Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ravelympics!

So if you've been following my blog, you know I am the Queen of starting new projects, but more like the court jester when it comes to finishing.. So Sharon P. and I decided we'd start a WIP team for the 2010 Ravelympics.  Ms. Sharon is the Team Captain and I agreed to be a co-captain.  If you'd like to finish projects instead of starting new ones for the Ravelympics, be sure to join Team WIP.  It should be great fun in February!


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Friday, December 18, 2009

Stitch & Dish: Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off & Extreme Barberpole



This week on Stitch & Dish, I had the absolute pleasure of welcoming Jeny Staiman to the show where she demonstrated her Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off and Extreme Barberpole knitting techniques!  (Warning: this show contains some strong language and is not intended to be watched by children.) 

For more information on Jeny Staiman, you can pop over to Jeny's AMAZING blog, Curious Knitter, or even see her mentioned in Cat Bordhi's book "Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters!"

I had so much fun and learned SO much.  I sincerely hope Jeny will visit the show again!  She's an amazing talent and I know we'll continue to see new and innovative things from her!



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And the Winners Are..

The winners of the YouCanMakeThis.com eBook giveaway via random number generator are:


Carissa & Deborah


Congrats to them both!!  Thank you to everyone who participated and a special thank you to YouCanMakeThis.com for sponsoring this fabulous giveaway.  Enjoy sewing, ladies!!


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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thirty-One Skirt Purse Giveaway!!



Be sure to pop on over to my Momma'Tudes Blog to enter to win a super cute Skirt Purse from Thirty-One.  The winner will choose the basic color and pattern!  And knitters - this would make a really cute single project bag!!  Giveaway ends 12/28, so hurry!! :)


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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This Friday on Stitch & Dish: Jeny Staiman

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So if you're a fan of Stitch & Dish, you know that ever since my Windows 7 upgrade I have dealt with non-stop tech issues.  I think I've worked it all out with an older desktop computer I have.  So hopefully, my show will get back to normal, welcoming interesting guests and having fun with my viewers.

I'm SO excited to welcome Jeny Staiman to Stitch & Dish.  Jeny Staiman, the creator of Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, Jeny's Stretchy SlipKnot Cast-On, and Judy's Magic Rib (a technique using the principles of Judy's Magic Cast On to create rib) will be joining us THIS Friday, December 18, 8p EST to demonstrate her amazing Stretchy Bind Off and also some extreme barberpole (spirals).  Cat Bordhi calls Jeny Staiman one to watch!  And for good reason!  Jeny Staiman is innovating NEW knitting techniques and they're fabulous!  So please join us LIVE this Friday on Stitch & Dish and learn some new techniques as well as chat with Jeny LIVE!!  'Hope to see you there!


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Friday, December 11, 2009

YouCanMakeThis eBook Giveaway!



With the holidays just around the corner, YouCanMakeThis.com thought it would be fun to showcase some quick and easy gift ideas you can give to friends, neighbors, co-workers, and oh yes…even your family! You can enter to win eBooks from YouCanMakeThis.com and learn some fun new techniques, tips, and ideas not only for the people on your list, but also creative ways to decorate your home!

You Can Make This has created a free download for some fun gift tags. Each of them coordinate with ideas found as part of the DIY Gift Giving Series videos that can be found at YouCanMakeThis.com Blog , as well as designs and patterns found at Swak Embroidery and YouCanMakeThis.com.

You can also enter to win hundreds of dollars in gift certificates just for watching the videos that are part of the DIY Gift Giving Series and answering a question on the You Can Make This blog!



