Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lucky leprechaun mug hug

"To-go" coffee cup lids have always reminded me of little hats and when I saw this houndstooth-check stoneware cup with the little black "top hat" lid at Michaels, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, what better way to drink your Irish coffee than in a mug wrapped in a leprechaun mug hug in colors of the Irish flag

Lucky Leprechaun Mug Hug
Size: 4 inches tall for a 16 oz. mug
  • 24-peg round Knifty Knitter loom
  • Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Paddy Green, White and Pumpkin; Black for embroidering face
  • Yarn needle
(Decrease rows in each section for a smaller cup or mug)
  1. With two strands of green held as one, cast on using chain cast on method.
  2. Work garter stitch pattern (alternating between flat knit rows and purl rows, ending on a knit row). The green area should measure between 1 inch and 1.25 inches, or about 4 garter stitch ridges.
  3. Change to white and flat knit for about 12 rows or 2 inches
  4. Change to orange and work the garter stitch pattern as in Step 2. (You should have the same number of garter stitch ridges in orange as you did for the green, but I got sidetracked and added an extra one on mine...oops!)
  5. Work a loose basic chain bind off by knitting peg-1 and peg-2 to begin; move the loop from peg-1 to peg-2 and knit the bottom loop over the top loop; return the loop to the original peg. *Working with pairs of pegs and the working yarn at the first peg, knit the second peg and return it to the first peg, knit the bottom loop over the top loop and return it to the second peg.* Repeat between *'s until all pegs have been removed from the loom.
    (Note: When using this method to bind off, I immediately replace each "bind off stitch" back on the empty peg as a "spacer loop" to avoid a "too tight" bind off edge and continue the bind off procedure. After completing the bind off, I remove all the "spacer loops" from the pegs. This results in a bind off that closely matches the cast on edge tension.)
  6. Finishing:
    Beard: Use 12 pegs, one strand of orange and chain cast on, work the following modified chain bind off:  *flat knit three times on first peg, one time on the second, return the loop from the second peg to the first and knit one-over-one; return the loop to the second peg; tighten the stitches after each bind off. Repeat from * until bind off is complete on all pegs. Using the picture as guide, whip stitch the beard in place.
    Face: With black, embroider two French knots for eyes and a "V" shaped mouth. Thread the yarn needle with white and embroider a "puffy" nose by working loosely back and forth in the ladders between knit stitches.
    Tie off and secure all the yarn tails.

Little Hearts Shamrocks
Here's another quick little St. Paddy's Day project based on the Little Hearts pattern from the previous post.

All you need for these sweet little shamrocks is the directions for the Little Loom-knit Hearts with the following modifications:
  • Use one strand of green on any of the following: 12-peg Flower Loom or either end of the Knifty Knitter or Boye spool loom. 
  • Make the hearts following the general directions for the Little Hearts, but to prevent curling work purl stitches on the odd rows and knit stitches on the even row. Also, on the purl row you need to flat knit the last stitch to retain a nice chain edge when slipping the next row. 
  • If you are using the 8-peg end of the spool loom, you will need adjust the bind off edge so the point of the heart is formed between pegs 4 and 5. When making these on the 5-peg end of the spool loom, I leave off the extra chain stitches near the beginning and end of the rows and work the heart point between peg-2 and peg-3. This results in a shamrock leaf that is a little off-center, but they still look pretty good (see center shamrock pictured above).
  • Make three "heart-shaped" leaves. Turn the leaves upside down and place them back on the loom using the small opening at the point of the hearts and three pegs on the loom. Attach a new strand of green yarn to the pegs and work a 3-stitch I-cord, tightening the tension after each stitch, until the stem is about 1 to 1.5 inches long. Shape the leaves and secure all yarn tails.
  • Add a pin or a magnet to use as a fridgie to the back.
Now, wear your shamrock and pour yourself some Irish coffee in celebration! I leave you with this toast:
May your troubles be less,
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness,
Come through your door.