Nov 27, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Bernard, the bearded dragon

Bernard
Bernard, the bearded dragon is another of my toy knitting patterns.
I have used Cascade 220 Superwash yarn for the bearded dragon, but any worsted weight yarn will work.
The toy measures 17" ( 44 cm) from head to tail.
Yardage: 170-180 yards (156 - 165 meters) of MC, and 40 yards (37 meters) of C1.
When I was looking at pictures of real bearded dragons I saw several of them with a variety of clothing including cowboy hats. I just had to make the cowboy hat for my knitted bearded dragon.

Bernard
The knitting pattern is available to purchase in my store  on Ravelry,
on Lovecraft website: link to the pattern
or by clicking on this button:



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Nov 22, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Lotti's Cowl

In October I went to Rhinebeck. While there I found yarn that I wanted to use for this Lotti's Cowl.
In summer I was looking through some magazines and found an add for a fashion company.  I loved the colorful image and wanted to create something similar. I was looking for yarn, and while in Rhinebeck I saw Miss Babs Mad Hatter. It reminded me of that colorful image and I started to hold together three skeins of yarns. The Mad Hatter with two skeins of either white, blacks, and various greys to see what worked best. After some time I decided that I really liked the soft grey of Fleur de Sol and decided to splurge on this yarn.
Miss Babs yarn

This past Friday I CO for the cowl. I have combined two of my previous knitting patterns for Brioche stitch and created a sort of new pattern by using three skeins of DK weight yarn held together.
The two patterns I previously published are:
Calypso Dream Cowl
Brie's Cowl

Here is the pattern that is a combination of the two patterns. In the picture you can see the image from a magazine I used as my inspiration. I don't remember what magazine it was from.
Lotti's Cowl

Lotti's Cowl
written by Stana D. S.

Finished Measurements: 54" (137 cm) circumference x 8.5" (21.5 cm) high.

Yarn: Miss Babs Yowza (100 Superwash Merino Wool; 560 yards / 512 meters per 225 g / 8 oz) 1 hank of Mad Hatter, 2 hanks of Fleur de Sol.

Recommended Needle Size: Circular Needles 29" US 10.5 / 6.5 mm.

Notions: Yarn needle, scissors, stich marker

Abbreviations: 
K = knit
Ktog Sl st YO = knit together slipped stitch and yarn over
P = purl
Ptog Sl st YO = purl together slipped stitch and yarn over
R = round
Sl st = slipped stitch
YO = yarn over

Note: This cowl is knit in brioche stitch in the rounds with yarn held triple.

Gauge: 10 sts & 28 rows = 4" (10 cm) in brioche stitch.

Instructions: 
With the yarn held triple and circular needles Cast on 140 sts, using the long tail cast on. Place stitch marker on the first stitch and begin working in the round.

Set up Round: * K1, Sl st YO; repeat from * around.
R 1: *Sl st YO, Ptog Sl st YO; repeat from * around
R 2: *Ktog Sl st YO, Sl st YO; repeat from * around
R 3 - 60: Repeat Rounds 1 and 2.
Bind off in K1 and P1 pattern, include with the K1 the YO as well.

Finishing: 
Weave in ends, wash and block to measurements.

Nov 8, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Queen of Hearts Dishcloth

photo by Knitpicks
Another of my knitting patterns, Queen of hearts dishcloth was published by Knitpicks.
The pictured sample is done in their Dishie Multi cotton yarn. The pattern is free.

Queen of Hearts Dishcloth


photo by Knitpicks



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Nov 3, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Stingray Hat

Stingray Hat and toy
Last month, I wrote a blog post about the stingrays and why I designed the stingray hat.
Stingrays
and finally today I have published the knitting pattern for the hat.
It is available to purchase in my Ravelry store, soon it will be in my Lovecraft store or you can click on this button:



Since this is a rather fun knit, I have created a promotion code from today until the November 7th midnight of EST. Use the coupon code Stingray when you buy the hat pattern add the toy pattern to your cart and you will receive the toy pattern for free.

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Nov 2, 2019

#WhyIMake

Huggalufs

Last week I have received an email from LoveCraft about creating a blog post answering the question to "Why Do You Make?" By creating this blog post I am entering their competition for Blog Personality of the Year, 2019.

I do not expect to win anything. I know my blog is not one of those famous and fabulous, whose daily readers are in thousands or more, but still the question about why do I continue to create has been on my mind lately.

