Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crochet Me Gets a Makeover!!




Okay crocheters - here's the moment you've been waiting for...


drum roll, please


Crochet Me has just undergone a website makeover and has officially launched TODAY!!  And the makeover was well worth the wait!

Here are a couple of nifty reasons you should check out the site:
  • Crochet Me will continue to offer the social networking features we've all become accustomed to.
  • The editors of Interweave Crochet will be more involved in the new community, posting their blogs, images, video clips, and free tutorials and references for community members.  Kim Werker will also be blogging as a contributing editor!
  • Crochet Me NOW has integrated content from Interweave Crochet magazine.  That means that members will have access to the vast Interweave Crochet library of patterns, with search and find capabilities for photos and pattern information from current and back issues!
  • Preview pages for each project from the current Winter 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet are now available for browsing on the site.  (Pages for back issue designs will be added in the weeks to come.)
  • Members can share, rate, and add comments to each of the designs as well as upload personal photos to the gallery of their FOs  or WIPs!!
  • Crochet Me will also be integrating more content from Knitting Daily TV, including crochet-related video clips from the show! The crochet patterns from the first four seasons are available to readers for free download, including 13 crochet patterns from the NEW Knitting Daily TV Series 400, Crochet Corner with Kristin Omdahl
So get on over to Crochet Me and get your crochet on!  And don't forget to become a FAN of Crochet Me on Facebook for all of the news and latest info!


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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Help for Haiti



Okay knitters and crocheters.  Here's your chance to help those in need while scoring some terrific patterns from Ravelry.  If you search under the tag (on Ravelry): Help for Haiti, you'll find 74 pages of amazing designers who are donating all or a portion of the price of their patterns to help the Haitian people.  I actually took this opportunity to gift patterns to 3 friends of mine and ended up donating $24 to Doctors Without Borders.  We all love knitting and crochet patterns.  And now you can turn your love of buying new patterns into helping those who need it most right now. 


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UrbanStone

For all of my readers from the UK, I wanted to let you in on a fab price comparison website, UrbanStone.  UrbanStone is the premier UK shopping deal website.  UrbanStone lets you search for nearly any product you're interested in purchasing and then compares shopping prices at available retailers.

When I visited the site, I noticed immediately that it was easy to navigate.  I was happily surprised to learn that it compares over 6 million items!  So I decided to give it a whirl. I searched for "iPod Touch, 3rd Generation" and it returned with a price comparison for 4 different stores AND gave me a complete product description as well as tech specs.  So not only did I get to view the best shopping deals, but I actually learned all about the product.  This means that not only will you save money, but you'll be a well informed consumer.  And there's something for everyone: appliances, clothing and accessories, computers, consumer electronics, jewelry and accessories, and much more. For instance, under Appliances, I clicked on Large Kitchen Appliances, and found price comparisons for Dishwashers, Freestanding Cookers, Freezers, Hobs (Gas and Electric), Kitchen Hoods, Microwave Ovens, Ovens (Gas and Electric),  and Refrigerators. So you can literally find almost any appliance you need.  But don't take my word for it.  Check it out!

I have been compensated for this blog post.  However, all opinions expressed were original, uninfluenced opinions.


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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Dream in Color!



I ordered some GAWGEOUS Dream in Color Yarn, Smooshy, in Punky Fuchsia colorway from Simply Socks Yarn.  My pic doesn't do this yarn justice!  It's such a subtle, but amazing variegation.. And it's SO soft and thankfully it's superwash!

What have I got planned for these beauties, you ask?  Well, my knit bud (and Fiber'Tudes co-host), Celeste, and I have decided to knit the Myrtle Cardigan by Snowden Becker.  And I CAN NOT wait to get moving on this cardi.  BUT - I've still got the 2nd Bella Mitten looming over my head.  So I cast on the 2nd mitten this afternoon and am determined to finish it this week so that I can start on the cardi!!!!!!!


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Skin MD Giveaway Announcement

Not too long ago I had the privilege of reviewing the Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion.  And I LOVED it!  As a knitter, I enjoyed the non-greasy formula and the way it created a layer of protection on my skin.

Well the wonderful people from Skin MD are hosting a Valentine's Day giveaway and thought my readers might be interested!  So I thought I'd pass this along!





The prize basket contains the following and is valued at $100!
- Bottle of Skin MD Natural shielding lotion
- Bottle of Skin MD Natural + SPF 15 shielding lotion
- One pound of See's dark assorted chocolates
- Pack of Starbucks VIA Ready brew coffee pouches
- Kiss Me coffee mug
- A Cuddly teddy bear
- Lollipop Bouquet

So pop on over to Skin MD and enter to win this amazing prize to give to YOUR Valentine!  Contest ends 2/7/10!



