Sarah Mayland

Archive for the ‘Knitting/Crocheting’ Category

Instant Gratification I-Cord Necklace

In Knitting/Crocheting, Patterns on 05/07/2011 at 21:19

Mother’s day is tomorrow, and I’m dreadfully poor.  Thankfully, I found some lovely metallic gold yarn that I had laying around and decided to whip up a little something.

this is the completed necklace


  • one skein Adrienne Vittadini Francesca in Gold (please note that this yarn is now discontinued, but can be found in some places online — substitute any DK or light worsted weight yarn of your choice) (please note that you don’t need a whole skein for this — one skein will make quite a few necklaces)
  • two double-pointed needles (size 6)
  • two stitch markers
  • a tapestry needle

Gauge:  the gauge here is not really important

To make the necklace:

CO 4 sts.  Knit 1 row. When finishing the row DO NOT TURN the work.  Slide the stitches back to the other side of the double-pointed needle and knit the next row, always working on the Right Side.  Continue doing this until the I-Cord measures 32″.  Cut the yarn leaving a long tail. Thread the tail in the tapestry needle and weave through the remaining stitches.  Pull to gather the stitches and fasted securely.

Measure 8″ from each end and place markers.  Use the tails at the end to sew the ends of the I-cord to the places that the markers are.  You should have two loops at the end of the cord.  Weave in ends and cut off the remainder of the tail.  Wear as shown above.

measure 8" from each end and place markers


Painted Earlap Stencil Tutorial

In Knitting/Crocheting, Patterns on 03/25/2011 at 15:10

And I’m back!  I’m on spring break at school, and spent most of this week working on English assignments.  But I did promise some tutorials, and today I’m going to show you how to stencil your earflap hat.  Thank you to all those on Ravelry who have left me such nice comments on the hat!

So let’s get started:

You will need a piece of posterboard approx 20×30″.  A standard piece that costs a dollar at the local drugstore will do just fine.  Make sure you don’t get something too thick because you need something that’s a little flexible, and you don’t want to be cutting this thing till you’re 92. 
You will also need and x-acto knife, utility knife, or box cutter, a pen or pencil to mark where to cut your squares as well as to draw the stencil, and a ruler or other straightedge.  These items are needed to make the stencil itself.  To paint the stencil you will need some straight pins (aka common pins)  acrylic paint in any color of your choice and a medium-sized flat-tip brush. 

These are some of the things you'll need to make your stencil

 The next thing to do is to cut your piece of posterboard into squares that are 6×6″.  Obviously you can make any size you choose, but I find that the 6″ squares are really good for an adult-sized hat.  A standard piece of posterboard should yield about 12 of these squares.

After you have cut your squares, the next thing you can do is to plan out your stencil design.  I actually drew mine first with black pen so I could make changes as needed without it showing up too much. When you have drawn the design that you want to use for your stencil, trace over it in a color that contrasts your posterboard, so that you don’t have to strain your eyes when you’re cutting the stencil out.  When designing your stencil, there are a few things to consider: straight lines are much easier to cut than curved lines, and large pieces are much easier to cut than small ones. A bunch of little circles (like I did in mine) are a HUGE pain in the neck. Trace over your design in a color that contrasts the posterboard. After your stencil is drawn up, you are ready to cut it out! Carefully cut out your design using your x-acto knife, utility knife, or box-cutter. It is best to cut along the outer edge of your lines so that more space can be filled by the paint. Don’t rush this part — you don’t want to mess up your stencil or hurt yourself! The stencil is now cut out and ready to paint!

A standard piece of posterboard should give you 12 6" squares

Now that your stencil is cut out, you are ready to paint.  If you are painting an earflap hat, I could recommend laying the hat flat and pinning the stencil down onto the hat.  If you are painting something without earflaps, you should be okay to put the hat on a styrofoam head and pin the stencil onto the hat while it’s on the head.  When you pin, make sure you pin some of the spaces in the middle of the stencil so that the stencil doesn’t pop up while you are painting and mess up your design.  Better to have too many pins than too few. 