Details:
  • The giveaway will run from Dec. 11, 2009 - Dec. 18, 2009, 11:59P EST
  • Giveaway is open to anyone age 18 and older who has an email account.  The eBook of patterns and instructions will be emailed.  Your email will not be used for solicitation purposes.
  • You must use the MckLinky to enter all entries.  Any entries not using the MckLinky will be void.
  • Two lucky winners will each win (1) eBook from YouCanMakeThis.com which will include the pattern for the Believe Pillow.   
Required Entry:
OPTIONAL Additional Entries:
  • Follow YouCanMakeThis.com on Twitter. Come back & tell me using the MckLinky for an additional entry. 
  •  Tweet about the giveaway.  Come back and leave the link to your tweet on the MckLinky for another entry. You can Tweet about it as often as you like.
  • Subscribe to the YouCanMakeThis.com Blog RSS Feed. Come back and tell me using the MckLinky for an additional entry!
  • Follow the KPG Blog.  Tell me you're  follower for an additional entry.
  • Follow me on Twitter for an additional entry!
  • Blog about it!  Blog about it with a link to this post.  Come back and leave a link to your blog post in the MckLinky for 5 entries.  (Please leave 5 separate MckLinky comments - one for each entry.)



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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

And the Winner of the Namaste Hermosa Bag Is...

 
 




Here's the screen shot of the Random Number Generator with the date and time.. The winner is #277, Jane!
Congrats to Jane!!  Thank you to everyone who participated.  A special thank you to Namaste for providing this AMAZING prize!!  Please tune into my web show, Stitch & Dish in January for my interview with the owners of Namaste!


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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Craft Groupie & Calling All Crafters For Upcoming Giveaway



I have always thought of myself as a crafty gal.  I subscribe to like 5 crafting mags; 10 crafty eMags; about 200 crafty blogs.. I created and co-host a radio show and host a web show about fiber arts. I moderate a Ravelry group. I honestly feel I could LIVE in a craft store.  And unlike most women, I don't have UGG boots or Coach bags - but I have Buffalo Gold Yarn, Mod Podge, super fine glitter, and a Xyron Personal Cutting System.  Heck I even dye my own yarn with Kool Aid.  But suddenly, I realized something.  I'm not crafty.  I'm a craft groupie.  I STALK craft blogs.  I squeal with joy when my Crafts 'n Things Mag comes in the mail.  I TiVo numerous sewing, quilting, cake, and craft shows.  But I don't craft.  I knit.  (Of course, I rarely finish projects.  More of a process knitter, don't ya know.) But I don't craft.  I watch other ppl craft.  But I don't craft.  I drool over projects and even buy supplies for them.  But I don't craft.

UGH!

So I have decided that my New's Year's Resolution this coming New Year will be to pick up those supplies, make some time every week, and CRAFT!  It's not that I don't have the know-how.  I have so much going on in my life, that I have forgotten to make time for the thing that makes me happiest: CREATING.

Infact, to get me started, I am going to be offering a GIVEAWAY in January.  I'm asking that all of my readers help me get started crafting.  Send me your best craft tutorial video - can be about ANY craft.  I will post the videos here on KPG with credit to the crafter (of course).  Then, I will hold a VOTE.  Which ever craft video gets the most votes will win a basket of goodies from yours truly.

Details:
  • Crafters: Email me (knitpurlgurl [at] gmail [dot] com) an embeddable video of a craft tutorial that you've created.  (Please don't copy someone else's tutorial.  That's an automatic elimination.)  It must be no longer than 10 minutes. (So you may want to shoot your video and edit for time.)
  • Companies/Shops: Email me if you'd like your product to be in the goodie basket.  I will do another post in January repeating the guidelines and highlighting the goodie basket.
  • I will accept submissions Jan. 1, 2010 -  Jan. 22, 2010.  Then I will announce the 5 finalists on Jan. 25.  (If I have a HUGE response, I will increase the number of finalists.) Voting will commence that entire week for the finalists.  The winner will be announced Feb. 1st and will receive the goodie basket!
So get out - create your tutorials.  Get ready to email me come Jan. 1st.  I can't wait to see your submissions and get crafting!


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Monday, November 30, 2009

Austen Collection


I wish I could've gotten better pics - the camera doesn't do the subtle color variations justice.


Here is my Darcy yarn.  It is a subtle combination of blue, teal, and green in various combinations to create  a VERY subtle variegation.  The Darcy yarn is 440 yds of 100% Merino Wool in Fingering Weight.







