Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So You Think You Can Blog/Podcast..




You CAN!  Thinking about becoming a fiber arts blogger or podcaster?  You can easily do it.  All you need is an enthusiasm for what you are writing or talking about and a style.  But before you get started, you need to follow some simple rules:
  1. Obey copyright laws.  Do not insert pictures or music that you do not have permission to use on your blog or in your podcast.  This is a big no-no.  Just like with knitting patterns, you wouldn't want someone to post your design on the internet for all to use without paying for the pattern.  This is illegal and you can get into trouble for it, not to mention, it's just not cool.
    1. If I want to utilize a picture, I get permission in writing from the person who owns the rights to the pic and I include that in my blog post or on my podcast by indicating that the photo is used with permission from Jane Doe.
    2. For animations and graphics, Google images is not the place to snag pics.  Sure there are bazillions of them, but those pics are generated from various places on the internet.  Just because they are on Google Images, does NOT mean you have permission to use them.
    3. The animated pic above is a pic I purchased from iStockphoto.  Yes, it costs some bucks to insert pics that you have permission to use, but it is LEGAL!
    4. If you want to talk about a pattern, LINK to it in your blog post or show notes.  DO NOT show the pattern or give out lines of the pattern on your blog.  
    5. Lots of podcasters love to include music intros and insert music at various places in the podcast.  Make sure it is pod-safe music that is not copyrighted.  This can also cost money.  I like to use Music Alley.
  2. If you review a book that was given to you by a publisher/a yarn or fiber that was given to you by a manufacturer or dyer, you MUST, MUST, MUST disclose your relationship with that company.  You need to let your listeners/viewers know that you you received the item FREE and whether or not you are getting paid for your review.  If you do not, you will be considered non-compliant by the FTC.  You cannot have a blanket disclosure.  You need to disclose with each and every item.
  3. Link to any and all products you thoroughly discuss rather than use photos from that company's website (UNLESS you have written permission to do so).
If you follow these simple rules, you will produce a legal and respectful blog/podcast.  Now the content - that's all you! :)



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Winter is Coming..


I always make a few handmade ornaments for our tree every year.  This year, I decided to focus on snowflakes!  I LOVE snowflakes and snowmen as decor because you can keep them around all winter long.  So yesterday in an attempt to procrastinate on knitting my sweater, shawl, and socks, get started on my ornaments, I decided to crochet some snowflakes!  I quickly pinned these so you can tell what they should look like, but they need a thorough pinning of points & picots and starching before they will be ready for my tree.

Pattern: Chain Link Snowflake by Better Homes and Gardens (FYI: My snowflake as twice as many points as it's supposed to have. Obviously, I wasn't paying attention. LOL! I guess that means my snowflake is TRULY unique.)
Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns Bon Bons Celebrate Yarn in Dark Blue
Hook - US D/ 3.25mm

Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns Bon Bons Party Yarn in Copper
Hook: US D/3.25mm

Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns Bon Bons Celebrate Yarn in Light Blue
Hook: US D/3.25mm

Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns Bon Bons Pastels Yarn in White
Hook: US D/3.25mm

Yarn: Lion Brand Yarns Bon Bons Pastels in Pale Pink
Hook: US D/3.25mm

I'm not sure how many more I'll crochet, but these have been super fun.  They're quick and easy (right up my alley) and only use a tiny bit of yarn!  To give you an idea, the Bon Bons are all <39 yds and the largest snowflake, used almost 1/2 of that yardage.  These patterns are perfect for scraps and for practicing one's crochet skills!

Hook on!


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Friday, November 16, 2012

KnitPurlGurl Video Podcast, S2, Ep3: Crazy is As Crazy Does





**Click HERE to watch the podcast episode**


Show Notes:

Since Last We Spoke:
  • Missed Fiber Festival of New England & An Afternoon w/ Franklin Habit
  • Got a new webcam & Windows 8 {{Fingers Crossed}}
  • Today's Taste: Breakfast Blend
    • Available in Autodrip, Whole Bean, & K-Cups
    • Tasting Notes - This is our classic, lively and vibrant New England breakfast cup. It offers a snappy, crisp and citrusy Central American coffee matched with the sweetness, body and depth of an Indonesian bean to create a wakeful blend that won’t try to compete with your orange juice in terms of its brightness.
FOs, HOs, & UFOs:
New Additions:
Worth Mentioning:
Book Reviews:


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What To Do When Your LYS Snubs You




It's surprising to me just how many knitters I speak with, whether online or in person, complain about their LYS.  Recently, I had another such conversation with a group of knitters via an online chat.  One knitter expressed how she only has one local yarn shop in her area and is made to feel very uncomfortable when she visits the shop.  Another knitter expressed how there are many shops in her area and how she loves each one for different reasons and different supplies, but that several of them treat her like dirt if they find out that she's bought her yarn elsewhere.  And yet another knitter was bemoaning her LYS questioning her about the needles & yarn she had because they were purchased online and were obviously not from that shop.  Nevermind that this knitter spends quite a bit of money at that shop, apparently they feel she should only buy things from THAT shop.  So what do you do if you find yourself in this predicament? Drop 'em like a hot potato - that's what!

