Free Art Yarn Project: Felted Fleece Winter Wreath

I accidentally felted a gorgeous white crimpy Border Leicester fleece last week when I was washing wool and forgot to pause the cycle before it began to agitate.  This gave me an opportunity to make a cozy winter wreath for my front door.  The supplies I used to make this wreath were:

-- Felted wool.  Try different animals (alpaca would be beautiful) and different colors!  You could also wrap your wreath form with felted yarn.

-- A wreath form.  I got a clearance one from Michaels (everything Christmas was 70% off today) that's a fake evergreen texture - but I would have preferred to use a grapevine one.  I just couldn't justify spending 3x as much on a wreath form though.  Make sure you have enough wool to cover the entire wreath. 

-- Wire.  I used gold craft wire but any color will do.  You will see the wire, so choose a color that won't clash with your embellishments.

-- Embellishments.  You could wrap your wreath with ribbon and wire twiggyness like I did, or wrap with sparkle garland, or strands of beads, or berries, or anything.  Also try adding pinecones, or flowers, or little birds in a nest.  Anything will look sweet on this wreath.

1. Felt a fleece.  After I accidentally felted this fleece I put it thru the washing machine a second time to intentionally felt it nice and tight and nubby.

2. Buy your stuff.  I bought a evergreen wreath form, some wire, some sparkily gold ribbon, and some wire twiggyness in the clearance section.  I also bought a wreath hanger to hang the wreath from my door without damaging the door.

3. Wrap the fleece around the wreath form and secure with wire.  Just continue draping and looping wire around the wool, pulling it tight.  Kindof like baling hay. 

4. You could just keep the wreath like this and hang it if you like a more minimal look.

5. After your fleece is fully secured to the wreath, add your first embellishment.  I started with twiggy wire.  You could stop here if you wanted to, and ignore further embellishment.

6. Add something sparkily if you want to.  I added ribbon that looked like sparkily burlap so it would match that "rustic" look but still look festive.

7. Hang the wreath from your door and enjoy!!!

I also added a little chalkboard tag to write "Happy Holidays!" or "Winter Greetings!" or our apartment number just in case you could see our apartment number tag behind the wreath.  That's an option too.

Waste not!!  Make a winter wreath with your felted fleece this holiday season!

Free Art Yarn Pattern: KNITTY Cowl

KNITTY published a spinning and knitting pattern of mine!  :)  Included are two yarn spinning tutorials and a very basic knitting pattern. Click on the photo to see the tutorials and pattern!!

"Many spinners love creating textured yarns, but have no idea what to use them for. One of the joys (and frustrations) of knitting with art yarn is that you cannot create a duplicate... ever. Every art yarn is unique, therefore every finished project is unique. Your handspun yarn will look different than mine. So viva la difference!"

Free Art Yarn Pattern: Basket Wrap

You don't need to know how to knit or crochet to make this Friday's Pattern!  I found this cute little basket planter at the thrift store for 99 cents.  I thought it would be pretty to weave art yarn thru it.  So I took it home and started weaving.  I discovered that I don't have a lot of talent weaving baskets as the basket got uglier and uglier.  One of my friends was watching me make it and said, "Your basket looks moldy" and I said, "Awesome" and kept going.

Art Yarn Lesson #2673:

When it starts to get ugly, keep going.  This process is called "walking thru the valley of ugly" and most of the time you come out on the other side with something prettier than you ever imagined!

I ended up covering the weaving by wrapping 2 yards of art yarn around the basket and adding a silk ribbon.  Voila!  It's pretty again!

Free Art Yarn Knitting Pattern: Easy Shawl

Another pattern inspired by a creation I saw atCamp Pluckyfluff in Madison, CT.  Shawls are very simple to create, but this one caught my eye because of the drape and way it showed off every inch of the art yarn and the incredible sari silk fringe.  The entire creation was so stunning - I simply had to create my own version.

I asked Pam (the artisan) if I could use her idea as a springboard for one of my blog patterns and she graciously said yes.  So before we jump into my pattern, let's look at the original.

I'm including two pattern options in this tutorial.  One is the simple handknit shawl.  And the second has the added recycled sari silk fringe.  

You can use this same pattern for any type of handspun yarn, in any gauge, in any yardage.

