Monday, August 31, 2009

And Another Thing..

Just a quick post to let you in on a few things:
  • I have a promo going on in conjunction with Lovable Labels for their Back to School Pack. Right now and through Sept.3rd, if you use the promo code: knitpurlgurl, you'll get 10% off of their Back To School Pack!
  • There's an awesome WAT-AAH Back to School Giveaway going on over at my other blog, Mommatudes. You can enter to win a goodie bag and WAT-AAH ultra pure water! Be sure to enter!
  • The Show Notes are up for today's Fiber'Tudes Radio Show. Be sure to head over to our Fiber'Tudes Blog and read about what we've been up to. If you didn't get to listen to the show, you can listen to it on the player located on my blog here, the Fiber'Tudes Blog, or on Blog Talk Radio. (You can also download the podcast FREE from iTunes by searching for fibertudes.)


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hand Dyeing Yarn Part 2

In case you missed it - here is Part 1 of this tutorial from my Stitch & Dish Show. (WARNING - this is the full 1 hr. replay of my show.) If you caught the show - move on to the much shorter (6 min), part 2!

Part 2 of this tutorial:

My 'Desert Sunset' Yarn:

The Kool-Aid recipe for this yarn:
Color 1: (2) Grape, (1) Black Cherry
Color 2: (3) Tropical Fruit Punch
Color 3: (2) Pink Lemonade, (1) Orange
Color 4: (1) Lemon Lime, (1) Strawberry, (1) Lemonade, (1) Cherry


Friday, August 21, 2009

Knitting Playgroup (Or Stitch & Bitch)


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Little Bit of This... A Little Bit of That...

I have started to work on a simple shawl for my ill Grammie. I wanted something that wouldn't be a complex design so that it would both work up quickly and be something functional that I know she'd wear. (If it wasn't functional, she'd undoubtedly hang it up and look at it.) So I choose La La's Simple Shawl pattern in Farmhouse Yarns Cotton Blossom Yarn in Tangerine colorway to make this a cheery, functional shawl that will feel as though she's wrapped in a blanket every time she puts it on.

I completed and have started a second Seedless Watermelon Washcloth in Crystal Palace Yarns Cotton Chenille. (Colors: Bougainvillea, Bleached, Fern, and Christmas. I also have the black to make seeds but I couldn't get the seeds to look right, so I omitted them.) Pattern by Susan B. Anderson. As you can see, my washcloth is a little stretched out. That is because the second I finished weaving in the ends, DD snatched it up and used it in the bath! Love this pattern! Very simple, fast, and cute! I may knit a few more of these to give out with my watermelon sugar scrubs!
These are some improvised patriotic granny squares I'm crocheting for my DS (whose birthday is on the 4th of July). I'm using Vanna's Choice Yarn in Navy, Cranberry, and Beige.

I got these AWESOME KnitPro Symfonie Wood Single Ended Crochet Hooks (sizes 3.50mm, 4.50mm, 5.00mm, 6.00mm, & 8.00mm) from Woolstack on Ebay. (Unfortunately, these aren't available in the US, so I bought them on Ebay.) They're GORGEOUS! If you like KnitPicks Harmony knitting needles, then you will like these hooks!

I liked those so much, I went back to the same vendor and bought the KnitPro Symfonie Wood Double Ended Crochet Hooks. Each end is a different size! (Sizes: 3.00mm, 3.50mm, 4.00mm, 4.50mm, 5.00mm, 5.50mm, 6.00mm, 6.50mm, 7.00mm, 8.00mm)

I'm hopeful that I will continue to work on finishing these and the many other projects I have going on! At least I have some beautiful tools to keep me going! :)


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Creative Mojo in Need of Recharging

Have you ever been in a creative slump? Well I am. Between my perennial craft ADD and all of the things going on my life right now, I've fallen into a creative slump. It seems trying to get in 20 minutes a day of creating is kicking my bum! Why? Well, likely because I've been so focused on some many endeavors and on some unavoidable, but pressing personal demands. Also, there is the matter of my messy apartment. When my surroundings are not in order, I don't feel creative at all. This means I need to spend some time cleaning and organizing before I feel like sitting down with my needles, hooks, yarn, scrapbooking, essential oils, lotions, or the like. So I am hoping that once I get my surroundings organized and all of the hub bub dies down, my creative mojo will magically re-appear.

My ultimate goal: I'd like to finish some of my knitting and crochet projects, get my lotions made, and finish dyeing the yarn I have sitting in a big bin.