Okay, I hear the gasping and the jaws dropping.. But, KnitPurlGurl, our LYS is our lifeline, our community..  Not anymore.  Here's the thing.  I regularly shop at Target, Kohls, Old Navy, Macy's, et cetera.  At NO time have I had any one of them give me crap about shopping at another store.  And to put this in terms for small business: I've shopped at my local hardware stores, of which we have 3, and no one is whispering at True Value that they heard I'd visited Ace Hardware.  And no one at Ace is giving me the stink eye because I've shopped online for 3/4" bolts.  Let's get real here, people.

Local Yarn Shops are quite the conundrum.  These shops provide something that many online or big box stores cannot: a place to commune with fellow knitters and look at/touch products in person.  They can be the mothership, if you will, or they can be a place that you dread visiting.  Here's my take.  In my area, there are several yarn shops.  I think they all have something unique to offer.  If I have a LYS get mifted, or snub me because I haven't be able to visit (don't get me started on my car issues) or because I visited another LYS, then I can't be bothered with them.  Google+, Twitter, Ravelry, podcasting, & Facebook have given me a knitting community that is always in place online.  I can pop on Plurk and ask if anyone wants to participate in a VKN (Virtual Knit Night) when I have a spare hour, and usually there's someone who is available.  OR I can pop on Plurk and see that someone is hosting a VKN and pop in to chat (on webcam) with them while knitting.  It's wonderful!  As for knitting together in person, in this day and age, all one needs is a computer.  You can Facetime, Skype, or Hangout on Google+ virtually, OR you can search Ravelry, Yahoo Groups, Meetup, or your local guild to find groups that meet at various coffee shops or cafes weekly.

Years ago I wrote a post called, "Advice to Local Yarn Shops."  I had posted it for the very same reason. There were a few LYS that were driving me bananas.  It's been almost 4 yrs since I wrote that post and you know what?  Knitters are still complaining of the same issues.  Sometimes it's CROCHETERS complaining because LYS haven't figured out that crocheters are hungry for a home too AND that they use YARN!  Go figure.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't want this post to come off as a way of bashing all LYS.  BUT I do want knitters to realize that if your LYS treats you like crap - DON'T spend your time and $$ there.  Life is too short!  Time is too short!  And everyone is short on money!  A terrific LYS can be a knitter's best friend; a welcome respite from the housework, endless responsibilities, and the daily grind.  If you have a great LYS, I'm thrilled for you!  If they never make you feel like an intruder, like a criminal for shopping elsewhere on occasion, or snub you for liking several shops, than you should embrace that shop and do what you can to promote a responsible and awesome business owner.  And owners: if you are guilty of these things - get over yourselves.  Instead of trying to guilt customers into being repeat customers, use your time and energy to show them WHY they should be repeat customers.  Don't balk at customers with needles purchased online. Don't pout when a customer is at knit group and mentions she bought a skein of yarn at another LYS.  Treat your customers like royalty and they will naturally seek to visit your establishment most often.

The reality of today is this: Knitters and crocheters can and do meet up for knit groups that are organized online in a variety of locations that are NOT LYS.  Knitters and crocheters can meet up virtually with a webcam, and join knit group in their jammies!  If your LYS snubs you, don't fret over it.  And don't continue to throw money at them.  Find a local group or start hanging out online with your web cam.  You can still be a part of this vast and amazing community with just a click of your mouse! :)

Knit on!



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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fundraiser & Giveaway!


Unfortunately, I forgot to mention yesterday on my podcast that Maria of Subway Knits Podcast is hosting a giveaway as incentive to give to charity in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.  My sincere apologies to Maria for forgetting to mention something so important.  PLEASE head over to Maria's blog, Subway Knits (http://subway-knits.blogspot.com/2012/10/hurrication-day-2-fundraiser-and-update.html), and read her post about the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy on NYC and how to give to a related charity and be entered to win one of many prizes donated by some amazing fiber artists!   AND PLEASE - spread the word!  We've always been a terrific community of caring individuals.  Let's spread the love to those who need it most right now! :)  Thanks, Maria, for hosting this!!


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Friday, November 2, 2012

KnitPurlGurl Video Podcast, S2, Ep2: Playing Catch Up!



