Thursday, November 19, 2015

Alaska Winter Nights Hat

With just 5-6 hours of daylight a day, winters in Alaska can be long and daunting. Add to that the bitter cold from below zero temperatures which we are currently on for a few days now. It is beautiful, though... like a picture perfect winter scene straight out of a Christmas card.

There are actually a couple of inspirations for this hat: our Alaska winter nights and the reminder that I had from a book. I am currently reading Max Lucado's Traveling Light which is a great book that talks about how we can turn to God and entrust Him instead of some of our daily baggage: burdens that are not meant for us to bear. View my Instagram post.

At this time, I would like to share with you some features from this hat, The pattern is pretty straightforward but I will be working on a PDF version soon which I will eventually post here.

I used a pair of US 8 knitting needles and 100% acrylic yarn of the same brand in 4 colors. The first 10 rows was a (K2, P2) rib, followed by stockinette for the rest of the hat. I started with a dark gray for the first 2 bottom rows of colorway, followed by another 2 rows with silver gray, and 1 row of white. This was followed by the decrease rows and ultimately turning to the white color for the top of the hat until fastening off.

That said: I think it's neat to be able to find inspirations for our craft, whatever it may be. I personally have a sense of satisfaction whenever ideas come from unexpected sources. So, my friends, let's continue to challenge ourselves. Let us stay alert and be engaged. An idea or two is just out there for us to discover.

Thank you for visiting and happy knitting!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Chunky Pompom Winter Hats

Hi, friends! I have recently introduced the Chunky Pompom Winter Hats Collection that I have on my Etsy shop.

These warm, chunky hats use a nice wool and acrylic blend that is soft and comfortable. There are color choices that you can choose from and customize your own hat style with. These hats are made to order. Check out my Etsy shop for more details! 

On a side note, I posted a photo tutorial a little over two weeks ago on how to make these adorable and fun pompoms. You can check it out here: How To Make a Pompom


Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How To Make a Pompom

Hello, friends! Wow! September sure did come and go very quickly. I was engrossed with knitting and the Etsy shop that I barely had time for some serious blogging.

Before I get deeper into my post for today, I would like to share with you this photo from this morning. I am just so humbled and blessed to witness such beauty. For me, it is an assurance that God loves us and cares for us in magnificent ways. I hope you find inspiration in everyday things. (smiley face inserted here)

As my way of saying goodbye to September, I put together a photo tutorial for you on how to make a pompom. Pompoms are so versatile and fun. They can put the pow in your accessories. You can make them in different sizes, using different colors and materials.

In this tutorial, I used a chunky yarn for my pompom to finish off a fun winter hat using the same yarn.

I hope you find this tutorial useful. You can use this same technique in customizing your pompom. Try making one using multiple colors at a time. Have fun and get creative!

I would love to hear what you come up with! Post a comment, drop a note, and thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Diagonal Basketweave Cable Stitch

Hello, everyone! It's been a while since I have posted on this blog. We have been busy celebrating and enjoying our summers up here in Alaska. I hope you are making the most of it as well.

Lately, I have been working on some experiments with this gorgeous yarn. This bulky yarn is 80% acrylic and 20% wool which I think is a very nice blend. The recommended knitting needle size is US 10.5 but for this specific pattern, I used US size 13.

This pattern is from It is called the Diagonal Basketweave Cable Stitch. You can find this lovely pattern here. Knitting Bee offers both patterns for the smaller and medium size cables. The pattern that you see on the photo below is the Diagonal Basketweave Cable Stitch - Small.

Now, the reason for using bigger needles is to achieve a more drapery effect. This pattern makes for a very dense and tight cable stitch but if you want your finished item to be a bit more loose, you can certainly try using different sizes of knitting needles.

US 11 knitting needles

US 13 knitting needles

Reference and Pattern Source:

Full credit goes to for the pattern used in this post. Thank you, #knittingbee for this lovely pattern!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

ShelahKnits on Etsy

Women's Knitted Diagonal Stitch Button Fingerless Mittens in Cranberry and Off White are now available on my Etsy shop: ShelahKnits. Please have a look!

