Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hexipuff Kit





I saw someone on Ravelry refer to the hexipuff craze as hexi-crack.  LOL!  It's only funny cuz it's true!  Those of us knitting them are addicted!  I picked up this little scrapbook tote on CLEARANCE at my local Michael's and am using it for my hexipuff take-along bag. Behold the cuteness!



The only thing that I don't like is the velcro closure - but since I have my yarn wound on a yarn daisy and the bag is deep, the yarn won't touch the closure.  I have my tapestry needle, knitting needles, crochet hook, foldable scissors, poly-fil, yarn, and pattern all tucked into this teeny bag.  And any puffs you finish while away can be tucked into the outer pockets (of which there are 6) as not to snag on the velco closure. :)

FYI: I have no idea if I am using this yarn daisy correctly.  It was in a bag of do-dads with no instructions.  I suspect it is for winding yarn instead of winding it on your finger, to get a ctr pull - however, when I tried to take the yarn off of the daisy, I found the yarn was down each space very deeply and tightly.  So I will just knit from it like a bobbin.  ;p





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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hexipuff Measurements?





Okay hexipuffers, are my puffs too big?  I'm getting 3" on one side from point to point for the knit hexipuffs and just a smidge under 3" on one side from point to point for the crochet hexipuffs.  Were we supposed to be able to get 3" all the way around the hexipuff?










What measurements are y'all getting?


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Are You Watching Me Rise Like a Skyscraper?

Don't ever let anyone tear you down and tell you that you are nothing.  Instead of listening to the haters, stand up!  Rise!  Show them how you can rise from the ground without them!  Shine!

Deliberate.  Liberate.  And then Dominate! XOXO, Karrie




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Episode 11 : Hexipuffing









Podcast Powered By Podbean
Welcome

What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
Patterns
  • Mill Water by Beth Kling
    • Millwater is a nearly-reversible cowl/infinity scarf with generous proportions (that allow it to be doubled up for extra coziness), and featuring a super-squishy, ribbed, reversible cable — set asymmetrically against a garter stitch background.
    • $5.50 USD
  • Snapdragon Shawl by Aoibhe N. Schuilleabhain
    • A beautifully lacy triangular shawl, with a semi-solid body and a repeating, charted and well-explained chevron patterned edge, and a gorgeous, cozy texture.
    • Available for pre-order 4.50 Euros or $6.69 USD

Other Stuff

Reviews
News & Upcoming Events

Question of the Week
  • Where is your favorite creative spot?


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Monday, August 29, 2011

Hexipuffing Away



Since I've knit my first hexipuff, I've become completely and utterly addicted to the squishy cuteness that are hexipuffs.  I've knit 2 and crocheted one.  I did end up lightly stuffing them and I just love how much they squish up when you squeeze them!  I'm going to add a drop of lavender essential oil to a few (Maybe to 1 every 20 hexipuffs.  The quilt would be way too strong a scent if they were all scented.).  I didn't try to get gauge with these hexipuffs because initially I was just knitting them for a quilt I intend to make for myself.  Now I kinda wish I had so I could participate in the hexipuff swap on the Tiny Owl Knits group on Ravelry.  Oh well.

For the second knit hexipuff, I used Turkish CO instead of Judy's Magic CO and liked it better (and no purl ridge).  I think I'll stick with turkish CO.  Although, like one knit peep pointed out on G+, no one is going to notice once they are all sewn together.  LOL!  TRUE DAT!

I knit the hexipuffs with a 3.75mm circular needle (magic loop) and crocheted the hexipuff with a 3.25mm hook in order to get a finished size similar to that of the knit hexi(s).  I used the Apiary Puff pattern for the crocheted hexipuff.  My goal is to knit or crochet 1 puff a day!

You can buy the Beekeeper's Quilt pattern from Tiny Owl Knits.


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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend Knit & Crochet




IMG_20110827_203258

So this weekend, I actually finished crocheting the Crochet Baktus. (MODS: I used dc(s) instead of sc(s) to crochet this baktus.  I also left off the pom-poms and flower embellisments.)  I crocheted it in Creatively Dyed Yarn Calypso fingering weight yarn in Tea Leaf Colorway.  (I still need to soak & block -which I'll do tomorrow.)

Then I took the leftover yarn and made my FIRST Hexipuff!!!  Because I don't like DPNs, I used Magic Loop.  And because I haven't knit socks in FOR-EV-ER (because I suffer from the dreaded 2nd Sock Syndrome and would rather not add to my collection of 1st socks of sock pairs), I CO with Judy's Magic CO, but I must have knit the first round inside out because I got a purl ridge.  -Which now I'm thinking I may not frog because it may jive with the BO edge more (still won't match perfectly).  I'm not sure.  At any rate, hexipuffing is SO EXTREMELY ADDICTIVE!  They work up so darned fast.  I bet I have enough left over yarn from the baktus to make 4 or more!

But here's another dilemma: To Stuff or Not to Stuff; That is the question.  While I love the look of the little stuffed hexipuffs, I'm wondering if the quilt (Beekeeper's Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits) will be easier to care for without stuffing.  If I want to stuff, I need to schlep my cookies to the craft store and pick up some fiber fill.  I'm leaning toward a light stuffing.. 

Decisions, decisions..  What do y'all think?


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Back To School Goodies for Knitting Organization




IMG_20110828_135016

With school supply shopping coming to a close, major office supply retailers are marking down the price of the supplies to move out the rest of the product.  So take advantage.  By the end of the holiday (LaborDay), you'll see some great prices on plastic zipper pouches, binders, page protectors, and composition notebooks.  So stock up! 

