meta content=' knitting, crochet, spinning crafts, storage, yarning4asmile ' name='description'/> Yarning4ASmile: December 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Love of Knitting

I may be old Fashioned but I love real magazines and books. I was super excited to get a copy of the Winter 2013 Love of Knitting magazine. The magazine retails for $6.99 which to me is an excellent price compared to other magazines in its category.


Looking at the cover I am already pulled into this magazine because of the "Creative Cables learn how circle" in the bottom right corner. I am new to knitting and really want to learn about cables! I also Love how there is not to much going on the cover. When I am out shopping I usually have just a few seconds to scan the magazines grab one and then leave the isle before my boys have books and magazines everywhere :) So pretty and to the point is what I look for in a magazine.

There are 13 of the 24 cozy knits I am wanting to knit! That comes to about .58 cents per pattern I would be spending! That to me is an incredible deal.
Here is my breakdown of the magazine..

Mitts and Gloves:
There are two patterns the Spiced Nutmeg Mitts and Crimson Cashmere Mitts. There is a web bonus of Felted gloves that can be found on Love of Knitting's web site.
I Love the Nutmeg set. The mitts are fingerless and have a lovely detail on them that even this beginner can do. Its a double lace pattern and using a DK yarn and at a skill level 3. I love how the matching hat uses the same pattern just in the normal "ribbed area" leaving the hat not to over worked. I also love the Crimson Cashmere mitts in that they are a yarn weight 1, light enough not to be to hot but keep your hands toasty.


Hats:
There are three, the Spiced Nutmeg Hat, On The Slopes Hat and the Mystical Twist Hat.
I really love all three! The Nutmeg hat is so simple but elegant and would be a very fast knit. The On the Slopes hat uses a pom pom which is a HUGE trend right now and the Mystical Twist would be great for all genders and ages. I love the cables on it and it really is a great pattern by Nathalie O'Shea. Worsted weight and an easy skill level make this a must try for me to practice cables.



Sweaters:
Nine sweater patterns are packed in the issue. There is even a Web bonus of the Heathered Plum sweater that can be fund on the Love of Knitting website. The sweaters in the magazine are the Canberra Cabled Sweater (men's), Celtic Isle sweater (woman's I LOVE THIS), Aberdeen Sweater (woman's LOVE), Santa Fe Sunset sweater (woman's, Nottingham Sweater (men's from #MarlyBird), Basic Bolero (woman's I already bought yarn for this!!), Vera Sweater (woman's This has already gotten several likes on Ravelry), Mocha Delight (woman's LOVE) and the Little Bear (baby).
Wow talking about of great sweaters packed into one magazine! I was blown away but the Celtic Isle, Aberdeen, Basic Bolero and the Mocha Delight. I have never made a sweater and all of these range from skill level 2-3! I was so in love with the Basic Bolero that I bought yarn 3 days after getting this magazine in the mail! I live is a small town and none of my local stores sell the suggested yarn but I decided to go with Berroco Vintage in the 5197 Neptune Colorway. I can not wait to CO this sweater but have to finish a few things first. I am planning on making the XL and the pattern suggest I need 6 skeins but I went ahead and got 7 just in case!
I really want to make the Aberdeen next it looks so cozy. and I love the purple and cream they chose for the colors. Its made from a chunky weight so it will work up super fast! For the men's sweaters I love the Nottingham Sweater by Marly Bird. I love all of her patterns and listen to her Podcast every week! She is such a sweet down to earth designer. You can find more information about her and her podcast at MarlyBird.com. She often designs for Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet magazine.

Shawls:
Two shawls are in this issue, Easy Cranberry Shawl and Essential Shawl.
I love shawls! Have I ever made one? Nope, not yet... but I own a few and wear them often. I really like the Essential Shawl it is almost like a caplet. I love that is calls for Kollage yarns! They are such an amazing company and they are the guys that make those amazing square needles. The easy Cranberry Shawl would also be a great pattern to learn cables with. There are two lovely cables that run down the center almost like a backbone of the shawl. Both of the shawls call for worsted weight yarns which make them excellent and fast knit.


Socks:
Two amazing sock patterns: Twisted Pines Socks (LOVE) and Cactus Blossom Socks.
I have been bitten by the sock bug and have completely fallen head over hells for the Twisted Pine Socks. Sock like these are so lovely that it makes you want to buy new shoes so they are not hidden from the world. They are designer by Phyll Lagermn and also call for Kollage yarns. The Cactus Blossom are lovely as well but more of what I would call house socks. They are knit from worsted weight and only have a pattern on the cuff. They would make a great gift my mom and grandmother for mothers day and will probably be made for them.

