Classic Kicks for Little Feet by Helga Spitz Book Review with Basketball Shoes booties Pattern

Free knitting pattern: Basketball Shoes booties by Helga Spitz (excerpted with permission from Classic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby's First Year) via Underground Crafter | booties garlandIf you like to knit quick projects for the littles, then you’re going to want to check out my review of a new pattern book by Helga Spitz. My review also includes an excerpted knitting pattern for infant Basketball Shoes booties and your chance to win a copy of the book, so read on for details!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. A free review copy of Classic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby’s First Year by Helga Spitz was provided to me by Sixth&Spring Books. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

Book Review

Classic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby's First Year by Helga Spitz cover via Underground CrafterClassic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby’s First Year by Helga Spitz is a knitting pattern collection of what used to be called “booties.” However, Helga’s designs go beyond the classic little envelope style into trendy shoe territory.

The book opens with Knitting Instructions, which includes all the background information you need before getting started. The Basics includes yarn substitutions from European brands to yarns that are easier to find in the United States. Sizes explains how to adjust the size of each project using thicker or thinner yarns and a different size of needles. This chapter also includes a chart of the Standard Yarn Weight System so you can find an appropriately sized needle when changing yarns.

The next chapters include patterns. For Tiny Dancers includes four patterns for feminine shoes such as Mary Jane’s and ballet slippers; The Big Outdoors includes four patterns for cozy boots in various styles; Eye-Catchers includes four patterns for casual shoes including mock sneakers and loafers; and Summer, Sun, Sandals includes four outdoorsy projects including espadrilles and moccasins.

Each pattern includes at least one full page picture (often with the adult-sized shoes that inspired the pattern in the background), along with a materials list including the yarn, needles, and notions required for the pattern, instructions for getting gauge, and the size. Each pattern is available in one of three sizes: 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-9 months (with approximate measures for the sole of each size listed in the Sizes section of the Knitting Instructions chapter). Many of the patterns also include whimsical illustrations of playful animals.

The book ends with Helpful Information, which includes a list of knitting pattern abbreviations, written instructions for double stitch to avoid holes when working short rows, and an index.

None of the patterns include difficulty levels, but since most use several increases or decreases and the book doesn’t include any knitting instructions, I would recommend the book for intermediate or advanced beginner knitters who enjoy making projects for newborns and infants. Like all pattern books, your enjoyment will be increased if you find plenty of projects you’d like to make in this book. You can see all 16 patterns from Classic Kicks for Little Feet on the book’s Ravelry source page. I liked that the book is hardcover, because it seems like it will be sturdy enough to become that “go to” baby pattern book that you return to again and again for quick but satisfying projects.

Basketball Shoes

Knitting Pattern by Helga Spitz

Published in Classic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby’s First Year.

Pattern and Photos © 2018 Sixth&Spring Books. Shared with permission from Sixth&Spring Books.

Free knitting pattern: Basketball Shoes booties by Helga Spitz (excerpted with permission from Classic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby's First Year) via Underground Crafter | shoes near basketballNotes from Underground Crafter:

  • This pattern uses Craft Yarn Council knitting abbreviations. A full list of abbreviations is available here.
  • You can find a helpful video tutorial for the k2tog decrease by LoveKnitting here.
  • This pattern is designed to fit a 0-3 month old with a sole length of 3.5″ (9 cm).

Just because you don’t have the height yet doesn’t mean the gear can’t make you look like a star.

Materials

  • 3.5oz/100g ball (220yd/200m) of Cascade 220 Superwash (wool) – 1 each in white, red, navy, and royal blue
  • 1 set (5) size 5 (3.75mm) dpn
  • Crochet hook size E-4 (3.5mm)
  • Stitch marker
  • Yarn needle

Gauge

  • 22 sts and 44 rows to 4″/10cm over garter st using size 5 (3.75mm) needles.
  • TAKE TIME TO CHECK GAUGE.

Free knitting pattern: Basketball Shoes booties by Helga Spitz (excerpted with permission from Classic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby's First Year) via Underground Crafter | shoes on skateboardSole

  • With white, cast on 32 sts. Divide sts evenly over 4 needles (8 sts per needle). Join, taking care not to twist sts, and place marker for beg of rnd (back of shoe).
  • Work in garter st in rnds (purl 1 rnd, knit 1 rnd) as follows:
  • Rnd 1: Purl.
  • Rnd 2: Needle 1: K1, M1, knit to end; Needle 2: Knit to last st, M1, k1; Needle 3: K1, M1, knit to end; Needle 4: Knit to last st, M1, k1—1 st inc’d on each needle; 4 sts inc’d in total.
  • Repeat last 2 rnds 3 times more—12 sts per needle; 48 sts in total.
  • With white, purl 4 rounds, knit 1 round.
  • Cut white.

Shoe

  • Join navy. Purl 1 round. Cut navy.

Toe

  • Sl first 5 sts on Needle 2 to Needle 1; sl first 7 sts on Needle 3 to Needle 2; sl rem 5 sts on Needle 3 to Needle 4—17 sts each on Needles 1 and 4, 14 sts on Needle 2.
  • Keeping sts of Needles 1 and 4 on hold, join red from RS and work in rows on Needle 2 as follows:
  • Rows 1–4: Work in St st in rows (knit on RS, purl on WS).
  • Row 5: K2, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k2—12 sts.
  • Rows 6, 8, and 10: Purl.
  • Row 7: K2, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k2—10 sts.
  • Row 9: Knit.
  • Row 11: K2, k2tog, k2, k2tog, k2—8 sts.
  • Row 12: Purl.
  • Bind off all sts.