 I use the plastic zipper pouches for pencils to contain notions and circular needles and put them into 3-ring binders.  A couple of years ago, I got them on clearance at Staples after school had started for a mere 5 cents a pouch.  I bought them all!  Then I bought plain 3-ring binders and popped 'em in for instant organization.
 
IMG_20110828_134937 

Page protectors are terrific for pattern patterns or for when you print a pattern and want to take it with you.  Grab some dry-erase markers for marking up the page protectors!

Composition notebooks are great for keeping knitting journals.  Keep swatches and notes about your knitting in a composition notebook and date the notebook by month, quarter, or year and keep as a resource.


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Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Interview with Fiberstory & a Giveaway!!






Please pop on over to Fiberstory.tv for all of the links and show notes!!!!  Johnny is hosting an amazing giveaway for this episode!  His wife, Lacie Lynnae,  is giving away a copy of her very first pattern: Bernadette Lace Blouse!!!!  To find out how to enter the giveaway - you've gotta pop on over to Fiberstory!

Thanks to Johnny of Fiberstory for inviting me on his podcast!  Connect with him via:


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Friday, August 26, 2011

Red Tie Revolution!





IMG_20110826_111310


Last night when chatting with the knit peeps on #knitchat on Twitter, I had an epiphany.  What if all of the knitters and crocheters who made a tiny boo-boo in their work, tied a red piece of yarn around the boo-boo and wore the piece as a symbol of loving ourselves as is?  -A symbol of enjoying life without the need for perfection?  Am I saying that no knitter or crocheter should ever correct their work?  NO.  Not at all.  But what if, we celebrate one day a year where we all wear our red yarn tied-boo-boo knits in solidarity?  What if we make a bigger, societal statement with our boo-boo knits about loving ourselves and being accepting?  What if we create a red tie revolution one day a year to celebrate the beauty in everything?  What if we use our knitwear to say that the true beauty in our lives is in the enjoying of life?

Who's with me?  What if we designate the first Saturday in Oct every year as Red Tie Revolution Day?  Everyone will wear a Red-Tie piece and take a pic of them wearing it.  And we'll share the pics of people from all over the country (maybe the world) loving themselves enough to share their boo-boo knits!  If I get enough interest, I'll provide more posting info.

If you're in - blog about it, tweet about, and link this post!  Let's see how many we can get involved!


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Thursday, August 25, 2011

KnitPurlGurl Podcast - Special Video Edition: Reviews










I don't usually video-cast, y'all - and there's a reason for it.  ;p  But I do hope that my video will highlight some of the neat items out right now.  For full written reviews of the items mentioned, please visit these links:

Book Review: How to Knit Fashionable Scarves on Circle Looms

Book Review: Cable Ready

Book Review: Wendy Knits Lace

Magazine Review: Creative Knitting September, 2011

Crochet Today September/October, 2011


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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quick Knit Tip: Displaying Shawls




IMG_20110824_143423


Do you hide your shawls away in your closet or drawer?  Why hide 'em when you can showcase 'em?!  I have a small, handmade standing quilt rack that I have a few of my shawls on in my craft room.  To keep them from getting dusty, you can place undyed tissue paper over them.  I wear mine so often, that it's not an issue for me. I have so many more shawls that I need to display - time to get a large, free-standing quilt rack!


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Magazine Review Creative Knitting, September, 2011





Title: Creative Knitting : Easy Knitting For Everyone, September, 2011
Publisher: DRG
Approx. Retail Price: $6.99
Craft: Knitting
Patterns: 21
Availability: Paper Magazine or eMag

Have you gotten into a rut of buying Knitting Mags at the newstand or via subscription only to discover that there may be 2 or 3 patterns you're interested in knitting in the entire magazine?  I have.  And I stopped buying and subscribing to knitting mags.  DRG sent me a copy of Creative Knitting, September, 2011 and I started thumbing throught the mag right away.  I was pleasantly surprised to see several patterns that I'd like to knit up!  In fact, the mag is full of patterns that I am interested in knitting.  What I personally liked about this issue is that while all of the patterns are stylish, they aren't too couture that I wouldn't actually wear them, nor are they too dowdy that I wouldn't be seen in them.  These are stylish, functional pieces that really grabbed my attention.  Let me take you through the patterns and you can decide if these are patterns that grab your attention too!

Structural Elements:

  • Directional Rib Cardigan by Jodi Snyder
    • An open front stockinette stitch cardigan with rib inset on the sleeves, long waist to bottom rib, and a ribbed open collar.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, it's available in women's sizes Sm, Md, L, XL, & 2XL.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters.
  • Basically Brioche by Jodi Snyder
    • A Brioche st, ribbed cardigan that falls just below the waist and has front zipper closure.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, it's available in women's sizes Sm, Md, L, XL, & 2XL.  This project is rated for Experienced Level knitters.
  • Graphic Coatigan by Shirley MacNulty
    • A slip stitch, colorwork cardigan that falls at tunic length and has front button closure.  Knit in bulky yarn, it's available in women's sizes Sm, Md, L, XL, & 2XL.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters.