Show Notes:

Since Last We Spoke:
  • STITCHES East
  • My Birthday
  • Rhinebeck
  • Creeping Crud
  • Today's Taste: Fair Trade Organic House Blend
    • 100% Organic Arabica Coffee
    • The cornerstone of our Fair Trade Organic line - FTO House Blend is a satisfying blend of medium and dark roasts. Deep, rich and full-bodied. Certified Fair Trade and organic.
FOs, HOs, & UFOs:
  • Trick or Treat Socks
    • Wendy Knits Toe-Up, Slip St Heel 
    • Desert Vista Dyeworks Zien in Spun2Tight's Trick or Treat Colorway
  • Culloden
    • Crescent shaped shawl design
    • Garter st & cables
    • Knit in Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in Stonewashed Colorway
  • Crocus Socks (for STV)
    • Crocus Socks by Wendy D. Johnson
    • Knit in Dizzie Lizzie's SW Sock Yarn in Irish Eyes Are Smilin' Colorway
  • Nacken
    • By Anna Dalvi
    • Knit in Creatively Dyed Yarns Waterfall Lace in Drip Colorway
New Additions:
Worth Mentioning:
Book Review:
Birthday Celebration Giveaway Winners:


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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Creeping Crud



I feel I must apologize to my podcast viewers.  I was supposed to record my podcast the Tues. after I came back from Rhinebeck (Oct. 23rd), but when I got home from Rhinebeck, I had cold symptoms and then had to prep for Hurricane Sandy (which fortunately, we came through without any problems).  As of today, I think I may have strep throat.  I've gotta get swabbed.  So I will record the next episode as scheduled, this Friday.  I apologize for not getting a 2nd episode in during the month of October, but I would've never predicted getting the creeping crud from Rhinebeck and then Hurricane Sandy coming up the coast.

Also, I have some AMAZING book reviews that I will be getting out via podcast and blog in the next couple of weeks.  Stay tuned and look for them here on the blog!  You'll be glad you did.  I received some really terrific books to review!

And TODAY is RAP day!  RAP = Random Acts of Patterns!  Join the movement with the Friends of KnitPurlGurl Ravelry Group!

Knit on and stay safe & warm for those of you still affected by Sandy!


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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sheep Wool Study




I've decided to conduct a Sheep Wool Study for my blog readers and Podcast viewers.  The first sheep breeds I'm going to study are breeds currently bred in America.  I've decided to use the American Sheep Industry's list of breeds as my guide. I've heard podcasters and read bloggers who've studied wool from a spinner's perspective.  I'd like to study it from a knitter's perspective - that is, fully prepared yarn.  I'm looking for producers/dyers/handspinners who carry the following sheep wool yarns:

Fine Wool:
Long Wool:


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STITCHES East, Rhinebeck, and Aches Oh My!



This was a whirlwind last couple of weeks.  I got to go to STITCHES East for the first time and then Rhinebeck for the first time!!  Let me just say that I'm not a huge shopper at these events.  Not that I don't want all the things, but I buy yarn here and there throughout the year and keep myself in check at events so that I'm not blowing huge wads of cash in my excitement to be at fiber festivals.  Because believe me, there is this frenzy that happens at these large shows and festivals and it's easy to get caught up in the frenzy when there are literally hundreds and thousands of knitters around you participating in it!!!

At STITCHES East, I got to meet such lovelies as Susan of Kollage Yarns, Stacy of The Fine Needle, Kristin Omdahl, Drew Emborsky, Lindsey of Erin Lane Bags, the Signature Needle Arts ladies, the wonderful sweethearts at the Wandering Wool booth, Wendy from Knit1HeartToo Podcast, Melissa from the His and Hers Podcast, Daniel Yuhas, Zontee of Lion Brand Yarn, and countless readers of the blog!  Everyone was so friendly and extremely nice.  I also re-connected with Stacey Trock from Fresh Stitches and Crochet Chat podcast!

At Rhinebeck, I was such a fan-girl!  I was surrounded by amazing yarn dyers, authors, designers, fellow bloggers and podcasters, and all-around terrific fiber friends!  Loved getting to meet so many people I interact with daily on Ravelry, Twitter, Google+, & Plurk at the Ravelry Meetup!  At the Podcaster Meetup, I finally got to meet & reconnect with some of my fave podcasters and online buds including Kim from Craft Stash, Wendy & Sheila from Knit1HeartToo, Melissa & Sean from His & Hers Podcast, Maria from Subway Knits Podcast, Diane from Knitabulls, Tina from Knitting Blooms Podcast, Darren & Amy from Knitting in Circles Podcast, Emily from Whatcha Swatchin Podcast, Jen from Commuter Knitter Podcast, Laura from Apocolyptic Diner Podcast, Jadee from the Twisted Strands Podcast, Lori from HappyCrafter207 Podcast, Carin from Round the Twist, Carolyn from Girlfriends Knitting Podcast, Vicki of the Dragonfly Soars podcast, Ellen & Jan from the Twin Set Designs Podcast, Lois from KnittingsMyBag (Fab Etsy Shop!), and Lisa of Fibernymph Dyeworks and 90% Knitting Podcast!!  I also got to meetup with some fabulous PA ladies: Marilyn & Marybeth (and her hubby)!!   I got to meet Elisabeth Sliney Marino and reconnect with Barb of  Dragonbrook Yarns! And if that weren't enough,  I got to meet the lovely Ysolda Teague!

