Google+ Beverly Is Yarn Crazy!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Continental Envy

Have you ever seen a technique or method of doing something that, in your head, makes perfect sense, but you CAN'T do it?  Can't???  Can't is not permitted.

When I see people knitting in the continental style, I am so envious, because it appears to be a much more efficient way of knitting.  I am told that it is faster and that makes sense to me when I observe how it is done.  My continental knit stitch is passable when I use it in colorwork, but when I try to purl in the continental style, it is tedious, wonky looking, and unevenly tensioned.  Continental purling has been my nemesis.

This week, I have watched every YouTube video that I can find and attempted all of the tips, tricks and acrobatic assaults on yarn that they proffer.  I decided that I would work all these experimental stitches in dishcloths for my own home.  We could use a few more of them and I don't care how bad they look as even an ugly dishcloth will clean the dishes.

My primary difficulties in continental purling are yarn tensioning and wrapping the yarn around the needle without it slipping off.  Most of the videos that I watched neglected to address how to tension the yarn in your hand.  How I tension in my right hand is not working for my left hand at all.  As for wrapping the yarn around the needle, it takes me several attempts with each stitch.  This too, could be a tensioning issue.

To my surprise, Norwegian purling is somehow working for my clumsy hands. When I first watched a few videos of this particular method, I thought, "that doesn't look more efficient!".  I wasn't even going to try it, except nothing else was working for me and it was all that was left.  I gave it a try and it worked for me the very first try!  It isn't as fast as the more traditional purling that I have seen, but it enables me to continental purl so that I can have the benefit of continental knitting.  The technique eliminates the need to move the yarn to the front to purl.  Voila!  If you would like to try this here is a video link showing it:  Norwegian Purling

Another very interesting way that I am trying has the yarn controlled by your thumb.  It isn't as intuitive for me, but it is easier than the traditional method.  You can find a video for it here:  Purling the Easy Way.

I am determined to practice this daily for a few weeks and see if this is really worth all the effort for my knitting.  I won't consider it a waste of time at all, because I got some loosey-goosey, wonky dishcloths to use and, best of all, continental style knitting was not permitted to defeat me.  Stay yarn crazy!

UPDATE:  I only posted this 20 minutes ago and then found a video on Portuguese knitting that is amazing.  I am purling away like a fiend!  Super fast!  Give it a try:  Portuguese Knitting.  For a improvised knitting pin/pendant, I opened up a paper clip and placed it around a necklace I am wearing.  Then looped the yarn through the opening and around my middle finger, the way she demonstrated.  Perfect tensioning!  Even if this method doesn't become my go to, the tensioning method will be investigated further as it is taking a lot of stress off my hands.

I love learning new things!!!

Edited to add:  Russian Purling

Friday, May 30, 2014

Local Fiber Events

I am very excited about some upcoming fiber events here in Maine that I plan to attend.  Perhaps I will see you at one or all of them too.

The first one is the 14th Annual Maine Fiber Frolic.  The Frolic is scheduled for June 7th & 8th from 9 am to 4 pm at the Windsor Fairgrounds, Rt. 32, Windsor, Maine.  There is an extensive list of workshops to participate in and the vendors are extensive.  The event is rain or shine.  I have only attended it one weekend and it rained both days, but we (my sister and I) still had a great time.  I took some weaving classes that weekend, purchased some amazing fibers and mingled with furry, four-legged creatures.

The next one I plan to attend is the 1st Annual Maine Alpaca Experience.  Obviously, since it is the first one, I haven't attended it before.  It is scheduled for June 21st, from 10 am to 5 pm at the Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm, 141 Crosby Brook Rd., Unity, Maine.  There will be lots of cuddly critters, seminars, tours, and more.  I'm not sure what "more" is, but I know that they sell their products, so most likely you can bring home something fabulous!

Are you planning on attending either of these events?  Are there other Maine fiber events that you are excited about?  Please leave a comment about events you are excited about. Maybe I will see you there :)

Still Yarn Crazy!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cough, Ouch, Cough, OUCH!

I have caught some type of creeping crude and it is roosting in my lungs.  It has been plaguing me for a week and half so far and every time I feel like it might be getting better, it lets me know that it has some kind of Vulcan death grip on my lungs.  (If you are a Star Trek fan and I have in some way attributed the death grip to the wrong alien culture, tune in to reality.)

Last week I coughed so hard I pulled the muscles in my right side.  The pharmacy Angel (that's how I will always see her now) recommended cough syrup with codeine and it seemed to help at night and the muscles are hurting a little less.   BUT, I don't want to get to dependent on the stuff, so last night I didn't take it.  About 3 am I pulled the muscles in my lower left abdomen while coughing and gasping for breath.  So I am not responsible for the codeine influenced content of this blog.

