Thursday, December 22, 2011

Episode 22 - Last Podcast of the Year!

What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
Other Stuff
Stash Enhancement
  • Moonfire Handknits- Periwinkle Star Stitch Markers
  • KNITFreedom Brioche Knitting eBook
  • DISCLOSURE: Moonfire Handknits & KNITFreedom sent KnitPurlGurl the preceeding review items FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceeding reviews.  All opinions in the preceeding reviews were those of KnitPurlGurl and do not necessarily reflect those of Moonfire Handknits or Liat Gat of KNITFreedom.
Upcoming Events In or Around the Pittsburgh Area
  • Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival
    • Feb. 10, 11, 12, 2012 at the Four Points Sheraton in Mars, PA
    • Friday, February 10, 2012 - Market & Classes 1:30 - 6:30
      Fashion Show with Emcee StevenBe: 7:30 - Wine and Cheese

      Saturday, February 11, 2012 - Market & Classes 9-5
      Pajama Party: 7:30 - Desserts, Prizes and Cash Bar

      Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 9-4
Question of the Week
  • What are your knitting or crochet goals in 2012?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last Minute Stocking Stuffer!

I happened to pick up this little cutie while at CVS yesterday.  It was in their "Last Minute Gifts" isle where the wrapping paper was.  Immediately when I saw it, a light bulb went off!  This is perfect for steam blocking! And at $9.99, I thought it was just the right price.  I have a steam iron that I've used to steam wrinkled shawls, but it's heavy and awkward.  Obviously, this isn't a full sized steamer like the ones I've admired other knitters using, but for <$10, I figured why not?!

As you can see, it's very compact and is extremely lightweight and comfortable to hold.  The handle folds back into the body of the steamer to make it even more portable.  Why I didn't think to buy a travel steamer before, I have no idea!  Wanna make it into a gift for a knitster friend?  Pop it into a basket with a skein of natural fiber yarn and voila!


Interweave Knitting Lab Announces 2 Locations in 2012!

Interweave Knitting Lab Announces Two Locations in 2012

Save the dates: event returns to San Mateo, California November 1-4, 2012 after a successful first appearance in 2011; New England Knitting Lab debuts in New Hampshire October 4-7, 2012
Loveland, Colo., December 21, 2011: Interweave Knitting Lab, a national knitting event from the publishers ofInterweave Knits magazine, has announced its return to San Mateo, Calif. next November 1-4, 2012 after a successful debut in 2011. This premiere event was such a success—with sold-out workshops and lectures and incredible attendance at the Knitters’ Market—that Interweave has decided to add a second location on the East Coast in Manchester, N.H., October 4-7, 2012.

Interweave Knitting Lab offers knitters opportunities to learn from knitting legends and experts in small, intimate class settings—alongside new friends who share their passion for knitting. This premiere event was created especially for passionate knitters who want to take their knitting skills to new heights. It offers innovative, immersive workshops and project-based classes, lectures, enticing panel discussions and other special evening sessions, plus three days of shopping opportunities at the Knitters’ Market.
The 2012 Interweave Knitting Lab event locations and dates are:

Interweave Knitting Lab New England, October 4-7, 2012: The Radisson Hotel Manchester, in scenic New Hampshire, located just one hour north of Boston, Massachusetts in a fun downtown area. Offering an inviting atmosphere and signature hospitality, the Radisson presents a wealth of world-class hotel services and amenities including: room service, business services, a Fitness Center, an indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna and free Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) airport shuttle service.

Registration for Interweave Knitting Lab in New Hampshire opens in mid-April.

Interweave Knitting Lab San MateoNovember 1-4, 2012: Interweave Knitting Lab returns to Marriott San Mateo, a beautiful hotel located on 11 acres and just minutes from downtown San Francisco. With Italian marble floors and chandeliers in the lobby, this hotel has the look and feel of a first-class luxury hotel. With any spare time you may have while attending Interweave Knitting Lab, you can visit one of the many San Francisco attractions: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, Pier 39, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf and Half Moon Bay are all within 30 minutes. 

Registration for Interweave Knitting Lab in California opens in early May.