These items are ready for shipping!  
This off white pair was made using 100% acrylic yarn, with each mitten highlighted with three brown buttons.
This vibrant pair was made using 100% acrylic yarn. The color was Cranberry, each mitten with three tan buttons.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Double Seed Stitch Hat Pattern

It's been a while. I was busy experimenting on hats and beanies. It is in my nature to be working with multiple projects at a time and currently, I am working on three solid, neutral colored hats. These two are boyfriend beanies done in 1x1 ribbing using Fisherman's Wool in Nature's Brown and Natural (Ecru).

The third one, which I just finished is a double seed stitch hat in Charcoal Gray using Lion's Pride Woolspun. For just using a combination of basic knit and purl stitches, I love how this hat turned out! The texture is simply beautiful. I thought I would share the pattern with you.

The Pattern:

Materials needed: 

US 8 (5mm) knitting needles -16 in.
US 8 (5mm) double point needles
Lion's Pride Woolspun  149 Charcoal 3.5 oz 
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
Knitting marker

Cast on 100 stitches. Join the round. Do not twist the stitches. Place the marker after the first knit stitch to mark the beginning of the round.
For the brim, work in 2x2 rib (k2, p2) for 10 rows.

Double seed stitch pattern: 

(K1, P1) until end of row for 2 rows.
(P1, K1) until end of row for 2 rows. 

Work in double seed stitch pattern until beanie measures about 7 inches from the edge of the cast on (including the brim).

Start Decrease:

[(K1, P1) for 17 sts, p3tog], 5 times.   total number of sts: 90 sts
For every other row after a decrease row, follow pattern for double seed stitch.

[(P1, K1) for 14/15/15/15/15 sts, p3tog], 5 times, k1.   total number of sts: 80 sts
Follow pattern.

[(K1, P1) for 13/13/13/13/13 sts, p3tog], 5 times, k1.   total number of sts: 70 sts
Follow pattern.

[(P1, K1) for 12/11/11/11/11 sts, p3tog], 5 times.  Note: For the last p3tog, purl the last 2 stitches of the round with the first stitch on the next needle. Knit or purl the next stitch according to the pattern and replace the marker.   total number of sts: 60 sts
Follow pattern.

[(K1, P1) for 10/9/9/9/9 sts, p3tog], 5 times.  Note: For the last p3tog, purl the last 2 stitches of the round with the first stitch on the next needle. Knit or purl the next stitch according to the pattern and replace the marker.   total number of sts: 50 sts
Follow pattern.

[(P1, K1) for 8/7/7/7/7 sts, p3tog], 5 times.  Note: For the last p3tog, purl the last 2 stitches of the round with the first stitch on the next needle. Knit or purl the next stitch according to the pattern and replace the marker.   total number of sts: 40 sts
Follow pattern.

[(P1, K1) for 6/5/5/5/5 sts, p3tog], 5 times.  Note: For the last p3tog, purl the last 2 stitches of the round with the first stitch on the next needle. Knit or purl the next stitch according to the pattern and replace the marker.   total number of sts: 30 sts
Follow pattern.

[(P1, K1) for 4/3/3/3/3 sts, p3tog], 5 times.  Note: For the last p3tog, purl the last 2 stitches of the round with the first stitch on the next needle. Knit or purl the next stitch according to the pattern and replace the marker.   total number of sts: 20 sts
Follow pattern.
Cut an approximate of 8 inches from the last stitch. Secure the ends by threading it through all the remaining 20 sts, getting off the needle. Bind of and weave ends.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I would also love to see your finished project if you happen to use the pattern!

Happy knitting!   

Friday, March 20, 2015

How to Make a Thumb Hole for Fingerless Mittens

This technique is used for finished blocks, knitted or crocheted, to make fingerless mittens. With this particular striped block, I personally prefer this technique rather than knitting in the round with double pointed needles, because of the fact that it is easier to get the stripes aligned.