I have missed far too much time from work because of this crap.  I haven't felt like working on much of anything for crafts, or doing much of anything, for that matter.  I just can't maintain focus.  What I really want is for this respiratory infection to be completely gone by Tuesday morning so that I can go to work and do my job. I am willing to give the rest of today and Memorial day over to the illness to mess with me, but that's it.  Enough is enough.

Three paragraphs of whining later...

I finally reintroduced myself to my Ashford Traditional this weekend.  It has been longer than I can remember since I actually spun on it.  Friday, I pulled it out, dusted it, oiled it and apologized for the neglect.  A long time ago, I had started spinning some fiber that was not so good, but it was free and there was a lot of it so I just kept telling myself to stick to it and turn it into something good.  Well, that mindset wouldn't let me put anything else on the wheel, but I didn't like what was on it so I didn't spin it.  My very wise and beautiful friend, Melody, told me life is to short to knit with bad yarn.  I feel she would be fine with me extending that sentiment to spinning and fiber.

Out with the bad fiber and in with heavenly spinning in the form of HaldeCraft Pencil Roving in the weathered wood colorway.  4 oz. of BFL that almost spins itself.  I spun for 30 minutes on Friday and for 45 minutes on Saturday.  I am hoping that I can incrementally work my way out of my ADD Crafting Funk.  That isn't a professional diagnosis.  Simply my personal observation.  Perhaps there should be some proof of this purported spinning:

Even though the spinning wheel was neglected for too long, I have been spinning on a few spindles during this ADD Crafting Funk.  Actually, spindles are one of my favorite take-along projects.  Unfortunately, I rarely finish spinning what I have on my collection of spindles.  Sounds like the focus for another post.

Still Yarn Crazy!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Flippin' Crazy!

I have admired the beautiful lace motifs of tatting for some time.  Last summer I purchased some tatting needles, but never bothered to do anything with them.  Then this past weekend a lovely friend of mine, Tami, was shuttle tatting while we were in a Google+ Hangout.  I asked tons of questions and wandered several tatting supply websites.  An hour or so later and $29 poorer, a shipment of shuttle tatting supplies was on it's way to my home from Be-stitched.

To my delight, the rather small package arrived yesterday.  I tore it open to find that the rather small package wasn't even half full.  Apparently I won't need an entire craft room for this craft, like I do for my other yarn crafts!  Inside was 3 different shuttles, a picot gauge, and 2 balls of tatting thread (the third ball I ordered is back-ordered).

New toys means off to you-tube we zoom.  I watched several different videos, but never could get a good view of the infamous "flip" that they all referred to as necessary to success.  I was so frustrated because my double stitches looked so nice, but when I tried to cinch up the ring, it wouldn't slide.  I suspected that the aforementioned flip was the problem, but still no idea wth they were talking about.
Wondering if I have finally found the first craft that I cannot begin to comprehend, I went to the craft room in search of the tatting needles from the previous summer. After all, there is more than one way to tat!  One quick video series later and look what I made:

So, now I have proved that I can tat, but niggling in my brain is the fact that I gave up on shuttle tatting.  Back to the videos I go, desperately searching for the elusive "flip".  Kelly Petkun to the rescue.  Her KnitPicks tutorial series had the view that I needed.   I finally see the flip.  I very awkwardly do the flip.  I need a lot more practice before I flip in public.  This is flippin' difficult!

If anyone has tutorial suggestions to help me learn, I hope you will share with me in the comments.   Thank you!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Current Project

Sewanee by Beth Bradford, is a free pattern download. I am working it in Cherry Tree Hill's SuperSock Select in the Monet colorway.  I purchased the yarn at the Rhinebeck sheep and wool festival.

This is a simple pattern to memorize and knit.  Sometimes the simple things are the most elegant.

I am finding it very relaxing and satisfying to work the pattern with this lovely yarn.  The yarn has a beautiful twist and lovely hand.  I love the Monet colorway, especially since it reminds me of a beautiful friend of mine who shares the colorway name.    The project is for me, so there isn't a deadline stressing me.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Let's try this AGAIN.

I keep thinking that I want and even need to get back to this blog/vlog, but I am not sure if I have anything worth sharing.  I read a lot of other blogs that inspire me, but I don't feel that I am inspiring.  So, in an effort to at least start posting again, I will share a few things about me.

1.  I am a bookkeeper for a not-for-profit organization.  I really do like my job, though I do, at times, gripe about it when I get a little stressed.  What I really love is the people with whom I work.  They are amazing and we form an great team.

2.  At work I am a little obsessive about keeping my desk organized.  Everything has a place and I get a little "twitchy" if things aren't where they belong.  I think the organization gives me a feeling of control in all the chaos, however delusional that feeling may be.

