Categories
Free Patterns

Free Pattern: Scrappy Knit Coasters

Hi friends! Wow it’s been a minute, but I’m really happy to have a new post for you today AND it’s a fun free pattern! This is a pattern for a set of knit coasters with a cute lil’ tassel that are a perfect way to use up super bulky weight scraps.

I’ve really been slacking off on the blog lately, although I’m trying to be kind to myself that with the COVID-19 pandemic and stress at work there has been a lot of change. One of the reasons is that I just haven’t been using my planner to be accountable to myself and the goals that I set.

A floral 2020 Agenda book sits on a brown outdoor table with a glass of pink iced tea on a white hand knit coaster
I really need a hard copy planner to keep myself on track

Earlier this year, I posted about my 2020 knitting goals and one of them was to use more stash yarn and knit more scrappy projects. At the beginning of COVID-19 lock down I decided I would take the time to do some projects around the house. And one of them was to organize my stash.

While I was organizing I realized I have a lot of scrappy balls of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick. Like a lot of knitters this yarn is a staple for me for Winter items like hats, mittens, and scarves. But I always have a fair amount left over and I can’t just throw it out!

So I wanted to come up with a design to use up some of these scraps and these scrappy tassel coasters were born!

There are instructions for a 1 colour or 2 colour coasters. I love to make a set of 4 using two colours. There’s also a tutorial with photos for making the tassels.

4 knit coasters sit on a brown outdoors table
I used the bright Astroland colourway with the more neutral Fisherman to create this set of 4

These are perfect for keeping condensation off your furniture on a hot summer day when you enjoy a cold drink. The coasters can also be used for warm drinks, be careful not to place a very hot mug on them though, as Wool Ease Thick & Quick is primarily made of acrylic it can melt under high temperatures.

A glass of pink iced tea on a knit coaster, three other coasters are stacked next to it
Save your furniture from condensation when you enjoy a cold drink this summer!

Save it for later!

Click here to pin it on Pinterest

Click here to save on Ravelry

Materials

US 13 (9mm) needles

Yarn needle to weave in ends

Scissors

Approximately 20g (33 yds) of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick or super bulky yarn per coaster

Square coaster or another small square/rectangle item (for making the tassel)

Gauge

8 stitches and 20 rows = 4 x 4 inches

Instructions

1-Colour

Cast on 10 stitches

Knit 14 rows

Bind off all stitches leaving an 8 inch tail, you’ll use this to attach the tassel

2-Colour

Cast on 10 stitches in colour A

Knit 7 rows

Switch to Colour B

Knit 7 rows

Bind off all stitches leaving an 8 inch tail, you’ll use this to attach the tassel

Tassel

I used a 3″ by 3″ coaster to create my tassel by winding the yarn around the coaster 12 times.

IMG_20200601_182007

Cut the yarn from the ball and then cut the wound yarn along the bottom of the coaster.

Take one strand of the yarn and put it to the side.

Hang the yarn strands over your needle and wrap the strang you put to the side around all of the strands and tie it.

IMG_20200601_182131 (1)
Sorry, this is upside down! It wouldn’t let me rotate the image!!

Trim the tassel to desired length.

Attach the tassel to your coaster by threading the tail from your bind off through the tassel and then weaving that end in.

IMG_20200601_182217 (1)

Weave in all remaining ends.

Share your WIPs and FOs on Instagram. Don’t forget to tag me @knitsofsteele!

Click here to view my designs on Ravelry.

You are allowed to sell your finished items made with this pattern. You may not use my photos/images to sell your items. Please give pattern credit to Knits of Steele/Cassandra Steele on your listings. Happy knitting!

 

Categories
FO Spotlight

Mom is Knitworthy: FO Round Up

In honour of Mother’s Day this coming weekend I thought I would do a bit of an FO Roundup of knitted gifts that I’ve made my mom! My mom is really knitworthy and she’s one of the only people I knit gifts for.

If you follow me on Instagram then you’re familiar with her. This is Brenda!

Okay…Here’s a nice one…also an old one, clearly mom and I need to step up our selfie game!

Mother and daughter smile at the camera, wearing Winter jackets and scarves,
A picture of mom and I enjoying a walk from a few years ago

The first gift I ever made for my mom is this cute little dinosaur. I went through a whole dinosaur knitting phase, and I actually have a couple long-abandoned dino WIPS…I should pick those back up!