Cable Ready:
  • Twists & Turns Cables  (AKA Sassy Cables) by Nancy Rieck
    • A center cabled sweater with cables gracing the center of the sleeves as well.  It's a mock turtleneck that falls at the waistline.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, it's available in women's sizes Sm, Md, L, XL, 2XL, & 3XL.  This project is rated for Experienced Level knitters.
  • Ecole Militaire by Silka Burgoyne
    • Double breasted, military-style, cabled sweater with high collar and front button closure that falls just below the waist.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, it's available in women's sizes Sm, Md, L, XL, & 2XL.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters.
  • Appalachia by Ashley Forde Rao
    • A mock-cowl neck collared, honeycomb cabled sweater vest that falls well below the waist.  Knit in sport weight yarn, it's available in women's sizes XS, Sm, Md, L, & XL.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters.
  • Easy Cabled Cowl by Nazanin S. Fard
    • A simple cabled, slouchy cowl suitable for knitters new to cable work.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, it's available as one size fits all.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters.
  • Side-to-Side Style by Trish Warrick
    • A very textured, cap sleeved, tie-front vest that sits below the waist.  The back and front panels are worked side to side and seamed.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, it's available in women's sizes Sm, Md, L, & XL.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters.

Comforts of Home:
  • Pumpkin Spice by Michelle Treese
    • A garter stitch pillow with lace leaf detail.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, this pillow is available in a small and large sized pillow.  This project is rated for Easy Level knitters.
  • Horseshoe Throw by Amy Polcyn
    • A comfy, horeshoe cabled throw that measures  46 x 58 inches.  Knit in bulky weight yarn, this project is rated for Easy  Level knitters.
  • Colorwork Coasters by Lisa Ellis
    • Stranded colorwork coasters perfect for practicing colorwork skills or gift giving.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, the coasters measure 4 x 3 1/2 inches when completed.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters.

The North Woods:
  • White Mountain Kimono Coat by Daniela Nii
    • Kimono-style, top, side buttoned, slip-stitch, ribbed cardigan in tunic length.  Knit in bulky weight yarn, it's available in women's sizes Sm, Md, L, XL, & 2XL.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters.
  • Spring into Fall by Lynne LeBlanc
    • A front-button, tunic length cardigan highlighting the four seasons with beautiful colorwork.  A loose fitting cardigan that will become a wardrobe classic.  Knit in DK weight yarn, it's available in women's sizes XS, Sm, Md, L, XL, & 2XL.  This project is rated for Experienced Level knitters.
  • Colorado Fall by Jean Clement
    • A seamless, one-piece, bottom-up knit shrug that highlights fall colors by utilizing colorwork.  Knit in bulky weight yarn, it's available in women's sizes Sm, Md, L, XL, & 2XL.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters.
  • Bear Mountain Vest by Susan Robicheau
    • Two-toned textured knit vest with zipper front closure with mock turtle neck.  Knit in bulky weight yarn, it's available in women's sizes Sm, Md, L, & XL.  This project is rated  for Intermediate Level knitters.

Kinda Blue:
  • Blue Haze by Laura Bryant
    • An oversized, novelty-yarn mobieus cowl.  Knit in bulky weight, it measures 12"W x 76" in circumference.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters
  • Chunky Rib Trio by Cheryl Beckerich
    • A simple ribbed trio consisting of a hat, fingerless mitts, and boot covers.  Knit in bulky weight yarn, the hat & mitts are available in women's sizes Sm/Md, Md/L, & L/XL and the boot covers are available as one size fits most.  This project is rated for Easy Level knitters.
  • I-Cord Panache Scarf by Amanda Jensen
    • A seed stitch scarflette that resembles an Elizabethan cowl, tied in the front with i-cording.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, it's finished size is approz. 7 x 29 inches.  This project is rated for Easy Level knitters.

Cute Confections:
  • Bear Tracks by Linda Cyr
    •  A stockinette stitch baby cardigan with seed stitch cuffs and front button band detail.  This cardigan has a bear-earred hoodie and paw-print front pockets.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, it's available in children's sizes 6, 12, 18, & 24 months.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters.
  • Bambina Elegante by Trish Warrick
    • A font-button baby cardigan that utilizes trinity stitch and OXO cable patterning to provide rich texture.  Knit in DK weight yarn, it's available in infants' sizes 0-3, 3-6, 6-12, 12-18, & 18-24 months.  This project is rated for Intermediate Level knitters.
  • Arthur the Alien by Penny Connor
    • Super cute knitted alien toy that's a quick knit for gift giving.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, it measures approx. 9" standing.  This project is rated for Easy Level knitters.


Like I mentioned earlier, I really, really like this issue.  I love that I could see myself wearing most of the pieces!!  To me, it's well worth the newstand price.  My only gripe: Where are the shawl patterns?!  (I love me some shawl patterns!)  Hurry up and pick up your September, 2011 issue today!

Disclosure: DRG provided KnitPurlGurl with a FREE review copy of Creative Knitting Magazine, September, 2011.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the above blog post.  All opinions expressed in the preceeding post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of DRG.


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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When Good Knitters Go Bad - Hysterical


LOVE IT!



