Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Decent Pair of Socks

This is the first decent pair of socks I have made....ever!  I've tried so many patterns, I can't tell you.  Maybe it's me....maybe I'm reading the pattern wrong....maybe I've picked the wrong yarn...maybe I ate something  bad!  Ok, maybe not that last one.  I finally found a great pattern!  Whipped up in Knit Picks Wild West yarn and size 2 needles produced this lovely pair.  However, the yarn is not very cushy, so, if you're like me and don't like to wear shoes around the house, these are not practical.

 Fiesta Baby Boom in Coyote delivered some cushy goodness and in colors I like....grey, black, cream and brown.

 The above and below are Fiesta Baby Boom in Harlequin.  You might remember my post using this yarn for Karen's Carnival Baktus Scarf, below.  Look how different the colors look depending on knitting in stockinette or garter stitch and dye lots.

 Knit Circus' Pixie Dust Fingering in Robin's Egg have a bit of twinkling goodness in them.  Gorgeous color and squishy soft!
Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Frosting are a gift for one of my besties.  Her signature color is pink and she will love these.

Now, about the pattern.  Don't ask me why it took so long to get it out as I've had it for quite sometime!  It belongs to Susan B. Anderson.  I adore her and have all her books.  She has this easy way about her.  You'd want her as a sister, neighbor or best friend.  If you watch her teaching, she is relaxing and mesmerizing at the same time.  Patient and thoughtful in her delivery.  Her patterns are the same way.  Technically, beautifully written, but with that element that she is speaking to you from the page.  In this pattern, she makes it so easy to understand the dreaded turning of the heel!
The pattern is free.  Just pop over to her Rav page or blog.  
I'm working on her mitten pattern and will have a future post about that.  Another great and easy pattern.

Yarn tip:  
If you have trouble getting started knitting socks in the round on those small needles, here's what I the 2 x 2 ribbed cuff back and forth on 2 of the double point needles leaving a tail long enough to sew it up when the sock is finished.  After you complete the cuff, start knitting in the round with the remaining needles.
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

DIY Shawl Closures With Buttons

 The winds howl this time of year in the midwest!  In an effort to keep my shawls and scarves from blowing down the street, I made these from my button stash with a bit of elastic threaded through the button holes and tied in a knot.
 So very simple and extremely effective.  I love giganto buttons!  Big, colorful and easy to store if you are a collector like me.  Easy and affordable to purchase from local yarn shops I visit on my travels.  Above is a Lacy Baktus from Ravelry.  You can find the pattern link on my Karen's Carnival Rav page.  
 I found this button in a local yarn shop in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Freesia shawl pattern is from Jumpers Cable Knitting.  Very easy and quick to knit up with worsted weight yarn.  Find the pattern link on my Rav page.    
 I love the color combination and can use this one on so many shawls.  That's the beauty of these closures.  You can use them on all your scarves.
 I often wear my Crocodile Stitch shawls around my shoulders and this button adds a bit of color and interest.  Find the Crocodile Stitch pattern via my Rav page.
So, there you go!  Get out those gorgeous buttons, tie a bit of elastic through the holes and knot.
Yarn tip:
Can't find the right button?  Use leftover yarn to make i-cord buttons or frog closures instead.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My First Knitting/Crochet Book...well sort of!

 I've just self published my first to speak!  I have a new sponsor on my blog, Blurb, and was given a free book.  Not having used this site before, I decided to just create one with photos of my most popular patterns to see how it looked.  I must say that I love it!  Hard cover, great paper quality and wonderful resolution in the photos.
 It was very easy to use, but it's not a quick job to complete.  It took about 4 hours.  I'm hoping the next one will be a bit easier.
 The photos came out lovely and it's a great keepsake for all my yarny goodness!
 You can choose paper color, border style for the photos and there is also a nice range of page layouts.
 I was a bit disappointed that there is no spell check, so you have to be careful there.
 I really love how it turned out and will be writing one to publish with my patterns.  You can also publish an ebook.
 This book is about 20 pages, which is the least number of pages you can create.
You can even have a photo on the back, which makes it very professional indeed!  You can find the link on the right hand side of my blog page....."Blurb Make Your Own Book".

These would be great for all your Christmas photos every year.  Family reunion pics.  New baby.  Wedding book.  Even one filled with cherished family recipes.  I'd like to have one filled with my daughters artwork that she has done since she was little.  She is now in college majoring in costume design.

So here's my quandary....what would you like to see in a book from me?  I have had a number of  customers, as well as people I meet in person, ask me if I have a book they could purchase.  Enough requests that make me think I should.  I'd appreciate your thoughts  on this very much.

A book with all my knitted scarf patterns?
One with knitted AND crocheted scarf patterns?
One with the blankets...knitted only or knitted and crocheted patterns?
What about an ebook?  It would be more affordable than a hard cover and no shipping charges!

Myself, I am very much old school.  I adore my books.  The weight, the real life pictures and the opportunity to write on the pages.  You don't get that with an ebook.  Plus, if you save it on your computer, there is that outside chance of crashing!

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Yarn tip:
If your favorite pair of socks develops a hole in the toe, cut the toe piece off and kit a new one.  Pull off the cut yarn until you get a complete round, put your needles through the stitches, join the yarn and knit up the toe.  You can also use duplicate stitch to darn holes in other parts of the sock.
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Top Yarny Goodness for 2013

Happy New Year!  Thank you so very much for all your kind words and comments over the last year.  I so appreciate it as I know you have many blogs to visit.  

I hope you have enjoyed my little blog journey as much as I have and I look forward to another year of knitting, hooking and sharing more yarny goodness with all of you.

My best to you and yours for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!

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