Saturday, December 31, 2016

What Knitting or Crochet Patterns Have You Enjoyed Making In 2016?

This year, I've enjoyed making the following three patterns:

1. Sandy's Rasta Cowl ~ I picked this easy knit pattern up for free at a local yarn store when I purchased the yarn from their store. It's easy to make and with circular knitting needles.

2. Adventure Circle #Scarfie ~ I've knitted eight of these cowl scarves (maybe more of them) this year. They are easy and quick to make for yourself and to give as gifts to give others.

3. Ruffle Scarf ~ I've crocheted eight ruffle scarves using sashay yarn. Again these are cute scarves that are easy and quick to make for oneself or others.

So, which knitting or crochet patterns have you enjoyed making this year?

Yarn Haul December 2016

Okay, I kind of went NUTS buying yarn this month due to all of the great sales through online retailers! I ended up with 48 skeins of yarn in all.

3 Skeins of Loops & Threads Charisma Yarn in the Northern Lights Colorway.
3 Skeins of Loops & Threads Charisma Big! Yarn in the Red Colorway.
5 Skeins of Rozetti Bamboo Glam Yarn in the Poolside Colorway
9 Skeins of Lion Brand Yarns Wool-Ease Thick And Quick Yarn in the Hudson Bay Colorway.
1 Skein of Lion Brand Yarns Landscapes Yarn in the Amethyst Colorway.
1 Skein of Lion Brand Yarns Landscapes Yarn in the Tropics Colorway.
6 Skeins Loops & Threads Charisma Yarn in Bright Pop Colorway.
6 Skeins Loops & Threads Charisma Yarn in Lakeside Colorway.
4 Skeins Alana Universal Yarn in the Hula Colorway.
6 Skeins of Patons Cobbles Yarn in the Blue Shadow Colorway
6 Skeins of Patons Cobbles Yarn in the Moon Rock Colorway.

Alana Universal Yarn 
Loops and Threads Charisma Yarn

So, now it's official, I'm buried in yarn!! Not that that's a bad thing. It's just that
 I already have a ginormous yarn stash, but my yarn stash has truly exploded with all the yarn I've purchased in the past two to three months. 

I think I may have to put a stop to buying yarn in 2017 and stick to using the yarn I currently have on hand for the time being. The main problem is that I am not a fast knitter. And as we all know, life happens and we need to take breaks between knitting projects to do other things. 

Anyway... Now that I am thinking about buying yarn, I'm not sure if I'll be able to stop buying yarn completely in 2017. Especially, if I come across a great sale going on from a favorite retailer. However, I'll definitely slow down on the amount of yarn I purchase during 2017 though for sure.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Traveling For the Holidays?? Here Are Some Stress-Free Travel Tips for Knitters and Crocheters!

I discovered an informative post on Lion Brand's blog titled Stress-Free Travel Tips for Knitters and Crocheters by Liz Eckert. In the article, Liz Eckert writes the following:
With the holidays looming ever closer, many of us are planning to travel. That can lead to tons of stress. You probably want to take a knitting or crochet project along with you so that you can unwind a little. Of course, the logistics of doing that can be even more nerve-wracking! But we have some tips for you, whether you're traveling by air or land.
There are several wonderful tips offered that make this article well worth the read. So click on the top link to read the entire article.

Happy holidays and safe travels to you and your family this holiday season.

Until my next post, happy crafting!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Another Prayer Shawl Complete!!

About 6.5 months ago, I began knitting a prayer shawl to give to my mother-in-law after my father-in-law passed away from an aggressive form of lymphoma cancer at the end of May of this year. 

I've worked on the prayer shawl off and on while working other knitting projects. I am very happy now that I've now finally completed the prayer shawl and will be able to give it to my mother-in-law for Christmas this year. 

I knitted the prayer shawl using three skeins of Lion Brand's Homespun Yarn in the Vintage colorway. I love the color of Lion Brand's Homespun Yarn in the Vintage colorway. Unfortunately, I didn't pay attention to the dye lot of each skein to make sure they matched when I purchased the skeins!! So, two of the skeins of yarn match exactly and the remaining skein of yarn is totally off, which sucks big time!! Call it a lesson learned and (hopefully) one I will not make again in the future.

As far as Lion Brand's Homespun Yarn, I am not thrilled with this yarn in general. Sure it's soft to the touch, which is a plus. And it's a very nice looking boucle yarn at a good price point... But, it frays easily. Additionally, I found knots in several places in each skein as well as a few major variations in thickness in a couple of spots in two of the skeins. I still have about five skeins of this yarn left to use for other knitting projects, but I won't go out of my way to use this yarn again for future projects.

Dimensions for the prayer shawl are as follows:

Approximately 53.5 inches in length.
Approximately 23.5 inches in width.

Until my next post, happy knitting!!

Monday, December 12, 2016

How To Make Your Own Wool Dryer Balls

I love making easy DIY Projects and making my own wool dryer balls sounds like a very easy DIY Project indeed!!

I came across an online article titled HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN ENERGY-SAVING WOOL DRYER BALLS by Jillee at One Good Thing by Jillee website. In the article, Jillee writes:
How would you like to never buy another fabric softener product again AND cut your laundry drying time in half??? Would you believe me if I told you these little woolen gems can do that?
Wool Dryer Balls save you money, energy and time by cutting the dryer’s drying time and by eliminating the need to buy softeners. When you use 4 balls in your dryer, you can cut your dryer time by 25-50%!
I'm interested in making these wool dryer balls and see if they cut my dryer's drying time! Plus, I like the idea of not having to buy and use fabric softener ever again.

