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stitch finder

  • Try This Stitch: Horseshoe Cables

    Horseshoe cable

    Cables, like this Horseshoe variation, shine in solid color yarns. A single cable framed with garter or reverse stockinette stitch adds interest to an otherwise plain item. Insert one on a sweater, hat, socks, or any other project that calls for added textural interest.

    The swatch shown was worked in New Basic 175 Yarn (colorway Wisteria) and US 8/5mm needles. The cable is a panel of 12 stitches. The swatch is 44 stitches set up as follows (RS):
    4 stitches in garter, [4 stitches in reverse stockinette, 12-stitch cable] twice, 4 stitches in reverse stockinette, 4 stitches in garter.

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  • Get Festival-Ready with a Knit Flower Crown

    Now that it's officially spring, we can start thinking ahead to summer fashions -- which include festival wear. Whether you're headed to Coachella next month, trekking to Bonnaroo, or plan to rock out at something local later in the season, you'll want to have the perfect look. One of the most ubiquitous accessories you'll see at any fest is the flower crown.

    flower crown 1

    Sure, you could go out and buy one. But why do that when you can knit your own? It's easy, cheap, and fun to make! You'll also end up with a piece that travels well and is lightweight and comfortable to wear.

    All you need is some DIYarn and a little creativity!

    Make Your Own Flower Crown

    There's no single set pattern for a crown, but it's made up of several smaller components. Basically, you need a band and you need flowers. The exact types, colors, and amount are up to you.

    flower crown french 1

    I used a French Knitter (or knitting spool) to make the band. Following the instructions that came with the spool, I made three cords slightly larger than the circumference of my head.

    flower crown french 2

    I decided to do two of the cords in Grass (which is currently backordered online) and one in Green. Based on personal preference and availability, you could do all three in the same shade, or even do a completely different color. If you don't want to use the French knitter, simply make 4-stitch i-cords instead.

    flower crown flowers

    Next, you'll need the flowers. Use our Stitch Finder to choose which ones to make -- we have them in both knit and crochet -- and how many. I knit two Dahlias and three Roses.

    Since I wanted the flowers to stand up, I knit with a tight gauge. DIYarn is a category 4 weight, and the band recommends a US 8 (5 mm) needle. For these, I used a US 5 (3.75 mm) needle.

    The roses are, from left to right in that picture, Yellow, Hot Pink, and Lilac colorways.

    flower crown dahlias

    I used the same gauge for the dahlias. Since they're a bit bigger, I only made two, to place between the three roses for variety in the crown. The ones here are knit in Teal and Orange.

    flower crown leaves

    To frame the flowers, I made two leaves. Once I finished all of the components, it was time to put it together.

    Assembly

    braid 1

    I started by making the band. Holding the ends together with stitch markers (you could also use safety pins), I braided the three cords.

    This provides a nice, stable base for the flowers and helps them stand up on your head.

    Keeping the braided ends tight, I formed the piece into a circle, making sure not to twist it.

    I then lined up the ends and tied the yarn tails together to hold them in place.

     

    Using those yarn tails, I sewed the ends of the braid together to form the circle, pulling the end into the cord to finish it.

    This leaves you with a neat seam that holds firm.

    Next, I laid out the flowers to decide what order I wanted them to go in. I sewed them on working from the center flower outward, to maintain symmetry.

    I first secured the flower to the band by tying the ends in a tight knot, then using them to sew the base of the flower down. Make sure you work the entire circumference of the flower base so that it stands up evenly and doesn't tip to one side.

    Repeat this with the remaining flowers, sitting them close together, both for the appearance and to help support each piece.

    I then affixed the leaves to the outermost flowers. I sewed the stem tightly into the band, then whip stitched the leaf to the outside of the flower. Without doing this, the leaves may fall outward and lay flat instead of framing the roses. If you prefer the look of them laying down, you can skip securing them and just sew down the stem.

    Now your flower crown is done! Try it on and bask in how cute and unique you look. If you want, wrap fairy lights around the crown for an added touch of whimsy.

     

    Variations

    The whole point of making a flower crown is to have it be your own individual creation. So you don't have to follow exactly what I did!

    Try different flowers. There are several options in our Stitch Finder. You can make all different one, do all the same flower, combine knit and crochet, or whatever you want.

    Play with color. I chose green for the leaves and band, but you don't have to! A neutral color could look lovely, or you could go wild and use something loud. Change up the flowers so that they are all one color, or alternate between two. I opted for mainly brights, but DIYarn comes in several pastel shades as well.

    Make them sparkle! I added the lights after the fact for extra fun, but you could also use a glittery yarn. Vanna's Glamour®, Glitterspun®, and certain packs of Bonbons® contain metallic, so go wild. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust your needle size since those yarns are different weights than DIYarn. If you have experience knitting with beads, you may want to work them in as well. You could also add baby's breath in around flowers or tie ribbons to the band.

    Have you ever made your own festival wear? What did you make?

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  • Try This Stitch: Fanfare Crochet

    Fanfare is a beautiful crochet pattern that's delicate and elegant without being too difficult.

    fanfare 1

    You don't need to be an expert crocheter to make something like fanfare stitch. You need to know single and double crochet, chain, and how to work into a chain space. If you need help with the basics of crochet, check out the Learn section or the Learn to Crochet series that recently finished.

    Fanfare looks nice in a heavier yarn, but would also be delicate and soft in something lighter. It makes a nice square -- which could be combined with other stitch squares into a blanket -- or repeated many times for a scarf or shawl. The sample here was crocheted using Lion's Pride® Woolspun®. It is three repeats wide and three tall.

    We have a large selection of knit and crochet stitches and motifs, called the Stitch Finder. In it, you'll find all kinds of interesting things. Lace, cables, flowers, trims, you name it. You can make an entire blanket from the blocks you'll find on that page, too. All the patterns listed are reprinted with permission from various books.

    Fanfare Stitch

    fanfare 2

    (ch a multiple of 6 sts + 4)

    Row 1: Work 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next 2 ch, *ch 3, skip 3 ch, 1 sc in next 3 ch; rep from * across. Turn.

    Row 2: Ch 1, 1 sc in first 2 sc, *skip 1 sc, 5 dc in ch-3 sp, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in next sc; rep from * end 1 sc in last sc. Turn.

    Row 3: Ch 4 (counts as 1 sc and ch 3), skip (2 sc, 1 dc), 1 sc in next 3 dc, *ch 3, skip (1 dc, 1 sc, 1 dc), 1 sc in next 3 dc; rep from * to last 4 sts, end ch 3, skip (1 dc, 1 sc), 1 sc in last sc. Turn.

    Row 4: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 3 dc in first ch-3 sp, *skip 1 sc, 1 sc in next sc, skip 1 sc, 5 dc in ch-3 sp; rep from *, end last rep 4 dc in last ch-3 sp. Turn.

    Row 5: Ch 1, 1 sc in first 3 dc, *ch 3, skip (1 dc, 1 sc, 1 dc), 1 sc in next 3 dc; rep from * across. Turn.

    Rep rows 2–5.

    fanfare chart

    Stitch directions reproduced with permission, from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary: Volume Four, Sixth & Spring Books, 2007

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