The only bad thing about Rhinebeck was that I was only there for 5 hrs.  :(  There was so much to see and so many people to talk to, that 5 hours couldn't possibly be enough time to do and see everything I wanted to.  But hey, I'm not complaining.  I had a ton of fun and am so, so thrilled I got to go.  I received so many hugs, warm welcomes, Happy Birthday greetings, and genuine smiles & kindness while I was there.  It was so humbling and overwhelming to be surrounded by such amazing knitters.  To see all of the garments everyone was wearing was very exciting. There were gorgeous crocheted garments, knit garments, nuno felted garments.. It was fabulous!  There are some extremely talented fiber peeps in this world and I'm thrilled that I got to see and meet so many yesterday!

If I forgot to mention you in this blog post, I sincerely apologize.  There wasn't 1 person I met over the past 2 weeks, who wasn't an absolute pleasure to meet and chat with!  Our fiber community rocks my socks!

Oh ya - the ACHES part.  After carrying 2 heavy bags and waddling all around Rhinbeck in rainboots, I ache everywhere today!  That's what I get for being old and outta shape!! LOL!  Time for some Ibuprofen, BenGay, and recuperation before the next big show - Fiber Festival of New England (Nov. 3-4, 2012 in West Springfield, Mass.)!  I'll be there with bells on!!  'Hope I get to meet or see some of y'all again!!!

Knit on!


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Off the Needles: Short Owl Poncho



This was a fast project!  I started knitting the Short Owl Poncho by Bettina Lundgaard on Oct. 7, 2012 and finished it today.  I knit it in Cascade 220 Superwash in the Lemon colorway on US Size 8 needles.  The pattern calls for an aran wt yarn, but I was able to get gauge with worsted, so I crossed my fingers and started knitting.  This poncho is a "One Size Fits Most" poncho that says it will fit sizes S-XL.  Being an XL myself, I was holding my breath.  Once I finished the knitting, I immediately put it on.  Although I'd gotten gauge, it was more snug than a poncho should fit and the fabric was more loose looking than I would've liked.  Still, I did work for 4 days on it and wanted to find a solution.  A friend of mine suggested that I steek it, knit on a faux button band, and wear it open, like a capelet.  Meanwhile, I was thinking that if I couldn't bring myself to steek it (I've never steeked before and the thought of it terrifies me.), I could gift it.  While I was contemplating the fate of the poncho, DD asked if she could "see" it.  She put it on and asked if she could have it.


Even though the neckline is a tad too big and the poncho a tad too long on her, I caved and gave it to her.  She's smitten with it!  And she looks 100x better in it than I ever could!  I'm going to lightly block it so that the owls are easy to visualize on the bottom, but then it's all hers!  Thankfully it's knit in superwash yarn, so it should be easy to care for.  I'm going to skip sewing on all of the seed bead eyes on the owls, since DD wouldn't really appreciate all of the fiddly sewing.  I think she looks adorable.

After knitting this pattern, I will most definitely knit another.  I will also be sure to knit it in ARAN WT as indicated in the pattern.  And now that I know the pattern, it'll be very easy to customize the size.  For my size, I'll likely add another several owl motifs and an extra few body rows between decreases.  One thing I do want to note - the decreases are very visible.  They almost look like design features since they are evenly spaced.  So if you want your decreases to disappear into your knitting, this knit is not for you.  They are quite prominent in the garment.  Otherwise, it's a super fast and mindless knit!

Unfortunately, I will not be wearing this poncho to Rhinebeck.  And I don't know if I can bring myself to power through another before next Sat, but at least I know a little girl is thrilled with it!  She doesn't even want me to block it because she wants to wear it to school tomorrow!


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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesdays are for Random Acts of Patterns!




I have decided that Tuesdays are for Random Acts of Patterns!  Any Tuesday you feel inclined to or can afford to, randomly gift a fellow Raveler a pattern off of their queue!  It's a nifty way to spread Random Acts of Kindness in a fibery way! :)

I sent mine out!  I even put in the message: You are a recipient of a Random Act of Pattern.  Happy Tuesday!

