Categories
Knitflix and Chill

Valentine’s Day Movies to Knitflix

It’s February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I know this is a commercially created holiday to sell chocolate and flowers, but there’s nothing I love more than a good knitflix and Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to take in some great movies. 

Young Caucasian woman sits on a grey couch knitting a pink sweater smiling at the camera
There’s nothing I love more than getting cozy with a good movie

Here’s a list of movies you can knitflix this Valentine’s Day to get in the romantic spirit:

Disney Princesses

Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin – take your pick! I’m lumping all the princess movies together into one section because I honestly couldn’t choose just one. These movies are great for Valentine’s Day knitflixing because of all the prince charmings of course, but also because you’ve probably seen them like a hundred times so you can keep up with the plot and knit at the same time without losing your place if your pattern is on the more complex side.

I also think the princess movies are great for knitflixing because you can do a whole movie marathon or watch a different one every day leading up to Feb 14th and make a lot of progress on you WIP while getting in the romantic spirit.

Crazy Rich Asians

This movie has everything! So it’s perfect to add to your Valentine’s knitflix because I do think it has something for everyone. Drama, romance, comedy, all-star cast. 

I love this movie for the exact reasons listed above, it has a bit of everything, the comedy to keep you laughing, several doses of drama to keep you intrigued, and some really great characters that you can love and hate. And it’s a bit of a newer release so chances are you haven’t had the chance to watch it yet! Which makes it an exciting addition to your Valentine’s knitflix line up. 

Murder Mystery

I know what you must be thinking, but this is a list of romantic movies what’s with the murder?! But this movie is really a romance!

It’s not your typical rom-com, not just because of the murder, but because it features a couple in a long term relationship rather than a newfound love. That’s one of the reasons why I love this movie….also the murder because I love a good mystery! 

Grab your WIP and get a few rows in while you enjoy this comedy, romance, murder movie. 

P.S. I Love You

Okay…well here’s one if you want to cry your eyes out. I love this movie but it is pretty sad at certain parts so be prepared!! But you can always wipe your eyes with your WIP. (I don’t recommend that just have some tissues on hand). 

I think there’s a good balance between the movie being sad, but also has it’s funny and sweet moments and I think the characters in it are great. I wouldn’t call this movie boring, but it does have a bit of a slower pace so you won’t miss too much if you need to concentrate on your knitting at certain points. 

 

Well there you have it, a handful of movies you can knitflix to get in the mood for Valentine’s Day. Grab your favourite movie cuddle buddy, stuffed animals count, and your WIP and don’t forget the chocolate and popcorn!

Categories
Musings

How to Style a Cropped Sweater

Hi friends!

You’ve probably noticed that cropped style tops are one of the latest fashion trends. And fashion trends in knitting are no exception, Ravelry and Instagram are full of cropped knit sweaters.

Before we get into it, here’s a bit about the sweater I’ll be showing off. My Ursa sweater is one of my favourite knits, it’s so cozy and the brioche details are stunning. The pattern is by Jacqueline Cieslak and you should definitely check out her work if you’re not already a fan.

A young Caucasian woman wearing a purple knit sweater poses in front of cherry blossom trees
Me rocking my Ursa sweater on its first public outing last spring

Before knitting my Ursa sweater I had never worn a cropped style before. And I was a bit unsure of how to style it. But since then I have found a few great looks that I absolutely love.

Here are four ways I’ve found to wear my Ursa sweater – I hope you find them helpful for rocking your own cropped styles!

Business Casual

This is a favourite outfit for me on a day when I want to look professional, but be super comfy cozy.

For this look, I’ve layered a cropped sweater over a classic white collared shirt, paired with a pair of simple dress pants and black heels. This is a perfect outfit to wear around the office to integrate cropped styles into your workwear.

You could also pair this look with a skirt instead of pants or try a collared shirt in a fun colour, maybe even denim, instead of the white.

Casual Friday

A different take on a workplace outfit, this look sees my Ursa sweater layered with a simple tank top, jeans and a pair of boots. The perfect look for a Fall Friday that you can wear to work and then to drinks after!

Weekend Brunch

This is one of my favourite looks because it’s easy and comfy! That’s why I’ve called it Weekend Brunch because it’s perfect for heading out to brunch or whatever else your weekend has in store. I’ve partnered my cropped sweater with leggings and a pair of sneakers.

Date Night

This look a little more dressed up, I’ve paired my Ursa sweater with a simple black dress and tights and finished the outfit off with a pair of black ankle boots. This look is nice, but still comfortable enough that you can wear it all day and then out to dinner.

