Friday, November 27, 2015

AMAZING Black Friday Weekend pattern sale!

Hey everyone,
I've haven't been around lately, but I have TONS to share. I'll get back to you soon to share all of my knitting and crafting one by one, but for know, let me share with you this super pattern sale! 75% off all KUAS patterns at my Ravelry Pattern Shop this weekend only! Dudes, that's like a dollar or less on patterns!

Use the coupon code: kuasblackfriday2015 to snatch up this amazing deal and stock up on some patterns. Thanks for supporting my work.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Pattern Give-Away: Coiled Cables & Ribs

UPDATE: Julie S. Congrats on winning! Thanks to all those who participated in this give-away!

Happy Friday, Everyone!
In the spirit of fall, and holiday happiness...I am running a give-away contest this weekend.
The contest is open Friday October 23rd-Sunday, October 25th at 9pm (central US time).
One winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, October 25th between 9-10pm (CT). The winner will be announced on my Facebook Group Page first, and later on my blog if I don't receive a reply.

TO ENTER: Answer on THIS blog post in the comment page: 1.) What is your favorite fall knit type (shawl, hat, gloves, etc.) OR  2. what is your fall tradition (besides Halloween & Thanksgiving) that you must do every year.

IF YOU WIN: Please privately contact me with your Ravelry ID or email address (if you don't have a Ravelry Account). You can message me on Facebook or email me at knittingupastormATgmailDOTcom.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Reyna Shawl

I'm super pumped that I finished my "impulse" shawl: the Reyna Shawl.

I really cast on this shawl in the middle of knitting my fall cardigan (which I inevitably put on hold during that time), but I'm more pumped that I started and finished this shawl without hibernated it. In under a month! (23 days.)

Like, I actually worked on it ALL the time, Scoob.
(Sorry, my kids have been watching a lot of Scooby Doo lately.)
I used my handspun wool that I finished spinning several months back. It was just too pretty to stash forever. I'm not sure how many yards I used, but I went through two skeins, and the largest of the two skeins pretty much went the whole span on the shawl.
It took me much longer than expected because I knit extra rows. Like, 22 extra rows! I wanted to make sure that it was able to wrap around my neck completely...and I'm glad that I did, because even after heavy blocking, it still isn't as wide as it could be.

So, if you see this, and MUST make it, do a lot more mesh rows and garter rows toward the end.
Are you soaking up the fall leaves lately? Make sure you get out and take it all in before the end of the peak!
Pattern:  Reyna by Noora Laivola 
Yarn: Handspun in fingering/sport weight in "Midnight Tides" (400-450 yds?)
Needles: US4 (3.5mm)
Start: September 23, 2015
Completed: October 15, 2015 
This was an enjoyable knit. Very easy. It was about 4 rows of actually patterning, which is only 2 rows per type: mesh or garter. Easy Peasy.
Enjoy. I hope that was enough knitting eye-candy for today. Happy knitting.
P.S...I'm finally on Instagram. :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Knitting Project Bags!

Meet a project bag prototype.

It was created after me lusting over knitting project bags from knitting podcasts and the like.

These handmade bags are normally $25-$35 online, so I decided to dabble with the sewing machine again to make my own since I had leftover fabric from all sorts of things.

Then came ambition.

I decided to scour the Walmart fabric section to see if, by chance, they had a pattern for the type of project bag that I've been seeing.

They actually did! And I took the last one. (Ok, well, two different pattern packets...but more on that another time.)
Meet Simplicity knitting bags and organizers 1079. It's a 2015 publication. I figured, it's "simplicity," so it must be relatively simple for a neebie, like me.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.
I had to figure out how to cut out the fabric correctly, so the pattern wouldn't be upside down. That's a learning curve all on it's own for someone who hasn't really done many patterns (or at least a sewing pattern in a long time).

I managed. Eventually.
I couldln't resist making a Halloween themed project bag. It also gave me that extra nudge to finish it quickly, since Halloween was 2.5 weeks away.
I was stumped pretty much at the first couple of directions. A huge part of why it took three solid days to finish this was because of me being careful, making sure I was cutting them out correctly, or reading through all the instructions first (the knitter in me) and trying to get a generally idea of the construction since there are a lot of parts to this bag (surprisingly).

The pattern photo left out a few important details, like: it has an "outside" pocket! Or it has a divider! These are nice, but unnecessary features for me that confused me in the end without a clear photo visual.
The pockets really challenged me, but after ripping it out a few times, I finally understood how to sew the shaping on the bottom. That pinching in shaping is used three times for this project, so luckily I practiced on the darn pocket first!
I'm really proud of this feature, which was my idea. They wanted me to just sew a cord. This looks so much more professional. I'm still working on finding that perfect handle to clip it on to. I figure, I can also clip this onto a backpack or purse.
This bag is very spacious. I can easily store 4 balls of yarn or a sweater project (which I plan on doing).
I bought this ring puncher, but it actually destroyed the fabric on my bag and didn't crimp together correctly. I am very dissapointed in this, and hope it doesn't get pulled wrong and fray around the ring. The center is too jagged for yarn to pass through. :(  However, this bag is only going to be used around October and was my "guinea pig" bag for future ones.
I love the denim on the bottom. My next bag will have more of it; it looks so polished.
I hope you like it! I am super proud of myself.
I'm back to knitting though, my brain needs a rest! I'm not used to thinking and scratching my head so much while doing patterns! ;)

Here's a funny thing. I decided to sew my own bags to save myself money. How much money did I spend on tools, hardware, different fabric, etc.?  Um, probably 4-5 times the amount of a bag sold online! Life of a crafter, I say.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Podcast Episode 8: the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Absolutely Bad Podcast

I have been clicking away at the Fall Cardigan (that's not the real name) lately. I am at the hip increases. I figure that if I am going to design a cardigan, it might as well have some shape and pockets. Nice, deep pockets.