I am not a well known designer who's patterns are "hot right now" and knitted by many people, but I have been creating all my life. I realize each and every time I think about why do I continue to create that it is for the pure joy knitting brings me.  The minute I take those knitting needles and a skein of yarn I let go of other things, and concentrate on creating one stitch at the time.

I wish I could show what I have achieved to my grandmother. She was the person who taught me how to crochet and knit when I was a little child. At first I preferred to crochet, and embroider, but then when I was about thirteen or fourteen I picked up the knitting needles and started my first sweater. Here is an old photograph of me proudly wearing that first sweater.

My first sweater

 After I finished that first sweater I continued to create many more.
Growing up behind the Iron Curtains gave me the opportunity to be a designer without actually realizing it. We did not have access to many knitting magazines or fashion journals. The limited access to everything encouraged us to make our own clothes instead of going to a store and buy them. My mom and grandmother were really talented seamstresses and created most of my clothes throughout my childhood and teenage years. I tried to sew as well, but I was much better with the knitting needles then with the sewing machine, so I continued to knit sweaters, and other accessories without using knitting patterns. I would draw a picture of what I wanted the sweater to look like and then I would start to play with yarn. I would make a small swatch, calculate the numbers, and then I would knit.

After the Velvet Revolution, and the fall of the Berlin Wall world started to open up. Would you believe that it is thirty years since that wonderful autumn?! I wish I could be back in Europe for the festivities and attend the various celebrations of this anniversary.

Falling in love is a wonderful time. It can make you move across the world. Even though I left my country to live on another continent I took with me my knitting needles and I continued to created. For many years I knitted for joy, and when my child was born I started to knit toys. I knitted various toys, creating them based on my child drawings, other kid's drawings, or simply based on their requests.

Loopy, a monster based on drawing by my child


In March 2011 a friend of mine helped me to start this blog. The link bellow will take you to the very first blog post.
Welcome...

It was about the same time another friend of mine asked me to read and explain to her a knitting pattern she was working from. About the same time I was asked if I could write up patterns for some of my creations. I tried and somehow it made sense to other knitters and they could follow my directions.
It has been an interesting journey ever since.
I created a children's book using my knitted toys and my photography.
See the Monster Al book. I also used Monster Al and his friends for my Thesis project to earn BA in Creative Writing.


Monster Al and his friends


I also managed to collaborate and work with various yarn companies. I have had many of my knitting patterns published in knitting books, and on various websites. As of today there are more than 250 knitting patterns available. Not bad for someone who loves to create with yarn.
I continue to create one stitch at the time, enjoying the knitting process more than writing the knitting patterns.

Scraptastic Scarf and Cowl



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Oct 29, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Voyager Infinity Scarf

photo by Knitpicks


This Voyager Infinity Scarf is another pattern that I created for Knitpicks.
It has been published as a free pattern for their 12 weeks of gifting. The scarf is knit in the rounds, starting with Provisional Cast on, and the BO end is joined to the CO end with Kitchener Stitch for Infinity loop. The scarf uses Knitpicks Capra yarn in five colors.

photo by Knitpicks

The link to the pattern on Knitpicks website is here:
Voyager Infinity Scarf

Link to Ravelry pattern page: Voyager Infinity Scarf

Voyager Infinity Scarf sample I 
Pictured above is my knitted sample using more subtle colors in browns, grey, white, and pink. There are so many different ways to play with this pattern. Pictured bellow is a three color sample, using the Jamaican flag colors. I have knitted this scarf as a special request for someone.

Voyager Infinity Scarf sample II

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Oct 20, 2019

Rhinebeck 2019

It has been two years since my last trip to Rhinebeck sheep and wool festival.
My blog post about that trip is here:
Rhinebeck 2017

It was time to revisit the festival again.

Rhinebeck 2019


The weather could not be more beautiful. Sunny and warm, but still cool enough to wear something knitted. My Rhinebeck sweater was the Voyager Sweater, my first sweater knitting pattern. The progress on the project is here:
Voyager Seater WIP

Voyager Sweater

This year I was invited to a brunch organized by LoveCrafts. It was a wonderful gathering filled with interesting people and crafters. After the brunch it was time to head to Rhinebeck festival.
I met in person with few people I know from online world. I admired the creativity of others and their knitted or crochet items. I browsed a whole variety of yarns. I did not plan to buy anything, but in the end I picked three skeins of Miss Babs yarn. For a while I have a project and a design on my mind and I have been looking for a yarn to use it for this design, and I think I found it in the color combination of the subtle Fleur de Sol and a colorful Mad Hatter. I cannot wait to start this new project.

