Friday, December 31, 2010

KnitPurlGurl: 2010 in Pictures

Here are my KnitPurlGurl Blog posts for 2010 in pics!  I also took pics of the PGH Knit & Crochet Festival and the Great Lakes Fiber Show - but they mustn't have turned up in blog posts this year - I must have just tweeted them as I walked through the shows.

KEY (for non-knitters):
FO: Finished Object
WIP: Work in Progress
Frogged: Ripped it out (no longer working on)
Review: Performed a product review for the company
Show: A Fiber Arts Trade Show I attended
Stash Enhancement: Buying or receiving yarn to add to one's "stash" or yarn collection


Monday, December 27, 2010

What to Expect in 2011

2010 was an interesting year for KnitPurlGurl Media.   A lot was happening in my life this year and I phased out some of my ongoing projects: Momma'Tudes (My mommy blog), Fiber'Tudes (My weekly BlogTalkRadio show), Stitch & Dish (My weekly webshow), and KPG Yarns & Sundries (My Etsy Shop) in order to focus on family, my health, and all of the craziness that comes along with moving!  LOL!

So what can you expect from KPG in 2011?  While I will not be bringing back the projects I phased out in 2010, you can expect to see MORE tutorials, both video and in pictures.  You can expect to see MORE  product reviews and giveaways!  A KPG app is on the horizon!!  I'm going to welcome some amazing guest bloggers.  And you may even see a return to some terrific web interviews with your fave designers and crafters!

PR/ Media Inquiries are welcome.  Please click on the contact tab at the top of the page to inquire about how I can help promote your craft item or company in 2011!

Here's to a happy, productive and fiberlicious 2011!!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Closet Hooker?

Okay, so I've noticed on many knitting and crochet forums there seems to be tension between knitters and crocheters.  What I'm feeling is that some crocheters feel knitters have an air of superiority.  While some knitters feel crocheters unfairly criticize knitters.  I could go on and on about all of the stereotypes between the two fiber factions.  And I've noticed that some boards get a little heated in discussion and debate.  There's gonna be a rumble tonight.. 

As a knitter and newbie crocheter: I have to say that the reason I did not pick up a hook first was simply because every pattern I'd been exposed to (albeit pamphlets and patterns circa 1950) were of granny squares and kitschy toilet paper roll cosies.  So when I wanted to learn to create fabric with yarn, I thought that crochet was not exactly for me.. Or perhaps even that crochet was for grannies who made doilies.

Fast Forward 5 yrs later and I'm finally appreciating the beauty and versatility of crochet.  With the advent of Ravelry, Crochet Me, and uber talented designers: Robyn Chachula, Drew Emborsky, Maggie Pace, Lily Chin, Doris Chan, Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby, Kristin Omdahl, and SO many more that I cannot possibly hope to list them all here, I've come to realize that granny squares (which have now grown on me, I must admit) are not the end all, be all of crochet.  Infact, I recently subscribed to Interweave Crochet in order to get the skinny on what all of the cool kids are crocheting.  I received my first issue, Winter 2010, this week and am BLOWN AWAY!

The designs in this mag are not boxy, crude patterns, but artistic and flowing - something I did not expect. Not that I expected them to be crude, per se - I just never knew how elegant crochet fabric could be.  I have already tapped three patterns to grace my project queue:

Belcarra Cardigan by Robyn Chachula  

Can I just say, GORGEOUS?!  Are you drooling yet?!  Never been on the Chain Gang?  Utterly NEW to crochet?  No worries!  Pop on over to these sites for some serious crochet tutelage:

Or pop on over to these amazing blogs for some crochet inspiration:
Knitters - get hooked on crochet!  It's full of fibery goodness!!  I think you'll learn what I have: it's a fun, versatile, and a terrific craft.  Crochet is relaxing and works up so quickly.  And as you can see, crochet can be fluid, architectural, or fun and funky.  Give it a whirl!  After all, whether you knit, crochet, spin, weave, or participate in ANY fiber art - it's the fiber, the fun, and the creative process that makes it worthwhile.  :)

Disclosure: KnitPurlGurl was not compensated to endorse Interweave Crochet or any of the various blogs, websites, or designers listed in this post.  All opinions are of the blog author's and may not necessarily reflect those of Interweave Press or any of the blogs, websites, or designers listed.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Off Topic - Android Apps

I know a lot of my knit-peeps are as Android crazy as I am.  So I thought I'd ask y'all what your MUST HAVE, CANNOT-LIVE-WITHOUT Android apps are.  They don't have to be fiber-related only.  Please leave a comment to let me know what device/OS version you are using along with your fave app(s) and reasons.  I'm including a link to each app so that you may read about them.