For this block, I used a pair of US7 (4.5mm) knitting needles and Vanna's Choice yarns. I cast on 40 stitches and alternated the three colors (two rows each), starting and ending with the pink. This block has 50 rows done in stockinette stitch (knit the right sides, purl the wrong sides).

  Leave a few inches on both ends of the yarn. You will need the same strands for securing and sewing the mittens together.

Since this is a striped block, several yarn ends were present. Tuck a few inches of these ends before securing and finally cutting them.  
Sewing the mittens together

Here is a good link on a tutorial for a mattress stitch. It is used for joining vertical stockinette stitch with invisible seams.

The photo below however, is a modified mattress stitch.

This is a modified mattress stitch. It lines up the stripes real well. Do this in a zigzag manner until you reach the placement for the thumb.

You are all done! There is no left or right hand with these gloves so you can wear either of them on both hands. The stockinette stitch creates the rolled effect which is a nice touch.

Enjoy your mittens and happy knitting!

Reference and Credit: Techniques with Theresa by Theresa Vinson Stenersen from

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting Book

Guess what just came in the mail! The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting, 2nd Edition by Margaret Hubert. I was so thrilled to get a copy of this new edition. It features new projects and stitch patterns which, like the first edition, offers clear step by step instructions, not to mention the colorful photos which are definitely helpful for visual learners like myself.

If you are craving for texture for your pieces, or have been wanting to integrate colors into your work, this book will definitely keep you busy for a while. It offers a wide range of stitches that even beginners can easily follow.

These neat textured gloves were done using the Textured Rib Stitch and Linen Stitch from this book. You can find my blog post on these gloves here.

So knitters, beginners and experienced alike, this book is a must-have for your knitting library. Get your own copy of this book from Amazon.

Continue to challenge yourself and happy knitting!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Blooms in Crochet

Living in Alaska, we get an average of only 5 1/2 hours of daylight during the winters, with winter solstice, which is on the third week of December, as its peak. After the winter solstice, we slowly gain about 6 minutes of daylight each day. In fact, right now we are at 10 1/2 hours of daylight. But wait until the summer and we enjoy close to 19 1/2 hours of glorious daylight!

So, during the mornings, I eagerly open the curtains and wait for the sunlight to hit our sun-deprived plants by the bay windows. The natural light just makes me happy! We are still at 5°F to 10°F during the day but spring is definitely here.

So, today I am talking crochet... just taking a break from my spring shawl project. Of course, with a spring theme, I went with some spring blooms that are actually useful for a lot of embellishment purposes. Bags, hats, shawls, afghans and a lot more can be spruced up easily with these.

As I try to share with you these step by step photos, my hope is that you will find them easy to understand as I attempt to improve my pattern writing skills. This pattern assumes that the user already knows the following basic crochet stitches:

            -   ch (chain)
            -   sl st (slip stitch)
            -   sc (single crochet)
            -   dc (double crochet)
            -   tr (triple crochet or treble stitch)

For beginners, there is a very good article with detailed instructions about the basic crochet stitches written by Amy Solovay. It is called Basic Stitches in Crochet and you can find it here.

Materials used:

USH8 crochet hook
Any medium weight yarn (4), scraps are perfect! Combine colors as desired.
Knitting needle, to secure the ends

To make the center of the flower:

1]   ch 4, join in the first ch with a sl st to form a ring.
2]   ch 2 (this will serve as the first dc), dc 9 into the ring, join with a sl st with the first ch 2 to close the round.

First row of petals:

3]   Attach the second color yarn through any dc by securing it with a ch st.
4]   To start with the first layer of petals, repeat this block of stitches 5 times. This block will create a full petal as shown on the photo.

            -    sc 1, dc 1, tr 1 in the first dc
            -    tr 1, dc 1, sc 1 in the next dc

Foundation chain for next row:

5]   ch 2, insert through the dc where the hook wraps around the middle dc of the next petal.