Yarn

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Oct 8, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Candy Corn Dishcloth

Candy Corn Dishcloth
My latest collaboration with Knitpicks is a fun and fast dishcloth pattern named Candy Corn.
Worked in garter stitch, with simple decreases and slipped stitch for a neat edge.

The pattern is free and available to download from Knitpicks Website:

Candy Corn Dishcloth


photo by Knitpicks


Oct 2, 2019

Stingrays...

 In June 2015 I have published knitting pattern for a stingray toy.

Stella, the stingray
The pattern link is here:
Stella, the stingray

Last week I received a message on Ravelry from someone asking if there is a way to turn my toy into a hat. Sometimes I just love to have a fun and challenge myself to create something different.

This is what I have come up with:
Stingray Hat and Stella, the stingray toy

Yesterday morning I was trying to work on the pattern. Apparently our dog had a different plan for my morning.

WIP 

After a good belly rub, and a hike in the woods, he was ready for some nap time and finally I could work on the pattern. At the moment the pattern is at a test knit stage and at the hands of the TE. 
Hopefully the final pattern will be ready for publishing by the end of this month.

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Sep 22, 2019

Tutorial for Bind Off

The tutorial for the Bind off  I used to join the cast on edge to the bind off edge.
1. Position the cast on edge behind the work, making sure that all the knots are hidden inside, between the two layers of your work.
Step 1
Step 1. The yarn is held behind both layers of your work. With right hand needle pull through the cast on edge.

Step 2
Step 2. Pull the yarn through the cast on edge.


Step 3
Step 3. Pull the yarn through the first stitch on left hand needle.

Step 4
Step 4. Remove the stitch from the left needle.
After the first stitch is on your right hand needle, continue step 1-4 for the second stitch. then continue with step 5.

Step 5
Step 5.  Lift the second stitch over the stitch next to it on your right hand needle.

Step 6
Step 6.  Bind off.

Bind off joining both sides of your work.
Continue with steps 1 - 6 until your reach the end of your work. Cut the yarn, pull through the last stitch and weave in ends.

Scraptastic Cowl

The pattern for the Scraptastic Cowl is here:
Scraptastic Cowl
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Knitting Pattern for Scraptastic Cowl

Scraptastic Scarf and Cowl

Scraptastic Cowl

Last year in September I finished the Scraptastic Infinity Scarf. It took me few years to actually make the scarf long enough to finish it, and I decided to make something smaller still using the small scraps of yarn from other knitting projects.
I probably started to knit the Scraptastic Cowl in January after I had enough tiny scraps and leftovers  of yarn to start the project.
Today is 86F (30 Celsius) and it is gorgeously beautiful early autumn day. Sun is shining, blue sky is perfect and I spent most of my day outside. Now that the sun is setting down and the weather cools down a bit I decided to write the pattern.

Scraptastic Cowl

Scraptastic Cowl
written by Stana D. S.
Scraptastic Cowl

Finished Measurements: My sample is 28" (72 cm)  in diameter and  9.5" (24 cm) high.

Material: Scrap Yarn from other knitting projects, preferably in similar weight. If using thinner yarn such as fingering weight, double the yarn. This is a fantastic project for all those tiny leftovers and small pieces of yarn that otherwise might be thrown out.

Recommended Needle Size: Circular Needles US 7/4.5 mm.

Notions: Yarn needle, scissors.

Abbreviations:
K = Knit
P = Purl
CO = Cast on
BO = Bind Off
St, sts = stitch, stitches

Pattern Notes:
This Scraptastic Cowl is knit in the rounds in double moss stitch pattern, using whatever scraps of yarn you have from other knitting projects. All the ends are conveniently hidden inside this double layered cowl. The CO edge is joined to the BO edge using technique similar to 3 Needle Bind Off.
Another option is to crochet chain through both edges instead of this BO.

Double Moss Stitch Pattern (worked in the round, over multiple of 4 sts):
Rnds 1 - 2: K2, P2.
Rnds 3 - 4: P2, K2.
Repeat Rnds 1 - 4 for the pattern.

Directions:
CO 100 sts. Place the stitch marker, and begin working in the round, being careful not to twist the sts.
Work in the Double Moss Stitch Pattern using the various scraps of yarn in similar weight, connecting the scraps with a knot, and making sure the knots are all on one side.
Work in the pattern until you reach double the length of desired height of the cowl.
Make sure that all of the knots are on one side of your work. Pull the CO edge behind the live stitches on your needle, making sure that all the knots are on the inside of your work.
Start BO by pulling the yarn through the CO edge before the stitch on your needle.
I have created a picture tutorial for this BO technique.