There's a podcast at the end.
It's awful, but whatever...keeping it real.
 I just casted on the Reyna Shawl using my handspun yarn.

I recently hosted a "Blind Wine Tasting" party with a few girlfriends. It was a smash hit! Or were we smashed? I forget.

No, I actually only poured 1 oz. samples of each wine so my friends could drive home safely! Plus, we gorged on a potluck style buffet of appetizers!
Red and white wines were separated and the bags were numbered.
There were 10 wines altogether! I told everyone to bring 1 white or red wine, and if they could, a really, really, really cheap wine...because sometimes they win the taste test!
 I had score cards and a little guideline for scoring...taste, appearance, body, etc.
My cheese and fruit platter (there was so much food by the end!). I had a mustard seed Gouda, regular Gouda (I love Gouda, what can I say?) a mango chipotle cheddar and a Parmesan goat cheese blend.
The wines, revealed. Guess which wine won? That's right...a cheap white wine (Vivello Peach Moscato from Trader Joe's).

KUAS Podcast: Episode 8


1. Fall Cardigan (name to be determined)
2. Reyna Shawl (using handspun yarn) by Noora Laivola
3. Abrianna Cardigan
Tea: Yogi's Cinnamon Vanilla tea

Needles: knitpicks and Denise interchangeable needles.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Life after the hiatus

The temperatures in the Midwest are feeling a bit like fall. Last night, it got down to the 40's, so I decided it was a good time to snuggle up with my woolen Ripples Reading Afghan to keep warm in our family room.

In honor of the cooler weather, I am running a 15% off sale on all of my patterns. No coded needed; the difference will be made at the checkout. Now might be a good time to stock up on some already reasonably priced patterns for your knitting queue this fall and winter?

The pattern sale ends September 20th at the stroke of midnight.

Last week, I started this Fall cardigan design that features stripes of bulky yarn that patterns (like Opal socks, but in bulky weight), and yarn that variegates in a couple of tones, as well as solid stripes. It's hard to tell, since the top is folding over, but I am about at the armpits, so I will save the sleeve stitches soon and work on the body.

I did all of this in about 2 days, but then had such an awful congestion type of cold, I stopped the knitting train. I am back to (almost) full health, so I feel inclined to get back into it again. 
I am testing out Lion's Pride Woolspun yarn in their new fallish colorways that I got at Michael's. It is a 20% wool, 80% acrylic blend. I like blends for durablilty and softness, but I hope that one day, we can find 30% or 40% wool blends, for added warmth and naturalness without sacrificing that soft feel (and inexpensive price) that people expect out of an acrylic blend.
I love yarns that pattern. I am spending the time to add additional yarns, so there will be a bit of weaving to do, but who can resist working with a yarn that looks like intarsia? I am all about creating patterns that look good, function well, but are generally easier knits. 

For example, I feel like any good cardigan deserves deep pockets. Right? Pockets can get fussy or confusing though. I plan on implementing "afterthought pockets" in this design. When I come to the area where pockets should go, I will knit a set of stitches with waste yarn and will pick them up with dpns after the cardigan is done and knit in the round like a sock or hat. I will graft like sock toes (so it's a little nicer and flatter than a 2-needle bind-off) and push the fabric down back into the pocket. It should be painless. Stay tuned?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Well, hello.

Yup, still alive and kicking. The summertime is usually a lull for my knitting, I don't know why. I do have air-conditioning, but I think it's mentally/physically my time to take a break and focus on my other crafts for the time being, until I get so close to fall that I start to panic and furiously click away to make-up for lost time. How about you?
 We attended the annual "Mal reunion" last week in Michigan and I made a nice dent in the Abrianna cardigan. Last time you saw this, I was only about a couple inches higher than the ribbing. I have about 2 or so inches left before the back is complete.
I have purchased yarn for a fall cardigan, but I haven't taken any pictures yet. I might save it for a podcast. The skeins are really neat. I can't wait to share my idea with you.
Other than that, I've been focusing on my new 5'10'' Perzina grand piano that I purchased in July. I am excited to be able to work on new compositions and record on such a wonderful beast. :)
Here's me making my first cover on it: Cold by Aqualung (Twilight fans will know this). You can watch the dampers moving as I play. :) It's best to listen to it with headphones. My late-night at-home recordings may not be perfect, but I feel like I am finally starting to doing something that I have been wanting to do, musically, for years. Even as a mom. Many exciting things to come...

I still have to do an interview and play something snazzy for a Perzina Piano promotional video for the store where I purchased the piano.

Other than that, we enjoyed visiting with all sorts of family, going to Legoland, Navy Pier, Michigan, and trying out T-ball. Oh, P.S, after 14 months, I finally treated myself to a new "do."

Happy weekend. If you are still reading this, please enjoy a freebie from me: Sand Dune Slouch for something to knit this fall. Please pay it forward with a good deed. The freebie ends at the stroke of midnight Sunday. :)

Stay connected. Join the Facebook group: knitting up a storm, the blog for more pics during non-blogging times.
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