Friday, August 15, 2014

UGH! I did it too


You know how every year Christmas merchandise gets to the shelves earlier and earlier. It drives me crazy. Christmas is a holiday dear to me heart and Americans have forgot what Christmas is about. It is not about the hustles and bustle and getting that great deal on a present for little Sue etc... It has a more personal meaning one that deals with the heart and sole. So every year as I avoid the Christmas isles in July like the bubonic plague I just wonder if they are actually being shopped yet. Now don't get me wrong I LOVE some Christmas decor but I also love Thanksgiving and Autumn and I love to celebrate them and decorate for them. I do not like rush my Fall and Winter seasons they are my favorite and deserve every minute I can spend with them.

This year however is my first real fall/winter season as a knitter. Yea I was a somewhat knitter last year but not really not like I am now. I have knowledge and practice under my belt and I am over filled with excited about knitting all the things! There is a podcast called Just One More Row , It is hosted by Dana the talent behind Unwind Yarn Company and Brittany her awesome friend who is soon to be a mommy :). They have a KAL going on until August 31. Want to join in? Here Is the Group on Ravelry and thread for FO's here . PLEASE READ THE RULES OF THE GROUP AND CONTEST THREAD ~ thanks

There KAL made me want to knit Christmas Holiday things and so I did :)

 

The snowman at the top of the post is just a larger version of the a snowball buddies whit a body added on. The Snowball Buddies pattern can be found on Ravelry Here. It is a paid for pattern for $5.50 but worth every penny! There are instructions to make the reindeer, owl, mouse and a bunny. I went on my own and made the snowman but if you do an project search you can see people made Santa's, elf's and other related cuties. For mine I used all scrap acrylic yarns in worsted weights and a US 5 needle. My eyes and noses I got from a shop on Etsy called 6060. I have seen eyes at Hobby Lobby but the smallest was a 10 mm and I used 6-9 mm on mine. If you have any questions please let me know and I will be glad to help you make you some cute snowball buddies as well!! 

Happy Yarning!

Friday, August 1, 2014

My First Sockhead Hat

There are so many patterns out there that are "common knits" the sockhead hat is one of them. The pattern is written by Kelly McClure. It is a basic hat with rib and stockinette stitch that is a bit slouchy. The pattern is a free download on Ravelry and you can find it here.  Kelly has a lot of wonderful patterns, there are several hats of hers I want to knit.

The pattern calls for 437 yards of fingering weight yarn. I went with some Madeline Tosh in the Fjord colorway. I also used a US 3 and made a few mods. I did 3.5 inches of the rib and I only knit 6 inches before I started the decreases. I only used 214 yards of yarn! the hat is plenty slouchy for me and fits great. I love how it turned out and am glad I did not make it longer. The yarn is wonderful. it does grow some after its soak but not more than I wanted. It also gets even softer than in the skein which is crazy.

  

Another FO I have done is a mandala. I used the African Flower motif from Heidi Bears for the center. I used a scrap yarn in an effort to use up some of what I have. I also have some other projects from scrap yarn going right now that can be seen in my project page on Rav. I am hoping to get those done this weekend. If you are not familiar with her awesome stuffies using hexagons you really need to check her out.  The link to her Ravelry page is http://www.ravelry.com/designers/heidi-bears


 Now For Knitting failures......

1.. The color affection... I was so super excited about this shawl. I love the pattern and chose Malabrigo Arroyo to make mine in. I love the 3 colors I chose : Reflecting Pool, Regatta Blue and Indiecita. See how lovely they look together??  Now the problem is when I started knitting them the Indiecita became lost. Its that multi-colored one on top. I man like totally got lost in the blues. I ripped it out and now my color affection is in area 51 waiting for me to order another color. I think I am going to go with the sand color. I love this yarn as well. The colors are so deep and pretty and it is wonderful sliding through my fingers as I knit.

2.... Basic Bolero .... As soon as I got the Winter 2013 Love of Knitting magazine I feel in love with the Basic Bolero. I even bought yarn for it and it has been waiting on me to cast it on. The problem is my gauge was spot on.... however it looked to small and wonky. I am thinking it may not be the best first sweater project. Maybe I should make on top down so I can see how sweaters come together and how they shape and fit before I try this one.....