If you're a member of the Friends of KnitPurlGurl Rav Group, pop over there and share your RAP (whether given or received) in the RAP thread!!  Share the love!  <3


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Friday, October 5, 2012

KnitPurlGurl Video Podcast, S2, Ep1: Long Time, No See



Show Notes

Introduction:
  • KPG Podcast returns after long hiatus
  • The podcast will follow a bi-monthly schedule: 1st & 3rd Fri of every month
  • The podcast will run in seasons, rather than year 'round now.  Fall-Late Spring
WIPs:
FOs:
  • Oenology Socks - Gusset Heel Basic Socks pattern by Wendy D. Johnson and knit in the String Theory Colorworks' Resonance base in Oenology colorway
  • Purple Sky at Night Poncho - Red Sky at Night Poncho pattern by Mary C. Gildersleeve and knit in the Olann Gra Josie's 3-Ply Kettledyed 100% SW Merino yarn in the Grape Crush colorway
  • Ecken+Kanten by Martina Behm knit in Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball and knit in the Fresh Fish colorway
  • Lazy Katy by Birgit Freyer and knit in Noro Taiyo Sock in color no. 3
  • Garter Hug Shawl by Shannon Squire and knit it Freia Handpaints Ombre Lace in the Grapevine colorway
New Additions:
Reviews:
Worth Mentioning:


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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

FO: Oenology Socks



I finished knitting my Oenology Socks!  These cutie patooties are a gift for my little sister.  Nothing says love like 30,000 stitches of cuteness!  I knit these using Wendy D. Johnson's Gusset Heel Basic Sock pattern and String Theory Colorworks' Resonance Self-Striping Sock Yarn in the Oenology colorway on a US Size 2.  I finished the top of the sock in 3:1 ribbing and a stretchy BO (a la Stephen West). I can't wait to package these puppies up with some wool wash and send them off to my sister!


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Monday, October 1, 2012

Press Release: I Love Yarn Day Photo Contest!!



ily_logo.jpg


For Immediate Release                                                                                                    

I Love Yarn Day Kicks off Facebook Photo Contest to
Win a Year of Yarn—365 skeins in all!
Thousands of yarn lovers around the country to share their fiber passion and fashion this October 12, 2012

Gastonia, North Carolina, October 1, 2012— Whether you knit, crochet, craft, spin, weave or just adore fiber, the second Friday in October is the national day to declare your LOVE for yarn. This day is all about spreading that good feeling people have about yarn and yarn-related crafts. Knit it, crochet it, spin it, weave it, wear it, post it, tweet it, carry it, share it, give it, or bomb it!

“The idea for this celebration started last year,” says Mary Colucci, Executive Director of the Craft Yarn Council, an industry nonprofit association. “Response to the ILoveYarnDay.org web site and the Facebook page was amazing. Thousands of yarn enthusiasts posted their plans.”

New this year: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram photo contest

This year, I Love Yarn Day is expanding its social media outreach with a “Show Your Love of Yarn” photo contest on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The contest is open to anyone in the United States who loves yarn—crocheters, knitters, spinners, weavers, and general yarn crafters—and photos should depict the entrant’s passion for yarn. The official page for the contest on Facebook:http://bit.ly/ILoveYarnDay_PhotoContest

Photos should be original, of entrant’s own creation, and can be of an existing photo or one someone has taken specifically for the competition. Photos might depict an entrant’s yarn stash, a yarn bombing the entrant has done, or be some other creative expression of one’s love of yarn.  All contest entries will be viewable on the I Love Yarn Day photo contest page on Facebook, and people can vote on their favorite once a day, at: http://bit.ly/ILoveYarnDay_PhotoContest

The contest will also accept photo entries via Twitter and Instagram from anyone who tweets a photo, or uploads an Instagram photo, and uses hashtag #YarnDayContest in the caption.

The Grand Prize winner will be selected from the top ten photos with the most number of votes to  receive a year’s worth of yarn—365 skeins in all, one for every day of the year, from Grand Prize sponsors Bernat, Patons and Caron Yarns; Lion Brand Yarn; and Red Heart Yarns. The ten photos that receive the most votes on Facebook will be awarded runners-up prizes of an I Love Yarn Day tote bag containing the following prizes from contest sponsors (retail value over $300):

--All American Crafts: a copy of Knit ‘N Style, Knit 1•2•3 and Crochet 1•2•3, plus a free subscription to the magazine of the winner’s choice

-- Annie’s: a copy of Creative Knitting Magazine and Crochet Magazine

--Boye: knit and crochet accessories

-- Clover Needlecraft: a Knit Mate Accessory Kit and 29” Circular Knitting Needle