Click on the above link to read the full article and learn how to make your own wool dryer balls.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Holiday Gift Giving Ideas For Knitters!

Here are some fun holiday gift giving ideas to give the knitter in your life!

1. Post Stitch ~ The Ultimate Knitting Subscription Box.
PostStitch is a monthly knitting subscription that delivers new yarn, knitting patterns, and notions to subscribers each month. No matter if you have been casting on for years or are picking up a new hobby, the PostStitch team strives to introduce you to new, hard-to-find, and/or trendy fibers, patterns by prominent knitwear designers, and notions to take your knitting tool kit to the next level.

At the beginning of each month, subscribers receive a new knitting project handpicked by the veteran knitters of the PostStitch team. The 1 -2 skein projects are beginner to intermediate skill level and are fun for both veteran knitters and curious new knitters. All you have to do is choose between our BigStitch, BigStitch Lite, or our SockStitch subscriptions (learn more about our subscriptions below) - then sit back, relax, and get ready to cast on. See some of examples of our past subscriptions here.

2. Yarn Box  ~ Yarn Club For Yarn Lovers.
When you subscribe to Yarnbox, you are joining a community of others just like you. Every month you will receive wonderful yarns, patterns and more from carefully selected sources. Lots of suppliers want to be included each month but we carefully choose the best for you. Only yarns and patterns we love get included. Just the quality stuff. We work with suppliers that provide us yarns at or below cost. They get free advertising. You get an amazing value...and great yarn too. Yarnbox will be fun to receive, we promise. In fact, if you find Yarnbox absolutely no fun at all then we will give you your money back.
3. Knit CrateBe Inspired With the World's Finest Yarns.
KnitCrate was started in 2012 to bring premium and unique goods to fiber artists - both new and experienced - around the world with a touch of fun and surprise! Our curated subscription packages and standalone kits (anyone can order in our online store!) can ease fiber artists' discovering new projects while promising premium products. KnitCrate is a subscription box service and online store for fiber artists around the world.

KnitCrate delivers a surprise package to your doorstep with a fun knitting project.Our subscribers receive a package of premium yarn, a pattern for a project to complete, a sweet or soothing extra, and a fun extra – these are not just samples. We source our yarns from both well-known brands and emerging gems. We also partner with indie dyers to offer our subscribers and non-subscribers KnitCrate exclusive colorways. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced fiber artist, there will always be fresh and fun ideas to be discovered in your KnitCrate package (and it you don't know how to knit we've got you covered with KnitCrate Newbies!).
4. A Gift Card from a local yarn store or a big box retailer like a Michaels Store or a Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store. I prefer to give a knitter (or crocheter) a gift card from a local independent yarn store to support local business owners.

5. A Knitting Class ~ Local yarn stores offer a plethora of knitting (and crochet) classes for all skill levels. If you don't live near an independent yarn store, then check out the online knitting classes offered through Craftsy! There are a lot of fun looking knitting classes to choose from through Craftsy.

6. A Knitting Needle Case ~ I have one of these. I love having it to hold all of my knitting needles in an organized fashion! 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ruffle Scarf

I've crocheted my eighth ruffle scarf using sashay yarn!! I've crocheted six ruffle scarves to give as Christmas gifts this year and the remaining two scarves were given for other occasions.

The latest ruffle scarf I crocheted, was made from Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins yarn in the Champagne colorway. 

View the photograph to the left to see what a ruffle scarf looks like in the Champagne colorway. I love the Champagne colorway as it is a lovely winter white color with small sequins added in for fun.

Unfortunately, you are unable to see the sequins in the photograph I've taken. The sequins themselves have a lovely iridescent look to them adding a sophisticated look to the completed ruffle scarf itself. I think this ruffle scarf will be lovely to wear for special occasions.

Until my next post, happy crocheting and/or knitting!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Yarn Haul November 2016

This month I've kind of gone wild with buying more sashay yarn to make ruffle scarves with for the Christmas holiday to give as gifts to family and friends... I'm truly hoping with all the things I'm already making to give as Christmas gifts and also doing plenty of other things between now and the end of the year that I have enough time to make more ruffle scarves to give as stocking stuffers!

So, here's a list of yarn I've added to my collection:

5 skeins of Fashion Plus Mill-End Assortment Sashay Yarn in red and silver metallic from Joann Fabric & Craft Stores
2 skeins of Red Heart Sashay Boutique Yarn in Mambo
2 skeins of Red Heart Sashay Boutique Yarn in Jive
2 skeins of Red Heart Sashay Boutique Yarn in Tango

Share below in the comments section, which skeins of yarn you've added to your stash this month!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Minimum Stitches To Fit On A Circular Needle Chart

Yay! I was so excited to find the above information in chart form to have on hand when knitting with circular knitting needles.

I haven't put the above information provided in the Minimum Stitches To Fit On A Circular Needle Chart to the test, but it will be helpful/useful when knitting without a pattern.

I hope you find it useful as well. Until my next post, happy knitting!!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

I Love To See that Young People Are Into Knitting!

I wanted to learn how to knit off and on for years. I'm not even sure now what prompted my initial interest in learning how to knit or how even how old I was when I first became interested in knitting as a potential hobby. I'd guess that I first became interested in knitting as a teenager and it's been decades since I was a teenager!

I didn't start learning how to knit until I was 44 years old, almost 45 years old... Better late than never. I am so glad that I did take up knitting as a hobby. I am now addicted to knitting and growing my yarn stash. I am having so much fun learning new knitting stitches, making new things, and the wonderfully creative and relaxing process of knitting itself.

