Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

T’s are still being crossed and I’s are still getting dotted, but hurry over to take a peek at the new Nikki, In Stitches!!

And if you’re an email subscriber, remember to re-enter your email address in the sign-up box on the new site!  Not only will you continue to get an email notice when I update the site, but you’ll also get some fun freebies delivered right to your inbox…like these adorable printables!

Enjoy!

Nikki, In Stitches

Read Full Post »

Yes, another baby blanket. (And be prepared, there’s actually one more squeezed into the Nikki, In Stitches Top 10!)  This one looks complicated, but is made using Tunisian crochet.  If you have yet to experiment with Tunisian crochet, now is the time to start.  It’s super simple, just like crocheting, but you can make much more intricate stitches, just like knitting!

Enjoy…again!

Nikki, In Stitches

PS…This is my last post on the old site! A new Nikki, In Stitches is debuting very soon.  Unfortunately, if you are currently a subscriber, your email address will not be carried over to the new mailing list.  If your inbox starts to get quiet, head over to www.NikkiInStitches.com and subscribe on the new site!

_

********ORIGINAL POST********

March 18th, 2010

Tunisian Crochet Entrelac Style Baby Blanket


_

I love the look of Entrelac, but let’s be honest, it’s not the quickest thing to knit up, and, for a beginner knitter, all of the turning can be a little intimidating.  That’s just another reason why I fell in love with Tunisian Crochet.  This blanket works up in a third of the time, is so easy to make, and looks just as great as its knit counterpart.  The pattern for the top follows below, and you can find instructions for backing and binding it here: A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket.  I have just one small, yet very important, note before you get started.  Please be mindful of your tension!  It is extremely easy to end up with a very wonky blanket!

Questions and comments are always welcome!  If you’re new to Tunisian Crochet, check out my previous two posts.  They contain links and tutorials for all of the basic stitches you will need for this project.

Tunisian Crochet – I’m Bringing It Back

Tunisian Crochet – Cabled Scarf

Also, this project was partly inspired by the cover project on the Winter issue of Crochet Magazine.  Check it out for more creative ideas!

Enjoy!

Nikki, In Stitches

Materials:

Plymouth Baby Bunny Yarn in White – 500 yards

Plymouth Baby Bunny Yarn in Blue – 500 yards

Size 10Tunisian Crochet Hook

Notes:

1.  For this pattern only, Return Pass is worked in the following way: *Yo, draw through 2 loops, rep from * across.

2.  To bind off: Insert hook from front to back between 2 strands of vertical bar as if to knit, yo, pull up a loop.  Yo, and draw through both loops on hook.

3.  To pick up loops of bind-off row: Insert hook through both loops of bind-off chain, yo, pull up a loop.

4.  To M1 (make one stitch): Insert hook in space between next 2 vertical bars, yo, pull up a loop

Directions:

White white, chain 74 loosely.

Starting Tier (12 Base Triangles):

Row 1: Insert hook in second ch from hook (next ch for successive triangles), yo, pull up a loop. (2 loops on hook)  RetP.

Row 2: M1, TKS in next vertical bar.  Insert hook in next ch and pull up a loop.  (4 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 3: TKS in next 2 vertical bars, M1 between last vertical bar and selvedge edge of last row.  Insert hook in next ch, pull up a loop.  (5 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 4: TKS in next 3 vertical bars, M1 between last vertical bar and selvedge edge of last row.  Insert hook in next ch, pull up a loop.  (6 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 5: TKS in next 4 vertical bars, M1 between last vertical bar and selvedge edge of last row.  Insert hook in next ch, pull up a loop.  (7 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 6: TKS in next 5 vertical bars, M1 between last vertical bar and selvedge edge of last row.  Insert hook in next ch, pull up a loop.  (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 7: BO 6 stitches.  Sl st in same ch as last stitch from last row. (One triangle complete.)

Repeat Rows 1 – 7 11 more times, to give 12 base triangles total.  For last triangle, sl st in last free chain.  Fasten off.

Tier A (1 Right-Edge Triangle, 11 Squares, 1 Left-Edge Triangle):

Using blue yarn, join in bottom corner of first base triangle made (or in last edge stitch of previous right-edge triangle for successive tiers).

Right-Edge Triangle:

Row 1: Ch 2, pull up a loop in 2nd ch from hook and in edge of first row of last tier. (3 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 2: M1, TKS in next vertical bar and in edge of 2nd row of last tier. (4 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 3: M1, TKS in next 2 vertical bars and in edge of 3rd row of last tier. (5 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 4: M1, TKS in next 3 vertical bars and in edge of 4th row of last tier. (6 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 5: M1, TKS in next 4 vertical bars and in edge of 5th row of last tier. (7 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 6: M1, TKS in next 5 vertical bars and in edge of 6th row of last tier. (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 7: BO 6 stitches.  Sl st in next stitch from last tier.