Device: HTC Droid Eris
Android OS: Android 2.2 (Froyo). I have rooted my phone and am using a custom ROM: Nonsensikal v15.2 (with LauncherPro)

MY Must Have Apps:

So what are yours?

Disclosure:KnitPurlGurl was not paid or compensated for her endorsement of above apps.  While rooting your phone is legal, it may also render your wireless plan warranty void.  KPG takes no responsibilty for quality of apps or problems resulting from said apps or of rooting your phone.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Techy Tips

As our world transforms into a paperless one, many knitters and crocheters are adapting their patterns and tools to their tech devices.  So I thought I'd give you a few links and tips to help you on your way to paperless fiber arts.

Computer/Lap Top Tech Tip: Here's a snipet of a lace chart that I'm currently knitting.  I like to use FoxIt Reader instead of Adobe because it's highly user friendly and allows me to create notes on my pattern and highlight important parts of the pattern.  And although you can highlight in Adobe on some patterns, FoxIt's note feature is fantastic for keeping notes on my pattern.  As you can see in this snipet, I used a nifty little feature of Windows 7, Sticky Notes, to place a sticky note over the lace chart so that I don't get lost in chart and knit the wrong line.  The Sticky Notes size (length and width) is easily manipulated and can be moved over any window you are in.  What I like to do is scroll down so that the line of chart I'm using is at the top of the page and then place a sticky note over all of the preceeding lines of the chart - then I only see 1 row of chart at a time.  Also, I like to highlight the parts of the chart that I need to pay attention to, like repeated areas of the chart.

eReader/Smartphone Tech Tip: You can save your PDFs on your computer and copy the files via USB to your eReader and Smartphone devices.  (Or you can download PDFs directly to your smartphone.) So instead of toting around several pattern pages, you can just bring up the pattern on your eReader or Smartphone wherever you are.  I love to put my patterns on my Nook and my Droid Eris.  -Esp. my phone because it goes everywhere I do.

Smartphone Apps: You already know that there's an app for virtually anything out there.  And knitting/crochet are no exception.

Here's a screen shot of my FAVE app (Android) - Knit Counter by Crazy Fiber Lady Software.  What's great about this app is that you can keep multiple WIPs stored in it.  It allows you to count the rows AND pattern repeats - which is particularly useful when knitting the chart above where I need 8 repeats of a portion of the chart.    It is not a free app.  This little gem will cost you a mere $0.99 - but is definitely WORTH it.  No more toting around a row counter for every project.  You can have every project programmed into this one app.  You just open the project you want to work on and voila!  It will bring you back to where you left off.  It's a touch screen app - so it couldn't be easier!  (Please disregard the fact that I mispelled my project name.  LOL!)  This app also allows you to leave notes about your project in the counter.  Check out the link for a list of all the cool features this app has to offer!

For a list of Knitting and Crochet related Android Phone/Android Tablet Apps - Check out Android Zoom and/or AndroLib!
For a list of Knitting and Crochet related iPod/iPhone/iPad Apps - Check out iPAL (iPhone Applications List)!

Be sure to check out these lists.  There are knitting/crochet tutorial apps, podcast and vodcast apps, row counters, project sorters, and even knitting/crochet community apps.  (Far too many for me to list seperately.) Hopefully you'll find some fun and interesting ways to update your knitting tools! Have a fave tool, tip, or app?  Leave a message with a link to the info so that all of the readers can check it out!!

Tutorial Tech Tip: Chances are you already use You Tube,  Knitting Help, or Nexstitch to watch those amazing knitting/crochet tutorials.  But have you watched them on the go?  At knitting group and need to watch a quick tutorial for Kitchener Stitch?  Use the You Tube app!  There's a You Tube app for nearly every device.  And this makes carrying an entire stitch and technique library with you wherever you go simple and easy!

Library Tech Tip: Does your library have eMedia?  Why not "check out" a digital knitting or crochet book?  These borrowed books can be easily downloaded to Adobe Digital Editions on your computer/laptop.  Of course, Nook, Sony Reader, and Kobo eReaders all support ePub format which means you can enjoy your knitting/crochet library books on the go!

Do you have an Android Device, iPod/iPhone/iPad, or Kindle?  Don't despair.  Calibre lets you convert your eBooks and transfer them to those devices as well.