Classes at Interweave Knitting Lab range from rarely-offered classes on unique regional, ethnic, and historical techniques, to studio classes that apply new design and technique skills to original creations. There are classes in sock knitting, lace knitting, cables, sweater construction, knitwear design, color theory, mosaic knitting, intarsia, Fair Isle, and much more.
Interweave Knitting Lab New England will focus on modern inspiration for thinking knitters: A program of in-depth classes on authentic and personal knitting design, working with color and line, and manipulating fabrics and fibers. The curriculum will explore the intersection of handknitting technique and inspiration, with forays into the larger textile industry and the art world.
In its second year, Interweave Knitting Lab San Mateo will continue to focus on handknitting techniques and traditions, with classes on subjects ranging from ethnic knitting history to complex cutting-edge techniques.

Interweave Knitting Lab is put on by arts and craft media company Interweave, publisher of Interweave Knits and Knitscene magazines, as well as the online knitting community,
For more information and the latest updates, interested participants should sign up for the event e-newsletter online at


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Next Podcast Episode

Hey there podcast viewers!  I know I didn't record my podcast last week or this and that's because life has been crazy!  Last week, I was sick with the flu.  And this week, DD has been sick with an upper respiratory infection.  Needless to say, it's thrown a wrench in my reviewing and recording schedules.  I WILL be recording podcasts on a modified schedule over the holidays. You can expect episodes:

Ep. 22 - Thurs., December 22, 2011
Ep. 23 - Wed., January 4, 2012

After those dates, my podcast recording schedule will return to a once weekly format with shows uploaded on Tuesdays.

Thanks for your patience!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Angel

Crocheting ornies seems to be where it's at for me this year!  I've crocheted more ornies than I've knit!  One of the reasons is that crochet is SO fast!  Here's another example of a quick crocheted ornament.  I made this cute angel in no time flat this morning out of some scrap Vanna's Choice yarn I had in beige and a US F hook.  I used the Angel Ornament pattern by Beth Parsons.

Hook on!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

O Christmas Tree

I crocheted up a teeny Christmas Ball today using more of the Peppermint Twist sock yarn scraps I had.  This pattern  is Christmas Ball Ornament by Kendra Kadas and is crocheted on a US F hook.  I made a few mods: 1.) I didn't use the string indicated in the pattern.  I only crocheted it with the sock yarn.  2.) I filled it with fiberfill instead of a styrofoam ball.  and    3.) Instead of cinching the top stitches by running a tapestry needle through, I ch 20 and sl stitched the top of the ch with the sc across from the 1st st in the ch and then sl stitched through the 1st st of the ch.

My goal is to knit or crochet an ornie a day to fill up my teeny tree in the living room,  Our large tree in the family room is chalk full of ornies and we have another tree that is even smaller than this tree and is decorated in very teeny, tiny ceramic ornaments.  I thought filling one tree with nothing but handmade ornies would be fun!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jingle All the Way

I whipped up this little Christmas Ball in about 45 minutes from start to finish.  I decided to knit up a Christmas ball so I could participate in the KAL that is being held by The Charminglochie and StudentKnits podcasts.  This pattern is Christmas Baubles by Mona Schmidt.  I modified a few things: 1.) I used Turkish CO so there wouldn't be a hole on the bottom.  2.) I reworked the pattern to knit it in magic loop instead of DPNs.  and  3.)Instead of weaving in the ends as I went, I waited until the project was completed and then fished the ends into the filled ball just like I do when I pop in ends after I've knit a hexipuff.

I used a US size 5, 40" circ and some scrap Vanna's Choice I had laying around. I think I could've filled it a little more because some parts of the ball seem to have divots.  (You can see in the photo above there is a divot  on the white band which makes the band look like there is a red st where a white st would be.)

These have a lot of possibilities.  I could see duplicate stitching a black belt buckle in the white band to make it look like a Santa ball.  Self-striping worsted yarn would be fun.  Duplicate stitching snowflakes, the year, a name, et cetera would be cute as well.  One could also add a jingle bell inside or scent the fiberfill with holiday essential oils such as: cinnamon, clove bud, ginger, sweet orange, Fir needle, Scotch Pine, peppermint, spearmint, Frankincense, Myrrh, nutmeg, or cedarwood.

If you need a quickie Christmas gift, this is simple, fast, and fun!

Knit on!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Holidays Giveaway!

I just released my brand new pattern, Walnut Grove! It's currently for sale on Ravelry. In the spirit of the holidays, I'm going to give away 5 PDF copies of my pattern to 5 random participants! Follow the Rafflecopter instructions below:


Walnut Grove Is Listed!

