spanish Proverb

"The belly rules the mind." --  Spanish Proverb

I 've been busy in the studio.  And when I get this busy, the necessity for good food is even more important. Eating a homecooked meal allows me to slow down a moment, destress and catch up on the news with my daughter.  I love certain dishes, but they can take an age to prepare, such as risotto. Several weeks ago I purchased a pressure cooker / slow cooker which is now branded as Instapot.  I swear, this gadget ranks up there with my favorite iron skillet.  Risotto in just 15 minutes from prep to eating.  Unbelievable!

Here is my recipe, adapted from the book Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna J. Sass:

Ingredients

8oz of sliced portabello mushrooms
3 leeks, thinly slicked
1 t of minced garlic
2.5 cups of mushroom stock (a low salt variety is best)
1 cups of boiling water
1 T of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of dry white wine (or better yet - dry cooking sherry)
1.5 cups of arborio rice
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (not that nasty cardboard stuff from a green canister!) 

Directions

Add the olive oil to the pan.  (I have an electric pressure cooker with a browning setting.)  Add leeks and sautee until wilted.  Add mushrooms and garlic and sautee until the mushrooms have wilted and are slightly smaller.

Add the arborio rice and sautee, stirring to coat the rice with the oil. The rice will turn slightly transparent along the edges.

Add the stock, water and wine. Stir.

Put the lid on and lock into place

Set to high pressure.  Once it has reached high pressure, cook for 5 minutes.

Open the quick release valve.  Careful!  Don't scald yourself!

Open the lid, check the rice.  If not to right consistency, add a little more stock and cook on browning until you achieve what you desire.  I like mine creamy and with my cooker, I get it perfect without trouble.   In case you don't achieve the same results on the first go, add the stock for more creaminess.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese. 

Enjoy!

For more about arborio rice, check out this website.

Thank You Sachets

"Praise the bridge that carried you over." --  George Colman

"Praise the bridge that carried you over." --  George Colman

These sachets are quick to make and a great way to say "Thank you!"  The size of a business card, one will sway nicely from a car's review mirror or tucked on a hanger in the coat closet.  The lavender scent is refreshing and better yet, a natural alternative to moth balls!

Materials (for one sachet):
12" x 12" patterned paper
business card enevelope die (2 3/16"w x 3 11/16"h - assembled) 
die cutter (I used my AccuCut GrandeMARK.) 
glue stick
1/2" round sticker
hole punch (1/16")
8" of 1/4"  double-faced satin ribbon
1 T dried lavender  

Directions:

6a00d83451d4c869e2017ee4bf1542970d-320wi.jpg

Center the paper on the die and run through your die cutter.  (Don't have a die cutter?  Use a store bought envelope of the same size and embellish with rubber stamps!) 

Fold the edges of the envelope.  Seal 3 of the 4 sides with glue stick.  

Fill the envelope with a tablespoon of dried lavender.

Use a 1/2" round sticker to seal the envelope.

6a00d83451d4c869e2017ee4bf17de970d-320wi.jpg

Punch a hole toward the top envelope with your hole puncher.  

Fold the ribbon in half.  Thread the folded edge through the hole and pull the two ends through the loop.

Knot the ends togehter.

That's it!  You've made a sachet.   For a lovely twist, mix dried rosemary, thyme and lemon balm. 

Present your gift with a handmade card or tie one to a bottle of wine.  

 

Top Knitting Blogger Award!!

Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again. -- Dorothy Day

Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again. -- Dorothy Day

Wow! What a great start to my day. I received news that I am a 2017 top knitting blogger with All Free Knitting. Thank you to all who have visited my blog to check out my knitting patterns. The Reader's favorite was this one:

@2016Lindsay-Obemeyer-free-pattern-baby-blanket.png

This is a super simple, beginner level knitting blanket that looks elegant and not in any way like a beginner made it. I also like it as it is a bit of mindless knitting if you are an experienced knitter. Make one for a baby or enlarge it into an afghan for yourself. 
The Reader's Favorite Baby Blanket Pattern.  

Thank you again. I have more blanked patterns in the works and nearly finished. So stop back to see them. In the mean time check the side bar for other reader favorite patterns. To see other free patterns from Allfreeknitting.com, click here.