A purple and green knit Mesosaurus on a white blanket

Mom keeps her on the bed with her decorative pillows. Her name is Debbie the Dino. Debbie is a Mesosaurus knit from Knitted Dinosaurs by Tina Barret.

The second gift was this cowl. I made this many years later when I picked my knitting back up in 2017.

A woman smiles at the camera wearing a winter coat and a red, pink and grey striped knit cowl
Mom wearing her striped ribbed cowl at the mall in 2017

I used Caron Cakes, I think this colour is Red Velvet. It’s just a simple 5×5 rib pattern. This was right at the beginning of my Instagram career so of course, we had to do a photoshoot with this Christmas decor at the mall!

mother and daughter smile at the camera in front of a gold decorative background

I didn’t knit this hat specifically for her, or for anyone. It was just part of my Braided Cable Beanie obsession! But she took a liking to it so I gifted it to her in 2018, complete with a faux fur pom pom.

A knit striped hat in red and purple tones on a white background

Unfortunately, I don’ have any pictures of her actually wearing it!! This is also knit with Caron Cakes, but the Chunky kind.

What else is there…birthday socks!! Okay, I’ve knit way more things for her than I thought I keep remembering more as I go.

These are the Shag Carpet Shorties by Nicole Bracey. It’s one of my absolute favourite sock patterns. I’ve written a whole blog post about the Shag Carpet Shorties, it really reads more like a gushy love letter I love them so much!

Hand knit socks with an intricate cable in beige yarn
Close up of the beige version I knit my mom

When she asked for a sweater for Christmas in 2019 how could I say no?! I let her pick the style out of a few options I already had in my Ravelry library and she picked The Weekender by Andrea Mowry. But I kept the colour a complete surprise!

Read my The Weekender FO Spotlight (you haven’t already) for the project details! This is my favourite project for my mom, and I think it’s probably her favourite too. Just look at that happy face.

A white woman stands against a grey wall wearing a green knit sweater

…and I love it too. It was hard to give it up!! I’m definitely going to knit myself one.

A young white female takes a selfie in the mirror wearing a green knit sweater

Most recently I knit her a pair of Bun Bun Slippers for her birthday which was a couple weeks ago in April. Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, I haven’t been able to give them to her yet, but I know she’s looking forward to cozy feet!

A pair of red knit bunny slippers on a comforter

These slippers are really cute, I have a pair that I made myself and I’m planning to make a few more to use up some of my Thick & Quick stash.

Well, that’s it…I think…al the things I’ve made my mom. As you can see she’s very knitworthy and she appreciates and loves every piece. Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I haven’t picked out my gift…I guess it’s time to hit Ravelry!

Categories
Free Patterns Knits of Steele Designs

Free Pattern: Reusable Cotton Face Scrubby

This free knitting pattern for a reusable cotton face scrubby is a great way to reduce waste instead of using one-use cotton pads. I was inspired to design this pattern by Earth Day and out of a need I had in my own skincare routine!

I was so tired of using toilet paper, tissues and one use cotton pads to take off make-up, remove nail polish, and apply toner. Not only was it a waste to use so many one-use products, but they didn’t work very well!

A white woman's hand holds a bottle of Lush Tea Tree Water Toner against a dark wood table with a reusable knit cotton face scrubby next to it
These scrubbies are great for applying toner – this is my favourite toner from Lush!

When cotton face scrubby patterns started cropping up last year, I thought wow that is such a great idea, but something was wrong….nearly all of them were crochet!! There’s nothing wrong with crochet, but I cannot crochet more than a chain so making a round face scrubby was out of the question.

So I grabbed some cotton DK from my stash and got started! I knew I wanted to design something that was pretty enough to leave stacked on the counter and also functional. So I sat down and designed Reusable Cotton Face Scrubbies 4 Ways!

The pattern includes instructions for

  • The Classic style
  • Mitered Square
  • Striped Mitered Square
  • And Bordered style
6 reusable cotton face scrubbies laid out on a white background
Four scrubby styles are better than one!

And today I’m so happy to bring you the pattern for the Classic style free on the blog in honour of Earth Day 2020!

Each square takes so little yarn, this is a perfect stash busting project to use up leftover bits of cotton, which adds to the sustainability of the design. I used Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK for my scrubbies in the colours Dolphin Blue, Duck Egg Blue, and Vanilla Cream.