My latest pattern, Walnut Grove, is now available for purchase on Ravelry.  Walnut Grove is a simple stockinette and lace crescent shawl, worked from the bottom up.  Utilizing fingering weight yarn, this shawl is light and airy.  It's listed for just $2 and is available as a download (PDF) on Ravelry!

My heartfelt THANKS goes out to all of my amazing test knitters who provided invaluable and terrific feedback!  I hope you all will check out their beautiful finished shawls! :)


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

OTN: Holiday Parallel Twist Socks

I was going to wait until after I completed my Critron to cast on a pair of socks, but seeing as how I have just over 2 wks to complete and wear socks knit out of this uber festive SpinningFates Toula sock yarn in Holiday Whoobie Whatie colorway, I thought I'd better get crackin'!  I'm using the Parallel Twist sock pattern by Jeannie Cartmel.  This is the completed toe and 1 repeat of the chart for the small size.  I'd like to get this pair completed by the end of this weekend! :)

Knit on!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review: Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts

Book Title: Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 255 Inspired Projects for Year-Round Celebrations
Author: The Editors of Martha Stewart Living
ISBN: 978-0-307-58690
Publisher: Potter Craft (Random House)/ Crown Publishing
Approx. Retail Price: $24.99 (USD) / $27.99 (Canada)
Category: Crafts & Hobbies - Seasonal
Crafts: 255
Availability: Hardcover

Martha Stewart is undeniably the queen of all things crafty.  In her latest book, Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts, she demonstrates why she wears the crown.  Complete with 255 projects for year-round celebrations, Martha Stewart has once again, created a good thing.  From paper crafting to knitting to general crafts to flower arranging, to jewelry making, and even soap making, Martha Stewart brings us simple, elegant, DIY crafts to add a little touch of handmade to every holiday.  Chalk full of beautiful photography and step-by-step instructions, this book will give you the confidence to create stunning handcrafted items, the year through.  Each project gives a detailed supply list as well as instructions.  In the back of the book, Martha provides step-by-step instruction on basic techniques used in the book, such as making pom-poms, tying bows, quilling, and embroidery.  Want your project to be Martha-perfect?  She includes a vendor list of all of the supplies used in the book.  This book has really taken the guesswork out of handcrafted holidays.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The crafts are stunning but simple; handmade but elegant.  These are truly crafts that will be treasured and made year after year.  My copy of this book is already dog-earred and littered with sticky notes.  My kids love the crafts as well and I'm sure some of these crafts will become holiday traditions in this house.

If you know a crafty person and still haven't found the perfect holiday gift - pick up a copy of this book.  It is well written, beautifully photographed, and contains a plethora of gorgeous holiday crafts that the recipient can make all year round.  What a great way to start the New Year - with this book in hand, ready to craft for all of the upcoming holidays!

Disclosure: Crown Publishing sent KnitPurlGurl a FREE copy of Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceeding review.  All opinions expressed in the review reflect those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Martha Stewart or Crown Publishing.


FO: Little Christmas Sock

Little Christmas Sock

I stumbled upon this pattern, Little Christmas Socks by Sucrette, and decided I needed to crochet one up immediately!  For hers, it looks like she used worsted or Aran wt yarn.  I decided to use some of the leftover fingering wt yarn I'd used for my Peppermint Twist Socks.  I grabbed a US "F" hook and my sock yarn and went to town.  This was a super simple and very quick little crochet!  Infact, I have enough leftover sock yarn that I am considering crocheting a bunch as gift embellishments that can be used as ornaments.

So if you are a newbie crocheter and are running out of time to make something handmade for the holidays, consider this quickie pattern!  You can use up scraps in any weight and even make them in non-traditional colors like Sucrette did for a super-cute ornie!

Hook on!


Knit Said, Crochet Said

Alrighty, fiber friends.  I'm putting together a list of patterns that are essentially the same project for both knit and crochet.  They don't have to be written by the same designer.  For example, I'm crocheting Critron, which is a crocheted version of Citron. If you know of any knit patterns with a crochet version available or crochet patterns with a knit version available, please leave me the names of the patterns below! :)


Saturday, December 3, 2011

FO: Peppermint Twist Socks

I've been sick with the stomach flu the past couple of days, so I laid in bed and worked on my second sock.  I usually love fraternal twin socks, but this time, I tried really hard to begin and end the socks at the same points in the colorway.