Declutter :: Desktop Caddy

I'm at my best in a messy, middle-of-the-road muddle. -- Harold Wilson

I'm at my best in a messy, middle-of-the-road muddle. -- Harold Wilson

As anyone who knows me will attest, my desk looks like an archeological site. It’s time to get organized and this mail caddy is a perfect start.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam 12″ x 12″ sheet
Smoothfoam 3/4″ balls (4)
Aleene’s Decoupage
Aleene’s Paper Glaze
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
DecoArt Americana acrylic paint – Antique Gold
23″ length of 1/2″ wide ribbon
Buttons
Newspaper (I used a vintage Farmer’s Almanac)
Sponge brush
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Ruler
Craft knife
Scissors
toothpicks

1.  Measure and cut 5 pieces of Smoothfoam – 3 pieces at 4″ x 6″ (base and two sides of the caddy) and 2 pieces at 4″ x 5-1/4″ (two opposite sides)

2.  To assemble the caddy box, add a line of hot glue along the 6″ side of the base piece and press the 6″ inch side of another 4″ x 6″ piece at right angle to the base.  Do the same on the opposite side of the box.  Add a line of hot glue to all three sides of one open end and press one of the 4″ x 5-1/4″ pieces into place.  Do the same on the opposite side.  You should have an open box.

3.  Decoupage newspaper or book paper across the surface of the box, inside and out, using the decoupage glue and a sponge brush.  I poured a little of the glue into an old plastic container to make it easy to use.  My caddy was decoupaged with pages from a 150 year-old Farmer’s Almanac I had picked up at a flea market. Allow to dry.

4.  With a clean sponge brush, brush on a layer of the paper glaze across the entire surface of the box (except not the bottom). Allow to dry thoroughly.

5.  Stick a toothpick into each ball to use as a handle for painting the ball. Use a scrap of the Smoothfoam sheet to stick the toothpicks into, to allow the balls to dry.  Apply 2 coats of paint, allowing it to dry thoroughly between each coat.

6.  To add the balls to the bottom of the box as feet, measure 1/2″ in on each corner of the bottom and make a little mark.  Add a dot of hot glue at each X and adhere the feet into place.

7.  Cut the ends of your ribbon at an angle to prevent fraying.  Use Tacky Glue along the top rim of your caddy and adhere the ribbon into place. Allow to dry.

8.  Use hot glue to embellish the rim of the caddy with buttons.

Note: I received payment in cash and materials from Smoothfoam to create this post.

Dress to Kilt : Chanel pre-Fall 2013, Knitwear Fabulous

"Doing collections, doing fashion is a non-stop dialogue." -- Karl Lagerfeld

"Doing collections, doing fashion is a non-stop dialogue." -- Karl Lagerfeld

Be still my tartan and fair isle heart!  Karl Lagerfeld's pre-Fall 2013 collection for Chanel was outstanding, it is hands down still my favorite couture collection. Very wearable but with interesting twists.  I'm a Lindsay with ties to Clan Lindsay, so maybe I'm genetically programmed to love this look, but really, can you blame me? The layers of knit and wool fabrics are winter perfect. And all those details...swoon! May I please have that ruff?  And that orange scarf

Chanel 2013.jpg

Free Pattern :: Kidney bean trivet

I always had a fantasy of being a chef, because I like kitchen life.  -- Geoffrey Rush  

I always had a fantasy of being a chef, because I like kitchen life.  -- Geoffrey Rush
 

moothfoam is great for using as a trivet. The insulating properties of Smoothfoam will protect your kitchen counters from being marked by hot platters of delectables you’ve just fixed.

Supplies:

Smoothfoam 8″ disc
Smoothfoam 1.5″ balls
Aleene’s Turbo Tacky Glue
Dry kidney beans
Foam brush
Dark brown acrylic paint
Golden yellow acrylic paint
Toothpicks
Scrap cardboard
Parchment paper
Hot glue gun

1.  Paint the Smoothfoam disc on all sides with 2 coats of dark brown – use the parchment as a palette. Allow first coat to dry before applying the second.

2.  After the paint is completely dry, glue the kidney beans on one side (the top) of the disc in concentric circles, working from the outer edge toward the center. For variety, I changed the direction of the beans every 3rd row from vertical to horizontal. Allow to dry thoroughly.

3.  Glue rows of beans around the edge of the disc, use the parchment paper as a non-stick work surface. Allow to dry thoroughly.

4.  To create the legs for your trivet, stick a toothpick into each of four Smoothfoam balls to use as a handle while painting them with 3 coats of yellow, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next. Poke the balls on toothpicks into a piece of cardboard to dry.

5.  Use hot glue to adhere the four balls onto the back of the disc about 1/2″ in from the edge, at equal distance from each other.

Note: I received payment from Smoothfoam for creating this post.

Finger Knit a Valentine's Day Wreath

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. -- Charles M. Schulz  

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. -- Charles M. Schulz
 

You've taken down the Christmas tree and the house is looking a bit sparse.  Well don't fret.  Make a Valentines Day wreath for your front door. This one is  simple.  It requires minimal tools or skills and is kid friendly.

