Friday, October 31, 2008

Dune Buggy Bolero - FREE PATTERN



Just in time for holiday parties...an easy knit bolero! Designed by Heather Walpole, this free pattern is knit out of just 3 or 4 balls of Trendsetter Dune!


Skill Level: Advanced Beginner

Bolero Sizes: Small (Medium, Large)
Completed Chest Measurement: 32 (36, 40)"

You will need:

Click here to download the Free Pattern Dune Buggy Bolero PDF

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spook-tacular!


Here's another Spook-tacular deal!

25% off My favorite BLACK yarns
Hurry! This offer expires at the stroke of midnight, October 31, 2008.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tricks & Treats!


Tricks & Treats - Happy Halloween!
25% off My favorite ORANGE yarns
Hurry! This offer expires at the stroke of midnight, October 31, 2008.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Free Pattern Friday!

Here's a chance to buy yarn for a project and get the pattern for free!

Spend $50 - get 2 patterns for free*
Spend $75 - get 3 patterns for free*
Spend $100 - get 4 patterns for free*
Spend $500 - get 20 patterns for free*

Here's how it works - shop for all the project materials you need: yarn, needles, notions and of course, patterns. Then add the patterns you would like to receive for free to your shopping cart.

Use code: FreeFriday at checkout.

The free pattern(s) value will then be deducted from your total.
*Includes all patterns up to a $5.00 value.

Hurry! Offer valid until 11:59 pm, Friday, October 24, 2008.

Click here to start shopping!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Give a knitting basket!



Here is an opportunity to share the gift of knitting with someone who truly needs it. Purchase a "Knitting Basket" from Heifer International - a charity helping to cure world hunger. Your gift represents two llamas and two sheep — four animals famous for their warm, income-producing wool. From shearing to spinning, weaving and finally to selling woolen goods at market, the gift of a Knitting Basket will help struggling families earn extra income to break free from the grip of poverty and hopelessness. Over time, as that gift multiplies and more animals are passed on to help others in need, entire communities will be warmed by the wool of a Knitting Basket.

It's a great gift for someone who has everything. Gifts start as little as $10 - Check out their entire
Online Giving Catalog. They also have gifts of water buffalo, trees, pigs, honey bees, and ducks!

Read more about
Heifer International

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cabled Bag Knit Along - Final Wrap Up!



I decided to line my cabled bag, so I headed in to my local fabric store. I LOVE the Amy Butler fabrics and had a hard time choosing, but I finally settled on a floral chintz in chocolate, kiwi, pink and cream - so pretty!

I went with the Amy Butler Daisy Chain Collection. The fabrics I bought were Deco Rose 3/4 yard and Mosaic 1/4. I have a little of the Deco Rose left over. I want to make a little coordinating notions pouch using the two fabrics at a later date.

Here's where you can buy Amy Butler Fabrics



I chose this fabric because it will add a surprise of color when I open the bag.
Before I sew the lining, I have to attach the handles. One advantage of the cables is the make it REALLY easy to line up your handles. When you lay the bag flat, there are three cables on each side. Simply place one handle end over the first cable and the other cable end over the third cable. Sew in place. I was out of yarn so I used 4 strands of thread and I whip-stitched the handles onto the bag. When that was done, I turned the bag over and attached the other handle the same way.



You can stop here with your bag or add the lining.
Here's how I added the lining:
  • I cut fabric for the lining 38" wide by 17"
  • Then, I folded the fabric with the Right Sides facing each other and sewed a side seam.
  • I pressed the seams out.
  • Then, sewed along the bottom edge.
  • I folded the top edge under approximately 1" and pressed.
  • I pinned the top edge in place evenly around the top edge of the bag (as shown in photo above.)
  • Then, I sewed the lining in place around the top edge.
Tah-dah!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

hadley with the world's largest pumpkin!
it weighs 1,528 lbs.

Friday, October 17, 2008

bagpiper at sunset over the pacific at pebble beach

Thursday, October 16, 2008

FREE PATTERN - Cheeky Charlie's Hat for Guys



VERY QUICK KNITTING PROJECT!

Have a hard time finding men's patterns? Well here's a Men's hat you'll like to knit and he'll love to wear (You'll want to wear it, too)!

Note: All humans were out of the house when I photographed this, so I used my friend "Cheeky Charlie" as a model. On a human, this hat fits the head, if you like the loose part at the top (like on Charlie), just knit it a bit longer.

The yarn I used was even designed just for guys. What makes a good men's yarn? Good colors and soft yarn. Linus yarn from Knit One, Crochet Too fits the bill. This randomly self-striping hats comes in great colors made just for men and has the soft feel they love.