I got the stripes pretty darned close.  I love how this pattern, Gusset Heel Basic Socks by Wendy D. Johnson, makes these cool hand stitching effects on the gusset with a self-striping yarn.  They look so homey - I LOVE IT!

I used the SpinningFates Toula Sock Yarn in Peppermint Twist colorway.  This is the first time I'd knit with this yarn and loved it.  This is a self-striping yarn with terrific color saturation and even color changes.  The base has a very mild halo and very nice, tight plying, allowing for very nice stitch definition.  These socks were a pleasure to knit up!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Two wonderous things happened here in the Steel City today: 1.) It snowed  and  2.) Sock #1 of my Peppermint Twist Socks is off the needles!  Fa-la-la-la-la  la-la-la-la


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Episode 21: Spin City

What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
  • Kraemer Mauch Chunky Roving in Almond Colorway - not done w/ 4oz roving yet
  • No Progress 
Other Stuff
Tech Tips
  • Interweave announces 2 NEW iOS Apps based on Ann Budd's popular guides, "The Knitter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements" and "The Crocheters Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements"!  In collaboration with Ann Budd, they've released:
  • KNITFreedom releases her Video e-Book: Brioche Knitting!
    • Review to come next week!
  • Ravulous Android App (Ravelry Projects)
    • $1.60
Stash Enhancement
  • SpinningFates Toula Sock in Holiday Whoobie Whatie colorway 
    • 2-ply, Fingering wt, 400 yds/100g
    • 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon
  • numma numma doppio in red barlett pear colorway
    • 400 yds/ 4 ounces
    • 70% SW Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon
  • Into the Whirled Pakokku November Fiber Club in Walla Walla colorway
    • 4-ply, Fingering Wt, 460 yds/100g
    • 74% SW Merino, 25% Nylon
  • Fibernymph Dye Works
    • From Etsy Update
      • Bounce in Tree Frog Green (semi solid) colorway
        • 80% SW Merino, 20% Nylon
        • Fingering Wt, 400 yds
      • Bounce in Buttercup Yellow colorway
    • From Indie Knit & Spin in Pittsburgh
      • Bounce in Peanut Butter & Jelly colorway
      • Bounce in Tardis colorway
      • Bedazzled in Wayfarer colorway
        • 75% SW Merino, 20% Nylon, 5% Stellina
  • Space Cadet Creations Lucina in Frost colorway
    • 430 yds/100g, Fingering wt
    • 75% SW Merino, 20% Nylon, 5% Stellina
  • Kraemer Mauch Chunky Roving
    • 60% New Zealand Wool, 40% Domestic Wool
    • 4 oz each of Almond and Portobello colorways
  • WEBS Grab Bag
  • Stashbuster Knits  by Melissa Leapman
    • Part One
      • Sort & Organize
      • Combining scraps to achieve particular wts
      • Cataloging stash
      • How to Store
      • Protecting from Moths
      • Stash Bash
      • Planning Color Combos
      • Magic Ball Technique
      • Math & Science
    • Part Two
      • Patterns by wt!
    • 21 Patterns
    • Crown Publishing /PotterCraft
    • $19.99 US / $22.99 CAN
  • DISCLOSURE: Crown Publishing sent KnitPurlGurl a FREE copy of Stashbuster Knits FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceeding review.  All opinions in the preceeding review were those of KnitPurlGurl and do not necessarily reflect those of Crown Publishing or Melissa Leapman.
Upcoming Events In or Around the Pittsburgh Area
  • Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival
    • Feb. 10, 11, 12, 2012 at the Four Points Sheraton in Mars, PA
    • Friday, February 10, 2012 - Market & Classes 1:30 - 6:30
      Fashion Show with Emcee StevenBe: 7:30 - Wine and Cheese

      Saturday, February 11, 2012 - Market & Classes 9-5
      Pajama Party: 7:30 - Desserts, Prizes and Cash Bar

      Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 9-4
Question of the Week

  • What's on your fiber wish list this holiday season?


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Relaxation Fun!