Here is my Emma yarn.  This pic doesn't show all of the color variations.. but there are subtle lighter and darker color pieces in this yarn.  It is comprised of scarlett, hot pinks, and purple in various combinations to get this gorgeous colorway.  Emma is 440 yds of 100% Peruvian Highland Wool in fingering weight.


This is my Willoughby yarn.  It consists of browns, yellows, & rusts.  The color is actually much less pumpkin than it appears in this picture and more brown.  It is 440 yds 100% Merino Wool in fingering weight.





 This yarn is Fanny.  It is my most favorite of the group.  Unlike subtle variations like the others, Fanny is complex and boldly colored - though together the colors seem muted and quiet, much like I imagine Fanny from Mansfield Park.  This colorway boasts purple, green, yellow, and white.  It is also 440 yds of 100% Merino Wool in fingering weight.  In the last picture, you see the same yarn re-wound in a larger diameter to create a more prominent striping which is more aesthetically pleasing when photographed.

I may still over dye Emma and Willoughby to add a little more definition.  I need to re-hank these so that the color variations are more prominent when twisted (like I did with my Fanny yarn).  When I do that, I'll post pics of the finished hanks and then if I'm satisfied with them, list them in my Etsy Shop.



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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dye Job


Here's my latest dyed yarn.  I love the rich brown variations in this yarn.  I can't wait to wind this into a hank to see how the colors look!  It's drying right now.


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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bella's Mittens


See a pattern in my knitting of late? Super quick knits with a Twilight theme.. While the Twilight theme was unintentional, the super quick knits were.  I've been chugging away on projects that take concentration and lots of time to complete (lace projects).  I've also had a bazillion product reviews (mostly on my Momma'Tudes Blog) to get done.  And with everything else that has been crazy in my life, I felt like I lost my knitting-fu.  I mean, what fun is it to blog about knitting if you don't get to knit AND FINISH some projects, right?

So here is my latest knit obsession: Bella's Mittens.  {FREE PATTERN} These were knit in Patons Shetland Chunky (Taupe to match my winter coat).  The pattern was fast, fun, and really pretty east.  INFACT, all of you newbies to cables and increases should cast on this project immediately.  It is actually a terrific teaching pattern.  You knit simple 6 stitch cables, perform M1, M1L,& M1R increases, K2tog, K3tog, ssk, sssk, & p2tog decreases, pick up stitches, and even cast on in the middle of a project.  I realize the pattern author wrote the pattern to resemble the mittens in the Twilight movie, but this is a fabulous teaching project.

I knit mine entirely in magic loop - even the thumb (Which she calls for DPNs.  But given my utter hatred for DPNs, I picked up the thumb stitches and knit them in magic loop as well.).

This is one of the mittens, I still have to knit it's mate.  I would say 5 hours of knitting (conservatively) for this mitten.  I literally knit it most of the day, BUT I had a 4 yo that I was playing with in between and then when my teenager came home, I was the referee.  (Which may explain why my stitches didn't match at the very end of the pattern.  Extreme kid fighting does not mix well with concentrating. But I improvised and it turned out just fine.)

I love that these knit up so quickly. I adore the cable pattern.  Not loving the rib on the underside.  Perhaps it's because I have chunkier arms than the average woman AND I knit it using a cheaper yarn.  I think if I'd used a yarn with a tighter ply, it might look heaps better.  Also, the bottom of the mitten curls a tad.  A quick border or rib before starting the cable pattern would prevent that.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Namaste Hermosa Bag Review & Giveaway




Ever since I began knitting, I've heard the name, Namaste.  And last year, I ordered myself a GORGEOUS Namaste Bag, the Newport Bag, in Olive.  I've been delighted with it!  It has held up to me throwing it around the car, the apartment, and at knitting group.  It looks as fabulous as it is functional.  The only draw back - as my knitting addiction grew, my need for more more space did as well and I realized that I really needed a bigger bag.  So when I heard about Namaste's new Hermosa bag, I was anxious to get my paws on it.