Cheeky Charlie's Hat for Guys Knitting Pattern

Sizes: Child (Adult)
Circumference: 16 (18)"

Materials
Gauge
18 sts to 4" on US 7 needles

Pattern
  1. Using the circular needle, Cast on 72 (80) sts
  2. Rounds 1 -4: *Knit 2 sts, purl 2 sts.* Repeat from * to * around.
  3. Knit all rounds until hat measures 5.5 (7)" from the beginning.
  4. Size Large Only. *Knit 8 sts, knit next 2 sts together.* Repeat from * to * around - you will have 72 sts.
  5. Size Large Only. Knit one round.
  6. Both Sizes work all remaining rounds. *Knit 7 sts, knit next 2 sts together.* Repeat from * to * around - you will have 64 sts.
  7. Knit one round. Change to double pointed needles.
  8. *Knit 6 sts, knit next 2 sts together.* Repeat from * to * around - you will have 56 sts.
  9. Knit one round.
  10. *Knit 5 sts, knit next 2 sts together.* Repeat from * to * around - you will have 48 sts.
  11. Knit one round.
  12. *Knit 4 sts, knit next 2 sts together.* Repeat from * to * around - you will have 40 sts.
  13. Knit one round.
  14. *Knit 3 sts, knit next 2 sts together.* Repeat from * to * around - you will have 32 sts.
  15. Knit one round.
  16. *Knit 2 sts, knit next 2 sts together.* Repeat from * to * around - you will have 24 sts.
  17. *Knit 1 st, knit next 2 sts together.* Repeat from * to * around - you will have 16 sts.
  18. *Knit next 2 sts together.* Rpeat from * to * around - you will have 8 sts.
  19. Cut yarn leaving approximately an 8" tail. Using a yarn needle, weave tail through remaining 8 sts then remove them from the needles.
  20. Fasten off and weave in yarn ends. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Blog Action Day



It's our second year to participate in Blog Action Day! Bloggers and readers from around the globe are taking the day to act. This year's focus is Poverty.


Guess what? Do you know just from knitting you can help so many others?


Here's how you can help: Buy yarn and knitting supplies from yarn companies that help women/families in impoverished nations. We carry yarn and supplies from several of these companies.


  • Our friends at Lantern Moon provide work opportunity for women in Vietnam who's only source of income is working in the rice fields two months out of the year. Through their work, they are able to provide for themselves and their families.

  • The craftswomen owners of Manos del Uruguay have set up a non-profit Association, with the objective of generating employment for rural women, allowing them to stay in their home towns, earn their living and develop themselves as human beings.

  • The wonderful folks at Himalaya Yarn employ people of Nepal while providing us with gorgeous, handmade recycled silk yarn made from saris.

  • Be Sweet Products, brings us stunning mohair yarns and here's how. Be Sweet works with several job creation programs in South Africa by giving artisans the confidence and the means to support themselves and their families in an otherwise economically depressed region. The empowerment groups have grown to include over 200 villagers, mostly female members of the Xhosa tribe, who live in Cape Town, the Eastern Cape region and Johannesburg. Participants are responsible for making mohair, bamboo and organic cotton yarns, accessories and home goods. Many of the women depend on their work for their survival. With the help of experienced program directors, the women are able to work in stable environments where they can earn a fair wage, learn a new skill and enjoy their jobs.

  • Finally, be sure to check out our knitting charities. Just one tiny sweater, a simple blanket, or a quick hat can warm someone's heart and body who really needs it. Check out our knitting charities on the left side of the blog.

Just you, a pair of sticks and a ball of yarn can make a difference.


To encourage you to knit for a cause we are offering 20% OFF your purchase, use code: BLOGACTIONDAY2008 - for today, October 15, 2008.




Monday, October 13, 2008

Cabled Bag Knit Along, Part III



Attaching the suede bottom to the bag.

A refreshing look at an old standby.



A blog I really love, Pretty Ditty, recently did a tutorial on finger knitting. It's a great way to pass on your passion for fiber to little ones. It's also a great way (for you) to use up stash yarn and odd balls. I've made several finger knit scarves then braided them together for a really cool, chunky look.

Check it out!


I'VE BEEN TAGGED!