If you plan on using your scrubbies for make-up or nail polish I would recommend a darker colour so it doesn’t show the stains as much.

A blue reusable cotton face scrubby sits on a grey washcloth
FREE on the blog the Classic Style Scrubby!

Free Pattern: Classic Style Scrubby

Inspired by the classic hand knit dishcloth, this classic style make-up pad is knit corner to corner with timeless eyelet details around the border.

Abbreviations

k: knit

k2tog: knit two sts together

yo: yarn over

st(s): stitch(es)

Pattern Instructions

Cast On 4 sts

Row 1: K all sts

Row 2: K all sts

Row 3: K2, yo, k to end

Repeat Row 3 until there are 18 sts.

Row 4: K1, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k to end

Repeat Row 4 until there are 4 sts. 

Row 5: K all sts

Row 6: K all sts

Bind off all sts. 

Finishing

Weave in ends and block if desired. 

And that’s it – so easy! I bet you already want to make more. Did I mention that these make great gifts? I sent some pictures to my mom and she said she wants some, so I’m planning to make her a set for Mother’s Day.

A blue and cream reusable cotton face scrubby sit on a grey washcloth on a dark wood table
A close up look of the Bordered style. This one has two different textures on the right and wrong sides!

Don’t forget you can visit my Ravely store to purchase the downloadable pdf pattern that includes instructions for 4 Scrubby styles:

  • The Classic style
  • Mitered Square
  • Striped Mitered Square
  • And Bordered style
A reusable cotton scrubby sits on an aqua washcloth on a dark wood table
Shhhhh don’t tell the others, but the Striped Mitered Square is my favourite!

 

Categories
FO Spotlight

FO Spotlight: Flax

A special FO Spotlight today on Flax by Tin Can Knits. An older project made new! This is my new favourite sweater that is getting me through COVID-19 quarantine keeping me looking professional on video calls and cozy all day long. 

I originally knit this Flax sweater for Matt in late 2018. But after realizing a couple of weeks ago that he never ever wears it – I took it back! There are no hard feelings for him not wearing the sweater, it’s not his style and he’s particular about the way things sit on his neck and the neck is a bit high for his liking. 

A young white woman takes a selfie in a mirror, she is posed with her hand on her hip. She is wearing a blue knit Flax sweater and grey leggings
I’ve pretty much been living in this sweater for the past week

The Pattern 

Flax is part of the Tin Can Knits Simple Collection which is a collection of free patterns that are designed with beginners in mind. 

Flax was the first sweater I ever cast on (just not the first one I finished LOL). I find it really easy to follow and I didn’t use any of the video tutorials which I”m sure are amazing and would further help first-time sweater knitters. 

I really enjoyed making this sweater and I plan to knit another one as well as a Flax Light

A picture taken from above of a white woman sitting cross legged, her torso, left arm and legs are visible. She is wearing a blue knit Flax sweater and grey leggings
The garter stitch on the sleeves is one of my favourite details

I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern, however, when I knit it again intend to add short rows at the back of the neck to bring the neck up in the back so it doesn’t sit so high in the front. 

The Fit 

This is a size medium and it should fit me with 1” of negative ease, but as you can see it’s a loose fit. My gauge is too big by half a stitch per inch so that’s why it’s a bit bigger. I like the fabric I’ve achieved and I like the baggy fit. 

It fits like a favourite sweatshirt and is so comfy to wear with leggings, but also looks good dressed up with jeans. I think it would look super cute layered with a white collared shirt underneath!

A blue knit Flax sweater lies spread out on a hardwood floor
The first FO picture of the sweater on the old wood floors of our last apartment!

When I make my next Flax I’m intending to size down to the small/medium size and knit at the same gauge, I’m using the same yarn. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

One of the things that is so great about this pattern is that it looks great with both positive and negative ease!

The Yarn

I used Wool And The Gang Shiny Happy Cotton for this sweater in the colour Cloudy Blue. Matt picked out the colour for this sweater and although it’s not a colour I would normally pick for myself I really like it. 

Shiny Happy Cotton

  • 100% cotton 
  • Aran/worsted weight (it’s on the heavier side)
  • 155 yds to a 100g ball

This yarn is super cozy and soft. I know that some knitters find knitting with cotton unpleasant and that it hurts their hands, I enjoy knitting with cotton in general, but I didn’t have any of those issues with this yarn. 