So I took the past week off of blogging and podcasting to focus on relaxation and family time.  It was WONDERFUL!  Here's what I've been up to in the fiber world:

I finished my Cabletini Socks (pattern by Wendy D. Johnson).  I knit these in Lion Brand Yarn Sock Ease, Red Hots Colorway.  They fit so well and look adorable!  They are funky fall colors and  of course, I wore them on Thanksgiving!  ;p

I completed 5 sections of my Critron (pattern by Martha Simonsen) before I ran out of yarn.  I'm crocheting this up in Noro Sekku, Color #4, Lot A.  I was able to purchase another skein of the colorway in the same dye lot from a fellow Raveler (THANK GOD).  So I'll be working on this baby some more this week!

I CO some vanilla socks, which I am calling my Peppermint Twist Socks.  I'm using the Gusset Heel Basic Socks pattern by Wendy D. Johnson (available in her Socks from the Toe-Up book).  I'm knitting these in Toula Sock Yarn by SpinningFates  in Peppermint Twist (self-striping) colorway.

Finally, I visited Natural Stitches and took an Intro to Spindle Spinning class.  Having that short time with an instructor was wonderful!  Within 1 hr, I had that "Ah-Ha!" moment and started to feel much more comfortable with spinning.  Although it's going to take me oodles of practice to get my "yarn" to look consistent and to spin up a deliberate weight, I'm really enjoying it.  And as my spinning instructor suggested, I joined the Ravelry Group, 10 Minutes A Day, and plan to practice 10 minutes a day!  The fiber I am spinning is Kraemer Yarns Mauch Chunky in Almond colorway.  I picked up 4 ounces of that and also Kraemer Yarns Mauch Chunky in Portobello colorway.  I'm spinning it on my Golding Fiber Tools Solid Walnut 3", Top-Whorl Ring Spindle, 1.9 oz.

It's been a super fun week!  I got to spend a lot of time with the kidlets and the hubster.  We got to see my entire family for Thanksgiving!  And to top it off, we all got in some down time.  I hope you all had a fantastic holiday week! :)


Monday, November 21, 2011

On Holiday

Here in the U.S., it is a holiday week.  Fortunately, my family is able to all be together this week, so we are going to make the most of it.  The kids have a very abbreviated week and the hubster is off most of the week.  I plan on running all of my errands in these next two days before the fam is home for the week.  Then we will be traveling and spending time just enjoying our family.  Therefore, I won't be posting this week or recording a podcast.  Family time is so important and I want to make that my number 1 priority this week.

I hope you all have a fantastic week filled with good food and even better company!  I know we're so blessed and truly thankful for the love we share with one another and our family.  It will truly be a family-filled, wonderful week for us.  I can't wait to spend Thanksgiving with all of my nephews and niece, my brother, sister, & their spouses, my parents, and my wonderful kiddos and amazing husband!  I wish you all the same!



Saturday, November 19, 2011

Indie Knit & Spin

So today, DD & I hoofed it down to Pittsburgh for the Indie Knit & Spin: A Pittsburgh Yarn and Fiber Artists' Marketplace.  It was a very small venue, but wonderful!  I hope it becomes an annual event and continues to grow with local artisans!  It's so nice to support handmade for the holidays.  And of course, as a fiber enthusiast, I was tickled!

I got to meet Fibernymph (Lisa) in real life and of course, bought some of her yarn:

Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in Tardis Colorway
Fingering Wt. (4 ply)
80% Merino/20% Nylon
400 yds/100g

Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in Peanut Butter & Jelly Colorway
Fingering Wt. (4 ply)
80% Merino/20% Nylon
400 yds/100g

Fibernymph Dye Works Bedazzled in Wayfarer Colorway
Fingering Wt. (4 ply)
75% Merino / 20% Merino/ 5% Other
438 yds/100g

AND I got to see the fantastic Stephanie of SpaceCadet Creations again!!!  (She's such a delightful woman!) And of course, I just HAD to buy some of her fantabulous yarn:

SpaceCadet Creations Lucina in Frost Colorway
Fingering Wt. (3 ply)
75% Merino / 20% Nylon / 5% Other
430 yds / 100g

Lastly, I got the little sheep bag pictured underneath all of the yarn - suitable for small-medium projects!  It's a drawstring, lined bag and is SUPER ADORABLE!  I picked it up from Wren & Rita!

