Monday, October 20, 2014

WIP: I-Cord Necklace

You don't mind me posting again today, do you? I don't want to give anyone a cardiac arrest or something from the shock.
I've casted on for the offical I-cord necklace project that I have in mind. I'm so excited to see how this is "knitting" up. Yes, I'm one of those knitters who feel the need to quote "knitting" when it comes to "loom knitting." 

This yarn is wonderful. Like I said in the previous post, I've been saving this $12.50 skein of yarn (don't worry, bought it on sale!) for a rainy day. There are only 98 yards to the skein, so it was meant to be a small project. For me.

It's an interesting sort of fiber blend:
52% polyamide, 24% acrylic, 12% mohair, 6% wool.

Yarn: Louisa Harding's Thalia in Eggplant
 Suggested needles: US11
Store: Loopy Yarns in Chicago

I have taken the liberty of posting a parade of photos of this yarn because it's so photogenic. It's gorgeous. I love how the natural fibers poke out of the knit yarn. It even shimmers. :)

This one is so interesting. I love seeing how you can see how the loose fibers are sew together to create this texture.
Sorry, are you "hungry" now? :)
Don't forget to RSVP to  the Halloween Knitting Party on Facebook 10/27!

New Knitting Toy: a Wonder Knitter

This is a Wonder Knitter. It is a fancy I-cord maker that is relative to loom knitting. I've had this toy for several months now, but this is my first time using it.

I've had intentions of making different objects out of an I-cord, primarily a type of necklace or two, but I have to admit that there's also a wee-bit of interest in seeing if this device is any faster than making an I-cord the old fashioned way (two dpns).

You can find a YouTube tutorial on how to cast-on this loom (it's a little confusing the first round), but the rest is the same technique. I've been experimenting with turning the dial using my left hand thumb while "knitting" simultaneously to make things fun faster.
This is the dial with the three pins. The set comes with two dials (3 pins and 6 pins). I do not care for the dial with three pins for the sport yarn weight that I chose. The dial with 6 pins have pins spaced a smidgen closer, so maybe that will be a better choice if you choose to go light on yarn weight.

I have a infinity necklace/scarf project in mind for this Wonder Knitter with another type of yarn that I've been saving for a rainy day, although unfortunately while looking for a tutorial on how to cast-on for this loom I found that the necklace idea is not unique. :(  I'll try to jazz it up differently. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Woolies emerge

It's that time again: the cozy woolies emerge from a long hibernation during the warm months.

It's a cold reminder of how freezing last winter was, and how much I should have been knitting new woolies during the past few months knowing that this winter could be just as bad. Or worse.

Remember that entire winter last year (and I'm not talking about YOU, southern states and countries... lucky ducks), walking outside and cursing under your breath because it felt inhaling daggers down your throat? You know, the winter that kept the snow on the ground the entire three months and was nearly -25 degrees F the whole time? The one that was bad enough that we had to drip water so that the pipes wouldn't freeze and burst? Yeah, repressed that a bit, didn't you?

Well, fall is in full bloom, but winter is coming, and my knitter's instinct is kicking in: "Crap! Hurry up, I'm late to the winter-knitting game!"


Meanwhile, I'm still enjoying strutting around in my fox thermal shirt while wearing my "Frozen River Slouch" and "Double Looped Scarf" while trying to forget that the temperature may drop so low tonight that my tomato garden might not recover tomorrow.

What's your favorite go-to knit that you have made in the past?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Halloween Knitting Party!

One of my favorite authors hosts cyber book parties on Facebook every time she releases a new book, and they are big hits. You post photos of what you are "wearing" to the party, what you are "bringing" or "drinking" (and these are in quotes because a lot of people post things from Pinterest because they are photogenic!), and she will give away books every so many minutes while people chat. It's fun! 

I'm not really releasing anything (although possibly the Baby Monster Hat from the last post), but I thought it would be fun to throw a knitter's Halloween party in the same fashion! I plan to give away 5 patterns at random (that you actually can vote on right now in the event page)! So join the KUAS group and RSVP to the event HERE and let's celebrate! 

Date: Mon, Oct. 27th 
Time: 7pm-8pm (Central Time)
What to bring: photos and things to chat about!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Itty Bitty Monster Hat

I have a friend who just gave birth to her second son. In the spirit of the Halloween season, I wanted to make her baby a wee monster hat.