Sides and Back

  • Set-up row 1: (RS) With RS facing and first ball of royal blue, pick up and k 1 st in each of last 2 red sts of toe, then k2 sts from Needle 4; with navy, k30 sts from Needles 4 and 1; with 2nd ball of royal blue, k last 2 sts on Needle 1, then pick up and k 1 st in each of first 2 sts of toe—38 sts.
  • Note: Do not carry unused yarns. When changing colors, twist yarns on WS to prevent holes in work.
  • Row 2: (WS) With royal blue, k4; with navy, purl to last 4 sts; with royal blue, k4.
  • Continue to work first and last 4 sts in garter st (knit every row) with royal blue and center sts in stockinette stitch with navy, as follows:
  • Dec row 3: (RS) With royal blue, k4; with navy, k2tog, k to last 2 navy sts, k2tog; with royal blue, k4.
  • Row 4: Work even in pats.
  • Dec/eyelet row 5: With royal blue, k2, yo, k2tog (eyelet); with navy, K2tog, k to last 2 navy sts, k2tog; with royal blue, k2tog, yo, k2 (eyelet).
  • Row 6: Repeat row 4.
  • Repeat rows 3–6 for 3 times more.
  • Cut navy. With 1 ball of royal blue, knit 4 rows over all sts.
  • Bind off as follows: *K2tog, return st to LH needle; rep from * until all sts are bound off.

Finishing

  • Sew sole seams. Weave in ends.

Shoelace

  • With crochet hook and white, chain 100.
  • Fasten off.
  • Thread shoelace through eyelet holes.

Repeat from beginning for second shoe.

Giveaway

Classic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby's First Year by Helga Spitz giveaway via Underground CrafterNow that you’ve read my review of Classic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby’s First Year by Helga Spitz and tried out the Basketball Shoes, are your ready to win your own copy?

By entering this giveaway, you are voluntarily submitting information to Rafflecopter. You can read their privacy policy here for more details about how that information is used. This giveaway is open to readers with mailing addresses in the United States and Canada, except where prohibited by law. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random from the entries submitted via the Rafflecopter widget. The winner will receive 1 copy of Classic Kicks for Little Feet by Helga Spitz, courtesy of Sixth & Spring. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monster Hats by Vanessa Mooncie Book Review with Alien hat Pattern

Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | Monster Hats book coverIf you enjoy giving quirky gifts, the knitting pattern collection by Vanessa Mooncie that I’m reviewing today will be right up your alley! I’m also sharing an excerpted pattern for the unisex Alien hat from the book, so read on for details!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. A free review copy of Monster Hats: 15 Scary Head Warmers to Knit by Vanessa Mooncie was provided to me by GMC Publications. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

Book Review

Monster Hats: 15 Scary Head Warmers to Knit by Vanessa Mooncie is a fun, knitting pattern collection. All of the patterns are available in both child and adult sizes.

The book opens with an introduction from Vanessa, who took her inspiration from comic books and mythology. This is a very visual book, so the next 16 pages are pictures of the hats being worn by kids and teens who look to be having a lot of fun. The first section is Make the Monsters, which includes patterns for all 15 hats. Each pattern includes a detailed materials list, the completed project sizes, and the tension (gauge) used for the pattern. Within each pattern, there is a introduction to the monster, zany illustrations, and several large pictures of the hat being worn. Each pattern starts with “method,” which explains the construction, and ends with “making up,” which explains how to add various pieces to the finished hat.

Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | Alien hat on modelAfter the patterns, there is an Other Things You Need to Know chapter that includes:

  • Getting Started, with tips on sizing, tension (gauge), needles and notions, substituting yarn, and reading patterns and charts;
  • Knitting Basics. with written and illustrated instructions for the slip knot, 3 cast on methods, knit and purl stitches, knitting into the front or back loop, 3 types of increases, making loops (usually used for “hair”), casting off, and 4 seaming methods;
  • Finishing Touches, with written and illustrated instructions for twisted and striped cords, tassels, and 4 embroidery stitches;
  • Fleece Linings, with instructions and a template for making a fleece lining for your hats;
  • Knitted Linings, with detailed instructions for making knitted linings for each hat; and
  • Appendices for knitting needle sizes, pattern abbreviations, and a list of materials (yarn suppliers).

The book’s layout is just as unconventional as the patterns and it mixes illustrations, writing, and typed text to great effect. The book doesn’t list difficulty levels, but many of the hats could be successfully made by advanced beginners with patience. Several of the patterns are more suited to intermediate knitters. If you like knitting hats, and if you like making something different from the “typical” hat pattern, try out Monster Hats. I think you’ll like it!


Alien

Knitting Pattern by  Vanessa Mooncie

Published in Monster Hats: 15 Scary Head Warmers to Knit

Pattern and Photos © 2016 Vanessa Mooncie and GMC Publications Ltd. Shared with permission from GMC Publications Ltd.

Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | Alien hat flat layNotes from Underground Crafter:

  • This pattern uses Craft Yarn Council knitting abbreviations. A full list of abbreviations is available here.
  • Video tutorials the special stitches are linked below.
    • Kfb tutorial by Deramores is available here.
    • C4B tutorial by New Stitch a Day is available here.
    • C4F tutorial by New Stitch a Day is available here.
    • K2tog tutorial by Deramores is available here.
    • Psso tutorial by Very Pink Knits is available here.
    • K2togtbl tutorial by ChemKnits is available here.
  • One of the yarns used in this pattern has been discontinued. You can find a list of recommended substitutes for Wendy Serenity Chunky here.

Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | Alien hat on modelThis monster is out of this world, featuring a cable design down the centre of the head, and embroidered details to enhance the glistening gaze of the bug-eyed alien.

