Monday, November 16, 2015

Alameda Yarn Company

Now that I am becoming a more experienced knitter (not to mention that knitting has swiftly become a hobby I can't imagine living without doing on a regular basis), I find myself expanding my horizons by visiting independent yarn stores for my yarn these days verses exclusively shopping at large chain craft stores like Michaels or Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores.

Last Thursday evening, I had the lovely opportunity of visiting an independent yarn store in Alameda, California called Alameda Yarn Company. I was pleased to discover that Alameda Yarn Company stays open until 9pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, which is fabulous as most of the independent yarn stores I've come across seem to close around 5pm or 6pm most evenings.

Upon entering the Alameda Yarn Company, I saw a group of women sitting around a large table knitting and talking. They looked like they were having a fabulous time working on their knitting projects and talking among themselves. A couple of the women even greeted me with a smile and said 'hello' in a friendly greeting... It made me feel welcome into this yarn store.

As far as a knitting store goes, I feel that the Alameda Yarn Company is a small, quaint yarn store with a wonderful selection of yarns in nice colors at decent prices. The staff on hand during my visit were friendly letting me know they were available should I have any questions and letting me browse their store front at my leisure. 

I didn't buy any yarn during my visit the Alameda Yarn Company as I already have plenty of yarn at the moment to make quite a few projects. I do look forward to making another visit to the Alameda Yarn Company in the future.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

How to Read A Yarn Label!!

Make sure you know how to read a yarn label to make the most out of a yarn project you are working on. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Knitters & Crocheters Needed to Make Red Baby Hats

I came across a post on the American Heart Association website about the Little Hats, Big Hearts program. In the post, I read the following information:
Volunteers for the American Heart Association are celebrating American Heart Month by knitting red hats for all babies born in February at participating hospitals. We’re raising awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of Americans, and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country. 
We need your help!

If you knit or crochet and would like to participate in Little Hats, Big Hearts™, please click on your state, or the state nearest you, for more information on how to volunteer. If you do not see your state listed below, please send hats to the next closest state until we establish the program in your area.

Little Hats, Big Hearts™ started in February 2014 in Chicago, IL collecting 300 hats in the first year. The program has now expanded to 33 states. We are thrilled to have so many volunteers interested in Little Hats, Big Hearts™!

Thank you for making this program so special and for helping to spread awareness of heart disease and congenital heart defects.
Click on above link to learn more about the Little Hats, Big Hearts program.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Do You Keep A Knitting Journal?

I started keeping a knitting journal late in the year and am using a simple composition book to record the knitting projects I make.

Basically, I record the name of the knitting pattern and where I found the pattern. I record the brand of yarn and color I used. Plus, where I purchased the yarn I used. I keep track of the size knitting needles used for the project. I also keep track of things I liked and/or didn't like about making a particular project or problems I may have encountered while making the project all for future reference should I make the project again.

I do take pictures now of most of the items I finish knitting. I post the pictures of the items here on my blog to refer to in the future so that I have a visual record of what I make. This is all in an effort to keep track of my knitting projects.

Do you keep a journal to record your crafting projects?? If so, what pieces of information do you record in your crafting journal?

Make a Knit Necklace For a Fashionable Accessory!

Necklace in the Blue Jay colorway
While surfing the Lion Brand website for free knitting patterns to download, I came across a pattern to make a knitted necklace using Lion Brand Pattern Number L10111. Visit the Lion Brand website by clicking on the link above and enter the pattern number above to find and download the pattern for FREE if you'd like to knit your very own necklace! This pattern is for the beginning knitter. So go ahead and have fun making your own unique piece of jewelry!

To make this beautiful necklace, you'll need one skein of Martha Stewart Crafts Mambo Yarn in any color you desire. I discovered that Lion Brand is offering a deep discount/clearance prices on three pack skeins of Martha Stewart Crafts Mambo Yarn. Click on the yarn link above to learn more. I used Lion Brand's plastic size 19 knitting needles called for in this project. I found the knitting needles to be light weight, which was a good thing as I was concerned that they would be fairly heavy as they are larger knitting needles than I'm use to working with normally.

Overall, I'm really happy with how the completed necklace turned out. It's really cute, fun, and fashionable! So far I've made three necklaces. I've found that the size 19 knitting needles were a bit awkward to use at first because they are so large... I'm hoping that they become easier to use over time. I was also a bit confused on how to knit the pattern at first. But now, I have handle on the situation and think it'll be easier to knit up the rest of the necklaces in no time.

Necklace in the Purple Caterpillar color
I purchased a total of 19 skeins of the Martha Stewart Crafts Mambo Yarn to make 19 different necklaces in different colors. I plan to keep a couple of the necklaces for myself to wear and give out the remaining necklaces I make as Christmas gifts this year.

As far as the yarn goes, the Martha Stewart Crafts Mambo Yarn is a super bulky, roving yarn that comes in limited colorways. I wish this yarn was offered in more color choices.

I think that the Martha Stewart Crafts Mambo Yarn is fairly expensive for the price of $5.49 for 5 yards of yarn. So, I am grateful that I was able to purchase my skeins of Martha Stewart Crafts Mambo Yarn through Lion Brand's clearance yarn section on their website. I was able to buy 3 skeins of it for $4.12. I was also able to buy a few skeins of the Martha Stewart Crafts Mambo Yarn at Tuesday Morning on clearance as well.

So what do you think about making a knitted necklace? Is this something you would make for yourself or someone else?

Until my next post, happy knitting!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Red Heart® Super Saver® Chunky Colorful Knit Cowl

A few months ago I visited Michaels to purchase some skeins of yarn for a knitting project I was working on at the time. While perusing the various yarns in stock at Michaels, I came across a free knitting pattern titled Red Heart® Super Saver® Chunky Colorful Knit Cowl. I quickly discovered that this pattern was not only cute, but meant for a beginning knitter like myself, so I decided to make the Chunky Colorful Knit Cowl. 

However, I decided to use a different brand of yarn and in a different color than the one suggested for the pattern. Instead, I used Craft Smart™ Yarn in the Desert color as I thought this colorway made the perfect color to wear throughout the Fall season and into the Winter months. I used Clover Bamboo 16'' Circular Knitting Needle -- Size 13 to make this cowl.

The Red Heart® Super Saver® Chunky Colorful Knit Cowl is easy to make, but it wasn't a quick project... Or at least it wasn't for me. I found that it took me much longer than expected to knit it as the directions said it would take roughly 3 hours to make this cowl. Once completed though, I really liked the look of the Red Heart® Super Saver® Chunky Colorful Knit Cowl.

I actually made the Chunky Colorful Knit Cowl to give my grandmother for Christmas this year. I hope that she will enjoy wearing it!!