Lila: A Combination Knit & Crochet Baby Blanket – FREE Pattern!

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Showcase, Tutorials , on January 8, 2014

Lila baby blanket pattern by Lesley Karpiuk of thepinktoque.comWith our second baby, Lila, on the way (I can’t believe she’s due next month!) I of course had to whip up a baby blanket. I didn’t want to use the same pattern that I used for Liam just to mix things up a bit, and spent days going through patterns on Ravelry to find just the right blanket but couldn’t decide. I was torn on whether I wanted to knit or crochet; I prefer the look of knit, but crochet is so much quicker for me. What’s an indecisive pregnant mama to do?! I stumbled upon a Lion Brand pattern that both my husband and I liked the concept of, but I wasn’t super fond of the look of the particular lace it used, nor the fact that it was knit from the corner and increased from there. It got me thinking of doing something similar with alternating lace and garter panels, but with “prettier” lace. And knit flat across, back and forth, instead of increased from the corner.

I somewhat recently learned broomstick lace crochet, and I remember thinking it could easily transition to knitting needles to do a combo project, and the idea was born to make a baby blanket from alternating broomstick lace crochet and garter knit stitch panels. I couldn’t find anything like it, so I just decided to take notes and possibly write up the pattern to share later. I finished the blanket about a week before Christmas, but just got around to formatting the pattern to share publicly this weekend.

Lila baby blanket by Lesley Karpiuk of

I don’t go into detail on how to do broomstick lace in the pattern, so it assumes you are familiar with the technique ahead of time. However, I did add two links in the pattern to the resources I used to teach myself:

Video Tutorial (4 mins)

Written Tutorial

And as I’ve mentioned that it’s a combination of crochet (broomstick lace) and knit (garter stitch), you need to be able to do these two different techniques to be successful with following the blanket pattern, but I promise it’s super easy otherwise. I also included a quick video clip I took of myself transferring the stitches from the knitting needles after doing a garter panel back to do another broomstick crochet panel, so I think that will help. Of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know either in the comments or via email.

Materials Needed for the Lila Baby Blanket
Size J crochet hook
Worsted weight yarn (I used Hobby Lobby Yarn Secret in Lilac, 2 skeins)
Size 8 knitting needles on 32″ cable (You’ll knit back and forth like on straights)
Size 35 or 50 knitting needle, or broomstick (I literally took the plastic broomstick off of my toddler’s play broom and used that!), referred to as broomstick throughout the pattern


I really love how the blanket turned out! Mine ended up being 20″ x 30″ unblocked. I really need to block it, because in my test swatch, blocking really made the broomstick lace panels pop beautifully. I’m sure I’ll get that done before Lila arrives next month, right?

Happy knit/crochet! Hope you enjoy the pattern.

Our Holiday Crafting Round Up!

Posted in Projects, Showcase , on January 6, 2014

holiday crafts round up 2013 - thekarpiuksNote: This post was originally posted at our family blog, since all of our holiday crafting this year was a family affair.

It’s been a magical couple of weeks home on winter break, and we spent a lot of time crafting for various projects (both Christmas gift related and baby Lila related) and getting ready for baby Lila’s arrival next month.

When all was said and done, we made six different projects in addition to baking and decorating Christmas cookies together or just coloring. From tree toppers and mustache Christmas tree shirts to canvas stencil paintings, frames, and hand print owls… we had fun getting messy! Here’s our round up of holiday crafting adventures:

mustache christmas tree shirtMustache Christmas Tree Shirt
Liam needed a holiday-themed shirt to wear to his Christmas program at school, and with limited notice and not a ton of variety (or opportunities to shop) at the stores, we just made our own. Out came the green felt mustaches! We simply cut mustaches of varying sizes to create the tree shape and used fabric glue to secure them to the shirt. (Don’t forget a piece of cardboard or paper slipped inside the shirt to keep the fabric glue from soaking in and gluing your whole shirt together!) I admit that I was afraid the fabric glue wasn’t going to cut it, so I did bust out the sewing machine and quickly go around each ‘stache to secure them better to the shirt after the glue dried. The shirt was a hit at Liam’s program!

star foam christmas tree topperStar Foam Tree Topper
Next up was a fun painting project where Liam got to decorate two thick star-shaped pieces of foam to make a tree topper. Once the paint had dried, I used a hot glue gun to glue two square wedges of the foam in between the two stars to act as spacers. This made a little space between the front and back star so that I could slip the whole thing over the top branch of the Christmas tree. Simply poke that top branch that sticks up in between the stars and voila – it sat beautifully atop our tree this year. Liam was really proud of “his star” and told everyone multiple times that he made it. There’s nothing like a toddler proud of his art!

