Saturday, April 28, 2012

FO: 3 Color Tunisian Crochet Spa Cloth


I finished the 3 Color Tunisian Crochet Spa Cloth. As you can see, it's not blocked and is rolling at the top. However, I refuse to block this puppy cuz it's just going straight to the bathtub. ;) If I were giving it as a gift, I'd block it, but since it's going to be a washcloth for the kidlets, meh.. ;)

I think I'm finally ready to tackle the Multi Garment from the class!  

Hook on!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Press Release: FREE Copyright for Crafters and Artists eBook!

Interweave Releases New Free Copyright for Crafters and Artists eBook
Loveland, Colo., April 27, 2012: Yesterday was World Intellectual Property Day, and Interweave celebrated the day along with the U.S. Copyright Office, American Chamber of Commerce, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and others around the world to give credit to the talented writers, designers, artists, photographers, and innovators who work with us to share with readers and customers their products and ideas.
To mark the occasion, Interweave released a new eBook for artists and crafters, Know Your Rights: Copyright 101, to raise awareness for the issues surrounding copyright and the problems with copyright infringement that are currently impacting our industry.
The 10-page eBook is available for free download in each of Interweave’s 10 online communities for artists and crafters:
"Most people think of pirated movies or music when they hear about copyright violations," says Eunny Jang, editor of Interweave Knits magazine. "But we answer questions about copyright for crafters, artists, designers, and authors every day—copyright and other intellectual property issues are a big deal in the DIY marketplace, where the "I can do that!" spirit and respect for original, independent design and authorship need to coexist peacefully.”

Questions around copyright can range from simple queries, like 'Can I make a copy of a pattern?' (Answer: For your own use, yes; to give to a friend, no) to more complex issues, like 'How can I be inspired by other artists without infringing on their intellectual property rights?' (Answer: By executing your vision independently, and asking permission where necessary).

"Ultimately, copyright is about protecting the creative process, ensuring that the creator of a work can benefit from that work," adds Jang. "Our goal at Interweave is to educate our consumers about what copyright is, and why it matters—and to give authors, artists, and designers everywhere the tools they need to protect their own rights so they can continue to create new works and share them with the public."

About Interweave
Interweave is the world's largest online and offline resource for  artists and crafters with businesses in magazine and book publishing – both print and digital,  television programming, instructional videos, directories, eCommerce, events and workshops, and online communities.  Interweave also licenses its magazine, book, and video content to media companies internationally. Interweave was acquired by Aspire Media in 2005.  The company is headquartered in Loveland, Colorado, with offices in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York. For more information about Interweave call (970) 613-4616, 800-272-2193 or  



Skill Building


Y'all know that I've been taking Jennifer Hansen's Tunisian Crochet Craftsy class.  So far, I've made 2 spa cloths to practice formation of stitches. And now I've moved on to learning 3 Color Tunisian Technique. Again, I went stash diving since this is a practice project. I'm using some old Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Navy, Burgandy, and Ivory, a ChiaoGoo Tunisian Hook, Size H, and the same washcloth pattern as before.

I am loving the way 3 Color Tunisian works up.  You work with 2 colors for every row (remember every row consists of 2 passes).  It gives it such a woven look.  Oh the possibilities!  As soon as I master the 3 Color Technique on the washcloth, I can move on to working on Jennifer's Multigarment pattern.  Baby steps though!  

Hook on!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2nd Time's the Charm

Here's my 2nd Tunisian Spa Cloth. It's turned out perfectly No boo-boos this time! Only problem? I can't really block it to do it justice since I grabbed a predominately acrylic yarn outta my stash. So this means my edges aren't as clean and straight as I'd have liked them to block out. :(  Boo!  BUT, I practiced and controlled my tension and that's really all that matters. ;)


Nifty Needles & Notions (AND Giveaway!)

Here are some of my Go-To products for fiber arts!  This is my own personal list of faves, but I thought I'd share! :)

Knitting Needles:
Crochet Hooks:
Let me know what your favorite little fiber find is for a chance to win a skein of Hiwassee Creek Dyeworks Sock Yarn in KnitPurlGurl Colorway! Use Rafflecopter to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why You Should Get Hooked on Tunisian Crochet

About 4 yrs ago when I really started to commit to learning to knit (beyond a garter st washcloth), I scoured the internet for every bit of information I could. Of course, I came across blogs, forums, and websites that also mentioned Tunisian Crochet. One website, Stitch Diva Studios, sparked my interest. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Hansen on my then LIVE webshow, Stitch & Dish. Immediately I went out and bought the Tunisian Hooks and started to "practice."  But as I was knitting more, I started to get more proficient at knitting and the Tunisian Crochet got put away.

