Tag Archives: knitting

16 Yarnspirations for the Creative Knitter/Crocheter

Need a bit of yarny-inspiration? Here are some projects that I’ve hand selected just for you! Maybe they’ll inspire you. But probably not. Mostly, they’ll just make you laugh. Or burn your eyes. 😉

1. To Humiliate The Dog – Because what tiny dog with an inferiority complex doesn’t want to be dressed up like a mouse? You can find the free pattern for this ADORABLE dog hat/snood/ridiculousness here.


2. If you’re an overachieving dog-lover with a penchant for embarrassing your canine BFF, then this should definitely be your next project. Unfortunately, the crochet pattern for this particular tool of humiliation is not available yet although Ravelry-users can check on the creative dog-mommy who created this masterpiece here to see when the pattern becomes available.

3. Wondering what you could make with granny squares besides an afghan? Why, a sweater and matching pants, of course! Your husband can thank me later.


4. A Ravelry search for the work “toilet” results in 150+ toilet roll and toilet seat covers and even a handful of knit/crochet toilets. But there can only be one Commode-O-Dragon.

Commode-o-Dragon_web_medium25. I love seeing hand-knits on the runway. Makes me feel like my yarny-pursuits are creative and high-fashion! But apparently, I missed the memo because this is knit haute couture. 
sandra_backlund_1 99ae4ccd274ee425314e6167a3af8b98


6. I have no words.

54217e9a9ae02022e1374cf821972d1e 7. I wonder how long it took the person who knit this to get the cables just right in the crotchal region… oKKOJ

8. If the hooded cabled onesie isn’t quite enough for your manly man, then surely, this will be adequate. crazy_knit_01

10. I can’t decide if this is genius or really, really weird. 

11. This is what happens when you cross a luchador with a clown and a Cabbage Patch Kid. 1424927370235-knittedskimask 12. I don’t know about you, but this guy is seriously rocking the look. His sweater vest is the perfect match for those granny glasses. dsc01950 13. I don’t get it. crazy-knitting 14. I want to know the secret to getting the yarn to stick straight up on the mohawk! And I kind of love the pants. badass-knitting_yellowtrace_04 15. Knit pasties. ‘Nuff said. cc5fba64ee10c03884b8acbd4baf5905 16. Who needs knit penis cozies when you can knit a dress covered in them??? 2decbcef27aee9fcfeb136ebbb44b80d

Happy Wednesday! 😉

Shopping for Craft Supplies at Dongdaemun Fabric Market

Living in Seoul, I miss the convenience of jumping in the car and driving to my local Michael’s, AC Moore or Joann’s. And I definitely miss having access to 40% off coupons! Shopping for crafting supplies in Korea is much more of an adventure than a convenience, but once you get the hang of it, Seoul offers a veritable treasure trove of supplies for craft-lovers.

Dongdaemun Fabric Market is a 5-level (6 including the basement level), 4 building maze of everything a knitter/crocheter/sewer/crafter could possibly need. And if you’ve never been before, prepare to be amazed and overwhelmed. The easiest way to get there is by subway–come out Exit 9 at the Dongdaemun subway station (NOT Dongdaemun Stadium!). As you come up the stairs, this is what you’ll see:


Walk straight to find the doors that lead into this building. And this is where the chaos begins! Generally speaking, the floors are laid out like this:

B1: sewing notions (zippers, velcro, needles, etc.), thread (for hand sewing, machine sewing as well as sergers), yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, embroidery, bedding, home decor fabric

1: lace, ribbon, home decor fabric, decorative patches, buttons

2: fabric, curtains, silk goods, hanbok fabric

3: fabric (B-dong is specifically known for cotton fabric, both woven and knit)

4: fabric

5: accessories, sewing notions, quilting fabric, quilting notions, ribbon, jewelry supplies, felt (sold as sheets as well as on rolls by the yard)

6: cafeteria and offices

7: offices

Shopping for Yarn

968815_552870511431649_777101494_nThe basement level of Dongdaemun Fabric Market is a mash-up of quilting and home decor fabric, sewing notions, knit/crochet notions and yarn. Lots and lots of yarn. Shopping for yarn in Korea can be both exhilarating as well as frustrating. At times, you’ll marvel at just how much variety is available, but sometimes, you’ll wonder how anyone can afford to knit anything!