There you have it four easy ways you can style a cropped sweater for day to day wear!

Categories
Musings

2020 Knitting Goals

Hi Friends! 

As we just entered a new year (and a new decade – I can’t believe it), I wanted to share my 2020 knitting goals. 

I know that a lot of people create a Make 9 for their knitting goals, but the Make 9 isn’t really my thing. I tried it last year and I found that it felt restrictive and it left me feeling guilty if I made something that wasn’t part of the 9. So I tossed the whole thing out the window.

This year, I’m focusing on broader goals like certain colours, techniques and types of projects, with some specific projects included as well. And I have some goals relating to my own designs.

I think I’ll do a follow-up post – maybe a video so I can show off the yarn – about the specific patterns and yarns I want to knit up in 2020!

So here we go:

Colours

This year is going to be a big year of colour work for me, I have a few stranded colourwork sweaters in my Ravelry queue. And I have a few faded projects in mind as well, I’ve never knit a fade before so I’m excited about that!

Last year I feel like I knit a lot of darker colours and neutrals. I’ve started some projects recently that have pinks, and nice teals – I’m really into the dark grey and greens/blues combination in my Overlander Shawl.

A grey and green knit shawl in progress with the fingers from a hand holding a new ball ready to be joined
A progress pic of my Overlander Shawl with the third colour ready to be added

These are the types of colours I’d like to keep working with this year. And I think that at the end of the year they’d all work nicely together in a scrappy project like an AquaMarline, pattern by Park Williams. Which brings be to my next goal…

Scrappy projects

Last summer I started a Coziest Memory Blanket to use up the scraps from my sock knitting, I knit a lot of socks last year! And I really loved the opportunity to use up those leftovers in a fun way. 

A Caucasian hand holds two knitting needles working on a patchwork blanket
The most recent progress photo of my Coziest Memory Blanket

This year I’d like to do something similar with my scraps that aren’t sock weight, like the AquaMarline or the Home Sweet Home Formula by Tina Tse, maybe both. It depends on how much knitting I get done!

Stash busting

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with having a large stash! But for me, having a lot of yarn and projects on my queue is a source of anxiety. I look at all of the yarn and I just see the projects unfinished and it’s overwhelming. 

An orange cat curled up on a comforter with a pink skein of yarn in front of it
This pretty skein from Hello Stella is one of my last yarn purchases of 2019

This year I want to clean up my stash and complete the projects that I already have yarn for first. Then I’ll move onto pattern stash busting and knit through the things on my Ravelry queue that I don’t have yarn for yet.

The goal here is to enter 2021 without an overwhelming yarn stash and Rav queue! Is it too soon to be talking about 2021?!

Designing and pattern releases 

I have so many ideas for designs that I just need to sit down and knit up. As well as a couple that I’ve fully written and just didn’t have the confidence to put through testing and release. 

So my goal is to get through some of these. I’m not going to put a number on how many I’m going to release or put too much pressure on myself, but there are 5 or 6 patterns that I hope to release in 2020. And I have yarn for all of these! So that’s also stash busting.

Some of these new designs will be free on the blog and others will go up in my Ravelry store

Young Caucasian woman wearing a blush pink knit infinity scarf
The Luxurious Velvet Infinity Scarf can be found free on the blog

 

So there they are, those are my knit goals for 2020. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about what I’ll be focusing on this year, and maybe took some inspiration for your own goals.

 

Categories
FO Spotlight

The Weekender – FO Spotlight

Today’s FO Spotlight, and the very first FO Spotlight, is on the sweater that I knit my mom for Christmas. My mom knew she was getting a sweater, and she picked the pattern – out of a selection of what I had in my library. I wanted to make sure it was an item she would wear and love, and I needed her measurements of course!  And she chose The Weekender by Andrea Mowry

I gave it to her on Christmas and she was thrilled. She put it on right away!

IMG_20191225_170546-01

I kept the colour a secret from her so that there would be some element of surprise. And I blocked her from Insta to make sure she didn’t get any sneak peeks while I worked on it. I used Cascade 220 superwash in the colour Shire from Yarn Canada.

I chose this yarn because I wanted something that was going to be durable and easy for her to care for. And also something that wouldn’t break the bank, because listen I love my mom but Christmas is expensive already and I really needed a value yarn. 

Now onto the pattern. 

