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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Learn a Stitch, Share the Love Knitalong Series–Free Washcloth Pattern #4- Let’s Make it Mitered!

I hope you’re enjoying this special knitalong series! This week, I’m moving into some new territory. Today, I’ll show you how to play around with 4 x 4 mitered squares to make the easy washcloth shown below. This is a great way to use up those leftover yarns that you now have in your stash after making all the fun free washcloths featured in this Learn a Stitch, Share the Love series!

[click image to enlarge]

[click image to enlarge]

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make the washcloth pictured above, which is created by joining four Two-Color Mitered Squares. This is done by picking up stitches along the edge of a finished square to begin the next one. I’ll explain in detail how this is done later in this tutorial, but for starters let me give you a quick rundown of what you’ll learn:

Here’s what you need to do to get started making your washcloth:

  1. Watch this quick video for how to make a mitered square.
  2. Go get this pattern for a 4 x 4 two-color mitered square.
  3. Visit Annie’s to pick your colors of Premier Home Cotton™ here.

Now, let’s get started!

Step 1: Make your first 4 x 4 mitered square. Click HERE for the pattern.

4 x 4 mitered square

Step 1: Make your 4 x 4 mitered square

Step 2: With the right side facing, pick up 16 stitches along cast-on edge. To learn how to pick up stitches with a knitting needle, watch this 10-second video tutorial.

Tip: This technique can also be worked with a crochet hook, which is my favorite method.

Pick up new stitches for your second mitered square. Using a crochet hook is my favorite method.

Pick up new stitches for your second mitered square. Using a crochet hook is an easy way to do this, and it’s my preferred method of choice.

If you were using a crochet hook, transfer your stitches to a knitting needle.

If you were using a crochet hook, transfer your stitches to a knitting needle, making sure that your working yarn is to the left (as shown above) so you can begin the next step.

Step 3: Turn your work. The wrong side is now facing you. Pick up a second knitting needle and cast on 16 new stitches using the cable cast-on method. You can watch a quick tutorial for this here.

Note: You may use a different cast on method to add the new stitches. I use the cable cast-on because it is the method I like best.

Cast on 16 new stitches using the Cable Cast-On method.

Cast on 16 new stitches using the cable cast-on method. With your second needle, place tip between first and second stitch on left-hand needle. Wrap working yarn around needle and draw loop through.

Cable Cast-On, pulling new loop between first and second stitch on left-hand needle.

After pulling through the new loop, place it on the left-hand needle. Repeat this process until you have a total of 32 stitches on your needle. Watch the video again here so you can see how to place the new stitch on the needle.

Step 4: Now that you have 32 stitches on your needle, work the  Two-Color 4 x 4 Mitered Square pattern, starting from Row 1.

The photo above shows what your square looks like after completing Row 1 of the 4 x 4 mitered square.

The photo above shows what your square looks like after completing Row 1 of the Two-Color 4 x 4 Mitered Square. Simply work the pattern as instructed until your square is complete.

Second mitered square with a few rows of knitting.

Second mitered square with a few rows of knitting.

Square showing how the miter begins to form.

Square showing how the miter begins to form.

Two joined 4 x 4 mitered squares.

Two joined 4 x 4 Mitered Squares.

Next...sew the center seam to create the finished washcloth! Click here for a quick tutorial on how to work Mattress Stitch.

Next…sew the center seam to create the finished washcloth! Click here for a quick tutorial on how to work mattress stitch.

Also, check out Learn to Seam Like a Pro for how to sew seams using mattress stitch.

Seaming with Mattress Stitch.

Seam your knits like a pro using mattress stitch!

Congratulations, you made your finished washcloth!

Congratulations, you’ve finished your washcloth!

Now, head on over the Creative Knitting Fans Group on Ravelry to chime in with other knitters making this washcloth!

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Learn a Stitch, Share the Love Knitalong Series–Free Washcloth Pattern #3: Mock Cable

By Tabetha Hedrick

What I especially love about this Mock Cable Washcloth pattern, is that you don’t need cable needles! Now, there are a variety of methods to achieve this same look (and called other names such as Left/Right Twist), but I’m going to show you the one recommended in the pattern. I will briefly describe another popular way at the end of the tutorial.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE PATTERN.

First, work in the pattern up to where the mock cable is going to go. Then, work the next two stitches as follows:

Mock Cable to the Right

[click image to enlarge]

[click image to enlarge]

Step 1: Ignore the first stitch on the left needle. Instead, knit into the second stitch like normal.

Step 2: Pull the new loop through and you’ll see it stretched over there on the right needle. Leave the old stitch that you just worked alone (ie: keep it on the left needle).

Step 3: Ignoring that second stitch now, you are just going to move your right needle tip over to the right and knit into the first stitch (the one we ignored in Step 1) like normal.

Step 4: Pull the new stitch through and look at how pretty it sits on the right needle next to the other stitch. Notice the two old stitches are still on the left needle.

[click image to enlarge]

[click image to enlarge]

Step 5: You NOW may drop both of those old stitches off the left needle!

See how easy that was?

Another variation for working this Right Twist is to:

Step 1: Knit the next two stitches together, just like the decrease except you are still going to leave the old stitches on the left needle.

Step 2: Pull the new loop through to the front to sit on the right needle.

Step 3: Slightly separate the two old stitches that you just knit together so that you can insert your right needle into the first stitch. You are going to knit that first stitch again, essentially.

Step 4: Drop the two old stitches off the needle!

[click image to enlarge]

[click image to enlarge]

This easy Mock Cable Washcloth pattern really allows the colors to shift and play across your fabric canvas, so experiment with different colors of Premier Home Cotton for fabulously fun results. Visit Annie’s to preview the full collection.

Before you go, be sure to share your finished block with me over on the Creative Knitting Fans Group on Ravelry!

Tabetha HedrickTabetha lives by the belief that joy comes when fully participating in the present moment, especially when it comes to fiber. Surrounding herself with yarn through knitting, designing, spinning and teaching ensures that blissful continuity. Tabetha is a regular contributor to Creative Knitting magazine, and is the editor of the Creative Knitting newsletter. To learn more about Tabetha, visit www.tabethahedrick.com.
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The Editor Wants to Know- What is your favorite project category?

Editor Wants to Know!

I’m always looking for feedback from you in order to bring you the best on this blog and in the magazine. With that being said, I’d like to ask the following question:

What is your favorite project category in Creative Knitting magazine?

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Please leave a comment with your favorite category from the choices below:

  1. Cardigans
  2. Pullovers
  3. Accessories (hats and scarves)
  4. Gift items
  5. Home Decor
  6. Baby/Kids
  7. Knitting for men

I can’t wait to hear from you!

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