The prices at Dongdaemun are hit or miss. Generally speaking, I’ve found that notions such as knitting needles and crochet hooks are on par with prices at Michael’s and AC Moore, but there is significantly more selection, and there are definitely brands you’ve probably never heard off. If you’re like me and like what you like–bamboo needles and Clover brand crochet hooks–then you’re probably better off ordering online from American retailers, but if you’re just getting started or don’t mind trying out new things, then you’ll find lots of great deals on things like knitting needles. Despite my reluctance to stray from my Clover Soft-Touch crochet hooks, I’ve found a great brand of crochet hooks called Tulip that make a size 6.5mm/O (not easy to find in non-plastic needles). Same goes for yarn winders and swifts. The pricing at Dongdaemun is very similar to what you’ll find in the U.S.

As for yarn, it all depends on what you like to work with. If you typically purchase yarn from places like AC Moore and Michael’s, and you especially love when certain brands are on sale, then the pricing at Dongdaemun may be more than what you’re used to. I love to work with Vanna’s Choice yarn. It’s soft, comes in a variety of bright, beautiful colors, and it’s machine-washable. All great for making kids’ hats. When it comes to acrylic yarn, I’ve found that the brands that are sold at Dongdaemun are not as soft as Vanna’s Choice or Knit Picks Brava yarn, so I tend to stock up on these when there are sales online. However, if I have to have a very specific color and can’t rely on sample colors on the computer (such as when I worked on my son’s crazy Optimus Prime hat!), I go to Dongdaemun so I can see the colors firsthand. Also, at Dongdaemun, it’s difficult to tell the yarn’s weight and yardage since these things are not clearly labeled.

However, if you love luxury yarns and typically shop at your LYS, then you’ll find an amazing selection of fabulous fibers at great prices. I’ve purchased some wonderful wool blends that are amazingly soft and are wonderful to work with. Alpaca and alpaca blends are also quite popular at Dongdaemun and pricing is much better than what I used to pay at my LYS.

Keep in mind that for all yarns, you will pay significantly less if you purchase in bulk–an entire package of yarn (sometimes, 4, 6, or 10 skeins at a time). Single skeins of yarn are available at most vendors, but you’ll pay around 25-30% more per skein.

Also, if you have a yarn winder and swift at home, consider purchasing hanks of yarn. They are far more economical! The hanks are GIGANTIC, and when I wind them, I usually have to split the hank into 4-5 skeins.

Shopping for Fabric

944370_552870311431669_873485537_nFabric shopping at Dongdaemun is an absolutely amazing experience. The prices are–hands down–much better than what you’d get at places like Joann’s (even with a 40% off coupon!) or even fabric.com. You’ll find every kind of fabric imaginable at Dongdaemun, and they’ll even carry American name-brand/designer fabrics for a fraction of what it costs State-side.

Fabric is sold by the yard (or ma, although if you say yards, everyone will know what you mean), and most vendors are very liberal with their cuts. There have been times when I’ve purchased 3 yards, come home and found that they’d actually given me close to 4 yards of fabric (win!). With so much competition (literally hundreds of fabric vendors under one roof), prices are set and you will not be able to haggle for better pricing. But really, at these prices, you don’t need to!

For me, when I go fabric shopping, I’ve found that it’s best to go with a list of things I need. With so much selection, it’s overwhelming to go without a plan of attack. You’ll either end up leaving with nothing or come home with a bunch of fabric that you had no idea you wanted. Either way, you end up feeling like Dongdaemun got the best of you!

Also, many vendors will have a stack of pre-cut fabric stacked in a box at the front of their stall. Often, these fabrics are available for VERY CHEAP. I’ve purchased wool suit fabric for 1,000KRW/yard and great stretch knit fabric (perfect for kids leggings) for 2,000KRW/yard.

There are a handful of vendors who do not want to sell small quantities of fabric. If you ever encounter this, simply move on. There are many, many others who will be happy to sell the same stuff to you.

