More Monsters

There’s a new gang of Twilly23 monsters on the prowl.

I’ve been playing with yarn weight to increase the size. This monster is several inches taller than my original size.

Embellishments are my favorite part of the process. Little details can create such unique personalities.

Felt eyes are fun but I’m really grooving on using buttons lately.

These monsters are now for sale at Salty Teacup in Portland.

Want to make your own? You can buy the pattern via my Etsy shop or Ravelry store.

Blue Blanket Beginnings

I’m finally getting back to my lotus pond blanket. The last time I worked on this was when Josh and I were housesitting in Boston. That feels so long ago! 2020 has been a long year.

The blanket part will be blue to represent water. I thought about buying new yarn but a persistent theme of this year was working with what you have at home. So I went through my stash and rounded up all my blue yarn.

Turns out I had quite a selection. I like the idea of the water flowing into different colors. Several yarns are leftovers from previous projects so this blanket will be a warm reminder of past knitting. I still need to figure out the lotus leaves and get some green yarn for them. But I’m putting that off for now.

For the blanket I’m using Frankie Brown’s Ten Stitch Blanket (Ravelry link). I made this pattern years ago and really love it. It’s super easy and makes for great TV knitting. Ursula is putting her kitty goodness in early on. She’s such a dedicated assistant.

Knit Gift Purse

A version of this pattern was previously published on Think Crafts!

The holidays are here. Need a quick handmade gift? I had a last minute gift to make and managed to crank this purse out over a weekend. If you need a gift and have little time make this purse. I wrote this pattern as simply as possible to help save you time. Plus it’s completely adjustable. Want a bigger or smaller purse? Just adjust the square and strap to your desired size.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL
Beginner knitter

Intermediate sewer (optional)

MATERIALS
Yarn -fiber and color of your choice
Knitting needles
Fabric for liner (optional)
Zipper
Thread
Buttons (optional)
Yarn needle

PATTERN
Decide how big you’d like your purse to be. Want a 12” rectangular purse? Cast on until you have 12” of stitches. Want a small square purse? Cast on until you have 6” of stitches. Then knit stockinette until you have a square or rectangle that suits your tastes. Bind off.

Knit a second square or rectangle to match the first. Decide how wide you’d like the shoulder strap to be. I went with two inches. Cast on and knit stockinette until it’s the length you want. The shoulder strap, like the purse, is completely adjustable to your tastes.

Keep knitting stockinette so the shoulder strap wraps around the sides and bottom of the purse squares. This will create space inside your bag.

Block the pieces. If you’re pressed for time can skip this step.

Seam the squares to the strap. Seam the strap ends together.

Don’t know how to sew on a machine? No problem. Just weave in your yarn ends and call this purse done!

If you can sew, then grab some fabric. Again this is a quick project so I didn’t do any measuring. I just cut a length of fabric and pinned it to the strap.

For the liner you can make it as simple or as complex as you like. Cut two rectangles of fabric and a thin strip. Sew together and call your liner done. Or you can add pockets:

I got fancy with this one and added small pockets and a thin pocket for a pen. However, this was a last minute gift for Thanksgiving so I didn’t have much time. I measured nothing! I just cut out squares for pockets, pinned them down and sewed them into place.

Sew the strap lining to the knit strap. You can do this on the machine or by hand.

Put the liner into the purse and pin the zipper into place.

Sew the zipper into place. But oh no what’s this? My zipper wasn’t long enough!

There’s nothing like a deadline to spark creativity. I just knit two small squares and sewed them in and it looked intentional!

If you’re pressed for time you can call this purse done at this point.

A handknit purse that’s lined with pockets makes a great gift.

But if you have a bit more time you can make some I-cord flowers to give it that extra flair. I made mine out of scrap yarn and buttons from my button jar. Here’s a handy I-cord tutorial:

Knit I-cord to your desired length. Then curl it around and sew down onto the purse. Sew a button in the middle. I made three flowers in different colors.

FINISHING
If making, sew flowers onto purse. Weave in ends.

Now your last minute gift is done. Wrap it up and pat yourself on the back. Craft on!

Mending Socks

An earlier version of this tutorial was previously published on Think Crafts!