It was a great yarn day!!!  My DD & I had a lot of fun and I was thrilled to get some amazing yarn AND purchase from local artisans!


Friday, November 18, 2011

1000 Blog Follower Giveaway!

As of today, I have 1,000 Google Friend Connect followers on my blog!!!  ( There are many  more followers via feed subscription too, but they are harder to track.)

As a thank you for all of my loyal followers, I'm going to give away a skein of (self-striping) sock yarn that I had custom dyed for me in Candy Cane Stripes by Serenity Stitches! The yarn is her Quarks base.  It's a fingering weight (3-ply) yarn, 425 yards & 100g, 75% Superwash Merino/25% Nylon.  It's a $23 value.

Please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to enter!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

KnitCircus Winter 2011-2012 Issue 16 is Out!

Check out the 23 FAB knitting & crochet patterns available in Issue 16! Purchase information can be found HERE.  :)

MY fave patterns in this issue:

  • Duplicity by Talitha Kuomi 
    • Double Knit Cowl/Neck Wrap
    • Fully Reversible
    • Sm-Md-Lg
  • French Roast Cardi by Rachel Dickman (Pictured above)
    • Knit Seamlessly from the neck down; raglan
    • Textured
    • Fits bust sizes 28" - 41"
  • Icy Rivulet by Kristina Vilimaite
    • Shallow, knit crescent shawl with ruffles & lace detail
    • Written & charted instruction
  • Ripen by Meghan Jackson
    • Knit shawl
    • Knit side to side
    • All around lace leaf edging, with ss center
    • 1 skein project
  • Sandrilene by Jessamyn Leib
    • Simple, knit ss open cardi with cable and twist detail on cuffs and collar
    • Should Shaping method using  modified EZ's Fantastic Seamless Hybrid Method - No sewing, picking up stitches, or breaking yarn
    • Worked in Worsted Wt
    • Fits chest 31.5" - 55.5"
    • Cable charts and written instructions
  • Speleology by Maria Naslund
    • Cuff-Down, knit socks
    • Cable detail
    • Cable charts and written instructions
    • Avail. in Women's Sm-Md-Lg
  • Sprite Collar by Lynn DT Hershberger
    • Zig-Zag, knit cowl that can be worked in 1 or 2 colors
    • Top of cowl is smaller than bottom, which increases to sit comfortably on the top of the shoulders
    • Avail. in Women's S/M, L
    • Written and charted instructions
  • Syrinx Hat & Infinity Cowl by Susanna IC
    • Spiral, lace, knit slouchy hat and long infinity cowl
    • Optional beading instructions available
    • Hat circumference - 24",  Cowl length - 50", Width - 9"
  • Verona Lace Cardi by Julie Fisk & Amy Detjen
    • Lace, knit cardigan with raglan sleeves
    • Open cardi, with top button closure detail
    • 3/4 sleeve
    • Bust - 38' - 58"
    • Written and charted instructions
  • Wild Cherry Cardi by Michele Moskaluk
    • Double knit, colorwork, cropped cardigan with top i-cord closure
    • Reversible
    • 1/2 - 3/4 sleeves
    • Chest - 35" - 51"
    • Written and charted instructions


PGH Knit & Crochet Festival 2012

Registration has OPENED for the 2012 PGH Knit & Crochet Festival in Mars, PA (just north of Pittsburgh).  There are classes Fri, Feb. 10th - Sun., Feb. 12, 2012!  There's a terrific marketplace and also some fun activities including a fashion show with wine & cheese on Friday night and a PJ Party on Saturday night.  It's being held at the Four Points Sheraton North - so if you're not a townie, you can stay in the hotel that the festival is held in.

This will be my 4th year in attendance (since the festival is literally in my backyard)!  I've enjoyed every year!  You can mail in your registration or register online!  You can also register at the door, but pre-registration is a good idea!