Recently, I got a Craftsy Newletter announcing that Jennifer Hansen (of all people) would be teaching a Tunisian Crochet class on Craftsy!  Of course I signed up immediately!  I ordered some ChiaoGoo Tunisian Hooks and grabbed some Naturally Caron Spa yarn that was sitting in my stash and got on my merry way.  My first attempt at the washcloth was, well, riddled with errors.


In this spa cloth project, we learned Tunisian Simple St (TSS), Tunisian Knit St (TKS) and Tunisian Reverse St (TRS). It's not hard to see all of my boo-boos.  BUT, I went on to use the same yarn and create another spa cloth that turned out wonderfully! (Practice makes perfect - When the new spa cloth is finished blocking, I'll create a post to show y'all!)  Next up, Jennifer will teach the class how to make a Multi-Garment, which has really become her signature thing. She loves to create knit and crochet patterns for garments that can be worn in numerous ways. And I love that she created one for Tunisian Crochet!

So right now you're probably asking, WHY is it I should like Tunisian Crochet again?  To answer that question, let me talk a bit about it.  Tunisian Crochet became popular during the Victorian Era and was seen in numerous needlework books.  It utilizes a very long crochet hook to make a dense fabric. Tunisian Crochet, also known as Afghan Crochet, Afghan St, or Tricot Crochet, can mimic knitted fabric as well as create a fabric that looks woven. Initially, the Tunisian Simple Stitch was used to create entire afghans that could later be cross stitched on.  The TSS creates a grid-like fabric, which reminds me of a kind of mashup of knitting and filet crochet. Women would create these very dense afghans from the TSS and then cross stitch beautiful flowers or nature scenes on them. 

Like traditional crochet, you begin with a slip knot and chain the amount of stitches required in the pattern.  However, the amount of chains will typically be the amount of stitches you produce. In traditional crochet, if you chained 40 and then performed sc, you'd end up with 39 st. In Tunisian Crochet, if you ch 40, you'll have 40 st.  You then complete a foundation row and begin. Unlike traditional crochet, Tunisian Crochet uses 2 passes to create 1 row.  These are called the Forward Pass and the Return Pass. During the forward pass, you create the actual stitch and accumulate LIVE stitches on your hook.  During the return pass, you actually, in a sense, bind off those live stitches and secure the pattern.  Unlike either knitting or crochet, the right side of the work is ALWAYS facing you. You never turn the work.  

Although traditionally Tunisian Crochet was used to produce dense and sturdy fabrics, many modern designers are creating beautiful Tunisian Lace thanks to the artisans creating ever-larger sized hooks.  So WHY should you love Tunisian Crochet - because it's right up our alley.  You've already got the yarn, add something new to your repertoire. More and more designers today are mixing the fiber arts to produce even more beautiful and functional designs.  Knitters are adding crochet to their designs. Crocheters are adding a little knitting to their designs. Both knitters and crocheters are adding embroidery and needle felting to their designs. And now, Tunisian Crochet is being added.  

Some of my favorite contemporary designers of tunisian crochet garments are:
I will leave you with a simple video tutorial for the Foundation Row and the Tunisian Simple Stitch.

Hook On!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Yarn Review: KB Sifa Silver Cotton

Product Name: KB Sifa Silver Cotton
Fiber Content: 95% Untreated Natural Turkish Cotton/ 5% Real Silver
Per Skein: 70m (77 yds)/ 50g (1.76 oz)
Gauge: 24 st = 4" on US Size 5 (Sport wt)
Available: US & Canada late April
Approx. Retail Price: $10.50/skein (USD)

The good people of Knit Outta the Box sent me a skein of their brand new yarn, KB Sifa Silver Cotton!  I am always intrigued by cotton yarns because there is such a wide range of cottons out there, but they typically have the same properties. When I read that the construction of the yarn is braided (like a crocheted chain), I was even more interested to try it.

