Thursday, March 29, 2012

DIY Magnetic Line Marker



If you're a knitter, crocheter, avid reader, or have a child who needs help with reading, you can make these simple and cute magnetic line markers!  I've seen these all over Etsy and in book boutiques, but today I'm going to show you how to make them yourself!




FIRST - gather your supplies! In this case, I'm using
  • Darice Flexible 0.5 in (1.27 cm) wide, adhesive backed Magnets (cut to size)
  • 5/8 in (15 mm) ribbon
  • scissors
  • Low Temp Glue Gun or any type of all-purpose adhesive
  • a ruler
Make sure you put something over your table to protect it from the glue or the adhesive. I'm using a garbage bag.



Next, measure your ribbon. Most paper is 8" wide, so I like to measure out 16" of ribbon. You can measure to any length you like! (Remember, half of the length will be on the front of the paper and half on the back of the paper.)


Next measure the magnets. You're going to want about 2" less than your ribbon length.

You want to leave about 1/2" on either end of the ribbon and about an inch in the middle free.  I had to adjust mine a bit. Use either adhesive or adhesive backed magnets to secure to the ribbon. Make sure it's nice and straight on the ribbon. With some adhesives, you only get 1 shot, so go slowly.


Now apply adhesive or glue to the end of the magnet and fold the ribbon onto the glue to give the edge a nice, clean look.


Doesn't it look nicer with the end folded over?


Now use! The magnet on the front should be paired up with the magnet on the back to provide a nice line marker without disturbing your pattern, book page, or your child's homework. Make them in all sorts of pretty colors with different ribbons. They also make terrific book marks!

Craft on!


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FO - Winemaker's Dinner Socks




These puppies have seemingly been on the needles FOR-EV-ER!  Okay, not forever - just since 2/18/12.  But since they are vanilla socks, they've been worked on only when I'm in the mood to work on a mindless project.  I used Wendy D. Johnson's Toe Up Socks with a Difference pattern (FREE) and Ladybug Fiber Company Superwash 460, Self-Striping Merino-Nylon Sock yarn in the Winemaker's Dinner colorway on US Size 1 needles (magic loop).  These are super fun and funky colors and my new fave chill-on-the-couch-socks. :)  There's NOTHING like the feel of hand knit wool socks that fit like a glove!  And the gorgeous colors are just a perk!

Knit on!


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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Announcement: Podcast Hiatus


Hey there, fiber friends!  As you can tell, I've not been podcasting lately.  Initially, it was because my family was racked with illness for 4 weeks, but now that the family is well, I find myself in the middle of several professional projects (knitting related) and have had no real time to devote to a proper podcasting schedule.  While I was feeling guilty and sad about not putting out a podcast, I realized that in order to do so, something else would have to give.  And right now, I'm working on some professional projects as well as some personal projects.  And when the family is home, my first priority is to them.  After weighing my options, I decided that podcasting will need to be put on the back burner.  I'm not saying that I'm podfading and will not podcast again.  But I AM saying that I have SO much to juggle right now and podcasting just can't be one of them for the next couple of months.

For those companies that I am performing reviews for, I will be posting blog reviews with proper promotion as always!  I will revisit podcasting in a couple of months when I don't have so many projects that need my attention.  Of course, I will definitely tell y'all what's happening. :)

Thanks for your support and look for some amazing reviews this week on the blog!

Knit on!


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Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Hunger Games!



May the odds be ever in your favor!






Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably noticed all of the hype surrounding the release of The Hunger Games movie today!  It's based on the first book in a young adult trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  The books examine the evils of totalitarian government and control in a post-apocalyptic North America, sometime in the future.  In the new country, known as Panem, there are 12 districts and the Capitol.  At one time, a thirteenth district organized an uprising against the Capitol and was destroyed. As a reminder to the remaining districts, the Capitol puts on an annual "Hunger Games" in which 2 tributes from each district, ages 12-18, are selected to go to the Capitol and fight to the death in elaborate arenas as both entertainment to the Capitol and punishment to the districts. 24 children enter the Hunger Games and 1 child will survive as the victor.  The districts are forced to watch the televised events as their children fight to the death. But on this, the 74th  Annual Hunger Games, our heroine Katniss, will surprise the Capitol by refusing to be a pawn in their bloody game.

I thoroughly enjoyed the books!  They are well-written and really challenge young adults to think about the various themes in the book, rather than be pure entertainment.  If you haven't read the trilogy, I encourage you to do so.  They are quick reads and terrific books.