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Book Review: Wendy Knits Lace





Title: Wendy Knits Lace: Essential Techniques and Patterns for Irresistible Everyday Lace
Author: Wendy D. Johnson
ISBN: 978-0-307-58667-4
Publisher: Potter Craft/Crown Publishing
Approx. Retail Price: $22.99 (USD) / $25.99 (Canadian)
Craft: Knitting (Lace)
Patterns: 20
Availability: Paperback and eBook Available August 23, 2011

Already a fan of Wendy Knits, I'd had her latest book, Wendy Knits Lace, on pre-order from Amazon for months when Crown Publishing sent me a review copy.  Needless to say, I let out a little audible squee when I opened the envelope it came in!  In this book, Wendy takes the mystique out of lace knitting by taking you through all of the steps necessary to be successful.  From picking needles and yarns to knitting from lace charts to swatching and checking gauge to blocking the finished project, Wendy tackles the basics of lace knitting.  She even shows the newbie lace knitter how to find and correct common lace errors.  And just to be sure that the newbie lace knitter is armed and ready to go, Wendy devotes an entire chapter to learning lace techniques including: Casting On (Provisional, Circular, Lace, Garter St Tab, Picked up Stitches to Cast On, & Toe-up Cast Ons), Joining Yarns (Easy Join, Russian Join, & Spliced Join), Binding Off (Russian BO), Making Increases (yo & double yo), and Making Decreases (k2tog, p2tog, ssk, k2tog tbl, p2tog tbl, & sl1, k2tog, psso).  With this book as a resource, you can fearlessly tackle lace knitting!

Patterns:

  • Lace Stripe Scarf
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Size: One Size
    • Yarn: 3-DK, Lt Worsted
  • Elizabeth's Cowl
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Size: One Size
    • Yarn: 4-Medium
  • Cranbourne Scarf
    • Skill Level: Adventuresome Beginner
    • Size: One Size
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • True Love Scarf or Stole
    • Skill Level: Advanced
    • Size: Two Sizes - Scarf -or- Stole
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Stacy Shawl
    • Skill Level: Intermediate
    • Size: One Size
    • Yarn: 4-Medium
  • Two-Thirds Shawl
    • Skill Level: Adeventuresome Beginner
    • Size: One Size
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Tiffany Triangle Shawl
    • Skill Level: Intermediate
    • Size: One Size
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Vortex Spiral Shawl or Afghan
    • Skill Level: Adventuresome Beginner
    • Size: Two Sizes - Shawl or Afghan
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine for Shawl -or- 4-Medium for Afghan
  • Poor Poet's Mitts
    • Skill Level: Intermediate
    • Size: Women's Md & Lg
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Esplanade Mittens
    • Skill Level: Adventuresome Beginner
    • Size: One Size
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Bobble Gloves
    • Skill Level: Adventuresome Beginner
    • Size: Women's Sm & Md
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Delicate Vines Socks (Toe Up)
    • Skill Level: Adventuresome Beginner
    • Size: Women's XS, Sm, Md, L, & XL
    • Yarn: 2-Fine
  • Diamond Lace Socks (Toe Up)
    • Skill Level: Intermediate
    • Size: Women's XS, Sm, Md, Lg, & XL
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Vintage Kneesocks (Toe Up)
    • Skill Level: Advanced
    • Size: Women's Sm, Md, Lg, & XL
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Rhossili Beach Watch Cap
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Size: Sm, Md, & Lg
    • Yarn: 5-Worsted
  • Mairi Tam
    • Skill Level: Intermediate
    • Size: One Size
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Light-As-A-Feather Smoke Ring
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Size: One Size
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Garden Party Cardigan
    • Skill Level: Advanced
    • Size: Women's Sm, Md, L, & XL
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Seashell Cami
    • Skill Level: Advanced
    • Size: XS, Sm, Md, & Lg
    • Yarn: 1-Superfine
  • Deirdre Sweater
    • Skill Level: Adventuresome Beginner
    • Size: Women's XS, Sm, Md, L, & XL
    • Yarn: 3-Light
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  There are all sorts of lace patterns and patterns for every skill level.  I think my favorite patterns would have to be: True Love Stole, Stacy Shawl, Vortex Spiral Afghan, Poor Poet's Mitts and Light-As-A-Feather Smoke Ring.  I need to place all of these puppies in my Queue in Ravelry.  This book is suitable for beginner lace knitters and seasoned lace knitters alike.  These pieces are both beautiful and functional! (Functional being the key!!)  These aren't pieces that will lay in a drawer, but pieces you'll wear every day.  

Disclosure: Crown Publishing sent KnitPurlGurl a FREE review copy of Wendy Knit Lace.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the above blog post.  All opinions expressed in the above blog post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Crown Publishing or Wendy D. Johnson.


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Book Review: Cable Ready





Title: Cable Ready: A Collection of 10 Easy-to-Master Cable Knitting Projects
Editor: Kara Gott Warner
ISBN: 978-1-59217-338-9
Publisher: DRG/House of White Birches
Approx. Retail Price: $14.95 (USD) / $17.95 (Canadian)
Craft: Knitting (Cables)
Patterns: 10
Availability: Paperback

Absolutely nothing says warm and snuggly in the winter months like cable-knits.  Cable knits are the epitome of comfy and cozy.  And not only do cables provide warmth, but they provide beauty.  Cables may look difficult, but they are actually very simple to whip up.  And nothing is simpler than whipping up cables in worsted, bulky, and super-bulky yarns!  Cable Ready utilizes these heavier weight yarns to emphasize cozy winter wear, while providing quick and interesting patterns!  The book includes a quick cable tutorial.