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Monday, January 18, 2010

Knit Kit Jewelry Review & Giveaway!!


If you watched my Stitch & Dish Web Show last Friday, you are already aware of Knit Kit Jewelry. (..if not, you can watch a video review HERE.) Knit Kit Jewelry is the brain child of Joyce Goodman, designer, artist, knitter, and art jeweler.  Joyce wanted a way to mesh her love of knitting and art jewelry to create simple, gorgeous kits for others to enjoy these mediums.  And so Knit Kit Jewelry was born.

These interesting and beautiful kits allow knitters to explore new avenues in knitting. So even if you've NEVER created jewelry before, all you need are the basic knitting skills to create a gorgeous piece of your own.

Each bracelet kit comes complete with pattern, basic instructions for knitting with wire, wire, and clasps.  All you need are your own knitting needles to get started.  The wire that comes with each kit is copper coated for a comfortable experience and is available in a wide array of stunning colors, allowing the knitter to make each piece his/her own.  As pictured above (left to right), there are three bracelet kits available: Buckle Bracelet, Ruched Cuff, and Regal Cuff.

I had the opportunity to review both the Ruched and Regal Cuffs.  And let me just tell you that at first, I felt like all thumbs.  It was difficult for me to get used to the wire and it's obvious difference to knitting with fiber.  But with a little coaching from Joyce, I developed a rhythm and muscle memory while knitting the Regal Cuff and found it to be much easier than I did initially.  While I don't think that I would knit with wire every day, I did enjoy learning a new way to incorporate my love of knitting in a different crafty endeavor.

Knitting with wire takes some getting used to and some patience.  It does take much longer than knitting with fiber, but keep in mind you're only knitting a 6 inch bracelet when you're knitting with wire. (Joyce estimates it takes about 6 hours for the beginner and intermediate kits and 15 hours for the advanced bracelet kits to complete.) I think you'll enjoy the challenge and the satisfaction of creating a beautiful piece of jewelry while utilizing your knitting skills.

The bracelet kits retail for $65 - $75/each and are available online at KnitFitJewelry.com.  (Necklace kits and a la carte wire are also available.)

The very generous Joyce Goodman of Knit Kit Jewelry has decided to give one of my lucky readers their choice of bracelet kits!  That's right!

Giveaway Details:
  • One lucky winner, chosen via random number generator, will win ONE bracelet kit from Knit Kit Jewelry of their choosing.
  • This giveaway runs from 1/18/10 - 2/1/10.  The winner will be announced on 2/2/10.
  • All entries must be listed on the MCKLINKY to be valid.  Entries via comments are void. Look for the MckLinky button below.  There is a "Click here to enter" line directly above it.
  • Those who enter must be 18 years old and be a US or Canadian resident.
  • Those who enter MUST provide an email address.  Email addresess will not be used for solicitation.  If you do not include an email address so that I may contact you should you win, another winner will be chosen.
Required Entry: (THIS ENTRY IS REQUIRED BEFORE ADDITIONAL ENTRIES.)
  • Visit Knit Kit Jewelry.  Browse their kits.  Come back and let me know which kit and which color wire you like the most!
OPTIONAL Additional Entries:
  • Follow Knit Kit Jewelry on Twitter.  Come back and let me know you follow for an additional entry!
  • Follow ME on Twitter.  Come back and let me know for an additional entry!
  • Tweet about it!  Tweet about the giveaway with a link to this post.  Come back and provide your tweet link for an additional entry.  You may tweet about it as often as you like.  Each tweet may be used for an additional entry.
  • BLOG about it!  Blog about the giveaway for FIVE additional entries.  The blog post must include a link to this post.  Come back and enter FIVE times on the MCKLINKY, 1 for each of the FIVE entries.  Be sure to include the link to your blog post in entry #1.
  • Subscribe to Knit Kit Jewelry's You Tube Channel.  Come back and let me know for an additional entry! 
  • Place my blog button in your blog sidebar for an additional entry!  Come back and let me know with a link to your blog for an additional entry!
  • Follow my KnitPurlGurl blog.  Come back and let me know that you follow my blog for an additional entry. 
 I was fortunate to review 2 Knit Kit Jewelry Kits courtesy of Knit Kit Jewelry.  KnitPurlGurl Disclosure Policy applies.


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Friday, January 15, 2010

Stitch & Dish: Product Review Show




All product reviews are courtesy of the respective companies mentioned.  KnitPurlGurl Disclosure Policy applies.


