Thursday, September 29, 2011

Knitter's Pride Crochet Hook Review & Giveaway!





Knitter's Pride is a new line of crochet hooks available from WEBS!  Available in either color-coded, polished wood hooks or comfort-grip aluminum hooks, Knitter's Pride hooks are beautiful and a pleasure to work with.

The Knitter's Pride Dreamz crochet hooks are all wood hooks with a polished surface and 2 grooves: 1 next to the hook to prevent stitch slippage and the other in the center for easy thumb position.  The hooks have a bit more drag than an aluminum hook but perform as well as other wood hooks I've tried.  (Found them to be similar to the KnitPro Symphonie hooks) The hook head is moderately pointed, making crocheting in tight stitches easy.  The hooks are a nice length and are warm and comfortable in the hand.  The hook size is printed in US and Metric sizes in white type on the hook.  Color coded, these hooks come in an individual color for each size, making it super easy to grab the hook size you need.


The Knitter's Pride Aluminum Hooks are comfort grip hooks with a short aluminum shaft and hook head.  The grip is cushiony and flat on top and bottom to provide an ergonomic and comfortable experience.  Having almost no drag, the aluminum hooks glide easily through your work.  The hook head has a moderately pointed tip to easily get in and out of stitches.  The hook size is printed in US and Metric sizes in white type on the handle.  I found these hook to be very comfortable.  With a wider handle than ordinary hooks, these hooks are suitable for those who experience hand fatigue with small shaft hooks.

I really enjoyed both hooks a lot.  Though, like with my knitting, I am a tight crocheter, so I preferred the aluminum hooks.  But having ordered Knit Pro Symphonie hooks from overseas because of the beautiful colored wood, I found the Dreamz hooks to be just as effective and quite a bit easier to order!  I was also pleased with the price point at which WEBS is offering these hooks - making them affordable for nearly every crocheter!

Retail Prices:


WEBS is going to giveaway a set of crochet hooks from the Knitter's Pride line to ONE lucky KPG reader!



Giveaway Details:
  • Participants must be 18 yrs old or older to enter.
  • Participants must live in the US or Canada to enter.
  • (1) Winner will be selected by random number generator and will receive (1) set of Knitter's Pride Crochet hooks.  Winner will get to choose between the Dreamz (single hook) Crochet Set or a set of the Aluminum Hooks.
  • Giveaway runs from 9/29/11 - 10/13/11, 11:59p EST
  • Participants must provide an email address to be contacted if he/she wins.  Email addresses will not be used for solicitation purposes.
REQUIRED Entry:
PLEASE leave each individual entry in a SEPARATE comment so that they all get counted by the random number generator. Your comments may not show up immediately as all comments are moderated.

OPTIONAL, Additional Entries: ( You may fulfill any, all, or none of these options.)
  • Visit the WEBS Blog!  Leave a comment to let WEBS know that KPG sent you!  Come back and leave a comment to let me know which entry you posted under for an additional entry.
  • "Like" WEBS Facebook Fan Page.  Come back and let me know that you have for an additional entry.
  • Follow WEBS on Twitter.  Come back and let me know for an additional entry.
  • Join the WEBS Ravelry Group!  Come back and let me know that you have for an additional entry!
  • Follow my blog!  Leave a comment to let me know that you're a blog follower for an additional entry!
  • Follow me on Twitter!  Leave a comment to let me know that you follow me on Twitter for an additional entry!
  • "Like" my Facebook Fan Page.  Come back and leave me a comment to let me know that you have for an additional entry!
  • Join my Ravelry group!  Leave me a comment to let me know that you have for an additional entry!
  • Tweet about it! 
    • "I just entered to win a set of Knitter's Pride Crochet Hooks from @websyarnstore & @knitpurlgurl http://tiny.cc/2mbl5"
    • You may tweet about it as many times as you like and each tweet may be counted as a separate entry as long as you come back and leave the link to your tweet every time you tweet for additional entries
  • Blog about it!  Write a blog post with a link to this giveaway in your blog post.  Come back and leave 5 separate comments with your blog link in the first comment (ie Comment #1, Comment #2..) for FIVE additional entries!
Disclosure: WEBS provided KnitPurlGurl with (1) each of the Knitter's Pride Dreamz and Aluminum Crochet Hooks FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding post.  All opinions expressed in the above review are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of WEBS.  Individual results may vary.


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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Knitter's Pride Knitting Needles Review & Giveaway!




Knitter's Pride is a NEW line of knitting needles available from WEBS!  Available in fixed circular or interchangeable circular needles and in wood or nickel plated brass, Knitter's Pride needles are sure to provide an option for most knitters at an affordable price.

Kathy over at WEBS provided me with (1) each of the Knitter's Pride Dreamz and the Knitter's Pride Nova fixed circular needles to take for a test drive.

The Knitter's Pride Dreamz collection is WEBS premiere Birch wood knitting needle collection.  I found the needles to have more drag than a nickel plated needle, but to be just as smooth as any wood needles I've knit with.  As I knit with the Dreamz needles, I found the needles to be warm to the touch and have increased glide with use.  The fixed needles (and it looks as though the interchangeable as well) have two join points: 1 between the needle shaft and the metal and another between the metal and the cord.  I did have a slight drag issue over the join where the needle meets the metal, but only occasionally, and I suspect, because I am a very tight knitter.  I had no snag issues with the needle shaft itself.  The needles have a medium point tip that I had no issues knitting fingering weight yarn with.  I found the cord to have a sturdy, fixed join and to perform well while knitting in the round with magic loop.  The cord is pliable and flexible, but not floppy.  The Dreamz needles have the size (in US & Metric) printed in white on the wood needle itself and also in black on the metal between the needle and the cord.  I really like that the sizes are printed ON the needles!  I also like that the wood needles come in a different color for each size.  -Both are extremely helpful in nabbing the correct needle size quickly.