Jamie, over at Pretty Ditty tagged me. So I need to list 7 facts about myself - some random, some weird. So here goes:

  1. I've always liked my millions of freckles, but avoid wearing patterns because they'll "clash" with my freckles.
  2. If I had to escape from my house and could only take two things (not including people, pets) what would I take? My computer and my knitting basket.
  3. When I was in first grade I accidentally stapled my finger. My best friend, Michelle, quickly stapled hers too, so we could go to the nurse together.
  4. I love hot dogs.
  5. I can't cook without a recipe (really, I can't), but I can whip out a knitting or crochet pattern off the top of my head, like nobody's business.
  6. I like walking more than any other exercise.
  7. I love to shop for office & art supplies.

Tag! You're it! I've tagged some people listed below and now it's their turn to share 7 things about themselves on their blog. Then they will tag a few other bloggers.

I tag:

Ask Aunt Jen

Heather Ink

Thane's Neck Farm

Adventures of a Silly, Silly Girl

Drivamrgm

Friday, October 10, 2008

My 10 Favorite "Stress Buster" Knitting Projects!



Turn on the TV, and there isn't much good news to be had at the moment. Watching too much of it stresses me out, so I've been avoiding the TV as much as possible. I've been trying to fill my time with reading, movies, music, walking, and as much knitting as possible. I feel my teeth begin to unclench, my breathing slow, and my whole body relax as I work the stitches.

So in these stressful times, I've compiled my favorite "stress buster" knitting projects. All are easy projects and selected to help you kick back and relax.Take a deep breath and knit!

My 10 Favorite "Stress Buster" Knitting Projects!
  1. Mission Falls Cheer Hat & Fingerless Gloves Project
  2. Felted Clogs to cozy your toes by Fiber Trends
  3. Ann Norling Pointed Stocking Cap Pattern
  4. Painted Diamonds Bag from Knit One, Crochet Too
  5. Mission Falls Aimee Cardigan Sweater
  6. Albion Vest by Oat Couture
  7. Cabin Fever Side to Side Shawl to Knit
  8. Easy Blanket, Sweater, Hat & Booties by Ann Norling
  9. Mission Falls Bob Blankie Project
  10. Marty Scarf to knit for men or women from Mission Falls

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Plymouth Cotton Kisses


I've anxiously awaiting this popular little kit in since April! Cotton Kisses Baby Sweater Knitting Kit from Plymouth - What a delightful concept. A little knitting kit for baby which includes everything you need except the needles.

Kit includes:
  • Nearly 400 yards of Cotton Kisses yarn (a slubbed worsted weight cotton - very soft and machine washable)
  • 2 patterns - a cardigan and pullover t0 fit babies 0-12 months (both included, kit makes 1 garment)
  • 3 cute duckie buttons
  • Available in 7 baby-loving color choices
  • All at an amazing price - ONLY $13.95

Shop Plymouth Cotton Kisses


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Don't be a hero.




When driving to an unknown destination with my husband, he refuses to stop for directions. So we have spent countless hours driving around aimlessly, arguing over which direction he should go, etc...I'm sure many of you can feel my pain. But recently I got a GPS and it tells me what direction to go and when. I love it and use it all the time. He still refuses to use it (directly), and will call me when he's lost so I can give him directions over the phone (using my GPS). Oh, well, baby steps.


So what's my point...and how does this relate to knitting?
Well, with the Cable Bag project now out there for you to knit, it's a good idea to use a little "GPS system" to help you get along. Often knitters think they have to keep all the pattern directions in their head. Then, they stop working on the project for a day or two, and when they go back to it, they are completely lost. I can't tell you how many projects I abandoned because I couldn't figure out where I left off. The time I've wasted trying to figure out what row I'm on is frustrating & ridiculous (and worst of all, wasted knitting time!). Wow, that must be how my hubby feels when he's driving around aimlessly.

What I needed was a KPS (Knitting Positioning System)!
Now, I never work on a project without having a KPS handy. The Clover Kacha-Kacha counter, shown above, is a little clicker that keeps count of rows and many knitters like this option. Simply click the counter when you've completed a row. My KPS is my trusty paper and pen. As you can see above, I've numbered my page from 1-8, for the rounds in the pattern. I marked on round 8 to remind me that is my cable round. If I check off a round it means I've completed that round. It's my own little system that allows me to walk away from my project and when I return, I'll know exactly where to pick it up again.


What KPS do you use to help you keep track? Please share your ideas!

Cable Bag Knit Along - Part 2

From all the emails I've received, I know so many of you are anxious to get going on part 2!
So here we go!


If you've cabled before just go ahead and work round 8, then skip the pictures. If you've never cabled before. Please READ the round then look at the pictures/tutorial for how a cable stitch is made.


Round 8: *Purl 3 sts, (slip next 3 sts onto cable needle as if to purl. Place cable needle in back to be worked later, then knit next 3 sts from your knitting needle. Now knit the 3 sts from the cable needle), purl 3 sts, knit 2 sts.* Repeat from * to* around to beginning stitch marker.


