6 year old b-day gifts!

One of the things I love about having younger cousins now is that I get to make them fun little kid gifts. It can be hard, however, to pick things out they would like—and that their parents would approve. One of my cousins, F., is turning 6 this summer and recently became infatuated with make-up and fashion, but I know her mom would be horrified if I got her lipstick!

Luckily F. also loves knitting, and in fact recently started learning to knit herself! So I thought it might be fun to make her some things that encourage that interest by inspiring her a bit, while still being very fashionable of course. 😉 Scarves seemed like the perfect solution—no need to know sizing, and they can look quite fancy. With some kids, of course, scarves can present a choking hazard, but F. is a very responsible girl, and already has some she wears safely.

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Because her birthday is in summer, I wanted to include something she could wear right away, so I made two scarves for different seasons. 🙂 For winter, she gets a bright teal scarf knit in an easy but fancy-looking lace pattern, made of an alpaca/acrylic blend. The alpaca adds drape and softness, but the acrylic makes it a bit easier to clean.

For summer, I sewed a simple cotton scarf out of Kaufman fabric’s floral lawn. I thought this pattern looked very cheerful, so perfect for a little girl. 🙂

To tie the two scarves together, I added an embroidered label on the cotton fabric to the back of the knit scarf, and a teal pom-pom trim to the ends of the cotton scarf.

I’m excited to give them to her, and hope she likes them! She has one more present coming, but that’s more of a back to school gift. 😉 I’ll share that one later.

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finished HP embroidery!

My friend’s birthday was yesterday, which meant she came over to get her present—and she remembered to bring her Harry Potter scarf too, so she got her present from last year as well! 😉

I have had this embroidery finished for a while, but since we only see each other sporadically it’s been hard to find a time to iron it onto the actual scarf (which my friend handknit years ago).

But now it is completely finished!!!

I’m so happy with how it turned out. I always get a little nervous using fusible things, in case it doesn’t adhere to the materials well. But luckily it worked beautifully! I also hadn’t seen the scarf in a while, and forgot how well the colors matched. I guess the hour we spent matching thread and yarn was worth it!

Anyway, my friend and I both loved the final project. It’s so nice when things go well.

5 tips for knitting on tiny needles

I realize I may be in the minority here, but I love knitting on tiny needles—the smaller the better! Now, some people do some truly impressive miniature knitting, and I’m not quite that dedicated. But I certainly prefer size 0 over size 8, that’s for sure. Here are some of my favorite tiny knitting projects from the past:

(like the little flower bookmark? you can find the pattern here!)

Right now I’ve been working on some sanquhar gloves, on size 00 needles. I thought it’d be nice to take a break and share some of my personal favorite tips for working with them. 🙂 I’m not an expert, but perhaps someone will find them helpful!

5 tips for knitting on tiny needles:

  1. Pick non-splitty yarn. Although I’ve found most little needles to have fairly blunt points, splitting can quickly get extremely annoying when your stitches are small. Fine yarns are also often more delicate, and more likely to break from accidental splits.
  2. Take frequent breaks! When I knit with little needles, I often notice actual indents in my fingers where they press. :O It’s not the worst thing in the world, but I think it’s a sign you probably shouldn’t knit with these types of needles for hours and hours, especially if you find it uncomfortable.
  3. Have good lighting—no one likes knitting in the dark, but it’s especially bad when you’re already straining to see what you’re knitting.
  4. Use your most comfortable needles. This definitely isn’t the time to struggle through with a type of needle you don’t like! For instance, I find circular needles hurt, so I wouldn’t pick them for a lace cowl on size 2 needles when I could use double pointed ones instead. Similarly, if you have a preference for wood needles over metal ones, there are some brands that make wood/bamboo needles down to size 0. Even below that you can try carbon fiber ones rather than steel!
  5. Swatch! Yes, it will take longer to start, but you reallly don’t want to have to unravel even an inch of fabric if that inch took 30 rows and two hours to knit. I have done this—it is very sad.

If you have any other tips, please share them! And I’ll be sure to post a picture of my gloves once they’re done. 🙂

free pattern: tweed tea cosy

So I love tea a lot. As in, my dad actually built me a little tea cabinet to help store my ever-increasing collection. It is possibly the cutest piece of furniture I own. (Then he had to make my sister one too, because I’m nothing if not a bad influence).

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The cutest, right? Anyway, I drink tea a lot, but I’m a bit absentminded. Nothing is worse than getting distracted by a good book, or a friend calling, and then realizing my tea has gone cold. 😦

So I knit myself a tea cosy, and decided to share the pattern! It’s very simple, with a basic slip stitch colorwork design. I made it sized for a small 2-cup pot, but upping the yarn size to worsted or bulky would probably let you fit a larger one. This pattern is also certainly easy enough to be suitable for beginners, or for more experienced knitters looking for a quick gift idea.

You can find it available to download on ravelry here. Enjoy!