--Creative Partners: a knit and crochet book by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

--Future US: a copy of Crochet Today Magazine

--Interweave: a copy of Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet and Knitscene magazines; plus Knitting Daily TV Series 900 DVDs

--Leisure Arts:  a Knook Beginner Kit

--Soho Publishing: one copy each of Vogue Knitting Anniversary Issue, Knit Simple, Debbie Bliss magazine, Noro magazine; plus a set of Knit Notes--books for recording projects

--TMA: a dozen skeins of yarn for each runners-up

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. EST on Oct. 15, 2012 (three days after the official I Love Yarn Day on Oct. 12), with voting open to the public until 11:59 p.m. EST on Oct. 22, 2012.

I Love Yarn Day Special Events

In addition the Facebook photo contest happening all month, thousands of yarn lovers will be sharing their fiber passion and fashion this Oct. 12, 2012 in their hometowns around the country.

National retailers A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores will be participating in I Love Yarn Day on their websites and in social media. In additional, many local yarn stores around the country will be hosting their own events.

Last year on I Love Yarn Day, Girl Scout Cadette Troop #6141 in LaMesa, Calif., celebrated the day by making “teenie beenie” for preemies at their local hospital. Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames in Redmond, Wash., invited customers to the I Love Yarn NIGHT. The store stayed opened until midnight and customers yarn bombed the store.

Other people posted to the I Love Yarn day website that they honored the day last year by:
         Taking their yarn to work
         Giving away 500 knitted and crocheted heart pins with a tag that said: knit it, crochet it, spin it, WEAR IT
         Yarn bombing their front yard
         Teaching someone to crochet
         Getting together for a pizza party and knitting before going back to work.

The idea for I Love Yarn Day started with a group of people (yarn enthusiasts of course) who were sitting around a table one day and mused: “What if all of us, and all of the people we know, agree to post, blog, tweet and show off yarns in some way on the same day? Imagine the impact this demonstration would have, virally and otherwise.” 

Are you planning an I Love Yarn Day event? We’d love to hear from you! E-mail @ILoveYarnDay.org with information on your plans for Oct. 12.

Additional Resources
Twitter: @ILoveYarnDay http://twitter.com/iloveyarnday
Hashtags: #ILoveYarnDay; Contest entry hashtag: #YarnDayContest

Craft Yarn Council • 469 Hospital Dr. Ste. E • Gastonia, NC 28054


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Press Release: Annie's Acquires Country Sampler





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCT. 1, 2012
Annie’s acquires Country Sampler
from Emmis Communications

Leading special interests publisher adds consumer and trade titles

BERNE, Ind.—Annie’s, a leading special interests publisher, has acquired Country Sampler, Illinois-based publisher of Country Sampler and Smart Retailer magazines, from Emmis Communications.
Annie’s publishes magazines and books serving the crafts and nostalgia markets, including Creative Knitting, Crochet!, Quilter’s World, CardMaker, Crochet World and Good Old Days, with a strong subscriber base and presence on newsstands and in retail stores across the country.
The company is part of the third-generation Muselman family business based in Berne, Ind., near Fort Wayne.
Country Sampler has helped define country d├ęcor for almost 30 years.
An all-in-one resource for home decorators, the magazine features a combination of country lifestyle articles and a complete catalog of decorating products from artisans in richly illustrated issues that include room-by-room house tours, tips from decorating experts and insights into collectibles and antiques. Original folk art, reproductions and classic country collectibles and furniture are displayed in authentic room settings.
“We are very excited that Country Sampler is joining the Annie’s family of products,” David McKee, Annie’s CEO, said. “These magazines are an ideal fit alongside our craft and nostalgia titles and products. The Country Sampler team has built a highly respected brand with a strong following over many years.”
In addition to its magazine business, Annie’s also has four catalogs, a dozen membership clubs and offers thousands of download products, including digital versions of its magazines and online classes. The company showcases its products on more than 40 websites.
Annie’s made its first foray into television a month ago with the addition of Candice Jensen Productions, producers of the Knit and Crochet Now! television show.
Emmis, based in Indianapolis, has a national footprint in radio and magazines with 17 FM and two AM radio stations, and six city and regional magazines titles, including Texas Monthly, Los Angeles Magazine andIndianapolis Monthly.
Country Sampler has been owned by Emmis since 1999.
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Annie’s (Annies-Publishing.com) is part of the third-generation Muselman family business headquartered in Berne, Ind., near Fort Wayne. It is well known to crafters and nostalgia buffs for its print and digital magazines, pattern books and other related products, sold primarily via mail, websites and catalogs. The Muselman business began in 1925 with the founding of Economy Printing Concern in Berne. EP Graphics, as it is known today, is still owned by the Muselman family. It specializes in high-quality, four-color web printing for catalogs and magazines.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Celebration Giveaway Sponsors Needed




October is going to be a banner month on my KPG blog!  Not only is my birthday this month (SQUEE!), but my podcast, which has been on hiatus since early 2012 is finally returning.  I'm hoping to have a terrific Celebration Giveaway.  This is a great opportunity to have your products showcased on both my blog and my video podcast.  Additionally, I have a good Twitter, Facebook, and Ravelry Group following.