The Knitter's Pride Nova collection is WEBS premiere nickel-plated brass tipped knitting needle collection. The needles are slick and smooth, providing almost no drag and amazing glide.  I found the needles to perform as well as Knit Picks Options and Addi Needles.    The fixed (and interchangeable) needles have 1 join point - between the end of the needle and the cord.  The needles have a medium point tip and the cord is the same as the Dreamz needles.  I used the Nova circs to knit a worsted weight  mitt in the round, via magic loop and have no issues whatsoever.  The needles were a pleasure to work with.  The needle sizes are printed in black on the needle shaft, making locating the correct needle size fast and easy.

Overall I really liked these needles.  They are enjoyable to knit with and are exceptionally affordable.

Retail Prices:

WEBS is going to GIVEAWAY (1) Deluxe Set of the Knitter's Pride Interchangeable Knitting Needles to (1) LUCKY KPG reader!!!!  The winner will get to choose if they prefer the Dreamz or the Nova set!

Psst - Check back tomorrow for a WEBS crochet hook review and giveaway!

Giveaway Details:
  • Participants must be 18 yrs old or older to enter.
  • Participants must live in the US or Canada to enter.
  • (1) Winner will be selected by random number generator and will receive (1) set of Knitter's Pride Deluxe Interchangeable Knitting Needles (Choice of Dreamz or Nova)
  • Giveaway runs from 9/28/11 - 10/12/11, 11:59p EST
  • Participants must provide an email address to be contacted if he/she wins.  Email addresses will not be used for solicitation purposes.
REQUIRED Entry:
PLEASE leave each individual entry in a SEPARATE comment so that they all get counted by the random number generator.  Your comments will not show up immediately as all comments are moderated.

OPTIONAL, Additional Entries: ( You may fulfill any, all, or none of these options.)
  • Visit the WEBS Blog!  Leave a comment to let WEBS know that KPG sent you!  Come back and leave a comment to let me know which entry you posted under for an additional entry.
  • "Like" WEBS Facebook Fan Page.  Come back and let me know that you have for an additional entry.
  • Follow WEBS on Twitter.  Come back and let me know for an additional entry.
  • Join the WEBS Ravelry Group!  Come back and let me know that you have for an additional entry!
  • Follow my blog!  Leave a comment to let me know that you're a blog follower for an additional entry!
  • Follow me on Twitter!  Leave a comment to let me know that you follow me on Twitter for an additional entry!
  • "Like" my Facebook Fan Page.  Come back and leave me a comment to let me know that you have for an additional entry!
  • Join my Ravelry group!  Leave me a comment to let me know that you have for an additional entry!
  • Tweet about it! 
    • "I just entered to win a set of Knitter's Pride Interchangeable Knitting Needles from @websyarnstore & @knitpurlgurl http://tinyurl.com/5t3du9e"
    • You may tweet about it as many times as you like and each tweet may be counted as a separate entry as long as you come back and leave the link to your tweet every time you tweet for additional entries
  • Blog about it!  Write a blog post with a link to this giveaway in your blog post.  Come back and leave 5 separate comments with your blog link in the first comment (ie Comment #1, Comment #2..) for FIVE additional entries!
Disclosure: WEBS provided KnitPurlGurl with (1) Pair of Knitter's Pride Nova Fixed Circular Knitting Needles and (1) Pair of Knitter's Pride Dreamz Fixed Circular Knitting Needles FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding post.  All opinions expressed in the above review are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of WEBS.  Individual results may vary.


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Episode 14: It's the End of the World As We Know It








Welcome
What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
Patterns
  • Skywalker by Laura Nelkin Designs - Semi-Circular Shawl (lace), worked from the top-down; $6 USD
  • Owls Two Ways by Ana Clerc
Other Stuff
Stash Enhancement
Reviews:
News & Upcoming Events
  • Went to Fiber Demo - MUST WEAVE!
  • STITCHES East
    • Oct 20-23, 2011 in Hartford, CT
Question of the Week
  • What craft are you interested in trying or improving your skills at?
Laura Nelkin Interview


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Blog Tour: Granny Square Love by Sarah London




Book Title: Granny Square Love
Author: Sarah London
Craft: Crochet (Granny Squares)
Patterns: 25 (With a bonus pattern available online)
ISBN: 978-1-4403-1294-6
Approx. Retail Price: $22.99 (USD) /$23.99 Canada

Granny squares are making a comeback!  You can find them in traditional, modern, classic, cottage, country, and eclectic decors now.  These aren't the hideous grannies of the '70s, although I do find a certain retro charm in their kitschiness.  These grannies are fresh, vibrant, wonderful accent pieces that are a welcome addition to any home!

In Granny Square Love, Sarah London masterfully demonstrates the functionality and beauty of these crocheted accents, breathing new life into a fun item of yesteryear.  Her use of color and updated styling further displays the versatility of the modern granny square, providing the crocheter with inspiration and a renewed love for these cute crochets.

Yarn requirements, hook size, notions, and size measurements can all be found easily on the first page of the pattern.  Each pattern in clearly written out.  The patterns also include crochet charts for those who prefer them to written instructions or for those who like to supplement their written instructions with a stitch diagram.  Clearly and beautifully photographed projects highlight each pattern.  At the conclusion of  each pattern, the reader will come across Sarah London's "Color Commentary" which describes the colors used for the project and the reason(s) behind it.

