Mindful Mondays– Get Motivated and Create Your Own Slogans

When I need a little boost, I like to fill my brain with positive brain candy. One of the ways I do this is by listening to inspiring audio books and podcasts.  If you ever meet me, you’ll probably see me plugged in listening to one of these favorites, which are great companions on a morning run:

Create Your Own Slogans

Create your own slogans

Instant Mindset Changers

I also find that reading positive affirmations that resonate with me over and over really help to change my mindset instantly. I might be a little on the nerdy side because I keep sticky notes with reminders on my desk, and in my car. I also keep little index cards in my wallet reminding me to express gratitude and practice patient acceptance during challenging moments.

Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises.

Now, carry on, smile and keep on knitting!

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Quickie Mesh Cowl – How To Video Tutorial. Make It This Weekend!

If you’re like me, when the weekend rolls around, you’re excited about the prospect of kicking back and getting some serious knitting time in. There’s nothing better than casting on for the perfect project Friday night and binding off by Sunday. (or sooner if you’re a speedy knitter!)

In this video, designer Cheryl Beckerich provides you with clear, step-by-step instructions to knit her Quickie Mesh Cowl, which is featured on the cover of Creative Knitting’s Special Interest Issue– Knits in No Time just in time for the weekend!

Alternating mesh and stockinette sections, achieve an interesting undulating effect that creates the illusion of shaping, but in fact this look is achieved by simply changing needle and stitch pattern.

Creative Knitting Magazine Presents: Knits in No Time.

Creative Knitting Magazine Presents: Knits in No Time.

  Designer’s tip: It’s easy to forget a yarn over in this pattern, so count your stitches and don’t forget your last yarn over before the edge stitch.

This cowl is made back and forth, however a circular needle is suggested for ease and comfort. I personally use circular needles no matter what project I’m making, and my straight needles make pretty needle vases to display around the house!

Here are a few quick facts about this pattern:

  1. Width: undulates between 6 1/2 inches (stockinette sections) and 10 inches (mesh sections)
  2. The designer uses a rib stitch on each edge. This helps give the cowl more structure and keeps the edges from rolling, which is common with stockinette stitch.
  3. You will use two different needle sizes: size 6 for stockinette sections, and size 8 for mesh sections. (This creates the undulating effect.)

Techniques that you’ll learn and use:

You can watch these videos on StitchGuide.com

Ater watching this video, I know you’ll be itching to cast on. Now go make this weekend memorable and create knits in no time!

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The Editor Wants to Know- What blog topics do you like best? Tutorials? Articles? Combo of both? Share your thoughts!

The Editor Wants to Know!

In this edition of The Editor Wants to Know, I’d like to ask you a few simple questions in an effort to understand what kind of topics you like seeing on this blog.

When I first  started this blog back in 2011, I created this post about the differences and similarities of Seed and Moss Stitch. Instead of showing you how to work a stitch pattern on camera, I decided to share a short historical background about the techniques, along with a little “show and tell” segment, which I personally found to be the most fun.

Click Below to Watch the Video: Seed vs. Moss Stitch

Click to watch the video: Seed vs. Moss Stitch

So this got me thinking– if this is the most watched video, then why? I came to the following three conclusions:

  1. It gives you something of value.
  2. It provides information and education–which you can take and use immediately.
  3. Last but not least– I had so much fun creating this video! I love this kind of “show and tell” presentation because it’s more entertaining then having to look at my boring hands! How many more videos do we need like that?

My goal is to always present the material I share in a way that excites and inspires you, so if you can answer these questions, it will help me greatly in achieving my desire to serve you.

Please feel free to be as descriptive as you’d like. There are no right or wrong answers, just different preferences!

Q: When you visit this blog, what are your favorite topics?

Q: Do you like reading the posts that only pertain to tutorials?

Q: Do you like variety and enjoy a mix of tutorials and articles?

Q: Do you like the special features such as Mindful Mondays and The Editor Wants to Know?

Now go share in the comments section about the topics that resonate with you most. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Mindful Mondays- Refresh & Reprogram Your Monday Mindset

Now that we’re at the top of a new week, do you feel overwhelmed, or are you energized about the promise of another week ahead? Do you map out your tasks and To Do’s, then jump in with enthusiasm, or do you consider them a boring chore and look at what you have in front of you as an overwhelming trudge up hill?

You’d be perfectly content if you could stay home and knit for just another day, right? If the word Monday was removed from the English dictionary, you’d be perfectly fine with that.

It’s All in Your Head

Just think for a moment about this– if you’re feeling not so warm an fuzzy on a Monday morning, could it be from some bad habitual thoughts that you’ve created over the course of time? Perhaps you’ve programmed yourself to believe that when Monday rolls around it means you have get back into “work mode” and deal with all of those icky emails that have piled up over the weekend. How different is Monday compared to say, Friday? Could it be that the only difference is the “label,” not the actual course of events?

Shift Your Thoughts

If you’re a creature of habit, how about trying something new?  Why do you have to jump right into those emails. Can’t they wait? Just give this a try and tell yourself it’s just a little “experiment.” Is there anything really keeping you from you spending the first fifteen minutes or half hour of the day taking time to give yourself some mental candy in the form of knitting or another activity that you love?