3.  In stark contrast to my work space, my creative home space, aka the craft room, is a hodge-podge of good intentions interspersed with creativity and laziness. Yeah, it's a mess.  No, I don't like it that way.  I am always planning to do something about it.  

4.  I have my own island.  It is my lift-chair recliner and it has its own gravitational pull!  I know this because all sorts of things gather within arms reach of this island. Every knitting needle I own is there, except the one I need, of course.  Random skeins have accumulated, simply because I wanted to show my G+ hangout knit-girls what I have acquired and then never moved it to the craft room.  Oh, and the mail!  Someone save me from all this damn paper!

So, there you have it, some random weirdness about yours truly.  There's a lot more weirdness, but I am easier to take in small doses, or so I have been told.  Are you weird?  Do you feel the need to share something random?  Please take advantage of the comments if you so need, but please keep it reasonably clean.  I leave it to others to define what is "reasonable".  TTFN.




Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Monday, December 2, 2013

... on the other hand...

Do you ever wish you had more hands?  Have you wished that you could be cloned?  Want a few more hours in the day?  HOW DO WE GET IT ALL DONE???

Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, G+, Plurk, Etsy, and many other enablers have my to-do queue so full that I will never accomplish all that is in it in this lifetime.  Life, has my to-do queue quite full with the necessities of life.  So how do we balance the musts, with the shoulds and the  wants?  Who's gauge do we use to determine a must from a should?

... on the other hand...

How long do we wait for the wants?  Do we load up the credit card because of some sense of entitlement?  Do we constantly deny ourselves waiting for the right time to splurge?  Trying to balance it all can be challenging, frustrating, disappointing, and just plain exhausting!

I wish I had definitive "this is how it is done" answers, but I don't.  I know what usually works for me, but I don't always follow my own advice.  I won't try to give advice to others on this matter.  I guess I am just putting this stream of thought out there.  No specific purpose, but to dust out this little corner of my mind.  Do with it what you will.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

I Need to Find Balance

For the past 6 years, my life has been about trying to get better (recover my mobility) and crafting.  The crafting has been very important for my sanity.  It gave me something constructive to do in my lift chair besides stare at a television and drool.  I am so grateful that so many of you have been here for my crafting endeavors and supported me in so many ways.  Thank you.

My mobility has improved drastically since I lost some weight and had both hips replaced.  I am far from agile or quick on my feet, but I can get around without assistance now.  Because of this I am working with a vocational rehab counselor and a job coach to try to get back to working.  This past week and the coming week I am doing a job assessment in the accounting department of a local non-profit for 20 hours per week to see if I can handle working again.  I am being observed.  This is only a temporary job to test me and if I stand up to the physical challenges and the stress well enough, then I will be going out on interviews for jobs.

So far, I am doing ok physically.  At the end of 5 hour work days, my back is aching, but I think that I just need to get used to things and over time I will have less pain (fingers crossed).  The other part of the issue is stress and anxiety.  I have an anxiety disorder that I am taking medication to keep under control.  I have only had mild episodes of anxiety while in the process of learning the multitude of data entry processes that are required for the job.  In comparison, at my last job my anxiety levels were so high that I would have panic attacks or, if I was able to hold in the out right panic, then internalizing it would result in physical symptoms, exacerbating my IBS-d and migraines.

Ok, so why am I telling you all of this?  Well, I have found that my knitting, crocheting, spinning, beading, and jewelry making have drastically decreased.  Actually, I have practically stopped doing any of it.  How do those of you who work find balance in your life between work, family, and crafting?  I have a multitude of WIPs that need attention, but I am suddenly not interested in most of them.  I have managed to spin at least 15 mins per day to keep up with the Tour de Fleece, but even just that 15 mins seems like I must force myself to do it.

Do any of you have advice for me?

Happy Creativity to you All!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

Lately I have crocheted a few fun toys and found that I enjoy them.  I find special joy when a child lights up from the toy.  So I have been browsing around for more toy patterns and thought I would share my finds with you.

First, there is EssHaych, which sells fun amigurumi creatures and patterns.  Isn't he freakin adorable?  Perhaps you don't crochet.  No problem.  She sells either the monster or the pattern!








Would you prefer to knit your toys?  Okay, then check out Cheezombie. Cheezombie offers both crochet and knit amigurumi patterns and this guy is so cute that I could start to like garden slugs...yeah right.







These little fellas justify all the tiny balls of left over yarn I have saved from years of projects, just so I can morph them into playful delights.   Won't you join me in a little knit and crochet play date?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

Today I have 2 shops with to tempt you with.  Each of them have similar items with their own twist and I would love to test drive each of them, but it just isn't within my budget right now.  These yarn holders look ingenious to me.  Since I can't have them, I would like to share them with you.  