Included in this book are the following patterns (by chapter):
The Living Room
  • Square Cushion
  • Giant Floor Cushion
  • Lampshade Cover
  • Ottoman Slip Cover
  • Sofa Blanket
  • Christmas Stocking
The Kitchen
  • Stool Cover
  • Apron Pocket
  • Dishcloth
  • Pot Holder
  • Grocer's Tote
The Dining Room
  • Tablecloth Trim
  • Placemat
  • Napkin Holder
  • Tea Cozy
  • Garland
The Bedroom
  • Headboard
  • Bedsheet Trim
  • Bedroom Blanket
  • Hot Water Bottle Cover
  • Bold Bedroom Cushion
The Bathroom and Laundry
  • Coat Hangers
  • Curtain
  • Bath Mat
  • Towel Trim

For a limited time only, my readers can take advantage of a $10 OFF PROMO!  Just visit the Martha Pullen Online Store and use Promo Code: GRANNYTOUR to get $10 OFF the original retail price!  You'll get the book for just $12.99!  This offer is good through Oct. 8, 2011, 11:59p EST, in US Dollars for items that are in stock only.  

Be sure to pop on over to Twitter and give Sarah London a follow!  And pop on over to the other blogs in the Granny Square Love Blog Tour to see what they have to say about the book!

Granny Square Love by Sarah London blog tour schedule

September 26 Sarah London’s Blog
September 27 Crochet Concupiscence
September 28 Knit Purl Gurl
September 29 Underground Crafter
September 30 Interlocking Crochet
October 3 Crafty Pod
October 4 Lindamade
October 7 Create Loves
October 8 Whip Up

F & W Media sent KnitPurlGurl a FREE review copy of Granny Square Love.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding post.  All opinions expressed in the review are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of F & W Media or Sarah London.  Individual results may vary.


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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's the End of the World As We Know It..

And I feel fine.


Well, I feel better than fine!  I feel great!  I've completed my first FULL pair of socks: Cotton Candy Socks!  Now I've knit lots of socks before, but I've never finished a pair.  That is to say, I've knit the 1st sock of every pair and then Second Sock Syndrome set in and I never knit the 2nd sock of the pair.  This time, I had no clue I was going to knit socks.  I went to Jo-Ann's to pick up some cheap sock yarn in various colorways for my Beekeeper's Quilt.  I picked up a skein of the Lion Brand Yarn Sock Ease in Cotton Candy Colorway and brought it home.  Before I knew what was happening, I was casting on a pair of vanilla (plain) socks (I used Magic Loop to knit these.).  I used Wendy D. Johnson's pattern, Toe-Up Socks with a Difference, which is the first time I've EVER knit toe-up socks.  I've only ever knit cuff-down socks.  And perhaps this is why the 2nd socks never got cast on.  With cuff-down socks, you have to pick up all of the gusset stitches.  You don't have to do any such fiddly thing with toe-up socks!  It was so FAST!  I literally knit these up in 1 afternoon and 1 morning.  (Of course, they are vanilla socks, so stockinette st socks are very fast and mindless.)

I am loving these socks!  -So much so, in fact, that I am wearing them right now even though they need to get their bath and be blocked on the sock blockers.  I was so thrilled that I finished a pair, that I joined Socktoberfest and challenged myself to make another pair of vanilla socks in the month of October.  - Perfectly doable goal, I should think.  I don't want to stress myself out and end up never knitting socks again.  But I do want to ride the wave of motivation brought on by the completed socks and knit another pair!

AND there's even more good news!  Since I made a relatively short pair of socks (a tad above ankle length), I have LOTS of yarn left over to knit hexipuffs!  YAY!

Knit on!


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Monday, September 26, 2011

Yarn Review: Martha Stewart Crafts Extrasoft Wool Blend



Yarn: Martha Stewart Crafts Extrasoft Wool Blend
Fiber Content: 65% Acrylic / 35% Wool
Weight: 4: Medium, Worsted Weight, Afghan, Aran Yarn
Gauge: Knit - 18 st x 25 rows on US Size 7 (4.5mm) Needles = 4 inches
             Crochet - 14 sc x 18 rows on a Size J-10 (6mm) Hook = 4 inches
Skein: 3.50 oz (100g) / 165 yds (150m)
Colorways: Bakery Box White, Petal Pink, Gerbera Daisy, Igloo, Winter Sky, Blue Corn, Sable, Lilac, Gray Pearl, Cobweb, Celery, Green Eucalyptus, Lemon Chiffon, and Buttermilk
Approx. Retail Price: $7.49/skein
Care: Machine wash and machine dry

Martha Stewart Crafts Extrasoft Wool Blend is exactly what the title states it is.  It's a premium acrylic/wool blend yarn which marries the softness and comfort of wool with the durability and sheen of acrylic.  This a smooth, moderately tight plied yarn with a soft halo.  It's got a light sheen, terrific stitch definition, and very soft hand, which makes it a pleasure to work with.  Because this yarn is able to be popped into the washer and dryer, it is absolutely terrific for mittens, hats, and garments that will see a lot of use and abuse.


Again because the Martha Stewart Crafts line is so new, I wanted to knit an actual project instead of a swatch on this yarn to get a feel for it's qualities.  I decided to knit up the Cruiser mittens by Cailyn Meyer.  I wanted to see how the yarn looked with cables, which really tells a lot about the stitch definition and the properties of the yarn.  Although I was not keen on the thumb gusset of this pattern, I did like the yarn pairing.  The mittens are super soft, warm, and will get a lot of use.  The cable definition was wonderful and the mittens have nice stretch and bounce despite the negative ease of the cabling.  This is a great quality to have for mittens as you want to be able to have flexibility in hand movements.


