Unbeaded Variation of Mosaic Knitting

I had mentioned previously that beading the slip-stitch Mosaic pattern is optional. So if you are just not into beads or don’t have easy access to them, I do hope you will nevertheless give a try at the Mosaic Basket Weave Hat pattern for this month’s KAL.

In fact, I’ve just extended the KAL period another month so you can get the pattern and still have time to get to knitting for this KAL.

Although I don’t have an unbeaded version of the the Mosaic Basket Weave Hat to show you, I do have a photo of this unbeaded mosaic hat that is a derivative of that same stitch pattern.

Mosaic Diamond Hat (unbeaded)

Mosaic Diamond Hat (unbeaded)

Even without the beads, you can see that there is still of lot of textural and color interest going on compared to the beaded mosaic. In fact, sometimes I like this better, lol.

p.s. For those of you who have the bonus KAL pattern Beaded Diamond Mosaic Ensemble as part of your Premium membership, you will recognize the Diamond Mosaic pattern on the main part of this hat as being the same as in the cuffs of the socks and fingerless mittens ensemble. Basically, in this hat variation, the diamond portion just replaces the basket weave mosaic on the lower crown of the hat, then transitions into the crown decreases just as in the Basket Weave version.

Posted in Tips & Techniques | 3 Comments

November Drawing for Bitty Beady Christmas Tree Gift Kit

Congratulations to Carole Moraine, winner of the October Prize Drawing for the Luxury Smoke Ring Kit. Thanks to everyone participating, sharing and supporting the KALs and Prize Giveaways. I couldn’t keep KnitHeartStrings going without you.

November Giveaway Prize: Bitty Beady Christmas Tree Gift Kit

In time for gift-giving season, this month’s KAL prize drawing is for HeartStrings’ most popular design for holiday decorating: Bitty Beady Christmas Tree. Bead “ornaments” peek in and out of the trellis lace branches on this tiny traditional-looking Christmas tree. The branch tips are formed with serrated edging, giving a realistic look.

Bitty Beady Christmas Tree knitted in pine green yarn and silver-lined red beads

The prize is a complete kit including hard-copy pattern, yarn and beads to make one bitty tree in your choice of color combos, along with a coordinating greeting card and matching envelope.

Knit and give the little tree as a gift (maybe even keep it for yourself?). Or gift the kit to a knitting friend to make for themselves.

There are 20 holiday color combos offered. I’ll even string the beads on the yarn for you if you want. Check out the color offerings for Bitty Beady Christmas Tree in the KnitHeartStrings Online Store.


The coordinating greeting card with matching envelope makes a nice gift enclosure to go along with either giving the kit itself, or with your completed bitty tree.

Bitty Beady Christmas Trees greeting card and matching envelope

Bitty Beady Christmas Trees greeting card and matching envelope

To Participate in the November Prize Giveaway

See the Monthly Prize Giveaway page to see how you can win this month’s Bitty Beady Christmas Tree Gift Kit.

A random drawing will be held right after I tally the entries following November 30, 2014. I’ll announce the winner as soon as possible after that. I hope the winner will be YOU! Good luck.

p.s. You can also purchase Bitty Beady Christmas Tree as a pdf pattern, additional Kits with hard-copy pattern to gift to knitting friends, or Supplies Pak without pattern to make more bitty trees in an assortment of holiday colors.

Bitty Beady Christmas Tree pattern cover page

Bitty Beady Christmas Tree pattern cover page

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Beaded Mosaic Knitting KAL Open Now!

Today, November 5th, is the official kick-off of this month’s Beyond BOBBOL KAL for Beaded Mosaic Knitting. The project for our November learn-and-knit-along is Beaded Basket Weave Mosaic Hat.

If you love beads and glitz, then this one is for you!

Beaded Diamond Mosaic Hats

Beaded Diamond Mosaic Hats

November’s KAL Meeting Place

The KAL page was posted earlier today in case you have not visited yet to check out the details and get your pattern at special KnitHeartStrings member limited-time discounts. See the BEADED MOSAIC KNITTING KAL page.

November Goodies for Premium Members

The Premium Area was also updated today. Premium members can check it out for additional goodies as part of your paid VIP membership level.

KAL Prizes

Congratulations to Carole Morain, winner of October’s Prize Drawing for the special edition Smoke Ring Kit with luxury baby alpaca/merino/angora yarn?

Thanks to everyone participating, sharing and supporting the KALs and Prize Giveaways. I couldn’t keep KnitHeartStrings going without you.

I’ll be posting details about the Prize for the November drawing soon. Stay tuned!

Any questions? Let me know. Looking forward to another month of knitting together.

Posted in Bits of Beads | Leave a comment

Don’t overthink it: Narrow attached edging bind off

Don’t overthink this month’s 2-stitch decorative bind off edging

Sometimes it is the easy things that can trip us up in our knitting. It seems that is the case for a couple of our “experienced” knitters this month in overthinking. I am not naming any names, because of course there is no shame. It’s just an example of realizing that even when we are experienced, there is always more to learn. That is what keeps me ever-interested in this thing called knitting, lol. I am still learning, too.