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Delicious Yarn

click to be taken to Delicious Yarns

Some yarns are just scrumptious... they are squishy, come in yummy colors and a pleasure to knit with and even to hold and smell. I was told about  Delicious Yarns from a friend, and had to try them out for myself. The yarns are from the great minds of Marcy Feldman and Jacqueline Pinson. The bake up their batch of lovely yarns Stitch Cafe , a knitting shop in California. The shop also holds dying workshops and other classes. With new measuring spoons the two start making yummy mouth watering flavors that they had always wanted. I am sure you will find them just as satisfying and yummy as they do...

Whats really cool about this company is that actually allow you to sample their yarns. We all like to sample the sweets before we buy. its only natural... that bite that leaves you wanting so much more.
Click here to order a sample and taste some pure Divine sweets
 I ordered my sample and they are correct in calling their yarns delicious. I was sent a dollop of sweet superwash merino in the Jelly Bean colorway. Oh first off let me say I am addicted to Jelly Beans so that made me extremely happy. Second they did not stop there.... with the yarn comes a knit or crochet pattern for a cute cuff! How generous is that! The sample come shipped like a box of chocolate. You hope your package to find this pretty wrap... and then you open to find your own special sweet with the pattern. The yarn ...oh the yarn is super soft and simply wonderful. Although I was gifted the two patterns I think this yarn deserves something more. It needs to shown off and so mine will become a head band. I will become the envy of all craving something sweet.


They have so much yarn to choose from but here are my favorites..

 Needless to say their yarns are 100% yummy as they look besides everybody needs some sugar in their diet right :) So what are you waiting for head over there check them out and grab you a sample of their yummy yarn. Also head over to Facebook and like Delicious Yarns page and tell them you saw this review!
(graphics and pictures of the yarn came from Delicious Yarns.com the pictures of my sample are my own)
Happy Yarning ~Kim

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Knitting Watch

SO this morning as I am filling my body with Coffee goodness I was looking around on Amazon. I came across this watch... well watches...




Now Call me a weird-o but I love the purple and red knit one and the red crochet one! Does anyone own any of these?? How have they held up?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Indian Lake Artisans

Image and info pulled from Indian Lake Artisans
Have you heard of Indian Lake Artisans? They are the home of the Hexagonal  Knitting needles. Located in Michigan, with the use and services Michigan Companies these USA made needles are one of the Hottest things out there. All of their wonderful needles are HANDMADE with great attention to detail. They even sand each needle by hand! Can you believe that every single needle was sanded by hand before it gets to you, that just amazes me. However that is not all they even finish every piece by hand with a coat of natural beeswax that enhances the color and the grain of the wood. They use woods like Cherry, walnut and maple that are light in weight and warm to the touch. The North American hardwoods are from sustainable forests in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Theses are not your momma's bamboo needles people! With that unique hexagon shape comes comfort. It allows alleviate hand strain and carpal tunnel syndrome. The wood is slippery enough the yarn slides but not so slippery it falls off leaving you with dropped stitches.


So I bet you are wondering what they make. Well .... they have
~Circular Needles
~Straight needles (they have a range of cute toppers)
~DPN's
~Shawl Sticks (I want that Owl)
~Cable needles ( I want a set of these as well. 
~Yarn Bowls



I was ever so Blessed to win a set of their new size US 2 double points. They arrived package extremely well. I would have no fear of ordering from them. Their products come in a container so strong even my mail man could not destroy it... and trust me that means a lot. Their needles are supper smooth. I have some nice "wood" needles and these just feel so much better. The shape does in fact feel comfortable in your hands and the wood is so warm and inviting.
 I used mine in the car pick line and you know that feeling of knitting in the sun on a wonderful spring day.... these just made that even better.  The needles despite their "odd" shape make perfectly uniform stitches, even for a newbie like me. I must say they make my stitches look better than when I used other double points. I think it had to do with the death grip I felt I needed while holding metal double points and from the super annoying gabbiness traditional bamboo caused. Plus these are from trees in our Country! They are completely locally sourced and made by every day people like you and me. That means a lot to me in a country where hard work and handmade has seemed to lost its way. I really love this company and after hearing about their story on the Marly Podcast it made me love them more. (If you do not listen to the Marly Bird Podcast please correct that situation as fast as possible) I urge you to click the links I provided and look at their product. I am getting nothing from them for writing this post. I just feel great companies need recognition. To find out more about Indian Lake Artisans watch this video I have linked from their page...