Make sure you pin the stencil to the hat in several places to keep the stencil from slipping

Now we paint.  Put some acrylic paint (the kind to paint an artist’s canvas, not the craft acrylic that you can use to paint ceramics) on a plate.  The brush you use should be completely dry.  Don’t water your brush or the paint, as that will make it absorb into the yarn rather than stay on top of it and give you a nice, deep color.  Take your time and slowly paint in all the spaces in your stencil.  Let dry for a minute or two and do a second coat if you feel it’s necessary.  Un-pin the stencil and slowly peel it away from your hat. Let the paint dry overnight.  That’s longer than it needs to dry, but always better to be safe than sorry.  Once it is dry, you can put your hat in the washing machine, and the paint won’t come off.   (Please only machine wash if your hat is NOT made of a fiber that will felt!)
This is the finished hat. Give it a while to dry and don’t be afraid to machine-wash it!

I hope this tutorial helps!  Please leave me any comments here or on Ravelry if you have any questions or suggestions about how to make this tutorial better (it’s my first tutorial, so any suggestions are very very welcome!)  And please, if you try this, post pics on Ravelry, or email them to me at and I will post them if you would like.  I’m really interested to see everyone’s ideas. 

Newly Finished…

In Knitting/Crocheting, Patterns on 01/11/2011 at 19:24

Yes I know I have made futile promises in regards to new patterns, new items for my ETSY shop, and tutorials, and alas, I suck because I am prepared with none of the above.  But I have finished a couple things that I wanted to get out of the way before I started school yesterday.

I signed up for 4 classes this semester — 2 online and 2 traditional, and was surprised to find out that one of my online classes is an 8-week accelerated course, so be prepared to hear (or more appropriately, see) very little from me for a while (or at least for the next week until I get my Ritalin and can get my horrible ADD under control).

But, before this mayhem began, I managed to finish a sweater (in 5 days!) and make a dinosaur hat that had been promised to one of my friends for about 3 months. 

The sweater was the Leyfi Pullover designed by Romi Hill, Interweave Knits Fall 2010.  I LOVE this sweater, and chose to do  mine in black and white rather than green and white (actually it was my husband’s choice — he thinks I look great in black).  The yarn I used was Nashua Creative Focus, which I think is a really nice wool, and then used a standard cotton crochet thread doubled with it. 

Leyfi Pullover

Please excuse the ridiculously horrible photo quality, as one of my friends took this picture with her iPhone.  My one complaint about my choice of color combo is that it’s really difficult to see the lace pattern — and the lace pattern is gorgeous.  I think I will definitely make this again.  It was an easy, quick project, and quite a pleasure to make.

My second adventure was to make a dinosaur hat for my friend that works at the store next-door to mine at the mall.  For the hat base, I used my Ridiculously Easy Beanie pattern (as I always do for hat bases…because it’s so ridiculously easy).  For the spikes on top of the head, I knit a diamond shape, casting on 3 sts, increasing 2 sts every other row by picking up a loop from the row below it until I had 15 sts, and then decreasing 2 sts every other row and binding off when I had 3 sts again.  The were worked in stockinette stitch, so every knit row was increased or decreased and the wrong-side rows were purled.  I sewed the middle of the spike down flat against the hat base, and then folded the sides of the spike up and sewed them together.  I think it turned out really well, and my friend certainly liked it.
I will get more fun stuff up here for everyone to do as soon as I can.  I really want to open my ETSY  store ASAP, and I’m still throwing around a lot of ideas for what exactly is going to be in there.  Wish me luck.  In the meantime, I wish you all happy crafting and I will be back soon.  Time to study!!

Ridiculously Easy Felted Cloche

In Knitting/Crocheting, Patterns on 12/03/2010 at 02:39

This is yet another variation on my Ridiculously Easy Beanie  pattern.  This is the same shape as the un-felted cloche, but this one is felted (hence the name). 

Acrylic and other synthetic yarns will not felt.  Use a trusty wool.  I have not tried to felt alpaca, but I’m sure it works too.  You need a lot of agitation and some soap to make an object felt.  Everyone does things differently, but I find that I get the best results when I throw the piece in a washing machine on hot or warm water, fast spin cycle, and put a towel in with it so it has something to rub up against.  I prefer to have no stitch definition whatsoever after the felting is done, so I sometimes have to run it in the machine for 2 or 3 wash cycles.  Also, your piece will shrink a good bit when you felt (to about 2/3 of its original size).  So for any felted project, ch stitch or cast on 1 1/2 the number of stitches that it should actually be so that when it felts it will be its normal size.

The felted cloche is a really great piece to wear in the winter.  It is very soft and strong, and unbelieveably warm.  Also, because it is felted you can cut out shapes without the yarn coming unraveled.  I would recommend washing it one more time after you cut it so the edges are felted all the way through.