Anonymous wrote: “Thank you Jackie…I will try it and let you know….I consider myself an advanced knitter but just didn’t get that…thank you so much

As we gain more experience, it’s easy to whiz along and overlook simple cues in the instructions. Believe me, it has happened to me, too. So I am telling on myself, too. :)

Attach-as-you-knit method for lace edging as a bind off

I want to comment on the Decorative Bind Off Edging section of this month’s Smoke Ring with Lace Edging KAL pattern. I hope this will help you not trip up,. Whether  experienced or not, you’ll be able to recognize the cues in patterns you knit now and the future.  Continue reading

Posted in Bit-size Tutorials | 5 Comments

(Update) Sharing Photos of Your KAL Projects

The current KAL Projects Photo Gallery is unfortunately closed to new entries because the place I was contracted through did not renew. It happened while I was traveling back from CO to LA, so I didn’t catch it until after it had already happened. (Even after I got back home, I didn’t have internet for several days because of another snafu). I haven’t had a chance to decide what to do (I am still catching up!), but rather than set up a new contract, I plan to explore other options first that might work better.

Meantime for photos you’d like to share (and I hope you will!), please email them directly to me at jackie@heartstringsfiberarts.com and I will enter them into the new gallery when it is ready.

Remember that sharing photos of your KAL projects also earns you extra entries in the current month’s prize drawing.

And now for some eye candy, here is Ellen C’s beautifully knitted and blocked Smoke Ring with Lace Edging for this month’s KAL project. It’s in one of my favorite colors, too. :) Thank you so much for sharing.


p.s. All previously shared photos are still available for viewing. The photo galleries are an inspiring resource to see the KAL creations made by others.

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Next Up KAL: Beaded Mosaic Knitting

Make a snazzy hat in two colors of DK weight yarn of your choice and size 6/0 seed beads 

Do you love beads and glitz? Then this one is for you. The next KAL features slip-stitch color knitting and beads to make a Beaded Basket Weave Mosaic Hat.

Beaded Basket Weave Mosaic Hats

Beaded Basket Weave Mosaic Hats

Although the colorwork might appear involved, the slip-stitch color knitting is simple because you only need to handle one yarn color at a time. The beads give an added depth of color and look of complexity to an otherwise simple beaded knitting technique.

More information, KAL dates for pattern availability and shopping list are on the Next Up KAL page in the Knit-A-Longs area of the site.

Hope to “c” you at the KAL!

Beaded Basketweave Mosaic Hat - back view

Beaded Basketweave Mosaic Hat – back view

Posted in Bits of Beads | Tagged , | 1 Comment

What goes into the design of a smoke ring?

Spark excitement in how you can use the canvas of a simple smoke ring to play around with Form, Stitch Pattern(s), Embellishment, Structure.

HeartStrings Smoke Rings

I think of lace as a fiber artist’s canvas. Allow yourself to think of adaptations and interpretations that reach beyond the bounds of traditional lace; appealing and inspiring while still based on heritage.

The simple tubular shape of the smoke ring provides excellent opportunities to feature lace designs at beginning and end of the tube and/or body of the tube.

Here are some design element variations you might look for in a smoke ring pattern, or consider if you are designing your own smoke ring —


The tube can either be of uniform circumference large enough to wear over the head (see Sizing for a Custom Fit),

Silk Smoke Ring

Silk Smoke

OR the circumference at one end can be wider to give a broader seating upon the shoulders, then taper to the narrower circumference needed to wear over the head.

Flared Lace Smoke Ring

Flared Lace Smoke Ring

Stitch Pattern(s)

The tube can be knitted in the same repeating stitch pattern throughout, as in the Silk Smoke design above, or the beginning and ending edges treated differently.

Note that even though the Silk Smoke design above uses the same repeating stitch pattern throughout, the beginning and ending edges are scalloped — this occurs naturally as a result of the bias structure of the lace pattern stitch that is used in the design. There are no special knitting techniques needed to get the scalloped edge, making gracefully beautiful smoke rings like this approachable by even relative beginners to lace knitting.

In the Beaded Smoke Ring below, the tube begins at the lower edge with a relatively elaborate stitch pattern and ends at upper edge with simpler coordinating stitch pattern. The body is left plain.

Beaded Smoke Ring

Beaded Smoke Ring

The smoke ring tube can also be a series of pattern stitches throughout, such as in the Lace Puffs Smoke Ring below that features an interplay of positive and negative space. This smoke ring begins at the top edge with a wide band of softly textured puffs arising from a ground of laciness. The design then transitions into a wide ribbing where the double eyelets create negative space to mirror the positive space of the puffs. Finally, the knitting returns to puffs that widen at the bottom of the ring for a bit of flare.

Lace Puffs

Lace Puffs


In the Beaded Smoke Ring, the lower and upper edges are enhanced with beads that are knitted in between the picot points.

Beaded Smoke Ring

Beaded Smoke Ring

Instead of embellishing with beads in a planned way, you can also let beads randomly enhance the fabric design by using beaded accent yarn (see Tips for making the most of beaded accent yarn). In Wisps of Smoke, alternating stitch pattern bands of the design are knitted with yarn that has been plied with tiny beads pre-strung on a fine thread.

Wisps of Smoke

Wisps of Smoke

Close-up detail of Wisps of Smoke

Close-up detail of Wisps of Smoke

Combining Structural Elements

In the next example, the smoke ring has three elements of lace design constructed in alternating orientations of sideways and circularly:

  1. a strip of lace edging that is joined into a ring
  2. a tube knitted circularly in a simple lace pattern to length required
  3. a bound off edging in a decorative eyelet
Smoke Ring with Lace Edging

Smoke Ring with Lace Edging

I hope these examples spark excitement in how you can use the “canvas” of a simple smoke ring to play around with Form, Stitch Pattern(s), Embellishment, and Structure. Have fun!

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