The Hermosa Bag (Pictured in Eggplant), is so roomy, I joke that I can fit my Puggle in it.  It goes without saying that the bag is indeed beautiful.  But what you may not realize from all of the pictures (mine and other online pics) is just how roomy it is. The dimensions of this bag are a whopping 18 inches wide x 14 inches High x 7 inches long.  (Go ahead and get your tape measures out. You know you want to.) You can fit everything is this bag.  It's amazingly functional!  The bag is constructed out of PVC-free, faux leather. (Animal friendly!!)  The bag stands up on it's own, has 2 exterior zipper pouches, a water bottle pocket, a document or pattern pocket, and an extra side pocket with closure.  Inside, it has a zipper pocket and 2 additional pockets great for your cell phone and MP3 player (at least that's what I use them for).  There is enough room to keep your projects, mags, notions, and other items.  So no need to carry a separate purse when you're off to knit!


I also had the opportunity to review their wonderful Oh Snap Bags.  Shown here are the Sm, Md, Lg, XL, & XXL Oh Snap Bags.  These beauties are fabulous for carrying your individual projects.  You can put a project in each bag and then pop them into your knitting bag as you head out the door.  They are well constructed and light weight. I used to store my knitting projects in plastic sandwich and gallon baggies, only to have my needles poke through them.  But with these, they remain lightweight while providing a nice place to store my work in progress.

Pictured here is the Md Oh Snap Bag with my current lace project peeking out.  I'm able to store my knitting needles, project, pattern, and row counter in this bag.  -Everything I need is altogether and ready to pop into my Hermosa bag for a morning of knitting with the girls.


And while we're on the subject of accessories, you won't want to miss the Namaste Buddy Case.  Made of the same high quality, durable material, the buddy case comes in colors to match the bags.  Shown here in Olive, the Buddy Case is a soft-sided notions case, magnetic on the inside (so you will never drop another tapestry needle) and roomy enough to carry all of your must have knitting notions. There's also a divider to create two separate areas of storage.  Plus, it's just as fashionable as the bags, so no more sandwich baggies for your notions! (You know who you are!)

Drooling yet?!  I've saved the best for last!  The VERY GRACIOUS people of Namaste have agreed to give away one of these fantastic Hermosa Bags here on KnitPurlGurl!  That's right - one lucky knitter will win a Namaste Hermosa Bag!!!  What a terrific Holiday gift this would make for the knitter in your life (or for yourself)!

Giveaway Details:
  • Those who enter must be 18 years or older.
  • The giveaway will be open Nov. 24 - 11:59 pm EST Dec.8, 2009
  • ONE winner will be chosen via Random Number Generator and shall receive ONE Namaste Hermosa Bag in the color of their choosing. (Accessories are not included.)
  • To enter - you must enter using the MckLinky.  All entries not included on the MckLinky will not be honored as entries.
  • All entries must include a working email address.  If an email address is not provided, another winner will be chosen.  (Your email address will not be used for solicitation.)
Required Entry:
  • Visit the Namaste website.  Come back and let me know (USE MckLINKY!) which Namaste product you're most interested in. 
OPTIONAL Additional Entries:  (PLEASE ENTER EACH ONE SEPARATELY ON THE MckLINKY!)
  • Become a FAN of Namaste on Facebook.  Come back and let me know (& who you are) for an additional entry.
  • Leave a comment on the Namaste Fan Page on Facebook letting them know that you're excited about the giveaway and that KnitPurlGurl sent you! Come back and let me know for an additional entry!
  • Become a follower of KnitPurlGurl Blog.  Let me know for an additional entry.
  • Follower me on Twitter.  Let me know for an additional entry.
  • Tweet about the contest with a link to this post.  Come back and give me the link to your tweet for an additional entry.  You may tweet about the contest as many times as you like!
  • Blog about it!  Write a blog post about the contest.  Link to this post in your blog post.  Come back and give me the link to your blog post for an additional FIVE entries.  (BE SURE TO ENTER 5 TIMES ON THE MckLINKY FOR EACH OF THE FIVE ENTRIES.)
  • Put my KnitPurlGurl Blog Button on the sidebar of your blog for an additional entry.  Come back and let me know your blog address to complete the entry.
I was fortunate to review the Namaste Hermosa Bag, Oh Snap Bags, and Buddy Case courtesy of Namaste.  KnitPurlGurl Disclosure Policy Applies.


