Lilac Wine » Savory Knitting and . . . the Tubular Cast On

Savory Knitting is a very nice blog I stumbled upon chatting in my Knitting group on facebook.  And here is a pattern featured, which I immediately fell in love with.  Isn’t it wonderful???  Simple elegance.  I’ve got to try it!

This pattern is so simple. But, simply elegant! Made up in 1×1 ribbing. Now, All I need to do is learn the Tubular Cast On (In the Round, of course)


359 yards sport weight yarn- I used 1 skein of Madeline Tosh Pashmina (75% merino, 15% silk, 10% cashmere) 360 yards per 117g skein; in the curiosity colorway (a lovely blue/purple that to me looks just like lilacs).

24″ US 7/4mm circular needle

tapestry needle for BO and weaving in ends

Finished dimensions:

unstretched- 16″ tall x 26″ around

gently stretched- 13″ tall x 34″ around

aggressively stretched 10″ tall x 64″ around

Here is the link to this lovely pattern:  Lilac Wine » Savory Knitting.

Truthfully, this pattern looks like it might be a bit ‘tedious’???  However, I am just the kind of knitter that needs a lot of that . . . ‘mindless’ kind of knitting.  This is right up my alley!

This pattern begins with a cast on I have not previously tried.  It doesn’t look too terribly complicated.  It is similar to a Long Tail Cast On, but different.  It is very stretchy, as is needed when working a ribbing.  And, so that I have a reference when I am ready, Tubular Cast On video tutorial from While They Play Designs.  This is actually a Play List, so you will have to advance to the THIRD video.  (Sorry) In the upper left-hand corner is a drop-down menu, choose ‘Tubular Cast On for 2×2 Rib in the Round’.  Or, in the bottom of the video, click Next two times.

Now, to see if I have enough of anything suitable in my stash…woo hoo!

Here’s to everyone having a perfectly crafty weekend!  As for me . . . I am on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N.  (Truth be told, it’s actually a STAY-cation.  But, that’s just fine by me.)  Let the crafting/blogging/cleaning/cooking/maybe a lot of nothing/catch up on all my t.v. shows begin!!!   ~ Love, GMA Ellen

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Sharing . . . A Few Recent Projects

Sooo, today you will get a double whammy.  Since I haven’t been a-blogging in a good long while, I’ll just post some pics of recently (or not-so-recently as the case may be…) finished projects I am most happy with.

In no particular order…

It’s me!  Modeling this project which had no pattern.  I used a ‘mystery yarn’.  Some sort of fingering weight, plain old acrylic.  Nice and soft, in a very nice pink.  It sat there lonely as can be, begging to be made up!  I have ignored it for so long, simply because I do not like working with lighter weight yarns.  Just too much work.  Blah.  My attention span is . . . well, not up to it.  So, in a totally ‘AHA!’ moment decided.



Here, in it’s humble beginnings…

Never done Navajo plying??? Here’s a video tutorial:

Next, a few new Beanies.  Knit and crochet.  12th Man is the theme!  Caron’s Simply Soft yarn.

Simple pattern, but a favorite. Crochet Seed stitch…

12 Man Reverse Single Crochet Brim

12th Man Roll Brim Knit

And, one more for extra measure.  A cotton beanie I made for my little Brother.  He has wanted one in black for a long time.  This was for his birthday a few months back.  Tony G. (the Rock Star!).  Such a great musician.

Brother Tony Black Crochet BD BeanieAnd now, to get back to this thing called Life.  Always busy.  Happy to share, and especially happy to have you all to share it with! ~GMa Ellen

Posted in completed projects, crochet, Destashing, diy gifts, fashion, FO - finished objects, GMa Ellen, handmade, handmade gifts, Happiness, journal, Knit and Crochet, knitting, knitting projects, My crochet designs, My Favorite Things, My Own Designs, Photo journal, style, video, Yarn Destash, YouTube videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

10 Ideas to Stay Inspired During a Crafting Hiatus | Lion Brand Notebook

 A great article posted on Lion Brand’s blog recently.  What a great website and blog!