Of course, I wish I'd learned how to knit in my teens and be an expert knitter by now. But alas, I am living in the present and am currently making up for lost time now.

As a side note though, it is always fun and kind of exciting to learn that the younger generation is becoming awesome knitters and carrying on the knitting tradition. I read an online article about a high school student who is already an expert knitter! The article is titled Junior Marissa Olin finds passion in knitting by Lexi Flipse from the Mill Valley News. Marissa Olin's knitting is absolutely incredible. Click on the above link to see a couple of the things that Marissa Olin has made through knitting.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I've Become Addicted to Crocheting Ruffle Scarves!!

I have completed crocheting my third ruffle scarf to date. These scarves are fast, fun, and easy to make as quick gifts to give to that special someone in your life.

Because ruffle scarves are so cute and easy to make, I've recently purchased a total of fourteen skeins of sashay yarn. I am busily working on crocheting ruffle scarves to give as Christmas and/or birthday gifts for friends and family this year. 

I've newly discovered that I can crochet two ruffle scarves per skein of sashay yarn, which is a wonderful deal since I've purchased all of my skeins of ruffle yarn on sale!
Red and Silver Ruffle Scarf

The latest ruffle scarf I've made is red in color with metallic silver trim, which will be a perfect colorway to wear during the upcoming holiday season. I am planning to give this particular ruffle scarf to my paternal grandmother as one of her gifts for Christmas this year.

For some reason, the ruffle scarf looks more like raspberry red in the photograph I took of it instead of looking true red. I am not sure why that is the case, but at least you have a general idea of what the ruffle scarf looks like now that it is completed.

So, have you knitted or crocheted a ruffle scarf before? How did it turn out? And do you love wearing your ruffle scarf? I definitely know I like wearing my ruffle scarf.

Monday, November 7, 2016

What Are You Knitting Or Crocheting These Days?

I am knitting a new to me project for my mom for Christmas this year. I am knitting my mom Red Heart's Cozy Shrug, which is an easy knitting pattern with Red Heart Grande Yarn in the Apricot colorway.

Red Heart's Cozy Shrug call for US Size 15 circular, 29-inch knitting needles. One uses the knitting needles as straight needles to make the garter stitch before beginning to knit the rib stitch in the round. I can't wait to see how the finished project turns out. I have 2.5 balls of Red Heart Grande Yarn left to use. So, I'm halfway finished with this project now and am working on the ribbing.

My only major complaint is that I am finding my right arm, right wrist, right hand and fingers turn sore and achy very quickly from working with such large knitting needles and heavy weight yarn. I have to take frequent breaks and also take a couple of days off from knitting when working on this project.

I also think the 29-inch circular knitting needles called for in this pattern are too short in length to accommodate all the stitches for this project while working in the round. I would go for a longer length in the future should I decide to make this pattern again in the future for myself or others.

Here's What My Cozy Shrug Looks Like So Far!!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Just Learned The Cable Cast-On Method For Knitting!!

I've only cast-on using the long tail method in the past. But I am interested in knitting a pattern that calls for using the cable cast-on method. After watching the above video I discovered on YouTube, I can see where using the cable cast-on method would be ideal to use when casting on 200+ stitches. It doesn't look like one would have to estimate the tail length for 200+ stitches and wonder if they've guessed the correct length based on the number of stitches they need to cast on for a project.

I look forward to trying out the cable cast-on method in the future!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Can Knitting Teach Us to Be Better Parents?

I am not a parent by choice. But do respect and admire those that are parents and do an exceptional job at being a parent.

I have come across a very well written and thought provoking article from the New York Times titled What Knitting Can Teach Us About Parenting by Perri Klass, M. D. that is written for not only parents, but us non-parents as well. In the article, Perii Klass, M. D. writes the following:
So I could draw the obvious conclusion here, which all you knitters (and crocheters) will probably have leapt to long ago: Is it possible that knitting makes us nicer (knicer?) while child rearing makes us crankier and more critical? 
There’s an awful lot of public shaming that goes on around being a parent, and I’m not just talking online — or even in the doctor’s office.
And when you’re out in the world with a small child, you know people are looking at you, and you know some of it isn’t kindly. Some parents are so apologetic about their babies’ potential for acting like babies on flights that they hand out goody bags to their fellow passengers in hope of averting adult anger and disapproval. But you remember that terrible trip when your own child was screaming on the plane much more distinctly than the many trips when it was someone else’s kid.
Most of us writhe inside when a child acts up in a restaurant, but we don’t really expect the parents to go table to table murmuring, “She’s usually great in restaurants, and that’s why we came so early and we chose this place because it is so clearly not a fancy place where people might come for romantic dinners.”
Tantrums in the toy store — been there. Noise at the library, meltdown in the mall, you name it.
Of course, since I am not a parent, I dread being anywhere in public where a young child has a major meltdown/tantrum, especially in a restaurant, movie theater, on an airplane or train, etc. But you learn to deal with the situation the best you can. In most cases, it isn't the child's fault they are acting up and the parents are doing the best they can to deal with the situation.

The take away for me from reading the entire article is that parents shouldn't fear/feel shame taking their children in public because they worry about their children having meltdowns/tantrums. It's going to happen at some point, right? It's just a rite of passage. 

And for the rest of us, please refrain from negative comments or sour faces at the poor parents having to deal with the meltdowns/tantrums at that moment.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Yarn Haul October 2016!!