I really enjoyed working with this yarn.  I will definitely pick up some more to make the whole family mittens this year.  Given the slight-moderate stretch and bounce of this yarn, I think it would be suitable for cowls, fingerless mitts, gloves, and hats as well.  Although I do think this yarn would produce beautiful garments in addition to accessories, it only comes 165 yds/skein, so it may be cost-prohibitive to make larger garments.

It's already available at Jo-Ann Fabrics, so go take a peek for yourself! :)

Disclosure: Lion Brand Yarn sent KnitPurlGurl (1) Skein of Martha Stewart Crafts Extrasoft Wool Blend FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding review.  All opinions expressed in this review are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Lion Brand Yarn.  Individual results may vary.


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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yarn Review: Martha Stewart Crafts Cotton Hemp Yarn



Yarn: Martha Stewart Crafts Cotton Hemp
Fiber Content: 65% Cotton, 35% Hemp
Weight: 4 Medium - Worsted Weight, Afghan, Aran Yarn
Gauge: Knit - 16 st x 22 rows on US Size 8 (5mm) Needles = 4 inches, Crochet - 12 sc x 14 rows on Size I-9 (5.5mm) Hook = 4 inches
Skein: 1.75 oz (50g), 66yds (60m)
Colorways: Flour Sack White, Pink Taffy, Blue Icing, Twilight Blue, Sour Cherry (The color of my i-Cord necklace), Oyster, Picnic Green, Clementine, Sugared Violet, Heather Flower, Slate, Black Licorice, Lemon Drop, Peacock
Approx. Retail Price: $5.49/skein
Care: Machine wash & dry

Alrighty knitters and crocheters - THIS is a yarn I knew exactly what to do with when I got it!  Ordinarily I'd use a cotton blend yarn for a washcloth/dishcloth, but I received the Sour Cherry colorway and I knew I didn't want a red washcloth.  BUT I knew how breathable cotton/hemp blends are and I had just enough in one skein to make a really cute i-cord necklace!  I used Nikol Rose's Knit Your Pearls pattern and knit up my i-cord necklace.


The yarn is a very smooth, moderately tight plied yarn.  It's a matte finish yarn with excellent color saturation.  It has no elastic qualities and no bounce.  A nice, middi point tipped needle is perfect with this yarn.  You wouldn't want to use a super pointy tip for this yarn as it may split the plies.  And a blunt tip would be difficult to knit up a yarn with no stretch to it.  This yarn is a 100% natural fiber with naturally breathable qualities.  As a plant-based fiber, there is no halo and the yarn has a moderately soft feel, which becomes softer after use and wash.  MSC Cotton Hemp has excellent stitch definition and performed well even when pushed to create i-cord (which one typically wants a yarn with some stretch in it).

I was very pleased with this yarn.  Unlike many of the Martha Stewart Crafts yarns, this yarn begs to be packaged in larger skeins.  Although it would make great dishcloths, I think it would equally make beautiful garments designed for cotton.

I am definitely making more i-cord necklaces!  I've just gotta go stock up on this yarn.  I really liked this yarn for this project specifically because cotton hemp blends are breathable and not as warm as a wool cowl.  Fall is an in-between time of year.  While cowls are perfect for winter, fall begs for the lighter i-cord necklace.  In fact, I am proclaiming Fall, 2011 to be the Season of the i-Cord Necklace!  Go forth and multiply!  (Well, I mean make a whole bunch of i-cord necklaces.. get your brains outta the gutter, people.)

Disclosure: Lion Brand Yarn sent KnitPurlGurl (1) skein of Martha Stewart Crafts Cotton Hemp Yarn FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding blog post.  All opinions expressed in the above post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Lion Brand Yarns.  Individual results may vary.


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Winner YarnCraft 100th Episode Giveaway!

And the winner of 3 balls of Lion Brand Yarn Superwash Merino Cashmere is:




Number 19 - suburban prep!!!  Congrats!  A big thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway and especially Lion Brand Yarn, YarnCraft Podcast, and Zontee of YarnCraft!


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goodies from DomestiKated Darling!!!!


2011-09-20_16-24-45_695


OMG!!!  I mentioned on Plurk that I didn't know how to spin, and Katie of DomestiKated Darling sent me a msg and offered to send me some goodies to get me started!  She's so sweet!!!  I told her I'd LOVE it if she sent me some goodies.  And she did!!!!!!

Katie sent me (2) 2 oz. bags of Merino roving in Gold and Spece (it's really an orange color - my camera altered the color), a drop spindle that she made herself, a lavender sachet,  and SOAK wash samples!  (Katie says the Merino and SOAK are from her LYS, A Good Yarn, located in Prescott, AZ.)

I was feeling so sick and so down last week.  This week has been better.  But when I got the package from Katie, it immediately brightened my day!!!!  What a sweet-potato!

Help me thank Katie for her generous gift by visiting her at the following places:

I feel so blessed to be a part of such a giving and caring community.  Thanks SO, SO, SO much, Katie!!!


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Episode 13: It's a Good Thing
















Podcast Powered By Podbean
Welcome

What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
Patterns

Other Stuff
Stash Enhancement
Reviews:

News & Upcoming Events

Question of the Week
  • How often do you engage in knitting or crocheting in a group?
UPDATE: I said I WASN'T going to list & link all of the podcasts I listen to, but I realized I left a few off my list, so I decided to list and link them for y'all.


