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Kristi Simpson

  • Knit Color Block Blankets: 9 Blankets Baby (and Mom) will Love

    Need baby gift ideas? With brightly colored blocks and stripes and simple pattern stitches, Kristi Simpson's Knit Color Block Blankets are the perfect choice. Create a colorful nursery with 9 new patterns to knit using medium weight yarn.  We've invited Kristi to be today's guest blogger, and discuss the inspiration for her fabulous designs in Knit Color Block Blankets. Welcome Kristi!

     

    Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hi! I’m Kristi Simpson, designer of the patterns in the Leisure Arts’ book: Knit Color Block Blankets. I enjoyed designing these colorful easy-to-knit blankets and I just know that you’ll love all the different designs that I’ve included. Everything from a stitch sampler to ribbed blanket (in a fun pattern of course!)---and in a huge variety of colors!

    If your kids are anything like mine, they have multiple blankets on their bed, in their closet and in keepsake bins. I was on a mission to create colorful designs that would be a great gift and keepsake—something that I would love for my kids to have. These blankets are fun to knit because of the different ways they are assembled and all the colors you get to knit with. I would like to mention that all the yarns are medium weight. I used a variety of brands and they all work up beautifully and quick.

    You could use new skeins as I did (let’s go yarn shopping!) or even use scrap yarn and bring in your own color scheme with what you have on hand. The sky is the limit when picking colors. You can stick to my design, and say use 3 colors for the blanket, or branch out and use more. I’d love for you to share pictures of your finished blanket on Leisure Arts Facebook page!

    Also, I didn’t ‘carry’ or work in a ‘fair-isle’ style in any of the blanket designs. It’s all worked in ‘blocks’, just as the title says. The stitching and style is great for beginners and beyond. And just to make sure you can visualize how to assemble the blankets, diagrams have been included as needed….. Now, let’s look at the blankets!

    Bright Chevrons Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson Bright Chevrons Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    First, let’s start with Bright Chevrons. I was inspired by my twin boys for this design. They just turned 10 and they love Legos. What lil’ guy doesn’t? So, I wanted to have a fun repeating pattern—but focus on the color ‘stacking’ effect most of all. I used 6 colors from Vanna’s Choice in this blanket—yes, 6!

    I used a larger knitting needed, size 11 (8mm), so that the 4 row repeat could feature the fun ripple. Needless to say—they look like they are ‘stacked’ just like building blocks! How did I make it? Panels! It’s not hard, no carrying yarn or anything. Just follow the pattern and change the yarn when needed—and then sew the completed panels together. You’ll love it! I had to keep this blanket secret when making it or else it wouldn’t have made it out of the house for photos!

    Embossed Diamonds Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson Embossed Diamonds Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Embossed Diamonds is a fun blanket that works up quickly. I used a US 13 (9mm) needle with Bernat Super Value medium weight yarn so it gives it a beautiful drape when made. The border is added on the edges of the work—isn’t it pretty? Can you see the diamonds? It’s fun to see it progress in the pattern….. and I know this will make it to your list for go-to-patterns for gifts!

    Stitch Sampler Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson Stitch Sampler Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Who loves learning new stitches? I do!!!! This Stitch Samper is the perfect way to do just that. Now, don’t run away scared of the seaming. It’s not what it looks like! It’s made in panels—yes, panels! I took the time to figure out how to make them all even and so when you make them it will all line up. SO, get your needles, your Premier Everyday Worsted yarn and learn how to stitch the Lacy Twist, Ridged Eyelet, Ladder Rings, Petite Bobbles and Moss Stitch…. So much fun and so colorful! If I were to make it again, I’d use pinks, purples, cream, grey and maybe a yellow? What would you use?

    Berry Stripes Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson Berry Stripes Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson

     

     

    The simplicity of top-down pattern is easy but with the stripes—it’s so cute! You could change the colors from pink to light blue, or the navy to grey or mauve? So many options! I used Red Heart Hugs—and it has so many color options to choose from. The blanket has a natural border on each side and you’ll use simple stitches such as knit, purl, yo and p2tog to create the garter border, stockinette stitch (the smooth portion) and the lacy section. That’s it! You can do it!

    Ribbed Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson Ribbed Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson

     

     Bring on the ribs! Not food, silly—the stitch! I love this pattern, because it tickles my brain. It alternates the ribbed sections and makes it not only visually interesting but unique to knit! You’ll also use 2 strands held together. What does that mean? Well, it works up thicker because it’s double the yarn, faster because it takes up twice the space and makes all the stitches more dramatic. I used Bernat Super Value because it’s so soft and pretty! It works up by first knitting the first long panel and then adding the side panel by working in ends of rows across the long edge. The pattern has charts and everything you need to guide you through.