Whether you check out a digital book from your library or buy a digital book via any number of online eBook stores, be sure to check the Android Market or App Store (Apple) for eReader apps or click on these links to browse eReader apps:
Now go get your knit or crochet on - paperlessly!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Patience is a Virtue, My Dear


I'm still plugging away on my Adventskalenderschal  2010.  I am still very far behind.  One reason: Clue #10.  I have been working on Clue #10 for 2 days now.  I believe I have tinked more rows than I have knit successfully for this clue.  Infact, my merino is beginning to felt from all of the tinking!  ARGH!


I should very much like to poke my own eyes out with my Addi Lace Needles should I have to tink any more rows in this clue.  Of course, I will not.  Primarily because Addi Lace Needles are German engineered precision knitting instruments and also because I sort of need my eyes..  Also, I keep hearing my grandmother say, "Patience is a virtue, my dear."

Even if my attitude is currently unsavory and I've not progressed in the least, I must point out that I've learned how to correct my knitting mistakes in this clue.  I've learned how to tink back any number of stitch combinations.  And trust me when I tell you that there are some hairy stitch combinations on the wrong side rows of this pattern.

So I look to this motto for the patience to continue this clue.  (You can buy this little gem at the Ravelry store!)


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Adventskalenderschal 2010


So I decided to knit the Adventskalenderschal 2010 by Utlinde.  So far, I am behind {Big shocker, right?!}.  This represents Clues #1-6 (December 1st - December 6th).  Utlinde releases a new clue every day for advent (through Dec. 24th).  This pic is horrible.  My chandelier is casting a huge shadow, the pinning is crude, but necessary to see the lace, and it's a tad out of focus, I think.  But you get the idea.  I'm using Knit Picks Bare Fingering Weight Merino and US Size 6 needles to knit this project.  I LURVE it so far!  It is so fun and NEVER boring!  There's still time to jump in and enjoy the fun!  Oodles of peeps are knitting this and thankfully, I'm not the only one behind (and you won't be either).  :)

I won't bore you with daily update pics - but I'll post a pic after every 6 clues.  There are 24 clues total, so only 3 more pics to go!  :)


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Launching Tomorrow: SpinKnit eMag from Interweave!

SpinKnit Scribd File

My good friends over at Interweave are launching a NEW eMag, SpinKnit!  You may remember my review on Sockupied (a sock knitting eMag from Interweave) awhile back. If you spin, knit, or spin AND knit - this is a fabulous eMag.  As many of you know, I have admired spinners but haven't yet taken the plunge.  But gosh after watching the videos, reading the articles, and looking at the photos, I am getting the itch to spin!!

In this issue, SpinKnit devotes their articles to Andean Knitting & Spinning, Energized S & Z Yarns, Double Drafting Techniques, and highlights from the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.  It is an edition chock full of color, texture, interesting demonstrations, gorgeous pictures, and amazing articles!

 I just have to say to those of you who are paper mag purists - YOU'LL LOVE eMag format!  It's a tad tricky at first because you don't just flip pages left to right as in a traditional mag or digital book.  At the top of the screen, you'll actually notice a navigation bar.  You can scroll left to right to advance to the next article.  But once in the article, you can scroll down to read the entire article.  At the top right on the nav bar, you'll see how many pages are included in that article and which page you are on: Example '1of 4.'  In the middle of the nav bar, it will tell you which article you are reading: Example '11 of 23.' You can use your navigation bar to view the page(s) in different perspectives, print, or see the eMag Content and Media in the left sidebar for quick and easy navigation.
You can click on the video links to see the demonstrations or to see a video article which enhances the written article.  And next to the projects within the article, when you see PDF, you can click to capture the PDF file pattern!  You'll also see a big 'S' which indicates that you can view a picture slideshow. You may see a 'V' which indicates video.  'R' will help you zoom in on the photo.  'P' is for project notes.  It feels strange at first - like you need a key to get through it.  But once you've gone through the entire eMag, you'll be a pro.  Hey, if you can deal with knitting charts, you can do this! No paper mag can bring you this close to the action.  With the videos, I felt like I was there in Peru, watching the women spin and knit.  To see that after reading about it brought great definition to the piece.

SpinKnit launches TOMORROW from Interweave Press and retails for $14.97.  Check it out!!  You'll be pleasantly surprised!

Disclosure: KnitPurlGurl received an advanced copy of SpinKnit free for review from Interweave Press.  All opinions expressed in the above blog post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Interweave Press.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Move Over Martha..