Here's a lowdown of the patterns:


Easiest Cable Shrug by Lorna Miser
  • A simple, basic rectangular shrug with seed stitch background & simple 2/2 LC cable and trimmed in a k2, p2 rib.  It's knit in one piece, folded and seamed.  That's it!
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Avail. Sizes: Women's Sm, Md, Lg, XL, 2XL
  • Worsted Wt
Magic Cable Cardigan by Lorna Miser
  • A textured cardigan with stockinette stitch front, ribbed sleeves & back and simple 2/2 RC cabled lower back panel and collar trim.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Avail. Sizes: Women's Sm, Md, Lg, XL, 2XL
  • Worsted Wt
Urban Flats by Nancy Rieck
  • A lovely knee-length, oversized stockinette stitch cardigan with 12/12 LRC cable collar detail and back rib inset.  
  • Skill Level: Experienced
  • Avail. Sizes: Woman's Sm, Md, Lg, XL, 2XL
  • DK/Light Worsted Wt
Diamond Cabled Cardi by Tabetha Hedrick
  • A raglan, short-sleeved sweater with unique diamond cablework front panels and stockinette stitch sleeves and back.The ribbed neck band is picked up later.  All pieces are knit separately and then seamed.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Avail. Sizes: Woman's Sm, Md, Lg, XL, 2XL
  • Worsted Wt
Celtic Kimono by Lynne LeBlanc
  • Highly textured kimono-style cardigan in Trinity St and Celtic Cables complete with pockets.
  • Skill Level: Experienced
  • Avail. Sizes: Woman's Sm, Md, Lg, XL, 2XL
  • Worsted Wt
Bobbles Beyond Compare by Daniela Nii
  • A super-bulky scarf with large main cable pattern and bobbles
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Avail. Sizes: One Size Fits All
  • Super Bulky Wt
Drunken Cable Cowl by Amy Polcyn
  • An abstract bulky cabled, slouchy cowl
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Avail. Sizes: One Size Fits All
  • Super Bulky Wt
Simplicity Cowl by Tabetha Hedrick
  • A super easy 2/2 LC cabled slouchy cowl that can be worn on the shoulders or the neck
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Avail. Sizes: One Size Fits All
  • Worsted Wt
Pebbles & Stones by Yumiko Alexander
  • Very bulky, cabled scarf using 2 different yarn wts to create textural interest.
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Avail. Sizes: One Size Fit All
  • Bulky Wt -and- Super Bulky Wt
Talik by Ashley Forde Rao
  • A bulky scarf that marries XOXO cables and giant bobbles to create a stunning and warm wardrobe staple
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Avail Sizes: One Size Fits All
  • Bulky Wt
I enjoyed this book.  Filled with bulky cables, it's the perfect go-to book for quick and beautiful gifts!  In just 10 patterns, Cable Ready provides a pattern for nearly every style from traditional to funky to classic to modern.  If you like big needle knits and simple cable work, this book is a must-have!  Like I said, it's a terrific resource for this upcoming gift-giving holiday season!

Disclosure: DRG sent a copy of Cable Ready to KnitPurlGurl FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the above blog post.  All opinions expressed in the above blog post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of DRG.


ONE NOTE: If you are new to cables, don't fret.The picture tutorial is fabulous.  BUT, one thing I've learned as a seasoned cable knitter is that instead of knitting the stitches from the cable needle, which can cause a small gap in the knitting, I like to put the stitches back on to the left needle and knit them from the needle.  But that is personal preference. 


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Book Review: How to Knit Fashionable Scarves on Circle Looms






Author: Denise Layman
ISBN: 978-1-59217-318-1
Publisher: DRG
Approx. Retail Price: $12.95 (USD) / $15.95 (Canadian)
Craft: Loom Knitting
Patterns: 12
Availability: Traditional Book or Downloadable PDF Book

When I first wanted to learn to knit, I purchased a set of plastic knitting looms.  Although I'd only made a couple of hats and a scarf from my looms, I had quickly learned to hand knit and put the looms away.  It wasn't long before I resurrected the looms to teach my children to loom knit.  And although my teenage son hand knits, he still loves the looms.  And my 6 yo DD is smitten with the looms.  So when I received this book for review, I immediately thought about how my kids and my DS's GF loved to loom knit and was excited to give it a peek.

If you don't know how to loom knit, don't worry.  The first section is devoted to providing general instructions for loom knitting including: Casting On: Purl Cast-On and E-Wrap Cast-On, the Knit Stitch, the Purl Stitch, Garter St (on the loom), K2tog, yo, and Binding Off.  If any other stitches are used in the pattern, they are notated and explain in the pattern.  So it's super simple to begin.

Patterns:

  • Oxford Mitered Scarf
    • Mitered Square Scarf
    • Skill Level - Beginner
    • Special Stitches - k3tog
  • Hampstead Beaded Scarf
    • An interesting k and bead rib scarf, made in 2 halves and joined at the center back
    • Skill Level - Beginner
    • Special Stitches - Learning to slide beads for knitting into the project
  • Notting Hill Tube Scarf
    • Chunky, tasseled scarf
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Special Stitches: Instructions for making tassels
  • Bloomsbury Chain-Link Scarf
    • Garter St knit chains that are finished individually and then joined together
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Special Stitches: None
  • Trafalgar Self-Fringing Scarf
    • A Garter St scarf with fringe worked as the the scarf is knit.
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Special Stitches: Learning to create fringe loops while knitting
  • Piccadilly Scarf
    • Shag rug scarf
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Special Stitches: Loop Stitch
  • Chelsea Hooded Scarf
    • Stockinette St scarf with built in hoodie and ribbed fingerless mitts
    • Skill LeveL: Beginner
    • Special Stitches: k2tog, Make-1, p2tog
  • Kensington Pull-Through Scarf
    • A predominately stockinette stitch scarf with center rib and outer yo lace
    • Skill Level: Intermediate
    • Special Stitches: Wrap & Turn, Slip Stitch
  • Camden Scarf
    • Drop-Stitch scarf
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Special Stitches: Slip Stitch, learning to drop stitches
  • Soho Neck Warmer
    • Spiral i-cord neckwarmer/cowl
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Special Stitches: i-cord, buttonholes
  • Hyde Park Cowl
    • Bulky garter stitch cowl that fits about the shoulders, rather than the neck.
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Special Stitches: Making a brim or cuff
  • Westminster Eyelet Scarf
    • One-piece lace scarf
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Special Stitches: k2tog, yo
How to Knit Fashionable Scarves on Circle Looms is a great book for those eager to create interesting scarves on a loom.  Terrific for the beginner loom knitter, this book does a thorough job of explaining all of the techniques needed to complete the scarves.  For more experienced loom knitters, this book will provide fun and quick patterns that can be whipped up while watching tv.