Tutorial for the Bind off.

The pattern for the Scraptastic Infinity Scarf is here:

Scraptastic Infinity Scarf

Scraptastic Infinity Scarf

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Sep 21, 2019

Food KAL

In the past few weeks I was busy picking up fruits and vegetables from our garden and preserve them for the winter. Even though our plum trees produced only two plums, we are having some yellow raspberries and alpine strawberries to snack on and we still are having an abundance of cucumbers. I have been pickling them at least twice a week.
Our friends and family might be receiving homemade pickles as their Christmas presents.

Dog approves

I cannot really share the recipe for my pickling liquid as it seems to be every time slightly different. I am following the recipe my mom gave me when we started to do our own pickling.
She said: "I use water, vinegar, pickling salt, a bit of sugar, spices (All Spice, Black Peppercorn, Bay Leaves, Cinnamon, Clove), try how it tastes and add what you think is needed. In the jar put some mustard seeds, fresh dill, sliced onions, garlic, peppers, carrots and cucumbers. Fill the jars with liquid close the top and boil in a pot with a kitchen towel on the bottom for about twenty minutes."
We have been using her recipe for some time, experimenting with variety of flavors, adding hot peppers to some jars, etc. Each batch that I make tastes slightly different, and that is what I enjoy about it - the unpredictability of what it will taste like when we open a new jar of our pickles.

Apples

I was also thinking about the next KAL for my group on Ravelry. I decided that we should knit anything that is food related. Aprons, dishcloths, knitted food, knitted parts of a food chain...…
The Food related KAL will run from now until the end of October, when I will pick the grand prize winner and some more winners to win other things as well.

To start the KAL I am offering  a 25% discount on many of my food related knitting patterns. The coupon code is valid until September 25th midnight EST.

Bowls

Use the coupon code Food to receive the discount.

Joint the fun and a chance to win my group Stana's critters etc on Ravelry.

photo by Knitpicks
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Sep 17, 2019

Knitting Patern for Golden Hour Fair Isle Scarf

Yarn 
In June I got to play with yarn. I had submitted an idea for a Fair Isle Scarf and it was accepted by I Like Knitting magazine. I received eleven skeins of yarn from Cascade Yarns company and I took them with me on my vacation. I was playing with the colors, while creating the pattern for the Golden Hour Fair Isle Scarf. Since I was on my vacation I had more time to knit than usually, and I finished the scarf in less than a week. I love the endless possibility of playing with the colors and creating a one of a kind scarf or just follow the direction and make the scarf as pictured in the sample.

Golden Hour Fair Isle Scarf
The pattern is part of the October issue of I Like Knitting Magazine.
Link here

photo by I Like Knitting
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Aug 31, 2019

Knitting Pattern for Apple Dishloth

photo by Knitpicks
Another of my dishcloth pattern was published by Knitpicks.

The pattern is free, and you can get the pattern on Knitpicks website, here is the link to the pattern:

Apple Dishcloth


I was working on this pattern last fall. Sometimes it takes a while from the time I work on a pattern before it is finally published.  Here is the sample I knitted while I was working on the pattern.

Apple dishcloth
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Fruits of our labor

Plum tree blooms

All my life I had an access to fresh fruits and vegetables. I know the difference of taste between fruits and vegetables bought from a store and freshly picked from the garden. I had learn how much work it requires to grow the fruits and vegetables.

One side of my family were farmers. Even though their land was confiscated by the communist party during the totalitarian regime, their were allowed to have a small plot of land near by their house that they were allowed to live in. As a child I remember to visit my grandparents and being able to pick fresh fruits of the trees, or vegetables from the small garden. I thought it was normal for everyone to have this opportunity.

I do not want to bore you with my family history. When I had my child, I wanted to offer the  opportunity to try fresh fruits and vegetables. Our small garden is nothing in comparison with what my grandparents and parents had, but it let my child experience the process of growing up your own fruits and vegetables.

Two years ago we planted two plum trees. This year the plum trees bloomed wonderfully. I was looking forward to have some plums. Then the June drop happened and the green little plums disappeared, except for two. I keep an eye on these two plums and check on them frequently.

Plum I

Plum II



Not all of our gardening attempts are as bad as our plum trees. We had plenty of fruits from our berry bushes and our cucumbers and beets are doing fine as well. I have been rather busy with preserving some of the vegetables for later. Therefore my knitting time has been rather limited and my progress on various projects has been slow. This weekend I will be doing another batch of pickled cucumbers and some sauerkraut as well.

Berries

Pickling 
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