DD was crafting in my room.  And the entire time was explaining to me step by step what she was doing.  By the time I grabbed my phone to record it, she'd already made the face.  Once the camera was going, she proceeded as though she's been taping craft tutorial segments her entire life.  I just wish I was a better videotographer.  ;p

C360_2010-11-05 20-52-04

And the finished project.. Maddie decided that she liked it better as a whole cat, not merely a face.  It's an artist's prerogative to change her mind.

Disclosure: No yarn was hurt during the making of this video/blog post


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quick Diversion: Fluted Harvest Basket





Started out by using Chick Pea Studios' Crochet Basket Pattern to complete the bottom and sc up the sides.  Then I modified it by adding a row of treble crochet, then 2 more rows of sc, and then an eyelet row which was crocheted as *ch5, sc in 3rd ch* and repeated from * to * until the end of the round.  Then I ended with a ss and fastened off.  I used Lion Brand Cotton in Cloves colorway (approx. 3/4 skein) with a Crochet Hook size 6.0mm.

I happened to have a stainless steel mixing bowl that was the same diameter as the basket, so I placed it in the bottom of the bowl to add stability when the basket is filled.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Finished: 2nd Pair Simple Classic Mary Jane Slippers



These took about 1 hr. or so a piece to crochet.  I crocheted one on one day and the other today!  They're so cute and comfy.  :)


Thursday, October 14, 2010

On The Hook: Another Pair of Mary Jane Slippers


I loved this pattern so much, I HAD to start another pair!  This time, I'm using up a skein of Vanna's Choice yarn in Fern color I had sitting around.  I finished one and hope that I will have enough yarn to finish the pair!  LOVE this color!  Can you imagine it with a chocolate ribbon and button on the outer edge of the strap?!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Finished: Simple Classic Mary Jane Slippers


Finished the Simple Classic Mary Jane Slippers last night.  They are really cute.  I think I will add a piece of ribbon attached with a button on the outer strap edges just to give them a little 'umph.'


These are terrific for a beginner!  They crocheted up in about an hr/slipper.  So for those of you looking to make gifts for Christmas - these are perfect.  Like I said, add a funky ribbon and button or some rolled fabric or rolled ribbon flowers to the outer edge straps, and they'd be an adorable pair of slippers that anyone would be happy to receive.  One word of caution: I almost slid and bruised my bum.  So, I will be adding some puffy paint to the soles to prevent slipping.  I suggest if you gift them, you do the same. :)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On the Hook: Simple Classic Mary Jane Slippers


Found another great crocheted slipper pattern: Simple Classic Mary Jane Slippers.  It's a very easy pattern for beginners like myself.  As long as you can sc, ss, and sc2tog, you can do this pattern.  I crocheted this in the same Ella Rae Classic yarn I used for the Two Button Ballet Flats.


This is the left slipper.  I still need to crochet it's mate.  But it went super fast.  I think it needs some embellishment.  Maybe a button on the outer edge of the strap.  Once I finish the second one, I'll have a better idea of how I want to embellish them.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Crocheted & Frogged: Two Button Ballet Flats


Smitten by the crochet bug, I decided to give the Two Button Ballet Flats (slippers) a whirl.  Seen here crocheted in Ella Rae Classic (wool), Aquamarine color with a 4.50mm crochet hook.  I struggled in the beginning a tad.  But then I messaged the designer who assured me that I was on the right track.


Here's where I went wrong.  According to the pattern chart, you're supposed to crochet 9" when you get to the sole (for my shoe size).  Unfortunately, I think that meant from tip of toe to heel and I crocheted from beg of sole to heel - so the slipper is WAY too big!


So although I am not finishing this slipper because I made a boo-boo on the size, I DID learn a lot from crocheting it!  I learned dc2tog, sc2tog, and basically what are crocheted short rows for the heel.  The straps are just tacked to the sides in the pic so you can get a feel for what the slipper should look like.  According to pattern, you'd sew a button on either side and loop the straps around the buttons.

A very cute project! I hope to make a pair that fit me in the near future.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wool Heart Ornie


'Couldn't leave well enough alone.  I had to give DROPS Elegant Christmas Heart pattern a whirl.  It was super fast and easy to crochet.  I used leftover Stitch Nation Full o' Sheep yarn I had (100% wool) in Peony color and a US Size I crochet hook to complete.  Great scraps buster!  This is the heart unblocked.  Not sure if I will block this out or not yet.


