I Made a Rainbow

I Made a Rainbow - a rainbow of felt Freddie Bears from Shiny Happy World

It was one of the things on my March to-do list – and I did it!

If you want to make a rainbow too – I posted a bunch of other rainbow projects here.

I had so much fun making these guys! They’re all hand sewn – which meant lots of couch time and Poldark. 🙂

I used the Freddie Bear pattern and two shades of felt for each bear.

My daughter got in on the rainbow action too! Look – she made a whole rainbow of Pippi Bunnies!

Rainbow of Pippi Bunnies - from Shiny Happy World

She made a couple of tiny changes to the pattern. She crocheted the ears in place instead of sewing them on, and she used plastic craft noses instead of crocheting them. Each bunny fits in the palm of your hand and you’d be able to squish them into the larger plastic eggs if you’re looking for candy substitutes for egg hunts. 🙂

Happy stitching!


Free Waves Stitch Pattern + Cowl Tutorial!

One of my favorite stitches is the wave stitch. So, when Maddie asked for a scarf for fall, I knew right where to turn!

First, I pulled out a SpaceCadet Rainbow Mini-Skein Bundle and let Maddie choose the colors she wanted.

Rainbow Mini skeins for FreshStitches from SpaceCadet

(Since each mini-skein is 70 yards, I needed less than 3 to make a baby cowl… but one set would more than make an adult one!) Maddie is really into red, so she selected the red, pink and orange.

Then, I grabbed a hook and started crocheting! With this fingering weight yarn, I used a C hook.
free crochet cowl tutorial
The result is lovely and drapey… and Maddie loves it!

Let me give you the pattern!

The Waves Pattern

In this pattern. . .

  • sl= slip stitch
  • sc= single crochet
  • dc= double crochet
  • hdc= half double crochet
  • tr= treble crochet
    Free Crochet cowl tutorial
    With A, ch 30.
    Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across. (29)
    Row 2: With A, ch 1, turn, sc in next sc, * sc in next sc, hdc in next 2 sts, dc in next 2 sts, tr in next 3 sts, dc in next 2 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, sc in next 2 sts. Repeat from * once. (29)
    Row 3: Ch 1, turn. Sc in each st. (29)
    Row 4: With B, Ch 4 (counts as tr), turn. * Tr in next st, dc in next 2 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, sc in next 3 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, dc in next 2 sts, tr in next 2 sts. Repeat from * once.
    Row 5: Ch 1, turn. Sc in each st. (29)
    Repeat rows 2-5 until piece measures desired length (circumference of the cowl) and fasten off and sew ends together!

Free Waves cowl pattern

I used this pattern to make a cowl, but you can also use this pattern (repeating rows 2-5 until piece measures 5.5″ long) and add with other blocks to make a sampler cowl!
freshstitches sampler cowl

Visit this blog post for a granny square pattern!

What are you going to make?

So… you have the pattern for the waves stitch. . . what are you waiting for to get started? I can’t wait to see what you make!

It’s Raining Rainbows – a free embroidery pattern

Raining Rainbows - free embroidery pattern from Shiny Happy World

This adorable rainbow embroidery pattern is perfect for beginners. It uses just one (ONE!) easy stitch. And it’s free!

Download the Raining Rainbows embroidery pattern here.

My favorite way to transfer embroidery patterns is to use Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy. You can see some other embroidery transfer methods here.

I used running stitch for the whole thing – learn how to stitch a running stitch here.

You don’t have to use just one stitch. It would be adorable to use the lazy daisy stitch for the raindrops. Or maybe rows of French knots. Have fun with it! (Those links go to how-to videos.)

You can use any thread colors you like. The tutti frutti thread bundle is a nice rainbow assortment.

You don’t have to stitch it on white fabric. I love the “Lite-Brite” effect I got when I stitched it on a black T-shirt for my daughter.

Rainbow T-shirt - stitched with the free Raining Rainbows embroidery pattern from Shiny Happy World

Find tips for embroidering T-shirts here. Again – Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy is my favorite product for that. It transfers the pattern and stabilizes the stretchy fabric in one step – and washes away completely. That stuff is magic!