Disclosure: DRG provided KnitPurlGurl with a FREE copy of How to Knit Fashionable Scarves on Circle Looms, for review.  All opinions expressed in the above blog post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of DRG


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Sunday, August 21, 2011

eMag Review: SpinKnits, Fall 2011




Spin Knit Fall 2011 Preview


Title: SpinKnit, Fall 2011 eMag
Media: eMag, Downloadable.  Available for PC or MAC
Publisher: Interweave Press
Approx. Retail Price: $9.99 (USD)
Craft: Spinning, Knitting
Patterns: 4 Downloadable Knitting Patterns
Availability: Available now, online


You all know I'm not a spinner.  I've mentioned that probably a bazillion times.  But I am fascinated with culture, tradition, and even modern spinners and weavers.  I have such an affinity for handwoven or handspun items and the people who create them.  So when I got the opportunity to review SpinKnits, Fall 2011 eMag from Interweave, I was thrilled when the first article I read was called Traditional Textiles and featured  a written piece and a couple of videos about the pacific northwest, specifically Forks, Washington, and the peoples, the Makah and Queileute, who used the inner portions of cedar bark to create textiles.  I think my favorite part of one of the videos was when the narrator, Judith MacKenzie said, "This is your culture... Genetics doesn't make a culture. What makes the culture is us."  It is truly a connecting moment.

The next article, Batsi Chij: The "True Sheep" of Chiapas, is another culturally fascinating article which highlights the sacred, double-coated churra sheep (only used for their fiber, not consumption) of Chiapas.  It was very interesting to read of the Tzotzil Maya Shepherdesses and their keeping of these 16th century sheep.  The video of the native woman spinning churra with a spindle and a gourd bowl, while her sister is carding the wool,  is incredibly interesting!  There's also a video of a woman backstrap weaving to make a traditional thick fabric that is later fulled and felted.

If you are interested in trying out spindles for drop-spinning, the article, Spindle Love, will definitely catch your interest.  It's the story of one spinner learning to use drop spindles and includes a pattern for a lace cowl!

In another article, 12,000 Spindles and Counting, Tom Forrester and his love of creating beautiful spindles is highlighted.  Tom creates signature spindles that are aerodynamic.  His love of physics, design, and woodworking has lead him to create some of the most sought-after spindles.  This article is fascinating and the photos of his work are beautiful.  Included is a slide-show of his spindles and a video of how Tom creates his spindles, step-by-step.

In the Wool, Worldwide section, you'll learn all about the Bond Sheep and Corriedale-Bond Mix sheep owned by Joanna Gleason of Gleason Woolies.  I had no idea the sheep wore coats to protect their fibers.  I adored the video in which Joanna showed how to part the wool and explained the crimp and staple.  The article goes on to explain that all Bond Sheep in the US can be traced back to Joanna's original 4 sheep!  A fascinating look at breeding, shearing, and history of the breed, this article will leave you wanting to learn more about the various breeds out there.  Psst - there's a pattern included in this section as well - the Bond Bon-Bon Bowler.

Not to be outdone by the Bond Sheep, the North Ronaldsay Sheep make an appearance in the article, North Ronaldsay Sheep, Rare and Hardy.  This article is a comprehensive look at the history of this primitive breed, the fiber it produces, and the uses for the fiber.  The article even talks about the sheep's diet (seaweed!).

To round out this eMag, there is a section devoted to Spinning to Knit!  Jacey Boggs demonstrates how to spin a tail spun yarn (a form of corespinning)!  And of course there is a pattern for TailSpun Mittens included!   Also included in this section is a pattern for handspun socks, Pilaster Socks (toe-up, cabled socks).

So if you're a spinner or just interested in the history and culture surrounding fibers, pick up a copy of SpinKnit, Fall 2011 eMag from Interweave.  You won't be disappointed! :)

Disclosure: Interweave Press sent KnitPurlGurl a copy of SpinKnits, Fall 2011 FREE for review.   KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the above blog post.  All opinions in the above blog post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Interweave Press.



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All of the Cool Kids Are Doing It...



I've always been a good girl.  Sure, who hasn't experimented with sock knitting?  And yes, there was a brief time in college when I was curious about Entrelac.  And... I do admit to crocheting to relax.  But I drew the line there!  Or at least I thought I did.  Until I jumped on Google+ and saw all of the cool kids doing it.. At first, I said to myself, "Absolutely not!  I will not become addicted."  But as I read the posts and saw the pictures, I knew, deep down, I would give in.  So I peeked around the room (no one was home), jumped on Ravelry, and downloaded the Beekeeper's Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits.  That's right, I will be Hexipuffing like the rest of the cool knitsters.  In preparation, I've sorted my sock yarns and contemplated whether I'd make them puffy or unfilled, with lavender essential oil or without.  I've even,  hangs head shamefully,  asked my friends to join in.  Of course, I won't be hexipuffing with DPNs - that's not my style.  It'll be magic loop for me.  After all, it's not the way you do it - the pleasure comes purely from the hexipuffing itself.




the beekeeper's quilt from tinyowlknits on Vimeo.