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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oops, almost forgot..

I ALMOST forgot to post pics pf my FINISHED New Moon Mittens.  Yes, you may want to stock up on canned goods as the world just may be ending if I've finished a project.I think they turned out great! Love them!  For project details, click HERE.



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Stitch Diva Studios



I was fortunate to dish with the fun, fabulous, and ever-patient Jennifer Hansen of Stitch Diva Studios last night on my Stitch & Dish Show.  I wish I could embed a video of it here but unfortunately, my show experienced some major tech issues: everything from my headset mic not working to Stickam logging me off several times and telling me that my session did not exist to horrible feedback which prevented me from switching feed to Jennifer to my kidlets who in all honesty were just being kids -  but let's just say that they weren't sitting quietly and watching the movie I had rented for them. LOL!  Jennifer Hansen was an absolute delight to interview.  And despite the horrible tech issues I had, she was professional and gracious about it, continuing to log back in to the site and answer yet more questions.

The thing that struck me the most about Jennifer is her willingness to think outside the box.  Instead of the normal confines of hairpin lace or tunisian crochet, Jennifer has tools made to match her ambitions with the crafts - allowing her to create stunning and  interesting pieces. Proving that anyone can learn a fiber art at any age, Jennifer told us that she learned to crochet and knit at the age of 31 for her son - AND she's self-taught! 

I am very excited to share with my viewers and my readers some of the amazing things that Jennifer is doing in her shop.  As always, you can look for more funky, fashionable and functional designs coming up.  As well as a top down sweater design, knit in the round, that promises to be a versatile wardrobe staple.  ALSO - Ms. Hansen will be bringing us MORE video tutorials!! (YAY!) Infact, she's pioneered a new way to Tunisian Crochet in the round!  (I know, right? I'm so pumped to learn something new too!)

If you'd like to learn more about Jennifer Hansen and/or Stitch Diva Studios, you can connect with her via:
And DO become a fan of Stitch Diva on Facebook where she hosts Random Fridays (which sometimes contain cool contests!). Be sure to tell her that KnitPurlGurl sent you! :)


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Black Friday Thru Cyber Monday on Stitch & Dish


Are you a
  • Craft Retailer
  • Etsy, Artfire, Silkfair, or other handmade shop
  • Company looking to promote their online sales
I'd love to include you in my Black Friday Christmas Kick-Off Show on Stitch & Dish on MomTV.com.  The show airs 11/27, 8p EST.  To be included, please email me the following information:
  • The site where your sale is taking place
  • The dates of your sale
  • The promo code
  • What the sale includes
  • If you'd like to include a giveaway on the show to further promote your site/shop. (Giveaways are a great way to get exposure.  Participants would have to visit your site during the show in order to win!)
  • If you'd like to participate in a giveaway on Stitch & Dish next week, I need to know what item you are giving away.
Additionally, if you'd like to appear on the Stitch & Dish web show to give away an item or display items for sale in your shop, that can be arranged as well!  Email me for details. knitpurlgurl[at]gmail[dot]com


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Moon on My Mind


With the premiere of New Moon mere days away.. I felt inspired to knit up these New Moon Inspired Alice Cullen Fingerless Mitts by Nancy Fry.  These are relatively a quick knit since the pattern asks for worsted weight yarn and size 7 and size 8 needles.

Of course, I deviated a tad from the pattern.  I CO 40 st instead of 30. (My arms have a tad more padding AND I'm a tight knitter to boot!)  I knit this fingerless mitt using magic loop.  And since I used magic loop and 40 st, when it came time to work the thumb increases, I k21, then followed the instructions in the ( ) and then k18 to accommodate the extra 10 stitches.  Also, I used my Knit Picks Options needles which made switching from US size 8 needles to US size 7 needles simple and painless!