(I think it came out a little kookier than I anticipated.)
It started off conservative. I improvised a basic hat shape that began with a crochet edge method for a nice clean look. I planned from the beginning that I wanted monster eyes. So I learned (or re-learned) how to crochet in a circle. I decided to do double crochet.
Then, honestly, things got a little carried away. First there was the crazy and whimsical i-cord mouth, then the silly teeth, and then a ball full of hair on top.
It's mighty silly. I wonder if it's a little over-the-top for a newborn to sport.  Even around Halloween? It might be a little more toddler-oriented. What do you think? Should I make another and dial it back?



Monday, October 06, 2014

5 Halloween Piano Solos (to please any Ghoul)


I am running a GIVEAWAY contest for you late-elementary to intermediate level pianists out there! I am publishing this e-book that will be released in the middle of this month. Meanwhile, on Facebook, if you write about you favorite Halloween memory as a child, you can be chosen to win this book! Spooktacular!

Contest deadline: October 10th at midnight (CT)
Contest winner chosen on entry page: October 11th.

If you don't play yourself, enter to win for a friend, family member, or music teacher. :)

Pieces include:
1. The Goblin Trot
2. Halloween Moons
3. Haunted Mansion (#1 seller)
4. Ghostly Chills
5. Spooky Town (#2 seller)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Craft Tutorial: Fall Acorn Decor

Happy Fall!
I came across this cute craft project idea recently. I'm not sure if I pulled it up from the depths of Pinterest or one of my fall-related magazines that just came in the mail, but nevertheless, here's a cute and easy acorn decor project that leaves a BIG impact! Would you like to learn how to make one (or more) of these?
*ACORN DECOR TUTORIAL*
 
MATERIALS:
1 (or more) acorn squash
Glue Gun (low temp is fine)
3-4 glue sticks per acorn project
A 3/8'' x 50ft manila rope bundle (approx 12.5 feet per acorn.)  

This project is roughly $4-$5 per acorn (pennies for glue, $2.25 per 12.5 ft rope, plus $2-$3 per acorn) 
You can get up to 4 acorns per rope bundle.

STEPS:
1. Warm up the glue-gun. Make sure you rest it on a plate or cardboard. You'll thank me later.

2. About an inch or so higher than the middle section of the acorn, start your first row of rope. Glue the end very thoroughly to the acorn, and glue like no-one's business in 1-inch sections (press the rope down immediately), spiraling all the way around the body of the acorn. If you glue too much in advance, it will harden too quickly on the cool skin of the acorn.

3. Once you have reached the tip or handle of the acorn, start wrapping and gluing in a spiral fashion around the "handle" of the acorn just like the body. This will be about 3 rows.

4. Cut the rope and glue cut-end securely down so to not have any pesky fraying.

That's it! This will look great next to your pumpkin and gourd display. :)
I'm so back-logged on photo editing. I have photos on trips and activities, an awesome restaurant-worthy Irish Beef Stew recipe and of course knitting to show you when I get some more spare time!

My old best friend just had her second child. I was going to make her baby (and 1 yr old toddler) a cute owl hat! Here's the beginning of it:
I used a chained cast-on method to have a nice accent color. It finishes the ends off nicely. Much better than single-crocheting after it's finished. It's actually worked 2-needle style.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Mish-mash Monday

This is just a mish-mash post of several things that I should have posted in the past, but haven't yet. This first is the most recent finished objects: earrings.
These are teal chandelier earrings that were really simple to make. I basically bought the chandelier part pre-made on clearance at Hobby Lobby and attached a jumper and earring piece.
 The next pair of earrings, Native American looking arrow pieces, was just as simple.
This next photo was from my Forget Me Not Shawl and I had so many photos of the finished project that I didn't post anything else. This is a photogenic photo of the bobbles. Love it.
Next, I forget to post a really neat present that I made for Mother's Day: Edible Arrangements. They looked so close to the real company's that I fooled them into thinking that I bought them $150 arrangement!  Not kidding, it would have cost that much, and mine still would have had more fruit. I made three total arrangements, the third (not shown) was a smaller one for my grandma in a flower vase.
I had fun. It took a couple of hours, but it was worth it.
Next, what gardener wouldn't do an update on the garden?
Our tomato plants are growing so tall, that it is making it's way up the tree behind my garden. I can't even reach the new growth without a tall ladder. The cucumber plant also has found nearby branches and have clung to it to keep growing vertically.
And lastly, I planned on making two posts: a frogging effort and a post on my special wall for yarn.
For now, I'll leave you with this photo, a small bin of projects (and the blue one, "Frozen River Slouch" is finished) that bin used to hold about 45 projects!
Happy Labor Day! Now get knitting!
I've got a "Pumpkin Ale" update coming soon.The boys start preschool tomorrow! AH!

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