I thought I'd search Ravelry in honor of The Hunger Games today and list the various Hunger Games patterns I could find.  If you know of additional patterns, please list them in the comments so others can locate them!

Down with the Capitol - Various Hunger Games inspired charts

District 12 - Wristers

Peeta - Shawlette (Not sure if this is Hunger Games-inspired)

Peeta Socks - Cuff Down Socks

Hunger Games Pillow/Chart 

Hunger Games-Inspired Tribute's Training Beanie - hat

Hunger Games - Life and Death Socks -  Toe-Up Socks

Team Peeta Chart - Large Version

Mockingjay Chart

Mockingjay Pin

Rue's Song - Cowl



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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Press Release: Lion Brand Yarn Story Contest!


Lion Brand Yarn Company Runs "Story Contest" Featuring a Grand Prize of $500 to LionBrand.com

New York- March 22, 2012- Lion Brand Yarn Company is running a story contest through an app on the company's Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/LionBrandYarns). Entrants must write a story of 500 words or less answering the question, "What is the most meaningful handmade gift you have ever given or received?" Last day for submissions is April 14th, and Facebook fans will vote on their favorite essays. The grand prize winner will win a $500 credit to LionBrand.com. In addition, four weekly winners chosen randomly will receive a $50 credit to LionBrand.com.

"We know that one of the main reasons our community knits and crochets is to create handmade gifts which mean so much to people, so we decided to ask them to share those stories", says Ilana Rabinowitz, VP of Marketing for Lion Brand Yarn Company. The winner will be announced on the Facebook page on the week of April 30th. Additionally, the winner's story will be shared on the company's blog,"Lion Brand Notebook" (blog.lionbrand.com), which receives about 230,000 monthly views.

About Lion Brand Yarn Company:
Founded in New York City, Lion Brand Yarn Company is a 134 year-old brand and America's oldest hand-knitting yarn brand. Throughout its history, Lion Brand has been at the forefront of yarn trends while consistently providing its customers with the finest quality products at affordable prices. Visit LionBrand.com.


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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blog Tour: Galler Yarns NEW Inca-Eco 100% Organic Cotton







The generous people of Galler Yarns asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing their latest yarn, Inca-Eco 100% Organic Cotton and participating in a blog tour.  Of course I said "YES!" immediately!


As you can see, Galler Yarns sent me a skein in the Ecru colorway. Inca-Eco 100% Organic Cotton yarn is a moderate to moderately-highly soft yarn, suitable for washcloths, garments, and baby items.  It's a 2-ply, worsted weight yarn in a thick and thin, almost handspun appearance.  I found areas of the yarn to be both overspun and underspun, lending to a very natural and rustic appeal to the yarn.  100% Cotton, this yarn has little to no bounce, but mild spring in the overspun areas.  It also has a very minute halo.  As you can see in the picture above, the stitch definition is good-excellent and I found no issues with loose or splitting plies.  In the Ecru colorway, there was no visible sheen or color variances in the yarn.  This yarn provides for a good drape considering it's worsted weight. 


I really enjoyed working with this yarn and found it a pleasure in my hands.  The yarn easily glided over my needles and created a soft and durable fabric with decent drape.  I would most definitely buy this yarn for future worsted weight cotton yarn needs!

Galler Yarns was so nice as to include some information about the yarn for my readers:





Yarn details: 
Inca Eco is a 100% organic cotton yarn available in 15 shades. Each skein of this thick and thin textured yard is a generous 100 grams (3.5 oz)/140 yds (128 m).  Ecru is undyed, and is also available in 1/2 lb (227 grams)/650 yds (594 m) skeins as Inca Cotton.   
All other shades of Inca Eco are dyed with low-impact, environmentally-friendly dyes. Imported from Peru. Available in Ecru, Butter, Sage, Blue Stone, Blossom, Rose, Lavender, Aloe, Aqua, Denim, Espresso, Wine, Raspberry, Navy, Black. 





For additional Inca-Eco 100% Organic Cotton blog tour and retailer information, please visit the Galler Yarns Blog!

Connect with Galler Yarns via:
Be sure to check out all of the other stops on the blog tour for more information and opinions on Galler Yarn's NEW Inca-Eco 100% Organic Cotton!  And watch the tour for 2 FREE posted patterns from Galler Yarns on Fridays, during the tour!!

Disclosure: Galler Yarns sent KnitPurlGurl 1 Skein of Inca-Eco 100% Organic Cotton Yarn FREE for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for the review post and all opinions in the review are of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Galler Yarns.