  I don’t think I have ever been on a crafting hiatus.  You???   I am thinking the idea here is finding other outlets of creativity and/or inspiration while you are sidelined because of some sort of injury, or surgery perhaps that would leave you unable utilize your skills for your favorite craft.  At any rate, there is some very good advice here for any everyday break from crafting.  Not the least of which is: 

5. Teach some else to knit or crochet. (I seriously don’t think I have the patience for that. *wink*)

Organizing, research and searching for inspiration are just some of the highlights.  This next item is my greatest weakness.  Maybe someday I’ll have a space totally dedicated to crafting, and I can stop hauling storage bins up and down the stairs.  :P

9. Do some decluttering.

If your yarn stash is overflowing, your project queue is busting at the seams and your WIPs are taking over the entire house…

Keep reading for the other 8 great ideas here:  10 Ideas to Stay Inspired During a Crafting Hiatus | Lion Brand Notebook.

I realize I have not been posting much lately.  Sometimes Life just gets in the way.  I think about you all ALL THE TIME!  I miss sharing…so keep the faith!  I haven’t forgotten you!  Prayers and best wishes until next time.        ~GMa Ellen  



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What 10 Things Should You Do Every Day To Improve Your Life?


I think I do pretty well on all accounts…if you count knitting and crochet as meditation!!! you???

Originally posted on TIME:

1) Get out in nature

You probably seriously underestimate how important this is. (Actually, there’s research that says you do.) Being in nature reduces stress, makes you more creative, improves your memory and may even make you a better person.

2) Exercise

We all know how important this is, but few people do it consistently. Other than health benefits too numerous to mention, exercise makes you smarter,happier, improves sleep, increases libido and makes you feel better about your body. A Harvard study that has tracked a group of men for more than 70 years identified it as one of the secrets to a good life.

3) Spend time with friends and family

Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert identified this as one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives. Relationships are worth more than you think (

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Navajo Knitting (or Crochet) . . . Triple Strands From One Source.


Got a lot of response to this the first time-round. :D Just sharing it again. Navajo knitting, makes one strand of yarn into a triple strand, as you go. Easy-peezy!

Originally posted on G-Ma Ellen's Hands - Adventures in Crochet and Knit:

I have been going crazy with this method of tripling yarn.  It is ingenious!  I am posting this to show you how it’s done.  Later on, I will share some of the projects I have been working on using this method.  It is so great for destashing!  I have also been experimenting with knitting a triple strand of linen thread.  So far, I love it!

Knitting is shown in the video, but you can certainly use it just as effectively with crochet.

So, take a look and maybe tell me what you think.  I love it!  (Is this considered ‘upcyling’???)

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Ten Ways to Improve Your Fiber Art Photography Now


Some useful tips I need to re-visit! Hope they help you as well… thank you

Originally posted on G-Ma Ellen's Hands - Adventures in Crochet and Knit:


Ten Ways to Improve Your Fiber Art Photography Now


FEBRUARY 18, 2011


by Kristi Schueler

“Only other fiber artists truly understand the hard work, time and love that goes into each stitch. Sharing our work with an understanding audience generally means sharing pictures of projects via blog posts and various social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and of course Ravelry. If the photographs are not of good quality the excitement of the audience may not be what you expected. Below are ten ways you can start improving your fiber arts photography right now.”

Here are the topics covered.  Please, click the link below and have a read!  I believe good photographs are vitally important, even if it’s just to share on facebook.  This is a very good article, from which I learned a lot!

1. Know Your Camera

2. Tell a Story Through Your Photos

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Whit’s Knits: Seed Stitch Mittens and Hand Warmers – The Purl Bee – Knitting Crochet Sewing Embroidery Crafts Patterns and Ideas!


I know, you don’t want to hear it.  But, Old Man Winter will be here before you know it!  Best be prepared.  The Purl Bee, By Purl Soho is one of my favorite websites.  They often have picture tutorials.  This one shows how to make mittens!  It is so now on my list of things-to-do.  I am thinking a few of my girlfriend as well as my Mother and Daughter will think these are mighty fine gifts!

Many of us would agree, I think, that seed stitch is one of knitting’s most refined patterns, as elegant as Grace Kelly and as classic as argyle. But what may go a little under appreciated is the feel of seed stitch.

A firm seed stitch has a wonderfully satisfying texture, like warm pebbles on a garden path or like crisp kernels on a sweet cob of corn. In the dark, I’d take a swatch of seed stitch over stockinette any day! And so I thought, why not put the feeling of seed stitch literally at my fingertips?