Have a hole in your beautiful hand knit sock? Don’t panic, it can be fixed.

Difficulty Level
Medium

Materials
Yarn needle
Thread

Directions

You could use some of the original sock yarn to repair your hole if you saved some. I still had some leftover yarn but as you can see in the photo below my socks had really faded. I decided to go with white thread instead so the repair would be less noticeable.

The key to fixing holes is to catch them when they’re small. If a stitch breaks free it can unravel and can cause a large hole. In that case you’ll need to use a crochet hook to rework the stitch up the dropped rows. Since my hole was relatively small I could skip this step. To start, I knotted my thread on the inside of the sock.

Next I used my yarn needle to draw the thread through the stitch on the top and bottom of the hole nearest my needle.

I worked my way across the hole, weaving the needle through the disconnected stitches on the top and bottom to draw them back together with the thread.

Once all the way across I inspected the hole. It had closed up considerably but there was still a gap. I then worked the needle back across, this time from right to left. I followed the direction of the sock yarn so my thread would mimic a stitch, drawing the hole closed.

The stitches are back together! Time to knot off the thread.

Try on the sock to inspect the work.

These socks were knit with superwash yarn. However, after I repair a hole I always handwash the knitwear instead. A hole means the socks are starting to age and I want them to last as long as possible. Handwashing is much gentler than a washing machine.

One more repair pic:

Craft on!

Wicked Witch Gloves

My winter fingerless glove are officially done. I started these back when Josh and I were housesitting in Boston.

However, this particular yarn has been in my stash for years. I even brought it to Taiwan and back. Imagination is a Merino/alpaca mix and the colorway is called Wicked Witch. I remember laughing when I read the name and knowing I had to use this yarn for a special pattern.

Spatterdash is an advanced knitting pattern and just what I needed to refresh my knitting game. The yarn was a bit finicky to work with but is so gorgeous that the extra effort is worth it.

The fit and feel are great. When cooler weather returns I’ll be wearing these a lot.

This pattern calls for 28 buttons and it took awhile to sew them. But these metal little flowers are so lovely that the extra effort was worth it. I’m so happy with how pretty these turned out!

Name: Spatterdash
Pattern Source: Knitty
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination, Wicked Witch colorway
Needle Size: US 1/2.25 mm
Size: Medium

Kitty Cookie

Josh and I adopted a cat from the Humane’s Society just before quarantine kicked in. She’s 10 years old and is a sweetheart. We named her Ursula after one of our favorite sci fi authors.

Today I knit up this cute little doughnut from the book Knits for Kitties.

I mixed in some catnip in with the stuffing. Ursula prefers toys that can be dragged so I added a little braid.

This is an easy pattern and has a lot of potential for customization.

Name: Desilu’s Donut
Pattern Source: Knits for Kitties
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Batik, Waffle Cone colorway
Needle Size: US 7/4.5 mm
Size: One size

New Wristwarmers

My last pair of fingerless gloves are currently in Taiwan. They’ll get mailed back to me eventually but in the meantime I’ve started a new pattern with this lovely yarn. I have two skeins which are 25% alpaca. These wristwarmers will be extra toasty. The color blend is utterly delightful as is its name-“Wicked Witch.”

The pattern is Spatterdash from Knitty. It’s a bit of a diva pattern because requires upmost concentration. Every time I take it to a knitting circle I inevitably have to tink back a row because I messed up. But if I’m knitting by myself the pattern zips along mistake free.

Cherry blossoms are blooming in Portland now so it looks like I’ll get these done just in time for the warmer temperatures of spring. Hail Eris!

Fingers and Puppets

I spent last night knitting in bed while listening to a podcast accompanied by gentle, persistent rain. This alpaca yarn smells so good! Now that the fingers are made I’m zipping along on the main hand section.

Josh took me shopping in the Song Shang District last night. I did not bring enough socks with me so stocked up. Check out my Gudetama socks!

That lazy little egg cracks me up. There were lots of interesting clothes.

As a costume designer I’d certainly say fashion is important in life! Furthermore, I think it can be incredibly empowering.

We also visited the Puppetry Art Center of Taipei.

Their displays were excellent and they even had shadow puppets.

Hopefully, I will be lining up a puppet gig soon. I am completely enthralled.