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pattern // kawaii crossing yarn shop cross stitch

Kawaii Crossing Yarn Shop Cross Stitch

Who's ready to visit their local yarn shop? Even better, who's ready to cross stitch the cutest LYS ever? It's time to pull out your growing Kawaii Crossing streets and add this new pattern to the third row. 

This one was a lot of fun to make and stitch, and I especially love the stack of colorful yarn in the front window. 

Kawaii Crossing Yarn Shop Cross Stitch

And here's where I am with mine. I didn't quite catch up on last month's pattern yet, so the town's stationer isn't there yet. Well, I've added some stitches there since I took this photo, but it's nowhere near done. Maybe by the next time you see this!

Kawaii Crossing Yarn Shop Cross Stitch

Kawaii Crossing Yarn Shop Cross Stitch

I just had to do a side-view close up on this one, and show off my needle minder in the process. This enamel hexagon from Cloud Craft has been my go-to for the whole Kawaii Crossing cross stitch project. 

As always, you can download the complete pattern so far, or just the yarn shop for easier printing.  

How is your town coming along? I hope it's looking lovely! Oh, and I'm excited that I may eventually (but like, soon eventually) have some companion house patterns. They won't go in this same design, but they could hang nearby!

One last thing...

Sharing is caring! Basically, I love sharing my work with the world...it's one way I can show I care. And when you are able to share as well, it helps in big and small ways. Please know that I am so grateful every time you pin one of my blog posts to Pinterest, like, share or save an Instagram post, buy a pattern on Etsy, or send me a virtual coffee. You're all amazing!

book review // give yourself margin

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

Do you often feel like your life has everything squeezed in and you just manage? I do. This is why I was very excited to hear about Stacie Bloomfield's new book, Give Yourself Margin, and happily accepted the request to write a review.  (Also, if you don't know, Stacie is the creator of Gingiber.)

I think most of us at least have areas of life in which we push ourselves to the limit. Even during a year when a pandemic forces us to slow down or cancel a lot of things, we still have full inboxes, new ways to learn and work, pressures to do the things we couldn't before, and oh the Zoom calls! 

Most of the time it's a fine balance for me, but I just meet my deadlines and I'm regularly on the edge of a meltdown. If I'm being honest, I have far too many days where I literally run through the house between my iron, my photo area, my computer, and so on. It's a terrible way to live and I'm taking steps to fix it. Give Yourself Margin is a helpful tool, even just to pause and reflect.

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

The title of the book comes from the idea of fabric margin and leaving enough seam allowance for possible mistakes or simply preventing your fabric from fraying. Feel familiar in life? Anyway, crafts and creativity are at home in this book (after all, the subtitle is "a guide to rediscovering and reconnecting with your creative self").

You'll see it in the beautiful artwork, like this double-page spread. Which, by the way, is just one of the many inspiring and thoughtful pages.

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

Has "NO" ever looked more beautiful? Part of me wants to tear this out of the book and frame it. Because I don't say it often enough. 

As Stacie says elsewhere in this book, I tend to connect my value with my productivity. I follow Jesus, so I ultimately should be finding all my value in who I am because of Him. But day-to-day, I forget, which leads to the wrong yeses sometimes. This is a good reminder.

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

In addition to the beautiful images and encouraging text, there are also pages that create a way for you to engage. There are spaces to set goals, write lists, or grab a journal. It's an active book in that way, so you can put these ideas to use right away.

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 
Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

If you're familiar with Stacie's art, you'll know that she often includes tasteful nudes in her work. This is one example from the book. The full page reads "everything behind you is why you are here" and I'm not gonna lie...the cheeky play on words with this illustration makes me smile. 

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 
Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

So here's the deal. Give Yourself Margin is a beautiful book that I think we all need. It's good for flipping through for a quick pick-me-up, but it's also the kind of thing you can process and use as a workbook. 

Also, this is a secular book (with maybe a touch of spirituality), but as a person of the Christian faith, I could read and view this through my own worldview and it connected. Now I just need to keep working on adding more margin in my life!

Disclosure: I was not paid to write this review, but the publisher did send me my copy for free. I've loved Stacie Bloomfield and her Gingiber line for ages and I'm happy to support this book launch!

mini tray knitting pattern

Mini Tray Knitting Pattern

Need a spot to stow your small stitching tools or maybe a cup of coffee? Knit this mini tray with my free knitting pattern!

This month, my free calendar (and accompanying stitching patterns) features yarn shop that looks like a green ball of yarn and I just couldn't resist the opportunity to create a knitting pattern to go with it. Now, if you're a regular visitor to Wild Olive, you might notice that I don't usually post knitting patterns here. I do knit, but I've only ever shared a few patterns on other sites. This pattern may seem out of place. But it was too perfect to connect it to my other things this month. 

