Triangle Mug Cozy Pattern

It has certainly been awhile since I designed a pattern. I would like to say that this pattern is a brand new creation, but in fact I designed it many, many years ago as a scarf. I haven’t touched it since then, and when I was asked to knit a mug cozy for a gift this year, I realized it was time to resurrect it.

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This pattern can be scaled to be wider or narrower, just cast on any number of stitches that is a multiple of 4 and adjust the pattern accordingly. For a smaller mug, it would probably be best to either use lighter weight yarn and smaller needles or do 12 stitches instead of 16.

Materials: Loops and Threads – Charisma (i.e. bulky weight) in two colors; Size 7 DPNs; (These are what I used, feel free to use smaller yarn and needles); Button with large holes; Tapestry needle

If you are uncomfortable with knitting straight on DPNs, you will also need straight needles of the same size, and will need to transfer to the DPNs for the binding off process.

Skills: knit, purl, i-cord

Main Pattern:

Cast on 16 stitches in C1
Notes: The key to this pattern is to not pull the yarn tight when switching colours. Allow the pattern to keep the colours together, otherwise the holes won’t form. 

Row 1 & 2: With C1: (k2, p2)* rep til end
Row 3: With C1: (p2, k2)* rep til last 4 stitches, p2; With C2: k2
Row 4: With C2: p2; With C1: (k2, p2) rep til end last 2 stitches, k2
Row 5: With C1: (k2, p2)* rep til last 4 stitches; With C2: k2, p2
Row 6: With C2: k2, p2; With C1: (k2, p2)* rep til end
Row 7: With C1: (p2, k2) x 2, p2; With C2: k2, p2, k2
Row 8: With C2: p2, k2, p2; With C1: (k2, p2) x 2, k2
Row 9: With C1: (k2, p2) x 2; With C2: (k2, p2) x 2
Row 10: With C2: (k2, p2) x 2; With C1: (k2, p2) x 2
Row 11: With C1: p2, k2, p2; With C2: (k2, p2) x 2, k2
Row 12: With C2: (p2, k2) x 2, p2; With C1: k2, p2, k2
Row 13: With C1: k2, p2; With C2: (k2, p2) x 3
Row 14: With C2: (k2, p2) x 3; With C1: k2, p2
Row 15: With C1: p2; With C2: (k2, p2) x 3, k2
Row 16: With C2: (p2, k2) x 3, p2; With C1: k2
Row 17 & 18: With C2: (k2, p2)* rep til end
Row 19: With C1: p2; With C2: (k2, p2) x 3, k2
Row 20: With C2: (p2, k2) x 3, p2; With C1: k2
Row 21: With C1: k2, p2; With C2: (k2, p2) x 3
Row 22: With C2: (k2, p2) x 3; With C1: k2, p2
Row 23: With C1: p2, k2, p2; With C2: (k2, p2) x 2, k2
Row 24: With C2: (p2, k2) x 2, p2; With C1: k2, p2, k2
Row 25: With C1: (k2, p2) x 2; With C2: (k2, p2) x 2
Row 26: With C2: (k2, p2) x 2; With C1: (k2, p2) x 2
Row 27: With C1: (p2, k2) x 2, p2; With C2: k2, p2, k2
Row 28: With C2: p2, k2, p2; With C1: (k2, p2) x 2, k2
Row 29: With C1: (k2, p2)* rep til last 4 stitches; With C2: k2, p2
Row 30: With C2: k2, p2; With C1: (k2, p2)* rep til end
Row 31: With C1: (p2, k2)* rep til last 4 stitches, p2; With C2: k2
Row 32: With C2: p2; With C1: (k2, p2) rep til end last 2 stitches, k2

Chart:

Triangle Chart Repeat rows 1 – 32 until desired length is reached. For a built in button loop, continue as follows, otherwise, bind off here.