Square:

Row 1: Pick up 7 stitches along edge of previous tier. (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Rows 2 – 6: TKS in next 6 vertical bars and in edge of next row of last tier. (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 7: BO 6 stitches.  Sl st in next stitch from last tier.

Repeat Rows 1 – 7 of the square 10 more times, to give 11 squares total.

Left-Edge Triangle:

Row 1: Pick up 7 stitches long edge of previous tier. (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 2: TKS across. (7 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 3: TKS across. (6 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 4: TKS across. (5 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 5: TKS across. (4 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 6: TKS across. (3 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 7: BO 1 stitch.  Fasten off.

Tier B (12 Squares):

Using white yarn, join in first stitch of last tier and work 12 squares as for Tier A.

Repeat Tiers A, then B, 8 times more, then Tier A one more time.

Finishing Tier (12 Finishing Triangles):

With white yarn, join in first stitch of last tier.

Row 1: Pick up 7 stitches long edge of previous tier. (8 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 2: Skip next vertical bar, TKS in next 5 vertical bars and in edge of next row of last tier.  (7 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 3: Skip next vertical bar, TKS in next 4 vertical bars and in edge of next row of last tier. (6 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 4: Skip next vertical bar, TKS in next 3 vertical bars and in edge of next row of last tier. (5 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 5: Skip next vertical bar, TKS in next 2 vertical bars and in edge of next row of last tier.  (4 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 6: Skip next vertical bar, TKS in next vertical bar and in edge of next row of last tier.  (3 loops on hook) RetP.

Row 7: Skip next vertical bar, sl st in next stitch of last tier.  (One triangle complete.)

Repeat Rows 1 – 7 11 times more, to give 12 finishing triangles total.  Fasten off.

Block.

Weave in all loose ends.

Abbreviations:

yo…yarn over

RetP…Return Pass

ch…chain

sl st…slip stitch

bo…bind off

M1…Make one

TKS…Tunisian Knit Stitch

Possibly Related Posts from Nikki, In Stitches:

Tunisian Crochet – Cabled Scarf

A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket

You Asked For It (Knitted Entrelac Baby Blanket)


 

Read Full Post »

This super easy blanket is a fan fave, and still one of my go-to gifts for friends having little ones.  In fact, I literally just finished up this blanket (white crocheted front, blue backing, and yellow border) and shipped it out this morning!  Be warned, the rest of the Nikki, In Stitches Top 10 Countdown is very knit/crochet heavy.  However, even if you aren’t a yarn lover, stay tuned!  I’ve got a super fun giveaway coming up, and of course, all of this is leading up to the launch of the new Nikki, In Stitches site!

Enjoy…again!

Nikki, In Stitches

 

********ORIGINAL POST********

July 28th, 2009

Crocheted “Quilt”…Sorry for the Delay!

Crocheted Quilted Baby Blanket 2It just dawned on me that I never put up the pattern for the crochet blanket pictured in my Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket post.  No offense to all of my crochet readers!  I apologize!  As always, if something doesn’t look quite right, please let me know.  And if anyone has questions or comments, feel free to leave me a message!

I am headed to the beach for some much needed rest and relaxation.  Look for a giveaway when I get back!  Hint: I’ll be just a few blocks from my favorite needlepoint shop!

Enjoy!

Nikki, In Stitches

 

Materials:

*5 skeins of White Lion Brand Microspun yarn

Size G Crochet Hook

Tapestry needle

*Any of your favorite yarns can be used for this project. I used the microspun yarn because I had it, but a super soft baby yarn would also be perfect! Just keep in mind that baby items may need to be washed on a regular basis, so something that can make its way through the laundry and hold up is important.

Ch 120.

Row 1:

Single crochet in second ch from hook and in each ch across.

Row 2:

Ch 3 (counts as first dc), turn; *skip next st, dc in next st, dc in skipped st (working over dc just made). Repeat from * across to last sc, dc in last sc. (This stitch design is often referred to “cross stitch,” “back cross stitch,” or “front cross stitch” depending on if you prefer to go behind or in front of the stitch made when you go back to the skipped stitch. For this blanket, whichever personal preference you have is fine. I found a great online reference for a multitude of stitches patterns with illustrated pictures for some designs, and very well written instructions for all: http://www.crochetnmore.com/123basics.htm)

Row 3:

Ch 1, turn; sc in each dc across.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until desired width of blanket is achieved. End with Row 3.