The prerequisites for whatever I would make were that it needed to be a small and simple project and it needed to be green to match the yarn shop. Oh, and ideally I would use yarn in my stash.

Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Mini Tray Knitting Pattern 

Inspiration hit in the form of One Dog Woof's crocheted Jasmine Star Valet Tray. ChiWei's design is beautiful and I had never thought of using a yarn craft to make a little tray like this. Now, I've sewn trays, but this was the perfect kind of small project like I was looking for. 

So I came up with a knit version that's not quite as fancy, but it's fun and easy to knit. If you have ever knit anything, you may recognize this as being similar to a classic dishcloth pattern. My grandma probably made hundreds of them and I like the connection to her through this. So yes, I riffed off of that too.  

Remember, the goal was a knitting pattern that was small and simple. I think I accomplished that and here we are. I hope you enjoy making a knit mini tray (or a bunch!) as much as I have.

Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Yarn and Knitting Needles for Mini Tray Pattern

You will need:

Worsted weight cotton yarn, about 45 yards- I used Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran
Size US 7/4.5mm knitting needles
Large tapestry needle

Note: gauge isn't particularly important for this, but if you tend to knit loosely, you may want to go down a needle size or two.

The full instructions are below, but you can also download the PDF version (which is simplified and includes basic abbreviations, but not the full step-by-step photo tutorial) to keep it handy.

Starting to Knit the Mini Tray

Cast on 4 stitches. I used the long-tail cast-on method for mine.

Knit the first two rows. For each of these, knit 2, knit in front and back of the next stitch to increase, then knit to the end of the row. You should have six stitches now.

Mini Tray Knit to Halfway

Now it's time for the main increasing rows. In the PDF pattern, this is row three and you'll repeat the same thing 30 times.

Knit 3, yarn over (to increase and add that little space near the edge), and then knit to the end of the row.

Repeat this (row 3) until you have 36 stitches.

Decreasing Stitches for the Mini Tray

Next, you'll knit the decreasing rows. In the PDF version, this is row 4.

Knit 2, knit 2 together (to decrease), yarn over, knit 2 together (this counteracts the yarn over increase), and knit to the end of the row.

Repeat this (row 4) until you have 7 stitches. Mini Tray Knitting Flat

To finish, you need to decrease a little more with what is row 5 in the PDF.

Knit 2, knit 2 together, and then knit to the end of the row.

Repeat this (row 5) until you have 4 stitches. Bind off in knit.

Weaving Yarn to Tack the Tray Corners

For the first two corners, use the yarn tails from starting and ending your knitting. Thread the tapestry needle and weave it through the edge until it's about 3/4" from the corner point.

Pinch and Stitch the Tray Corners

Pinch the corner together and stitch through the two layers to sew them together. Make several stitches to secure it.

Weave the Yarn To End Off

Weave the yarn through the stitching and then finish weaving the yarn end. Repeat this with the second yarn end that's already attached.

Weave Yarn to Tack the Remaining Corners

For the remaining two corners, cut a piece of yarn and attach it to the tray near an unstitched corner, then follow the same steps above to make the pinched corners.

Green Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Mini Tray Knitting Pattern

Now your mini tray is ready to use! I like using them as a place to hold my small stitching items while I work on a project, or even so they are handing to find on a shelf.

Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Mini Tray Knitting Pattern

You can also use these little trays as a place to keep a bar of soap near your sink (they're machine washable!) or as a coaster. If you know me, you'll know that I can work coffee into just about anything I'm working on.

Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Mini Tray Knitting Pattern

I especially love that these are fast and easy to make, which means you can make a bunch for yourself or as a gift. AND they don't use a ton of yarn, so it's ideal for when you have a partial skein leftover!

pattern // kawaii crossing yarn shop embroidery design

Kawaii Crossing Yarn Shop Embroidery Pattern

This month's Kawaii Crossing shop (and free embroidery pattern!) is a little yarn shop. I LOVE yarn and I'm excited to share this design and the matching cross stitch pattern soon. I mean, who wouldn't want to shop here? 

If you're a knitter AND a stitcher, I think you'll love another project I've been working on this month to go along with our little yarn shop. Obviously, it HAD to include yarn!

Also if you're a knitter or a crocheter wouldn't this be adorable embroidered on a project bag? I have two bag designs I've made and regularly use that would work with this pattern stitched on the side: a snap-top project bag and a drawstring bag that's ideal for socks. The large version of the pattern is good for this.

Of course, you could also make a little charm to attach to your favorite project bag. Kind of like a clip-on keychain! Use the mini version for this option.

For my cross stitch friends, I'm stitching more road right now and will have the chart ready to share soon. So many exciting things to make!

Okay, but I know you really just want the pattern, so here we go!

