Monday, July 20, 2015

Where Do You Buy Yarn?

I'm curious about your yarn buying habits! Where do you buy the yarn you use for your knitting and crochet projects?

I primarily buy yarn at chain stores like Michaels Stores or JoAnn Fabric & Craft Stores. I've also occasionally purchased yarn directly from Lion Brand Yarn's website. I rarely purchase yarn from independent yarn stores... In fact, I think I've purchased yarn only once from an independent yarn store. I like supporting small businesses, but tend to notice that indie yarn stores tend to have more expensive yarns than chain stores.

I tend to tyically purchase skeins of yarn that are $9.99 or less each as I'm on a budget... By the way, Gotta love the store coupons from both JoAnns and Micheals. 

Also, because I am a new knitter, I don't want to buy expensive skeins of yarn until I know how to knit really well and am able to make more advanced projects. So, I avoid buying expensive yarns for these reasons I've mentioned.

Tell me more about your yarn buying habits!

Do You Know How To Read A Knitting Pattern?

If you're a new knitter, then learning to read a knitting pattern can be a bit difficult at first --- That is until you understand the knitting lingo/abbreviations and what these abbreviations mean. 

Ultimately though, reading a knitting pattern is like reading a cooking recipe. The above video walks you through reading a few knitting patterns to help make reading knitting patterns easier for you!!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

How To Hold Your Knitting Yarn

As a new knitter, one of the things I struggled with the most was how to hold the yarn while I was knitting. No matter how I seemed to hold the knitting needles and yarn, holding the yarn always felt awkward and I'd end up with either a hand, finger, wrist, and/or arm soreness after knitting for a while. 

So figuring out how to wrap the yarn around the knitting needles in an efficient and ergonomic fashion became a huge priority for me in being able to move forward with my new hobby of knitting.

I'm still playing around with which way to hold the yarn while knitting works best for me. But I have found that holding the yarn the way Cheryl Brunette shows in the above video to make knitting easier for me. Ms. Brunette also shows how to hold yarn for crocheters too.

Until my next post, happy knitting!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Make A Knit Headband --- Beginning Level Pattern!

I enjoy discovering new beginning knit patterns for me to knit my own wonderful handmade items for myself and to give as gifts to others. 

About two weeks ago, I discovered a wonderful video for beginning knitters on YouTube from Chandi at Expression Fiber Arts on how to knit a headband!! 

After watching the above video, I couldn't wait to make this simple knitted headband for myself as it looks, not only like an easy item to make, but cute, comfortable to wear, and fashionable as well. 

So, after I purchased a pair of wood Clover Brand knitting needles in size 9 and a skein of worsted weight yarn, I began making the above knit headband. I used the Loops & Threads Bobby Jean yarn in navy, which is a variegated yarn in navy blue tones. 

I thought making this knit headband was easy and fun to make. I like the overall look of my headband once I finished making it... However, it's a tad large in length. I'm not sure if this is due to the stretchy yarn I used or not.

If I use the same yarn next time I decide to make this headband, I think I'll make the headband a half inch to a full inch shorter in length and see if I have a better fit... Otherwise, I think the headband I've made this time around feels fairly loose and may stretch out as time goes by.

Attached below is a picture of the headband I made using the video from Expression Fiber Arts. Thank you Chandi for making this video for beginning knitters like myself.

Until my next post, happy knitting!!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Which Yarncrafting Tools Are Allowed In Carry-On Luggage??

I usually don't fly on board airplanes very often, but soon I will be taking a domestic airline flight to visit my parents. To pass the time waiting to board my flight and during the actual flight itself, I usually find myself reading a book or magazine when flying solo.

Now that I am a new knitter, I wondered if TSA actually allows knitting or crochet needles to be taken aboard an airplane in one's carry-on luggage?