Materials

  • Wendy Serenity Chunky, 70% acrylic, 20% alpaca, 10% wool (87yd/80m per 100g ball): 1[1] ball in 3205 Oyster (A)
  • Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton DK, 100% cotton (219yd/201m per 100g ball): 1[1] ball in 1949 Poppy Red (B)
  • Twilleys of Stamford Goldfingering, 80% viscose, 20% metalized polyester (109yd/100m per 25g ball): 1[1] ball in 38 Red (C)
  • Oddment of DK yarn in black (D)
  • 1 pair each of 4mm (UK8:US6), 6mm (UK4:US10) and 7mm (UK2:US10.5/11) knitting needles
  • Cable needle
  • Small amount of toy stuffing
  • 2 x 6in (15cm) long pipe cleaners
  • Blunt-ended tapestry needle

Sizes

  • To fit: child, up to 20in (51cm) head circumference [adult, up to 22in (56cm) head circumference]

Tension (Gauge)

  • 13 sts and 18 rows to 4in (10cm) over stocking stitch using 7mm needles and A. Use larger or smaller needles if necessary to obtain correct tension.

Special abbreviations

  • C4B: Sl 2 sts onto cable needle and hold at back of work, k2, k2 from cable needle
  • C4F: Sl 2 sts onto cable needle and hold at front of work, k2, k2 from cable needle

Method

  • The hat is started with a wide rib. A cable design is worked in the centre of the main piece, knitted in stocking stitch. The shaping of the eyes is begun by slipping the first stitch and turning the work before the last stitch of each row, working one less stitch each time. The shaping is finished by knitting into one extra stitch at the end of each row, until all the stitches are back on the same needle. These are stuffed, stitched to the hat and finished with embroidery in duplicate stitch. The antennae are made from knitted strips covering pipe cleaners. These are topped with a knitted button. The lower ends of the antennae are stuffed to help them stand up on the hat. The nostrils are two duplicate stitches embroidered onto the rib of the hat.

Main section

  • With 6mm needles and A, cast on 59[63] sts.

Child size only

  • Row 1 (RS): K1, (p2, k3) to last 3 sts, p2, k1.
  • Row 2 (WS): P1, (k2, p3) to last 3 sts, k2, p1.
  • Rows 3–4: As rows 1–2.

Adult size only

  • Row 1 (RS): (K3, p2) to last 3 sts, k3.
  • Row 2 (WS): (P3, k2) to last 3 sts, p3.
  • Rows 3–4: As rows 1–2.

Both sizes

  • Change to 7mm needles.
  • Next row (RS) (inc): K4[6], (kfb, k9) 5 times, kfb, k4[6] (65[69] sts).
  • Next row: Purl.

Adult size only

  • Next row: Knit.
  • Next row: Purl.

Both sizes

  • Work in cable pattern as follows (see chart below):
  • Row 1: K27[29], p1, C4B, k1, C4F, p1, k27[29].
  • Row 2: P27[29], k1, p9, k1, p27[29].
  • Row 3: K27[29], p1, k9, p1, k27[29].
  • Row 4: As row 2.
  • Rows 5–16: Rep rows 1–4 3 more times.

Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | cbart with Alien hat on modelShape crown

  • Row 1 (RS) (dec): K2tog, k10[11], sl1, k2tog, psso, k10[11], k2tog, p1, C4B, k1, C4F, p1, k2togtbl, k10[11], sl1, k2tog, psso, k10[11], k2togtbl (57[61] sts).
  • Row 2 (WS): P23[25], k1, p9, k1, p23[25].
  • Row 3 (dec): K2tog, k8[9], sl1, k2tog, psso, k8[9], k2tog, p1, k9, p1, k2togtbl, k8[9], sl1, k2tog, psso, k8[9], k2togtbl (49[53] sts).
  • Row 4: P19[21], k1, p9, k1, p19[21].
  • Row 5 (dec): K2tog, k6[7], sl1, k2tog, psso, k6[7], k2tog, p1, C4B, k1, C4F, p1, k2togtbl, k6[7], sl1, k2tog, psso, k6[7], k2togtbl (41[45] sts).
  • Row 6: P15[17], k1, p9, k1, p15[17].
  • Row 7 (dec): K2tog, k4[5], sl1, k2tog, psso, k4[5], k2tog, p1, k9, p1, k2togtbl, k4[5], sl1, k2tog, psso, k4[5], k2togtbl (33[37] sts).
  • Row 8: P11[13], k1, p9, k1, p11[13].
  • Row 9 (dec): K2tog, k2[3], sl1, k2tog, psso, k2[3], k2tog, p1, C4B, k1, C4F, p1, k2togtbl, k2[3], sl1, k2tog, psso, k2[3], k2togtbl (25[29] sts).
  • Row 10: P7[9], k1, p9, k1, p7[9].
  • Row 11 (dec): K2tog, k0[1], sl1, k2tog, psso, k0[1], k2tog, p1, k9, p1, k2togtbl, k0[1], sl1, k2tog, psso, k0[1], k2togtbl (17[21] sts).

Adult size only

  • Row 12: P5, k1, p9, k1, p5.
  • Row 13 (dec): K2tog, k1, k2tog, p1, C4B, k1, C4F, p1, k2togtbl, k1, k2togtbl (17 sts).

Both sizes

  • Break yarn and thread through rem sts, draw up tight and fasten off.

Eyes (make 2)

  • Slip all stitches p-wise.

Shape eyelid

  • With 4mm needles and B, cast on 10[12] sts.
  • Row 1 (RS): Purl.
  • Row 2 (WS) (inc): Kfb k to last st, kfb (12[14] sts).
  • Row 3 (inc): Sl1, p to last st, sl1.
  • Row 4 (inc): As row 2 (14[16] sts).
  • Row 5: Purl.