Cowls:
There are two cowls in this issue as well. The Crimson Cashmere Cowl and the Cat's Paw Cowl
I Love cowls, there is something about them that just make me feel good. I love the warmth they bring and the ease of wearing one and not having to worry about it falling to long on one side and getting it caught in the car door... yes this has happened to me and it killed a beloved scarf. The Crimson Cashmere cowl is a yummy as it sounds. Worked with yarn from Yarn sisters with a makeup of cashmere, possum and silk and the use of cables it make a wonderful knit that would be easily dressed up or down with a pair of jeans.

Scarfs:
Orange Marmalade Scarf
There is only one scarf in the magazine and its the last pattern in the magazine but there is nothing inferior about this scarf. It uses Kidsilk Haze from the Rowan and LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel by lion Brand. It looks fluffy and cozy. It has a wonderful texture to it and would make a easy but still involved knit. The neat thing about this yarn is the contents! I am who doesn't want to knit with stainless steel.. It just seems fascinating.



Love of Knitting really did an excellent job pulling these together. I am really impressed with each pattern which is not common for me. There have been many magazines I have seen that only have one or two patterns that I would make from it but not this one. You should really check out the patterns and grab the magazines before it is gone...

If you have already grabbed this magazine up I want to know! What is your favorite pattern and if you have CO on yet!
Thanks for Reading and Happy Yarning!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The end of a year and a New Beginning

I am sitting in my living room this morning. Its 8:13am which is funny because my hubby believes that is his magic number. He says every time he looks at the clock during the day is says 813. He is goofy and I love him. The boys are in the den playing with their Christmas presents and watching some cartoons. My darling hubby is working this morning trying to finish a house (we own a gutter business) but I expect he will be home soon since I see the rain starting to drip on our Auburn flag on the front porch. It is a rather gloomy day outside and despite having some spending cash I have no urge to go anywhere. In fact I have not drove my car since last Saturday and I love it! I am still suffering from this head cold/flu leftovers and am so over it! I have not taken down my Christmas stuff yet since I feel that since Thanksgiving came late I was cheated out a week of Christmas. I usually try to take it down the weekend after the first but I may wait till my son goes back to school. It will be so much easier to do it with only one kiddo running around.

Currently on my needles I have my easy folded poncho, it never ends. I have 20 inches to go and the collar. I am thinking I may have enough yarn to do an edge on the bottom. I am loving the fabric but the print reminds me of cameo and I am hoping the edging gives it more of a famine look. I really want to get it done by the New Year. Once I get that done I want to knit a Hat for Halos of Hope. I am slowly working on a blanket for my oldest son in a palette of blues but doing crochet with it. I also have been playing with my drop spindles ans Rolags I got for Christmas. They are spinning so thin!! It is lovely and I love the colors.
Speaking of plans I have set kitting/crochet goals for myself for 2014. January will be my one year anniversary of crochet and in July one year for knit and spinning. I can not believe its only been a year.. I am kicking myself for not learning sooner..I love it that much. So here are my goals I want to complete this year..
1.Knit a Sweater
2.crochet a sweater
3.knit/crochet at least one donation every 2 months
4.knit one square after each pair of socks (need to go back and make one from Christmas socks)
5.Knit a 12 inch square each month then make a throw with them next Dec/Jan.
6.1/2 of my queue
The last one maybe hard since I am constantly adding stuff to my queue...
If you have knitting goals or Crochet goals for 2014 I would love to hear about them!
I plan on adding reviews to my Blog for the New Year. Some of the things I plan on the review are knitting gear, Magazines, Yarns etc. I am looking forward to it and hope you are too!

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Year! Happy Yarning!
Do you see the Kitty?
here is an up close. she got stuck..

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A little Christmas Enabling


 
 
 I love Christmas. I love the magic that is in the air, the decorations, the togetherness it brings and of course the presents. I know its not about the presents and we teach that to our boys but presents are fun. I however have family that has not gotten my love of yarn and knit/crochet yet so they were a little reluctant to shop for me this year. Instead they gave me money told me to shop for myself and then stick it under the tree. You maybe thinking well that's no fun knowing what you are getting but I am able to get 2x as much since I am a dire hard bargain shopper! I love knitting with nicer yarns but can not see myself paying $28 for a skein of yarn.. $20 is the max.. Now I do have a few skeins that were over that but only about 3 and it was special occasion yarns.  

