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.


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.


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.


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. 
  • 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.


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.


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! :)


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  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


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.


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. :)


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!


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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