Free Knitting Patterns, Instructions, Projects & Designs.

AudKnits ™

Free Spirit Book Review

April 19

Free Spitit Knits Cover

I love the Southwest. The colors and landscapes have a unique beauty and spirit about them. No wonder I was immediately enamored with the book Free Spirit Knits: 20 Knitted Garments and Accessories Inspired by the Southwest.  The author and designer, Anne Podlesak, lives in northern New Mexico. I can easily see the influence of her surroundings in her Santa Fe Wrap:

Santa Fe Wrap

This photo for the Grand Canyon Coat shows off the scenery’s subtle colors and its influence on the pattern. Motifs evoking the waters of the Colorado River set off the golden colors of the rocks. I love Anne’s choice of a tone-on-tone main color for this coat. The subtle striping reminds me of the striations of rock in the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon Coat

My time in Arizona taught me some history about sheep ranching in the West. Knitters tend to love all things sheep-y, so the Churro Sheep Cowl is appealing. (A knitter’s note here…if I make this cowl, I think I’ll try a different top and bottom edging to discourage the fabric from curling.)

Churro Sheep Cowl

Free Spirit sets itself apart by offering a number of nice patterns for men. The Salt River Sweater’s traditional cabling, combined with a motif that echoes Native American art,  would appeal to a lot of guys:

Salt River Sweater

Anne’s book includes several techniques, from lace to stranded knitting to cables. There are small projects as well as the stunning sweaters, coats and wraps.

As you may remember from my previous post, I made the book’s Petroglyph Socks.

petroglyph socks

I enjoyed making them so much, I looked up Ann Podlesak’s patterns on Ravelry. I love discovering designers whose work I like so well!

I’ll be giving away a copy of this gorgeous book in May. Stay tuned!

Publisher Info:

Free Spirit Knits: 20 Knitted Garments and Accessories Inspired by the Southwest

By Anne Podlesak

Interweave/F+W; $25.99

http://bit.ly/1M5c5IM

144 pages

Gimme Shelter Cat Blankets

April 11

Twiddle_3_med

Minnie_3_med

The pattern below includes some very simple ideas for making blankets for cats in animal shelters. I’ve put together yarn suggestions and stitch pattern recommendations to match the weight of the yarn (either bulky or super bulky). The blankets are dense to offer the cats plenty of cushioning for warmth and softness against hard cage floors.

The pattern makes for great social knitting, projects for beginners, and Guild group service projects.

These are kitty tested and approved!

You can download the pattern for free here:

Gimme Shelter_Cover

 

Gimme Shelter Cat Blankets

posted under Free, Patterns | No Comments »

Petroglyph Socks

March 30

Falling in love with a new-to-me yarn is one of my favorite parts of knitting. This happened to me when I tried Dragonfly Fiber’s gorgeous Djinni Sock yarn recently. A blend of merino, cashmere and nylon gives it a wonderful hand, and the just-right ply makes for delightful knitting.

When I was a young, I spent a lot of time in Arizona. I loved nothing more than to ride through the hills, exploring beautiful canyons and desert vistas. It was on one of these rides that I discovered a whole hillside of petroglyphs. Ancient carved rock pictures of snakes and stick figures captured my imagination.

No wonder I felt compelled to make the Petroglyph Socks from Anne Podlesak’s Western-inspired book, Free Spirit Knits.

Petroglyph Socks

I modified the Petroglyph pattern by making a rounded toe. If I had it to do over again, I think I’d choose a yarn that is a true solid so the socks’ stitch pattern would show up better. That said, I know I’ll get a lot of use out of these socks. I like the pattern, and the yarn makes the socks heavenly to wear.

I will be reviewing Free Spirit Knits and offering a brand new copy as a giveaway in the coming weeks.

Resources:

Dragonfly Fibers offers many weights of yarn, in a staggering array of gorgeous colors.

I encourage readers to purchase books through their local yarn shops. Please ask for Free Spirit Knits there. You can check out the patterns in the book on the book’s Ravelry page.

Anne Podlesak offers many great patterns on Ravelry.

Cupcake Mittens

March 14

You might remember I was working on some very special mittens for my best friend’s birthday. Here are the Cupcake Mittens, all finished.

Cupcake Mittens Back

The stripes on the thumbs add a jaunty flair, I think.

Cupcake Mittens 2

I like how the personalization worked out, with my friend’s initials and milestone birthday year.

Cupcake Mittens Detail

I made some modifications. The original pattern included some little stitches along the edges. I left them out. I changed the top of the mittens to make a more rounded shape.

