This is a long one so thanks for reading (or skimming). I have a lot to say this week.
I want to tell you about an experience I had with my knitting today. Months and months ago I embarked on a scrappy knitting journey inspired by some truly lovely knitters and the most beautiful and pleasant knitting needles on earth. I’ve struggled with how to describe this to all of you because I want you all to give it a try in some form or other and have the same experience I did in the worst way. So with that being said, here it goes. Thanks for bearing with me as I describe the scrappy projects in order as they occurred.
There is a list with all of the links at the end.
If you follow me on Instagram on @susanbanderson, I often talk about Kate of The Last Homely House as a source of inspiration. She has inspired me in so many creative ways, including my quilting obsession of late.
She started a mitered square blanket that struck me as a comforting project for the moment. Paula Emons-Fuessle of the Knitting Pipeline had made an enormous blanket like this years ago that I loved but for some reason Kate's blanket got me to actually cast on.
Kate used a free pattern or tutorial from a website called The Knitting Squirrel. The blanket is knit in one piece by picking up the squares and the ends are woven in as you go. I decided to start one, a lap-size blanket, in leftover Home Worsted yarn, using the Knitting Squirrel’s instructions with a US size 7 needle at 5 stitches per inch for gauge. I pulled out a big basket of leftovers I have been collecting for the past almost five years from Barrett Wool Co. The Home yarn lines are interesting and so fun because the colors all go so well together that you don’t have to even think about it when grabbing the next color in line, the more random the better!
My next move was to purchase the most beautiful little set of straight needles on earth (and I mean that!). The blanket (or coasters) are knit in garter stitch, working back and forth. I ordered a set of Signature Needle Arts straights, US size 7 / 4.5mm, 7-inch, with the bell finial which is smooth and round, and elegant. These needles elevated my mitered blanket knitting experience to no end. What a complete joy to pair these gorgeous needles with the squishiest Home Worsted Weight yarn. As the blanket grew quickly on my needles, the colors, the ease of it all, the simplicity… it seemed effortless. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a better experience with a knitting project. I’ve never been as sorry to see a project end and I will start a second blanket very soon.
Once the blanket was getting a little bigger, I ran across the sweetest bonnet pattern by Fox & Folk called the Sawtooth Quilt Bonnet. I was charmed! I made the bonnet for my granddaughter to be, at the time, in Wisconsin Woolen Spun Fingering in the Blush and Bay Leaf colorways. The bonnet begins by making the separate sawtooth quilt square and all I could think of is how cool a sawtooth square would look in my blanket. For my blanket square version, I used the Home Worsted Weight yarn, the US 7 Signature Needles and I made the smallest size in the bonnet pattern. This square fits perfectly in with the squares in my blanket. For this separate square, I did have to stitch it into the existing quilt using the ends which was very simple to do. In order to make your own Sawtooth Quilt square or coaster, you’ll need to purchase the pattern linked below directly from Fox & Folk. I made sure to have permission to include it in my quilt, so thank you to Fox & Folk.
The next quilt-inspired idea I had was to make a few log cabin squares to throw into the mix. I have made a step-by-step tutorial Journal post about how to make a log cabin square to fit your blanket. These, too, have to be stitched into the blanket. These turned out so adorable and again, I used my super sleek and lovely Signature Needle Arts needles to create these fun and colorful squares.
Blanket Information: You can use our Sampler Kits to get started or you can use scraps or leftovers of worsted weight yarn. The blanket ended up with 6 squares for width and 7 squares for length, so 42 squares in total, measuring about 32-inches by 36-inches. It is a good lap-size or baby blanket. It weighs 540 grams in total. One mitered square, log cabin square, or sawtooth square weighs about 18 grams using the worsted weight yarn. I added the border by picking up stitches along each edge, one side at a time as you do for the log cabin, and working 8 rows of garter for each edge or 4 garter ridges and then binding off. I used a different color for each edge but you could also use the same color all around for more of a framing of the blanket.
Coaster Information: Now, I think this blanket is a scrappy masterpiece and I can’t believe someone wouldn’t want to make one of their own but I know some may not. So I carried on and made a bunch of colorful coasters out of the log cabin squares and the sawtooth quilt squares. I put a backing on each square with some gray wool felt I had on hand. After blocking the squares I just cut the felt to match and used a sewing thread and needle to attach the felt to the back. I LOVE these coasters and a stack or two of these make the sweetest gifts. Everyone loves them. I decided to go back and make a few granny square coasters to boot. I made these a couple of years ago with our Woolens yarn and gave them all away. Using the Home Worsted and the tried and true free Granny Square tutorial from Purl Soho (linked below) makes them such a breeze. I used a size 7 / 4.5mm crochet hook and it worked well. As a tip with the wool felt, I always run it through the washing machine and dryer to make it softer before using it.
I know this is getting long so thanks for hanging in there. Can you see and feel how much fun I’ve been having? I hope so. Hang on for one more thing!
Lastly, I recently needed to make a baby hat for a special little guy and I went directly to my go-to baby hat pattern out of Itty-Bitty Hats that was originally written almost 20 years ago at this point. I made lots of improvements to this pattern recently as I have knitted this hat countless times for friends babies, my granddaughter, nieces and nephews babies, etc. Basically, I’ll knit this hat for anyone that comes across my path who is a baby! The pattern in the book lacks a bit of clarity when it comes to the pointed top and a few other spots. I wanted to rewrite this pattern from absolute top to bottom in a clearer way that incorporates the changes and improvements I've made. So finally here it is, the brand new Stripey Point Hat pattern.
Stripey Point Hat information: The new and improved Stripey Point Hat pattern is a complete winner and I guarantee anyone who receives this hat as a baby gift will not get over how cute it is. You will be the hit of the baby shower, to say the least. The pattern is available on Ravelry and right here on our BWC pattern page (links below). The hat uses Home Worsted Weight yarn in as many colors as you like and offers sizes from 0-3 months up to toddler or small child.
Here are all of the project links I described above:
The Knitting Squirrel’s Mitered Blanket Instructions (use a US size 7 / 4.5mm needle for the Home Worsted weight)
The Sawtooth Quilt Bonnet pattern by Fox & Folk (for the square for the blanket make the smallest size bonnet square with the US size 7 / 4.5mm needles)
My Log Cabin tutorial on the BWC Journal free recipe.
Granny Square tutorial on Purl Soho (use a size 7 / 4.5mm crochet hook for the Home Worsted Weight yarn)
The Stripey Point Hat
Click here for Ravelry.
Click here for the BWC Pattern page.
If you are knitting a blanket or coasters, I’d love to see how you’re doing. Please use #BWCsamplerkit on Instagram so we can all follow along! For the Stripey Point Hat let's use just that, #stripeypointhat for sharing. Thanks for sticking with me to the end.