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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Yarn Review: Martha Stewart Crafts Roving Wool Yarn




Yarn: Martha Stewart Crafts Roving Wool Yarn
Fiber Content: 100% Wool
Weight: 5 - Bulky, Chunky, Craft, Rug Yarn
Gauge: Knit- 13 st x 19 rows on US Size 10 (6mm) Needles = 4 inches  Crochet - 11 sc x 14 rows on Size N-13 (9mm) Hook = 4 inches
Skein: Solids - 1.75 Oz. (50g), 58 yds (53m)  Prints - 1.5 oz. (42g), 49 yds (45m)
Colorways: Vintage Rose, Blue Agave, Pimento, Rhubarb, Toffee, Fence Post, Lavender Soap, Sea Glass Blue, Dolphin Gray, Umbrella, Waterfall, Jordan Almond, Cherry Blossom, Snowdrift
Approx. Retail Price: $5.49/skein
Care: Hand wash, lay flat to dry

If you've been following my journey through the new line of  Martha Stewart Crafts Yarns and Lion Brand Yarns, you've read about my exploits with the new novelty yarns.  And novelty yarns are fine for those crafts projects or fun, unusual projects.  But what about natural fiber yarns?  Most knitters like to use a natural fiber or a smooth acrylic yarn for every day knitting.  Well, I'm pleased to introduce the new Martha Stewart Yarns Roving Wool Yarn.  It's a single ply, pencil roving made of 100% wool.  Now those of you who have never knit with pencil roving yarns, are probably unsure what to do with this type of yarn.  So I thought I'd knit something up that would show the versatility of a roving yarn.  SO I knit up the Cabled Coffee Cup Sweater with it.


Isn't it amazing how your perception of a yarn can change after actually seeing it in action.  One wouldn't think that roving yarn would have great st definition, but as you can see, even this bulky weight, roving wool yarn works up with pretty good stitch definition.  The yarn is a nice, soft and cuddly feeling yarn and is pleasant to knit with.  It has a mild halo and little to no bounce or elasticity.  Now ordinarily I would not knit a coffee cup sweater with a non-superwash yarn - but I only had 1 skein and I wanted to show the versatility of this roving yarn.  If I had to compare it with another yarn, I'd compare it with Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride Bulky.  Although it has less halo than Lamb's Pride Bulky, as Lamb's Pride has mohair, it's just as pleasurable to knit with and certainly just as comfy.

Martha Stewart Crafts Roving Wool Yarn comes in amazing colorways.  The color saturation is beautiful, and as far as I could tell from the 12 inch samples I received of the other colorways (Cabled Coffee Cup Sweater shown in Snowdrift), it's a very evenly colored yarn with no detectable color variance (aside from the non-solid colorways, of course).

One thing I'd like to see, however, is this yarn come in larger skeins.  I think this would make a great yarn to whip up quick bags (whether knit or crochet) to be be felted.  Oooo and a pair of felted clogs from this yarn would be sublime.  So although I really liked the yarn and I think the price point is pretty good, I do wish LBY would release it in bigger skeins for larger projects.

There ya have it - go fondle it at your local craft store retailer.  It's a comfy, cozy yarn that would make terrific felted items and as you can see, even cabled items like a nice cowl or scarf!  Given that it comes in such small skeins, it would be pretty pricey to make large garments from this yarn.  But bulky, warm knit or crocheted accessories would be a pleasure to wear made in this yarn.

Disclosure: Lion Brand Yarn sent KnitPurlGurl (1) skein of Martha Stewart Crafts Roving Wool Yarn FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding blog post.  All opinions expressed in the above blog post are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Lion Brand Yarn.  Individual results may vary.


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Winner - Pretty by Jillian Lauren


The winner, by random number generator, is:


#8 - susansmoakes

Congrats!!!  And thanks to everyone who participated as well as Global Influence and Plume Books.


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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yarn Review: Lion Brand Yarn Silky Twist Yarn





Yarn: Lion Brandy Yarn Silky Twist Yarn (Boucle)
Fiber Content: 99% Acrylic/1% Polyester
Weight: 6 - Super Bulky
Gauge: Knit: 9 st x 15 rows on US Size 11 (8mm) Needles = 4 inches; Crochet: 7 sc x 9 rows on Size P-15 (10mm) Hook = 4 inches
Skein: 130yds (119m)/5oz. (140g)
Colorways: Linen, Oatmeal, Java, Tangerine, Cherry Red, Purple Haze (shown here), Paradise Pink, Cactus, Olive, Teal, Ocean, Ash Mist, Hyacinth, Amethyst
Approx. Retail Price: $7.69/skein (USD)
Care: Machine Washable & Dryable

Boucle yarns & I have a sordid past.  Our love affair began quickly, firey hot the moment I laid my inexperienced knitting hands on it in the craft store.  The beautiful locks and gorgeous colors made my heart skip a beat and I knew I had to have it.  So of course, being a newbie knitter and a passionate one at that, I purchased about 20 skeins in various colorways.   No one was going to stand in the way of my love for boucle.  They'd all warned me,  They'd all told me that boucle could be difficult, moody, the bad boy of yarns.  But I wouldn't listen.  I was young and dumb.  Then, almost as fast as my love ignited for boucle, it burned out.  After a mere short time knitting with it, my hands became chaffed and I couldn't see my stitches. I knew then that boucle and I were not destined to be, that we would go our separate ways.  I thought someday, I would run into boucle again.  Maybe boucle would find itself in the arms of another knitter.  Maybe they'd have made an afghan and even a couple of pillows together.  But our love was surely never meant to be.