This month I purchased the following skeins of yarn:

2 skeins of Red Heart Boutique Rigoletto in Sequins Jade
2 skeins of Red Heart Boutique Rigoletto in Sequins Periwinkle
5 skeins of Red Heart Grande Yarn in Apricot
1 Skein Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins Yarn in Panda
Skein Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins Yarn in Champagne
Skein Red Heart Boutique Sashay Metallic Yarn in Aquamarine

Additionally, I purchased a new pair of Boye 29" Circular Aluminum Knitting Needles-Size 15 for a knitting project I'll be knitting using to knit the Red Heart Grande Yarn.

I also purchased a Boye Aluminum Crochet Hook 6-Inch, Size J, which I will be using to crochet a sashay scarf.

Did you add yarn to your stash this month?? If so, please share with me in the comment section below, which yarn you've added to your collection this month!

Join the 30-Day Commit-to-Knit Challenge from Knit Om!

The main object of the 30-Day Commit-to-Knit Challenge from the Knit Om website is to "cultivate a daily knitting practice to reduce stress and boost happiness". 

The following information below explains the objective of the 30-Day Commit-to-Knit Challenge from Knit Om's website:

The knitting challenge is simple:
Sit and knit every day for 30 days.
Self-care is the essential antidote to stress; it’s the simple secret to a healthy mind, body and soul. 
And that's why it's a necessity, not a luxury. 
A daily knitting practice gives you the chance to step away from your busy life to reconnect with yourself and the present moment. 
It is a radical act of self-love and a critical part of your stress-busting strategy.
So, let go of the guilt and kick stress to the curb with a daily knitting and wellness practice.
The interesting side note here, is that I've pretty much begun cultivating an almost daily ritual of knitting during the month of October. I have most definitely noticed that making knitting a near daily practice has helped boost my mood and given me a sense of inner peace. I love the creative process of knitting and also turning skeins of yarn into something usable, fun to look at and use. I also like learning new knitting skills!

Sign up to take Knit Om's 30-Day Commit-to-Knit Challenge. By signing up for Knit Om's 30-Day Commit-to-Knit Challenge through Knit Om's website, "you'll also get 5 FREE lessons and a challenge calendar to guide and enhance your daily knitting practice."

So who wants to take this knitting challenge with me?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Another Ruffle Scarf Crocheted!

Teal Blue Metallic Ruffle Scarf
I had another go at crocheting a ruffle scarf with Red Heart Boutique Sashay Metallic Yarn in the Aquamarine colorway! The ruffle scarf was easy to make this time around, which was wonderful. I like making projects that work up quickly.

I love the color of this ruffle scarf as it has various shades of dark blue with metallic threads that run through it. 

I made the ruffle scarf for my Aunt Mary for her birthday next month... So, happy birthday, Aunt Mary!! I hope you enjoy wearing the ruffle scarf I made especially for you.

Until my next post, happy crafting folks!

Monday, October 24, 2016

3D Bubble Knitted Stitch

OMG, I so want to make the 3D Bubble Knitted Stitch pattern for a project I knit. It looks really cool! But I readily  admit that I am slightly intimidated by the prospect of knitting the 3D Bubble Knitted Stitch because it looks like it is for an intermediate knitter... Not a knitting stitch for an advanced beginner like myself. I will not be deterred though in trying to make the 3D Bubble Knitted Stitch. Perhaps, I can use the 3D Bubble Knitted Stitch to make a hat, scarf, or poncho for myself?

What do you think of the 3D Bubble Knitted Stitch?

I Crocheted My First Item Ever!

Crocheted Ruffle Scarf
I've been intrigued with what one can make using sashay yarn. After watching a video on YouTube earlier this month, I learned that one can use sashay yarn to crochet (or knit) a ruffle scarf. I decided the crochet version looked easier to make than the knit version even though I've never crocheted before (famous last words, right?). 

So, I went ahead and purchased a skein of Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins Yarn in the Panda colorway (black, white, and gray color scheme) and a size J crochet hook last week. I then went ahead and spent the better part of last Friday crocheting the ruffle scarf throughout the day.

I love the look of the finished ruffle scarf and really look forward to wearing it as a way to dress up an outfit during the next few months for special occasions.

I used the entire skein of Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins Yarn to make my ruffle scarf. The pattern itself is really easy to make, but I am not that coordinated in crocheting quite yet... So, it took me quite awhile to complete the ruffle scarf. I think a more experienced crocheter would be able to complete this project in a much shorter time than me for sure. The Red Heart Boutique Sashay Sequins Yarn feels really soft to the touch, which I love. I dislike scratchy or rough feeling yarn against the skin. Plus, the sequins add a nice touch of elegance to the piece. Unfortunately, you can't see the sequins in the above picture. My completed scarf measures 56 inches in length.

The Yarn Still In A Skein & the Crochet Hook I Used For My Scarf!

Even though, I wore my Thergonomic Hand-Aids Support Gloves while making the ruffle scarf, I still ended up feeling quite a bit of soreness in fingers, wrist, and forearm. I made sure to take frequent breaks from crocheting, but it looks like I may have overdone things a bit or perhaps not held the crochet hook ergonomically (???). I do try to be thoughtful about my crafting activities. But in this case my fingers, wrist, and forearm felt mildly sore, stiff, and achy for a few days afterward.

Until my next post, happy crafting!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Knitting Quote of the Day!!

