Monday, January 31, 2011

Bernat's Fast Cowl Patterns

I have noticed lately that cowls are very much in style. Scarves are popular too, but cowls are easier to wear. No need to tuck in any ends when you wear them. And they are very quick to make! Not much yarn either. Great for a fast, fun project. And you can wear them every day this time of year. Love it!

Here are some nice cowl patterns I've found on the Bernat Yarn website.

Bernat Yarn Cowl Patterns:

Crocheted Alpaca Cluster Cowl
Bernat's "Alpaca Natural Blends" yarn is so soft!
Bernat Cluster Cowl Bernat Alpaca Yarn

Knitted Mosaic Cowl
I would love to see this cowl made with each of the beautiful colors of Bernat "Mosaic" yarn.
Bernat Mosaic Cowl Bernat Mosaic Yarn Colors

Crochet Alpaca Hooded Cowl
Bernat Crochet Alpaca Hooded Cowl Bernat Alpaca Yarn

Knitted Roving "Last Minute" Cowl
I really love the look of this one, because of the pretty cables. And the "Roving" yarn is very thick, so this would be SUPER fast to knit!
Bernat Knitted Roving Last Minute Cowl Bernat Roving Yarn

Crocheted Softee Chunky Neckwarmer
This neckwarmer looks so classy! And would be perfect to show off some fancy buttons. It could be made with any of Bernat's "bulky" yarns.
Bernat Crochet Softee Chunky Neckwarmer Bernat Bulky Yarns

I want to make some cowls for myself, my friends, and some family members. Now, I just need to decide which ones I like best!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hailey's Blanket Complete!

Yippee! Break out the bubbly! Time to celebrate the completion of Hailey's handknitted blanket. :)

Hailey's Blanket Complete

It took over a year to knit this blanket. I designed it as I went along, just making squares with Bernat Softee Chunky yarn in the colors Fern, Med Sea Green, Pale Antique Rose, and Lavender. Using size 10 1/2 knitting needles, I cast on 30 stitches to knit each square. I stopped knitting when each square was "square". I made some of them in garter stitch, a couple in seed stitch, and 5 in stockinette. I drew a little diagram on a piece of paper, to help me see when I had enough squares, and to keep my choice of colors symmetrical. (I'm OCD about things being in symmetry.) :P

There are lots of re-writes on my diagram, because I changed my mind a lot as I went along. I even made two extra squares without even realizing it! I used two colors of yarn in a slip stitch pattern called "Partridge Eye" to knit those.
2 Color Square Squares Done

As it turned out, I didn't like the way they looked with the blanket, so I'm glad they were extras!

The duplicate stitch embroidery was done with the same yarn, using a leaflet called "A Beginner's Guide to Duplicate Stitch" by Hickory Hollow. I did the letters for Hailey's name on my own. Part of the rose design was stitched with Bernat Baby Coordinates Chunky in "Cosy Rosy".

Lots of counting and planning was involved with the embroidery layout. Again, my OCD was hard at work. I even went so far as to put the flower design in my computer's Paint program, then clicking "reverse image" to get the leaves on opposite sides for the blanket. It would have driven me crazy for the leaves to be on the same sides. ACK!

It's good that I have a hobby that needs this kind of detail work. Otherwise, I'd be knit-picking my husband to death. (Maybe that's why he always encourages me to knit? Hmmmmmmm.)

Anyway, back to my original story.....
When I was satisfied with all the embroidery, I laid it out to see how it fit together. Nice!
Hailey's Blanket - Ready to Seam

Next, I just needed to decide how to seam it all together. Usually, I seam back and forth on the right side, kind of like mattress stitch. But, this time, I went with a simple whipstitch....again on the right side, using lavender yarn all around. It turned out great!

Here's a close view of the center square, so you can see how the seaming looks:
Hailey Square

When all the squares were seamed together, I got started on the border. First, I used single crochet in "Lavender" all around. Next, I switched to "Pale Antique Rose", and went up one side. Then, I noticed that I was almost out of that color, so I changed to Bernat Baby Coordinates Chunky in "Cosy Rosy" for the top, then back to the Softee Chunky in "Pale Antique Rose" for the other long side, then back to "Cosy Rosy" for the bottom.

After that, I did a double crochet border all around in "Med Sea Green". Then, I switched to "Fern" and did single crochet. My last section of the border was done with the "Lavender" yarn, in a simple shell stitch. I don't know if it's the correct way to do a shell stitch, but I did it anyway. The stitch repeat for the shell is this: *SC, chain 1, skip next stitch, 3 DC in following stitch, chain 1, skip next stitch*. I settled on that after trying a few different things.

Edging at Heart Square

Rose Square with Edging

I hope Hailey likes her new blanket. I know I do!
Hailey Blanket Complete 3

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Finishing up a Blanket for Hailey

For the past year and a half, I've been working on a blanket for my step-granddaughter, Hailey. She asked for a warm blanket, made with purple and green yarns. I'm using Bernat Softee Chunky in Fern Green, Medium Sea Green, Lavender, and Pale Antique Rose. Been making it up as I go along, just making odd squares.

I finally had enough squares ready last week.
Squares Done

Next, I decided to add some duplicate stitch embroidery on the stockinette squares. I'm using a leaflet by Hickory Hollow, called "A Beginner's Guide to Duplicate Stitch" for the heart and the flower designs.
Duplicate Stitch Flower

After laying out all the squares, I've decided to not use the two color "woven-look" squares, because they just don't work with the design. I had already knit two pink seed stitch squares, so I'm using them instead. Maybe I'll make a pillow with the two leftover squares. We'll see.
Pink Seed Stitch Square

My duplicate stitch embroidery ws complete, and I really loved the way it was looking! Now, I just needed to seam it all together.
Ready to Seam

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I'm a forum moderator and blogger for Spinrite Yarns (, and I spend WAY too much time there. :D You can also find me on the Knitting Help Forum occasionally