Button Loop: Bind off first 7 stitches, then with the 7th and 8th stitches, knit an icord of the desired length to go around the button. K2tog with the 8th stitch and the 9th stitch, and the 7th and 10th stitches. Bind off all remaining stitches.

Button: Use tapestry needle and one of the yarn colours to sew the button onto the desired location. Make sure the loop will fit over the button snugly.

This is a great pattern for a beginner, as there aren’t many fancy stitches involved, yet the outcome is stunning! It’s got a texture that not only looks good, but also makes it easier to grip.

Pattern can be found here on Ravelry!

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A Tree Of Memories

Christmastime, to me, has always been about family. It’s about being with those you love, thinking of those who are far, and remembering those who are no longer with us. It is a wonderful time, and sometimes a hard time. But it is always full of love.

My family has started many traditions over the years that I now associated with what gives the holidays meaning for me. One of the most important is the tree–it must meet several requirements to be considered a “real Christmas tree”.

Our First Christmas Tree

First, it has to be real. None of that fake tree crap. It smells wonderful, looks wonderful, and keeping it alive for 3 weeks really makes me feel like I accomplished something.

Second, we have to cut it down ourselves. That’s right, down on those hands and knees in the dirt, sawing that sucker down. Just gives you the warm and fuzzies, doesn’t it?

Third, it must have coloured lights. White lights look very classy, I admit, but that’s not the look I want. I leave the classy trees to classy people.

Fourth, it must have moving ornaments. Some of you may not have had the pleasure of these particular motorized ornaments, but they are pretty much the best thing ever. Unless I hear that buzz of tiny motors, it doesn’t seem like a real tree.

The little elves rotate around the tree to "decorate it"

The little elves rotate around the tree to “decorate it”

Lastly, mostly importantly, there are the picture decorations. I could probably suffer through the absence of 2 – 4 as long as I had these (not the fake tree though, never the fake tree). They contain memories, that you can put up on your tree, all the while reminiscing about all the good times, and all the people you love. It is an especially good way to remember loved ones, be they human, pets, or just dear inanimate objects.

Picture Ornament

And because it’s the holiday season, I am going to be generous enough to share the how-to for these cherished decorations.

DIY Picture Decorations

Materials:

  • thin cardboard (file folders work really well)
  • wrapping paper
  • glue stick
  • scissors
  • a pencil
  • a photograph (not an original!)
  • ribbon
  • single hole punch
  • Approximately 3.5″ and 4″ round stencils (I used a small sour cream container for both, it was perfect! Other options are lids, using a compass or mugs)
  • glitter (optional)
The tools (minus the hole punch)

The tools (minus the hole punch)

On the cardboard, draw a circle 3.5″ in diameter and cut it out – if you want to make multiples, this can be kept and used as a template, so I suggest using it to draw another

Trace the 3.5" circle onto the file folder

Trace the 3.5″ circle onto the file folder

Trace a circle 3.5″ in diameter on the back of the photo and cut along the line

Trace 3.5" circle onto the back of the photograph

Trace 3.5″ circle onto the back of the photograph

Use glue stick to glue photo to cardboard

Photo and cardboard glued together

Photo and cardboard glued together

Trace a circle 4″ in diameter on the boring side of the wrapping paper, and cut it out (sensing a pattern yet?)

Trace 4" circle on wrapping paper

Trace 4″ circle on wrapping paper

Put glue all over the boring side of the wrapping paper circle. Stick the exposed cardboard side in the center of the wrapping paper circle, then fold edges of wrapping paper over the photo.

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Glue the photo-cardboard to the wrapping paper and press the exposed edges onto the photo

Use hole punch to put a hole through top of the ornament. Cut about 8″ of ribbon and loop it through the hole, tying off the ends.

Tada!

Tada!