The photos below are details of how the cable stitch is actually worked:


Note the section in ( ) above. These are the 6 stitches that will be cabled.


In an ordinary stitch row you work the stitches from RIGHT to LEFT in the order shown 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. But in a cable section, note the way the order of your stitches will change. Stitches 1, 2, 3 will be placed on the cable needle and set aside, so you can knit stitches 4, 5, 6. Then stitches 1, 2, 3 are knit from the cable needle.


Stitches 1, 2, 3 are slid onto the cable needle.



Stitches 4, 5 , 6 have been knit. Now I'm about to knit stitches 1, 2, 3 from the cable needle.
PS. Yes, I know...the closeup of my nails reminds me I'm in desperate need of a manicure!


Wow! Cable completed! You are now a cable diva!!!

Now continue working rows 1-8 as follows:
Rounds 1 - 7: *Purl 3 sts, knit 6 sts, purl 3 sts, knit 2 sts.* Repeat from * to* around to beginning stitch marker.
Round 8: *Purl 3 sts, (slip next 3 sts onto cable needle as if to purl. Place cable needle in back to be worked later, then knit next 3 sts from your knitting needle. Now knit the 3 sts from the cable needle), purl 3 sts, knit 2 sts.* Repeat from * to * around to beginning stitch marker.

Repeat these 8 rounds until you have completed 6 cables. Work rounds 1-3, then bind off in established stitch pattern. See you next Monday for attaching the suede and lining the bag!

Please don't forget to post if you have questions! Have fun!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Cabled Bag Knit Along!

Hi! Time to get started on our cabled bags. Basically, we will be knitting a tube then attaching it to the suede bottom.

Using 2 strands of Baby Alpaca Grande and size US 10.5 circular 24" needle, cast on 112 stitches.


How to CAST on CIRCULAR KNITTING NEEDLES
Allow the stitches to slide all the way around the needles. The FIRST stitch you cast on will be the first stitch that you knit. This is different from straight knitting because you usually start the LAST stitch you cast on.Before you start knitting - Take a look at your stitches and make sure none of the stitches are twisted around the needle. Any easy way to check is just make sure all the little ridges are facing down.



The photo shown ABOVE is how the stitches should look.The photo shown BELOW is WRONG! It has a TWIST - make sure your stitches are not twisted!



Before you make your first stitch, place a stitch marker, shown below, on your RIGHT needle. The stitch marker just slides around the needle. Whenever you come to it, you have completed one ROUND! Each time you get to it, just slide marker from the left needle to the right needle. We will be using a lot of stitch markers for this project, so be sure to use a marker that is a little different (such as a different color) than the others, to mark the beginning of a round.



Round 1: This is a setup round. As you knit, you will place a stitch marker every time you see a (pm) notation. *Purl 3 sts, pm, knit 6 sts, pm, purl 3 sts, pm, knit 2 sts.* Repeat instructions from * to * all the way around to the stitch marker. You will have worked this stitch pattern 8 complete times to reach the marker. If you do not end at the marker, there may be a mistake in your round. It's important to be correct on this round, since your entire project is based on the set up round.

Round 2 -7: *Purl 3 sts, knit 6 sts, purl 3 sts, knit 2 sts.* Repeat from * to* around to beginning stitch marker. Note: When you reach a marker, simply slide it from one needle to the other. The markers are there to remind you that you will be alternating stitches.

Please be sure to post any questions or comments on the blog - since it's a "knit along," chances are others probably have the same questions as you. Have fun!

Tomorrow: The CABLE ROW!

Friday, October 03, 2008

my favorite 10 projects to knit for fall



Changing crisp air, fall foliage, pumpkin picking, scarecrows, fall festivals and knitting - all my favorite things about this season. Here are my top 10 knitting projects to get you inspired!

My top 10 Favorite Knitting Projects for Fall
  1. Patrick's Pumpkin Knitting Hat
  2. Mission Falls Hobo Neck Warmer
  3. Mission Falls Hudson Bag
  4. Kid's Fruit Cap by Ann Norling
  5. Mission Falls Aimee Pullover
  6. Ear Flap Warmy Hat by Noni
  7. Very easy Spiral Rib Hat (for the whole family, and many gauges)
  8. Fair Isle Socks by Manos del Uruguay
  9. Knitting Pure & Simple Basic Hat & Mittens
  10. Boston Vest by Manos del Uruguay
PS. Don't forget our Cabled Bag Project Knit Along (KAL) start on Monday!