Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Project Bags and The Pain They Bring Me

Projects bags are so hot right now. Everyone and their momma is making them and selling them. Do not get me wrong I love all the inde style bags and the shops like Little Skein In The Big Wool has be drooling and dreaming on a weekly basis.Her "kits" with the bag, project and yarn are stunning and I have been kicking myself for not getting the "Where The Wild Things Are Set" Like every time I see the little creature made I cringe and wonder why I did not go for it. Anne does have set right now for her Anne of Green Gables Series. Which you can see all the updates for that in her shop right now. I suggest following her on Instagram and joining her ravelry group.





Then you have stores like Awesome Granny. Her fabrics are fun and she has two bag sets! You can find her on Instagram as well and she too has a Ravelry group. I love this back fabric with the foxes and she also has a deer set in a heart.... Which are in my Etsy cart waiting for the moment when I have extra money to spend.






I want to buy bags but I can not afford it. I look at it like I can either buy a a bag kit/set or get the patterns I need, yarn, a haircut, etc. The struggle is for real people! Don't get me wrong these ladies do top notch work and I follow them on all the social medias and rant and rave about how awesome their stuff is but I do not own any. The only "bought" bag I have is from Erin Lane Bag I got at Stitches South this year. I love that bag and it is sooooo well made. She always has fun awesome prints....  


Want to see more of the Etsy shops I follow and drool over click here


So whats a girl to do?? Well I make crazy long wish list on Amazon or I put things I want in my Etsy cart and then when I have extra money I pick something from my list. Does not happen often. I give very and I mean very little "play" money each month. Like $25 a week :/  However to support my bag wanting I have been sewing my own. They are not as nice as the "professional" but they are decent and I must admit I enjoy sitting at machine once in a while. My sewing skills have gotten better.... am I saying I would never order a bag from the above nope... I want to support these ladies and I want to own one of their creations and I will just not right now.... So some of my favorite sewing patterns can be found here.   I also use the links bellow...
http://showyourworkings.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/knotbaginstructions2.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1F39CmZuPw
http://www.handmadejane.co.uk/p/about-me.html

So far I have made me 14 bags, 2 for gifts and working on a new pattern for a gift that can be found here. 

For info about my bag tree check out this post here


I hope I have introduced to some awesome Etsy stores and maybe even encouraged you to get crafty! Happy Yarning ..... and Sewing :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ravelry and My Birthday

If you are on Ravelry then you are aware of the wonderful groups that are out there. There is one called RAK. I think I have talked about this group before but in the group you post your wish list and people choose people to send a random act of kindness to. It so happens I was sent 2 copies of the Brickless pattern by two very awesome RAKers for my birthday. I decided to forward that RAK and hold a giveaway for the other sharing my birthday present with another. I had people Pm me if they wanted to be in the drawing and at 7:00 pm I used randomgenerator.org and here is the results.....

To all that entered and to Tessagreenwood and Amineko72. Thank you again for sending me an awesome pattern I have been wanting FOREVER lol and I think it is so wonderful that I got two, allowing me to share my birthday and Bless someone else on this Friday afternoon...  :)


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Knit Purl KAL

There is a new KAL and I am doing it. Our local Knit is too so if you are a local and interested please be at Yvies Yarn Shop tonight at 6pm.


I am making the medium and as much as I wanted to use the suggest yarn in that wonderful gold color I am using King Baby Llama & Mulberry Silk from Aslan Trends. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Dreaded Swatch

I have never swatched, until this week lol. I am starting my first sweater. I am going with Harvest from Tin Can Knits. I love the pattern, looks easy enough and there is enough projects made with good project notes that I should be ok. The problem is the swatching! I have always heard you should keep your swatching to refer back too and even to reuse the yarn it need be. Seems simple right? Well OCD little me wanted..... hmmm I mean needed a cute tag to attach to my swatch so I will have all the info right there at my finger tips. I searched all over the web for a cute tag, apparently I am the only one who wants a cute tag. I am sure I can not be the only one out there. I know most people have notebooks or just jot down some info and pin it on but that will not work in my little world.



So I got on word and made some. I am offering them up as a free download.... As always you can use these but please do not claim them as you own or sell them....

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Crafting Bee Creations



The best part of any craft is the fun accessories and tools created for it. I love gadgets and gizmo's and how the can make my crafting pretty, easy and fun. I was excited to learn that stitch markers could basically be jewelry for your knitting and crochet when I first began my fiber journey. I enjoy looking over Etsy and thinking I want that stitch marker and that one.. I was super excited when Barb from Crafting Bee Creations sent me some stitch markers as a RAK.


Crafting Bee Creations is located in Melrose WI. You can find her  Etsy shop here .

They carry wonderful truly snag-free stitch markers, jewelry, orifice hooks and even handspun. They carry 3 types of stitch markers. There are Crochet markets that are made with a lobster claw and two types of knitting markers :  wire or elastic.  Her markers are so pretty and I have had some of her clay ones in my Etsy favorites since the beginning of summer. Mrs Barb has a coupon code of 15% off your purchase with the code THANKYOU15 . Her markers are priced so awesomely, that it is even a great deal without a code. I really love the clay markers and you really need to try them. They are 100% snag-free. that look makes them a breeze to transfer to needles to needle and they just make me happy. If you read this post tonight and order tonight you can use the code MY9THANNIV and get 50% off your oder but that code ends TONIGHT (Sept 14,2014)

I always want to host a giveaway. I will giveaway 4 markers that she sent me. I am going to choose a 2 numbers October 1st. One lucky winner will get the clay ones and one winner will get the bead ones pictured below. To enter please visit her shop and link your favorite markers. Also be sure to go ahead and place a order and support this wonderful craftier!