The Schedule
Monday, March 19 - Day 1 - In the Loop in Norfolk, MA (shop website)
Tuesday, March 20 - Day 2 - Knit Purl Gurl
Wednesday, March 21 - Day 3 - FreshStitches
Thursday, March 22 - Day 4 - Crafty Is Cool
Friday, March 23 - Day 5 - Cute Crochet Chat
Saturday, March 24 - Day 6 - Redshirt Knitting
Sunday, March 25 - Day 7 - CraftSanity
Monday, March 26 - Day 8 - Craft Gossip with JD Wolfe
Tuesday, March 27 - Day 9 - Crafting a Green World with Julie Finn
Wednesday, March 28 - Day 10 - Crazy for Ewe in Leonardtown and La Plata, MD (shopwebsite)
Thursday, March 29 - Day 11 - Crochet Concupiscence
Friday, March 30 - Day 12 - KRW Knitwear Studio
Saturday, March 31 - Day 13 - About.com with Sarah E. White 
Sunday, April 1 - Day 14 - Underground Crafter
Monday, April 2 - Day 15 - Monarch Knitting and Quilts in Pacific Grove, CA (shopwebsite) 



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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Internet Find: Garter St in the Round Tutorial





The talented Liat Gat of KNITFreedom, offers a simple and ingenius trick to knit garter st in the round without having to purl!


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Thursday, March 15, 2012

All Apologies


Hey there fellow fiberistas!  I just wanted to let you all know that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth or forgotten you all.  My family has been riddled with upper respiratory tract infections that resulted from colds and then the stomach flu for the past 4 weeks!  It's like a string of never-ending viruses!  Unfortunately I think this unseasonably warm weather and lack of real winter here in the NE is to blame for the horrible season of illnesses we've had. My family has never had this many viruses over a season. (And we all had flu shots!)

Anywho.. that means that between hibernating and trying to take care of the wee ones, I've not really blogged or podcasted.  I have terrific reviews for Hiwassee Creek Dyeworks, At Knits End Yarns, Namaste, and more that I am anxious to share with you all!!!!  My sincerest apologies to the wonderful companies that are waiting patiently for my podcasted reviews of their products.  Today is the first day I've actually felt human in about a month and my littlest one went back to school today after being sick with the stomach flu.  What does this mean?  This means, I've got to attend to my messy, messy house that's been sadly neglected in the past weeks and get some grocery shopping done.  Look for me to return to podcasting, blogging, and reviews next week!

Thanks for your patience!


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Monday, March 12, 2012

Now Available: The Lady Edith


My The Lady Edith shawl is now available for purchase on Ravelry and Craftsy.


The Lady Edith is a triangular shawl, knit side to side with a simple lace border. It can be knit in any weight of yarn, in any amount. You simply weigh the yarn prior to casting on, perform the increases and stop just shy of 50% of the yarn being used, and then begin the decreases. Both written and charted instructions are included.  The pattern is available for $4.


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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Press Release: Blanket Sampler Contest!



YOUR KNITTING LIFE AND RED HEART YARNS CASTS NEW BLANKET SAMPLER CONTEST!
12 Sample Submissions Will Be Featured in Upcoming Issue

Calling all knitters! Try your hand at a new blanket sampler contest exclusively from Your Knitting Life (YKL) and Red Heart Yarns for a chance to win a prize package worthy of any knitter. Twelve knitted blanket square submissions will be selected and stitched into a sampler blanket, which will be featured in an upcoming issue of Your Knitting Life.

Twelve lucky contestants will receive an exciting prize package that includes:

  • Red Heart With Love 12-skeins yarn kit – valued at over $100!
  • Susan Bates knitting tools
  • Exclusive YKL “Made With Love” booklet, featuring 10 patterns

Check out the latest issue of Your Knitting Life for contest rules and submission, or visit: www.yourknittinglife.com/WIN. Contest ends July 1, 2012.

Your Knitting Life is a bi-monthly magazine designed to inspire passionate knitters with fresh ideas from a team of experts. The publication is also available online, which features current issue highlights, a blog, “How To” articles, free patterns and the option to subscribe to the print magazine. The publication is available at newsstands and national retailers and outlets, such as Barnes & Noble, Joann's Craft stores, tablets (Kindle Fire, Apple ® iPad, Barnes & Noble NOOK®) and shop.futureus.com.  Annual subscription price for Your Knitting Life is USD $19.95 for six issues. For more information, please visit: www.yourknittinglife.com.

Red Heart® is one of the most trusted brands in yarn. For over 75 years, more people have chosen to make heirlooms using Red Heart yarn than any other yarn. Red Heart yarns stand for quality, largest color selection, fashion and above all else, crafted with love. Whatever your creativity calls for, you’ll find it in the Red Heart family. Explore our vast selection of yarns, booklets and free patterns for all skill levels. A little bit of love woven into every strand.