10 Northern American Knitting & Yarn Stores Worth A Visit!!

I discovered an article on USA Today's website titled 10 great knitting and yarn shops across North America by Larry Bleiberg. In the article, it says:
Knitting and yarn stores aren’t mere retailers. Many are also cozy waystations with classes, supplies and a place to relax and work on your next scarf, afghan or fiber-art masterpiece. Some have even become travel destinations in their own right, says Amy Singer, editor and publisher of “The ones that are thriving have found ways to provide something unique.” She shares some of her favorite shops with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.
I was pleased to learn that Oakland, California based yarn store, A Verb For Keeping Warm, has made the list!! I have yet to visit this yarn store, but it's basically in my back yard, so I need to make a visit.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thergonomic Hand-Aids Support Gloves

I sometimes have issues with pain in fingers, hand, wrist, and forearm of my right limb off and on... The pain in the mentioned areas is due to an injury I had a few years ago. The pain may flare up when doing things like typing, writing, and crafting and certain chores.

In an effort to help reduce any potential pain flare ups while knitting, I've resorted to trying support gloves to minimize any stress/fatigue from the repetitive motion of knitting. 

I began using Thergonomic Hand-Aids Support Gloves in the past 3-5 months. These gloves are well constructed and have held up nicely with use. I would say that I have noticed an improvement by wearing these gloves while knitting. I wouldn't say they have kept me completely pain free by a long shot. I am learning that it's really all about balance. By wearing the gloves while I knit, taking frequent breaks, and working with different yarn weights, has helped me keep from being into major pain for the most part. I'd like to learn some stretches and incorporate other methods to help reduce any pain and other symptoms I do end up feeling from knitting.

What have you found helpful in avoiding stress, fatigue, and pain from knitting?

Friday, October 21, 2016

Sashay Ruffle Scarf

I don't know how to crochet, but I'm going to learn how to crochet as this Red Heart Sashay Yarn Scarf looks pretty cute. I'd love to make this scarf for myself and others as a gift. 

The video above makes making this scarf look really easy... But that may not be the case when I actually get around to making the sashay scarf for myself. I'll just have to wait and see, won't I?

Have you made anything using sashay yarn before? How did it turn out? And, is crocheting with sashay yarn pretty easy?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

I Love Yarn Day 2016!!

Happy yarn day to Y-O-U!!! I hope you have a fabulous day of crafting, whether it be knitting, crocheting, weaving, or spinning today!

So, what do you love about yarn?? For me I love the vast variety of yarns out there in the world in different weights (from lace to super bulky and everything in between), the different colors and materials that yarn is made from, how yarn feels to the touch, and all the different things one can make by using yarn.

I love knitting with yarn. I am a relatively new knitter and consider myself an advance beginner. I love the creative process of knitting and making something with my hands, a pair of knitting needles and skeins of yarn. I have found that knitting is a great way to relieve stress. Plus, knitting makes me very happy. I love how portable knitting is as you can knit just about anywhere, which makes knitting such a wonderful hobby for me.

To learn more about I Love Yarn Day, please visit the Craft Yarn Council website. There's even an online scavenger hunt with an opportunity to win prizes!! For further details about the I Love Yarn Day Scavenger Hunt, click on the link that highlights I Love Yarn Scavenger Hunt.

How will you be celebrating I Love Yarn Day 2016?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My First Attempt At Dyeing Yarn With Tea

I used one skein of Lily's Sugar N' Cream 100% white cotton yarn, which I unwound from the skein into a long loose strand. 

I then soaked the entire amount of Lily's Sugar N' Cream 100% white cotton yarn in eight cups of hot water that I used to brew 11 bags of black tea in advance prior to adding the yarn. 

I left the yarn to soak in the black tea for 92 hours. The yarn color turned out nicely. My only minor issue/complaint is the unevenness of the yarn color after dyeing it with black tea. The color of the yarn turned out slightly variegated instead of one even overall color.

I plan to use the ball of yarn I've dyed with black tea, along with the ball of yarn I dyed last month with the Country Time Strawberry Lemonade, to knit a tea cozy.

Until my next post, happy crafting!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Red Heart Boutique Rigoletto Yarn

Just watched the above video on how to make a scarf with the Red Heart Boutique Rigoletto Yarn. The Red Heart Boutique Rigoletto Yarn looks easy to work with and also a very unique yarn. I may have purchase a few skeins and knit a scarf or two to give as gifts!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Knitting Gifts For Others!!

Not only do I love knitting and improving my craft for fun, creativity, and knowledge, I also enjoy knitting gifts for other people! 

My mother-in-law will be celebrating her 73rd birthday later this month on October 13th. With the cooler months swiftly approaching, I've made her a cowl neck infinity scarf using circular knitting needles in a neutral cooler palette. I also finger crocheted her a necklace in a neutral color palette as well. 

May my mother-in-law enjoy wearing these items in the months to come!

Do you knit or crochet items to give as gifts? Until my next post, happy crafty!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Knitting Update!!

Last month, I wrote a post about a prayer shawl I'm working on for my mother-in-law. This month, I'm still working on the prayer shawl to give to my mother-in-law as a gift and it's a labor of love. I have made quite a bit of progress on the prayer shawl during the past month.

In case you haven't read my post last month, I am making the prayer shawl using the garter stitch. I'm making the prayer shawl with three skeins of Lion Brand's Homespun Yarn in the Vintage colorway. I've knitted  a total of 32 inches of the pray shawl so far and am close to finishing the second skein of yarn. Yay, I am so happy that I am finally making some serious progress on this prayer shawl!!