Stayed tuned.  I'll be keeping a journal of my hexipuffing, sort of a social experiment and awareness campaign.  Tonight may be the night. -My "maiden voyage", if you will, into the world of hexipuffing.  I have a feeling my life will never be the same.  ;)

Pssst, Over here!  Ya, you!! - Don't Hexipuff alone!  There's a Hexipuff-along on the Tiny Owl Knits Ravelry Group.


Photo Credit: The top photo was used with permission from the awesome Knitterbee of one of her Hexipuffs!!  Thanks!! :)


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Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm Not Bad-Ass ENOUGH

Ordinarily, I enjoy me a little Huffington Post readage.. But when I read Peg Aloi's article, Tough Gals: Do They Still Exist?, I felt my inner bad-ass ready to throw down.  In Peg's article, she equates feminism (which she considers to be bad-ass women only, apparently) with fictitious vampire slayers and Joan Jett.  She goes on to, in some length, berate women who engage in such non-bad-ass activities as cupcake blogging, knitting blogging, and Hello-Kitty-pajama-wearing gardeners who grow heirloom tomatoes.

Oh, Peg.  Have you learned nothing from Gloria Steinem?  Feminism isn't about slaying vampires or screaming into a microphone.  Feminism is about women having the choice to be who we want to be.  Women didn't have many choices when the feminist movement hit.  We were forced into roles deemed appropriate.  The whole point was that women should be able to decide for themselves what role they want to fill.

And personally, I feel there is nothing tougher than single moms who are trying to make a living and provide a loving home for their children while fulfilling their dreams.  There is nothing more feminist than women who can choose to be whatever they want.  Some women are knock outs in the boardroom.  Some women are life-changing researchers.  Some women are SAHMs.  Some women are politicians.  Some women are knitting bloggers.  But the common factor is that all of these women get to choose who they want to be.  Now that's bad-ass!

And on a personal note: I don't know anything about you, Peg.  Don't assume to know me.  I was a single mother who worked 3 part time jobs to care for my child while going back to school to give my son a better life.  I endured taking my child to doctor after doctor.  My son had 16 surgeries, was diagnosed on the autism spectrum and with numerous learning disabilities, and has bilateral hearing impairment.  (Mind you, after going through a horrendous pregnancy complete with preterm labor.  And I was the picture of perfection as a pregnant mom.  I ate extremely healthy foods, did not take any medicine at all, and followed every rule of pregnancy.)  I fought with schools for his needs.  My husband and I moved us out of state to provide appropriate health care for him.  I quit my job, the one that I'd received so many professional accolades for, to put him first.  Now that's BAD-ASS.

Go give Peg a piece of your mind and let her know that choosing to be who we want to be is not shameful or wimpy!

Now please excuse me while I go eat a cupcake and check on my heirloom tomatoes in my Hello Kitty PJs.



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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An 'In-Between' Project







IMG_20110817_134801

Umph, I've been in a slump.  I worked on my Featherweight Cardi a bit this past week.  But for the past several days I haven't felt like knitting.  I've got several WIPs I should be working on, including a sample for the Walnut Grove shawl I designed.  But for some reason, I've been disinterested in picking up the needles.  So today, I decided I was going to crochet a baktus for a simple, mindless project that will whip up quickly and hopefully, pull me out of my knitting slump.

So I started the Crochet Baktus by Helda Panagary using Creatively Dyed Yarns' Calypso yarn in Tea Leaf Colorway (on a "G" hook).  I love baktus shawls - they are simple and utilize texture and simple construction to create a beautiful and useful garment.  I should be able to crank this puppy out in no time at all.  Maybe then I'll be ready to CO my Walnut Grove sample!

MOD: The pattern is written in UK terminology. The pattern calls for dc(s), which would be sc(s) in US terminology. I felt the sc(s) made the fabric a little too stiff. So I decided to use US dc(s) or UK tc(s).

Hook on!


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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

KnitPurlGurl Podcast - Episode 10: Laidback









Podcast Powered By Podbean
Welcome

What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
  • Nothing currently 
    Patterns
    • Kiama by Berroco Design Team - in #294 Origami Pattern Booklet
    • Honeymeade by Aobihe Shuilleabhain - Preorder.  Avail. Sept 26

    Other Stuff

    Reviews
    News & Upcoming Events

    Question of the Week
    • What well known knitter or crocheter has been the most influential in your work?  Why?


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    Friday, August 12, 2011

    OT - NewsDrink



    Are you a tech savvy reader?  NewsDrink is a new site that allows you to read 30,000 of the world's leading news publications anywhere!  Currently, the site and the Android App are live.  In about 2 wks, the iPad, iPhone, and Blackberry apps will be launched.  Right now, NewsDrink is INVITE ONLY.   Don't worry - NewsDrink is allowing me to invite 500 of my readers with the invite code, "knitpurlgurl".  Enjoy!!