This is essentially a wreath made from one very long strand of finger knit cord. Yes, finger knitting.  Remember doing it in camp or elementary school?  If not check out this video for a refresher.

The tools required are minimal. 

  • yarn - I used one entire skein of Red Heart yarn in a variegated color way. Though a solid hot pink or flame red would be cute too!
  • scissors
  • Smoothfoam 1O" culled wreath
  • ball-head pins
  • pipe cleaner

 

Let's craft.

  1. Begin finger knitting. Finger knit the entire skein into one long rope.
  2. HINT: Or wind off the yarn into smaller balls and have your children finger knit lengths.  Cast off each length. Tie them together.
  3. Tie knots at each end of the rope.  Clip the tail short. Wind the rope into a ball so it stays neat and tangle free.
  4. Pin the end of the tail onto the wreath form. Wind the rope around the wreath. Pinning it in place on the back.
  5. Cover the entire wreath. Pin the other end into place on the back.

 

 

 

    For the knit bow:

    #8 knitting needles
    White worsted acrylic. 
    scissors
    tapestry needle
    Smoothfoam 1O" culled wreath
    ball-head pins
    pipe cleaner

      Knit the Bow.

      Cast on 28 stitches. Proceed to knit in Seed Stitch for 3".


      Seed stitch
      Row 1: * K1, p1; rep from * to end of row.
      Row 2: * P1, k1; rep from * to end of row.
      Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

      Bind off all stitches.   Weave in tails using tapestry needle.

      Cut a 12" length of yarn and wrap it around the center of the knit rectangle to cinch it into a bow. Knot the ends on the back and clip the ends short.

      Pin the bow onto the wreath using matching ball-head pins.

      Slide a pipecleaner under the rope on the back. Pull through and twist ends to form a small loop hanger.

      HINT: If you don't want to knit a bow, just add a large satin ribbon one for a luxurious look. 

       

       

      Free Pattern :: Beginner Baby Beanie

      A baby is God's opinion that life should go on. -- Carl Sandburg

      A baby is God's opinion that life should go on. -- Carl Sandburg

      The American Heart Association has a call out for hand knit or crocheted Baby hats to  inspire moms to take their family’s heart health to heart while also raising awareness about Congenital Heart Defects.  They are taking hats through February. Chapters around the country are participating. As someone who has had a stroke and various heart issues. You could say that this project strikes close to the heart. I am posting at least one new baby hat pattern per week. These are mostly basis patterns with the beginner in mind.  To learn more about this project watch the following video.

      This particular pattern is perfect for the knitter who claims "I only know how to knit a scarf."  Okay, if you can knit a scarf, you can knit a hat!

      You will need:

       I used a Red Heart Soft in  White and a Cherry Red
      Size 8 knitting needles
      Tapestry needle
      tape measure
      pins
      pompom maker (I use on from Clover).

      This one was designed for a newborn at 14" in diameter.

      Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows per inch.
      Always do a gauge check.

      Stitches: 2x2 rib:
      Row 1: *K2,P2* and repeat from * to * ending with a P2.
      Row 2 - 6: same as Row 1.

      Stockinette:
      Knit all the stitches and then purl all the stitches on the next row. Repeat. Knit a row, purl a row.
       

      Cast on 28 stitches using the long tail method. Leave a 12" tail.

      Row 1: *K2,P2* and repeat from * to * ending with a P2.  Work this repeat pattern known as a 2x2 rib for 1 inch.

      Once you have finished the rib, you are to continue in stockinette for the next 10 inches.  

      Complete the last inch in 2x2 rib.

      You should now have a "scarf" that is 12" long and 7" wide.
      Cast off all stitches. Leave a long tail.

      It will be easier to seam up the edges if you first block the fabric.

      ©2018Lindsay-Obermeyer-blocking.jpg

      I do much of my blocking on my ironing table. I purchased a cover with a 1x1" grid specifically for this purpose.  Pin the fabric down, stretching it to its full width. Once all the edges are pinned. Mist with cool water.  Allow to thoroughly dry.  As you can see I left long  tails.

      Fold the fabric in half and pin the edges and sew it up using the Mattress stitch.

      ©2018Lindsay-Obermeyer-hat-seaming.jpg

      Once I have seamed up both edges using the tails. I sew in all ends. 

      Make 2 large white pompoms.  Attach them to the corners.  

      I would love to see your final creation. I started a charity knitting group.  Please join the fun and share your project in progress. Ask questions.  Add links to your favorite patterns.  

      Free Patterns :: New Projects Using Smoothfoam for Valentine's Day

      Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. ~Albert Einstein

      Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. ~Albert Einstein

      I love Valentine's Day.  It is my favorite holiday.  What's not to love about pink, red, lace, chocolate and smooches???
      Here are a small selection of fun Valentine Crafts from the design team for Smoothfoam.  