Working the thumb hole even looks like something I could do.  :D

The entire pattern and helpful picture tutorial can be viewed here:  Whit’s Knits: Seed Stitch Mittens and Hand Warmers – The Purl Bee – Knitting Crochet Sewing Embroidery Crafts Patterns and Ideas!.

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Open Shell Crochet Cowl PDF Pattern by GMaEllenCrochetGifts on Etsy



Instantly downloadable PDF pattern available for sale with this link:  Open Shell Crochet Cowl PDF Pattern by GMaEllenCrochetGifts.

Sooo, I just have to brag a little bit.  I opened my email this morning to see that I had just sold a copy of my cowl pattern.  Nice!  I look further to discover that this customer lives in South Africa!  I am so excited to be reminded that a few of my creations are being recreated all over the globe!  (I really should get busy and write down more of my patterns, which seem to be hopelessly stuck in my head.)

Pattern notes:

This is the type of pattern you can adjust to fit any person/body type. 

One size fits most. Gauge is not important.
Pattern difficulty: easy – advanced

Stitches used:
ch: chain stitch
sl st: slip stitch
sc: single crochet
dc: double crochet
dtr: double-triple crochet

This particular piece was made with Caron’s Simply Soft yarn.  The color…I can’t say for sure, but there are sooo many fabulous colors to choose from.

I must include one more note.  I have forever bucked the idea of ‘blocking’ my work.  I make things to just be ‘done’!  However, I have since learned that some projects need to be blocked.  I began steam-pressing these cowls as they came off my hook.  It brings out the beauty of the lace, and the luster of the yarn.  Much to my delight!  (I guess you can teach an old gramma new tricks!)  Just remember, when you do this, it grows.  Luckily, for a cowl, it’s not a bad thing.  I must remember to update the photos on my Etsy page!

Now, for more bragging rights.  I am including here a stellar review on this lovely pattern:

Customer testimonial:

” You know what’s so special about this pattern for me? It’s superbly versatile. It doesn’t care what yarn you use, or what hook you use, as long as you use a hook one or two sizes larger to make the base chain. As long as you chain in multiples of six, it doesn’t care of you make a cowl, or wrist warmers, or leave it open and make a scarf, or make a small cowl for a child, or make it to fit your head, then gather it closed, and make an awesome hat. I’m just starting with this pattern, in a tiny practice piece, and I can already see the possibilities. Bravo, Ellen!!!!”

 It is true.  This pattern is so versatile, with some imagination you can create some very lovely pieces.  The cowl pattern is a fairly quick project.  They make perfect gifts, as a few of my close friends will testify!  *wink

Posted in crochet, crochet cowls,, fashion, gift ideas, GMa Ellen, GMa Ellen Crochet gifts, handmade gifts, My crochet designs, My Etsy, My Favorite Things, pdf crochet pattern link, pdf pattern, style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Should You Carry the Yarn Along the Side or Cut It? | Lion Brand Notebook


I found this article pretty interesting, and I feel it might lend some useful information to those who question this subject as often as I do…I knew that you could ‘carry’ your yarn as you work up your project.  But, didn’t really know about the ‘twist’ thing.  Read on:

Should You Carry the Yarn Along the Side or Cut It? | Lion Brand Notebook.

When working a pattern in stripes, sometimes you’ll see an instruction “Carry the yarn not in use along the side” (as with the Knit Shell Beach Washcloth shown…); other times you won’t see an instruction at all.

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Irish Crochet (Merletto irlandese di Asia Verten)la musica e Mina e Riccardo Cocciante Amore – YouTube

You’ve never seen Irish Crochet like this!  Take a look:

Published on Jun 11, 2012

Galina Verten. Asia: “I would like to share with you my art and love of my life — Irish Crochet. As a Fashion Designer I work for many years. It is my calling to create fashionable outfits. Few years ago I discovered Irish Lace. At first I saw stunning works of a Ukrainian designer Mirislava Gorokhovich, and I fall in love with her amazing works made with Irish Crochet Lace. 01:57

via Irish Crochet (Merletto irlandese di Asia Verten)la musica e Mina e Riccardo Cocciante Amore – YouTube.

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