I knit up the mitt using Creatively Dyed Yarn Woodbrook in Sweetgum colorway.  I thought the colors in this yarn actually really fit the colors in the New Moon Poster.  (Also, they match my coat quite well.) I knit this mitt up in a few hours this afternoon.  I still need to knit it's mate - but will work on it tomorrow.  This is really a cute, fun, fast, and functional knit that you can literally knit up in two evenings while watching prime time tv.


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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Knitting Hiatus & Odds 'N Ends

Well, I've sorta, kinda been on a knitting hiatus.. Unfortunately, there have been so many things going on in my personal life that I've had to put knitting, my web show, and my radio show on hold the last couple of weeks.  My MIL had a meningioma (a tumor located in the tissue that surrounds the brain) that was pressing on her brain.  It happened to be the size of a baseball and was causing a lot of difficulties.  This past half week we were out of town as she had her surgery. {Just a quick thank you to all who sent thoughts and prayers my way via Twitter.}

And to my fans of The Stitch & Dish Web Show and the Fiber'Tudes Radio Show, the shows will now be back on the air..  This Friday at 8p EST, the amazing Jennifer Hansen of Stitch Diva Studios will join me on The Stitch & Dish Web Show. PLEASE make some time to join us - it should be a fantastic interview! And on Monday at 1:30p EST, Celeste, Karen, Stacy, & I will dish all things fiber & knitting on the Fiber'Tudes Radio Show. (To read more about the upcoming schedule of Stitch & Dish and the AMAZING guests I have lined up, CLICK HERE.)

I did have ONE opportunity for knitting during all of this.. I knitted my MIL the Easy Neckwarmer Headband.  And of course there's a story behind it. I had taken a small knitting project with me to Ohio to work on during my down time.  And of course, I didn't take my usual arsenal o' knitting supplies.  When hubby said that my MIL wanted a headband like the ones skiers wear to keep their ears warm to cover her stitches and where they shaved her head (they only shaved about 1" into her hairline at the front of her head - so a headband was a perfect choice), I immediately said, "I can knit one."  And he immediately said, "No.  We'll just buy something cheap from Walmart."  When he mentioned it to his mom, she said she'd also like one knitted for her.  So I sent hubby to JoAnn's, cellphone in hand, and directed him on the yarn, needles, and notions I'd need to knit it up.  And he got all of it - God bless him!  Here's the result.  I used Lion Brand Yarn Fisherman's Wool in Oak Tweed Colorway.   I added decorative buttons for a more finished look.  (The buttons look a little wonky because they have long shanks and move around - just FYI)

I'm back home in PA now and can't wait to get my knit on.  I can't go too long without knitting.  It makes me cranky. :)


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Friday, November 6, 2009

And the Winner of the SkinMD Shielding Lotion Is:


As chosen via random number generator, the winner of the SkinMD Shielding Lotion is:



Cindi @ Moomettes Magnificents


Congrats to our winner! Thank you to all who participated and a special thank you to the generous people of SkinMD for sponsoring this giveaway!


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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yarn Review: Buffalo Gold "Lux"


The generous gentleman from Buffalo Gold sent me a hank of their luxurious "Lux" fiber (shown here in Huckleberry colorway). It's a 2-ply laceweight yarn comprised of 45% American Bison Down, 20% Cashmere, 20% Silk, and 15% Tencel. To say it's soft and yummy would be an understatement of tremendous proportion. It comes 330 yds - just perfect to knit up a small luxury item such as a shawlette, cowl, mitts, or scarf. Personally, I'm leaning toward a cowl or shawlette - something to show off the gorgeous yarn and that feels divine on the skin. This yarn is so delish, immediately after I opened the package, I started to look for patterns I felt were good enough for this gorgeous hank. (Still looking, but have found a few possibilities.)

You can purchase Buffalo Gold "Lux" via their online store or find it available from several fine retailers (WEBS, Paradise Fibers, DreamWeaver Yarns, Yarn Market). And honestly, for those of you who don't knit - this is the yarn knitters dream about. It's soft, made of luxury fibers, and beautiful to boot. So take my advice and buy the knitter in your life a hank or two for Christmas! And to the knitters who read this blog - SPLURGE! Get yourself a hank and enjoy!! :)

Disclosure: I was not given this yarn to perform a product review. I chose to review the yarn because I was thoroughly impressed with it.


