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It already feels like we’re approaching peak summer heat, but don’t worry! You don’t have to put your knitting away until Labor Day. There are plenty of yarns and projects that you can keep knitting all through the summer months, even if you don’t have air conditioning.

I’m the author of the Lark Crafts book, Sock Yarn Studio. Inside my book are over 25 different knitting patterns specially designed for sock yarn.

What’s the big deal about sock yarn? Well, it’s one of the lightest weights of knitting yarn they make. Because it’s lightweight, it’s especially suited for knitting in warmer weather. Instead of having thick yarn that sits in your lap in a big heavy pile and makes you perspire, sock yarn is thin and lightweight, and you can make an entire project with just one skein. You can also find lots of sock yarns that contain plant fibers, like cotton, silk, tencel and bamboo – fibers which are naturally cool.

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The first section of patterns in Sock Yarn Studio features projects that take only one skein of sock yarn, and many of them are small projects that knit up relatively fast. For example, the Lisatra Cowl is a pattern knit up in a blend of silk and wool, with a fun lacy pattern.

 

 

Another great pattern with lacy stitch work is the Vert Cap, designed by Hunter Hammersen. (I’m especially partial to this one because my daughter is the girl modeling the cap in the book!)

 

 

If you’ve ever wanted to try entrelac, the Thornapple Wristers are another fun project with a single strip of entrelac on each wrister – just enough to get the hang of it but not so much that it’s overwhelming. Elizabeth Morrison designed these wristers and they look fabulous when you knit them in a yarn with slowly morphing colors, like the Crystal Palace Sausalito used in the sample.

 

 

I’ll even fess up and tell you that I knit a couple of the projects in the book during the summer, in smaller bites. The Lizalu blanket is made from oddballs of leftover sock yarn. Even though it ends up as a big blanket, it’s knit in strips. I took the strips for the blanket with me all over the summer that I worked on the book.

 

 

I knit strips in the car, during a Phillies game, at cookouts, even on the beach. The strips are easy to work even if you’re not paying really close attention (or sipping a wine spritzer by the pool!) and you can knit a bunch of strips, use up leftover balls of yarn, and then join them when the weather gets a little cooler.

So dig out your copy of Sock Yarn Studio (or order it if you haven’t yet!) and find a great project in lightweight yarns to keep your needles clicking all through the summer. Cheers!

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Carol Sulcoski is a former attorney turned knitwear designer, writer, hand dyer and teacher. She is the author of several knitwear pattern books including Sock Yarn Studio and Lace Yarn Studio, coming in Spring 2015 from Lark Crafts. For more information—or to buy some of her scrumptious yarn—visit www.blackbunnyfibers.com.

 
 
 
 
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Doodle Stitch Along – motif #4!

June 24, 2011, 15:02 pm  Posted by guestblogger
 

Hi! This is Aimee Ray again with another week of happy stitching! We’ve been stitching up a free embroidery pattern each week. Here is this week’s pattern, a cute duo of birds!

Download the bird motifs here.

If you’ve missed the first motifs, it’s easy to catch up. Here’s motif #1 and motif #2 and motif #3 if you missed them.

Be sure to show us what you’re stitching by posting your photos in our flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/doodlestitchalong/ And don’t forget to check back with us next week for some sweet apron instructions to put your stitched motifs to good use!

 
 
 
 
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Doodle Stitch Along – motif #3!

June 17, 2011, 18:50 pm  Posted by guestblogger
 

Hey guys, this is Aimee Ray. Are you ready for another week of stitching? Here is this week’s free nest pattern! I used the satin stitch for the leaves and eggs on this one. Also, I found it easier to just wing it on the nest lines rather than following the pattern exactly, but do whatever works best for you. :)

If you’ve missed the first two weeks, it’s easy to catch up. And we’d love to have you along! Here’s motif #1 and motif #2 if you missed them.

Be sure to show us what you’re stitching by posting your photos in our flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/doodlestitchalong/

Next week is the last free pattern, then we’ll be putting them all together into a cute and easy apron. Don’t miss it!

 
 
 
 
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We’re sharing the hexagon love today with a hexagon pillow tutorial from Stash Happy author Cynthia Shaffer. I kind of want one in every colorway! Here’s how (and don’t forget to scroll through to the bottom for the giveaway details!):

Gather:
Large linen throw pillow
Stash fabrics in 5 or more coordinating colors
Cardstock and standard office paper
Pen
Hand needle
Thread to match the pillow and thread to stand out from the fabric hexagons
Sharp scissors

Make:

1.     Create a hexagon that measures 3½ inches and cut one out from the cardstock.

2.     Create a hexagon that measures 3 inches, and cut out 13 from the office paper.

3.     With the pen, trace the cardstock hexagon on the backside of your fabrics. I traced 2 of each color, then went back and traced a third one from one of the larger prints.  Fussy cut the larger prints to highlight an interesting motif.

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Doodle Stitch Along: The Grand Finale!

February 04, 2011, 10:10 am  Posted by guestblogger
 

logo Hey guys, it’s Aimee Ray again with the final installment of our Doodle Stitch Along! I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have, it’s been so much fun seeing all of your embroideries along the way. Today, I’m going to show you what I made with my motifs (including the toadstool house): a mini ticker tape quilt! I’ve loved ticker tape quilts since the first time I saw one and this was the perfect way to try making one. Let me tell you, this is my kind of project. Quick and easy, no patterns or measuring, and you can use up scrap fabric! This is a fun, freestyle, make it up as you go along quilt. I found this awesome tutorial online and followed it almost exactly. Also, if you’d like to add a few other stitched elements to your mini quilt, download some free embellishment motifs here.

My little quilt measures about 13 x 17 inches; I started by cutting out the front and back pieces and the batting and pinning them together. You can add fabric strips one by one as shown, but I wanted to space out the embroidered pieces and see what it would look like finished, so I put all my scraps in place and secured them with a tiny bit of fusible web before sewing them on. The tutorial says to use a walking foot, but I just used my standard sewing machine foot and it worked fine.

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Doodle Stitch Along: Motif #4!

January 28, 2011, 14:08 pm  Posted by guestblogger
 

logoHey guys, it’s Aimee Ray again, with another Doodle Stitch Along post! Can you believe we’re almost done? This is week number 4, and the last of the free patterns is up for grabs: a super cute toadstool house. Thanks to everyone who participated in our gnomes vs. toadstools poll… gnomes are just too hard to beat but enjoy anyway!

Be sure to visit our Flickr group and check out all the awesome embroidery being done by our Stitch Along participants! You guys are really blowing me away with your work! It’s great to see all the different variations. Come back and join us once again next Friday, as we wrap up our Stitch Along with a project you can use all of your stitched motifs in. Here’s my motif set from last week (at left).

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Doodle Stitch Along with us!

January 07, 2011, 10:00 am  Posted by guestblogger
 

Hey there crafty people! This is Aimee Ray, the author of Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection. I’ve got a fun project for you, a Stitch Along! We’ll be giving away a free embroidery pattern motif a week from my book for the next 4 weeks, and we’ll all stitch them up together into a super cute mini quilt. The motifs are from the Woodland Fairy Tale set (one of my personal faves), and you can get the first one today: first up is the Gnome and Mushroom (click the linked text to download a PDF of the motif, which includes two size options). Start embroidering them right away! Get creative and use whatever colors and stitches you like. (If you’ve never embroidered before, this is a great time to start! If you need some beginners tips, visit my blog for some free tutorials. :)

Read more after the jump!

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