Eyeball

  • Join and cont in B and C, used together.
  • Row 6 (WS): Sl1, p12[14], turn.
  • Row 7: Sl1, k11[13], turn.
  • Row 8: Sl1, p10[12], turn.
  • Row 9: Sl1, k9[11], turn.
  • Row 10: Sl1, p8[10], turn.
  • Row 11: Sl1, k7[9], turn.

Adult size only

  • Row 12: Sl1, p8, turn.
  • Row 13: Sl1, k7, turn.

Both sizes

  • Next row: Sl1, p7, pick up the horizontal loop before the next st and ptog with the next st to prevent a hole appearing in the work, turn.
  • Next row: Sl1, k8, pick up the horizontal loop before the next st and ktog with the next st, turn.
  • Next row: Sl1, p9, pick up the horizontal loop before the next st and ptog with the next st, turn.

Adult size only

  • Next row: Sl1, k10, pick up the horizontal loop before the next st and ktog with the next st, turn.
  • Next row: Sl1, p11, pick up the horizontal loop before the next st and ptog with the next st, turn.

Both sizes

  • Shape lower edge of eye
  • Next row: Sl1, k10[12], change to yarn A, pick up the horizontal loop before the next st and ktog with the next st, turn.
  • Cont with yarn A.
  • Next row: Sl1, p11[13], pick up the horizontal loop before the next st and ptog with the next st, turn.
  • Next row: Sl1, p12[14], pick up the horizontal loop before the next st and ptog with the next st, turn.
  • Cast off k-wise, leaving a long length of yarn A at the end.

Antennae (make 2)

  • With 4mm needles and A, cast on 12[15] sts.
  • Starting with a k row, work 5 rows in st st.
  • Cast off k-wise, leaving a long length of yarn at the end.

Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | Alien hat antenna detailAntennae tip

  • With 4mm needles and yarns B and C held together, cast on 7 sts.
  • Starting with a p row, work 11 rows in rev st st, finishing on a RS row. Cast off k-wise, leaving a long length of yarn B at the end.

Making up

  • Join the back seam with mattress stitch (see below for tutorial).

Eyes

  • Sew each eye in place at an angle, with the shaped eyelid at the top, positioning them just above the ribbing and overlapping the edges of the cable design. Stitch neatly around the edges, leaving an opening to insert the stuffing before closing. Use the duplicate stitch technique (see below for tutorial) and D to embroider a line up the central knit stitches of the eyes.

Nose

  • Embroider the nose in D, working one duplicate stitch for each nostril on the ribbing.

Antennae

  • Fold each pipe cleaner in half and twist the two halves together. Turn under the sharp edges and place one twisted pipe cleaner in the centre of the wrong side (purl side) of each knitted strip. Fold the strip around the pipe cleaner, bringing the long edges together. Use the length of yarn left after casting off to sew the edges together, encasing the pipe cleaner. Sew together the cast-on and cast-off edges of the tip of the antennae to form a tube. Gather the open edges at each end and work a few stitches through the centre, from one side to the other, to flatten the piece, forming a button shape. Stitch the knitted buttons to the top of the antennae. Use the end of a knitting needle to push a small amount of stuffing firmly into the first 3/4in (2cm) of the open end of each antenna. This will help them to stand upright when attached to the hat. Sew the antennae in place, halfway between the eyes and the top of the hat. Weave in all the yarn ends.

Lining

Fleece linings

Add a lining to your monster hat to make it even cosier. Choose a fabric with some stretch that feels soft to the touch, in a contrasting or a matching colour.

Fabric lining materials

  • 22 x 22in (56 x 56cm) [25 x 25in (63.5 x 63.5cm)] of stretch fabric, such as polar fleece or jersey
  • Matching thread
  • Needle
  • Dressmaking pins
  • Squared pattern paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

Method

  1. Scale the pattern template to size, transferring all the markings onto the paper. Cut out the pattern, following the continuous line. Seam allowances of 5⁄8in (1.5cm) are included in the pattern. Place the pattern on the folded fabric, ensuring that the fold indicated on the pattern is placed exactly on the fold of the fabric. Pin the pattern in position and cut out the fabric.
  2. Stitch the darts indicated on the pattern template. Cut to within 1⁄2in (1.25cm) of the point of the dart and press open. With right sides together, pin and stitch the main seam, allowing for a 5⁄8in (1.5cm) seam. Trim the seam and cut notches in the curve, taking care not to cut into the stitching.
  3. Turn under the hem and pin the lining to the inside of the hat, just above the knitted edging or the ribbing, with the main seam of the lining at the centre back of the hat. Ease the fabric evenly around the lower edge. Slip stitch in place by hand. Work a few stitches through the top of the crown into the knitted hat to keep the lining in place.

Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | adding fleece liningKey for both charts

  • 1 square = 3⁄8in (1cm)
  • 5⁄8in (2.5cm) seam allowance is included

CHART

  • Adult lining cut 1

Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | adult's lining chart

  • Child lining cut 1

Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | child's lining chart

  • Stitch main seam, trim seam and cut notches in the curve.
  • Stitch darts

Knitted linings

A knitted lining is a cosy alternative to the fleece lining. It can be worked in the same shade as the monster hat, or you can choose a contrast colour. As the earflap facings are worked into the knitted lining pattern, omit them where applicable from the pattern when knitting the hat. The lining is stitched in place after the features are added to the main part of the hat. If twisted cords are to be attached to the earflaps, the knitted lining should go in first.

Materials

  • Approximately 50g yarn for Pop-eyes; 100g yarn for other monster hats (A)
  • See chosen monster hat pattern for required needle sizes
  • Stitch holder
  • Blunt-ended tapestry needle

Sizes

  • To fit: child, up to 20in (51cm) head circumference [adult, up to 22in (56cm) head circumference]

Tension

  • See chosen monster hat pattern for required tension.