If you're interested in sponsoring the giveaway with a prize:

  • The giveaway will be promoted during the month of Oct. on my blog, podcast, Ravelry group, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • The winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter (random drawing).
  • You applicable social media links will be used to both drive traffic to your sites as well as give the readers additional ways of entering the giveaway.
  • Email me: knitpurlgurl at gmail dot com.  Please include a picture of the item(s) you wish to giveaway along with an approx. retail value and any social media links you'd like included in the giveaway.
  • All prizes will be kept by the sponsors and mailed directly to the winners by the sponsors.



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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quickie Tech Tip



We've all been there.  You are headed out the door with your latest knit or crochet project AND a book, magazine, or stack of printed off pattern pages.. What a pain.  Instead of lugging that book, why not scan the pattern you are working on and store it in your smart phone?  You don't waste ink or paper by printing -AND- the pattern is super portable!  There are several apps that will let you take a picture of a document and then save it as a PDF document on your phone!  And if you have a good PDF reader on your smart phone (like Adobe), you can easily zoom in on the PDF for print that may be small.

Android:
iOS:
Please use these scanners responsibly and only scan documents you personally own.  Support our community of designers and purchase their patterns.


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Monday, September 24, 2012

CO: Oenology Socks



Well, the weather is getting chilly here in Vermont!  I woke up this morning to 33 degrees (F)!  Our entire house, with the exception of our master bedroom, has hard wood flooring, so my little tootsies were positively glacial this morning.  I decided to CO a pair of mindless vanilla socks while I am waiting for my needles to arrive to start another lace poncho.  Immediately, this skein of yarn called out to me!  It's String Theory Colorworks' Resonance Self-Striping in the Oenology colorway.  (Oenology is the art of wine making.)  This is just the perfect colorway for fall!  With the even, 5-stripe repeat, these will make cute socks! Resonance is a 100% SW Merino base.  Since I normally knit with a SW Merino/Nylon blend, I decided that these puppies would be house socks instead of socks I tried to stuff into shoes.  I like my handknit socks to have nylon in them for shoe-wearing only because they tend to wear better in shoes, conforming to feet better, with less shift in the shoe.  So I decided to knit these on a tad bigger needle since I just want them to be warm, cozy, house socks.  I'm using the Gusset Heel Basic Socks pattern by Wendy D. Johnson and knitting them on a US Size 2 1/2, 40" circular needle.  

Do y'all have socks on the needles right now?  If so, what pattern/yarn?


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Knitting Software Review & Giveaway!: Pick-A-Stitch




Software Title: Pick-A-Stitch
Compatibility: PC (Windows 98, XP, Vista, 7) or Mac (iOS 10.5 and above), Not iPad or Tablet compatible
Retail Price: $17.95 (USD) for the initial software, 6 Month subscription pkg is $8.95 (USD) or a 12 Month subscription pkg is $15.95 (USD)


If you are a design junkie, like I am, you've already got a collection of the staple stitch dictionaries.  Chances are the Barbara G. Walker Treasuries, the Stitchionary books & Harmony Guides are gracing your bookshelves. With the advent of Ravelry and several other electronic resources, doesn't it make sense to have stitch patterns at the click of your fingertips as well?  This is the aim of Pick-A-Stitch!  In this easy-to-navigate digital stitch collection software, stitch patterns are a click away. 


The initial software package comes with 130 stitches in full color, with written AND charted instructions!  Once you've installed the software program, getting started is easy as pie.  When you open the program, immediately you'll be greeted with a full-color, large image of a stitch pattern. (See pic above)
Atop of the picture, you'll see the stitch name as well as the stitch count necessary for that stitch and the amount of rows needed to complete the stitch.  Immediately below the picture, you will notice a horizontal menu that allows you to click through the Picture view, the Written instructions for that stitch pattern, the Charted instructions for that pattern, and your bookmarks. Below that menu is another horizontal menu that allows you to bookmark a stitch pattern!  This is extremely useful when designing.  If you are mixing different stitch patterns within a design, bookmarking all of the patterns in that design makes the design process very easy.  To the right of the pattern pic is a color menu.  This color menu is actually really helpful in design.  We've all seen those beautiful stitches that get lost in various colors or shades. Now you can click through common colors to get a feel for which color or palette may show your stitch pattern best.  To the left of the large pattern pic, you'll see thumbnail pics of all of the stitch patterns in the category you are browsing.  In the case of the picture above, you can visualize all of the thumbnails for the "Bobbles and Slip Stitches" category.  To the left of the thumbnails, there is a vertical menu bar of all of the available categories of stitches. 