    Stripes & Blocks Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson Stripes & Blocks Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Stripes or Blocks? Make it BOTH! The pattern is a repeat of 11 rows—all knit and purl stitches building onto each section. You’ll learn how to pick up stitches on the ends of rows to add the side panels-it’s much easier than you’d think. I love this blanket, it’s made with Vanna’s Choice and the colors just work together so well. Any Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice work together, really. This would be a fun blanket to use scrap yarn with, too…. I can see it now!

     

    Up & Sideways Stripes Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson Up & Sideways Stripes Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Beginning knitters, this is the blanket for you! It only uses the KNIT stitch!!! But look at the design, it’s not boring or plain at all…. very ‘Beachy’ if you ask me. I loved using the Premier Deborah Norville Collection Everyday Worsted--- you can’t go wrong with any of those colors!

     

    Tri-Color Blocks Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson Tri-Color Blocks Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I always show my husband (my biggest fan) my projects before I mail them off (and a million times as I make the item…. you have to do that!) and he declared that this one was his favorite. I made each tri-color block first, sewed them together in rows, added the white panels to each and then sewed the sections together. Don’t take it from me on how easy and fun it is—use the knit stitch, get creative with the colors and make your own tri-color block blanket!

    Two-Color Blocks Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson Two-Color Blocks Blanket in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I saved my favorite for last. This is such a fun blanket to knit! It is made in two-color blocks in a fun stitch combination. My favorite part was picking out the colors from Premier Everyday Collection. My sister almost took this one home with her when she saw it (not even kidding!) …. but I gently told her I could teach her how to knit! Just know that this will bring all the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ when you gift it! Now, let’s look at the texture. When you knit 1 and then slip 1 you will get a cool horizontal bar texture. Do you see it in each block? The border is a ‘log-cabin’ style border….and finishes it perfectly.

    Blankets featured in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson Blankets featured in Knit Color Block Blankets by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    All 9 blankets have a fun mix of colors. They would make great yarn stash-busting projects…. or give you the perfect excuse to go yarn shopping. I vote on option 2 (you NEED more yarn, right?!?) Either way, these blankets will give you a variety of options and styles to add refreshing color to any baby’s room. Thank you for joining me with a look through this book and I hope that you pick up a copy here on Leisure Arts.

    Kristi Simpson

  • Animal Rugs

    Kids will squeal in delight over the novelty crochet rugs in Kristi Simpson's Rugs for Kids.  The six fun designs help children step into imaginary worlds where creativity is key. From a unicorn, racetrack and rocket ship to a penguin, lamb and cow, every kid will have a favorite rug!  We've invited today's guest blogger, Kristi Simpson, to talk about the inspiration for her fabulous designs in Rugs for Kids.Welcome Kristi!

    Hi! I’m Kristi Simpson, designer of the patterns in the Leisure Arts’ book: Rugs for Kids. I have enjoyed designing and teaching for many years and this book so cute! I enjoyed designing all of these rugs and you can crochet them in a jiffy! Keep your feet warm and floors cute with any and all of these rugs.

    screen-shot-2018-03-02-at-1-26-05-pm Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The cow is one of my favorites! It is based off of a lacier rug idea. I know many of you have one, don't deny it! Pretty, dainty...and now a cow! Approximate finished size of the cow is 28" (71 cm) diameter. Look at the face and arms; it just brings a fun personality to any room.

    Cow Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson Cow Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Have you ever made a motif rug? What about a motif OWL rug? I loved designing this one, as I had to figure out how to make it proportionate and look like an owl with just a few colors. I love the flower motifs....can you tell? Approximate finished size for the owl, 32" wide x 39" high (81.5 cm x 99 cm).

    Owl Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson Owl Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Say Hello to Penguin! I love this lil guy...er, rug! It's fun and easy-- you need to make one! If you wanted to make one for a girl—what would a fun ribbon tied for a bow look like? Or maybe a fun bow for a boy? Have fun with this adorable design. Finished size of the penguin, 36" (91 cm) wide (from wing to wing) x 36" (91 cm) high (from bottom of feet to top edge).

    Penguin Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson Penguin Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Vroom! Vroom! Making this rug was hard to keep a secret from my boys! Even after seeing it in the book they wanted it! What little boy (or girl!) wouldn't? It's made in 4 sections, sewn together and then you add the road pieces on top....it's so much fun! Let's play! Finished racetrack, 30" (76 cm) square.

    Racetrack Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson Racetrack Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Take off with this fun rocket rug! It's a 'blast' to crochet! Okay, I'll stop with the word games, but seriously----you have to make this one, too! It was hard for me to pick a color for the rocket because my boys would want one in every color (red, blue, green, yellow!) What color would YOU USE? Finished size: rocket, 22½" wide x 42" high (57 cm x 106.5 cm)

    Rocket Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson Rocket Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I was inspired by my daughter for this last unicorn rug. She loves horses so much--and when she was little, she believed in unicorns and anything magical and 'princess' themed! If you have a little dreamer in your life, you need to make her a unicorn rug right now! Unicorn measurements: 24" wide x 26" high (61 cm x 66 cm).