The image is 6 inches wide, but you’ll find instructions for how to enlarge or reduce a digital pattern here. Stitch it anywhere you like!

Have fun with this pattern. I’d love to see what you make with it! You can share photos in the Shiny Happy People group. 🙂 And you can sign up for the newsletter here. Never miss a free pattern!

Happy stitching!

Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Try my new embroidery book! Over 500 fun motifs – all embroidered using the easiest, most basic stitches. Get the book here.

Video Tutorial: English Paper Piecing

How to Do English Paper Piecing - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

I’m obsessed with English Paper Piecing (EPP). And because I want to you to share in the love of this awesome craft, I’ve put together two video tutorials so you can learn to do it too!

English Paper Piecing with freshstitches

english paper piecing hexies

Watch them and then start stitching! You’ll probably end up addicted to these little hexagon-shaped fabric pieces of candy… but that’s okay!

Video one: how to prepare your fabric and baste the hexagons

Video two: how to sew hexagons together and remove template

FreshStitches rainbow bundles fabric

I also love rainbows. So… I teamed up with Shiny Happy World to put together a kit that’s great for beginners or old hats!

Sorry – the kits are no longer available – but they used a lots of the fabrics from the Rainbow Brights fat quarter bundles.

FreshStitches rainbow bundles fabric

I also highly recommend the book All Points Patchwork: English Paper Piecing beyond the Hexagon for Quilts & Small Projects by Diane Gilleland. It’s amazing and inspiring! (That’s an affiliate link, which means I earn a tiny commission of you buy it.) You can read Wendi’s review of the book here.


How to knit anything with STRIPES!

I am completely in love with rainbow yarn!

FreshStitches Rainbow Yarn Sampler pack

I love rainbows. I want to knit everything in rainbows.

But I’ve been asked… what pattern do you use? I’m not seeing a lot of patterns with stripes!

Well, let me tell you: you can knit almost any pattern in stripes! I’m going to share my tips with you, and show off a darling little sweater as an example!

FreshStitches rainbow stripes sweater

Tips for knitting almost any pattern in stripes!

This adorable little sweater is Gramps by Tin Can Knits, and the sample is in two colors, not stripes. But no worries!

rainbow sweater with heart buttons from FreshStitches

Here are some tips!

  • Calculate your yarn usage (total amount of yarn divided by the number of colors you have) to make sure you have enough yarn of each color. You can supplement with one ‘main’ color (as I’ve done for the collar)
  • Select a pattern that’s fairly simple, like stockinette. For example, a lace pattern would get lost in the stripes.
  • Change colors at the end of a row (and not the middle) for the cleanest stripes.
  • Keep in mind that changing colors on a purl row will create a bump of color, so aim for a changing on a knit row.
  • A ‘make 1 increase’ draws up yarn from the previous round, so avoid changing colors on this type of increase. For the sweater below, I started a new color on rows that were just plain knit.
  • Read the pattern in advance to plan out the number of rows each color should be to avoid the increases/purls/etc mentioned above.

Rainbow sweater from FreshStitches

Have fun! There’s no right or wrong way to do it!

I like to organize my stripes in color order (all rainbow-like), but it would be equally awesome for you to plan your colors randomly. Or have different stripe widths. There are no rules!

Free Bulky Hat Pattern + Bulky Rainbow Samplers!


bulky yarn sampler freshstitches

Stitch up a quick and easy rainbow hat using bulky yarn!

Free Download: Easy Bulky Hat Pattern

I wrote up a quickie pattern for you that shows off the wonderful texture and colors in this yarn!

Freshstitches bulky hat

It’s a free pattern, and you can download the pdf, here.

You can knit the entire hat with one 16″ circular… no need to switch to double points!

Easy Bulky Hat Freshstitches

The hat is sized to fit a woman’s medium (21″ head circumference), but is pretty stretchy, so you can probably fit it on a slightly larger one!

zig zag banner

Ready for some rainbow fun?

bulky yarn sampler freshstitches

Download your Easy Bulky Hat pattern. I can’t wait to see yours!