2011-09-15_09-56-38_766
Fast forward 5 years.  Lion Brand Yarn sent me their NEW boucle yarn, Silky Twist.  I was hesitant, at best, to give it a try.  Afterall, I knew boucle & I didn't click.  I've left a trail of novelty yarns behind me, all ending in disappointment.  But I knew I had to really work with this yarn to know how I felt about it now.  So I decided to think a bit about what ways boucle and I could  mesh.  And I got it!  I needed a small, quick project with a super simple stitch.  Boucle yarns need to be the star of the show.  Using anything besides a garter stitch or single crochet is pointless and oftentimes frustrating.  Then I looked at the properties of the boucle.  The Silky Twist is not like other boucles I've used.  It actually did feel very silky soft in my hands.  It's a true boucle, so it's 3-stranded for better stability and fewer pulls.  It actually felt nice!  The color saturation was gorgeous.  I decided that my Droid Bionic needed a little cover.  Since I got the extended battery, no cases fit it.  It has Gorilla Glass and is insured, so I wasn't worried about dropping it - but more worried about it sitting around beside me on the couch while I worked.  The pugs also sit with me and they SHED.  I knew the boucle would catch any dog hair BEFORE it would get to my phone.  And being machine washable and dryable, I could pop this puppy right in the machine when it got dirty.


2011-09-15_09-55-51_79
So I decided to crochet up a simple, sc sleeve.  At first, it was a tad difficult for me to see the stitches.  Then, once I got going, I was fine.  I think that as a more experienced yarn crafter, boucle works up best for those who can feel their way around and this yarn is no exception.  It has virtually no st definition.  But the yarn felt great in my hands and worked up quickly.  Being a bulky weight, it's nice & padded for my phone.  And a small project like a cell phone cozy was the perfect amount of color pop for me.

Although I wouldn't recommend making large garments from this yarn, I do believe it is a terrific yarn for scarves, cowls, pillows, or afghans using a simple stitch.  This yarn should be worked with a loose hand and smooth needle or hook.  Beginners and/or those new to boucle yarns should be patient and create a simple rectangular project to begin with.

So there you have it.  Boucle and I can finally be friends after all of these years.  Silky Twist is an interesting yarn, with solid construction, varying sized bumps for a more art yarn feel, and easy to care for.

Disclosure: Lion Brand Yarn sent KnitPurlGurl (1) skein of Silky Twist Yarn FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding blog post.  All opinions expressed in the above post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Lion Brand Yarn. Individual results may vary.


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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yarn Review: Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Eyelash




Yarn: Martha Stewart Crafts with Lion Brand Yarn Glitter Eyelash Yarn
Fiber Content: 78% Polyester/22%Metallic Polyester
Weight: 5 - Bulk, Chunky, Craft, Rug Yarn
Gauge: Knit: 16 st x 20 rows = 4 in on US Size 10.5 Needles (6.5mm); Crochet: 12 sc x 14 rows = 4 in on Size K-10.5 Hook (6.5mm)
Skein: 39 yds (35m), 0.88 oz (25g)
Colorways: Kunzite, Rose Quartz, Blue Topaz, Garnet, Brownstone, Peridot, Orange Topaz, Purple Sapphire, Sterling, Onyx, Aquamarine Crystal, Florentine Gold, Yellow Gold, Tourmaline
Approx. Retail Price: $5.49/skein (USD)
Care: Hand wash, lay flat for drying

Having flashbacks of the fun fur and eyelash yarn of the 90's?  Well don't.  Lion Brand Yarn and Martha Stewart Crafts have teamed up to create a soft, fun, well constructed eyelash yarn, suitable for various craft projects.  Intended to be used to embellish knit and crocheted items or to create cute craft projects, Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Eyelash Yarn is just the right amount of sparkle to make a project pop.  I know, I know.. you are all in utter amazement that KPG is actually endorsing this yarn.  Afterall, I've been an outspoken advocate of an eyelash yarn-free existence.  However, when LBY sent me this yarn, I knew I owed it to them, my readers, and Martha to give it a whirl.  And I did!


I am not a frilly person.  So embellishing cuffs of mittens or ends of sweaters with a glitter eyelash yarn isn't my style.  BUT - I love me some crafting!  Fortunately, LBY had sent me the Peridot color and a sheet with 12 inch samples of all of the other colorways.  So I modified a pattern by Sara Norine James, Christmas Tree Yarn Cone Cozy, so that I only knit it, in the round, until I got the size I wanted, and then bound off in the round, leaving the center open.  I used the 12 inch bits of the other colors to sew on bits of color here and there on the tree, create a "star" on the top, and then add "garland."  I then popped a crumpled up ad inside and popped it on a plastic, upside-down punch cup - so that it looks like it's on an elegant tree stand.  I am going to take some felt and add a few embroidered embellishments to add as a tree skirt.  It worked up in about 15 minutes TOTAL!  Voila!  Instant cuteness!

As for the yarn, it wasn't scratchy or plastic-y to the touch like most eyelash yarns I've tried.  It was extremely soft with a well-constructed braided core.  Typically with other eyelash yarns, I've had a lot of shedding while working with the yarn.  While I did have a loose piece or two, I really didn't experience shedding with this eyelash yarn.  I found this eyelash yarn to be of high quality and I didn't have to worry about there being places in my project that were holey or see-through.  The yarn fills in beautifully.
ONE NOTE: If you are a beginner knitter or crocheter, using any eyelash yarn will be difficult for you, as it's hard to see the stitches.


There you have it.  I really do like this yarn for crafting projects.  Like I said, I'm not one to use eyelash for garments or even garment embellishments, but if one wanted to use it as an embellishment, it would fill in nicely with minimal shedding.

I think I'll knit the same shape as the tree, only using Brownstone, Orange Topaz, & Florentine Gold to create a candy corn treat bag topper to give to my DD's teacher for their fall party.  Oh, and DD wants me to knit her a boa, so I'm sure I'll be stocking up on the Tourmaline colorway.

Disclosure: Lion Brand Yarn sent KnitPurlGurl (1) skein of Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Eyelash Yarn FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding blog post.  All opinions in the blog post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Lion Brand Yarn.