Have you been stitching these? I'd love to see! Tag me on social media (I'm @molliejohanson on Twitter and Instagram!) or send me an email (molliejohanson at gmail). 

Happy stitching!

kid craft // make a crown

Make a Printable Crown!

It's time for another kid craft, and this time it's for a printable crown! The idea with these projects is that they are easy to make with your little ones and lots of fun to work on or use. I made this to go along with Queen Esther in the Bible, but crowns are always a good idea for when you are playing make-believe or you really just need to own the title of queen, king, princess, or prince.

The supplies for this are so basic, but there's room for really making it fancy too. Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!

Make a Printable Crown!

You will need:

Paper or Cardstock 
Crayons or Markers 
Sequins or Other Sparkly Things and Glue (optional) 


Make a Printable Crown!

Decorate the crown. 

I made mine simple and just colored the gemstones. I mean, I did blend the colors a little, but it was super easy and even kids can learn this technique...it's just two similar colors. (These happen to be adapted from my gemstone embroidery patterns if you're so inclined to stitch them!) 

Then I added a few sequins, because bling, but also simple. More would be lots of fun, but so would lots of other items!

Make a Printable Crown!

Cut the pieces apart. 

This crown has three strips with a zig-zag edge. First, cut across the straight lines, then cut the zig-zag part to make the points. 

Make a Printable Crown!

Staple the pieces together.

Hold two crown pieces with the backs facing each other. Staple one end together. Add the third piece to one side, again, with the backs facing. Finally, staple the remaining ends. 

You'll end up with a triangular crown that might look a little too small. But that's what makes this design work! Because of how you staple the ends, it creates some tension which is what makes it fit most head sizes. This fits my teddy bear, a kid, and even me as an adult! If it really was still too big, you could add another set of staples at one of the joins.

When I first saw this way to construct a hat like this, I was delighted and happy to pass it along to you. 

Now all that's left is to get dressed up and rule the kingdom!

calendar // september's kawaii crossing yarn shop wallpaper

This month's free wallpaper is inspired by a dear friend of mine. Because I know that I can get Katie Green to visit Kawaii Crossing if I tell her there's a yarn shop that's shaped like a giant ball of green yarn. There's no way she'll turn that down.

You see, in addition to being my faraway friend whom I miss dearly (we were supposed to meet in New York City this year, but something got in our way), she is also my yarn encourager/enabler. She helps me when I get stuck in a pattern and I can't think of a time when she's told me "you don't need that yarn". And this is her birthday month. That deserves a shop on the Kawaii Crossing street, don't you think?

Patterns and more fun to come this month, but first we need some wallpapers to get us started!

I'll admit that it's so hot (and I've been so busy) that I haven't done much knitting in the last couple months. But I'm so ready to get back to it! I already have a few projects on my needles, but there's always room for another. Maybe I'll even design something new!

printable // solar system lacing cards

Solar System Lacing Cards 

I love stitching and if you do too, you can share that love with kids as they use these printable lacing cards! Someone suggested that planets would be fun, and I agree. So I spruced up my Solar System Set illustrations and now we have kawaii planet lacing cards!

These are a great way for young children to practice the same kinds of stitching motions as they would with some embroidery and hand sewing. They can try out running stitch and whip stitch, which are excellent ways to start.

Solar System Lacing Cards 

You will need:

Hole Punch
Beads (optional, but helpful)

Solar System Lacing Cards 

Print the planets on cardstock and cut out the planet shapes. If you want to laminate the cards so they hold up better, now's the time to do that.

Solar System Lacing Cards  

Punch a hole on every little white dot. 

I usually like to use a 1/8-inch hole punch for this, but mine has recently gone missing. So a standard punch will do.

Solar System Lacing Cards 

Cut a piece of yarn that's about two times as long as the circumference of the planet. You may want to make some in different lengths.

Tape one end to make it easier to thread it through the lacing cards.

Solar System Lacing Cards 

Tie a bead to the other end of the yarn. This will be a stopper so it doesn't pull through.  

Solar System Lacing Cards Solar System Lacing Cards 

Start lacing the yarn through the holes. For this one, I did running stitch so the yarn goes up and down.

Solar System Lacing Cards 

You can also simply tape one end of the yarn to the back of the card instead of using a bead.

Solar System Lacing Cards 

 To practice whip stitch (which is the more common method on lacing cards), lace around the edge of the cards.

Solar System Lacing Cards

Try lacing all the different planets (and the sun and moon), then lay them all out so they are in the correct order from the sun! Also, I'm old school so I let Pluto still hang out with his pals. 

Now, I will warn you. As I work on these, every time, I get the song Interplanet Janet stuck in my head. You remember that song, right? Schoolhouse Rock? Please tell me I'm not the only one!