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Monday, March 5, 2012

The Lady Edith


The Lady Edith is my latest shawl design.  It's inspired by the Lady Edith Crawley of Downton Abbey. Edith, the sister everyone loves to hate, is a curious character in my opinion. When we first meet Lady Edith, she is curt and bitter. She seems quite cold and unpleasant. But after we learn more about Edith, we come to understand that she has forever been in her sisters' shadows - not as pretty or sought after by the society men as Mary. She's not politically minded and spirited like Sybil. And while Lady Grantham and the Dowager Countess are constantly worried about Mary's position and Sybil's prospects, Edith's needs get swept under the carpet. We see a different Edith - an Edith who can be fearless and learn to drive a car; a sympathetic Edith, who reads to the wounded soldiers convalescing. We discover that Edith is deeper than she first appears.

When I started knitting this shawl, I immediately thought of Edith. It's a mostly plain, stockinette stitch shawl in a traditional triangular shape, with just a touch of elegant lace gracing the bottom - but not too garish! I imagine Edith, in her dressing gown, curled up in this shawl, reading from her tiny book before bed.

This shawl is knit from side to side. It can be knit out of any weight or any amount of yarn.  Using a scale will help one determine the total weight of the yarn prior to beginning the shawl. You begin knitting at one point and increase until half of the yarn is used up. Once approx. half of the yarn is used, you decrease.  This is a wonderfully simple shawl with very little lace work.  Complete written instructions AND a lace chart are provided - so whether you prefer written instructions or charts, you're covered. It is currently being test knit by 4 test knitters and will likely be available to purchase on Ravelry around St. Patrick's Day.


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Thursday, March 1, 2012

March is National Crochet Month!






IMG_20110601_171629

March is National Crochet Month!  Many knitters have not yet embraced crochet as there is a misconception that crochet is somehow lesser than knitting.  I'm a knitter who learned to crochet and let me just say that it is fabulous!  It's fun, fast, and relaxing!  If you've been leery of picking up the hook, there's no better time than now!

Crochet is thought to have become popular in the early 19th century, though no one knows for sure when it originated.  Like knitting, crochet works by pulling loops through loops to create stitches and then a fabric.  Unlike knitting with traditional crochet, only 1 stitch is live at a time.  This is wonderful news for hesitant newbies - no dropped stitches!  Tunisian (afghan) crochet and broomstick lace have many live stitches like in knitting.

Early crochet hooks were made made of  silver, brass, steel, ivory, and even bone.  Today's hooks can be found in plastic, aluminum, steel, various exotic woods, bamboo, and even nickle plated brass. They come with finger grips, ergonomic handles, bamboo handles, cushioned handles, or even plain.

During the Great Irish Famine of the 19th Century, Mademoiselle Riego de la Blanchardiere invented what we know as Irish Crochet. Impoverished Irish workers would create these intricate and valued lace pieces as an alternate way to earn a living. Irish Crochet became wildly popular in Europe and America during WWI.

After WWII, crochet became more popular as a home craft.  During the 1960s-1970s, crochet was often used to produce afghans, pot holders, doilies, and other home items and used thicker weights of crochet thread and eventually worsted weight yarns.

Today, crochet has again become a valued home craft as well as a beautiful art form.  With limitless possibilities for garment and home decor use, modern crocheters create everything from useful items to couture creations. Basic crochet has even branched off into several additional forms including Filet Crochet, Tunisian (afghan) Crochet, Tapestry Crochet, Broomstick Lace, Hairpin Lace, Cro-Hooking, & Irish Crochet.


Recently the popularity of Japanese Crochet has spawned such goodies as Amigurumi (crocheted toys) and crochet stitch diagrams.  Crochet celeb Robyn Chachula has been integral in familiarizing the American audience with crochet stitch diagrams and has produced books Blueprint Crochet, Baby Blueprint Crochet, and Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia (as well as many others) to bring charted patterns to the mainstream!  The reason many crocheters love stitch diagrams is because your finished project will look exactly like the diagram!

Itching to learn crochet but not sure where to start?  NexStitch has WONDERFUL free videos to help you learn crochet stitches and Craftsy has a couple of terrific video crochet classes online with master crocheters Vickie Howell and Linda Permann.  Infact, the baby sweater pictured above is one I created after taking Linda Permann's Beyond Rectangles Crochet Class on Craftsy!

Go on, get HOOKED!


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