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My Favorite Things: schnitzel with noodles

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The lyrics from "My Favorite Things," a song from the musical The Sound of Music, remind people of happy images ranging from gifts to memories to the wonderment of childhood. While today's installment, schnitzel with noodles, may not necessarily make people think of knitting, it is an excellent opportunity to pay homage to Elizabeth Zimmerman's idiot cord, a versatile stitch used in everything from ties to edgings. The i-cord is simple; just cast on and knit four stitches, slide them to the other end of a double-pointed needle, and knit them again, over and over until the desired length of the cord. Bust the stress of the holidays with these patterns, courtesy of the i-cord.

Schnitzel with noodles

I-cord cowl: Charles D. Gandy's conversation piece made quite the bold statement in the Spring 2013 issue of knit.wear magazine and would make a great accessory for not just the holidays, but any occasion where a little black dress needs to be jazzed up a bit. The magazine back-issue is available for order for $14.99, and this magazine is an investment; the editors and pattern designers of knit.wear offer several designs in every single issue that appeal to everyone from the average knitter to the runway-design dreamer.

I-cord flower headband: Anjie Davison instructs how to cover a headband with an i-cord, and then add a flower to adorn a cute embellishment atop the band. The finished project would make a great gift for children all the way into their teens, or you can just make one for yourself to add some fancy to your holiday outfit. The pattern is available for free on Anjie's blog.

Baby ballet shoes with i-cord ankle tie: One of the biggest universal complaints about baby booties is that they can never stay put on the wiggly legs of infants. Jennifer Lee, the mastermind behind Essentially Organized, eliminted this problem by designing booties that tie up the ankle with an i-cord. The pattern is available for purchase on her website, and because baby booties are portable and use a very small amount of yarn, the investment can be considered a learning experience if the knitter does not execute the pattern perfectly on the first try.

Brain hat: Medical student Alana Noritake designed this hat, and then had to field the number of people who wanted to commission her to make one while she is in medical school. While she does not sell finished hats, she does offer the pattern for this hat, made by attaching i-cord to a skull cap in a pattern to mimic the folds of the human brain. The pattern itself is only $5.00 and offers several tutorials relevant to the pattern.

Baby i-cord beanie: Woolly Wormhead offers this super-simple beanie involving beginning with an i-cord and regularly increasing to the size of a hat. This project is free, easy enough for a beginner, and involves nothing but knitting stockinette stitch so the brim of the hat ends with a rolled brim. Baby hats are very portable and make great gifts for any child, as an extra hat never hurt someone who, at that age, tends to leave their winter gear behind everywhere from the playground to the shopping mall.

Drawstring bag: Designer Janet D. Russell wrote this bag pattern with the idea that it would be a good one-skein stashbuster. The pattern allows for adjusting the size of the bag based on the amount of yarn you have, and it would make a good bag for a gift-exchange or yarn swap with fellow knitters. The pattern is free and the link to download it is on the right side of the Twisted Knitter blog page.

Knotted i-cord dragonfly: This dragonfly, designed by Mathilde Horton and available as a free pattern on her blog, combines making an i-cord with macrame knots to form a dragonfly. Making the i-cord is easy in itself, and learning to square-knot is equally easy (Horton offers an explanation of the knots on her blog, via a link). I-cords on their own are arguably the most portable of all knitting projects, and the dragonflies can be made into brooches, gift adornments, or bag embellishments with just a pin or extra length of yarn.

Tomorrow, wild geese will fly with moons on their wings for our next My Favorite Things installment. We will look at easy knits for children. Until then, get out your double-points and i-cord to your heart's content.

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