Happy Yarning!

Also please keep a look out for more giveaways in the future:) along with some reviews.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fall is almost here, Time to Cheer.

I can not believe this year is coming to an end. It seems like it was just weeks ago I picked up my needles for the first time. I still feel like a new knitter at times but I am not sure why. I think we all go through that period where you know what you are doing yet you still doubt yourself. I do not make the mistakes that I once did but still there are things that make me skip over projects on my queue because I am not sure if I can do it. I have yet to make a sweater and I am not sure if you remember but that was one of my goals for this year. I tried a couple of weeks ago but it was not looking how I wanted it .... so it was frogged. I have gotten some other projects done since my last post so I will share those with you. I also want to talk to you about some things I have planned in the future. So lets dive in.

FO Show:

Pattern : Barley by Tin Can Knits  This is a free pattern on Ravelry and is an easy go to fast knit. If you can knit and purl you can make this hat. I used Red Heart With Love in the Aran colorway. (This picture was taken before blocking) I made this hat for Halo's of Hope. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. I love this pattern so much and I think it is great how Tin Can Knits wrote it with everyone in mind. The pattern has sizing from a baby all the way to an adult. It is part of the The Simple Collection. I encourage you to visit their Ravelry page and check out of great designs from them. They also have another free pattern called Harvest . It is a lovely cardigan that I have been wanting to knit for some time and I am ready to cast it on. If you would like to join me and several other ladies from my Thursday knit night you are more than welcome to. I have bought my yarn and we are casting on September 15, 2014. This KAL and my reviews of Tin Can Knits are my own and have nothing to do with them nor are they sponsored by them.

The Pattern: Ropes and Ladders by Veronik Avery  I also finished my headband I was making from Delicious Yarns. The pattern is a mixture or written and chart. The pattern and charted area is really easy to understand knit, purls, yarn overs, decreasing and sliding a stitch over another is all you need to know how to do. The pattern is in a book called Knitting 24/7. I actually got the library to get the book from another library for me. I only had the book a few days so can not really comment on the other patterns but from what I read as I scanned over them there were several cute ones in there. You can actually check out the line up of patterns here on Ravelry. I really liked their yarn and love the blips of random color. I did a post on their yummy yarns a few weeks ago and you can see it here. Since I wrote that post they not only shared a picture of my WIP but the also included it in their newsletter! How awesome is that. It was nice of them to include a cuff pattern with their yarn but I had been wanting a headband and still have yarn left over for an ornament of small stuffie. 

 The Pattern : Wavy Moss Hat by Cedar Box Knits This pattern is a must knit. It is not only super cute but fast as well. the pattern includes directions for a headband, beanie and slouchy hat. I made a beanie style. I made some modifications to my hat. I started the cable section and knit it flat. I also knit my cabled section longer to give it that button up look. I then picked up the stitches and knit in the round. I used a knit stitches instead of the seed stitch to show off the handspun's detail. This yarn was part of a package I won from Taiga Hilliard Designs. Taiga is an amazing designer, she has something from everyone and some amazing shawls. I also added a big button that I picked up at Stitches South this past year. The button is Birch and from Favour Valley Woodworking. I remember standing in their booth starring at the wall of gorgeous buttons wanting them all. The yarn is Wild Rivers Wool Factory in the Easter Egg Green colorway. I am going to be honest and say when I first got this yarn I LOVED the color but hated the feel of it. It was ruff and reminded me of a kitchen scrub pad. Now that was when I first got the yarn.. now that I have knit it and soaked it my views have changed. This yarns softens up like crazy. It still is a tad bit scratchy next to skin but only a itty bitty bit. 
The Pattern: Belugah Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure Another must knit by Kelly McClure! I have already knit her Sockhead Hat  and loved knitting it and love wearing it. It has become a must have when I feel under the weather even here in Alabama where it has been hotter than Hades. The pattern is knit, purls and decreases. I chose Malabrigo Merino Worsted for this project in the Mariposa colorway. Malabrigo ..... oh Malabrigo .... if you own Malabrigo then you totally understand. The stitch detail and the color dept is stunning. If you do not own any then please get some as soon as possible! I love this colorway, it is very different and for some strange reason it makes me think of the game Plants Vs Zombies. 
My Favorite Things :
Fall is almost here. It is so close I can almost smell it. It is still rather warm in Alabama but I do see a few leaves starting to change. The stores are filled with Fall and Halloween decorations already including the Halloween Candy. I have already picked up a bag of the Candy Corn M&M's! Please get a bag and try them before they are gone, you will not be sorry.
International Delight has my creamer out as well. The Pumpkin Pie Spice creamer was hard to find in the "sugar" kind but I was able to score some. It not only taste amazing but smells like actual pumpkin pie and makes the whole room smell yummy. You can sign up on their website to get coupons from time to time.

 I also want to share a Lego Sheep I spotted at my local Lego store. There was actually a whole herd! There white ones and black ones. I asked for a how to so I could build some but the employee told me they were part of the Lego Master Builder Program. I had to share a picture of him though.

I have some nice reviews planned for the future, I want to do a review on the Harlow bag from Namaste, as well as knitting bags from Jordana Paige.  I also plan on doing a review of knitting needles. I know when I was hunting for an interchangeable set I had a hard time finding reviews that had the info I needed, I am also working to do some book reviews!! I plan on doing Video reviews for the books and some other products so stay tuned in. Be sure to sign up to get emails from my post. I do not post like crazy so do not worry about me overloading you.

Happy Yarning and see you next time!  ~Kim

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!