Friday, April 22, 2016

EARTH DAY Pattern SALE

Today ONLY, all my PDF Knit patterns are on sale for $2.50 (regular $4.95) in honor of Earth Day. Sale is occurring in both my Etsy and Craftsy stores. No coupon code required, as prices have already been lowered to reflect the sale price. Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Bag Making: Spring Market 2016

So this week I got to make a bag (or I should say clutch) for the Spring 2016 International Quilt Market in Utah! I believe this is my fourth time making a Swoon bag to be displayed at the market and it's always fun to get to play with some pretty fabrics from a new line and to keep an eye out for it in pictures from the market scenes that blow up social media.

So for this market, I made the Dakota Tablet Clutch by Swoon (of course Swoon! I haven't made a non-Swoon bag for years now!). Sadly, this was my first time making Dakota and I have no idea why I hadn't made her before! Isn't she darling???


The fabrics I was sent to make her with are Free Spirit Fabrics from their Noteworthy line. I feel like they are perfect for a spring Dakota!


As the title of the pattern implies, this is a clutch designed to hold your tablets. The original size of the pattern pieces create a final clutch measuring 10" tall by 8" wide, but you can also print the pattern at a smaller scale for a snugger fit for smaller tablets. I made the original size and you can see my kindle peeking out above has more than enough room.  


This pattern is very beginner friendly, but it is also a highly gratifying project for the experienced bag maker who wants to take a break from their normal, more complex bags for some fun, more instant gratification. And though it is an easier design, Alicia's (Swoon's designer) brilliant, unique style still shines though with the optional contrasting exterior overlay and the functional back handle. Plenty of interfacing is required, as well, to safely cushion your tablet. 
 

Well have I convinced you yet to make her???  If not, I should add that this pattern is FREE!!! Seriously, go pick her up and make one today, either for yourself or as a gift. They would make an excellent graduation gift, which is coming up soon! Happy Sewing all and if you are headed to the quilt market, be on the lookout for Dakota! :)

*This blog post contains affiliate links. 



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pom-Pom Tutorial

So I added a pom-pom to my latest pattern in the works: The Striped Cable Slouchy. This is my third hat pattern and the first one that I thought "Hey, a pom-pom might add a fun touch, especially for the smaller sizes."


When I went to look up some quick pom-pom tutorials to refresh my mind on how to make them, I realized there are a thousand different tutorials out there. There are ones using washers (which is how I remember my mom taught me), there were ones using forks (yes, forks and very clever), etc.

Because I didn't have any washers the size I needed (and because that method seems to take FOREVER) and because I knew the forks wouldn't give me the width I wanted, I finally decided to use a plain old piece of cardboard to create my pom-pom (this is definitely not an original concept I invented). Here is a quick tutorial (explanation) of how I made the pom-pom for the child size version of the Striped Cable Slouchy.


Materials

Cardboard
Worsted Weight Yarn of choice (the amount will depend on how thick you want to make it)
Scissors
Tapestry or Yarn Needle


Instructions

To begin, take your cardboard and cut a square the size you want the finished width of your pom-pom to be. For this pom-pom, I cut a 3"x3" square, which means my finished pom-pom would be 3" wide (or 3" in diameter). 


Next, take your yarn and begin to wrap it around the cardboard, from top to bottom. You will need to hold the first strand in place until you have wrapped enough yarn around to secure it. 


Continue to wrap the yarn around the cardboard until you get the thickness you desire (the thicker it is, the fuller the pom-pom will be). Be sure not to wrap it so tight that you will not be able to slip it off afterwards (which you will be doing). I wrapped mine until it was about 1/2 to 3/4" thick (on each side) in the middle and covered about 1" to 1.25" of the cardboard.


Once you have made your final wrap, gently slip the yarn off the cardboard, trying not to shift anything.


Take a long strand of the same colored yarn (around 16" or more) and tie it around the middle of your yarn bundle.


