Saturday, January 30, 2016

Two New Releases!

Hello Everyone. Happy Saturday! I have released two more patterns into my Ravelry Pattern Store:

                                
As tradition, I always give away a FREE copy to the first group member who comments on the Knitting Up A Storm, the blog Facebook group page. Wanna get in on future give-away action?
Click to join
So, let's take a peak at these knits.
First off, here's my bulky Seed Stitch Slouch.

This simple slouch is quick to knit up with bulky yarn, and is satisfying to wear. You can easily modify the length to make it less/more slouchy to fit your taste.

Included last in the instructions is a tutorial on how to make pom-poms for this hat. Feel free to only print out the instructions to the hat, and just read the pom-pom instructions on the computer to save on ink.
Skill Level: Late-beginner          Difficulty: Easy

Method: worked seamlessly in the round with dpns, or by using the “Magic Loop” method with 1 circular needle.

Yarn: 110 yds of a bulky/12 ply yarn 

Materials:
·        Set of 5 size US 9 (5.5 mm) and US 10 (6 mm) dpns; 40” or longer size US 9 and US 10 circular needles if using the “Magic Loop” Method
·      1 Darning needle
·        1 Stitch marker, or safety pin
·        Large (3 3/8 inch diameter) Pom-Pom Maker (there’s a tutorial on last page using Clover’s Large Pom-Pom maker)
·        A pair of scissors and some scrap yarn or thick sewing thread in a complimentary color

I tried out two versions: looser ribbing and longer (silvery blue) and tighter ribbing and a little less slouchy (brown).

Included in this pattern is a picture tutorial on how to make pom-poms.


Next, I have resurrected the "All Twisted Up!" knit designer bag...giving it a face-life and tweaked some information to be more detailed.
 
Here's a view of the bottom of the bag:

Here's a wonderful knit designer bag with plenty of room to spare. The cable pattern gives the bag an interesting appeal, and you may find people asking you where you bought your bag from!

Lever: Late Beginner         Method: worked in the round

Materials:
Yarn: approx. 430 yds of a bulky/12 ply yarn
Needles: size US 11 (8 mm) circular needles (16''-24''); 1 cable needle; US 11 double-pointed needles for I-cord
2 small leather handles
Fabric: under 1/2 yard in complimentary color
hread: matching the fabric color
Sewing machine
Optional tassel piece

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

FO: Baby Puerperium

I'm a little behind on posts, since I have finished 3 objects since my last post (wow, that sounds a little like a Catholic confession, lol).

I modified the Puerperium Cardigan to fit size 3-6 months for my cousin's first born child that entered this world on New Years Day.

Pattern: Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker
Yarn: 1 skein of Cascade 220 Heathers
Needles: Size US 6
Start date: Jan 10th   Completed date: Jan 18th
Mods:  Extra increases, thicker yarn, doing buttons only after every 6th "garter ridge," long sleeves, and wider garter borders. 

Due to all of the modifications to make this cardigan a wee bit larger, I had to play a little game of yarn chicken at the end. Yeah, I'd like to say that I won the war.
I had twin boys (and I am scared to death of another set of twins--which would probably be boys), so I will knit and live vicariously through them, who had a beautiful baby girl. Such gorgeous yarn...I absolutely recommend Cascade 220 Heathers.

Thanks for checking up on me. Have a happy Wednesday.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Quick KUAS Tip: tame your magic loop edge with pins















Let's start off with this side note: I love the Magic Loop method. I've always been a fan of circular needles (I never, ever use straight needles anymore), but since learning the Magic Loop method, I have found out how to dodge multiple dpns for sock, hats, and the like, AND knit more than one pair at a time! Second-object syndrome disappears.

However (you knew there had to be a "but..."), I have to admit that the first few rounds of magic loop can get a little irritating, what with the fabric trying to flare out and such, so I wanted to share a simple little tip that might make your life a bit easier. You might find this tip most useful on larger projects that like to open up wide when knitting in the round. Especially bulky hat patterns.
It's simple. Cast on your stitch amount, divide your stitches as normal for magic loop, and before you join the round (well, first double check that your stitches are not twisted), place two (or more) stitch marker pins (or safety pins) through the left and right side of your cast-on edge, running through both the front and back edge of your project.

After knitting a few rounds, take the pin out and clip more of the fabric in place in the same manner. No more work flaring out wider, making it hard to work magic loop in the round. I'd like to think we are boss over our WIPs and not the other way around!

Let me know if this little tip has worked in your favor.
It's the small things in life. 


Friday, January 01, 2016

A year in review: 2015

Greetings and Happy New Year, fellow fiber enthusiasts!

A lot has happened this last year, so I would like to share my adventures with you.
First off, I wanted to announce that I was told by www.allfreeknitting.com that I am one of their top bloggers on their website! I have a couple of free patterns (the Dummy Clap Shawl and Double Looped Scarf) on their website.
As tradition, I always post a year-in-review post on New Year's, so let's get the ball rolling...

Let's start with WIP's that never were finished this year:


Finished knits that I wrote out the pattern and turned into PDFs. They are available to buy HERE.
From left to right: Reading Rippled Afghan, Dummy Clap Shawl (update and video tutorial), Star-Edged Socks, Office Socks (updated), and Sand Dune Slouch hat.


Major Stash Enhancements from Knitty City and Purl Soho in New York City.

Other crafting:
From left to right: Woven infinity scarf, Advent wreath, Thanksgiving project bag, Halloween project bag, simple sock project bag.