Method

The knitted lining is worked in the same yarn as the hat you are making: refer to the pattern for the yarn type, needles required and tension. The earflap facings are worked first, where applicable. The main part of the lining is then continued in stocking stitch. The back seam is joined and the lining slipped inside the hat and stitched in place. Then finish with twisted cords and tassels, if using.

Alien, Fluffball, Skull, Slug, Troll and Zombie

  • Using A and 8mm needles for Fluffball or 7mm needles for Alien, Skull, Slug, Troll and Zombie, cast on 61[65] sts.
  • Starting with a knit row, work in st st for 18[20] rows, ending with a WS row.

Shape crown

  • Row 1 (RS) (dec): K2tog, (k12[13], sl1, k2tog, psso) 3 times, k12[13], k2tog (53[57] sts).
  • Row 2: Purl.
  • Row 3 (dec): K2tog, (k10[11], sl1, k2tog, psso) 3 times, k10[11], k2tog (45[49] sts).
  • Row 4: Purl.
  • Row 5 (dec): K2tog, (k8[9], sl1, k2tog, psso) 3 times, k8[9], k2tog (37[41] sts).
  • Row 6: Purl.
  • Row 7 (dec): K2tog, (k6[7], sl1, k2tog, psso) 3 times, k6[7], k2tog (29[33] sts).
  • Row 8: Purl.
  • Row 9 (dec): K2tog, (k4[5], sl1, k2tog, psso) 3 times, k4[5], k2tog (21[25] sts).
  • Row 10: Purl.
  • Row 11 (dec): K2tog, (k2[3], sl1, k2tog, psso) 3 times, k2[3], k2tog (13[17] sts).

Adult size only

  • Row 12: Purl.
  • Row 13 (dec): K2tog, (k1, sl1, k2tog, psso) 3 times, k1, k2tog (9 sts).

Both sizes

  • Break yarn and thread through rem sts, draw up tight and fasten off.

Making up

  • Join the back seam with mattress stitch (see below). With WS together, pin the lining in place inside the main part of the hat and slip stitch neatly around the lower edges. For the Alien, Blob, Fluffball, Skull, Troll and Zombie, slip stitch the lower edge of the lining to the first row of stocking stitch after the rib on the main part, or after the garter stitch edging if making the Slug. Work a few stitches into the top of the crown to stop the lining slipping.

Mattress stitch

  • The mattress stitch produces an invisible seam that is suitable for stocking stitch fabric. It produces a neat finish, ideal for joining the seam at the back of the hats.
  • Place the two edges to be joined side by side with the right sides of the work facing you. Insert the needle under the horizontal bar between the first two stitches on one side, then under the same bar on the other piece. Continue picking up the stitches and drawing the edges together, every few stitches, to join the seam.

Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | mattress stitch illustrationDuplicate stitch

  • Insert the needle from the back to the front of the work at the base of the ‘V’ formed by the knitted stitch that you want to embroider over. At the front of the work, insert your needle behind both arms of the stitch above it and pull the yarn through.Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | duplicate stitch illustration 1
  • Insert the needle back through the pointwhere it first emerged to cover the knitted stitch.

Free knitting pattern: Alien hat by Vanessa Mooncie via Underground Crafter | duplicate stitch illustration 2

Very British Toddler Knits by Susan Campbell Book Review with Mouse Scarf Pattern

Very British Toddler Knits cover via Underground CrafterI’m delighted to share my review of a knitting pattern collection by Susan Campbell, along with an excerpted pattern for the adorable, child-sized Mouse Scarf, and a giveaway for your chance to win the copy of her book, so read on for details!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. A free review copy of Very British Toddler Knits: 25 Classic Designs for 1 to 6 Year Olds by Susan Campbell was provided to me by Search Press North America. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

Book Review

Very British Toddler Knits: 25 Classic Designs for 1 to 6 Year Olds is a delightfully presented pattern collection by Susan Campbell. I liked this book from the moment I opened it because on the cover flap, there are rulers printed in both inches and centimeters. What a cool idea and a great way to get started with your garment knitting journey (by checking your gauge, that is!).

The book opens with a Table of Contents which is followed by a Project Gallery with small photos of each project. In Susan’s introduction, she mentions that she is a mother, stepmother, grandmother, or stepgrandmother to 27, so she is a veteran in the design of baby clothes. She says, “I’ve been designing small person’s knitwear for a very long time — no design of mine will have to be squeezed over a child’s head and no baby will have to be stripped almost naked to facilitate a nappy change.” I loved that she emphasized the practicality of her designs because they are also beautiful!

The book then continues on to the patterns, which are organized into five collections. The first four are named for locations and Susan provides some historical background about each in the introduction to the collection. There are two collections designed for girls and two collections designed for boys. The fifth collection is a set of mice toys with outfits that coordinate with each of the four children’s clothes collections.

Each collection includes the introduction to the collection, several full page, beautifully staged and photographed pictures of children (or mice toys!) dressed in the full collection. This is followed by the individual patterns, which include sizes by age and measurements, recommended yarn and needles, a list of extras (such as buttons), and the tension (gauge). The patterns list any special abbreviations at the top of each pattern. Within each pattern, there are additional smaller photos of the designs.

The book includes the following types of patterns for children:

  • 6 cardigans,
  • 4 hats and headbands,
  • 3 jumpers (sweaters),
  • 2 dresses (each with instructions for knitted or fabric skirts),
  • 2 scarves,
  • 1 gilet (hooded vest), and
  • 1 bag.

There is also the amigurumi mice pattern, which includes 2 dresses, 2 jumpers (sweaters), 2 trousers (pants), and a jacket to coordinate with the children’s clothes.