Because the yarn was not yet released, the ball band I got with mine said to use  US Size 3 needles, which resulted in a much denser fabric, so I decided to knit a fingertip towel with it.  The first thing I noticed is that the yarn is matte.  Even though there is cotton spun over silver, there are no glittery, sparkly bits in this yarn. So if you're not a fan of yarns that contain silver, don't worry.  The next thing I noticed was that the cotton didn't feel much different than other cotton yarns I've knit with - UNTIL I knit it up.  When I knit it into a denser fabric, it felt a lot like linen to me.  It ended up mildly soft with a matte finish.  The stitch definition was good with a more rustic look, due to the chain construction of the yarn.  It would easily show cable detail and other textured stitches well. Typical of plant-based fibers, this yarn had no halo. One thing I did not expect is that this yarn is STRETCHY!  That's right!  A cotton yarn that has bounce!  Who knew?!  It has a decent amount of negative ease, making it perfect for hats and lightweight garments.  I don't usually like to use cotton in garments due to the ever-growing nature of the cotton.  But this is definitely different.  Because it has mild softness, is breathable, and stretchy, this yarn would be my go-to summer garment yarn choice.  The only problem being - it only comes 77 yds/skein.  Unfortunately, that would make larger garments cost-prohibitive. Having said that, slippers, a summer scarf, a market bag, DK/Sport weight socks, spa cloths, or hats would be a great use of this yarn.

Overall I liked working with this yarn. The fingertip towel I made is getting a bit of monogramming via duplicate st for Mother's Day!  I really liked the way this yarn had a natural, matte finish with a more rustic (natural) look as opposed to a polished or mercerized dyed cotton.  It really allows the natural beauty of this yarn to show through.  For the price point, I'd suggest using this cotton as a luxury cotton for special gifts or items or as a gift itself for frugal knitters who don't usually splurge.  Give it try - I think you'll like it!

From Knit Outta the Box:*Sifa Silver Cotton is produced exclusively by KB Yarns in Turkey in collaboration with local spinners who possess a passion and deep-rooted knowledge for fiber, handed down through generations. Fair trade and fair labor practices apply to all products. Available in the US and Canada exclusively through Knit Outta the Box.*Turkish for "healing"
KB Yarns are sourced from the earthquake-devastated and rebuilt town of Golcuk, Turkey. KB Yarns is committed to supporting local artisans and small businesses.

Connect with Knit Outta the Box Via:
Disclosure: Knit Outta the Box sent KnitPurlGurl (1) skein of KB Sifa Silver Cotton FREE for review. KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceding review and all opinions in the above review are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Knit Outta the Box.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Product Review: Namaste Boardwalk Bag & Skinny Mini

Product: The Boardwalk Bag
Company: Namaste Inc.
Retail Price: $97.50
Dimensions: L: 7" at top, 11.5" at base; W: 3.5" from front to back, 6.5" at base; H:14"
Materials: Exterior: PVC-Free, animal friendly faux leather; Interior: PET microsuede (faux suede made from recycled plastic bottles)
Available Colors: Espresso, Red, Eggplant, Black

Alrighty fiber friends. You ALL know that I am in love with just about every product Namaste produces.  It's no secret that I've reviewed their fab bags before!!  When I saw the drool-worthy Boardwalk Bag, I begged asked Kelly of Namaste if I could please review it.  Now, I've been sportin' this puppy all over town for the past month and a half!  I've taken it to the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Show, where the amazing StevenBe even drooled over me having one.  I've taken it to 2 different knitting groups. I've taken it to family functions, the coffee shop, and to lunch dates with friends. Heck, I've even taken it to the grocery store. So I'm happy to give a proper review of what this bag is capable of!

First and foremost, I must tell you that I adore Namaste's philosophy on animal friendly bags.For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of owning one, it's not the cheesy faux leather product you oftentimes see in place of leather handbags. This has a luxurious feel to it. It even fooled my mother, who wanted this very bag for just an everyday handbag (she doesn't knit).  After nearly 60 days of throwing this bag all around, the exterior is just as supple and shiny as the day I got it, with no obvious marks on the bag and no signs of wear. The inside of the bag is just as luxurious.  It's faux suede is soft and durable.  And unlike other faux suede items, the interior of this bag did not pill up or display a worn out look. And let's just say I abused this bag to no end.  I schlepped my clunky wallet, my knitting projects with my very sharp lace needles, and everything else I need: a cellphone, makeup bag, and even knitting mags & books in it.