       

       

      1.    Valentine's Day plaque by Beth Watson.

      2.   Hugs and Kisses Tabletop Decoration by Michelle Frae Cummings.

      3.   Carved Sweetheart Valentine by Carmen Flores Tanis

      4.   Stenciled Heart with Crackle Past by Lisa Fulmer.

      5.   Conversation Heart Statement by Jennifer Priest.

      6.  Love Blooms by Kristi Parker Van Doren.

      7. Silk Rose Topiary Ball by Angela Holt.

       

      it's in the details :: Red Valentino Fall 2013

      "Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin.  That, or a kick-ass red lipstick." -- Gwenyth Paltrow

      Look at all the embroidery!  And those giant red velvet roses!  I'm in love! RED which stands for Romantic Eccentric Dress and is Valentino's trademark hue, is the sister line to the Valentino fashion house.  Granted, this middle-aged gal prefers skirts that are a tad longer, say to just above the knees, that little black suit is swoon worthy.

      As we are only 48 days until Valentine's Day, I thought I'd also share this fab review of Ladies in Red by Monica Corcoran featuring Nancy Reagan (and her Reagan Red) as well as Jessica Rabbit, my favorite femme fatale.  

      Valentine’s Day Desk Cube

      Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine! -- Thomas Hood  

      Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine! -- Thomas Hood
       

      Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday of the year – all that pink, red and sparkly with liberal doses of chocolate. I mean what’s not to love about the holiday of love? My desk is a giant mess, so to keep certain papers in order (and also to honor the holiday), I made a desk paperweight. Smoothfoam is lightweight, but all the straight pins used to tack in the sequins gives the cube some heft. You can decorate the sides any way you want – try adding photos inside the hearts and flowers.

      You will need:

      3″ Smoothfoam cube
      Red acrylic paint
      100+ silver sequins
      75+ fuchsia/pink sequins
      1 tube red seed beads (size 11/0; silver-lined)
      1 tube pink seed beads (size 11/0 )
      Washi tapes – red and pink patterns
      Valentine-themed scrapbook paper
      Card stock – pink, yellow, fuchsia, hot pink
      4 pink head pins
      2 packs silk steel pins
      Scalloped circle punch
      Felt heart stickers
      Red craft felt
      Craft glue
      Sponge brush, scissors, pencil, ruler

      ObermeyerValentineCube.jpg

      1.  Paint the cube with two coats of red. Allow to dry in between coats.

      2.  Cut a 3″ square from the Valentine-themed paper. Fold it in half, draw half of a heart shape and cut it out.

      3.  Glue the paper heart to the top of the cube, let dry, then glue a felt heart to the center. With a pin, pick up a red bead and then a pink sequin (with the cup side facing up) and push it into place along the edge of the heart. With a pin, a pale pink bead and a silver sequin, edge the square with sequins.

      4.  Cut four 3″ pieces of washi tape. Pin a row of silver sequins with red bead on the edge of one side of the cube. Lay down one strip of wash tape. Pin 2 rows of silver sequins with red beads,  lay down another strip of washi tape. Continue in the same pattern until the side is covered. Add more silver sequins/red beads to the top and bottom edges of the cube face.

      5.  On the next side of the cube, glue another paper heart to the center. Pin an outline of silver sequins with cup side facing up.  Stick a felt heart to the center.

      ObermeyerValentineCube.jpg

      8.  Push pink ball head pins into each corner of the bottom of the cube for feet.

      ObermeyerValentineCube.jpg

      Christmas Card Photo Cube

      Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us - a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead. David Cameron

      Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us - a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.
      David Cameron

      The holidays have come and gone and now it is time to tidy up after the festivities. I never know what to do with all the Christmas cards, especially those with photos of family and friends. It just doesn’t seem right to toss or even recycle the photos. A Smoothfoam photo cube is the perfect solution. This way I can see the images year ’round on the bookshelves within my office.

      You will need:
      Christmas card photos of family and friends
      3″ Smoothfoam cube
      Washi tape
      Paper trimmer, ruler
      Scissors (look for non-stick blades)
      Tacky glue
      Sequins and sequin pins
      Ball head pins

      Obermeyerphotocube-1024x679.jpg

      Trim your stash of holiday photo cards to 2.75″ squares. Choose your favorite five (no photo for the bottom).

      Center and glue each photo to one side and the top of the cube; allow to dry.

      Frame the photos on each side with 3″ lengths of washi tape, folded over the edges of the cube.

      Pick up a sequin cup, face up, with a sequin pin and push one into each corner of the cube.

      On the bottom of the cube, push a ball-head pin into each corner, angled slightly toward the center of the cube, to act as feet for the photo cube.