Arm Knitting Videos

I found a great Youtube channel for learning how to arm knit. Simply Maggie has several videos from beginner arm knitting to specific techniques and methods. The audio can be a bit off, but overall, the quality  of the explanation is pretty good. Below are some of the videos and a link to the Youtube channel.

Simply Maggie

Arm Knitting 101


3o Minute Scarf


45 Minute Blanket


Ear Warmer


There are also some videos for specific stitch types for those who want to take on more complicated projects.

Linen Stich


Cable Stitch


Yarny Newsletters

So I’ve only recently discovered that LionBrand has a newsletter.  It can be found here.  This has inspired me to try and find some more weekly newsletters to keep me inspired.  It’s tough when your busy with everyday life and a little inspiration can go a long way.  It is nice to have a reminder to take some time for yourself.  I will post any additional newsletters that I find along the way.

Earflaps Required

As it gets colder here in Boston, it’s becoming more apparent that I need a good hat. Jackets, scarves, and gloves, I have in abundance.  Here are some neat patterns I found in my pursuit of the a comfy hat with earflaps to keep out the cold.

I found this free pattern on Knit Picks. The Holiday Earflap Hat pattern was designed by April Fehrman. This pattern is deceptively simple and makes clever use of self-striping yarn. As an added bonus, it has double thick earflaps for making it good for those extra cold days. As with most Knit Pick patterns, you can buy the exact yarn used in this picture or find other colors that may be more to your liking.

This fun Earflap Hat pattern was found on the Lion Brand pattern database. Lion Brand recommends their Hometown USA® Yarn. As a fan of super bulky weight yarns, I personally love this stuff. It is very affordable and it comes in a huge variety of colors including multi-colors and tweeds. It is a beginner level pattern and could be easily completed in a weekend or less.

This Cabled Earflap Hat pattern was found on a knitting blog, Hey Julie.  The pattern is simple, but it does require familiarity with cabling. Fortunately, there are also several other hat patterns, both with and without earflaps, on this blog. There are both six and eleven-cable variations.

Pouf Pattern

It seems every decorating site these days is recommending poufs for seating and decorating options.  I really love the idea of the hand-knit pouf, but not the price tag.  I really do envy the Urchin Poufs by Christien Meindertsma pictured below, but I wanted to try and find a pattern for a DIY version.

An article on Shelter Pop actually led me to find a pattern for a simple DIY version.  The following patterns were created by Pickles, a Norwegian craft site offering free patterns (you should check out some of their other patterns) and the occasional cupcake recipe.

The pouf above is appropriately named Puff Daddy Knit Stool and will require about 18 balls of yarn.

They also featured a second smaller pouf pattern, Puff Daddy’s Baby Knit Stool.

Business Casual Crochet and Knitting Patterns

I’ve always been interested in creating my own work clothes.  I don’t know how to sew, so I’m currently working on knitting and crocheting some.  I’m always on the search for a new pattern, here are some that I have found particularly inspiring.  I like to customize patterns for myself, changing sleeve lengths, hems, etc.

Image of Knit And Crochet Tunic

This pattern is featured on using their Cotton Ease and Vanna’s Glamour yarn lines.  It is an experienced level Knit and Crochet Tunic pattern, but the payoff is just fantastic.  With the right colors, this could easily blend into the work environment and is sure to bring lots of compliments.  I wish I was experienced enough to make this, but I think it’s worth checking out if you are.  Take note that this a free pattern from Lion Brand and you will have to register on their site to view it.

I found this pattern on the Stich Nation website.  The Anisette Cardi pictured above was made using Stich Nation’s Bamboo Ewe yarn in Mermaid.  I really love the neckline and this is a great shirt for the spring and summer months.

Image of Audrey Cardigan with Scarf

This pattern is featured also feature on and uses Vanna’s Glamour yarn as well.  This pattern can be easily replicated with other sport weight yarns depending on the style you are looking for.

This pattern is featured on Knit Picks and was created by Snowden Becker.  It is not free, but for $1.99, it’s a deal.  The Althea Skirt pattern is worked in a wool and cashmere blend that can be purchased on the site.  Another option is to purchase bulk or wholesale yarn elsewhere.  See my post on Discount Yarns for some options.