    Unicorn Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson Unicorn Rug in Rugs for Kids by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Now that you’ve had a chance to see the rugs, you need to make your own! I hope you enjoy these patterns and your little ones roll all over them!

  • Huggable Amigurumi: Stuffed Animals, Only Better!

    Huggable Amigurumi offers a unique take on Amigurumi.  Instead of miniature crocheted creatures,, Kristi Simpson has created supersized Amigurimi amimals any child will love. We love the huggable crocheted designs so much that we invited today's guest blogger, Kristi Simpson, to talk about the inspiration for her fabulous designs in Huggable Amigurumi. Welcome Kristi!

    Amigurumi patterns flood the internet, but you will not find anything like these sweet Huggables! They are 19” from sitting position and will quickly become one of the family!

    Hi! I’m Kristi Simpson, designer of the patterns in the Leisure Arts’ book: Huggable Amigurumi. I have enjoyed designing and teaching for many years and this book is one of my new favorites! I can’t help it, even in designing, these little buddies made me so excited! I hope in reading about this collection, you will be just as excited and make one (or all 5!) for your next project.

    When thinking about this book I was inspired by the mountain of stuffed animals that my kids have. Seriously, they are going to take over the house….but I was drawn to the larger ones. They all have so much character! I wanted to design a collection that would be fun to have for babies to larger kids that they can use as comfort and play.

    I tried to create a collection that was similar in shape for the body and head but I added details that would set each apart. Some have large ears and hands and feet, others have a bow or collar with mitten hands…. Each are unique but as a collection, it all comes together.

    Now, I have to brag about the wonderful job Leisure Arts did on this book. The photography is phenomenal! It really brought the animals to life and showed the true size—and fun that they are!
    Seriously, isn’t the girl on the cover so sweet!?!?! The cover captured the entire theme, fun and huggable.

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-31-56-pm Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Next, I have to say that the first photo for the inside cover is my favorite. Seriously! You can’t see their faces but you can see the bodies, head detail and tails. They look like they are buddies with their arms on each other’s shoulders! I just can’t get over how cute they are lined up like that!

     

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-50-48-pm Huggable Amigurumi Designs - Back View

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Now, let’s talk yarn. I used Bernat Softee Chunky throughout. It helps the animals be naturally larger and hold shape. I love working with bulky/chunky yarns and Bernat Softee Chunky offers not only a great yarn but a lot of colors to choose from! So now…meet the Huggables!

    Meet Bunny.

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-32-32-pm Bunny from Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

    She was designed with giant floppy ears and a sweet ruffle collar. The head was made from nose to middle back, unlike the others. It is easy and the pattern steps you right through from start to finish! I love the idea of a toddler pulling it along by it’s ears…like a sweet buddy!

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-32-47-pm Giant Stuffed Bunny in Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Say hello to Elephant.

    Elephant in Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson Elephant from Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Being from Alabama, the elephant was an easy-pick. I wanted to make it ‘just right’. So, I worked for hours on the trunk so that it would be in perfect proportion. I didn’t want it to just stick straight out, or hang down---so, I worked and worked and made it easy for YOU! Now, the ears. I love them. Large and floppy! I used the variegated yarn on the ends of the hands, feet and the ears so that you can see the contrast and have the extra special touch. And you can see how BIG these animals are by this photo… look at him with the sweet boy!!!!

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-33-18-pm Giant Stuffed Elephant in Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Squishy Level 10: Lion

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-33-35-pm Lion from Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    My kids vote this their favorite hands-down! They love the ears, nose and the mane. I made it from the top down and I step you through each part of it… don’t worry! The mane is actually from the neck, to the top and back down (not all over) so it’s just a fun feature, not all over. I love this one, and how it came together. I can just see it being squished and loved on for many years.

    Cuteness alert! Giraffe is here!
    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-34-02-pm

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Okay. This is MY favorite. I love it from the top of his horns to the ends of his hooves. Such cuteness! I love the spunk of his spikey hair fringe to the spots all over! I love it! I actually tried different ways to add his spots: circles, rectangles, odd shapes….but stitching them on was the perfect way to do it! I have been asked to re-make this one multiple times…. It has been a hit!

    Hello Handsome…Meet the Monkey

    screen-shot-2018-01-03-at-4-34-45-pm Monkey from Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Dressed up in his bow tie, he’s ready to hit the town with his best buddy. His goofy grin always makes me smile and I just love his hands. Seriously, they are made like mitts to give him the most huggable effect! His perky-side ears give him the mischievous monkey look and he’s sure to impress with his big eyes too!

    From designing this book to seeing the final product, I have loved each and every step…..and I just know you’re going to love making (AND GIVING) these squishy Huggables! I hope you create your own Huggable that will be cherished for years to come. So, what are you waiting for? Get your hook and yarn and get busy!

    Kristi Simpson

    All Designs in Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson All Designs in Huggable Amigurumi by Kristi Simpson

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