You can substitute sari silk for ribbon or art yarn.  You simply knit from the bottom and keep working until your shawl is long enough.  I also find it interesting to see how different a similar pattern looks in super bright & happy handspun colors, and organic mohair.  

One of the many reasons I love knitting with art yarn is that you can use a similar pattern and come up with a completely different looking finished project every time!

The pattern I have been using for shawls is the same one that was published in Interweave Knits magazine in Spring 2005.  But that pattern is no longer available online, so I've republished it here.  Back in 2005 I was using recycled yarns from unraveled sweaters and bits and pieces and odds and ends of yarn to make scrappy shawls.  I find that this super basic shawl pattern looks amazing with handspun art yarn - and although there are other shawl patterns out there that are a little fancier - I love a good super simple knit.

This shawl took me a couple hours to knit from170 yards of Lollyarn handspun organic mohair in a bulky thick and thin.  You can purchase Lollyarn mohair handspun in her ETSY shop!

I used size 19 needles and got a tighter knit than Pam's shawl.  Try using 35 needles for a looser more drapier knit for summer/spring shawls.  

Here is the pattern:

  • Cast on 2 stitches.
  • Knit the first stitch, yarn over, then knit the last stitch.
  • Now you will have 3 stitches on your needle.
  • Your pattern is: { Knit the first stitch, yarn over, knit to the end } until you run out of yarn.
  • Then bind off loosely.

I low how raw and rustic the shawl looks without the fringe.  

So you can either stop knitting now or pick up a skein of some recycled sari silk to continue with phase II of this pattern.  

You can make this shawl extra special by letting your kitties put some extra love in it.  

So now let's add the fringe!  I cut 20 inch long strips of recycled sari silk ribbon and looped the middle thru each edge stitch of the shawl and brought the two ends thru the loop to secure the fringe to the shawl.  This completely changed the look of the shawl from a raw rustic cabin shawl to a woodstock summer music festival shawl.

 The fringe also added a lot of length to the shawl which makes it easier to wear (larger and easier to wrap around on chilly nights) without adding much weight to the shawl.

Happy Knitting!

Free Art Yarn Crochet Pattern: Tea Cozy

For all the crocheters on my reading list - you have Robyn Story of Yarns and Storysto thank for translating our last art yarn pattern into crochet terms!

I started with 40 yds of handspun and a Q hook.  

Ch 8. Yarn over, insert hook in third chain from hook, double crochet across. 6 sts, not including chain. Chain 2, turn, dc across. Repeat for each row until it wraps completely around when gently stretched. Break yarn, draw end thru last loop on hook, and bind off. Weave in ends. Poke spout thru the mesh in the middle of the piece and with a ribbon, lace it up around the handle. Voila!

Thank you Robyn!!

Free Art Yarn Knitting Pattern: Handspun Market Bag

You can use this market bag for tons of different uses around the home.  Knit a narrower one and store your plastic bags for re-using in your pantry or under your sink.  Hang it in your pantry for storing your onions, garlic, or potatoes in your pantry.  Use it next time you go to a sheep & wool festival to carry all your fibery purchases and show them off as you continue perusing the vendors.

If you're planning on using this market basket to carry heavy items, I recommend corespinning the yarn on a strong core. Any weaving warping thread is great for making stable, nearly unbreakable art yarns.  A corespun yarn will make your market bag more durable for carrying heavy items like canned goods and fresh fruit.

I cast on 27 stitches onsize 15 circular needles and started knitting in the round using a double elongated stitch. I continued knitting until I reached a length of bag that made me happy.  My bag is about 32 inches tall. 

To make the base of the bag, I took the yarn and slipped it thru all 27 stitches and pulled it tight and tied it in a knot.  I didn't bind off any of the stitches,

I threaded the end of yarn thru all the knitting loops and pulled tight.  

I wove in the ends and made it look tidy.

I used a crochet hook and recycled sari silk to crochet a lining around the top of the bag.  I used a single crochet stitch all around the top.  I then crochet a strap (about 40 inches long) to hang the bag from.  

You can adjust the strap to fit over your shoulder, or for hanging in your pantry or kitchen.  

The end result is a very secure (due to the linen core thread) and yet beautiful market bag that you can enjoy getting complemented on from the grocery store to the sheep and wool festival.

