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

13 SKILLS THAT DEFINE THE INTERMEDIATE KNITTER

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!!