Rainbow Brights Fat Quarter Bundles Are Here!

Rainbow Brights Fat Quarter Bundle from Shiny Happy World

There’s a new fat quarter bundle in the shop – Rainbow Brights!

This one has every color of the rainbow in two shades (light and dark) and two prints (Sketch crosshatch and Jazz swirls). The tone on tone prints are perfect for appliqué and these are the exact same Timeless Treasures fabrics I use in my own quilts.

I put this collection together with all my most colorful quilts in mind. 🙂 You’ll see it in action first in the Shiny Happy Houses Quilt.

It’s also perfect for Wild Flowers, Chirp, Beep Beep and Paper Dolls. You can’t go wrong with these cheerful brights! Get them here.

Happy quilting!

That's me!

How to Dye a Rainbow Gradient Yarn (using a sock blank!)

Today I’m going to show you how I dyed this beautiful skein of yarn:

Gradient Rainbow yarn dyed with Wilton Icing Dyes by FreshStitches

I’ve talked about how to dye a gradient before, but today’s technique is a bit easier (but costs a little more). For this project, I used a sock blank.

What is a sock blank?

A sock blank is basically length of undyed yarn knitted up using the stockinette stitch. I purchased mine from Knit Picks. It’s more expensive than buying yarn in a skein, but having the yarn already knitted up makes it easier to dye a gradient.

How to dye

You can dye yarn lots of different ways (check this post for how to use Kool-Aid), but for this project, I used Wilton Icing Dye. (check this post for a tutorial on how to dye with Wilton Icing Dye).

color card for wilton icing dye on yarn, freshstitches

Once you’ve set up your dye, you’ll want to apply a little bit to the sock blank… basically making rainbow stripes. You want the stripes to be horizontal (along with the direction of the stitches) in order to get a gradient.

gradient rainbow yarn by freshstitches 2

I used a silicone pastry brush to apply the dye and put the blank on a big cookie sheet (you don’t want that dye getting on anything else!

gradient rainbow sock blank freshstitches

To get the best gradient effect, overlap the colors a little bit (that is, you want a little green over top of the edge of the blue stripe… otherwise, you’ll get very definite stripes)

How to finish the yarn

You just let the yarn dry, and it’s dyed! But, you’ll want to wash and unravel the yarn before knitting with it, or else it will be all kinky (just like when you frog a project).

I washed the yarn (I guess it’s not a blank anymore!), and then unraveled it and wound it onto a niddy noddy. This makes a nice skein (and has the benefit of allowing the yarn to dry well).

niddy noddy freshstitches

Pop it off, and you have a skein!

gradient rainbow yarn by freshstitches 1

You can see the true beauty of the yarn when it’s wound into a cake:

Gradient Rainbow yarn dyed with Wilton Icing Dyes by FreshStitches

Amazing, right?

Tips and Tricks

  • If you’re not sure how a particular color will come out, do a test swatch! You don’t want to mess up an entire skein because one color comes out different than you wanted!
  • The disadvantage to a sock blank is that the bits of yarn that are tucked inside the stitches are a little harder to soak with dye, so a light application of dye may result in splotchy yarn. (although… it’s a cool look, so experiment. You may want that on purpose!)
  • Be careful what you put your blank on. Keep in mind that excess dye will be carried along with the liquid… and if it touches other parts of your yarn, it’ll dye that, too!
  • You can make your own blank, particularly if you have a knitting machine!
  • This same technique works with any kind of dye!

Happy stitching!


Finished Rainbow Bead Crochet Necklace

I’ve been working on this project for a while: I started it in December, but got derailed until I found this nifty bead spinner to help me get that long strand done… and here it is!

rainbow bead crochet necklace

You can see how long that black strand is around the back. That’s a lot of beads!

I just love it! It’s a project from Bead Crochet Jewelry (a book I highly recommend!

rainbow bead crochet

I used size 6 beads for the rainbow links, and size 8 beads (slightly smaller) for the black chain around the back. That difference accentuates the rainbow, I think!

It’s a real statement piece, and I’m planning on wearing it while teaching at Stitches South. Am I going to see you there?