You want to tie it tight. I like to tie it tight once and then wrap it around again and pull a little tighter before double knotting it. Make sure you don't pull so tight that the yarn breaks (yes it can happen). Make sure to leave the tie strands long so you can use them to attach it to the top of your hat.Finally, take your scissors and cut the loops on both ends.


Fluff your pom-pom and trim around it if you see any uneven or long ends (but don't cut the two strands of your tie). You will have some fun yarn snow to sweep up! :)


Once you are done giving your pom-pom a fresh trim, use your tapestry needle to attach it to the top of your hat.



You are finished! Now sit back and admire your work! :)


Swoon Vintage Collection: Meet Harriet, the Expandable Tote

Just when you think the lovely mastermind Alicia has topped the charts with her bag design and its impossible to go any higher, she comes out with a new one that steals the show once more. And so she has done again with Harriet the second to the last addition to the Swoon Vintage Collection. I actually made this bag back in January but am just now getting ready to post about her.

Harriet is a brilliantly designed expandable tote! Check out her side zippers, which are both fashionable and functional in my opinion.

And these side zippers may look intimidating but I can assure Alicia walks you through them step-by-step. Harriet also has an interior zipper and a magnetic snap flap closure on top.

I have been toting Harriet around with me for months now. She is definitely a keeper! Be sure to check her out now and the rest of the Swoon Vintage Collection.

*This post contains affiliate links.




Saturday, March 19, 2016

Free Knit Pattern: The Spring Flower Knitted Headband

Last week, our local Fred Meyer's had a killer yarn sale, and naturally, I had to stock up on some "essentials." If not for my mother-in-law alerting me to this amazing sale, I would have completely missed it! So a big thank you to her for saving the day! My husband was especially thankful to her for aiding in my growing yarn collection.... ;)

Anyways, as I was about to leave with my cart load of yarn, I spied some pastel-sparkly goodness at the end of the aisle, which turned out to be Red Heart's Boutique Twilight Yarn in Pixie (a perfect name for the sparkly confection). It instantly made me think of Easter/Spring and my two little nieces who I know will love the colors. Naturally, I put two skeins in my cart, planning to make them something out of it for Easter. What that something was, I wasn't sure of until a few days ago when I decided to make them a knitted headband with a crocheted flower. I am calling it the Spring Flower Knitted Headband.

Spring Flower Headband


It's a very simple and equally quick project, so I thought I would share the little pattern/tutorial with you here in case you wanted to whip one up for your little pixies just in time for Easter.

Side Note: The headband is knitted and the flower is crocheted.

Materials

~US 15 (10.00 mm) Size Knitting Needles

~US M (9.00 mm) Crochet Hook 

~(1) Ball of Red Heart Boutique Twilight Yarn in Pixie (You will be able to make around 4 or more with one ball)

~ A small amount of another coordinating Super Bulky yarn for the flower petals (I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick-Fisherman)

~Tapestry/Yarn Needle

~Scissors 

The Necessary Goods

Gauge

2.5 st. = 1", 4 rows (garter stitch) = 1"

Finished Dimensions

Approximately 2" wide and 12.5" in circumference (unstretched)

Headband Instructions

With size US 15 needles and Pixie yarn, cast on 5 stitches. (I use the long tail cast on method)

Row 1: Knit across

Row 2: Knit across

Repeat rows 1 & 2 (working in garter stitch-a.k.a. knitting every row) until piece measures approximately 12.5" long. The content of this yarn includes nylon, which makes it really stretchy. This size can stretch to fit snugly around my head. You may want to make it shorter for babies or small toddlers. If you can, knit to the length you think it should be and then test it out by wrapping it around the recipients head before casting off. Increase or decrease as necessary.

Cast off.

Bring the cast on and cast off edges together and sew the two ends to join and create your headband loop. Weave in ends.