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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy 100th Episode, YarnCraft! *Giveaway*





Lion Brand Yarn's podcast, YarnCraft, celebrated their 100th Episode today!!!!  I had interviewed Zontee of YarnCraft, but unfortunately, Audacity lost my interview project file and left me with a data file only - which I tried to restore to audio, but spent all day yesterday working on it to no avail. :(

If you haven't listened to the YarnCraft Podcast yet - NOW is the time!!!  YarnCraft is a fun-filled podcast that includes tips, listener questions, and information on great patterns and everything hot in the fiber arts industry.  Zontee and Liz work to provide topics relevant to their listeners and to today's modern yarn crafter.  It's a must listen for anyone who crochets, knits, weaves, or uses yarn in their crafts.

To celebrate their 100th episode, YarnCraft is going to give away 3 Balls of Lion Brand Superwash Merino Cashmere to ONE very lucky KPG blog reader.  The winner will get to select the color they wish to receive!

Giveaway Details:
  • Giveaway runs from 9/13/11 - 9/20/11.  
  • (1) winner will be selected via random number generator.
  • All entrants must be 18 yrs old or older to enter.
  • All entrants must provide an email address - not for solicitation purposes, only to contact winner
REQUIRED Entry: 
  • Pop on over to the YarnCraft 100th Episode post and leave a comment telling them Congrats and that KNITPURLGURL sent you!  Come back here and let me know that you've left a comment for an entry!  (Pssst- they're ALSO hosting a giveaway.  Listen to Ep 100 for details!)
Optional, Additional Entries:(You may fulfill any, all, or none of these options)
  • "Like" Lion Brand Yarn on Facebook!  Come back and let me know you have for an additional entry.
  • Follow Lion Brand Yarn on Twitter!  Come back and let me know you have for an additional entry!
  • Leave a comment on the Lion Brand Yarn blog and let them know that KNITPURLGURL sent you! Come back and let me know which post you commented on for an additional entry!
  • Tweet out: "Happy 100th Ep, YarnCraft Podcast! I entered to win yarn from @lionbrandyarn @knitpurlgurl"  Come back and leave me a link to your tweet for an additional entry.  You may tweet as often as you like and each tweet may count as a separate entry provided you leave a comment with the link to your tweet here.
  • Blog about the giveaway!  Write a blog post about this giveaway!  Include a link to this post in your blog post.  Come back and leave FIVE SEPARATE comments (Ex. Comment #1, Comment #2..) with a link to your blog post in comment #1 for FIVE additional entries!!
  • Join the YarnCraft Ravelry Group!  Come back and let me know you have for an additional entry!
  • Join the Lion Brand Yarn Studio Ravelry Group!  Come back and let me know you have for an additional entry!
  • Follow my blog!  Let me know that you're a blog follower for an additional entry!
  • Follow me on Twitter!  Let me know that you're a Twitter follower for an additional entry!
  • "Like" KnitPurlGurl on Facebook.  Let me know that you have for an additional entry!
  • Join the Friends of KnitPurlGurl Ravelry Group!  Let me know you have for an additional entry!


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Friday, September 9, 2011

In Other News..

Pictured: My Sunshine Shawlette - a shawl pattern and yarn from Lion Brand Yarn
Phone Pictured: My l'il Droid Eris - this is an older pic

Here are a couple of random Friday things for your reading pleasure:
  • Check out my guest post for Lion Brand Yarn, Fall into Shawls!!
  • I'm the last stop on the YarnCraft Blog tour!  Be sure to come and check out my blog for a special interview with Zontee of YarnCraft on September 12th!!!  YarnCraft and Lion Brand Yarn are going to give away 3 balls of Superwash Merino Cashmere to one of my podcast listeners or blog readers (winner gets to choose which color they'd like!) - so be sure to come back on Sept. 12th for giveaway details!!!
  • I've been reviewing the new yarns from the Martha Stewart Crafts with Lion Brand Yarn line!!  Keep checking back as I post reviews and project suggestions every week!!
  • I finally upgraded my phone!  I had HTC's flagship Droid phone, Droid Eris.  It's truly been the little Droid that could - running Gingerbread and doing things it was not likely meant to do.  But after 2 yrs, I'm thrilled to upgrade to the Motorola Droid Bionic - which is LIGHTNING fast on 4G, lemme tell ya! Looking forward to all of the knitting related apps I can download! (TECH TIP: Google is acquiring Motorola Mobility.  If you're a fan of Android OS, keep that in mind!)
  • Behind on my hexipuff knitting since I've been performing yarn reviews and knitting and crocheting for the reviews.  'Hope to get some hexipuffing in this weekend!
  • Need to start Died in the Wool by Mary Kruger this wkend so I can catch up with the Ravelry Knitters Goodreads group.  YIKES!
Have a great weekend, all!  Please honor those who perished in the tragedies that occurred on 9/11/01, this weekend.  Stay safe and knit on! :)




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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yarn Review: Martha Stewart Crafts Lofty Wool Blend







Fiber Content: 75% Wool, 25% Acrylic
Weight: 6 - Bulky
Gauge: 6 st x 8 rows on US Size 17 Needles = 4x4" (knitting) / 6 sc x 7 rows on Size Q-19 Hook = 4x4"
Skein: 28 yds / 26m , 100g
Colorways: Snowdrift, Siamese Cat, Autumn Leaf, Red Dahlia, Birdie Brown, Ballpoint Blue, Seedling Green
Approx. Retail Price: $11.99 USD
Care: Handwash, lay flat to dry

Martha Stewart Crafts Lofty Wool Blend by Lion Brand Yarn is a wool roving yarn that is wrapped in an acrylic thread.  It's a super bulky yarn that lends itself to quick home decor and accessory knitting.  A slight - moderately soft yarn, it's got a light halo and good stitch definition.  Available in 7 traditional colors, this yarn will fit into most interior decors and wardrobes.