Free Art Yarn Crochet Pattern: Yarn Pod

Yarn bowls are all the rage right now, they are both charming and practical.  I've come up with my own idea which I am calling a "Yarn Pod".  It's the lovechild of a crochet rag rug, woven basket, weaver bird nest, and old pillowcase.  The pattern I have written below is a guideline for you to create your own yarn pods.

For this project you will need the following supplies:

  • A crochet hook appropriate to the size of yarn you have spun (larger for a more open crochet, smaller for a tighter pod)
  • Fabric art yarn (still on the bobbin from when you spun it, since it can't be "set" like a traditional yarn) - I used about 50 yards.

I started by crocheting a chain of 5.  Then I crochet around the chain to grow the circle bigger.  On the 2nd or 3rd row I crochet twice into each loop to keep the circle from tightening into a bowl.  If it started "bowling" in the opposite direction, I started crocheting once into each loop.  I continued crocheting a flat circle until it was about 5 inches in diameter.

Then I did a double crochet into each loop for a couple of rounds.  This built up the sides of the pod.  When I got to the point where I wanted to start making the open "V" for the yarn, I simply changed direction and started crocheting in the opposite direction (instead of completing the circle I turned around the circle to leave a gap).  Then when I got to that gap coming from the opposite direction I switched directions again.  Thus making a letter V-shaped indentation in the side of the pod.

I continued crocheting doubles all the way up to create a sculptable ostrich-egg shape.  Once I noticed I was running low on yarn, I did the final row as a double crochet in every other stitch to curve the top in just a bit. When the yarn ended I tucked it in and wove in the end at the base as well.

You can use this pod just like a yarn bowl!  Put your ball of yarn in it to keep it from rolling around the floor while you're knitting, crocheting, or plying.

Free Art Yarn Knitting Pattern: Triangle Bunting Banner

This bunting pattern is a fun way to use up those bits and pieces of art yarn leftover from your other projects.  

You can adjust the size of this bunting by making any number of flags and make larger flags by casting on more stitches (and smaller flags by casting on fewer stitches).  It's a very flexible pattern that you can adjust to hang from a window in a doll house to the largest tree in your backyard.

This bunting banner is a reusable eco-friendly way to decorate your baby's room (make a flag for each letter of baby's name!), or your child's bedroom to look like an Alice in Wonderland tea party.  Use it for an outdoor garden wedding with blue mason jars and freshly picked wildflowers.  Or just hang it in your home or craft studio because it makes you happy.

You Will Need:

  • -Size 15 needles
  • - Yarn
  • - Crochet Hook
  • - Recycled Sari Ribbon (or alternative, see pattern below)

Here is the pattern:

- Cast on 17 stitches on size 15 needles.

- Knit the first row using a simple elongated stitch

- On the second row { knit the first stitch using a simple elongated stitch, knit the next two stitches together, then knit the remaining stitches using a simple elongated stitch across the rest of the row. }  At the end you will have 16 stitches left on your needles.

- Keep repeating the pattern above between { and } until you have one stitch left on your needle.  Then cut the yarn, loop it thru the last stitch on your needle and weave in the ends.

When all your triangle flags have been made, use a crochet hook and some recycled sari silk (or any ribbon, twine, lace, fabric, art yarn that is long enough and strong enough to hold the weight of your banner) and crochet a chain along the top of the triangle.  I didn't crochet my chain into every stitch because my sari silk ribbon was so much bulkier.  I used my best judgment when crocheting to not stretch the triangle too much along the top.

Bring the ball of sari silk thru the last crochet chain on your first triangle to bind it off.  Make another slip-knot 4 inches down on the sari silk and use that slip knot to begin to crochet another chain across the top of your second triangle.  

If these written directions don't make sense, I made a short video on how I attached the ribbon as the top of the bunting.

After you have crocheted along the tops of all your flags, cut the end of the sari silk.  I left 2 feet of ribbon on either end of my bunting.  You can add more or less, depending on the number of flags your bunting has and how far you need it to stretch across the room/area you will be hanging it from.

Free Art Yarn Knitting Pattern: Easy Tea Cozy

The fastest knit project you'll ever make. 

Guaranteed.  No sizing required. Really.  Because knitting with art yarn is that awesome.

To create this teapot cozy you will need: a teapot, some art yarn (I used about 10 yards of chunky single ply weight for my teapot), and some sari silk ribbon.  If you don't have sari silk ribbon, any ribbon (or even the same art yarn) will do.