The book ends with Size Diagrams, which includes illustrated schematics for each of the children’s garments and accessories; Finishing Touches, which provides written and illustrated instructions for making covered buttons, bias binding, embroidery stitches (lazy daisy, French knot, and stem stitch), and buttonhole loops; a list of pattern abbreviations; and acknowledgements.

The book doesn’t include pattern difficulty levels, but I would described it as best for intermediate knitters, although a confident and adventurous beginner could make most of the projects in Very British Toddler Knits. The book assumes you know how to knit and read patterns; it’s a pattern collection, not an instructional book. The designs are adorable and the photography is inspiring. If you like to knit for toddlers, I think you’ll get a lot of inspiration from this book.


Mouse Scarf

Knitting Pattern by Susan Campbell

Published in Very British Toddler Knits: 25 Classic Designs for 1 to 6 Year Olds

Pattern and Photos © 2018 Quail Publishing. Shared with permission from Search Press North America.

Free knitting pattern: Mouse Scarf by Susan Campbell - excerpted from Very British Toddler Knits with permission from Search Press via Underground CrafterNotes from Underground Crafter:

  • This pattern uses Craft Yarn Council knitting abbreviations. A full list of abbreviations is available here.
  • Video tutorials for many of the increases and decreases are linked below.
    • M2 tutorial by JennyKnits is available here.
    • M1 tutorial by Deramores is available here.
    • Skpo tutorial by Deramores is available  here.
    • K2tog tutorial by Deramores is available here.
  • A mattress stitch seaming tutorial is available here.
  • A French knot embroidery tutorial is available here.
  • This pattern uses a super fine (#1/fingering/4 ply) yarn held double (two strands together).
  • The finished scarf measures 93 cm (36.5”) long, excluding mouse head and tail.
  • This pattern is part of the Hampton collection in Very British Toddler Knits.

Size

  • One size – child 1–6 years

Yarn

  • Rowan Pure Wool 4 ply
  • 3 x 50g/1.75oz balls in main colour (Snow)
  • 1 x 50g/1.75oz ball in pale pink for mouth scraps of grey for nose

Needles

  • Pair each of 3mm (US 2/3) and 4.5mm (US 7) knitting needles
  • Pair each of 3mm (US 2/3), 3.5mm (US 4) and 4mm (US 6) double-pointed needles

Extras

  • 2 buttons, beads or safety eyes (for very small children work eyes and nose in coloured yarn)

Tension (Gauge)

  • 28 sts and 36 rows to 10cm/4in square 20 sts and 37 rows to 10cm/4in square over garter st with 4.5mm (US 7) needles and yarn held double

Warning

  • Never leave a young child alone wearing a scarf.

Free knitting pattern: Mouse Scarf by Susan Campbell - excerpted from Very British Toddler Knits with permission from Search Press via Underground CrafterScarf

  • Work with 2 strands and in garter st, throughout.
  • Using 4.5mm (US 7) needles and 2 strands of MC, cast on 4 sts.
  • Row 1 M2 into fi rst st, K1, M2 into next st, K1. 8 sts
  • K 3 rows.
  • Row 5 K1, M2 into next st, K3, M2 into next st, K2. 12 sts
  • K 3 rows
  • Row 9 K2, M2 into next st, K5, M2 into next st, K3. 16 sts
  • K 3 rows.
  • Row 13 K3 inc twice into next st K7, inc twice into next st K4. 20 sts
  • K 3 rows.
  • Cont in this way, inc 4 sts on next and every foll 4th row until there are 44 sts.
  • Next row K2tog, K to last 2 sts, K2tog. 42 sts.
  • Rep last row until 22 sts remain.
  • Work straight until scarf measures 86cm/34in or required length.
  • Cast off 2 sts at beg of each row until 6 sts remain.
  • Slip these 6 sts onto 4mm (US 6) double-pointed needles and work an I-cord.
  • To make an I-cord K to end of row.
  • *Slide the sts to the right-hand side of the needle. Pull yarn taut and K another row. *
  • Rep from * to * until the ‘tail’ is 18cm/7in long.
  • Change to 3.5mm (US 4) double-pointed needles and work I-cord for another 4cm/1½in.
  • Change to 3mm (US 2/3) double-pointed needles and work I-cord until the tail measures 32cm/12½in or required length. P6tog.
  • Fasten off.

Lower Jaw

  • With 4.5mm (US 7) needles and 2 strands of MC, cast on 4 sts.
  • Working in garter st, inc 1 st at each end of every 4th row until there are 22sts.
  • K 11 rows straight.
  • Cast off.

Mouth

  • With 4.5mm (US 7) needles and 2 strands of pink yarn, cast on 4 sts.
  • Working in garter st, inc 1 st at each end of every 4th row until there are 12 sts.
  • Next row P.
  • Next row K.
  • Next row P.
  • Working in garter st, dec 1 st at each end of next and every 4th row until 4 sts remain.
  • K 3 rows.
  • Cast off.

Outer Ears (make 2)

  • With 4.5mm (US 7) needles and 2 strands of main yarn cast on 5 sts.
  • Row 1 K1, M1 into next 2 sts, K2. 7 sts
  • Row 2 P2, M1 into next 2 sts, P3. 9 sts
  • Row 3 M1 into first st, K6, M1 into next st, K1. 11 sts
  • Row 4 M1 into first st, P8, M1 into next st, P1. 13 sts
  • Row 5 K1, [M1 into next st, K2] to end of row. 17 sts
  • Work 7 rows in st st.
  • Row 13 [Skpo] twice, K9, [K2tog] twice. 13 sts
  • Row 14 P.
  • Row 15 Skpo, K7, K2tog K2. 11 sts
  • Row 16 P.
  • Row 17 Skpo, K1, K3tog, K1, K2tog, K2. 7 sts
  • Row 18 P.
  • Row 19 Skpo, K3, K2tog. 5 sts
  • Row 20 P.
  • Cast off.