The Magic of Practicing Gratitude

If I need a pick me up, I quickly take mental note of all the things I’m grateful for. As soon as I begin this activity, my mind suddenly shifts to positive thoughts. I think about how there are so many unfortunate beings in this world that don’t even have a roof over there head, or are able to wake up in the morning and pour a delicious cup of coffee or read a great book. I know these are little things I sometimes take for granted. I consider myself to be so fortunate. I don’t believe that I’m entitled to anything. Everything is a gift.

Don't take the little things for granted.

Our thoughts can change the way we see the world. Read this post for three ways that you can do this right now.

Just mixing things up can reprogram your thinking and before you know it you’ll be on your way to thinking Mondays are magnificent!

What you think about Mondays? Do they give you the blues, or do you embrace the day with a sense of excitement and gratitude?

Happy Monday!

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Free Pattern from Berroco + Tutorial– Learn How to Pick Up & Knit

Need a Breath of Fresh Air?

Now that spring is in the air, you’ll consider “Cubist” a colorful way to welcome in the new season. This free neckerchief pattern is available exclusively on the Creative Knitting editor’s blog for or a limited time only.

 Go get your free pattern HERE!

Free Knitting Pattern: Cubist Neckerchief, courtesy of Berroco.

Free Knitting Pattern: Cubist Neckerchief, courtesy of Berroco.

I’m so excited to share a short tutorial for how to make this design which involves one of my favorite things  – minimal sewing! In this post, I’ll show you to pick up and knit stitches so you can create this gorgeous free neckerchief pattern, made with Boboli Lace from Berroco.

As a bonus, I’ll also share a behind-the-scenes look at my recent trip to the Berroco design studio and production facility, so you can get a glimpse at what it takes to design a yarn collection.

See what it takes to design a yarn collection!

See what it takes to design a yarn collection!

The Colors of Spring

The colors of Boboli Lace are simply brilliant this spring. If you have trouble picking your favorite, don’t worry because Cubist is made with three beautiful colors. However, if you fall in love with just one, it can be made with just two balls of one colorway if you prefer.

Me, playing around with Boboli Lace...I seriously can't get enough!

Me, playing around with Boboli Lace on set during the Creative Knitting magazine Summer video taping. I love experimenting… I can’t get enough!

Playing with Shapes

Let’s first take a look at the construction of Cubist. Watch this short video snippet of me showing you how this design is made:

Let’s Make Cubist

Step #1: Get to know your pattern

I don’t think I say this enough, but this really is a necessary set. I mean, would you really set out on an unknown road trip without consulting a map? Of course not. The same holds true with knitting, so get to know your pattern!

Go get it HERE!

Step #2: Create the Center Panel

Work Center Panel according to the pattern instructions.

Work Center Panel according to the pattern instructions.

Tip: If you prefer not to count your pattern repeats, just count the number of purl ridges. After you have 37, work Row 2 once more, bind off. (110 rows total)

Step #3Pick up and Knit

With the right side facing, position the Center Panel as shown above:  one yarn tail at bottom-right, and the other, top-left.

Get ready to pick up and knit: With the right side facing, position the Center Panel as shown above: one yarn tail at bottom-right, and the other, top-left.

Check out this post, then watch this quick video, showing you how to pick up and knit using a knitting needle. If you’re not a fan of seaming, you’ll love this technique!

As an alternative, you can also try a crochet hook…

You can also pick up stitches easily with a crochet hook.

Now start picking up your stitches. If you find that using a knitting needle is difficult, you can also pick them up with crochet hook! (My favorite method!)

After your pick up your stitches, transfer them to your knitting needle.

After your pick up your stitches, transfer them to a knitting needle.

The little pink "Vs" are the picked up stitches along the Center Panel.

The little pink “Vs” are the picked up stitches along the Center Panel edges.

If you mastered how to pick up and knit stitches, the rest is a breeze, and if you have any questions, you know I’m always here to help!

Now, here’s my little extra-special treat for you– a few months ago, the Annie’s editorial and catalog team visited the Berroco design studio and production facility, where we received an inside look at what it takes to create a collection.

Our day was filled with choosing yarns and patterns for the coming season, and creatively brainstorming about special promotions such as tutorial videos and knitalongs.

Getting a behind-the-scenes look was so inspiring.

Getting a behind-the-scenes look was so inspiring!

It was a great opportunity to meet the whole team face-to-face and get a taste for how designs are conceived and chosen. There’s nothing like being in one room together, generating ideas and new concepts. This is a special kind of creative energy that you just can’t get through email.

Inspiration board displaying the season's  latest collection.

Inspiration board displaying the season’s latest collection.

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After a full day of working together planning the Annie’s collection of Berroco yarns for the coming season, the catalog team and I were given a special tour through the warehouse. We were escorted up and down aisles and aisles of fiber eye candy!

In closing, I’d like to send out a BIG thank you to the entire Berroco team for a productive time filled with creative collaboration. I can’t wait for our next visit!

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