Podcasts:


 Spinning:



Completed Projects (FO's):
 From left to right: Thrummed mittens, Mr. Darcy Cardigan, Reyna Shawl, 2-at-a-time hats, Sweet November Shawl.


Craving more eye-candy? Check out previous years' reviews:

Thursday, December 31, 2015

FO: Sweet November Shawl

 
I'm excited to announce that I completed a decently large object before the new year rings in. 

Project: Sweet November Shawl by Caryl Pierre (inspired by the shawl in the movie Sweet November)
Needles: Size US 10.5
Mods: Since this yarn is bulky, and to not fret about not having enough fringe yarn, I stopped the increases when I reached 157 sts. 
Pattern Review: It is a very nice, very simple lace pattern for beginners to advanced knitters. I highly recommend this fast knit.

My 5-year old son was the photographer of all of these portrait type photos, except for me in the mirror. He's got quite an eye. He told me to make sure that I hold my wings out strong, like a bird! lol!
 It's a very trendy shawl (or scarf).
On my KUAS facebook group page, I had some requests to show action photos of me blocking this shawl out with my new blocking wires from Knitpicks.

Basically, I stuck the wire evenly throughout the cast-off edge and selvage edge (I needed to use more than one wire per side) and then stretched it out as much as I could and pinned it down similar to how you would without the wires. The blocking wires makes your edge much straighter and less wave-like, so I do recommend trying them out. It was a little bit of a pain trying to stick a thick, blunt wire through wet, bulky yarn though.

What's started on the needles for the New Year?
A chunky Seed Stitch hat using Lopi wool in a steel type of color.
Have a wonderful New Year's Eve and day! 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

2-at-a-time fair isle gift hats

Pattern: my own 
The pattern needs to be tweaked. It was supposed to be lightly slouchy, but this fabric didn't behave the way I anticipated. I need to alter the type of decreases and add a few extra stitches for the body.
Needles: size US 7
Yarn: 1/2 skein each of Yarn Bee's Fair Isle Yarn, worsted weight
Method: 2-at-a-time, magic loop 

It took my a couple of weeks, knitting this on the road, knitting this a little to TV and also bringing this to my kids karate class twice every session...but they are finally done! Two gift presents to my friends, done!
This one's for my artist friend, Gina Lee Kim. Her son and my kids used to go to preschool together last year. She is consistently featured in the Cloth, Paper and scissor magazine.
This one is for my neighbor, Kerry. Her boy twins are 8 months older than my twins and they are best buds.
I haven't weighed the yarn yet, but it looks like i have enough for one more pair of hats or mittens if I use both of these skeins. They both have blue and grey in it, so it would work well.

You have to love self-Fair-Isle-ing yarn. Fun stuff. 

On to more gift knitting! What are you up to?

Friday, December 04, 2015

5 Minute Dollar Store Advent Wreath

Here's a quick and easy project! Dollar Tree wreath for 9 bucks! You can use leftover materials from previous years, or find materials from a local craft store too... I just happened to be at the local Dollar Tree and was determined to make one inexpensively!

MATERIALS:

1. One Garland (or better yet--if you have leftover garland at the house, use that! Form a couple layers of a circular shape large enough to fit 4 glass candle-holders in the center)

2. (Two sets of) Holly and Pine Cone Bouquet ornamentation: cut off the bouquet pieces, leaving a long stem for weaving into the garland. You can hot-glue down, but I just shoved it in the garland without further securing it.

3. 4 Taper Candles (traditionally seen in 3 purple candles, and 1 pink). I even bought 4 LED taper candles because I have two little ones around the house.

4. 4 Glass Taper Candle-holders. I like the ones at Dollar Tree, because they are tall and actually very nice for a buck.


Stick the cut holly and pine ornamentation pieces into the garland evenly in a holly-pine cone-holly-pine cone fashion. Place the glass candle-holders in the center of the garland and firmly stick the taper candles into the holders, making sure it fits very snuggly so it doesn't risk tipping over later on. No one wants a house fire. (Another reason I bought the LED ones as well.)

Light a new candle each sunday, as the candles represent each week of advent. They are usually seen in purple, with the single pink one being the last Sunday in Advent. Mine is in red, because it matches...although while researching about the Advent wreath, it is traditionally in red. Our wreath is a table wreath, and does not have the white candle in the center.

About the Advent Wreath:
SHAPE: The circular shape of the wreath, without beginning or end, symbolizes God’s complete and unending love for us—a love that sent his Son into the world to redeem us from the curse of sin.  It also represents eternal life which becomes ours through faith in Jesus Christ.

NUMBER: The Advent Wreath traditionally holds four candles which are lit, one at a time, on each of the four Sundays of the Advent season.  Each candle represents 1,000 years.  Added together, the four candles symbolize the 4,000 years that humanity waited for the world’s Savior—from Adam and Eve to Jesus, whose birth was foretold in the Old Testament. Some Advent wreath traditions also include a fifth white “Christ” candle, symbolizing purity, that is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas day.  Many circular wreaths can incorporate a white candle by adding a pillar candle to the wreath center.

COLOR: Violet is a liturgical color that is used to signify a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice.  Advent, also called “little Lent,” is the season where we spiritually wait in our “darkness” with hopeful expectation for our promised redemption, just as the whole world did before Christ’s birth, and just as the whole world does now as we eagerly await his promised return.


Happy Advent, folks! To those who do not share the same faith, hopefully it's still inspiration on what you can do with dollar store goods.
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