Inner Ears (make 2)

  • With 3.25mm (US 3) needles and 1 strand of pink yarn, cast on 5 sts.
  • Row 1 K1, M1 into next 2 sts, K2. 7 sts
  • Row 2 P2, M1 into next st, P3. 9 sts
  • Row 3 M1 into first st, K6, M1 into next st, K1. 11 sts
  • Row 4 M1 into first st, P8, M1 into next st, P1. 13 sts
  • Row 5 K1, [M1 into next st, K2] to end of row. 17 sts
  • Row 6 P1, [M1 into next st, P2] to last st. P1. 22 sts
  • Work 8 rows in st st.
  • Row 15 [Skpo] twice, K14, [K2tog] twice. 18 sts
  • Row 16 P.
  • Row 17 [Skpo] twice, K10, [K2tog] twice. 14 sts
  • Row 18 P.
  • Row 19 Sk2po, K7, [K2tog] twice. 10 sts
  • Row 20 P.
  • Row 21 Skpo, K6, K2tog. 8 sts
  • Row 22 P.
  • Row 23 Skpo, K4, K2tog. 6 sts
  • Row 24 P.
  • Cast off.

To Make Up

  • Fold the mouth in two and, using mattress st, sew the top half to the nose end of the main piece.
  • Sew the bottom half to the lower jaw.
  • Using mattress st, sew the sides of the bottom jaw to the sides of the head.
  • Using mattress st, sew the inner and the outer ears together and sew the ears into place.
  • Sew beads/buttons into place for eyes, or use black yarn and French knots.
  • With grey yarn and satin stitch, sew the nose.
  • Sew whiskers into place each side of nose by using yarn and knotting it each side of the face.
  • Using mattress st, sew the tail decrease together so that it tapers into the tail.

Giveaway

Very British Toddler Knits giveaway via Underground Crafter - enter through October 15, 2018 for your chance to win a copyNow that you’ve read my review of Very British Toddler Knits: 25 Classic Designs for 1 to 6 Year Olds by Susan Campbell and tried out the Mouse Scarf, are your ready to win your own copy?

By entering this giveaway, you are voluntarily submitting information to Rafflecopter. You can read their privacy policy here for more details about how that information is used. This giveaway is open to readers with mailing addresses in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, or other parts of Europe, except where prohibited by law. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Monday, October 15, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random from the entries submitted via the Rafflecopter widget. The winner will receive 1 copy of Very British Toddler Knits, courtesy of Search Press North America. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament | Craft Lightning Hot Glue

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground CrafterAre you looking for a quick gift for your favorite yarn lover, or perhaps something to announce your own love of yarn to the world? I’m sharing a tutorial for how to make a handmade yarn with knitting needles ornament. With just a few supplies, including leftover yarn from your last crochet or knitting project, you can make this easy peasy ornament in less than 15 minutes!

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - finished project in handThis project is part of Craft Lightning Hot Glue edition.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. Yarn for this project was generously provided by Red Heart. A free review copy of Hot Glue Hacks and Crafts: 50 Fun and Creative Decor, Fashion, Gift, and Holiday Projects to Make with Your Glue Gun by Angie Holden and Carolina Moore was provided to me by Ulysses Press. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

Before I share the tutorial, let me tell you a little about me and hot glue.

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - finished project styled with artifical trees and jingle signGrowing up, I had three main creative influences:

  • My dad, who is a painter and photographer. He taught me basic painting and drawing skills.
  • My maternal grandmother, who was an expert in all things needlecrafts. She taught me to crochet, sew, and embroider, and tried to teach me to knit, too. From time to time, we’d do some other crafts, like latch hooking.
  • My mom, who is a masterful seamstress and can flip beat up old furniture into like-new beauties. She would decoupage from time to time, too.

Nowhere in my childhood did I experience hot glue. As a relatively clumsy teen and then adult, I continued to avoid it. It seemed like I’d be tempting fate to put heat and glue anywhere near my flesh.

Then, in January, I went to Creativation, the annual trade show for the crafts industry. Before the event officially kicks off, Angie from The Country Chic Cottage and Carolina from Always Expect Moore and 30 Minute Crafts host a night out for crafts bloggers. They had a hot glue project planned, and they patiently took me from life as a hot glue newbie into the world of the anointed.

I didn’t burn myself (or anyone else) and I was pleasantly surprised by the results (and the speed). I’m sharing this story because Angie and Carolina recently came out with a book for hot glue newbies and pros alike! It’s kind of like having them both there with you, so if you’re intrigued by hot glue, pick yourself up a copy of Hot Glue Hacks and Crafts: 50 Fun and Creative Decor, Fashion, Gift, and Holiday Projects to Make with Your Glue Gun!

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - Hot Glue Hacks and Crafts book coverHot Glue Hacks and Crafts starts off with Glue Gun Basics, which tells you everything you need to know about different types of glue guns, glue, and accessories, while also sharing some great tips like how to avoid those little strings of glue that seem to trail off everywhere. The rest of the book is filled with projects, which are organized by type (for kids, home decor, holiday, jewelry, and entertaining). There’s also a Glue Gun Hacks section which shows you how to make stencils, stamps, molds, and faux geodes with hot glue, as well as how to etch with hot glue. This section includes a project for making your own stand, too, which is really helpful (and safer) if your glue gun didn’t come with a stand. There are also templates in the back for some of the projects.