Block.

Weave in all loose ends.

Directions for backing and binding your blanket can be found in the post, A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket??

Abbreviations

ch……………chain

st………..….stitch

sc…….……..single crochet

dc..…….……double crochet

Added Later: If you’re interested in the Entrelac Knitted Baby Blanket shown in my Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket post, please see my You Asked For It post.

Read Full Post »

Yay! Another super easy, super quick, and super cute project makes the Nikki, In Stitches Top 10 Countdown!  I did have to give you a better picture than the ones in the original post.  (Santa, thank you again for bringing me a new camera.  How did I ever think those pictures were acceptable??)  This little flower can go anywhere…on a card, atop a wrapped package, in the corner of a picture frame, maybe even on a pinback.

Enjoy…again!

Nikki, In Stitches

********ORIGINAL POST********

Ruched Ribbon Flower

September 12th, 2009

Ruched Flower (Step 11)Last week at my monthly quilting class, we were taught how to make ruched flowers.  They will eventually find their way onto yet another Christmas quilt that I have started (pictures coming soon…I hope!).  We made them with a strip of fabric, and because of possible fraying, had to do a few folds to hide any raw edges.  The whole time I was thinking I could definitely come up with a better, easier way to make these.  And of course, I was also sitting there wondering what else I could use them for.  It hit me last night.  Why not use ribbon?  No folding necessary since there are no raw edges to hide!  I played around with some pink and green ribbon, my two favorite colors, Greeting Card with Ruched Flower Embellishmentand that led me to the very large stash of pink and green papers that I have accumulated, and before I knew it, I had a cute card with a ruched ribbon flower embellishment.  (Don’t you love when you find a completely different purpose for your newly found favorite technique?)  Below you will find a tutorial on how to make the flowers.  Feel free to ask any questions, and if you can think of any other uses for these goodies, please share!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

 

Materials:

36″ of 5/8″ wide ribbon

Needle

Coordinating embroidery floss (1 strand) or any heavy thread that will not break when pulling to ruche ribbon

*Note:  I used black embroidery floss in the pictures below so it would stand out.

 

Directions:

Ruched Flower (Step 1)1.  Mark the wrong side of your ribbon, moving from right to left.  Along the bottom edge, mark every inch.  Along the top, first mark 1/2″ in, then mark every inch the rest of the way across.  If you’ve done this correctly, your marks should be evenly staggered the entire length of your ribbon, as shown in the picture provided.

Ruched Flower (Step 2b)2.  With a long piece of thread (approximately 36″), hand baste from mark to mark, creating a zigzag pattern, stopping occasionally to gather (“ruche”) the ribbon.  Stopping every eight to ten inches to gather your ribbon is recommended.  Any longer and you risk breaking your thread.  Also, put a hefty knot at the start of your thread so that as you pull to gather it doesn’t pull through your ribbon.

Ruched Flower (Step 2a)*The trick to the hand basting is to be consistent in your stitches.  If you look at the picture provided, I always do three stitches along each diagonal, and I was always sure to start by inserting the needle from underneath the ribbon and to end with the needle coming out the top.  I found this method made it easiest to gather the ribbon.
 
 
3.  Adjust your gathers so that your finished piece of ribbon is now ruched to about 17″.  Leave the long tail of thread in case any adjustments need to be made while assembling your flower.
_
Ruched Flower (Step 4)
4.  With a new piece of thread, baste across (from side to side) the first six “petals” of your flower.  Again, put a hefty knot at the start of your thread so you don’t pull it through when gathering.

_
 
 
Ruched Flower (Step 5)
5.  Pull the thread tight to form a circle of petals.  Knot the thread, but do not cut it, to hold the center loop of petals in place.
_
6.  Move gathered tail from the front of the flower to the back.  Use the before and after pictures provided below as a reference.
Ruched Flower (Step 5)Ruched Flower (Step 6)
7.  Insert needle through the center of the flower to move the working thread from the front to the back.
Ruched Flower (Step 7a)Ruched Flower (Step 7b)
8.  Spiral your gathered tail around and around, creating the layers of your flower.  Tack the flower together to keep the tail in place by coming up in the crease of each petal and back down in the same crease, being sure to catch the layer underneath.  The folds, or creases, in your petals will hide your stitches.
Ruched Flower (Step 8a)Ruched Flower (Step 8b)
_
Ruched Flower (Step 9)9.  Continue until you have tacked the entire tail in place.  Take a few extra stitches on the back of your flower to hold your ribbon end in place.  Knot and cut the working thread.