Shopping for Crafting Supplies (ribbon, accessories, jewelry-making supplies)

5th floor. That is all.

Just kidding. But seriously, the 5th floor has seemingly endless rows of stalls for everything you could possibly need for making hair bows, headbands, jewelry, purses, embroidery, cell phone charms, dolls, and more.

Most of the vendors also make and sell their own products, so even if you’re not the crafty type, go to the 5th floor to shop for accessories. From super cute stuff for babies to elegant necklaces for mom, you’ll end up wanting to buy ALL. THE. THINGS.

Click here for a list of Dongdaemun vendors/stall numbers and what they sell

Mittens for Newtown and Little Bunny Penny 2.0

This past week, I’ve been super busy with a few projects: knitting mittens for a wonderful charity project called The Kissing Hand Mittens Project to benefit the families of Newtown, CT, improving the Little Bunny Penny hat, and preparing for Miss Penelope’s first birthday party (I’ll talk about my crafty projects for her party in another post).

The Kissing Hand Mittens Project caught my attention last month, and I’ve been wanting to make something to send for a while. Moving into a new house and taking care of three little ones hasn’t exactly been conducive to knitting for charity. However, I took a couple of days and dedicated all my free time to churning out a couple pairs of mittens to send.

I love the way they turned out, and I’m excited to send them off to warm the little hands and hearts of a couple of children whose endured heartache that no child should ever have to go through. There’s still time to knit/crochet/donate to the project, so please take some time to read about it and consider contributing.

In my previous post, I shared a photo of Miss P in a bunny hat. Not long after I took the photo, the ears flopped down and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get them to stick out again, so I took on the task of Version 2.0. This time, it work out much better. It also fits her so much better, and I’m overall much happier with the outcome. I’m excited to write the pattern–you know, when I have time… :-p Frustratingly, I don’t have a photo of her in the hat and the little peanut is sleeping now…so photos to come soon.

Now, it’s time for me to call it a night…

Digging myself out!

In the past few days, I’ve managed to dig myself out from beneath the mass of boxes, packing paper, damaged furniture, sweat and tears that a move the the other side of the world with three children under the age of 4 inevitably brings with it. Our house still needs a lot of work, but it’s now our home, which after two months of travel and living out of hotels–I couldn’t be happier.

With the new house in its various states of unpacking chaos, I haven’t really had a chance to work on much. I did find time, however, to design a new hat, cowl and fingerless mitt trio. I still have a few finishing touches to put on the pattern, but here are some photos of my handiwork!
I’m really excited for this pattern to go live, mostly because I haven’t had a chance to put anything new up in a while. I’ve had so many ideas swirling around in my head and not enough time to really dedicate to it.
Also, in the early phases of pattern writing is a hat I worked on with leftover yarn for Miss Penelope. Penny really needed a hat that she couldn’t pull off because she pulled a hat off while on my back in the Ergo. It’s so sad to lose something that you spent so much time making. Anyway, Penny can’ t just have any little hat. It needed to be extra cute to match the ridiculously cute hats her brothers go out in! 😉 So I worked on this bunny hat, and I worked especially hard to get these ears to stand up.
It still needs so work, but I’m hoping to have it all worked out in the next couple of weeks.
And finally… I managed to get my new sewing machine out of the box, and best of all… I actually sewed something!
It’s just a tiny little thing for Penny, but it’s a start. And I’m happy to say that I made it out of a pillowcase. I now have all these new ideas for how to use old sheets and clothes that the kids have grown out of. If only I could sew better. 😉
Anyway, I suppose it’s time to call it a night. There’s a load of laundry to fold, and my bedtime is fast approaching…

More Projects

I’ve been a busy, busy crafting mama lately… Both for the holidays and for getting my butt in gear and actually OPENING my Etsy shop–jkwdesigns!!! So here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve done in the past couple of weeks:

1) Lots of crochet flowers. I’m experimenting. After writing the Plumeria pattern, I decided I needed more flowers in my crafty life. I’m working on a magnolia pattern right now, one that doesn’t require the sewing on of all those petals. I’m hoping that I can design one where at least the back row of petals are worked as one piece. I hate sewing individual knit/crochet pieces together.