Find them on Facebook


Like them on Facebook to keep up to date with them, be sure to tell them Yarning4asmile sent you :) Have a Blessed week and Happy Yarning. ~Kim
I love my new needles so much I made them a WIP snap case and matching bag!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Entrelac Knitting ~ A Review of Gwen Bortner Craftsy Class



I took Gwen's class wanting to learn this amazing knitting technique. I was amazed how the knitting leaned and seemed to have stitches going in different direction. I knew from experience that had to be done with some type of short rows but was not sure how. I was amazed when I learned through Gwen's class just how easy it is. You would think that would be awesome enough but I learned something else in her class. I learned the ability to knit backwards! That's right, no more turning my working when I am working in the stockinette stitch. The crazy thing is how much time you save by not turning your work.

To take this class you will need yarn, needles and the knowledge of knit and purl. You also need to know how to make a slip knot. That is about it. I am so glad I took her class.

I started off with her Entrelac Cowl pattern...
I used some Red Heart Super Saver in the Charcoal colorway and I love This Yarn in the Old Rose Colorway. I know this would be a learning piece and it still turned out great but I wished I had made it in wool like she suggested ... 

 I was nice having the option to download my class to my Ipad, allowing me to work on my cowl while high up in the Smoky Mountains where we did not have wifi or Internet. So lets look how Craftsy is set up, click play on the video below....
I can honestly say if it was not for the craftsy class I may have not learned how to do Entrelac. I am so glad I took the class and you will be too! Click here to be taken to Gwen's Class

Now to make a Flat Scarf Which is Lesson 6 and then a cape!! See you in class :)

(This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a 
purchase after clicking on my links. I purchased my own kit and it was not given to me by Craftsy.)

Monday, July 7, 2014



There are 24 days left to get in on the Contest. Craftsy will be awarding classes to the three members who enjoy the most minutes of their classes until July 31st. So whats the catch?? Well there is not one! I mean you get to learn cool and fun stuff and have a chance to win other fun classes. So what your are not already signed up with Craftsy? Well we can change that, it is free. There are also a lot of classes that are free. currently I am taking a knife skills class. I know I am not the only one that wants to be as cool as Chef Gordon. With the knife class you learn about knife and cutting skills. So what are you waiting for?? click the Banner Below and Sign up take a free class and learn something knew.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Coat Tree?? Why not a Bag Tree???

Do you solve problems in your sleep? I know I do. Often my best ideas come to me in dreams. I had pulled my sons changing table to my craft room for storage after getting him potty trained.... OK lets stop and do a celebration dance here... no more diapers or pull ups in this house!! So the changing table was holding project bags, knit washing bucket, blocking boards and a pillow for Bailey to lay on. The problem it was blocking my window and a different color wood than everything else and stood out and said "Hello I am the old changing table in your room" every time I came in here... it had to go.
So I dreamed about a bag tree. Yep I said it... See last year we had to cut down some pencil pines in fear of them falling on the shop or my in laws house. In that process one fell on a lovely Dogwood tree breaking off this huge 8 feet limb. I knew I wanted to do something with it because well its a Dogwood and the wood is very smooth and pretty. It sat out along the fence line for almost 11 months :( Then it came to me... clean it up, stain it, add hooks and stick in my craft room. The project was fast and easy and looks awesome if I do say so myself. 
 
so this is the wood before I had knocked off the bark and bugs lol now for sanding...


Once sanded I used the Olympic Deck Cleaner to clean the wood. This stuff is super strong and we already owned some. It smell like a mixture of Clorox and chlorine from a pool. My limb is a little over 8 feet tall my ceilings are 8 ft so I used the battery operated chain saw to cut off some height and clean up the limbs I wanted to remain. (my hubby will not let me use the gas powered chain saw unattended lol. 
The wood is dried out and looks pretty white now. I could stain it like it is but I want it to match my desk. I also do not like the bright white brackets hold the limb up. Speaking of those they are shelf brackets that can be found in Lowes for $1.20 each. I bought 3. I also go a circle almost 2 ft in diameter pre-cut board at Home Depot for $7.00 The hooks I bout were $1.25 for 2 so I got 4 packs of those. I used wood putty to fill in any areas that needed it... and sanded again.

Now time to stain. I already had stain and clear coat so that was not a cost to consider.... I used the same stain that is on my desk called Driftwood. I even put some on those bright white metal brackets. You have to let it dry well before you add the clear coat. Once it dried I used a sealer (clear coat) and let it dry over night. This stuff is strong! Do not do it in your house!!!! You can see in the photo on the left the wood looks like a gray-ish white... the brackets turned out great as well. They almost Blend in now.

The Finished product! I love my 80's monster on top :) The whole thing cost me under $20.00. I now have a way to display my project bags and more space!!