Thursday, December 22, 2011

Episode 22 - Last Podcast of the Year!

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

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

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


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last Minute Stocking Stuffer!

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

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


Interweave Knitting Lab Announces 2 Locations in 2012!

Interweave Knitting Lab Announces Two Locations in 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Next Podcast Episode

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

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

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

Thanks for your patience!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Angel

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

Hook on!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

O Christmas Tree

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

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


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jingle All the Way

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

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

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

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

Knit on!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Holidays Giveaway!

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


Walnut Grove Is Listed!

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

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


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

OTN: Holiday Parallel Twist Socks

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

Knit on!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review: Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts

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

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

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

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

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


FO: Little Christmas Sock

Little Christmas Sock

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

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

Hook on!


Knit Said, Crochet Said

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


Saturday, December 3, 2011

FO: Peppermint Twist Socks

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

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

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

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