'Hope to see y'all there!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Episode 20: Hardly Working

What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
  • No Progress on the Sew Along :(  Boo!
  • Melpomene by Rosemary Hill (Seven Small Shawls to Knit, Year Two: The Muses)
    • Crescent shawl, knit side to side
    • Reversible
    • Eyelets, Short Rows, Twisted Stitches
    • Fingering Wt Yarn - 400 - 800 yds
    • 3 Sizes Available: Sm, Md, Lg
    • Single pattern avail. Nov. 25, 2011
  • Kornblomst Shawl by Martha Simsonsen
    • Crescent Shaped Shawl
    • Approx. $6.55 USD
    • Worked from lace edging up
    • Written and charted instructions (in US terms)
    • Lace Wt, 900-1000 yds 
    • bpdc, fpdc, crossed st, puff st, cluster st, short rows
Other Stuff
Stash Enhancement

  • Toula Sock in Peppermint Twist colorway by Spinning Fates
    • 2-ply, Fingering wt, 400 yds/100g
    • 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon
  • Corriedale Roving, 4.1 oz. in Christopher Robin Colorway by Sheepish Creations
    • 100% Corriedale
  • November Semi Solid Mini Skein Club by The Knitting Goddess
    • 4 ply sock yarn
    • 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon
    • 70g / 280m total (7 skeins)
  • 3 pr of owl earrings, 1 owl necklace, 1 pair of wire ball earrings from Polished Two
  • Twist Collective - Winter 2011 
    • Jaina by Thayer Preece - $7
      • This open cardigan is worked in one piece from the bottom up, with set-in pockets worked as you go. The sleeves are worked down from stitches picked up at the armholes, with sleeve caps shaped by short rows. The double collar is worked from stitches picked up along the front and neck edges.
    • Oscillate by Amy Herzog - $7
      • This fitted cardigan is worked in pieces and sewn together. The mirrored cable pattern is presented in chart form only. Edges are finished with twisted ribbing.
    • Gaeda by Susanna IC - $6
      • This crescent-shaped shawl begins with a wide lace border, which is given in chart form only. The cabled upper section of the shawl is worked in short rows, and is presented in row-by-row instructions. The shawl finished with an i-cord bind off.
    • Finial by Alison Green Will - $7
      • This pullover is worked in the round from the bottom up, divided at the armholes for front and back. The sleeves are worked from the bottom up, finish with a shoulder saddle and sewn into the armholes. The cowl collar is worked from stitched picked up at the neckline. The cable and lace pattern is presented in chart form only.
    • Eira by Ann-Marie Jackson - $7
      • This fitted pullover is worked in the round from the bottom up, then divided for front and back at the armholes. The sleeves are worked separately and sewn in place. The sleeve cuffs and front neck feature an unusual eyelet and pleat detail. The neckline is shaped with short rows, and there are functional buttons at the left shoulder.
    • Zosia by Marnie MacLean - $7
      •  This cardigan is worked from the bottom up in pieces and joined at the shoulders with a 3-needle bind-off. Sleeves are picked up at the armholes and worked down, with short rows shaping the sleeve caps. Cable pattern is given in charts only.
    • Bellevue by Robin Melanson - $7
      • This fitted, textured pullover is worked in pieces and sewn together. The stitch patterns are given in row-by-row instructions only. The wide neckband is worked from stitches picked up along the deep neckline, and overlaps at the front.
  • Space Cadet Creations Mini Skeins Club!
    • Avail in Gentle Mix or Wild Mix
    • (5) 20g Skeins per month for $28/month
    • End subscription whenever
Upcoming Events in or Around the Pittsburgh Area:
Question of the Week:
  • Do you have yarn or fiber in your stash that you bought on a whim and have no idea what to do with it?  What is it?  Confess! :)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Practice Makes.. More Yarn

Thankful Handspun

Undoubtedly you've heard the phrase, "Practice makes perfect."  Well in my case, after only spinning 3 teeny skeins of yarn, it's more like Practice Make More Yarn.  Here's my latest handspun: 31 yds of a bulky wt, 100% merino single in a pumpkin spice colorway (the lighting in my craft room wasn't the greatest).  It was spun from 2 oz. of Merino that Katie of DomestiKated Darling gifted me.  My spinning isn't seeing vast improvements yet, but I'm getting used to pre-drafting, the park and draft method, and winding it off.  

Handspun Beauties

Here is a pic of all 3 of my handspun singles.  Although the colors are hard to see in this pic, they are perfect candy corn colors!  I've only soaked the gold yarn.  So today, the pumpkin and natural colors will each get a bath.  When they dry, I'll have about 90 yds of handspun to work with.  I think perhaps I'll knit up a rustic candy corn cowl for the fall season.  Then I'll have a project that is functional and represents my amateur attempts at handspun (drop spindle) yarns.  I'm not going to bother to ply these.  They are so bulky - super bulky, that I'll just knit them as singles.