Resources:

Cupcake Mittens pattern is available as a Ravelry download. If you enjoy this pattern, you might like to check out more SpillyJane Knits patterns on Ravelry. She has a knack for creating fun and whimsical designs.

The yarn I used is Knit Picks Palette. It is available in a zillion great colors. I used the nine colors recommended in the pattern.

Tiny Cupcakes

March 1

So what’s on my needles now, you may wonder? It’s more like what’s on my 10 needles…

A good friend of mine celebrated a landmark birthday recently. Knitting together is one of the pastimes we enjoy most. Eating cupcakes is another. (When we attend Stitches West together, we always make time to go to our favorite cupcake store(s) in Palo Alto. That’s right, we love cupcakes so much we leave the mecca of yarn for an afternoon. We’re that serious about our cupcakes.)

As this is a big occasion birthday, I wanted to make my friend something special that would commemorate our shared hobbies. What better than Cupcake Mittens?!

Why do I say my project is on 10 needles? Well, I have a bad habit of not finishing pairs of things. Single socks and gloves tend to lay around my house, forlornly waiting for the their mates to be knitted. I’m making both mittens at once this time, using 2 sets of 5 dpn’s, size #1. Somehow (when I have enough sets of needles to pull it off), making two at the same time fakes me out into thinking the knitting is going faster. This works for sleeves, mittens, socks…whatever comes in pairs.

One thing about this pattern is that there are a LOT of ends to weave in. All those adorable little cakes use a bunch of different colors. Theoretically I know to wait until a project is blocked before weaving in ends. However, I figured that it was worth saving my sanity to weave all the ends in every time I finish a round of cupcakes.

 cupcake mittens ends

To personalize the mittens I’m working my friend’s initials into the palm side of one mitten, and her birthday year into the other. I used graph paper to figure out the proportions.

cupcake mittens

If you love cupcakes and stranded work, you might like these mittens too!

A Bag of Goodies for Charity

February 25

From time to time I like to provide things for local charities that are close to my heart. You might get requests for auction items, too, so I thought it might be fun to share what I just finished putting together – maybe you’ll get some ideas for auction items of your own. The auction item may be something modest for a small local event, all the way up to something with higher-end items for a fancier affair.

This time around I wanted to create a special knitting-related goodie bag. I was asked to put together several items, including a signed copy of my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. I was also asked to include yarn for making one of the scarves in the book. And of course I’d have to include a set of LimaPopShoppe‘s stitch markers in the exclusive AudKnits colors:

stitch markers

Now…what would I put all these goodies in? It had to be something really special, since this is an upscale auction…

I first wrote about the joys of Chic-a products in a blog post a couple of years ago. The company’s knitting accessories are brilliantly designed, making them oh-so-useful to us crafters while delighting us with fabulous colors and patterns. I wanted a really nice bag, and one that could do double duty as either a knitting bag or a day-to-day tote. Chic-a’s Market Tote was the perfect solution. I chose the lovely “Finlandia” color:

chic-a market tote

I couldn’t resist throwing in a set of Gadget Trays as well. I have these scattered around in various drawers, keeping small things organized, and knew someone else would find them handy as well.  I chose the jaunty yellow color in the bottom photo, since it makes me think wistfully of spring:

chic-a gadget_tray

I’m sure that so many colorful treasures and my book will make for a successful auction item for charity!

Do you have ideas for creating knitting-themed auction items? If so, please leave a comment and share them with other readers!

New Lace Knitting Giveaway Winner

February 23

Congratulations to Amanda in Merrill, Oregon, for winning the drawing for Romi Hill’s fantastic book, New Lace Knitting.

New Lace Knitting cover

I love this book and will have my copy on my shelf for years to come. The designs are lovely and the patterns are very well written. There are quite a few patterns I know I’ll want to make in the future.  Congratulations, Romi, for writing a treasure!

Virginia City Cowl

February 17

I had a great time making the Virginia City Cowl from Romi Hill’s book New Lace Knitting. (You might have seen my recent review of the book.)

Virginia City Cowl

After admiring Romi’s patterns for years, I finally took a class from her at one of the knitting conventions. She is well known for her shawl patterns, and her expertise in designing lace is fantastic. I knew from her class that she is detail oriented, with thoughtful and thorough instructions. These strengths shine through in her book.

In the pattern for the cowl part of her “Virginia City Cloche and Cowl” design, I appreciated that she gives specific recommendations for how to block the piece. She is equally specific when describing how to sew the piece together after blocking. I loved the clear and helpful details!

I used Cascade Ecological Wool.