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Monday, October 26, 2009

Yarn Review: Schaefer Yarns

The talented Laura Nelkin, Knitwear Designer and Design Director for Schaefer Yarns, graciously sent me some of Schaefer's GORGEOUS yarns along with some her her fabulous patterns to review on my blog.

I have to tell you that when I got the package in the mail, I was like a kid on Christmas! I ripped open the envelope and immediate began fondling the yummy yarns! I took the yarns with me to a luncheon with a couple of knitters and let them fondle the yarns. I took them to knitting group and let the ladies fondle the yarns. Everyone was of the same opinion I am: YUMMY! So let me tell you about the yarns:(Keep in mind that the pattern pics don't reflect the colorway of the yarn I reviewed, just of the patterns applicable to that yarn.)

This yarn, Nichole, a new yarn at Schaefer Yarns, is a Fingering Weight yarn made of 80% Extrafine Merino Wool SUPERWASH, 20% Nylon. It comes 405 yds. Not only was the color GORGEOUS, but it was very soft and provides nice stitch definition. Wondering what to knit with this gorgeous yarn? Try out Nicholetta by Laura Nelkin. -A great small cable sock pattern with interesting gusset detail. (If you're a fan of Yarnissima, you'll love this gusset!) The cables add great design detail without overpowering the beautiful hand-painted yarn.
If you have kidlets, Nichole would be perfect for the Walking Spiral pattern - a cap and socks pattern for your wee little ones! (Available in Tops and Toes: A Whimsical Collection for Hat and Sock Knitters.)


This next yarn, Helene, absolutely bowled me over with it's amazing colorway! This particular colorway, Jane Adams, is rich with stunning pinks, greens, reds, and browns. This worsted weight yarn is 50% Merino Wool, 50% Cultivated Silk and comes 218 yds. So not only is the colorway brilliant, but the yarn is truly luxurious. Pick up a hank of Helene and knit yourself a Hover scarf. This scarf pattern has great texture and really shows off all of the colors in this colorway!



This purple gem, Anne, was the hit of my knitting group. The colorway is a subtle variation on purple. Spanning from light violet to deeper violet color, the variegated yarn is interesting, without being busy. Anne is 60% Merino Wool SUPERWASH, 25% Mohair, and 15% Nylon and comes in a whopping 560 yd hanks! I'm surprised my Anne yarn isn't all fuzzy from all of the fondling that went on at knitting group. Very soft and plied in such a way to provide great stitch definition. Try Anne out on the Vaya Shrug - a terrific multi-purpose shrug that will look great on any body and is virtually seam-free! Or give it a whirl on the beaded beauty, Entomology - a gorgeous beaded, lace shawl with interested bottom detail. (Entomology is a free pattern - found on Knitty!)



Last, but certainly NOT least, is the gorgeous Laurel. Laurel is a soft 100% Mercerized Pima Cotton yarn with subtle colorway and shimmering sheen. This colorway, Laura Ingalls Wilder, is a stunning marriage of taupes, mauves, and silvers - very classic. This worsted weight yarn comes 400 yds to a hank! This is NOT dishcloth cotton - it's perfect for a little shimmery pop - like in the Tower of Flames scarf. Knitting the scarf with cotton gives it a wonderful breathable quality but maintains elegance with the sheen of the Laurel mercerized cotton. The scarf has gorgeous lace detail, shows off the yarn beautifully and drapes like a dream.

I can't wait to get started knitting some of these patterns.. I love Laura's simple, yet elegant designs and the elegance of the Schaefer Hand Painted Luxury Yarns. If you've knit with Schaefer Yarns or knit up one of Laura's patterns - give it a shout out here (with a link to your project if you like)! And please leave some comment love regardless - let's tell Schaefer that we love their beautifully crafted yarns!

I was fortunate to review these yummy yarns and amazing patterns courtesy of Laura Nelkin and Schaefer Yarns. KnitPurlGurl Disclosure Policy applies.