Spin on!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cooing Coopworth

As you know, I've caught the spinning bug! And as I explained on yesterday's podcast, I'd received my "Learn to Spin" kit from Golding Fiber Tools. So today after I finished my household chores, I pulled out my brand new Golding 1.9 oz, top-whorl, ring spindle and the 2 oz. of Coopworth wool I had and popped in my Respect the Spindle: The Video. In almost no time I'd spun all of the fiber!!

So here's my final product: a bulky wt single (thick & thin yarn), approx. 34 yds.  I may get super crazy and dye it!

Okay - I just HAVE to tell you that my Golding spindle spins like a dream!  It's so balanced and wonderful! I think I'll be collecting Goldings in several weights!

Even though this is only my 2nd skein of handspun, drop spinning is starting to feel less foreign and more comfortable.  It's still art yarn.  There are definite thick & thin areas, but I'm hooked!  Spinning is relaxing and fun!  I can't wait to become a more proficient spinner.  I guess that means I'll need to buy more fiber and practice some more!  Oh, darn.  ;)


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Episode 19 : Conversion

What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
  • Fiber Gold: spun approx. 21 yds of 100% Merino, bulky wt single
  • Laundered fabric
  • Purchased all supplies
Other Stuff
Stash Enhancement
Upcoming Events in or Around the Pittsburgh Area:
Question of the Week:
  • What is the best spinning tip you ever got?


Monday, November 7, 2011

Box Bag Sew Along Begins Today!

The uber talented Tini of the Twinneedle Podcast is leading a Box Bag Sew Along with my Rav Group, Friends of KnitPurlGurl!  Since I'm a newbie seamstress, I LOVE that I'm a part of a sew along - Tini is breaking it down into steps and we're all there to lend support and answer any questions others may have.  Please join in!

 Today is day 1: Iron and cut out the fabrics.

If you can't join until later this week, it's okay.  You can easily catch up!  Making your own project bags is a great way to learn some sewing basics while saving money and customizing your own bags!  I can't wait to get started!

We'll be using CraftBlog's How To: Box Bag Tutorial as our inspiration to creating the box bags! So grab your supplies, dust off your sewing machine, and head on over to the Sew Along thread to join in!! :)


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Shaken, Not Stirred

After almost 2 weeks of not knitting, I finally picked the needles back up this afternoon and finished sock #1 of my Cabletini Socks.  I'm counting this toward my Wovember celebrations!  (Same with spinning my Fiber Gold merino yarn!)  I hope to CO the 2nd sock this week sometime.  I also need to CO my Quilted Lattice Mitts for the Spur of the Moment KAL.  -AND I need to give some TLC to my Walnut Grove shawl (my own pattern).

Cabletini is a FREE toe-up sock pattern by Wendy D. Johnson.  I'm knitting these in Lion Brand Yarn Sock Ease in Red Hots colorway, which reminds me visiting a pumpkin patch, on US Size 2 (magic loop)  -Perfect for fall socks!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Here is the product of my first EVER handspun yarn!  This is approx. 21 yds of bulky wt Merino in a single.  The gray bits are pieces of scrap I used to tie the hank.  It's not perfect.  It's not a lot.  But it's all mine!  It's absolutely amazing to me that I took processed sheep wool and made it into yarn all by myself!  NOW I understand why spinners love to spin.  It was creative and meditative and offers an amazing sense of accomplishment.  I don't know that I'll knit this little bit into anything.  I may just keep it so that I can remember my first attempts at spinning!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Giving It Another WHORL..

So I tossed the last attempt of mangled roving and tried again this evening.  Although it is still pretty uneven and my joins aren't terrific, my 2nd attempt at spinning Merino into a single went much better.  I can see why Abby Franquemont suggests practicing 30 minutes a day.  

I'm spinning this Merino on a top-whorl spindle that Katie of Domestikated Darling made and sent me.  I ordered a Golding 1.9 oz. Ring Spindle (Top Whorl), which is what Golding suggests for beginning spinners.  I also signed up for a 2 hr "Intro to Spindle Spinning" class at Natural Stitches at the end of the month.  I figured a seasoned spinner will be able to help me with my technique and my drafting.

Spin on!

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