So this are my gifts! I will go into a little detail in case you are seeing something that catches your eye :) Lets start on the table.. The first skeins of yarn the red/pink/purple stripe is
Knit Picks Imagination Sock Yarn Rose Red, then light purple is madelinetosh tosh merino light in Sugar Plum, Blue isvmadelinetosh tosh merino Betty Drappers Blues, red is Malabrigo Arroyo Juniper, madelinetosh tosh merino light Tern.
 Back row is cascade yarns heathers 220 in a orange and purple, red propped again the bag is Knit Picks Imagination Sock Yarn in Ruby  slippers. The purple bag and the teal one in the floor are Jordana Paige. Mine were bought used since I am unable afford them new :) The Rolags are from https://www.etsy.com/shop/ivyrash. The red and purple solids are Deborah Norville Collection Serenity. The wooden sheep is a wraps per inch tool from https://www.etsy.com/shop/Girlontherocks. There is also some stitch markers from https://www.etsy.com/shop/SuchGwenderfulStuff I got them in the Winter Night colorway. They reminded me of the Nightwalkers in Game of Thrones.
In the floor we have the Red Heart Super Saver skeins from Wal-Mart's Black Friday sale, Knit and Purl book from Interweave. ( I got my copy at Books a Million on clearance for $5!! Simply Knitting magazine (favorite knitting magazine). Then we have more Knit Picks Imagination Sock Yarn in Looking Glass and Loch Ness. Last but not least is my sewing machine bag from Jo-Ann also a Black Friday deal!
I am feeling pretty Blessed to say the least. I was also given some Sheep PJ's from Kohls and cute black and white slippers. The slippers are super cute and have a fair isle pattern with snow flakes, they are from Wal-mart.
(All my yarn was at least 50-70% off!!)


I have already have most of my yarn pared with patterns and you can see all of that on my Ravelry Queue.

I would love to see what you got! Share a picture on my facebook page or here in the comments section!

I hope you all had a lovely time with family and friends during the holiday. I hope you got every thing you wanted but more importantly I hope you had Peace and Joy and felt that special feeling that comes from being around those whom you love. Merry Christmas and until next time.... Happy Yarning!



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ho Ho and some FO's

Wow I can not believe that Christmas is in 3 days!!! I am not happy that Thanksgiving came later this year. It really messed me up. I love Thanksgiving don't get me wrong I have about 4 totes of Fall/Thanksgiving decor that goes out every year. However, with the mixture of the boys being sick over Thanksgiving holiday and the beginning of December and then last Sunday I was sick, I feel like we missed part of the season.

Speaking of December.... it has been cold here. We had several cold nights where we could actually the fireplace. It was so nice being able to knit on my Christmas socks while looking at the tree with the fireplace crackling in the background. I got a lot of knitting done this past week since I was sick and I got to use the Mommy's sick card and lay in bed and knit. The downfall of that was that I was actually really really sick. Last Sunday I woke up at 2:30 am in a cold sweat freezing and actually shaking from the chills. Monday I found myself in the waiting room of my Dr (who by the way is an older man that is like family). After the pokes of needles and swaps of stick I was informed I had the flu. My doctor gave me a hug, told me go home and sleep and Merry Christmas. Oh and we have insurance and Tamaflu for $60 is not what I would call covered by insurance... I pretty much lived in our bedroom all Monday and Tuesday. My darling hubby brought me food, drinks and meds. Wednesday I was able to leave but I wore a mask since we do have kids and I did not want them to get it. I had gotten the flu shot in October and I guess I could have had the Flu for a longer time frame but I think I got over it so fast due to some simple little at home remedies..

1. sleep! (I did have to take phenergan due to being so nauseated.)
2. Vitamins I bought 3 lbs of oranges from the road side vendor who is always set up down the street from my Doc. I had a hard time holding down other food but I could keep the oranges down. I ate a 3 lbs by Wednesday... it was pretty much all I ate in the 3 besides the occasion cracker.
3. Homemade rice/lavender cold packs for fever. To keep fever down I have 2 rice packs. They are dried white rice with some dried lavender sewn in a cotton sack. They are fast to make and make great gifts. I keep mine in a freezer zip lock bag in the freezer at all times ready to fight headaches, colds, etc. 
4. Lots and Lots of fluids. I esp love hot teas. They feel so good on your throat and the peppermint ones are great for headaches and colds.
5. humidifiers - We have several some hot air and some cold air depending on what ails us.
6. layering- So many people they when they are sick they need to bundle up but trapping in body heat is not the answer. If any of us have fevers we wear cotton and do not get bundle up. Fevers are a natural action for your body to take when if fighting germs. If you jump to taking fever reducers and trapping heat in you are not allowing your body to do the natural things it needs to do. Now of course if it shoots up with first try to lower it with a slightly warm shower and then Tylenol. But if it is around 100 we let it do its thing.

So that's some of the things we do.. Do you have any go to remedies? I would love to hear them.