If I were to work solely on this prayer shawl, I may be able to finish knitting it by the end of the October... However,  I have abandoned knitting my very first cardigan sweater about six months ago due to a mistake I need to still fix. My goal this year is to make my very first sweater. If I even have a remote chance of finishing my cardigan sweater before the end of 2016, I'd better starting working on it now!! Additionally, I plan on starting a new knitting project soon called the Painted Zig Zag Scarf

The goal, for me, is to finish making the prayer shawl before Christmas to give to my mother-in-law and finish my cardigan sweater before the end of the year so that I can start wearing it as soon as possible. I'd also like to start and finish the Painted Zig Zag Scarf by the end of the year as well.

So, what knitting or crocheting projects are you working on??

Until next time, happy crafty!!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

25 Knitting Tips To Help Improve Your Knitting!!

I really want to improve my knitting skills and take my knitting skills to the next level. So, when I came across an article on Knit Om titled, 25 Knitting Tips That Will Instantly Make you a Better Knitter, I read it to learn how to improve my skills.

Great tips are mentioned in this article on how to improve one's knitting!! Some of them I learned the hard way by making mistakes on my own... Like not making a gauge swatch and the having my project turn out way too large!! Or by not using skeins of yarn with the same dye lot number and and having the colors not evenly match throughout the entire project... And lastly, not reading a knitting pattern all the way through before beginning a project and having difficulty with the project while making it.

Other great tips include: keeping detailed notes on the project you are making, learn how to fix mistakes, work with quality yarn, using the correct knitting needles for the yarn being used, and so much more!!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Yarn Haul September 2016!!

Misti Alpaca Pima Silk Hand Paint Yarn in the CSP42 Colorway
I purchased only one skein of yarn during the month of September. I am glad that I purchased only one skein of yarn this month as I have so many skeins of yarn stock piled in various cubby holes around my home waiting to be used. I am not a very fast knitter, so I tend to buy more skeins of yarn for various projects I have plans to make in the future. Sometimes, I simply wish that I could knit projects almost as fast as I buy skeins of yarn!!

This month I purchased a skein of dk weight yarn, which is unusual for me as I tend to purchase bulky or super bulky skeins of yarn. I love how fast bulky and super bulky yarn works up to complete knitting projects. But, alas, I am looking forward to also working with lighter weight yarns, so I chose to purchase a skein of Misti Alpaca Pima Silk Hand Paint Yarn in the CSP42 colorway. See picture above to view what this yarn looks like. 

I've used a chunky Misti Alpaca brand skein of yarn in the past for a different project that I've completed and loved using this brand of yarn as it is good quality and feel luscious against the skin... So, I look forward to using this new to me skein of Misti Alpaca Pima Silk Hand Paint Yarn in the CSP42 colorway to make a cowl pattern I recently acquired... The cowl pattern actually has some new to me knitting stitches I've never used before, which will help me grow my knitting skills!

So, which skeins of yarn have you purchased this month to add to your yarn stash?

Painted Zig Zag Scarf

Painted Zig Zag Scarf 
Next month, I plan to begin knitting a really cool looking scarf called the Painted Zig Zag Scarf (Pattern Number 80951C), which is a FREE knitting pattern which you may download from the Lion Brand Website. 

The Painted Zig Zag Scarf will have me working on increasing and decreasing my stitches throughout the pattern to make the lovely zig zag design you see in the picture above!! 

I need to work on learning how to make increases and decreases and become comfortable in using them in a pattern... So, what better way to learn how to increase and decrease stitches than by making an easy scarf pattern?? 

I've already learned how to decrease stitches by knitting two stitches together, but haven't used this stitch very often. I've never tried increasing the number of stitches in a knitting project and wouldn't even know how at this point. So the Painted Zig Zag Scarf will have me learning a new to me knitting called KFB Knit Front & Back. Yippee, to learning and using a new knitting stitch!!

Below is a quick YouTube video tutorial demonstrating how to KFB Knit Front & Back from Studio Knit.

So, how often do you make increases and decreases in your knitting or crocheting projects? 

Until my next post, happy crafting!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My First Attempt at Dyeing Yarn

I decided to try dyeing an entire skein of 100% white cotton yarn with Country Time Strawberry Lemonade (powdered mix) after watching a YouTube video on dyeing yarn with Kool-Aid earlier this year.

After I initially pulled the yarn out of the dye bath, it was a beautiful bubble gum pink color. Unfortunately, using the Country Time Strawberry Lemonade powder mix didn't work out so well in terms of dyeing the yarn I used. The color didn't adhere very well to the yarn after I rinsed the yarn with cold water. The yarn now looks very mottled in parts with some of the yarn being various shades of light pink and other areas looking white. 

I tried dyeing the yarn a second time the same way, but adding white vinegar to the mix. I was hoping the white vinegar would act as a mordant to help the pink color adhere to the yarn but the vinegar didn't help improve matters much.

Maybe because I didn't attempt to dye the yarn with Kool-Aid, my yarn dyeing project flopped big time. I also noticed that in the YouTube video I watched, a wool blend skein of yarn was used. I used 100% cotton yarn... Would using 100% cotton yarn really make a HUGE difference when trying to dye yarn? I hope not. But who knows?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

21 Things Knitters Know For Sure!!

I came across an article online about knitting titled, 21 things you only know if you knit by George Lindsay-Watson, from the Metro website. I love reading these types of article because I can relate to so many of the knitting things mentioned! In the article, George Lindsay-Watson writes the following:
Knitting is fun. It’s challenging and useful and draws you into a community full of interesting and talented people.
It also sometimes makes you want to throw your beautiful, hand-dyed, merino yarn into a corner and stab yourself in the eye with your needle.
I’ve been knitting for 12 years and, with more than a few dropped stitches along the way, I’ve learned some things.
Cats and small children must be kept away from the knitting basket.
It turns out it’s perfectly reasonable to take a couple of sharp, pointed metal things on a plane.
Although a difficult project can be a love-hate relationship, once you’re hooked there’s no turning back.
Click on the above link to read the entire article written by George Lindsay-Watson and discover the 21 things knitters know.