The bag is well constructed.  The stitching is sturdy as well as the handle hardware and grommets. The closure has not weakened or separated from the bag with repeated opening and closing of the bag.  The zippers move freely and legs are sturdy with no signs of separating from the bag base.

The bag has 2 outside zipper pockets: 1 in the front and 1 on the left side back.  It also has a generous inside zippered pocket as well as 2 unzippered pockets for cellphones, devices, or a small wallet on the inside. The inside of the bag is hollow, allowing for a multitude of projects to be fit into it.  I stuffed this bag full to see what I could do to it while at Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Show.  At one point, I had a knitting book I'd won there, 5 skeins of yarn in a bag, my cellphone, my wallet, my buttons (to hand out), and 2 knitting projects in the bag.  It all fit comfortably. What made this even more enjoyable at the show was that I was able to have my hands free, putting the bag (a backpack) on my back!

The backpack handles are nice and wide, at about 1 1/4" wide and are fully adjustable with sturdy hardware.  The bag feels comfortable and lightweight when worn. I was nervous that the faux leather would make my back sweaty, but was relieved to find that it was very comfortable and I had no issues with weight or heat.

Overall, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this bag! It's quality construction paired with it's fashionable appearance is a must have for any knitter or fiberista. Even non-knitters will LOVE this bag as an everyday handbag.  In fact, it's replaced both my knitting bag and my purse and is now my go-everywhere bag! No lie!

Product: Skinny Mini
Company: Namaste Inc.
Retail Price: $17.25
Dimensions: 2.5" W at the bottom, 1" W at the top; 2.5"H; 8.5"L
Materials: Same as The Boardwalk Bag
Available Colors: Black, Eggplant, Hollywood Pink, Lime, Red, Peacock

When I opened the box from Namaste, I was surprised to find they included their new Skinny Mini notions case for me to review!  This little wedge is every bit as luxurious and durable as one would expect from Namaste.  But it's SO cute!  I was able to fit my tapestry needles, DPNs, Straight Needles, & Cable needles up to 8" long, my stitch markers, a small measuring tape, and a small row counter in this notions case.

Again, the stitching is nice and sturdy. This cutie patootie got thrown in the Boardwalk Bag along with my large wallet, my projects, and other necessities and doesn't show any signs of wear. The zipper is stitched in nicely, moves freely, and has a wonderful zipper pull.  Triangular in shape, once unzipped, the top opens extremely wide to create a rectangle for ease of use. I didn't find it hard to get my hands in and out of the Skinny Mini because of how it opens up at the top.

I enjoyed the Skinny Mini notions case.  It's durable, beautiful, and the perfect compliment to any Namaste bag!

If you'd like to connect with Namaste Inc., you can find them here:

Disclosure: Namaste Inc. provided KnitPurlGurl with (1) Boardwalk Bag and (1) Skinny Mini FREE for review. KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the preceeding review.  All opinions expressed in the review are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Namaste Inc.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Urban Edge Blog Tour & Review/Giveaway

Book Title: Urban Edge
Author: Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby
ISBN: 978-1-60900-661-7
Publisher: Leisure Arts
Approximate Retail Price: (USD) $19.95
Category: Crafts/Needle Arts/Crochet
Patterns: 13
Availability: Paperback or Digital Download

Hi fiber friends! Recently I was approached by the amazing Shannon to be a part of the Urban Edge Blog Tour.  I was thrilled to participate!  As you all know, I dabble in crochet and I hope someday to be able to crochet like this talented lad.  His designs are edgy and redefine crochet garments.  You may know Shannon as 1/2 of the wonder-duo that is ShibaGuyz Designz and from a live interview I did with him ages ago (where my daughter streaked in front of the video cam - it was super professional).  I could go on and on about Shannon, but you came here to see the designs, so let's delve right in, shall we?

Dublin (Written instructions with charts included)
Description: A loose-fitting cabled dress or  tunic suitable to wear with leggings, jeans, or even a pair of trousers.
Skill Level: Experienced
Special Stitches Used: 1-Over-1 FPdc-Cable, 2-Over-2 FPtr-Cable, 2-Over-2 FPdtr-Cable, 3-Over-3 FPdtr Cable, FPdc-Cross-St, FPtr-Cross St, Fsc, Fhdc, FPdc, FPtr, FPdtr
Construction Details: Worked in 6 sections & seamed

Rio de Janeiro (Written instructions)
Description: a drapey, hooded vest.
Skill Level: Easy
Special Stitches Used: Fhdc
Construction Details: Body is worked in one piece from bottom up to the underarm. The piece is then divided for armholes, and back and fronts worked separately. This fabric is reversible.