Lucky for me, I found the following article on Lion Brand Yarn's blog titled Which Crafting Tools Are Allowed In Carry-On Luggage? by Sarah. In the article, Sarah writes:
Are knitting needles and crochet hooks allowed in carry-on luggage? 
Knitting needles and crochet hooks are permitted by the TSA in carry-on luggage on domestic flights in the US. Savvy travelers suggest that you carry wooden or plastic needles over metal and bring circular knitting needles instead of straights which might seem more obtrusive. If you are travelling internationally be sure to check the guidelines of your airline and security agencies abroad. You may be allowed to fly into a country with knitting needles in your carry-on but be required to check them on your return flight.
Scissors with blades less than four inches are also allowed to be brought on board an aircraft in one's carry-on luggage, which I found surprising! I wouldn't think TSA would allow scissors at all.

Click on the above link to read more information about what can be brought on board an airline flight and other helpful links.

I hope you found the above information informative. Happy knitting!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

10 Important Health Benefits of Yarncrafting!

Here's another wonderful article about the many benefit of being a knitter or crocheter from Lion Brand Yarn's blog titled 10 Most Important Health Benefits of Yarncrafting by Kathryn Vercillo.

I like that the information presented in Kathryn Vercillo'sarticle. It is written using bullet points that highlight the many benefits of yarncrafting!

Click on the above link to read the 10 Most Important Health Benefits of Yarncrafting. I hope that reading the provided in Kathryn Vercillo's article helps to inspire you to become a knitter or crocheter. Happy knitting everyone!

The Health Benefits of Knitting!

Since I began knitting last year, I've come across several articles online about the many health related benefits of knitting and croceting. One of the knitting articles that I came across last year from The Sacramento Bee is titled Health benefits for those who stick to their knitting by Sammy Caiola. In the article, Caiola writes the following:
Carrie Barron, a psychiatrist with the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and a knitter, lauds handiwork as a tool for alleviating anxiety and depression. Her husband, Alton Barron, orthopedic surgeon and president of the New York Society for Surgery of the Hand, says knitting can prevent arthritis and tendinitis.
Pretty cool benefits of knitting, right? I also learned in Caiola's article:
Knitting someone a sweater, in addition to saving you from holiday shopping, can also be a great workout for the fingers, hands and forearms, said Alton Barron. Moving the joints of the fingers forces fluid to move in and out of the surrounding, sponge-like cartilage, keeping the joints well-hydrated and minimizing the risk of arthritis, he said.
“If you let a joint sit, not only will it get stiff, but the actual cartilage will lose its structural integrity and break down,” he said. “Most of us grow up thinking the more you use something the more it wears out, but that’s not the case with cartilage.”

Read more here:
To learn more benefits of knitting, please click on the above link.
Read more here:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Lion Brand Yarn

I love using Lion Brand Yarn... Granted, I've primarily used their 
Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® super bulky yarn at this point to make several knit cuffs and matching scarves. I love the quality of Lion Brand's Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® yarn. It's an easy yarn to work with for beginners.

I also enjoy visiting the Lion Brand Yarn website as they offer several free patterns for knitters and crocheters. You can search for patterns based on skill level, which is awesome! There are other knitting supplies for sale through the Lion Brand website as well like looms, knitting/crochet books and knitting needles, etc.

So check out the Lion Brand website by clicking on the links above!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Basic Knit Scarf

Me modeling the first scarf I ever made.
In my first ever post here on my knitting blog titled, I'm A Knitting Newbie!!, I showcased a picture of the knit cuffs that I made using Lion Brand's Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® yarn in Denim. 

After I completed the knit cuffs, I decided that I would make a matching scarf to go with the knit cuffs by using the same colored Lion Brand's Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® yarn in Denim for the scarf. 

I also used the same sized knitting needles and knitted the scarf using the knit stitch (aka the garter stitch) throughout the knitting process to give the knit cuffs and scarf a uniform/matching look. The scarf turned out longer than I would have made it otherwise as the pattern suggested making the scarf 2 yards (or 6 feet) in length. In the future, I'd make the scarf about 5 feet in length instead as I feel that would be long enough for the length of a scarf.