Virginia City Cowl

As a reminder, if you’d like to enter the drawing for the giveaway for New Lace Knitting you have until Midnight (EST) on February 21st to entire a comment. Details are here.

posted under Cowls, Projects | No Comments »

Giveaway and Book Review: New Lace Knitting

February 13

Heart

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

In the knitting world, lace offers a romantic flair. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I’m celebrating by giving away a fantastic book – New Lace Knitting: Designs for Wide Open Spaces by Rosemary (Romi) Hill.

New Lace Knitting cover

Fans of Romi’s shawl designs will be happy to know that the book contains several delightful shawls, including the “Main Triangle”:

New Lace Knitting shawl

Romi has a real gift for pairing stitch patterns and proportions. Check out her “Hope Valley Flounce” skirt:

New Lace Knitting skirt

Whenever possible I like to work a pattern from a book before I review it, just to see how the instructions are presented. I made the “Virginia City” cowl and was very impressed by Romi’s clear instructions. The gauge really did result in the indicated finished dimensions, which is refreshing! She even includes fantastic directions for blocking and finishing. I’ll devote another post to my finished cowl, but here’s the cowl and and matching cloche photo from the book:

New Lace Knitting VA city

Romi’s attention to detail is fantastic. She includes several beautiful tops in the book, including the “Williwaw Cardigan” with its unusual construction:

New Lace Knitting cardigan

Sometimes I’m in the mood to make a smaller project. One of my favorites is the “Silver Birch Slouch”, with its lovely leafy motif:

New Lace Knitting hat

New Lace Knitting is a book I’ll have on my shelf for years to come. Romi’s designs are beautiful with clear instructions. The book includes a lovely variety of yarns and colors. I know from my own book that it takes a lot of thought and effort to strike just the right balance between types of projects, yarn weights and colors. Romi’s book accomplishes it all.

[Here I am going to interject my pet peeve (listen up, publishers!). Books today are pitifully lacking in indexes. This book is no exception. I would have liked to have seen index entries for types of projects, such as “shawls”, “cardigans” etc. Index entries for yarn weights would be great, too, so if you had stash yarn you wanted to use up, you could just find which projects use them.]

Now, about the giveaway… Wouldn’t it be great to have a Valentine’s Week instead of just one day? In keeping with this sweet notion, you’ll have the whole week to enter your comment to win this book. Leave your comment here on this post by the end of the day on February 21st (midnight Eastern Time). Please include your contact information in your comment so I can let you know if you’re the winner. I’ll be conducting a random drawing to determine the winner. (One comment per person, please, with only one comment and email address per person.)

I can mail this book anywhere in the world as long as there are no postal or delivery restrictions.

Publisher’s Info:

New Lace Knitting: Designs for Wide Open Spaces

By Rosemary (Romi) Hill

Interweave/F+W; $24.99

http://bit.ly/1dlHNHx

 

Resources:

Errata (definitely check this out if you get the book)

You can see all the designs from the book here.

Romi Hill’s web site Designs by Romi features additional patterns

Please buy this book from your local yarn store! If you absolutely positively can’t get it through your local store, here is the link to its Amazon page.

Snuggling Up and Turning Pages

January 25

Now that it’s like this outside…

Snowy Forest

I’m getting a lot of use out of my Page Turner Throw!

Page Turner Throw

  The throw, made Quince & Co.’s gorgeous Lark, is holding up really well.

I love snuggling up in this as a plan my next few projects. One that I can tell you about involves kitties….lots and lots of kitties at the local shelter. They need blankets, too. Stay tuned!

See You In 2016

December 20

I hope everyone has a wonderful time with family and friends over the holidays.

See you next year!

walksnow

posted under Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

“Unexpected Cables” Winner

December 16

In the random drawing for the lovely book Unexpected Cables, Tabs from Devon won. Congratulations, Tabs!

If you missed the book’s review, you can still read it here.

posted under Giveaway | No Comments »
« Older Entries
Facebook
Ravelry
Youtube
RSS
Email

Reversible Scarves by Audrey Knight

Knitting Blog Archive

Ravelry

Tips & Techniques

Fave Knitting Blogs

Fave Knitting Podcasts

Fave Knitting Sites

Fave Yarn Stores

Knitting Tags

cables cardigan Coastal Knits Cooperative Press Downton Abbey KAL fair isle fingerless mitts free pattern Girasole giveaway Hats How to knit Jared Flood Knit Picks knitting lace Lorna's Laces reversible scarf Reversible Scarves Rowan Scarf shawl Smock Top Sweater sock pattern Socks Stephannie Tallent stitch markers Tangled Yoke Cardigan TKGA TNNA

Ravelympics 2010