St. Tropez (Written instructions with stitch chart included)
Description: A soft, feminine sweater with butterfly sleeves.
Skill Level: Easy
Special Stitches Used: Fsc, Star St
Construction Details: Worked in pieces and seamed with set-in sleeves.

Buenos Aires (Written instructions with chart included)
Description: A semi-fitted (bust), filet-crochet, sleeveless duster/maxi vest.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Special Stitches Used: Fsc, Y-St, Lace pattern
Construction Details: Body is worked in one piece from lower edge up to the underarm and then divided for armholes and backs and fronts worked separately then seamed. Includes dart shaping.

Amsterdam (Written instructions and stitch chart included)
Description: A short-waisted, textured, open vest.
Skill Level: Easy
Special Stitches Used: Fhdc, Rev sc, Rev sc Ridge
Construction Details: Vest is worked in one piece, from side to side and is designed to hang open in front. Front edges aren't meant to meet.

Helsinki (Written instructions)
Description: A cowl-necked, updated boyfriend sweater.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Special Stitches Used: Fsc, Fsc-Inc, 2-Color Rib Pattern
Construction Details: Front, back, and sleeves are worked side-side. Worked in pieces and seamed.

Seattle (Written instructions)
Description: A versatile, front panel draping vest that can be worn in numerous ways to provide either a contemporary or traditional look.
Skill Level: Easy
Special Stitches Used: Fsc
Construction Details: Body is worked in one piece from lower edge up to armholes.  The piece is then divided for armholes, and back and fronts worked separately then seamed. Stitch pattern is reversible.

Bangkok (Written instructions with stitch pattern chart included)
Description: An asymmetric, edgy, side-button jacket with strong geometric detail.
Skill Level: Experienced
Special Stitches Used: Fhdc, Spike-Wedge St pattern
Construction Details: Body is worked in one piece from lower edge up to armholes.  The piece is then divided for armholes, and back and fronts worked separately then seamed. Stitch pattern is reversible.

Los Angeles (Written instructions with stitch pattern chart included)
Description: A bell-shaped coat with structured pattern, eye clasp closing at the top, and ribbon detail added to the sleeves.
Skill Level: Experienced
Special Stitches Used: Fhdc, Spike St Pattern
Construction Details: Body is worked in one piece from lower edge up to armholes.  The piece is then divided for armholes, and back and fronts worked separately then seamed. Stitch pattern is reversible.

Taos (Written pattern with stitch pattern chart included)
Description: A contemporary take on the classic poncho.
Skill Level: Easy
Special Stitches Used: Fsc, Star St, Rev-Hdc
Construction Details: Worked in two identical panels and joined via the button band at the top of the work.

Milan (Written instructions with stitch pattern chart included)
Description: A sleeveless, cowl top perfect to wear alone or as a layering piece that will take you from office to evening.
Skill Level: Easy
Special Stitches Used: Fsc
Construction Details: Work front and back then seam.

Paris (Written instructions with stitch pattern chart included)
Description: A geometric, multi-directional wrap skirt or cross-front dress/cover-up. Extremely versatile for all body types.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Special Stitches Used: Fsc, Fsc-Inc
Construction Details: Worked as a mitered square with short row shaping to create a rectangle.

NYC (Written and chart instructions)
Description: An edgy, strapeless, geometric designed dress combining traditional granny square styling with  a mod feel.
Skill Level: Easy
Special Stitches Used: FPdc
Construction Details: Square motiffs are worked separately, sewn together, and then the top and lower borders are added.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  There are 2 things that really strike me about these designs: 1.) They are sized Small - 3X, to fit most anyone.  AND  2.) Shannon created a lot of these pieces to work in different ways, with different wardrobe pieces, making them versatile and accessible to nearly any woman's wardrobe. The patterns are very well written and clear.  The special stitches typically have a chart to go one step further in demonstrating the construction of the stitches. The font is nice, large, and CLEAN looking, making it super simple to follow along in the pattern.  It's an all-around great book of patterns.

GUESS WHAT?!!  Leisure Arts is going to give away 2 copies of this fab book to 2 lucky KPG readers!!!!!!  Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions to enter!!!

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