_

_
_
_
Ruched Flower (Step 10)10.  Knot and cut the gathering thread.
_

_
_
_
_
_
_

Ruched Flower Greeting Card11.  Embellish center with a button!

Read Full Post »

Ouch!! I cringed a little (well, actually…a lot) when I saw this post on the Nikki, In Stitches Top 10 list.  Not because it’s not a good project (this is one of my favorite scarves and I continue to get compliments on it) but because the video I made for it is soooo boring!  What was I thinking back then?  Fortunately for all of you, I’ve added some humor and personality into my recent videos, but this one, you’ll have to force your way through.  So, so sorry!  If you love this scarf as much as I do, it is available as a kit in the shop!  (FYI: You can see in the picture here, the yarn in the kits for sale is an alpaca blend with a little more of a gold color than the scarf shown below…perfect for fall weather!)

Enjoy…again!

Nikki, In Stitches

********ORIGINAL POST********

Tunisian Crochet – Cabled Scarf

March 9th, 2010

Lately, I’ve been loving the combination of white and gold.  Maybe I’ve been inspired by the Winter Olympics, and the backdrop of snow to the athletes winning gold?  Maybe its the ridiculous amount of white yarn that is in my stash?  Maybe its this adorable pair of shoes I bought months ago while I was pregnant and am now so happy that I can finally fit into?

Whatever the reason, I knew I wanted my next project to reflect my love for this color combo. After a few test runs with different yarn combinations, I found the perfect pairing to match my largest crochet hook, and came up with this scarf.  The Tunisian Crochet style lends itself perfectly to cold weather accessories.  It creates an extremely thick piece of fabric.  This scarf will keep you warm for many winters to come!

The pattern follows below, but since I know many of you are unfamiliar with Tunisian Crochet, I have also created a video tutorial to go along with it.

Tunisian Crochet Cabled Scarf Tutorial

The video shows how to complete the five row cable repeat.  I hope it answers many of your questions.  I’m so excited to start incorporating videos into my posts and I hope you enjoy them!

Note: The method used in the pattern of adding a yo in the middle of your cable was developed by ARNie, author of The Encyclopedia of Tunisian Crochet.  She provides step-by-step directions on her website, www.ChezCrochet.com.  If you’ve got the Tunisian Crochet bug, as I do, I encourage you to look around the site.  There are great tutorials for more intricate stitches and patterns!

Enjoy!

Nikki, In Stitches

***This project is now available as a kit on my website, NikkiInStitches.com!***


Materials:

Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky in Fisherman – 130 yards

Gedifra Micro Chic yarn in White – 130 yards

Coats & Clark Knit-Cro-Sheen Metallic Crochet Cotton in Gold –  130 yards

Size Q Tunisian Crochet Hook

Stitch Holder, Double Pointed Knitting Needle, or Cable Needle to hold stitches while creating cable

Directions:

Chain 12.

Set-up Row: Insert hook under back loop of 2nd ch from hook, yo and pull up a loop.  *Insert hook under back loop of next ch, yo, pull up a loop.  Repeat from * across.  (12 loops on hook.)

Return Pass: Yo, draw through first loop on hook.  *Yo, draw through 2 loops on hook.  Repeat from * across.  (End with 1 loop on hook.)

Row 1: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 6 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (12 loops on hook.) RetP.

Row 2: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 6 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (12 loops on hook.) RetP.

Row 3: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 3 stitches, yo, TKS in the next 3 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (13 loops on hook.) RetP.

Row 4: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 3 stitches, yo, DO NOT work a stitch inthe yo space, TKS in the next 3 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (13 loops on hook.) RetP.

Row 5: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 3 stitches, move these 3 stitches to stitch holder and hold in front of work, DO NOT work a stitch in the yo space, TKS in next 3 stitches, slip 3 stitches on stitch holder back to crochet hook, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (12 loops on hook.) RetP.

Rows 6 – 70: Repeat Rows 1 through 5 13 times more.

Row 71: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 6 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (12 loops on hook.) RetP.

Row 72: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 6 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (12 loops on hook.) RetP.

Fasten off.

Weave in all loose ends.

Block.

Abbreviations:

ch…chain

yo…yarn over

RetP…Return Pass

TKS…Tunisian Knit Stitch

TPS…Tunisian Purl Stitch

For links to tutorials for Tunisian Knit and Purl Stitches, please see my post: Tunisian Crochet – I’m Bringing It Back!

Possibly Related Posts from Nikki, In Stitches:

A Hooded Scarf, The New Little Black Dress

Crocheted “Quilt”…Sorry for the Delay

Green Bead Soup

Read Full Post »

Fan Photos That Melt My Heart

I know! We are in the middle of a Nikki, In Stitches Top 10 Countdown…what am I doing??