The Pattern:

I cast on 8 stitches and knit using a double elongated stitch. This creates a very open stretchy knit that is easy to wrap around the round belly of a teakettle.  As I was knitting I kept measuring the length of my project with the size of the teakettle until it "fit just right".  Then I bound off.  I took the spout of the teakettle and put it thru one of the holes in the low/center of the knit.  I wrapped the knit around the tea kettle and corseted up the back of it with the sari silk ribbon.  

This pattern is completely adjustable to fit multiple sizes of teakettles.

  • Have a taller teapot?  Cast on more stitches (make it wider).
  • Have a shorter teapot?  Cast on fewer stitches (make it narrower).
  • Have a really wide teapot?  Knit more rows (make it longer).
  • Have a squat teapot?  Knit fewer rows (make it shorter).

The corset back helps shape the knit around the belly of your teapot perfectly!

A charming housewarming gift or way to spruce up the teapot in your kitchen.

 Who knew we could make something look so cute in 10 minutes?

Free Art Yarn Knitting Pattern: Framed Jewelry Display

I love using art yarn for home decor. This is a very easy project to make, and can be altered easily to fit any frame size you have in your house.

I found this 10x10 frame at the thrift store for $3.99. I knit using a simple elongated stitch. I cast on 15 stitches. The yarn was handspun a single-ply chunky/worsted thick and thin. About 2 stitches per inch. But I cast on 15 instead of 20 because I wanted to stretch it to fit the frame so that it had tension and the jewelry wouldn't sag on it. I also wanted to see the holes in-between the stitches.

As I was knitting, I compared it to the size of the frame and bound off when it was the size I wanted. About 15 rows. Then I attached it to the back of the frame using a craft staple gun. 

It worked great for my earrings, barrettes, and hair pins. 

You could display your crochet hooks and knitting needles from it by weaving them in and out of the knit sideways.

Or simply use it as a beautiful piece of art to frame in your bedroom or craft room. 

I used under 30 yards for this project, and your yardage will vary depending on the size of the frame you use and how thick or thin you spin the yarn. 

Free Art Yarn Knitting Pattern: Easy Fingerless Mitts

This is how all patterns should be written, in my most humble opinion...

  • Knit a 7x7 square in garter stitch.
  • Or stockinette if you want to.
  • Any yarn. Any needles.
  • Are you getting nervous? Okay fine. I cast on 25 stitches on size 7 needles with thick and thin chunky/worsted handspun yarn. Now don't be afraid to go 6.5 x 6.5 if you have smaller hands. Or 8x8 if you have larger hands.
  • Breathe. Let it go.
  • * Knit a square.
  • Sew up the seam.
  • Leave a hole in the seam for the thumb to poke thru.
  • Repeat from * to complete 2nd mitt.

Voila. Fingerless mitts. Also known as "texting mittens". No k2togppkssokfwip drama. Just a square, folded in half, sewn, and BAM. Your fingers look fabulous and cozy in about an hour.

Free Art Yarn Knitting Pattern: Mason Jar Cozy

One of my favorite elements of knitting with art yarn is letting the color/texture do all the talking. A true art yarn doesn't need fancy knit or crochet patterns to make it shine. Less is More.

I was inspired by another mason jar cozy I saw online. But instead of fancy stitchwork, I used my handspun art yarn as the artistic element. For a small pint jar I cast on 17 stitches on size 11 double pointed needles. I knit 11 rows until the cozy went from the base of the jar to the top without covering the upper glass area. Then I bound off.

Add a sweet “glow” to any room by putting a little LED candle in the jar.

Looking forward to seeing the jars you cover with art yarn!

Free Art Yarn Knitting Pattern: Pillow Cover

Neauveau Pillow Free Knitting Pattern

by Madison Wool in Connecticut.  A quick art yarn project! Grab a skein of Ashley's bulky yarn, a pair of size 50 needles, and 2 hrs and you have a great pillow. I wove in sari silk for texture. It took me longer to sew it than to knit it! Using only 30 yds! I cast on 8 st on size 50 s. Knit 4 rows. Row 5 I did yarn overs every stitch. Knit 4 more rows. Bind off. This, sllightly stretched, fit my 12 x 16 pillow form.