My favorite projects in the book are the lampshade, the stencils, and the stamped pillow. All of the projects include detailed progress pictures — just like what you’d expect to see in a blog tutorial — so even when the project isn’t something you plan to make, you can still pick up some hot glue tips and tricks. If you’d like to have the ability to make some quick handmade gifts for friends and family (and yourself), but also to learn how to really maximize your hot glue gun, I highly recommend Hot Glue Hacks and Crafts!

As you might have guessed by now, the book is the inspiration behind this edition of Craft Lightning, where a group of bloggers share 15 minute craft projects. Here’s what I made with my glue gun!

Shop Red Heart, America's Favorite Yarn

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament

Tutorial by Underground Crafter

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground CrafterNow that you know where to get more information if you’re a hot glue newbie like I was just a few short months ago, let’s dive into the project! This yarn and knitting needles ornament works up quickly and it’s great for decoration or a gift. I got all the supplies I needed at Michaels using the Buy Online, Pick Up in Store option.

Materials

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - supplies

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - finished project on wood with jingle sign

Instructions

Prepare the knitting needles

  • Split one dowel in half. I used a scissor to make indents around the center and then cracked it in half, but you could also use a small craft saw.
  • Using the pencil sharpener, sharpen one end of each piece of the dowel to a point, like a knitting needle.

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - sharpening dowel to make knitting needles

  • Preheat your glue gun.

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - hot glue gun

  • Glue the beads to the un-sharpened end of each piece of the dowel and let dry.

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - making knitting needles from dowel and beadHow To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - glued beads to needles

Attach the knitting needles to the ornament

  • Glue the first knitting needle to the ornament and let dry.

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - glued first knitting needle

  • Glue the second knitting needle to the ornament so it appears to cross the first, by actually doesn’t touch it. Let dry.

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - glued knitting needles

Wrap the ornament with yarn

  • Glue the starting tail of the yarn to the ornament. Let dry.

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - glued yarn tail before wrap

  • Wrap the yarn around the ornament, starting by covering the knitting needles, and being careful not to cover the ornament loop. Continue wrapping until the entire ornament is covered.
  • Cut the yarn and glue the ending tail of the yarn to the ornament on the back. Let dry.

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - glued yarn tail after wrap

That’s it!

How To Make a Handmade Yarn with Knitting Needles Ornament with Hot Glue - tutorial by Underground Crafter - finished project styled with jingle signI’d love to figure out a way to make a crochet hook version that doesn’t involve whittling wood. If you have any suggestions for making a mini crochet hook, let me know!

If you enjoyed this project, you may like my DIY Locking Stitch Markers for Crochet and Knitting tutorial.

DIY Locking Stitch Markers for Crochet and Knitting Tutorial by Underground Crafter | Make your own custom stitch markers with supplies from Oriental Trading! I used the Dia de los Muertos enamel charms to add color and an autumn feel to this set.

Book Review: Coastal Crochet by Karen Whooley

Coastal Crochet by Karen Whooley book review on Underground Crafter - coverI’m sharing a review of a new crochet pattern book by Karen Whooley. This book features 12 patterns (well, really 13) inspired by the beaches and shores of California and the West Coast of the United States.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. A free review copy of Coastal Crochet by Karen Whooley was provided to me by Occhi Blu Press. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

A few weeks ago, Karen stopped by for a guest post about crocheting with and caring for hand dyed yarns, so you won’t be surprised to hear that the designs in Coastal Crochet are made with hand dyed and small batch yarns by indie yarn companies. Not to worry if that isn’t in your budget, because there is a section on yarn substitution!

Coastal Crochet opens with a visual table of contents including large thumbnails of each design. It continues to Karen’s introduction, which shares her love of the coasts of California. Her tone is warm and conversational, and that continues throughout the book. In the Before You Get Started section, Karen discusses gauge, making yarn substitutions (and how that may impact the drape of the finished project and the yardage required), reading patterns (including international stitch symbols and US pattern abbreviations), and blocking, which is critical to the look of many of her lacy designs. All of the patterns in this book are made with lace and fingering (0 and 1) weight yarns. (If you’re new to working with thinner yarns, you can find helpful tips here.)

The book then dives into the patterns. There are:

  • Five shawls (no surprise, since Karen’s last book was A Garden of Shawls, reviewed here),
  • Four tops,
  • Two neckwarmers, and
  • One hat and one set of mitts.

There are actually 12 patterns, but two are part of a set so listed as one. Each pattern includes an introduction by Karen, finished measurements, a detailed materials list, information about gauge (including whether the measurements are before or after blocking), an explanation of any special stitches used in the pattern, notes, and directions. The patterns are written in US pattern abbreviations with international stitch symbol charts and schematics with detailed measurements of each section.

While there is no difficulty level listed in each pattern, Karen does mention that the book is designed for crocheters who have mastered the basic stitches. The book ends with acknowledgments and a resources section including links to all of the yarns used, as well as the hooks and notions Karen uses.

The pictures of the patterns, set against beautiful coastal backgrounds, are stunning and they definitely make you want to pick up your hooks and get started. All of the pictures feature the same model, which is helpful for understanding the relative ease of each pattern (such as which are form fitting and which are oversized) but more diversity in the models would have been nice. As with all pattern books, your enjoyment will be increased if there are lots of patterns you want to make. You can see all of the patterns here on the book’s Ravelry page.

My favorites are Shoreline

Shorline shawl from Coastal Crochet by Karen Whooley

BeachsideBeachside shawl from Coastal Crochet by Karen Whooleyand Coastline, a “swoncho” style sweater.

Coastline sweater by Karen Whooley from Coastal CrochetIf you’re an advanced beginner or intermediate crocheter who likes to work with thinner yarns (or is comfortable experimenting with gauge and tension), you’re sure to find some beautiful women’s garments and accessories in Coastal Crochet!

You can find more books by Karen Whooley on Amazon.