painted ceramic frames

Painted Ceramic Frames
Every fall we take a new round of family photos to use for Christmas cards and to give to family and friends as gifts. This year we had a special picture of Liam that we planned to gift to Liam’s teachers and grandparents, so I ordered a few plain ceramic frames in both 5×7″ and 4×6″ sizes and let Liam paint them however he wanted. We just spread out the plastic drop cloth, gave him a paper plate full of paint and a few brushes, and his only instructions were to paint the frames. This was so much fun, and no two frames looked the same. The frames were a kit I purchased here, and the backing with stand was a separate piece of thick cardboard that I hot glued to the back of the frames once they had dried. Then I could insert the photo. These gifts were a huge hit!

canvas stencil owl artCanvas Stencil Paintings
Canvases make great gifts and by using a stencil, I could let Liam go wild with paint and still end up with a specific image, too. The finished result was a clean image in white (since we used white canvases) and Liam’s masterful painting all around it. I plan to do a more thorough write up of this project in the very near future because it really was fun and easy. As you can see, we did two projects using the stencil method: a WordPress logo canvas for daddy for Christmas, and then several different owls in pinks and purples to hang up in baby Lila’s room. Liam LOVED making art for his little sister due next month! He was really proud of these, and I really liked the combination of clean lines and crazy toddler paint. We’re definitely going to have to do more of this style!

hand print owl paintingsHand Print Owls
Our most recent project were these cute hand print owl paintings. Again for, you guessed it, decorating Lila’s room. I’m not kidding when I say Liam really gets into art projects and enjoys making things for his “baby Lila.” This is another project that I’m going to do a follow up post about in a bit more depth, but the basic idea is that Liam made hand prints and we decorated them with eyes, ears, wings, a beak, and feet to make the hand prints look like owls. Liam made two, and I added the branches so that they looked like a set that we hung together in her bedroom. I kind of want to make an entire army of hand print owls now.

Whew! We sure enjoy crafting together. Liam received an easel and some watercolor paints, so I see some watercolor pictures (maybe more owls?!) in our very near future, especially since the foot of snow and subzero temperatures has extended our holiday break by at least another day. Be sure to check out the follow up posts for more details on a couple of these projects if you want to see how we did them more specifically. Those will be written up soon! I’d say with clean and organized closets and decor going up in Lila’s room that we’re almost ready for her arrival next month. Here’s hoping!

Happy crafting!

Game of Thrones GEEKSOAP Geek Soap

Posted in Showcase, Soap , on August 1, 2011

Game of Thrones soap by GEEKSOAPOr should I say… Game of FOAMS?!

When playing the game of foams, you win or you die. Make sure to smell your best no matter where your loyalties lie.

Winter is coming… be the one true clean in the north by siding with the Starks.

Sigil: Grey wolf on winter white
Scent: Betrayal. A crisp combination of pine, cedar, and eucalyptus with just a hint of campfire to capture the essence of the wintry north.


Hear me roar and always pay your debts to cleanliness.

Sigil: Golden lion on crimson
Scent: Pride. A sweet, earthy blend of patchouli, plumeria, and orange; rich and manipulative.

Fire and blood cleanses all.

Sigil: Scarlet dragon on pitch black
Scent: Dragon’s blood. A fiery blend of amber, myrrh, sandalwood, and a hint of patchouli. Powerful enough to wake the dragon.

Ours is the clean.

Sigil: Black crowned stag on goldenrod
Scent: Forest fury. An earthy blend of pine and campfire; strong enough to rule a kingdom.

Not a licensed or endorsed product. Fan interpretation completely hand-carved with love based on George R. R. Martin’s series, A Song of Ice and Fire. All bars are roughly 5.5 oz of 100% all natural and vegan friendly soap.

Watch season 1 & 2 of Game of Thrones at HBO GO.

This is just one design of many in my GEEKSOAP line. Check out the Soap category for more. My fun soaps are available for purchase at




















Baththulhu Cthulhu Bath Mitt

Posted in Crochet, Showcase , on July 5, 2010

Brace yourself for something beyond epic… introducing Baththulhuâ„¢ the Cthulhu Bath Mitt!

Live on the edge and shower with danger! While those tentacles may wish to suck your soul into Cthulhu’s gaping maw, they are made from completely harmless cotton. (Which may explain the look on Baththulhu’s face.) So instead of doing evil, those tentacles make for an excellent scrubby surface for soapy lather. Yes!