While not a good choice for a garment such as a sweater or shawl, it's a good choice for an accent accessory such as a cowl or a sturdy home decor project such as an afghan or pillow.  -Making this yarn a must for holiday quick knits and gift giving.  I whipped up a long cowl for my DD in about 15 minutes.  I found that it worked up quickly and held structure well.  TIP: Because it's a bulky yarn, I actually used a small crochet hook to weave my ends through in the back because I didn't have any tapestry needles that the yarn would fit into.

I will say, in full disclosure, that a tight cowl around the neck may be a tad scratchy and too structured.  I also found the price point to be a tad pricey for 28 yds.  Understanding that this is a predominately wool yarn and a bulky yarn at that, I know how they arrived at their price point, but wonder if it will fair well in large craft retail stores.

If you are looking for a predominately natural fiber yarn and a quit knit, this is a good staple yarn.  It works up well, provides good stitch definition, and is available in 7 traditional colors.  Pick up a skein and give it a whirl.

Disclosure: Lion Brand Yarn provided KnitPurlGurl with (1) skein of Martha Stewart Crafts with Lion Brand Yarn Lofty Wool Blend FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding blog post.  All opinions expressed in the above post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Lion Brand Yarn.


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Yarn Review: Martha Stewart Crafts Mambo Yarn



Yarn: Martha Stewart Crafts with Lion Brand Yarn Mambo
Fiber Content: 75% acrylic, 7% wool, 9% nylon, 6% viscose, 3% angora
Weight: 6 - Bulky
Gauge: 4 st x 6 rows on US Size 19 needles = 4x4" (Knitting) / 4 sc x 5 rows on Q-19 Hook = 4x4" (Crochet)
Skein: 5 yds / 5m , 25g
Colorways: Zebra, Purple Caterpillar, Okapi, Python, Crocodile, Cardinal, Flamingo
Approx. Retail Price: $5.49 USD
Care: Handwash, lay flat to dry

When  I first opened up this skein, I was a tad puzzled as to what I would do with 5 yds of bulky weight yarn which is essentially 4 pieces of roving yarn wound in crochet thread.  It wasn't until I visited the Lion Brand Yarn website and looked up the suggested patterns to go with this yarn that I realized it was meant for jewelry and crafts.  Ahhhhhh.. Okay, that made more sense.


Two Stitch Knit Necklace in Martha Stewart Crafts Mambo Yarn, Purple Caterpillar Colorway

So I knit up their suggested FREE pattern, Two Stitch Knit Necklace.  Now, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this yarn.  And the pattern calls for US Size 19 Knitting Needles!  But it knit up in 5 minutes and looks really cute!  I have oodles of re-purposed t-shirt scarves and necklaces, so this necklace was right up my alley.

The yarn was relatively soft to knit with.  It takes a bit of patience to knit with a bulky yarn that is wrapped in what I'd describe as crochet thread and requires an easy, loose hand.  It's got a soft halo and beautiful color saturation.  As one would expect, the stitch definition is not crisp with a craft yarn of this weight and construction.

All in all, this was a fun, quick little project and yarn to work with.  And Lion Brand Yarn also has crochet patterns to go with this yarn including a necklace, bracelet, trivet, and scarf pattern!  I think this will make the perfect fall accessory!

Disclosure: Lion Brand Yarn sent KnitPurlGurl (1) skein of Martha Stewart Crafts Mambo Yarn FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding blog post.  All opinions expressed in this post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Lion Brand Yarn.


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Winners - Rustic Autumn Shawl KAL!!!


There were 9 completed shawls in the thread.  So I used Random.Org to select the winners based on a 1-9 range.

The first drawing is for the Kusala Knitworks PinUp Girl Stitch Markers!!


SpinningMommy!!!!!  


The next drawing is for a set of Good Intentions Knit Cards from Worldknit & Handspun!!


kalbrect7!!!!!


The next drawing is for 2 Shawl Patterns from Knitting Like Crazy!  (The Elation and the Moor Shawls!)


dle90742 wins the Elation Pattern!!!!!



owenjulesmommy wins the Moor Pattern!!!!!

The next drawing is for Winner's Choice of a keychain or pin from Vegancraftastic's Shop!!


scrapsilove!!!!!


The next drawing is for the Ainslie Poncho Pattern from NorthCreek Knits!!


fivepennies!!!!!


The last drawing is for the Buffalo Girls Designs "Zen of Socks" DVD!!


barbn77!!!!!


Congrats to all of the winners and a big thank you to our prize sponsors!!!!!  :)


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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Episode 12: Fall Crafting Madness









Welcome


What's on (or off) the Needles
What's on (or off) the Hook
  • Just hexipuffs right now
Patterns
  • TGV (High Speed Knitting) by Susan Ashcroft
    • Still in testing
    • Available end of Sept
  • Simple Scallops by Kristy Ashmore
    • $4.99
    • Triangular, top-down shawl

Other Stuff
Stash Enhancement
  • The Knitting Goddess Mini Skeins (sets)
    • Approx $9 USD per set (6.50 Euros)
    • 4-ply sock yarn
    • 75% superwash merino/ 25% nylon
    • Approx. 50g/200m in the set of 5 (40m or abt 43 yds per)
    • Delicious & Copper Desert
    • Opening Mini Skeins Club this Friday!
  • Hobby Lobby Yarn Bee Andes Alpaca
    • 2 skeins in Cinnamon colorway
    • 70% Acrylic / 30% Alpaca
    • 120 yds/skein
    • Bulky (12 ply)
Reviews
News & Upcoming Events

Question of the Week
  • Aside from Ravelry, how do you use social media to enhance your creative endeavors?


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