6]   After wrapping, secure with ch 3, skip the next dc, and wrap the hook in the next dc in the same manner. Do this until you have 5 dc wraps as shown on the photo. This effect also creates a star-like center for the flower.

The treble stitch row:

7]   ch 3, tr 4 in the same ch-3 foundation.
8]   tr 4 in each ch-3 foundation, join with a sl st. The following photos show the front and back respectively of the completed row of tr sts.

Second row of petals:

9]   Skipping the first tr, follow this block of stitches 3 times.

            -   [sc 1, dc 1] in second tr
            -   tr 3 in next tr
            -   [dc 1, sc 1] in next tr

10]   Do #9 again, join with a sl st. Fasten off. Your flower should look like this!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave your comments. As you can tell, I am not an experienced pattern writer so I will be happy to provide clarifications.

Happy crocheting!


Basic Crochet Stitches -

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

First Spring Knit Project!

Spring is in the air. It's March and even though this little thing called winter still hasn't said goodbye, odds are most of us can't wait for it to be over.

Now with regards to knitting, I have started to put away most of my winter projects. I am now in the mode for spring knits! Looking into my stash, I decided to use Patons Kroy Socks yarn I have purchased from Michael's a while back. I have never knitted socks before but I have used the same yarn for some fingerless gloves and they were actually nice and warm.

After browsing online for hours, I came across this lovely shawl pattern from Ravelry. It's called Shadow Knitting Sock Yarn Shawl by Kimberly Gintar. The pattern is a free download so you are welcome to check it out.

Here's what I have so far. The first photo doesn't fully capture the colors of the yarn but the second photo does.

For the yarn and needles, I am using Patons Kroy Socks FX Cascade Colors and size US 4/3.5mm knitting needle attachments for a 40" magic loop.

Stay tuned! I will be sharing photos of this lovely shawl once it's finished. Happy knitting!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Striped Rib Stitch - A Closer Look

The rib stitch is one of my most favorite knitting stitches.  It is versatile and one can go about it in several ways.  Whether you choose the knit one-purl one rib, the knit two-purl two rib, a combination of both or even mixed up with some twisted knit stitches, it will more than likely look no less than stunning.

Striped Rib Stitch

Colors in knitting pieces can add depth and personality to the finished item. Knitting in stripes, I think, is a simple way to integrate colors into your knitting. Doing stripes with the rib stitch, however,  gets a little more interesting.  Let's take a closer look.

With the rib stitch, regardless of how many knit and purl stitches, the rib effect is achieved by following the pattern (if the right side has k1, p1 and so on, the wrong side should follow p1, k1 and so on). However, if you are changing colors for your stripes, the first row should be a knit row. This will make the stripes look cleaner.

Here are comparative photos of a knit one-purl one rib and a knit two-purl two rib: with and without the stretch. The right sides shows the cleaner stripes, done with a knit row whenever switching colors.

This is how it looks like with the knit one purl one, without the stretch
Knit two purl two, without the stretch
You can see that once the piece is stretched, the lines on the right side are much cleaner than the left. This is achieved by doing an all knit row as the first row when switching colors.

Knit two purl two with a stretch, the clashing colors are more visible here.

Here are the backs of the same swatches above.
Interestingly, the cleaner stripes on the front of the knitted piece turned out to produce lines on the back.
The right side shows the lines formed from the all knit row when switching colors.

The back of a knit one purl one with a stretch

Figure 2B: The back of a knit two purl two with a stretch
As a conclusion, if both sides of the piece will show (a perfect example would be a scarf), my personal choice would be to follow the pattern for both right and wrong sides. It will not have clean stripes but since the elasticity of the ribbing stitch allows to hide the clashing lines, I would prefer that rather than the visible lines on the back (as shown on the right side of Figure 2B).

For something such as a hat, I think the better choice would be the cleaner stripes. Hats when worn will be stretched so the clear lines would look nicer. The wrong side of the work will show the visible lines from the knit row but it would not matter because it will not be seen.

I hope you find this tip useful. Happy knitting!