Summertime Crochet and Knit Patterns

With April on its way in, it’s time to start working on yarn projects for the summer.  What better way to use the time stuck indoors because of spring showers than by preparing for summer excursions?  I find it oddly therapeutic.

When making summer items, focus on light and airy materials.  Bright colors are a must!  Also, take into consideration of the use of what you are making.  Tote bags of wool are lovely, but not so much when you plan on taking them to beach where they will get sandy and can only be hand washed.  This is a great time to tap in to the alternative materials supply.  Consider making bags using plarn, cotton, hemp etc.  I will post later on using alternative materials and link back here when I do, but there are endless options out there.

Here are some summer patterns I found:

This pattern is featured on using their Lily Sugar’n Cream yarn.  It is a beginner Summer Tote pattern and has a separate cord strap.

On the blog, Joyful Abode, a lovely Water’s Edge Cover-Up pattern is featured.  It is also a crochet pattern that I would classify as intermediate.


Also, consider summer tableware.  Alexa Aludeman’s blog Gourmet Crafter has a free summer inspired Sampler Placemat pattern for knitting.  Placemats can be as complicated or as simple as you desire, so they are great for all skill levels.  She has an Etsy store as well where she sells hand-dyed yarn.




This Not A Sandy Bottom beach bag pattern is featured on the blog, Durable Dora.  It is a roomy beach tote that is perfect for carrying your towel and gear or running to the store.  It was made using Lily Sugar’n Cream yarn.

Alpaca Fiber

Alpaca fiber has long been regarded as a luxurious yarn and offers many benefits over traditional wool options.  It lacks lanolin so it is an acceptable alternative for those who may be allergic.  Prized for its silky texture and luster, it’s a also a great option for someone who wants to try something new.

Instantly, thoughts of a beautiful alpaca afghan come to mind.  There are many different places to find alpaca fiber, yarns, and finished goods online.  Initially, I assumed that alpaca yarns would be extremely expensive or hard to find, but I have found several resources online.  If pure alpaca yarns are too expensive, it is very easy to find a cheaper blend with mixtures of alpaca and other fibers.

Here’s what I found:

Some Etsy options:

Solomon’s Knot aka Lover’s Knot

I was searching on Youtube for some new crocheting stitches to try out and I cam across a great video by Naztazia.  The stitch is called the Solomon’s knot and I can’t wait to try it out.  Check out the image below for an example using LionBrand ribbon yarn.  The pattern for this shaw and image came from Joyful Abode.  I have given a link below to the pattern.

This is the video from Naztazia’s Youtube channel:

Resources for your consideration:

Hopefully I will get around to trying this stitch myself.  I’m working on a different project right now, but I look forward to trying it out.

Discount Yarn

As I have been looking to take on bigger projects, I’ve realized how much local craft stores can cost. If you intend to buy more than one skein, the price can really add up. I’ve doing a lot of searching online. Here is what I’ve found:

Smiley’s Yarns:
Just a couple minutes looking at the internet sale selection and it’s easy to see why this site is so popular.  They have an amazing selection of popular brands, like Lion Brand, even though they don’t necessarily have all the colors you may be looking for.  They offer skeins as cheap as a dollar and make sure to check out the Close-Out and Accessories sections.  This place is definitely worth having a look at.  It is important to note that there is a minimum purchase requirement, but they also offer flat rate shipping.

Sumptuous Yarn Sale:
This site offers great deals on bulk bags of a yarn, accessories, tools, or anything else you might need.  It has one of the biggest varieties I have seen on any discount site.  Though it is not the best for smaller purchases, it is great for large projects or stocking up on favorites.

They offer discounts on patterns and yarn, but don’t seem to have a lot of the more popular brands.  There is a good variety of yarn types and they offer some bulk deals.  Good to note, they offer flat rate shipping.

Other Online Sources:

Some alternative online sources include Craigslist and Freecycle.  I have received yarn from both in the past, though they are not as reliable of methods and you never know what you are going to get.  Non-internet sources are garage sales and thrift stores, again, not as reliable.  If you have found any other sites, please list it in a comment, I welcome suggestions.

As always, it is important to do your own research and check out the FAQs on the site for return policies, shipping restrictions, etc. before purchasing a product online.  Also, check your local craft store and make sure that with shipping and handling, you are actually get a good deal versus just buying it in the store.

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