Baththulhu is a hand crocheted bath mitt pattern that I wrote; the first Cthulhu bath mitt in existence! I personally hand crochet each and every bath mitt for my customers from the softest 100% cotton I can find for a uniquely geek bathing experience. For a Cthulhu Clean you can’t get anywhere else, be sure to pair your mitt with the original Cthulhu soap! (#Fact, being Cthulhu Clean wards off horrific nightmares. Yup.)

The Baththulhu bath mitt comes in two mighty sizes and is crafted for right-handed souls by default, but never fear… a lefty-friendly version is available, too! Medium size fits most women perfectly, while Large is more suited for men and/or those with larger hands.

Use: Enjoy with suds in the bath or shower. When finished, rinse thoroughly and lay flat to dry. Made from 100% cotton.

Disclaimer: Not responsible for the loss of your brain should you get Baththulhu too close to your head. Available for purchase at

Baththulhu is the fourth original Cthulhu-themed design I’ve created. Be sure to check out my Cthulhu toque, Sock-Thulhuâ„¢ sock plush, and Cthulhu GEEKSOAP!

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? YES – I will be creating a matching set of a modified version of these as Cthulhu mittens perfect for winter wear this fall, so stay tuned and keep an eye on The Pink Toque shop!

©2010 Lesley Karpiuk of The Pink Toque ( &

Soapstone GEEKSOAP Geek Soap

Posted in Showcase, Soap , on July 2, 2010

There’s no place like home… and now you can bubble and hearth your way out of dirty, sticky situations with my latest GEEKSOAP creation: the Soapstone!

This fantastic handcarved soap is lovingly handmade one-at-a-time from all natural ingredients enriched with aloe and vitamin E. No two Soapstones are ever exactly alike, though all are intentionally designed to look realistically like roughly carved stone.

Each Soapstone bar emits a fresh & tropical coconut lime verbena fragrance that’ll bring the lush, clear water beaches of Stranglethorn Vale right to your shower, without the hassle of pesky jungle trolls of course.

Soapstones weigh approximately 5oz; they’re wrapped to seal in freshness and allow you to keep them on display until you’re ready to use them. And as always, GEEKSOAP is vegan friendly!

Disclaimer: Not responsible for your impending addiction to showering instead of raiding. (Sorry, guildies.) Once you smell the intoxicating awesome of using my Soapstone soap, you won’t be able to put it down, either.

Unlike the rest of the GEEKSOAP line, the concept of this soap design is not new. Special thanks to ManaPrincess/Ladykildare and Amethyst Soap for their inspiration & support as I set about to handcarve my own interpretation of what I thought a hunk of magical stone would look and smell like in their absence. This means I’m not competing with their sales nor trying to claim credit for their fantastic idea. :) Margaret of Amethyst Soap has been a dream to work with on creating my own unique version, and you should check out her amazing goodies on Etsy.

This is just one series design of many in my GEEKSOAP line. Check out the Soap category for more. My fun soaps are available for purchase at

GEEKSOAP is geek soap for the internet. Soap for geeks; just pure geeky soap!

Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP Geek Soap

Posted in Showcase, Soap , on April 16, 2010

Relive your favorite classic gaming adventures in the tub with my Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP! This series of gaming cartridge soap packs 8-bit, 16-bit, or 64-bit power in every shower! Its natural companion is the Handheld Game Cartridge Guest Soap… the mini 8-Bit version that’s perfect for travel or your guest bathroom sink.

NEW in the series: Retro 2600 Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP bars… a parody replica rom cartridge of our favorite 1977 console.

NEWER in the series: Classic SG 16-Bit Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP bars. The 16-bit equivalent from that other console.

Bonus: you won’t need to blow on these cartridges to get them to work.

GEEKSOAP Game Cartridge bars are handmade one-at-a-time from all natural ingredients enriched with aloe and vitamin E. The grey bars are generously scented with an incredibly refreshing lime mint fragrance while the black bars are scented with a sultry unisex black amber musk fragrance, and all bars come shrink-wrapped to seal in freshness and allow you to keep the soap on display until you’re ready to use it. GEEKSOAP is vegan friendly!

The molds were custom designed and created by me so you can be sure that your soap is lovingly handmade and 100% one-of-a-kind. You won’t find soap like it anywhere else!

The 64-Bit Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP bars weigh a touch over 5 ounces and have the dimensions of 4″x3″x1.1″.