To make the Cloche”

Materials: 1 Skein Paton’s Classic Wool in color of choice (or any other worsted weight 100% wool) ACRYLIC/WOOL BLENDS WILL NOT FELT!! (I learned this the hard way), Size H Crochet Hook

ch 90 sts, join to form a ring.
sc 1 st in each chain st, continuing in the round
work 23 more rows (rounds — when I say rows I mean rounds) even
row 25: sc 14 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x around the hat
row 26: work even
row 27: sc 13 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x around the hat
row 28: sc 12 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 29: work even
row 30: sc 11 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 31: sc 10 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 32: sc 9 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 33: work even
row 34: sc 8 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 35: sc 7 sts, skip 1 st. repeat 6x.
row 36: sc 6 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 37: sc 5 sts, skip 1 st. repeat 6x.
row 38: word even
row 39: sc 4 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 40: sc 3 sts, skip 1 st. repeat 6x.
row 41: sc 2 sts, skip 1 st.  repeat 6x.
row 42: sc in every other st.

repeat row 42 until hat is closed.  knot the yarn, and cut off.

for the brim:

starting at the bottom of the hat, sc 1 st in every original ch st.
brim row 1: sc 1 st in first 14 sts.  2 sc in next st.  repeat 6x.
brim row 2: work even
brim row 3: work even
brim row 4: sc 1 st in first 11 sts.  2 sc in next st.  repeat 8x.
brim rows 5-8: work even.

fasten off. 
don’t bother weaving in your ends because you are going to felt the  hat so you can just cut off the ends afterwards without fear of unraveling.  don’t cut the ends off before you felt or your hat might come unstitched in the wash.

throw it in the washing machine a few times until felted as desired.

This is the front of the cloche

on my hat, i cut the shape into a point at the nape of the neck — not triangular but kind of curved.  using the scrap felt, i cut out a circle as big as i could get, and put it at the end of the point, and sewed a big button on top.  do whatever tickles your fancy.

This is a view of the cloche from the side

This is the back of the cloche

This is the detail of the back of the cloche

Pattern — Ridiculously Easy Earflap Hat

In Knitting/Crocheting, Patterns on 11/14/2010 at 19:06

This is another variation on my Ridiculously Easy Beanie, which you will need to use as your base to complete this hat.

The earflaps are SUPER-RIDICULOUSLY easy.  This is a great project for a beginner, and the magic comes in the embellishments.

This is my earflap hat. I embellished with some acrylic paint in a stencilled design.

To make the hat:
ch 66, connect to form a large ring.
continue steps in Ridiculously Easy Beanie pattern to make the base of your hat.

For the Earflaps:
Start at the bottom of the hat (your original ch sts) where you connected to join the first row. 
row 1: sc 16 sts (1 st in each ch st on foundation row). ch 1, turn.
row 2: sk 1st st, sc 1 st in each of next 15 sc.  ch 1, turn.
row 3: sk 1st st, sc 1 st in each of next 14 sc.  ch 1, turn

continue in this fashion, skipping the first st of each row, until there is one stitch left.  cut the yarn, leaving a long enough end to weave in, and pull the yarn through the last st to fasten off. 

make another earflap on the other side of the hat.

assuming that you used 66 stitches for your beanie, and are making the earflaps 16 sts wide, there should be a space of 17 sts between the earflaps. 

embellish as you like. (and post pics on ravelry please!)

also, please note that some curling on the earflaps is normal, and is supposed to be there.  if you don’t like the curl, something i found helps with that is to crochet trip around the entire hat after the earflaps are on there (it’s super-cute if done in a contrasting color). make sure you sc 3 sts in the point of the earflap

Have fun!!

*For a tutorial on how to make the stencil and paint the hat, please go here.

Quick Knitting Tip

In Knitting/Crocheting on 11/07/2010 at 17:32

Can I tell you how much I have grown to LOVE a seamless sweater?  Sure you have to cast on a bagillion stitches, but you get to knit the front AND back at the same time!  Snoogins!

There has always been something I’ve had an issue with though: no matter the pains I take to make sure my stitches don’t twist when I join the first and last stitch to knit in the round, it ALWAYS twists on me.  This has been a huge pain in the butt, since I’ve had to start things over and over again trying to fix this problem. 