2) Hats for gifts:

I used the Big Button Hat pattern for these, but obviously made one shorter than the other… I made the pink one first, and despite not knitting as many rounds as the pattern called for, the hat was still huge, so I made the second hat slightly shorter. I like the shorter one better, but it’s just personal preference as I don’t like hats to cover my eyebrows!

3) A growth chart for Charlie and Lincoln. The Caffeinated Mommy from Creative Momnesia, which I must say has been sadly neglected lately, found this adorable DIY growth chart, so I had to make one for each of the boys. I suppose I could have just made one for all the kids, but then which one would I give it to once they’re older and having their own kids? So I’ve made two. Just one more to go for Lady Penelope!

4) I spent an inordinate amount of time designing a business card for my Etsy shop. Because I make ridiculous hats for my boys and take them out in public wearing said ridiculous hats, I’m often asked where I got them (the hats, not the boys). I wanted to have some business cards that I could give out to these inquisitive mamas! And after much twiddling, I went with an elegant cherry blossom design (I LOVE CHERRY BLOSSOMS!), and tried to print OVER.AND.OVER.AGAIN. With no luck. After I had essentially ruined the 7th sheet of business card paper, I did a quick Google search and discovered that it wasn’t just me. My particular printer is actually incapable of printing the margins properly on the Avery Clean-Edge business cards. I felt vindicated! So I went online and just ordered some. 500 cards printed and delivered to my door for $20. I can handle that. Considering that I wasted about $10 worth of business card paper, the $20 is a small price to pay!

This is just the front side of the card–the back side gives some more details about what I make. I think it turned out kinda nice! I’m going to modify if for the banner on my Etsy shop.

Now, I just need someone to buy something! I only have 10 items listed right now, but it takes time to make things, and that’s definitely something that I don’t have enough of… Time. I told DH last night that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do… And he looked at me like I’m crazy–mostly because he doesn’t really understand why I create MORE work for myself by wanting to knit and crochet and write patterns and craft…when I can barely keep up with the dishes and laundry and grocery shopping and vacuuming and my millions of prenatal appointments… *sigh* I don’t really have an answer!

Cute Giraffe Hat

A PDF file can be downloaded for FREE!
Cute Giraffe Hat (just click the link!)
If you post about this pattern on your website or blog, please provide a link to the pattern on my blog: www.jkwdesigns.com/2011/11/08/cute-giraffe-hat
If you sell items made using this pattern or any pattern published/written by jkwdesigns, please add a link to this site (www.jkwdesigns.com) on your listing! 



Worsted weight yarn in appropriate colors
(golden yellow, tan, brown)
Size 8, 16″ circular needles
Size 8 double pointed needles
Tapestry needle
1 stitch marker
5 mm crochet hook (optional)
Makes sizes: 6-9 mo (1-2 y, 2-3 y)
Gauge: 17 st x 24 rows = 4 in. in stockinette stitch
CO 56 (64, 72)
Place stitch marker and join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.
Work in stockinette stitch until work measures 3.25 (4, 4.5 in).
Begin decreases:
Round 1: *K5 (6, 7), k2tog. Repeat from * around. [48 (56, 64) sts]
Round 2: knit
Round 3: *K4 (5, 6), k2tog. Repeat from * around. [40 (48, 56) sts]
Round 4: knit
Round 5: *K3 (4, 5), k2tog. Repeat from * around. [32 (40, 48) sts]
Round 6: knit
Round 7: *K2 (3, 4), k2tog. Repeat from * around. [24 (32, 40) sts]
Round 8: knit
Round 9: *K1 (2, 3), k2tog. Repeat from * around. [16 (24, 32) sts]
Round 10: knit
For 6-9 mo size, k2tog around (8 sts). For 1-2 y and 2-3 y sizes: continue with decreasing pattern until 8 sts remain.
Break yarn, and using a tapestry needle, thread tail through remaining 8 sts. Pull tight.
Ears (make 2):
CO 6 stitches
Row 1: knit
Row 2 and all even rows: purl
Row 3: k1, kfb, k2, kfb, k1 (8 st)
Row 5: k1, kfb, k4, kfb, k1 (10 st)
Row 7: k1, kfb, k6, kfb, k1 (12 st)
Row 9: knit
Row 11: k4, ssk, k2tog, k4 (10 st)
Row 13: k3, ssk, k2tog, k3 (8 st)
Row 15: k2, ssk, k2tog, k2 (6 st)
Row 17: k1, ssk, k2tog, k1 (4 st)
Row 19: ssk, k2tog (2 st)
Break yarn and using a tapestry needle, thread the tail through the remaining 2 stitches.
Antennae (make 2):
CO 5 on dpn
With 5 stitches, make i-cord until length is approximately 1.5 inches.
Break yarn, and using a tapestry needle, thread the tail through the 5 stitches. Pull tight.
Assembling the hat:
Sew ears and antennae onto the hat.
Using the appropriate color, create giraffe spots on the hat using duplicate stitch. I prefer the duplicate stitch in this instance because the spots are relatively small and intarsia in the round is rather annoying. Plus, I think it’s nice to see the main color peak through.Optional:
Pick up stitches along the brim with a 5.0mm crochet hook and single crochet around.
Weave in ends.