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    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Picked Back Up: Featherweight Cardigan


    IMG_20110809_153030


    Okay, this cardigan is very relaxing to knit.  It's been in hibernation for a good, long while though.  By the time I took it out of hibernation, the pattern had been updated numerous times, making the sizes smaller.  And I can see why.  I tried the cardi on while working on this right sleeve and it's HUGE.  And I even got gauge!  I decided to look at others' cardis from about the time I bought the pattern and several remark that the cardigan is large.  Also, I used a merino which seems to be growing as I knit - I think the pure stress of holding the cardigan the way I am holding it in order to knit the sleeves, is stretching it a bit.  Now I'm a bigger gal - I wear a size XL - but this sweater is probably an XXL in size.  (I like to think of myself as fluffy.)  So, while I am unwilling to frog the project, I know it won't fit as intended.  And that's okay.  The pure experience of knitting my first sweater is terrific.  Also, I think it'll be a very oversized, comfy cardi to curl up in while reading this winter.  So, it's not like it's not functional.  AND, I think I paid an entire $40 for the yarn (and I'll have quite a bit left over), so that's another reason not to frog.  If I had used Mad Tosh or Wollmeise or even Malabrigo, I would have probably repurposed the yarn for something else.  But since it's KnitPicks Stroll (a very inexpensive, though pretty yarn), I'm less inclined to frog.

    Chalk this one up to: You live and learn.  :)  I'll finish the sleeves (which seem to be the largest fitting part of the garment on me), and then pick up the collar stitches.  I actually really like the casual look of the rolled collar, so I'll probably knit it in stockinette stitch as indicated in the pattern.  I know some people matched the collar to the sleeves and bottom rib so that the collar didn't roll for them.  But I love the loose, open cardigans with the relaxed, rolling collar right now - and since the whole sweater will look VERY RELAXED (maybe I can shrink it a bit w/o shrinking it too much), I think it will fit the cardi well.


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    Happy Birthday, EZ!


    Happy Birthday to perhaps the most influential knitter that has ever graced the knitting needles, Elizabeth Zimmermann!  Elizabeth, who advocated for knitting in the round and continental knitting, and who pioneered the Pi Shawl, i-cord, and her EPS (Elizabeth's Percentage System) for sweater design, would've been 101 years old today. (She died at 89 years old, Nov, 1999.)

    I have read her books, watched her PBS series (which is still floating around the internet!), and learned a lot from this amazing knitter.

    Raise your needles in cheer to Elizabeth!


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    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Book Review: 10 Secrets of the Laidback Knitters by Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza




    Title: 10 Secrets of the Laidback Knitters: A Guide to Holistic Knitting, Yarn, and Life
    Authors: Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza
    ISBN: 978-0-312-61200-9
    Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
    Approx. Retail Price: $24.99 (USD)
    Craft: Knitting, some Crochet
    Patterns: 27
    Availability: At fine book retailers everywhere


    10 Secrets of the Laidback Knitters is a 2-for-the-price-of-1 kinda book.  Not only are there some wonderful patterns in the book, but the book also contains 10 Secrets which every knitter should know to love their craft!  Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza explore knitting in a holistic approach: allowing the knitter to look at his/her craft with a new eye and giving the knitter the freedom to make mistakes, try new things, and expand on their knowledge of fiber.  One inescapable theme in the book is community.  Vicki and Lisa navigate the many definitions of community with ease: from local growers and artisans to the global community of knitters to the online community of knitters, they demonstrate that knitting can be a common thread whether in your backyard or 5000 miles away.  Every nook & cranny of this book has been filled with knitting knowledge.  In each chapter or "Secret", you'll find the secret and why it's important, patterns, a profile, a mini convo between the authors pertinent to the secret, and/or other assorted tid-bits of information.  The construction of elements of this book remind me of a well-loved local yarn shop: filled with bits of knitting in every corner.


    Technically, the book includes tidbits of information about various topics such as the color wheel, community supported agriculture, spinning, fiber terms and more.  The book explains that rather than be an encyclopedia of knowledge on each topic, the authors wanted to expose the knitter to these topics and provide listed resources where the knitter could learn more in depth information about the topic.  Vicki and Lisa were able to skillfully pull this off in the book without sounding like a book of resources.  I truly did learn some things and now thirst to learn more!  The photography is straightforward and oftentimes contains multiple views of the projects, allowing the knitter a good sense of each pattern before casting on.  The patterns are clearly written and provide written and charted instructions when applicable.








    The Secrets (Chapters)


    Find Yourself a Wise Woman

    Discover Slow Knitting
    Become a Barefoot Sock Knitter
    Take the Color Leap of Faith
    • Lisa, the Artist
    • Patterns:
    See the Souls of Fibers
    Listen as the Yarn Speaks to You
    • Profile: Trish Anderson's Tanglewood Fiber Creations
    • Profile: The Wild Imaginings of Lexi Boeger, AKA PluckyFluff
    • Patterns:
    Value the Partnership in Knitting
    Learn to Soar Patternless
    • Resources:Vicki and Lisa's Must Haves
    • Profile: The Path of Artist Rania Hassan
    • Patterns:
    Do It With Hooks
    • Profile: Tom Clark, The Beanie Cap Guy
    • Patterns:
      • Park City Posh Beanie
      • Heirloom Motif Crochet Scarf
    Connect the Dots
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It was informative as well as nourishing to my knitting soul.  It deepened my feeling of connection to the knitting community as a whole, to my own knitting, and to the process of knitting.  Even if I didn't like one pattern in this book (which I do), I would still enjoy this as a terrific resource in itself.


    Disclosure: St. Martin's Griffin sent KnitPurlGurl a FREE copy of 10 Secrets of the Laidback Knitters for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the above review.  All opinions in the above review are those of KnitPurlGurl and do not necessarily reflect those of St. Martin's Griffin, Vicki Stiefel, or Lisa Souza.





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