FO's Time!!
Who got their Christmas socks done... this girl that is who! I am so happy with the especially since they are my first sock. I did manage to totally butcher the toes because I did not feel like looking up the closing stitch. I just winged it. They still look good and to an non knitter they would never know.
#Operationsockdrawer

I also started and completed a gift for my hubby. See I am married to an adult kid :) He is loves Ninja Turtles. The wall in our bedroom and his desk is covered with them. I decided to make him a mini Leonardo for his stocking. If you remember a while back I made my son a larger turtle and that can be seen here. The one I made for Lee was totally free handed. I did make notes as I made him and I plan on releasing his pattern in January or February. You can see all my notes on him here.

Last but not least I have a very fast hat for my brother. It is made from Red Heart With Love. I used a pattern by Amanda Salazar Higgins. It is called simple mans beanie. You can see my Ravelry notes here.



Oh one more thing. Are you giving away handmade knitted or crocheted things? If so here is some printable labels. I am not sure where I got the link from Pinterest I think.. I know that is so bad of me :/
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BywamVDQWUXAOXpWMEY0azNhTUE/edit

I wanted to shared some random pictures from the last time I posted... Merry Christmas and happy Yarning...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Feet are cold!

Update: Ok friends... I am in a blog contest and I need your help. I need you to go to this site http://www.favecraftsblog.com/christmas-craft-blog-hop-vote/ ... scroll down to you see my sock and click on the little heart.... thanks so much and Hugs


I am having a hard time accepting that today is already December the 9th. I felt like I just had Thanksgiving. Its so funny when you are young you feel like the days last forever. You never really appreciate the reason for the holidays and really get to enjoy them. Now as an adult and mom I feel like it goes by to fast and I am missing so much. I think it has something to do with the fact Thanksgiving came late this year and my boys are growing so fast. I truly love this time of year and am OK with really allowing myself to slow down and turn down a few events.The only thing I do not like about the season is all the colds and virus like things it brings with it. This year we have been hit hard by them. Our oldest started Kindergarten this year and has brought home every bug. On thanksgiving he had a fever and we found out he had pneumonia and bronchitis a few days later... then the 2yr old got it. When my kids are sick there isn't much that gets done in our house. I have been working on my socks when I can but they still are not done. I started them on November 5th and restarted them several times... Here are some things I have learned while knitting my first pair of socks.
~Know how many you need to cast on! (swatch... I know when we hear that word we cringe but I think if I had swatched in the beginning I would have figured I need to CO 64 instead of the 72 and I would have learned that the US 2 was what I needed opposed to a US 0. 
~Know your yarn. (some yarns stretch more than others.)
`w1~Read your pattern all the way through! yea my toes are not right but I fudged them so they would work... which brings me to the next point..
~Keep notes on any changes you make so you can repeat them (set yourself limits if you are a multi-project kind of person. That way you can work and complete all in a timely manner.)
~Know where to search for answers and do not be afraid to ask (use the web, designer, Blogs/Facebook)


I have really enjoyed making them and really hope I get them done by Christmas Eve. I used the Caffe Macchiato pattern by Marian Moldan. The pattern is easy to follow and there is a video on her special stitch. I was able to follow it and I am very new knitter and these are my first socks ever. The pattern has a lovely detail on the outside of each sock and plain on the inner sides. The pattern calls for the Fish Lips Kiss Heel which was written by Sox Therapist. You can see all the info and links from my Ravelry project page which can be found here : http://www.ravelry.com/projects/yarning4asmile/caffe-macchiato


For these socks I used a yarn called Marathon Socks--North Pole from Wisdom Yarns. The color I am using is called Balsam Fir. This yarn is discontinues but can still be found on the Internet. Amazon carries the City Colorways which can be found here.  My thoughts on the yarn is that is stripes well and is very pretty. However it tends to split and loses its twist easily.

Since I have rather large feet I was worried I may run out of yarn so I decided to use an alternate color for my heel. I found a skein of Red Heart Heart and Sole in Ivory at Hobby Lobby and used it.
I still have to finish the right foot but here is what I have so far...


I also have been working on a few gifts. One being a TMNT guy for the hubby that I started last night. I am using the pattern from Matthew Gravelyn it is called TMNT Plush. I have only done a few rounds so will not post pictures yet but you can see how it is coming along here until the next post. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/yarning4asmile/tmnt-plush

I have done a little spinning, a 2oz Sample I got when I bought a Batt from Etsy. The fiber is from Luthvarian her Etsy shop can be found here. The sample is called Rainbow and I spun it using my MockingJAy Spindle from Spinatude and her shop can be found here. It was fun and I love how the colors turned out. I got a bout 34 yards from it and plan on turning into a little bunny... the pattern I choose can be seen here.  I love Rebecca Danger she has so many cute ones!!!

Well that pretty much wraps up all my holiday needle craft projects for the month. We are doing a project here and there with the boys like painting, decorating foam things and this week we will be making shrinky dink ornaments!! super excited! I hope you have a lovely Holiday if I do not post again and a Merry Christmas. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY YARNING!