“God of War” Inspired Omega Symbol PSP Cozy

The God of War game series is probably one of my husband’s favorites. Even I have to admit that the graphics on the God of War games are absolutely stunning… Other than that, I don’t have too much interest in video games, but my husband enjoys them, and I don’t mind sitting on the couch and knitting while he plays. 😉

The pattern is complete and ready to share with you. Hope you enjoy! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or find errors with the pattern.

***NOTE: This is a free pattern. Please use it and share it! However, please provide proper credit and a link to this pattern if you refer to it on your own website/blog. Many thanks!***

God of War Omega Symbol PSP Cozy



DK weight yarn in two colors (you will only need a small amount of the contrast color)

Size 3 double pointed needles

Yarn bobbins (optional)

Gauge on Size 3 needles

15 st = 2 in

18 rows = 2 in

Using the figure 8 cast on method, cast on 28 stitches. For a video tutorial of the figure 8 cast on, click here.

Round 1 – knit all stitches, evenly dividing stitches onto 4 dpn as you go.

Round 2 – k1, m1, k12, m1, u2, m1, k12, m1, k1 (32 st)

Round 3 – knit around

Round 4 – k1, m1, k14, m1, u2, m1, k14, m1, k1 (36 st)

Round 5 – knit around

Round 6 – k1, m1, k16, m1, u2, m1, k16, m1, k1 (40 st)

Round 7 – knit around

Round 8 – k1, m1, k20, m1, u2, m1, k20, m1, k1 (44 st)

Round 9 – knit around

Round 10 – k1, m1, k22, m1, u2, m1, k22, m1, k1 (48 st)

Continue knitting in the round until your work measures 2 inches.

Begin omega pattern according to chart. The pattern refers to the first 24 stitches of the round. Note: when working the pattern, it may be easier for you to transfer the 24 pattern stitches to one needle so that you’re working the entire pattern on one needle and the back of the cozy on two additional needles. Two circular needles would also work well with all of the front stitches on one needle, and all the back stitches on another.

If this is the first time that you’re knitting intarsia in the round, click here for a very simple how-to!

Continue knitting in the round until your work measures 7 inches.

Making Closure Flap

Knit first 24 stitches. Bind off next 24 stitches.

Row 1 – knit all across

Row 2 – purl across

Row 3 – k2tog, knit to last 2 st, ssk (22 st)

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until 14 stitches remain (4 more times)

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 twice

Row 16 – make buttonhole using one row buttonhole method (depending on the size of the button used, the buttonhole will need to span one to two fewer stitches than the diameter of the button)

Row 17 – purl across

Row 18 – k2tog, knit to last 2 st, ssk (12 st)

Row 19 – purl across

Row 20 – k2tog, knit to last 2 st, ssk (10 st)

Row 21 – purl across

Row 22 – bind off

Weave in ends and block lightly. Add a button, and you’re all done!

I used the contrast yarn to single crochet an edging around the opening of the cozy to prevent curling. I’m also thinking of adding a pouch to the back for DH to carry an extra UMD, but for now, this is it!