The 8-Bit Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP bars weigh a little over 9 ounces (That’s nearly double all of my other GEEKSOAP bars!) with the dimensions of 4.25″x5.5″x0.75″. These are HUGE!

The 16-Bit Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP bars weigh around 8 ounces (That’s pretty darn big!) with the dimensions of 5.25″x3.5″x0.75″. That’s like 2 of my D20 Soap on a Rope bars!

The Handheld Game Cartridge Guest Soap bars weigh approximately 1.5 ounces and have the dimensions of 2.25″x2.5″x0.75″.

The Retro 2600 Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP bars weigh around 5 ounces with the dimensions of 4″x3.25″x0.75″.

The SG 16-Bit Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP bars weigh approximately 5 ounces with the dimensions of 4.25″x3.25″x0.75″.

These bars are 100% solid soap through and through, which means the soap versions weigh more than the real thing… but good luck telling the difference between the soap and the real cartridges!

This is just one series design of many in my GEEKSOAP line. Check out the Soap category for more. My fun soaps are available for purchase at

Please Note: No company names are used on any of these products, they are simply parody replicas and not meant to confuse or mislead customers, or infringe on design patents. (Which they do not.) Not endorsed or licensed merchandise.

GEEKSOAP is geek soap for the internet. Soap for geeks; just pure geeky soap!

D20 Soap On A Rope GEEKSOAP Geek Soap

Posted in Showcase, Soap , on March 29, 2010

As seen on CRAFTzine, GEEKOLOGIE, and Wizards of the Coast (THE DnD Website!) just to name a few… introducting D20 dice soap… ON A ROPE?! *head explodes* Yes, this is full of awesome and win you can’t get anywhere else.

My D20 Soap On A Rope always scores a critical hit against bad body odor. Because even D&D players need to pull themselves away from the game every once in awhile to bathe…

D20 GEEKSOAP On A Rope has the giant dimensions of 2.5″ x 2.5″ and weighs 4oz. (This ain’t no tiny dice soap!) This large, one-of-a-kind solid soap features 20 sides of cleanliness with a sturdy hand-crocheted cotton rope that makes it convenient to hang in your dungeon… erm, I mean shower!

GEEKSOAP is handmade from natural, pure vegetable glycerin and moisturizers, enriched with aloe and vitamin E. Soaps are lightly scented with an invigorating smell guaranteed to woo the opposite sex, but can be made fragrance free. Your D20 GEEKSOAP On A Rope comes shrink-wrapped to seal in freshness and allow you to hang the soap on display until you’re ready to use it. GEEKSOAP is vegan friendly!

The mold was custom designed and created by me so you can be sure that your soap is lovingly handmade and 100% original. You won’t find soap like it anywhere else!

The AWESOME dice bag you see in the photos are handmade by @GeekyLyndsay over at – she makes the most perfect flat-bottom drawstring dice bags in a variety of sizes to suit your personality and all of your dice sets. Be sure to stop by and show her some love and grab a bag or two while you’re there. Tell her GEEKSOAP sent you!

This is one of THREE D20 bars in the GEEKSOAP line:

See my embedded D20 soap
See my D20 Massage soap

This is just one design of many in my GEEKSOAP line. Check out the Soap category for more. My fun soaps are available for purchase at

GEEKSOAP is geek soap for the internet. Soap for geeks; just pure geeky soap!

Crochet Cthulhu Toque

Posted in Hats, Showcase , on February 20, 2010

This is a 100% original crochet toque (hat) of the mighty Cthulhu! The hat design and pattern were originally designed and made by Lesley A. Karpiuk… accept no cheap imitations or look-a-likes by others that have started cropping up! This is THE original of its kind.

Made from soft worsted weight yarn, this toque will surely make you the talk of the town during your next outing. This item is handmade and features Cthulhu tentacles, wings, and sewn on buttons for eyes. Due to the button eyes, this product is not recommended for children. The baby version features sewn-on felt eyes instead of buttons or safety eyes.

Note: Wearing a Cthulhu on your head is indicative of a coolness that cannot be surpassed. You know you want one. Pattern copyright to Lesley Karpiuk of the Pink Toque Craft Blog. Available for purchase in The Pink Toque shop.

Cousteau Cowl

Posted in Knit, Showcase , on February 20, 2010

This is a knitted cowl pattern that I created in December 2009. The cowl was created to match the Cousteau Hat that I knit for my husband at Christmas, so my cowl pattern was inspired by the Cousteau Hat pattern by Typy on Ravelry.

The pattern is available for free on Ravelry.