And of course, I will blog my progress :)


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review: All New Homespun Handknit by Amy Clarke Moore

Book Title: All New Homespun Handknit by Amy Clarke Moore
Publisher: Interweave Press
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59668-144-6
Craft: Knitting
Approx. Price: $22.95
Length: 143 Pages
Number of Patterns: 25
Pattern Presentation: Written and Charts
Difficulty of Patterns: Advanced Beginner - Intermediate

In this collection of patterns by acclaimed designers and spinners such as Kathryn Alexander, Amy King, Faina Letoutchaia, Kathleen Taylor, Sara Lamb, Nancy Bush, Judith MacKenzie McCuin, and Lisa and Nancy Shroyer, Editor Amy Clarke Moore takes the mystery out of homespun yarns. For both the spinner and the knitter, this book contains detailed information on taking your project from roving to homespun yarn to finished work of art. Amy Clarke Moore leaves nothing to chance in this informative and fun book.

What I liked about this book:
  • If you are new to using your own homespun yarn, this book provides you with all of the information needed to make each of these projects. Included in each pattern are the spinning notes as well as the knitting notes.
  • The spinning notes include: fiber, preparation, drafting method, wheel system, ratio, singles direction spun, singles twists per inch, singles wraps per inch, twist angle, number of plies, plied direction spun, plied twists per inch, plied wraps per inch, total yardage, and yards per pound. Nothing is left to chance so your project is perfect from start to finish.
  • If you are not a spinner, each pattern has the information needed to use millspun yarns.
  • The patterns really highlight the beauty of homespun yarns.
  • The book comes complete with a glossary and spinning information.
  • This book utilizes a variety of fibers and weights - offering something for everyone.
As a non-spinner, I was a little nervous about whether this book would be a good fit for me or not. But I must admit, although I don't yet spin, I really enjoyed the patterns and the beauty homespun yarns bring to them. The patterns range from rustic to lace wear. I was pleasantly surprised to find that every pattern wasn't a chunky creation with a drab yarn. The patterns are detailed and gorgeous and have given me a hankering for homespun. Now I just need to learn to spin!

My favorite patterns from this book: Sheepy Mittens (Amy King), Old Garden Scarf ( Faina Letoutchaia), Hannah's Autumn Jacket ( Amy Clarke Moore), and Wisteria Lace Shawl (Diane Mulholland)


Book Review: The Alchemy of Color Knitting by Gina Wilde

Book Title: The Alchemy of Color Knitting The Art and Technique of Mastering Exquisite Palettes by Gina Wilde
Publisher: Potter Craft
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-307-39355-5
Craft: Knitting
Approx. Price: $24.95
Length: 144 Pages
Number of Patterns: 25
Pattern Presentation: Written and Charts
Difficulty of Patterns: Advanced Beginner - Intermediate

The Alchemy of Color Knitting The Art and Technique of Mastering Exquisite Palettes is a collection of patterns and color lessons by the talented Gina Wilde, co-owner and creative director of Alchemy Yarns. Not merely a book of patterns, this book masterfully describes the basics of color and color relationships. Although this book could stand alone as a collection of patterns, it's the detail Wilde goes into regarding color organization that is brilliant. A well written book from an author well educated in fine arts, The Alchemy of Color Knitting is a must have for any knitter wishing to take their color/design skills to the next level.

What I liked about this book:
  • Having very little education in art and color, I found the information about color both fascinating and helpful. Wilde reveals how to use the color wheel; what primary, secondary, tertiary, and achromatic colors are; defines color and relationships; and even the meaning behind color.
  • Each chapter is also a color lesson. -So not only will you learn about the fundamentals of color theory, but you will experience several patterns which demonstrate her lessons perfectly.
  • Each pattern has additional information about the color, fiber, or personal information Wilde chooses to share with us. Because of this, I actually read this book cover to cover. I found it highly interesting.
  • In addition to the normal pattern notes (skill level, yarn, needle size, gauge, et cetera) at the beginning of each pattern, Wilde also includes the Color Exercise for that pattern - Thus connecting what you've learned from the beginning of the text to the pattern you're working on. As a former teacher, I love the visual and kinesthetic aspect of this book.
  • As one would expect, Wilde uses Alchemy Yarns for her patterns - but includes a nifty yarn substitution guide in the Appendix - allowing the reader to compare the specific Alchemy Yarn she used with other popular yarns of the same weight.
Personally, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book. The pictures and colors of each project were stunning. As with many of the items I review, I took this book to Friday Morning Knitting Group and had to fight off the other knitters to have it back. I learned so much about pairing colors and using color in design. I didn't realize how much about color I didn't know. I can't wait to put what I've learned to good use in both color design of projects and of dyeing my own yarn.

My favorite patterns from this book: Clematis Scarf, Socks Squared, and i. Shibori Messenger Bag


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Stitch & Dish on MomTV


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Book Week Will Continue..

Unfortunately, I've had to leave town for a family health issue. Book week will continue next week with the rest of the FABULOUS books I have planned to share with you.

Please check back! If the book looks interesting to you - please leave a little comment love! (I'm sure the authors would love to see it! And I know I would!)

Here are the books I've reviewed thusfar (Be sure to check 'em out & leave some comment love!):

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