Until my next post, happy knitting!!

Sunday, September 18, 2016


After reading an article on the Over The Rainbow Yarn's website titled, 13 SKILLS THAT DEFINE THE INTERMEDIATE KNITTER, I learned that I still fit into the advanced beginner category. I have yet to acquire all the knitting skills that would make me an intermediate knitter. 

I'm fine with my current knitting level, but look forward to expanding them so I can become an intermediate knitter in the next year.

Until my next post, happy knitting!

Monday, September 5, 2016

What Are You Knitting Or Crocheting These Days?

Prayer Shawl ~ Using Lion Brand Homespun Yarn in Vintage

I am currently knitting a prayer shawl to give as a gift for my mother-in-law in my father-in-law's memory. My father-in-law passed away a few months ago from lymphoma cancer and I thought a prayer shawl would give my mother-in-law some comfort.

I am making the prayer shawl using the garter stitch with three skeins of Lion Brand's Homespun Yarn in the Vintage colorway. 

I am enjoying the process of making this beautiful prayer shawl for my mother-in-law. I find making prayer shawls to be very relaxing... I also am enjoying the colorful stripes that are seen in the rows that make up this prayer shawl. The colors are very pretty!

Until my next post, happy crafting!!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Making Money Hand Knitting... Is It Possible?

A question that comes to mind for me every once in a while is, can I make money/a living selling hand knitted items through Etsy or at craft fairs? 

I often feel like the answer to my question is "no" because so many items can be made overseas for very little money and sold cheaply here domestically through retailers within the USA. I often feel like there is no way to earn a living making and selling hand knitted items. How does one even compete with domestic retailers that can sell mass produced items from overseas at rock bottom prices?

I recently came across an online article on The Telegraph's website titled From £0 to £80,000: ‘How I make money from knitting faux taxidermy animal heads’ by Tara Evans. In the article, Tara Evans writes:
Turning a hobby into a business is a pipe dream for many of us. But Louise Walker never imagined that her passion for knitting could develop into a full-time job. 
It started while she was studying commercial photography at university. She had the idea of knitting faux taxidermy head as props for a project she was working on. “I thought they would look cool in the photos”, said Ms Walker, 25.....
She said: “It started from a love of knitting. I knitted a few pieces and then used them in photoshoots, so the pictures were on my website.
“I found I was getting lots of attention and traffic to the site and that people were interested in buying the heads for themselves.”
Next, Molly Meg, an online children’s retailer with a large online following, asked if it could sell some of her pieces. From there she started to get commissions and after a few months she was asked about patterns.
She said: “My fingers were sore and all the knitting was beginning to take a toll on my hands. It started with a fox stole pattern for a knitting magazine and then I was contacted by a publishing company to write a book.”
Louise Walker did go on to write and publish a book titled F&W Media David and Charles Books Faux Taxidermy Knits!

Click on the top most link to read the full story of Louise Walker's journey making money selling patterns, writing a book, and selling knitted faux taxidermy animal heads.

The moral of the story is that one can earn a living making hand knitted items!! It seems like the hand knitted items that one sells may need to be unique or at least stand out from the rest of the crowd... It also looks like knitting patterns sell well too.

Until my next post, happy crafting!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Yarn Haul August 2016!!

Earlier this month, I purchased six skeins of Big Twist Yarns Natural Blend in the Faded Denim colorway for a specific Lion Brand Knitting Pattern called District 12 Cowl Wrap I plan to make. The District 12 Cowl Wrap is inspired by The Hunger Games Trilogy! The District 12 Cowl Wrap is rated as 'easy' and I look forward to making it for the very first time. 

You can find the District 12 Cowl Wrap pattern for FREE through the Lion Brand Website ~ Pattern Number L30292.

Until my next post, happy knitting!!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Knit Headband Redo

Craft Smart Yarn, Ombre in the Dusk colorway.

Last year, I made my very first knitted headband by following a YouTube video posted by Chandi at Expression Fiber Arts and blogged about my experience making the headband. 

My first attempt at making this beginning pattern didn't turn out very well as the headband turned out too large despite following the directions as specified... So, I tried making the headband once again, but this time modifying the dimensions so the headband would fit me. I am glad I altered the lengths of this headband as it now fits me... The headband is still a bit loose, but I'd rather have it fit looser than be too tight.

Above is a picture of my new headband in a very fun colorway. I used worsted weight yarn I used Craft Smart Yarn, Ombre in the Dusk colorway. I purchased this yarn from Michaels.

Below is the YouTube video I watched to learn how to make the knitted headband. Should you decide to make your own headband using the pattern provided in this video, let me know how it turns out.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Knitting Through Grief & Loss

Sad news to report on the home front. My father-in-law lost his 3 year battle with non-hodgkins lymphoma and leukemia on May 31st of this year. Losing my father-in-law was quite a devastating loss for the entire family, especially the last ten days of his life with us as his health took a sudden and unexpected turn for the worse.

My father-in-law was such a kind, loving, compassionate man and it has been really sad not to have him with any longer. He was such a loving husband, father, and grandfather. I am honored to have known my father-in-law.

I'm currently in the process of knitting a prayer shawl to give to my mother-in-law as a gift in my father-in-law's honor. I have found that knitting has helped me during the grieving process over the loss of my father-in-law. Knowing that I am making something beautiful to give to my mother-in-law as a gift also makes me happy as well. 