The headband portion is finished! :)

Flower Instructions

To begin, take your Pixie yarn and your M crochet hook and create a magic circle. If you are unfamiliar with this, google "How to create a magic circle" and you will find some excellent YouTube videos that demonstrate this method. Basically, the magic circle helps eliminate or minimize the gap in the center of your starting round that tends to exist when creating a loop with the chain method. Alternatively, you can chain 3 and join the last chain to the first with a slip stitch to create a circle to work in. I tried this method as well and there was no noticeable gap. You can proceed below with either method.

Round 1: In the magic circle (or chain 3 circle), chain (ch) 1, make 3 single crochets (sc); join with slip stitch to first sc. (3 single crochets made)

Round 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in first sc and in each sc around; join with slip stitch to first sc. Finish Off but leave a long strand (to attach flower to headband later). This is the flower center. (6 single crochets made)

Round 3 (Petals): Join contrast yarn with slip stitch to first sc of the last round, ch 2, 1 treble crochet (tr), ch 2, slip stitch in same stitch. Slip stitch, ch2, 1 tr, ch 2, slip st. in next sc and in each sc around. Join with slip stitch to first slip stitch. Finish off. (6 petals made)

Assembly

Lay the headband piece down with the seam centered in the back. Position the flower on the front of the headband. I like to attach the flower off to the side of the front's center. (See picture below for placement)

Flower Placement

Using your tapestry needle and the Pixie yarn, sew the flower to the band. For this headband, I attached the flower by going up through the headband into the flower, poking my needle up between round two (the final round of the center) and round 3 (the petals), pulling the yarn up through.

Bringing the yarn needle between the center and petals.

Then I pushed the yarn back through between round 2 and round 1 and through the headband.

Bringing the yarn needle back down between rounds 2 and 3.

I continued in this way around the center circle until I felt it was secure. The sewn stitches should blend right in with the center, making them invisible and keeping things pretty! :) Fasten Off. Weave in all ends! You are finished!! I will update this post later with pictures of my nieces wearing their Spring Flower Headbands, but since they are an Easter present, they will have to wait. :)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I would LOVE to see your headbands!! Please share them here or on Instagram using #accentsbymememae 

Happy Knitting (and Crocheting)!!! :)




Monday, March 7, 2016

Patterns, Patterns, Patterns...

I was quiet all last month, due to two colds, other crazy life happenings, and pattern designing! Up-to-date, I now have 5 patterns listed, and I am currently drafting pattern number 6! All 5 completed patterns are available on Etsy and Craftsy. I offer a bundle discount listing on Etsy. Today, I finally started setting up my account and pattern store on Ravelry! Currently, only the Button Up Cowl and The Striped Infinity Scarf are available there, but I am working to get the rest listed.

Here is a quick preview of the five patterns now available.

The Striped Infinity Scarf


The Cozy Cable Knitted Warmer

The Button Up Knitted Warmer


The Button Up Cowl

The Roll-o Hat

And that's the line up! :) More patterns coming soon! Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Second Pattern Release: The Cozy Cable Knitted Warmer

I released my second pattern yesterday: The Cozy Cable Knitted Warmer. For over a year, I have been selling these in my shop and have always received positive feedback from happy customers. I actually released this pattern at the request of one of those happy customers. 


I only sell one size in my shop and it fits most individuals from the ages of 5 up to adults. However, for the pattern, I included directions for a toddler/child size, which I recommend for 2-4 year olds or any younger petite child.
 

The image above shows my 3.5-year-old niece modeling the toddler/child size and the image below shows my five-year-old niece modeling the adult size. 

 

The cozy cable knitted warmer can also be worn as a small neck warmer. Some of my customers have started wearing theirs this way and they love how soft and cozy it feels.


This is an intermediate level pattern, due to the cabeling required, but the cabeling is basic and nothing to fear. This warmer makes for a quick project. I can make one in just a little over an hour. You might find yourself making one for every day of the week or for all your family and friends.


The pattern is available on etsy or craftsy! If you make one, please share! I would love to see your work!