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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Yarn Review: Stitch Nation Yarn by Red Heart & Debbie Stoller





When Coats & Clark approached me last month about reviewing a new line of yarn, immediately I was in!  But it was a complete shock when I received the package and realized that Red Heart teamed up with the one and only Debbie Stoller (of Stitch 'n Bitch fame)!  Before I describe the yarn for you, let me just say a few things about this line.  Because honestly, there is so much to love about it.
  • All three yarns in the Stitch Nation Yarn line are 100% NATURAL fibers.  This line is not another line of worsted weight acryllic.
  • Each of the three yarn types of yarn come in gorgeous, vibrant, popping colors.  This is not your granny's Red Heart.  The colors are so rich and amazing, they beg to be touched and knitted/crocheted with.
  • All three yarns are worsted weight yarns with corresponding patterns available and more to come.  So for knitters like myself who like quick knits, these yarns are just the fix!
  • The Stitch Nation yarn is AFFORDABLE!  Now you can walk into JoAnn's and pick up a 100% NATURAL yarn for UNDER $5/skein!  Believe it!
Now onto the yarns:





Full o' Sheep is a GORGEOUS 100% Peruvian Wool yarn.  If I had to compare it to a yarn I already know well, I'd compare it to Lamb's Pride Worsted.  As you can see in the bottom pic - it comes in some GREAT colors.  My favorite happens to be the color Coats & Clark sent to me, Passionfruit.  The yarn has a great ply and similar stitch definition & halo to the Lamb's Pride.  It would make a terrific yarn for felting.  One could easily whip up a cute little bag very quickly in this worsted and felt it!  (I'm thinking a nifty little felt bag in Fibonacci striping.)  Full o' Sheep is available in 12 colors and comes 100g, 155 yds/skein.
Colors pictured above from Left to Right: Poppy, Clementine, Peony, Passionfruit, Plummy, Honeycomb, Meadow, Thyme, Aquamarine, Mediterranean, Little Lamb, and Black Sheep.





 
Bamboo Ewe is an amazingly soft yarn comprised of 55% Viscose from Bamboo and 45% Wool.  It has a beautiful sheen that I doubt my picture can demonstrate.  Having only worked with 100% bamboo and never a bamboo/wool mix, I was pleasantly surprised to find this yarn was super soft and not only had good stitch definition, but also knits easily.  The added wool helps this yarn by giving it a little more stretch (although it is not a stretchy yarn) and is not as inflexible as say 100% bamboo.  This yarn has a very minor halo due to the wool content, but maintains good stitch definition in the sample I knit.  Again a worsted weight yarn, Bamboo Ewe is available in 10 fab colors and comes 100g, 177 yds/skein.
Colors pictured above from Left to Right: Geranium, Snapdragon, Lipstick, Beach Glass, Sprout, Mermaid, Eucalyptus, Periwinkle, Twilight, and Mercury.






 Alpaca Love is a good all-purpose Wool/Alpaca blend yarn.  As with the other two yarns, it is a worsted weight yarn.  It provides for good stitch definition and has a nice tight ply.  I did find this yarn to be less soft then the other two with less of a halo, (although it is not a scratchy yarn such as an acryllic would be) but it seems to provide a little more stretch, making it a good choice for hats. Again, this yarn is available is amazing colors.  And I personally loved the color they sent me, Fern.  This yarn would be terrific in hats, scarves, and mittens and being worsted weight, would knit up in a jif!  Alpaca Love is 80% Wool/20% Alpaca, is available in 8 colors, and comes 85g, 132 yds/skein!
Colors pictured above from Left to Right: Ruby, Lotus, Dusk, Fern, Lake, Peacock Feather, Espresso Bean, and Cobblestone.

The only drawback I can see to this line of yarns is that all three are handwash as they are natural fibers.  Many consumers who regularly use the Red Heart label will undoubtedly not like this aspect of the yarn line.  Having said that, I think it's absolutely amazing that these natural fibers are coming to our local discount craft retailers.  Red Heart (Coats & Clark) has recognized the need for quality yarns that are both affordable and accessible to the every day knitter/crocheter.  And who better to create a new, fun, and hip yarn line for the yarn mainstay than Debbie Stoller?!  I think the pairing was ingenious and I look forward to knitting up some of the available patterns.

So pop on over to JoAnn's and fondle these yarns.  If you're not used to working with natural fibers, give them a chance.  The feel, versatility, and breathable quality of these yarns will convert you.

A sneak peak at patterns coming in February:



 




















I was fortunate to review 3 skeins of Stitch Nation Yarn courtesy of Coats & Clark.  KnitPurlGurl Disclosure Policy applies.


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