Scandinavian Heart Ornament


I decided to crochet a simple heart ornie.  So I happened upon a free pattern on Teresa Kasner's Blog: Scandinavian Heart Ornament.  The pattern was confusing to me.  I didn't find the instructions to match the pictures.  Although her photos actually helped me more than the pattern instructions.  (Teresa, no offense.  Maybe it's because I'm new to crochet. As you can tell, it's not expertly crocheted.)  So I crocheted this outta Peaches & Creme cotton (to go with the cotton shabby chic bedroom look I have going on) in Peppermint colorway and a US size H crochet hook.  I didn't block it or add fabric stiffener because I wanted to go with the relaxed feel of the cotton shabby bedding I have.  I see that DROPS also has a similar pattern: Elegant Christmas Heart as well as Addey on Crochetville who posted her pattern in the forum: Heart Motif.

Not only are these great ornies, but make cute doornob hangings and gift box embellishments.




I ordered me some more crochet hooks.  Ever since my DD and DS have discovered their love of crochet, my hooks have been MIA.  I LOVE these KnitPro Symphonie Wood crochet hooks and already had a set of single ended and double ended hooks.  But like I said, some of my hooks up and walked out of my Needles/Notions cabinet.  Imagine that!


I also discovered that you can buy the KnitPro hooks in larger sizes, which I did not previously own.  So I bought myself three single ended hooks in sizes: 9.0mm, 10.0mm, and 12.0mm AND a double ended hook in 9.0mm/10.0mm.  Of course, they don't sell KnitPro hooks here in the US, so I had to buy them on Ebay from someone in the UK.

Now, if I could only finish some of my knitting projects so that I can begin a new crochet project...  ;p


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

YAY! All Finished & Blocked: Sunshine Shawlette




Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On the Blocking Mats: Sunshine Shawlette


I decided to take a quick detour from my cowls and cardi to knit an instant gratification shawl: Sunshine Shawlette.  I used the Lion Brand Yarn's Sunshine Shawl pattern.  I ran into a snag at the very end.  You're supposed to end with 159 st after all of the pattern repeats. Unfortunately, I only ended up with 157.  And because you need a multiple of 3 to complete the crocheted bind off, I repeated row 12 again to get the right count.  The blocking pics are horrible.  I took it in my dining room where it's pretty dark and there are some shadows.  For this project, I actually used the exact yarns and colors suggested in the pattern: Lion Brand Yarn LB Collection Cotton Bamboo in Gardenia color and Lion Brand Yarn LB Collection Silk Mohair in Sunbeam color. It feels AMAZING!  SO SOFT!


It's a super simple, uber fast knit.  It doesn't take much yarn at all.  It's very inexpensive to make and is a great last minute gift idea.  If you're an advanced beginner or intermediate knitter, you'll knock this puppy off in a day.  If you're a newbie to lace or knitting, this project is a TERRIFIC learning project and won't take very long at all.  Just be careful with the mohair - it can knot if you are trying to tink.  ;p


Sunday, September 26, 2010

2nd Upcycled T-Shirt Scarf

 I was so in lust with my first Upcycled T-Shirt Scarf, I decided to make a second.  I got 17 rings this time and wound them much more loosely.  LOVE it!  The pop of color is perfect for fall.


Here's my Upcycled T-Shirt Scarf worn as Shwin & Shwin displayed theirs.


Here's my scarf wrapped as a cowl.  Luv me my cowls!


Here's the scarf double wrapped!!


And as an added bonus, I get to keep the top of the T-Shirt, which I will upcycle into a cute headband for DD!


Upcycled T-Shirt Scarf

When I saw what Shwin & Shwin did with a recycled T-Shirt, I was thrilled!  I have 3 such T-shirts that met their doom while accidentally being dried on hell setting in my dryer. So I decided to grab my scissors and cut the first one up to see how it went.


As you can see, my loops are a tad tighter than Shwin & Shwin's.  Also, I only got 13 rings, instead of the 16 they got - so my scarf is a tad shorter with tighter rings.  I think I will make the rings much looser with the next T-shirt.


Here I double wound it to make it a cowl.  I really like it as a cowl.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For the Love of Noro


Popped on over to a local yarn shop, Yarns Unlimited, for their sale and picked up these l'il cuties:

Noro Maiko
DK Weight
35% Silk/35% Wool/30% Mohair
132 yds/40 g per hank
Colorway: No. 101 (Charcoal)
Purchased : 2


Noro Cash Iroha
Aran Weight
40% Silk/30% Lamb's Wool/20% Cashmere/10% Nylon
99 yds/40 g per hank
Colorway: No. 82 (Camel)
Purchased: 3


And as a gift with purchase during the sale, I got this cutie patootie pink bag!

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