But I figured out how to fix it…


just the first stitch…then you can keep doing what you do.  If you’re doing just plain knit around and around and around, nobody’s going to notice one little purl stitch.  And if you’re doing ribbing, just do P1, K1 (or P2,K2, or whatever).  This has kept my stitches from twisting EVERY TIME!!! YAY!!

getting my knitting brain back in gear…

In Knitting/Crocheting on 11/05/2010 at 17:25

oh my lord…it’s been a while.  in the past month i moved and got married while working full-time and going to school full-time.  needless to say, i haven’t had any time to knit, let alone write about knitting, or write any patterns.  but knitting has certainly been on my mind, and i have a few projects in mind…

the wedding wrap didn’t work out.  it just took a lot longer than expected.  after the wedding i continued on with it a bit, and had all the major body pieces assembled, with only the trim that still had to be done.  i found a really cool lace pattern in vogue’s stitchionary (#5 i think), and it was really easy and looked good.  i really had a problem with the yarn.  if i had knit a seemless body, i think it would have been too heavy…the seams really helped to give it structure, but the stitch definition on the yarn is crazy, and the yarn itself has no structure…it’s really loose and drapey, so the seams looked HORRIBLE.  and i’m not a novice with sewing seems, so i blame the yarn.  anyway, that got frogged, and i’ll use the yarn for a lace sweater that i made once before.  i ended up buying a pink cardigan at target to wear over my wedding dress…which was great because it dressed it down a little.  (we did a courthouse thing so we were pretty chill…but every lady needs a gown!) 

left to right: my sister, me, husband, other sister

the second thing i want to make is the Soft Kid Bubble (designed by Laura Irwin in the book Boutique Knits, published by Interweave Press).  i have some mohair for this.  i was originally going to use the frogged pink yarn for this, but i think that yarn will be too heavy, so mohair it is.  i was going to design a sweater for the vogue knitting mohair competition and use my mohair for that, but forget it.  i don’t have time.

kitchen towels are still on my list, as are some nesting bowls…and a bunch of hats and scarves for christmas as well as a charity thing my cousin is doing for her church…RED HEART SUPER SAVER HERE I COME!!!

Patterns on the Way (probably today):

Ridiculously Easy Cloche and Double-Brim Cloche
Ridiculously Easy Felted Cloche
Ridiculously Easy Earflap Hat

Stay Tuned!! ❤

WIP’s, etc.

In Knitting/Crocheting on 10/04/2010 at 14:53

YAY!  I moved!  And now I’m back and ready to knit (and ready to study for mid-terms and write a history paper, and do a couple of chapters of Psychology for my online class).  But really, I’m ready to knit, and of course knitting is always the most important.  My head is BURSTING with ideas. 

I mentioned in a recent post that I am working on some tea towels, wash cloths and hot pads for my kitchen.  I did a set of black ones (seen in a previous post) using Elsebeth Lavold Cable Cotton in black.  I really like the cotton…it knit up beautifully and had great stitch definition.  BUT…it sheds.  Cotton?  Sheds?  Excuse my ignorance, but I was unaware that cotton could shed.  So those items are going through the washing machine.  The significantly cheaper Lily Cotton Sugar and Cream actually made WAY better towels (in my humble opinion).  I’m using blue lily cotton and some white as well.  Out of the blue, I have made 1 1/2 tea towels, 3 dish cloths, and 2 hot pads (or potholders…call them what you will).  I might make a third tea towel after I am done with this one.  I have 2 potholders in white and I plan to make the same number of towels and dish cloths.   The pattern for the  towels can be found here.   

this is half of a kitchen towel on my needles.

The next item on the agenda is a wrap sweater for my wedding.  My dress is FABULOUS because it is lots of layers of silk, but the one thing I don’t like is that it hangs unflatteringly on my chest and back because I’m not flat-chested and the gown is really designed for someone who is.  So I’m going to knit a wrap sweater to keep me warm and hide the way the silk hangs there.  I have the yarn (Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK).  The color is a light pink since that is the color of my shoes.  I knit the swatch last night, which is a BIG deal because I never swatch ANYTHING. ever. But I figured this is important, and the yarn wasn’t cheap, so if I’m designing my own sweater, I can’t mess it up. 

But I have some lofty plans for this sweater…I would like to re-knit it in mohair (if all turns out well) and submit to Vogue Knitting’s design contest.  Honestly, I don’t give a hoot about winning the contest, but I would like to be a finalist so that I can get one of those cool yarn baskets.  And I’ve never done a knitting contest before, so I think it would be a good experience for me. 

So what will this sweater look like?  I’m envisioning a crossover wrap that stops at my natural waist.  And it won’t actually wrap around and tie in the back, but will instead close with hidden snaps on each side.  I want the sleeves to be kind of loose and drapey, and a lace pattern trim around the edges.  And pink. I love pink.  And in mohair it will be so dreamy.  So today I study, tomorrow I knit. 