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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stitch & Dish: Fall Fiber Trends!



The video feed freezes a couple of times in this video.. Give it a few seconds and it self-corrects.


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Thursday, October 22, 2009

SkinMD Natural Shielding Lotion Review & Giveaway



Product: SkinMD Natural Shielding Lotion, 4 oz.
Approximate Retail Price: $18/4 oz.
Available Formulas: Natural Shielding Lotion and Natural Shielding Lotion + SPF 15

Alright hand crafters.. how many times have you reached into your knitting/sewing/scrapbooking bag for some lotion only to be disappointed with the lotion you use on your hands? Too greasy or not moisturizing enough? No crafter likes a lotion that will take forever to penetrate her skin. And every knitter I know likes to keep her/his hands supple as not to snag delicate yarns.

So when I was approached to review SkinMD's Shielding Lotion, I thought why not? I was skeptical that I would LOVE it as so many testimonials asserted. But I gave it a whirl. I tested this product over 2+ weeks and even took samples of it to knitting group. The consensus? We all really liked it. It penetrates quickly and leaves your skin feeling soft and supple. There was no greasy feel on my hands like with other lotions I've tried. - Therefore it didn't transfer to my yarn! And as someone with sensitive skin, I found it's fragrance-free, colorant-free, and paraben-free formula to be especially nice. Nothing is worse than having a reaction to a lotion.

I was also thrilled to read about the benefits of SkinMD Natural Shielding Lotion:

"Everyday contact with soaps, cleansers, shampoos, household chemistry and other substances that strip away skin's own protective layer (a thin film made of natural fats, lipids), leaves the skin's deeper layers unprotected. Without this protection in place oils and the natural moisture of the skin evaporates and absorption of irritants is no longer prevented.

Conventional lotions only add artificial moisture to the skin temporarily alleviating the dryness or itching, but these moisturizers don't actually solve the problem, they only treat symptoms without eliminating the cause. Dry skin is unable to absorb the newly added moisture to allow repair – it does not get "locked" into the skin. It gets lost easily. That’s why we keep applying more and more of the conventional lotions. Even so, skin easily gets addicted and may even suspend production of it's own moisture, relying on added moisturizer.

Skin MD Natural is a shielding lotion, a very special type of lotion helping the skin restore its integrity, enhance its protective functions so that the skin is able to heal naturally and regain its youthful appearance. Skin MD Natural works by bonding with cells of the skin's outermost layer to form what works as an invisible shield. This layer of protection prevents environmental irritants and pollutants from penetrating the skin, while sealing in the skin's own natural oils and moisture, helping resolve the dry skin condition."


But don't take this knitter's word for it! Enter to win a full-sized bottle of SkinMD Natural Shielding Lotion of your very own!

Giveaway Details:
  • Giveaway will run Oct. 22, 2009 - Nov. 5, 2009, 11:59p EST
  • ONE winner will be chosen via random number generator and announced on Nov. 6, 2009
  • You must include your email with your entry or your profile must link to your email address. (Your email will not be used for solicitation.) If there is no email address provided, another winner will be selected.
Required Entry:
  • Visit the SkinMD site and find at least one thing you like about their products. Come back here and comment for your required entry.
Optional Additional Entries: (You may chose to do as many of these as you like - these are optional entries. Please leave a comment for each entry.)
  • Follow SkinMD on Twitter. Come back and let me know for an additional entry.
  • Follow my blog. Leave a comment letting me know you follow for an additional entry.
  • Follow me on Twitter. Leave me a comment letting me know that you follow me on Twitter for an additional entry.
  • Tweet about it! You may tweet about it as many times as you like. Come back and leave a link to your tweet for an additional entry. (Be sure to leave a comment each time you tweet about it so that every entry is counted.)
  • Blog about it for FIVE additional entries! Make sure to link to this post in your blog post. Come back and leave me a comment with the link to your blog post post in it. Leave one comment for each of your five entries.
I was fortunate to review this product courtesy of SkinMD. KnitPurlGurl Disclosure Policy applies.


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