Optional fun bonus steps:

  • Put glue on the exposed wrapping paper on the photo side, and sprinkle some glitter on. (Ooooh shiny!)
  • Stick a label on the back of that sucker! 20 years from now you may not remember who that person was, or why the photo was significant. Then you have arguments over who the baby in the picture was, where the picture was taken, who took it…(I may or may not be speaking from personal experience)

This Christmas, I’m very excited to make some new ones including my fiance and his family, so that we can start our own collection of memories to put on our tree every year.

Your turn: what memory would you make an ornament out of?

Tiny Red Panda!

It’s the long awaited for (mostly by me) tiny red panda! The knitting project I alluded to back in early may finally came to fruition.

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The most exciting part about this project is that I came up with the pattern entirely on my own. However, I can’t take all the credit, the idea came from two different places. Firstly was the adorable Mozilla red panda cubs webcam, that is unfortunately no longer on the air. Watching them play, cuddle and plank (see picture below) made every day just that bit better.

My other inspiration is from Anna Hrachovec over at mochimochiland whose variety of adorable small cute knits gave me the ability to even conceive of such a small pattern. I also learned (and used here) several techniques from making tiny penguins.

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Tiny Red Panda Pattern
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Using size 1 DPNs, a tapestry needle, stuffing and 3 colours of lightweight yarn: white (W), medium red/brown (M), dark brown (D). Number of stitches at the end of each row is indicated in brackets.

Body:

Starting with the nose, in W

CO 2 stitches

1: kfb x 2 (i-cord style) (4)

Switch to M

2: k, kfb x 2, k (6)

3: k, kfb, k, kfb, k2 (8)

4: k

5: k, kfb, k, kfb, k, kfb, k2 (11)

6,7: k

8: k, {k2tog, k} x 3, k (8)

(beginning of main body, using M & D)

For main body, after each row, flip (sew later). Switch colours as indicated. For long stretches of M, you can wrap the D to keep it tight. (Technique from Anna Hrachovec’s tiny penguin)

9: D: kfb; M: k, kfb, k, kfb, k; D: kfb, k (12)

10: D: p3; M: p7; D: p2

11: D: k2; M: k, kfb, k3, kfb, k; D: k2, kfb (15)

12: D: p4; M: p9; D: p2

13: D: k2; M: k9; D: k4

14: D: p4; M: p9; D: p2

15: D: k2; M: k, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k; D: k2, k2tog (12)

16: D: p3; M: p7; D: p2

17: D: k2; M: k7; D: k3

18: D: p3; M: p7; D: p2

19: D: k2tog; M: k, k2tog, k, k2tog, k; D: k2tog, k (8)

20: D: p1; M: p5; D: p2

(beginning of tail)

21: M: k, k2tog, k, k2tog, k2 (6)

continue in the round

22,24,26,28: D: k6

21,23,25,27: M: k6

29: D: k6

30: D: k2tog x 3 (3)

Bind off by threading yarn through remaining stitches and pulling tight.

Through hole, stuff body, head and tail (can use tapestry needle to poke the stuffing into the tail). Then sew up hole using mattress stitch. Instructions available in many formats, but one I found by googling is here.

Legs:

CO 4 stitches in D

Knit i-cord style until length is approximately 4 cm

Bind off by threading yarn through remaining stitches and pulling tight.

Make 2 – use tapestry needly to pull through body for front and back sets of legs

Ears:

Holding with head facing towards you

Pick up 3 stitches on top-left of head, to the left

1: p3

turn over

2: k, kfb, k (4)

turn over

3: p2tog x 2 (2)

Bind off by threading yarn through remaining stitches and pulling tight.

Repeat on right side of head

Face:

With W, embroider 2 st each for cheeks and 1 for each eyebrow

Use D for 1 st for nose and eyes

© 2012 Sarah Allan

It is not perfect, there are little things I would like to change about it, but I’m pretty proud for my very first pattern! Feel free to try it and if you do, let me know how it works out!

Happy knitting!

UPDATE: For Ravelry users out there, you can find tiny red panda here!