I really like this software A LOT!  It's intuitive, easy-to-navigate, and offers bookmarking features that make designing a breeze.  The full colored photos of each stitch pattern are very clear and up close, making choosing an aesthetically pleasing stitch effortless. Having the stitch and row counts immediately accessible at the top of the screen is also tremendously helpful.  PJ Young Publishing sent me the software package along with 3 of the subscription libraries.  I was so smitten, I ordered the rest of the pattern libraries to complete my package. (Back issues are only $2/each!) After downloading the software and digital stitch libraries, I was able to browse, bookmark, and actually create an outline for a design right away.  Since I use my computer to collect patterns, to access knitting websites, and to create my patterns (written and charted), this was just an extension of how I already work.  I love that the software is expandable.  Subscription packages are extremely affordable and I've already subscribed to the 12 month pkg (in addition to the 6 month pkg they sent me for review!).  While I do not advocate pitching your hard copy stitch dictionaries, I do suggest you enhance your resource library with this electronic resource!  This would be a fantastic gift this holiday season for someone you know who dabbles in design (or for yourself!).  :)

But don't take my word for it!  PJ Young Publishing has generously donated a software program PLUS a 1-yr. subscription to one lucky reader of the KPG Blog!  Just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter Widget (below) to enter!  (1) lucky reader will be picked via Rafflecopter (randomly)!!

Disclosure: PJ Young Publishing sent KnitPurlGurl (1) copy of the Pick-A-Stitch software plus (3) back issues & a 6-month subscription FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding review.  All opinions expressed in the review are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of PJ Young Publishing.  All photos in this post belong to PJ Young Publishing.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Review: Baby Crochet by Sandy Powers



Book Title: Baby Crochet: 20 Hand-Crocheted Designs for Babies Newborn-24 Months
Author: Sandy Powers
ISBN: 978-1-4162-0846-4
Publisher: Sellers Publishing
Approximate Retail Price: $18.95 (USD) / $21.95 (CA)
Category: Crafts & Hobbies - Crochet
Availability: Paperback


From hugely popular Etsy seller, Sandy Powers, comes a book of cute & cuddly designs for wee ones.  In Baby Crochet, Sandy presents 20 patterns that are sure to delight any parent of a baby.  Packed with 150 full-color photographs and easy-to-follow pattern instructions, there's bound to be a pattern for every level of crocheter and every baby.


Let's see what's included in the book:

Hats:
  • Party Hat
  • Newsboy Hat
  • Curly Cue Hat
  • Shamrock Head Cover
  • Woodland Long Elf Hat
  • Beanie with Sheep Applique
Body Suits:
  • Baby Bunting
  • Pretty Posy Petal Body Suit and Hat
  • Sock Monkey Hat and Diaper Cover
  • Cable Hooded Cardigan
Cocoons:
  • Car Seat Baby Cocoon
  • Three Peas in Pod Cocoon and Beanie Set
  • Flower Bird Nest Cocoon and Diaper Cover
  • Snowflake Bird Nest Cocoon and Diaper Cover
Afghans:
  • Dragonfly Baby Afghan
  • Baby Pram Afghan
Other Crochet Bits:
  • Baby Bib with Sheep Applique
  • Girl Bootees
  • Boy Bootees
  • Legwarmers for Babies and Toddlers
I really enjoyed this book.  Every pattern includes extremely helpful and up-close photography for completing each project.  All of the projects are photographed very clearly. The font is nice & clean and easy to read.  Each pattern lists the skill level needed to crochet the project.  The sections are divided to provide easy thumb through.  Unfortunately I don't have any wee ones in my life right now, but I would definitely make some of these items as gifts for baby showers!  Particularly, I really like Sock Monkey Hat and Diaper Cover, Beanie with Sheep Applique, Cable Hooded Cardigan, Dragonfly Baby Afghan, Baby Bib with Sheep Applique, and Legwarmers for Babies and Toddlers.  If you have a little one or little ones in your life, this a cute book filled with great gift-giving projects.  After all, handmade is heart-made! :)

You can connect with Sellers Publishing via:
You can connect with Sandy Powers via:
Disclosure: Sellers Publishing sent KnitPurlGurl a copy of Baby Crochet FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding review.  All opinions expressed in the review are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Sellers Publishing or Sandy Powers.


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