I really enjoyed knitting this pattern, although it did take me a bit of time to get started. Not any fault of the pattern, but I had to start over three times, I read the needle size wrong, the measurements wrong…it took me two weeks, maybe longer to finally get through the ribbing. 

I really was worried that I wouldn’t finish in time. But luckily, this sweater is a joy to knit. The right side texture of reverse stockinette is so beautifully simple, but the sweater is knit inside out so you get all the mindless knit stitches that you want. While the seam up the centres of the front and back keeps you engaged. 

The only modifications that I made were to speed up the last sleeve decrease by a few rows because I was running out of length before the ribbing. And I didn’t do the tubular cast on because after I had to start the sweater over twice, I just couldn’t be bothered with it. So I did a long tail cast on and I don’t think it’s had a negative effect on the garment overall.

IMG_20191224_133642-01
The ribbed texture on the shoulders and the drop shoulder has got to be my favourite feature of this sweater!

Let’s talk about the fit! I thought “wow 10 inches is a lot of positive ease”, but it is so comfy and flowy and the fit is perfect. After a good block the shape of the sweater really came through. 

I tried it on several times and I was so in love, and I don’t know…if my mom didn’t know she was getting it for Christmas I just might have kept it for myself. Lucky for my mom, she’s very knitworthy. 

I am planning to make a Weekender for myself. I’m not sure what yarn I’m going to use, but I know I want a heathered grey colour. As far as modifying the pattern further for my second go, I plan on making the back hem a little bit longer to exaggerate the split hem.

If you’re looking for a really comfy sweater that’s simple, but with nice details, The Weekender is a great choice. 

Categories
Free Patterns

Free Pattern – Luxurious Velvet Infinity Scarf

Luxurious Velvet Infinity Scarf

I wanted to design something with this beautiful velvet from the moment I saw it. But I had major design block! 

I knew I wanted to do an infinity scarf with this pretty pink. Something that would be mindless, but textured to show off the velvety-ness. I poured over my stitch dictionary and knit swatch after swatch after swatch…but nothing was right. 

A hand caresses a ribbed infinity scarf made of velvet yarn

The stitches were either too complex for what I wanted, a simple knit perfect for knitflixing. Or they weren’t reversible and wouldn’t work as an infinity scarf. Or too simple, I didn’t want garter stitch, and I tried it and it just didn’t work with this yarn.

Then it hit me. Twisted rib! One of my favourite stitches for the brims of hats or edging on cowls. It’s reversible, simple, and has a nice texture. So why not knit a whole scarf in it?

The results are a soft squishy luxurious infinity scarf that will make you feel like a million bucks. Knit to wrap comfortably around your neck twice this design is flexible and can be knit to any length or width. This project is great for beginners!

Pattern 

The scarf is knit flat and then the cast on and bind off edges are seamed together to create the infinity scarf. 

Required Skills

  • Casting on
  • Binding off
  • Knit through the back loop (if you can do a regular knit stitch you can do this no problem)
  • Purl
  • Seaming
  • Weaving in ends

Yarn and needles

1 skein of Bernat Velvet or another weight 5 velvet yarn 

Needles: US 11 (8mm)

Gauge: 13 stitches and 11 rows = 4 inches by 4 inches in twisted rib (unstretched)

As size isn’t an important factor, the gauge isn’t particularly important so don’t worry if your gauge is a bit off! 

Notions:

  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle

Abbreviations

CO: cast on

ktbl: knit through the back loop

p: purl

st(s): stitch; stitches 

Instructions

CO 30 Sts. 

If you wish to have a wider scarf cast on more stitches, if you want your scarf to be narrower cast on less stitches. Just make sure you have an even number of stitches on your needles! 

Twisted Rib

A ribbed velvet scarf hangs over the back of chair
Twisted rib is one of my favourite stitches and I think it suits this yarn so nicely!

Ktbl, p1 to end of row 

Work in twisted rib until scarf reaches X inches or desired length. 30 inches is enough to comfortably wrap the scarf twice

Bind off all stitches, leaving a long tail

Finishing

Use the long tail to seam the ends of the scarf together to create the infinity loop (make sure you don’t twist your scarf) 

Weave in all ends.

You’re ready to rock your Luxurious Velvet Infinity! 

Share your work! 

Young white woman wearing a blush pink knit infinity scarf

Share your WIPs and finished pieces on Ravelry and Instagram! 

#knitsofsteele

#LuxuriousVelvetInfinity

You may sell your finished items made with the Luxurious Velvet Infinity 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!