I just had to share the cutest fan photos I received yesterday.

When beautiful surprises like this show up in my inbox, I fall in love all over again with what I do!

First, this adorable profile shot, showing off one of my headbands.  Does it really get much cuter?

And then this beautiful mom and baby sporting coordinating beach hats…every time I look at it my heart skips a little beat!

What could possibly make this photo better? I just shipped out a third hat to this adorable little one’s grandmother.  Soon I’ll be able to share a photo of three generations of beautiful ladies wearing Nikki, In Stitches beach hats.  Heaven!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

PS…Many of you are asking where I have my beach hats listed.  At this time, they are not listed in my Etsy shop.  I am getting so many orders through Facebook, I worry I wouldn’t be able to keep up if they were also listed in my shop.  If you’re interested in purchasing a hat you can leave a comment below or email me at NikkiInStitches@gmail.com.  You can find more pictures  of all of the hats I’ve recently made on my Facebook page.

Read Full Post »

I’m having so much fun with the Nikki, In Stitches Top 10 Countdown.  Each time I look at the list to see what’s next, I think about how much I loved each of these projects.  These backed and quilted blankets are still so popular, here on my blog and on Ravelry.  When people inquire about handmade baby items, this is the first place I lead them.  The blankets themselves are so easy to knit or crochet, and the backing and binding just somehow give them that something special.  Maybe they look more finished or polished?  Maybe it’s the combination of the knit/crochet fabric with the soft minky and silky smooth satin?  I’m not sure, but they are my favorite thing to give to friends that are welcoming new babies into their lives!

Enjoy…again!

Nikki, In Stitches

 

********ORIGINAL POST********

A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket??

June 16th, 2009

Knitted Quilted Baby Blanket 3I love making baby quilts for my friends when they are expecting a new arrival, but sometimes there is just not enough time. I have so many projects that are unfinished, so many ideas for crafts I could do to decorate my new house, not to mention chasing my son and dog around most of the day, that making a quilt sometimes just isn’t in the cards, but I still want to make something special. There is something about receiving a homemade gift that is different. You can feel the time and love that went into it. And, I want my friends to know that I cherish them enough to make them something from my heart.

My solution was to crochet or knit a blanket. It went faster, baby yarn was relatively inexpensive, and it was more portable than a quilt. I could take my project on road trips with me, and I could sit in front of the TV and work on it when I wanted to spend time with my husband. But, no offense to any crocheters or knitters out there…it was just missing something.

I think I found an even better solution.

I turned my knitted or crocheted blankets into “quilt tops.” First, the “top” needs to be blocked. Depending on which stitch type you use, this is more or less important. The knitted, Entrelac blanket shown above needs to be blocked very well. Crocheted Quilted Baby Blanket 2The tendency of the Entrelac stitch is to stretch rather easily and you will notice your backing will pucker a lot, and your quilt will not be anything close to square, if you don’t take the time to block it. The crocheted blanket pictured here needed minimal blocking just to square it up. I then back them and bind them just like they are a quilt. There is no need for batting. The heaviness of your knitted or crocheted top usually ensures the blanket will be warm enough. I use minky fabric for the backing, and flannel lined satin for the binding. These are the perfect combination for a baby to snuggle up with. I do tack the backing and top together in a few spots just by hand with a needle and thread. I cut my binding very wide (sometimes up to 10”), which makes it quite difficult to work with, but I like the look of the wider binding, and it gives the babies more to hang on to. I attach it exactly like a typical quilt binding.

Problem solved! These blankets are quicker to make than quilts, they are less expensive (although in the Entrelac example I did splurge and buy very nice, but kind of pricey, yarn), they are easier for a beginner crafter or nonquilter, and they still have the same something special about a homemade gift. The perfect quick weekend “quilt”!

Questions and comments are welcome as usual. I’d love some feedback on these blankets. Also, if the demand is out there, I’m considering putting together a tutorial on Entrelac knitting. Let me know what you think!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

 

Added Later:   When I wrote this post, I thought the “quilted” aspect of these projects would be the main focus.  I am so happy so many of you like this idea.  Thank you for all of your emails and comments.  I am surprised by the overwhelmingly large number of requests for patterns for these blankets.  It means a lot to me that so many of you enjoy my projects.  Please check back for them soon.  I am starting the pattern writing process within the next few days, and hope to get the instructions up soon after.

Added Later:  If you’d like the pattern to knit the Entrelac Blanket shown above, it can be found in the following post:  You Asked For It.  The crocheted blanket pattern can be found in:  Crocheted “Quilt”…Sorry for the Delay!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »