Monday, January 25, 2016

Knitted Bronze Cable Scarf

I'm not going to lie--this scarf isn't going to keep you very warm. But you'll look great when you wear it! When I saw this yarn--Patons Metallic in gold--at my local Michael's store, it reminded me of Rumpelstiltskin's skeins of gold. I thought a cable pattern would should off its texture beautifully, so I came up with this simple scarf pattern. Since it's less than four inches wide, it's definitely an accessory and not serious winter gear, but I really like the way it turned out. I'm sharing the pattern below. Don't be intimidated by all those rows--remember, each one is just 18 stitches long.

Knitted Bronze Cable Scarf

Size: 3 1/2" wide by 48" long

You'll need:
Patons Metallic 85 g (3 oz) skein Gold (I used more than one skein to make a 48" scarf, but you can use more or less to make it as long as you like.)
Size 8 knitting needles
Cable needle

Cast on 18.
Rows 1, 3 (right side): Knit.
Rows 2, 4 (wrong side): Purl.
Row 5 and all right side rows (except 15, 25, 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, 85, 95, 105, 115, 125, 135, 145, 155, 165, 175, 185, 195, 205, 215, 225, 235, 245, 255): Knit.
Row 6 and all wrong side rows: K 3, p 12, k 3.
Rows 15, 25, 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, 85, 95, 105, 115, 125, 135, 145, 155, 165, 175, 185, 195, 205, 215, 225, 235, 245, 255: Knit 6, slip next 3 stitches onto cable needle and hold in back, knit next 3 stitches, knit 3 stitches from cable needle, knit remaining 6 stitches in row.
Continue in pattern to row 264.
Rows 265 to 269: Knit.

Bind off and weave in ends. Block according to yarn manufacturer's directions. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Pay it Forward Project

If you're a cross-stitcher and you follow my blog, you probably know that I share free downloadable charts here from time to time. Right now if you click on the "Free Cross-Stitch Charts" tab above, you'll find charts for 18 small cross-stitch projects. I just added a new one last week! This week, I'm launching a new policy regarding my cross-stitch downloads. I'm calling it the "Pay It Forward Project"--and here's how it works:

I love sharing my cross-stitch designs and getting feedback from readers, and I'm really not interested in receiving monetary compensation for the patterns I share on my blog. But I think--in the giving spirit of the blog world--it would be nice if visitors who download a chart would consider expressing their appreciation by performing a simple act of kindness. Pay it forward any way you like--drop some change in a donation box, give some canned goods to a food pantry, say something kind to the grocery store cashier, or say a prayer for someone in need. There's no accountability; I just want to encourage an atmosphere of gratitude in this Internet world we share. I know I have been lax in showing appreciation to the talented bloggers and Instragrammers who share their work and inspiration, so from now on I'm going to practice "paying it forward" more myself.

Please comment and let me know what you think of my "project." And be sure to visit my cross-stitch page frequently to see what's new. Happy stitching!

Monday, January 11, 2016

"X-Files" X-Stitch

As a longtime "X-Files" fan, I am super excited about the six-episode revival series that's coming to FOX on January 24. I've been re-watching original episodes to get ready for the big event. And of course, I couldn't resist creating an X-Files project for my blog.

If there are any other X-Files x-stitchers out there, this one's for you. It's my adaptation of the poster that hangs in Mulder's office. It's an easy design that uses just four colors of DMC floss. I stitched mine on 14-count black Aida fabric and framed it in a 5 1/4-inch hoop. To make your own "I Want to Believe" cross-stitch hoop, you can follow the chart below or click here to download a free printable chart. 

"X-Files" X-Stitch   ©2016 Kathleen Berlew

If you're looking for something to watching while you're working on your X-Files x-stitching, here's a list of my favorite ten episodes in chronological order (they're available on Netflix streaming). And yes, I'm aware that there are 11 episodes on my top ten list. I'm counting the two "Dreamland" episodes as one.

D.P.O. (Season 3, Episode 3)
Clyde Buckman's Final Repose (Season 3, Episode 4)
 Jose Chung's "From Outer Space" (Season 3, Episode 20)
Small Potatoes (Season 4, Episode 20)
Post-Modern Prometheus (Season 5, Episode 6)
Bad Blood (Season 5, Episode 12)
Dreamland: Part I (Season 6, Episode 4)
Dreamland: Part II (Season 6, Episode 5)
The Unnatural (Season 6, Episode 19)
Field Trip (Season 6, Episode 21)
Hollywood A.D. (Season 7, Episode 19)

Enjoy! And remember . . . the truth is out there.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Mini Mitten Napkin Ties

Christmas and New Year's have come and gone, and if you're like me, you're ready to reclaim your house from the Santas and elves that took over in December. But even though the holiday season has passed, winter is just beginning--here in Pennsylvania, anyway. So I'm not going to pack my snowflake and icicle decorations just yet. I'm going to hang them in the windows and put them to use as pretty table decor.

I made a bunch of these felt mitten ornaments for Christmas this year. They were super simple. For each, just cut two mitten shapes from felt (I love this icy blue color) and decorate them with ribbon, snowflake sequins, or any other wintry trims you have on hand. Sew the two mitten pieces together, stuffing the ornament lightly with fiberfill as you go. When you stitch the mitten closed, sew on a jump ring. 

To transform your mitten ornaments into cute napkin ties, thread them onto lengths of baby rickrack along with sparkly icicle ornaments. Tie the mittens and icicles around rolled napkins and you have the perfect table setting for sipping cocoa and nibbling leftover Christmas cookies.