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Colorful Sock Knitting Tip

Knitting Tip: An easy way to knit the perfect pair of mis-matched socks.
My name is Ellen and I am a sock knitting addict. I have a drawer full of socks knit in just about every color of the rainbow.

At first I was very matchy-matchy when I knit socks, but over time I realized that it is kind of fun to go for a more "mis-matched" look.

If you are knitting with self-striping or self-patterning yarn, the mis-matched look is super easy to accomplish.

The first sock is knit from your skein of yarn, as usual. The second sock is knit from the opposite end of the skein. This means you may have to rewind your yarn into a ball so you can work with the yarn from the other end.

Since you are already going for a mismatched look, there is no need to worry about starting your work at a specific point in the color pattern of the yarn. That makes life much easier.

Knitting Tip: An easy way to knit the perfect pair of mis-matched socks.

And just in case you like these yarns, the first pair of socks is made with Patons Kroy Sock Yarn in Meadow Stripes and the second pair is made from Universal Yarn Wisdom Yarns Allegro in Apricot Air.

Happy knitting!


Tutorial: Sisal Scratching Post

DIY - How to repair and refurbish a cat scratching post with sisal rope.Not to brag, but I have the best cat ever! She magically appeared in our yard and decided to live with us. Her name is Dobby. She likes to snuggle, but not too much, she does her business outside, she never jumps up on the kitchen counters and never scratches the furniture.

Dobby loves to stop for a good scritch on her scratching post before going outside. Over time, she has shredded it. Instead of throwing it away, I invested a little time and rewrapped it with sisal rope so it's better than new.

This isn't a particularly crafty idea, but since Dobby's outdoor litter box is the most pinned post from my blog, I thought maybe you would enjoy another cat-centric project.

Materials




Directions


DIY - How to repair and refurbish a cat scratching post with sisal rope. Start with the old scratching post.
Use a utility knife, scissors, pliers, a screwdriver and muscle to remove the worn carpet and sisal rope from the post.

Warning!!! You may find that your cat is seriously annoyed by your behavior.
As you are removing the old carpet and rope you will likely discover some hidden staples. Be careful not to poke yourself on staples or any of the sharp tools you are using.

I'm not going to lie. This process took a lot of muscle, but I worked out some pent up stress. I totally understand why Dobby likes to tear this thing up!
Tie the new sisal rope in a knot around the scratching post.
You can tape the end of the rope to the post so it doesn't move around as you start wrapping the rope.
Wrap the rope very tightly around the post. Sisal is very scratchy, so you may want to wear gloves to protect your hands.

This part goes quicker if you have a friend to turn the post as you wrap the rope.
If your rope is not long enough, you may need to attach a second rope. Simply tape the new rope to the post so the loose end is pointed toward the already wrapped section.

Keep wrapping with the first piece of rope and make sure you wrap at least a couple inches up the new rope to conceal and secure the end.
When the first piece of rope runs out, tuck it under the second piece and continue wrapping with the second piece.
Wrap over end of the first rope.
Once you get to the end of the scratching post, you will need to secure the rope. Some people like to use a big stapler for this, but I worry about my kitty pulling out the staples, so I tied a nice tight knot so the rope wouldn't unwind.
Tie a knot in the remaining rope very close to the scratching post.
Trim the rope. If you worry about the rope fraying, you can add a spot of hot glue or even Elmer's all purpose glue to seal the rope.
Whenever Dobby decides to wake up from her favorite nappy place in my studio, she can enjoy a nice scritch and then head outside to take care of business!

DIY - How to repair and refurbish a cat scratching post with sisal rope.


Knitting Pattern: Chemo Cap

Free knit chemo cap pattern and tips for selecting yarn
We all show our love in different ways. For me, I craft. So when my friend, Rebecca, lost her hair during chemo I offered my love and comfort with a handmade hat.

Choosing the yarn for a chemo cap is absolutely critical because skin can become very sensitive and tender during treatment. It is best to avoid wool or anything that feels skritchy. I used a viscose made from sugarcane and it is silky, soft.

Also, since they are intended for bare heads, chemo caps should be sized slightly smaller than a regular stocking cap or beanie. (You'll notice it's a little tight on me.) This cap is 18 inches in circumference and 7 1/2 inches from the cast on edge to the top.

Materials


Gauge

26 sts or 32 rows = 4 inches

Abbreviations

CO - cast on
k - knit
k2tog - knit two stitches together
p - purl

Directions

CO 132.

Rnd 1, 2, 4: [K2, p2] around.

Rnd 3: [K2tog but do not slip off left-hand needle, insert right needle between these two sts and k the first stitch again slipping both sts off the left needle together, p2] around.

Repeat Rnd 1-4 until piece measures 1 ¼ inches from cast on edge.

Rnd 5: [K9, k2tog] around. (120 sts remain)

Rnd 6 & 8: [K4, p2] around.

Rnd 7, 9, 11, 13: K all sts.

Rnd 10 & 12: [K1, p2, k3] around.

Repeat Rnds 6-13 until piece measures 5 ½ inches from cast on edge or two inches less than desired hat height.

On last rnd, place a marker every 20 sts.

[K to 2 sts before the next marker, k2tog] repeat until 6 sts remain.

Break yarn and use a yarn or tapestry needle to draw yarn through all 6 remaining sts to fasten off.

Don't you just love the swirls at the top?

Free knit chemo cap pattern and tips for selecting yarn

Warm thoughts and love to all of those who need a chemo cap. 

Free knit chemo cap pattern and tips for selecting yarn

The Chilly Dog's Big Book of Knit Pattern's Giveaway

The Chilly Dog's Big Book of Knit Patterns is available now!

I am so excited to announce that The Chilly Dog's Big Book of Knit Patterns is finally available in my shop! I am releasing it as an ebook in PDF form. The book has my first 30 knit patterns and is 118 pages long. It is filled with scarves, socks, purses, afghans and more.

Now I need a little help spreading the word. Help me share my big news for a chance to win your very own copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Video Tutorial: Portuguese Style Knitting

If your hands get sore after hours of knitting, you may want to learn more about Portuguese Style knitting. Here's a quick video intro.My name is Ellen and I am a knit-a-holoic. I knit a lot. Someone once gave me a decorative pillow that said "If I'm sitting, I'm knitting". They probably meant it to be cute or funny, but it is also absolutely true.

I taught myself how to knit over 25 years ago with a couple good books on the subject. I prefer to knit English Style, but I am also fairly competent at Continental Style. Unfortunately, either way, after hours and hours of knitting, my hands get incredibly sore, especially when I am using very fine yarn. So, I did a little research and discovered Portuguese Style knitting.

In Portuguese Style knitting, your yarn is draped around your neck and is tensioned by weaving the yarn over a single finger. Stitches are then made with a small flick of the thumb. Less motion throughout your hands means a lot less stress and pain.

Here's a quick demonstration of the technique.


Happy knitting!


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