I used a free Lion Brand Pattern to make the scarf you see me wearing in the above photograph, which you can search for on the Lion Brand website and download as a pdf file. I'm not sure how to attach a pdf file to this blog post if that's even possible... But a beginning knit scarf pattern of your liking should be easy enough to find through the Lion Brand website.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Learn To Arm Knit by Leisure Arts (Book Review)

Paperback Book For Arm Knitting
I purchased Learn To Arm Knit by Leisure Arts through Joann Fabrics and Craft Stores website for 40% off the cover price. This book seems more of a pamphlet than a book and is 32 pages in length. This book is for beginners and also offers an online video tutorial on how to arm knit as well.

I've made several arm knitted scarves so far and given some of them away as gifts. Arm knitted scarves are fun, fast, and easy to make. I am now an avid arm knitter and loving promoting this knitting technique!

Arm knitting is also a great way to teach kids how to knit as you don't have to worry about them poking themselves or others accidentally with knitting needles.

Learn to Arm Knit by Leisure Arts also offers a photo gallery with various arm knitted scarves in different colors and an index of which yarns were used to make each scarf using the technique outlined in the book.

I also enjoyed the reading the instructions on how to make a very cute looking scarf using a finger crocheting technique, which I haven't tried doing yet.

Me modeling one of my arm knitted scarves.
Even though, I enjoyed reading Learn to Arm Knit by Leisure Arts and adding it to my permanent collection of knitting books, I am glad I didn't pay full price for this book. I felt that there wasn't anything revolutionary in it that couldn't have been found for free by watching a YouTube video on how to arm knit. In fact, I had already learned how to arm knit by watching a YouTube video prior to buying this book online. 

I guess the redeeming feature of Learn to Arm Knit by Leisure Arts for me was the photo gallery showcasing various arm knitted scarves and the index that followed stating which yarns were used. I also think that that the finger crochet scarf is worthwhile and I look forward to making it in the future as well.

Which knitting books have you found to be invaluable in your journey to becoming a better knitter?

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog post!! Happy knitting!

Beginning Arm Knitting --- Learn How To Make An Infinity Scarf!

Me modelling an infinity scarf I made for my mom.
Who knew that you could use your arms to knit beautiful infinity scarves?!?!? I was excited to learn about arm knitting last Fall. I absolutely love arm knitting and have already made ten different infinity style scarves in various lengths, colors, and styles. 

Arm knitting is fun, fast, and very easy to do!! It's a great way to make beautiful, chunky, infinity style scarves for yourself and others... In fact, this past holiday season, I actually made several arm knitted scarves to give as gifts to a few family and friends. The scarves were a hit.

Arm knitting is also a great way to teach kids how to knit and not have to worry about them poking themselves (or others) accidentally with knitting needles... Plus, as I already mentioned, arm knitting makes for a reasonably fast knitting project for both kids and adults to complete in a short amount of time.

To make the exact same arm knitted scarves I made and am wearing in the two photographs I've included in this post, please watch the Michaels Stores arm knitting video. This arm knitting project is great for beginning knitters and it only requires two skeins of bulky yarn in the color of your choice to complete.

I used Loops & Threads® Cozy Wool™ Yarn from Michaels. I made one arm knitted scarf in the Caribbean Sea color and another scarf in the Earth color. 

I think it took me approximately an hour to complete each scarf from start to finish. This project makes a great scarf that is warm and comfortable to wear during the Winter months.

Have you tried arm knitting yet? Tell me about your experience with arm knitting. 

Happy knitting!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Ravelry -- A Free Site For Knitters and Crocheters!!

Ravelry is a great website for knitters and crocheters. It's also one of the first websites I learned about for knitters and crocheters. I am still new to the Ravelry website and have yet to fully explore all it has to offer.

The following information is from the Ravelry 'About Us' page:
Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration. The content here is all user- driven; we as a community make the site what it is. Ravelry is a great place for you to keep notes about your projects, see what other people are making, find the perfect pattern and connect with people who love to play with yarn from all over the world in our forums.
For more information about Ravelry, click on the link below to watch a brief video introduction to the Ravelry website: 

Happy knitting!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Learn How To Do The Purl Stitch!!