I used 6 skeins to make this sweater. 

A partially finished knit Flax sweater sits on a white background next to a cactus in a square yellow pot.
I love raglan detail! (RIP to the plan in this photo….I have a brown thumb)

You can check out my Ravelry project page for Matt’s Flax to see some more photos and yardage details. 

I’m in love with this sweater, and I can’t wait to make another and see how it turns out with a bit of negative ease. And I’m really excited for my Flax Light that I’m going to knit with a slub base. I’ll be sure to share those with you when they’re finished!

Categories
Tips

Tips for Knitters During Social Distancing

Earlier this week I posted about Tips for Learning to knit for non-knitters or newbie knitters who were looking to learn a new skill during the COVID-19 self-isolation. But I recognize that the majority of my audience are people who already know how to knit. 

Well, I didn’t want anyone to be left out! So here are some tips for knitting during COVID-19 self-isolation. 

Have good posture

Good posture is a good habit to have when you’re knitting at any time, but during self-isolation, you’re likely to be knitting for longer than normal and this can take its toll on you physically. 

Here are some tips for good posture and avoiding pain while you knit

  • Sit up straight with back support. I know I’m guilty of knitting in a slumped over position with my legs crossed. But it’s better to sit in a straight posture, with your lower back supported and shoulders relaxed and not hunched or tightened upwards
  • Take frequent breaks! As much as we all love a knitting binge for hours on end it’s really not great for your body. Make sure you’re taking frequent breaks to stretch your arms and hands out. Here are some hand and wrist stretches courtesy of We Are Knitters
  • Take care of your eyes too! Make sure you have good lighting – ahem ahem a note to self as I knit in the dark watching horror movies…. And if you’re reading a pattern make sure you have it zoomed on your screen or use a magnifying glass if needed to make sure you aren’t straining your eyes to read

Support Your Local Yarn Store

Yarn stores that can still operate are doing so through online sales and curbside pick-up. With many of the larger yarn distributors placing a hold on shipping, like KnitPicks, this is a great opportunity to support a local business. 

You can also support independent yarn dyers during this time by buying yarn directly from them! I just picked up a couple beautiful skeins from Sweet Georgia and I can’t wait until they’re delivered!

Stash dive!

You might have some yarn in your stash that you’ve been waiting to use up. Now is the time!! Trust me there’s probably some real gems in your stash. 

I went deep stash diving into some scraps to use for Jessie Maed Designs My little Secret Crop KAL. This pattern is totally free during the KAL it’s kind of like a big test knit! You can find more details on Jessie’s Instagram.

A hand holds two knitting needles with a blue, white and orange knitting piece on them
I’m loving the blue and orange splashes in my Little Secret Crop

I’m having so much fun with it and I never would have thought to use the colours I’m blending together from scraps in my stash. 

Use Social Media to Connect

If you’ve been watching my Insta stories (and if not you should totally come follow me on Instagram) I’ve been doing a daily Captain’s Log update about my day. As well as posting other updates and pictures of the kitties.

Instagram has been a great tool for me during this to stay connected to my knitting friends and follow up with what everyone is doing. 

An orange tabby cat lies on a bed with paws curled up near his face
Follow me on Instagram for knitting and cute kitties!

Local knit nights are going virtual through video hang outs and knitting podcasters are doing more live video broadcasts to connect with their community. It’s so great that we have this technology to stay connected even if we can’t meet face-to-face!

Don’t get cast-on-itis

This is my final tip, and it might be the hardest one! I know that I have been suffering a serious case of cast-on-itis…I just want to cast on everything that I have queued up (and many things that I don’t have queued up).

This is definitely a good time to stash bust and knit a bunch of projects off of your Ravelry queue! But in order to really finish anything, it’s important you try and focus on just a few projects at once. 

That’s what I’m trying to do to make sure I really make the most of this time and come out with a bunch of FOs and not a bunch of UFOs.

If you don’t know FO = Finished Object and UFO= Unfinished Object

Two hands wearing blue speckled knit fingerless mitts hold a mug of coffee
Make sure you take this time to relax and enjoy some slow knitting

Those are my tips! This was an extra special bonus post on a Thursday – make sure you keep your eye out next Tuesday for my regular update. I’ll be talking about what I’m binge watching because of course while you’re doing all this knitting you need to knitflix!