I know that my father-in-law's passing has been a very difficult time for my mother-in-law. I am hope the prayer shawl and it's meaning will be of comfort for her.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Soft Case to Hold Knitting Needles & Knitting Notions!

At last, I finally found a soft case to hold most of my knitting needles and all of my knitting notions!! 

I readily admit that I had been carrying my knitting needles and knitting notions in two separate ziploc bags the better part of two years. So, I was long over due to find something more suitable to store and carry my knitting supplies. 

It feels wonderful to have all of my knitting needles and knitting notions organized into a single carrying case instead of haphazardly placed inside a couple of ziploc bags.

In addition to finally finding a nice bag to store and carry my knitting needles and all of my knitting notions, I was able to buy the soft case for the wonderful low price of $5!!

Aside from carrying an assortment of both straight and circular knitting needles in different sizes and lengths, here's a list of knitting notions I carry inside my knitting bag:

1. Cable Stitch Holders
2. Locking Stitch Markers
3. Scissors
4. Pen
5. Blunt Needles
6. Ruler
7. Vinyl Tape Measure
8. Assorted Crochet Hooks
9. Lycra Support Gloves
10. Floss Threaders
11. Knitting Pins (For Portuguese Knitting)
12. Susan Bates Knit-Chek - Row & Gauge Checker + Knitting Needle & Crochet Hook Gauge

So, which knitting notions do you keep in your knitting bag?

Until my next post, happy knitting!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cabildo Cowl

I began making the Cabildo Cowl, an easy Lion Brand knitting pattern (Pattern Number 90620AD), at the end of May 2016. A couple of life events happened during the past couple of months, so it took me approximately three months to finish knitting the Cabildo Cowl.

The Cabildo Cowl is an easy pattern to knit up and despite the delay it took me in making this particular cowl, I felt it it turned out beautiful!!

The Cabildo Cowl is made with super bulky weight yarn, which is used to create the double seed stitch pattern that makes up the Cabaldo Cowl. I used three skeins of Loops & Threads Zoomba Yarn in the Wild Fire colorway. Loops & Threads Zoomba Yarn is 100% acrylic and is an easy yarn to work with overall. The finished cowl though has quite a bit of fuzzies on it, which may be due to the fact that the yarn is 100% acrylic. The good news is that the Loops & Threads Zoomba Yarn is 100% machine washable and dryable.

I am giving this particular Cabildo Cowl as a gift for Christmas this year.

Until my next post, happy knitting!!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles in Berkeley, California

Last month, I visited the Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles in Berkeley, California. What a lovely place to visit if you are a fan of lace, tatting, and textiles!

The Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles is a large museum... A much larger museum than I anticipated it being and a lot different than I expected too! There are so many things see at the Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles and docent guided tours are given to visitors. 

The Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles store front is definitely worth the visit as books and other supplies are offered for sale. Classes and other events are offered at the Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles as well.

The following is more information about the Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles from their website:
The Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles was established in October of 2004, an outgrowth and merging of the Lacis Retail store and the extensive collection of Kaethe and Jules Kliot of laces and textiles, a related library and tools of the textile arts.

Lacis, founded by Kaethe and Jules Kliot in 1965, was operated by Kaethe Kliot until her untimely passing in 2002, as a haven for the textile community and all involved in virtually every aspect of the textile arts…a place where she provided support, encouragement and knowledge to all.

The collection of the Kliot laces and textiles represents 40 years of dedication to the preservation of the finest of human handiwork.
The collection includes thousands of specimens from pre-Columbian Peru, the finest from the 17th c. European courts and examples of the machine laces exemplifying the 19th c. industrial revolution

An extensive library, focusing on lace, textiles and costume includes over 10,000 items of books, patterns, articles and other ephemera.

Related tools of the textile craft include those for all varieties of lace-making as well as an extensive collection of sewing machines.
Admission is FREE to the Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles in Berkeley, California.

I enjoyed my visit to the Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles very much. I hope you have a chance to visit it some day.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Yarn Haul June 2016

Caron United Worsted Weight Yarn in Dark Green

This month, I've added eight skeins of yarn to my knitting stash. 

I purchased four skeins of Caron United worsted weight yarn in the Dark Green colorway on clearance for $1.29 per skein (normally $3.49 per skein) from Michaels. 

The dark green color of the Caron United yarn looks more like the green color used for military camouflage fatigues, which isn't a color green I normally gravitate towards. However, I thought the green color could be used to make a scarf or wrap for someone for the Christmas holiday this year. So, with that in mind, I decided to purchase enough skeins of the Caron United worsted weight yarn in the Dark Green colorway to make the Michaels Honeycomb Knit Wrap (pattern #81092). 

Koigu Bulky Merino Yarn B61 Colorway

I also purchased four skeins of Koigu Bulky Merino Handpainted Yarn in the B61 coloway on clearance from an independent yarn store. I love the the multicolored skeins of Koigu Bulky Merino Handpainted Yarn. I'm not sure what I'll be making with this yarn yet, but I'm sure I'll think of something awesome to make with it.

As a side note, I have so many knitting projects set aside to make for family and friends for the Christmas holiday this year, that I am hoping to have them ALL completed before mid-December!! I decided to start making Christmas gifts early this year, I think I may have become a bit too ambitious and have decided to make larger, more intricate projects than last year.

Let's keep my fingers crossed that I am able to complete all of my knitted projects/gifts ahead of time for the holiday season.

Until my next post, happy knitting!!