Once again, I found the following YouTube video from Chandi at Expression Fiber Arts to be fun and informative 'how to' video on how to perform another basic knitting stitch called the purl stitch.

Have fun watching the following video and learning how to do the purl stitch!

Happy knitting!!

Learn The Knitting Basics

Welcome to the wonderful world of knitting!!

Before I get started with today's post, I have a confession to make... I love to watch YouTube videos for learning new things... Like learning the knitting basics and how to knit various knitting stitches.

When I was first learning to knit, I found the following beginning knitting video below from Chandi at Expression Fiber Arts to be EXTREMELY HELPFUL!! Chandi makes learning how to knit easy and so much fun. She gives viewers a lot of tips, like how to hold one's knitting needles and yarn while knitting and so on. 

In the video below, Chandi shows you how to make a slip knot, cast on to your knitting needles using the long tail method, knit using the knit stitch, and how to finish a project by binding off your knitting needles. This is a very basic video on how to knit if you've never knitted before. 

Enjoy watching the video and happy knitting!!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

I'm A Knitting Newbie!!

Welcome to my new blog!! It's all about knitting. I'll be documenting my knitting journey with you... I'll be discussing everything from the knitting projects I'm working on, the knitting projects I've completed, knitting classes I'm taking, knitting techniques I've learned, knitting videos and various knitting websites I like and so on.

Last year, I decided that I wanted to take up a new hobby. Knitting has always appealed to me. I have wanted to learn how to knit off and on for several years now.

In April 2014, I decided to make learning to knit a reality! I initially discovered that a local knitting and quilting store in Carpinteria, California (where I lived at the time) offered free classes for knitters. Classes were held on two or three different days of the week. I decided to attend the knitting class on Thursday mornings from 10am to Noon. The cool part (aside from attending a free knitting class down the street from my home), was having a fabulous knitting instructor and a wonderful group of women knitters to interact with during the two hours of time I spent in the class learning to knit. Sadly though, my hubby and I moved to Northern California about 6 weeks later in May 2014, and was sad to have had to stop attending this knitting class as it was a blast to attend. I ended up taking a four month hiatus from knitting as moving is a big task to undergo.

Here Are The Knit Cuffs I made!! This Was My First Knitting Project I Ever Made!!

For my first knitting project, I didn't want to make a scarf or something too difficult for the first time knitter. So, I chose to make knit cuffs using a Lion Brand knitting pattern, which was perfect for the beginner like myself! I've made four pairs of these knit cuffs. I kept one pair for myself and gave the others away as gifts. I have seen my knitting skills improve improve upon completing each pair.

What did I like about this pattern? 

* You only need one skein of Lion Brand's Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® yarn in the color of your choice to complete one pair of knit cuffs. 

* As a new knitter, I also loved working with a thicker yarn and a thicker pair of knitting needles. Both of these things made learning to knit, for me, a whole lot easier than had I chosen a knitting project that used thinner yarn and a thinner pair of knitting needles.

* Knitting up these knit cuffs made for a quick project that was easy to make and looks very cute when finished!

* Also, the knit cuffs only requires the new knitter to learn and use the knit stitch (verses more than one type of stitch), which is awesome as well.

* For a minimal investment of a skein of yarn, a pair of knitting needles and large eye blunt needle, you can make these knit cuffs.

Tip for the newbie knitter: I recommend using wood knitting needles verses using metal or plastic knitting needles, while first learning to knit. I found that using wood knitting needles have made life easier for me while working on my knitting projects. Sure, wood knitting needles are a tad more expensive, but they are worth the price. I love the quality of wood knitting needles as well. I've been using the Clover brand wood knitting needles and I love this brand! Also, the yarn doesn't slip off wood needles so easily while using them.

You can download the Lion Brand knit cuff pattern for FREE from their website as a pdf file. Just do a search for beginning knit cuffs on the Lion Brand website. As a side note, the Lion Brand website has a lot of free knitting (and crochet) patterns to download for all skill levels.

I hope this post inspires you to become a knitter too. Happy Knitting!!