Oh and did I mention this whole thing will be done on size 5’s?

Turning Over A New Leaf

In Knitting/Crocheting, Miscellaneous on 09/15/2010 at 15:13

So as many of  you know, I am getting married Oct. 15 (holy shit!! that’s a month from today!!).  My hubby-to-be and I  are moving into our new apartment Oct. 1, and I have to say, this is a lot more stressful than I thought it was going to be.  I just got the apartment yesterday, and that was an ordeal in and of itself because we have been looking around at apartments for a LONG time, and a lot of them have SUCKED.   We were originally looking in a town called Newtown Square, which is between his work and my work.  There we found a 1 bedroom apartment with heat/hot water included (yay!) that was $1100 ish.  It was nice, but it wasn’t carpeted, and the building was really rickety…and it just wasn’t ideal (I know…when you’re young and poor you can’t be too picky…but whatever).  So yesterday we applied for a 2-bedroom apartment down the road in Havertown, and we got it!!!!!

I LOVE this apartment.   Seriously.  There’s a lot of light that comes into the apartment.  There’s a full kitchen with a lot of counter space and a little dining area.  There’s a nice big living room, and  1 1/2 baths that look like they’ve just been redone.  And a TON of closets.  Also, there is a HUGE balcony.  And we’re allowed to put out potted plants and nice things like that.  YAY!!!!  AND the property manager is super nice.  Really.  She was SO helpful.  The thing I like best about this place though is that it really seems like it’s a nice community.  There’s a lady in the other building who started a community garden behind her building, and she’s growing peppers and pumpkins and all kinds of things.  And  they just built a swing set for the kids to play on.  A lot of the apartment complexes in the area look so industrial and sterile, but this place is nice and green and seems really full of life. 

So being young and poor, my man and I are scrounging for money to buy furniture.  We found a good discount store in Coatesville (which I will review after my experience there), so we should be able to get most of what we need right away.  My parents are  letting me take my queen-sized bed that I currently sleep in, and my mom offered to buy me some basic things I need like toilet paper and whatnot.  (What I really need is towels and sheets…but everyone needs toilet paper).  And there’s a bunch of little stuff we need to buy that adds up pretty fast.  And wedding rings, and  a marriage license, and I need to get my dress altered.  FUN!!!

That being said, I am trying to make as much as I can.  Right now, in addition to the  crazy lace mohair sweater of DOOM, I’m working on two kitchen sets.  I did one in black already, and it had 2 tea towels, 2 washcloths, and  3 hot pads (or potholders…whatever).  Now I’m doing a set in ecru and a set in a really obnoxious shade of blue.  In these sets I’m going to try to do 3 tea towels, 3 washcloths, and 2 potholders each.  So far most of the potholders are done. 

This is the first kitchen set I made

The first kitchen set was a stash-buster, and the whole set used 8 skeins (or balls) of Elsebeth Lavold Cable Cotton (which I got half price at my LYS like a million years ago).  Now I bought 8 skeins each of the lily cotton sugar and cream ($1.79 ea) in ecru and hot blue.  It might yield more stuff than this kitchen set, but I forget the yardage on the cable cotton so I’m not sure.

And actually I have most of my kitchen stuff.  I just need a canister set and some tupperware, and maybe some cooking supplies that a quick trip to Kitchen Kapers will solve in an hour.  But I got a beautiful set of stemless wine glasses at Susquehanna Glass  for $1 each.  Marvelous!!!!  I also need a wine rack.  Cause I LOVE wine.  LOVE IT.

A Quick Word of Thanks…

In Knitting/Crocheting, Miscellaneous, Patterns on 09/07/2010 at 08:37

Hi All!

I can’t tell you how excited I am about looking on my Ravelry page and seeing how many of you have added my patterns to your favorites.  And a few of you have left comments that have been simply beautiful, and I would like to extend a humble word of thanks to all of you for your kindness and support.  I have been designing my own pieces for years, but have never written any of them down or shared them with a community, and it’s very encouraging to know that you like what I’m creating.

I see that all of my patterns have made it into several queues.  They’re all pretty quick to make, and great stash-busting projects, so I would love to see how the projects turn out for you.  As I said before, being new to the pattern-writing process, I welcome all comments and suggestions for how I can make the patterns better and easier to read.

Thank you all again for your kind words and support.  I can’t wait to see the finished projects!