This first is from Sun Valley Fibers and it is called a Yarn Buddy.  It holds 2 skeins at a time!  How wonderful for 2 socks at a time or stranded knitting!

The second one simply called a portable yarn holder and it is sold by Ogle Design.  It comes apart for convenience.  

Both of these wonderful devices spin, ala lazy susan style, so that you can work from the outside of your yarn cake with ease.  If either appeal to you, just click on over to one of their Etsy shops. 

Happy Creativity to you All!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

USOC Threatens Fiber Crafters

http://gawker.com/5920036/us-olympics-committee-is-mad-at-knitting-olympics-for-denigrating-real-athletes

For the love of Ravelry

In my opinion, this is all about money.  If we gave them enough money for use of "the word", they (you know who I mean) wouldn't have a problem.  This will be the first time in over 40 years that I will not be watching the games.  I will be boycotting the sponsors of the games.  I am not trying to encourage anyone else to follow suit, I am just expressing my opinion.

I am more sad, confused, frustrated, angry and just plain PO'd than I know how to express.  Okay, I know how to express it, but I don't want to be sued.

Happy Creativity to you all (if you can muster it).

Update 5:17 pm, June 21st, 2012:  USOC Apologizes for insulting knitters.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

I love this stuff!  What stuff you may ask?  Lavishea!

On my recent Quilt Shop Hop, I discovered Lavishea lotion bars.  The one I purchased is the lemon grass scent and it is wonderful.  I have been using it on my hands and elbows for 2 weeks now with fantastic results.  It doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy, it is long lasting on my skin, and the scent is light and refreshing.  Also, because it is a lotion bar, you never get too much out of container, so the product lasts a long time and it won't spill or leak in your purse or project bag.

The Lemon Grass scent that I purchased only has 3 ingredients: fair trade shea butter, pure soy, and fragrance.  Check out Lavishea.com to find a store near you that sells it or to buy it online.  Happy Creativity to you All!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday's FOs


Remember this post I made back on June 5th, raving about the possibilities of Inn-spire?  Well, recently I went on a quilt shop hop with my sister, niece and a friend, and I found the very same pattern that I had blogged about.  I purchased the pattern and the interfacing and here is my version of that cute little pod.  I love it!  

I am going to do some experimenting with the little scraps of Inn-spire that are left to see what else this stuff is capable of.  Try it out.  It sure added some fun to my crafty world!


Happy Creativity to you All!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Scholarship

Do you have child who will be graduating from high school in the near future?  Does this child knit or crochet?  Would this child like a $2500 scholarship?  Check out the one that Jimmy Beans is offering!

http://www.jimmybeanswool.com/scholarshipHome.asp

Eligibility 
To be eligible for a Beans for Brains Scholarship, an applicant must:
  • Know how to knit or crochet
  • Plan to attend an accredited and approved institution of higher education during the 2012-2013 academic school year


Good luck and Happy Creativity to you all!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday WIPs + a FO

I haven't accomplished much this past week, so you won't see a lot of progress from the last WIPs list.

WIPs (Works In Progress):
  1. Moose Afghan (from Hell) - 75% done.  (no progress)
  2. Long Cat Scarf - 50% done.  (no progress)
  3. Skull Towel - 25% done.  (no progress...sensing a theme here?)
  4. Ladies Top - 30% complete (no progress)
  5. Semele - 20% complete (no progress)
  6. La Vie de Bois Socks - about 25% done. Started these June 1st, so they are new to the list. The pattern is well written.  She gives you both the written instructions and a nice large, easy to read chart for my old eyes.  Loving knitting these!  Bonus, I am using yarn dyed by the designer!
Missing from the list:
    Sock Monkey Hat -  Finished!  But I didn't get a picture of it before I gave it to my sister to give to her granddaughter.  If I get a picture in the future, I will update with it.

So, what have you been working on?  Happy Creativity to you All!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

My friend, Monet, showed me an Etsy vendor this morning that she made a recent purchase from, and I ♥ the colorways.  Yarn vs Zombies is a new shop with great colorways and an interesting sense of humor.

Please click the the link above to check it out, pass it on to others, and share the love.

Happy Creativity to you ALL!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

I have been inspired by INN-SPIRE!  Inn-spire is a non-woven fusible, moldable interfacing that I first heard about a week or so ago from a wonderful fellow crafter, Tracy, aka Fiber Babble.  Then this past weekend I went on a quilt shop hop with my sister, niece, and their lovely friend Monica.  In one of the shops I saw the project below that was made with Inn-spire, and I was intrigued.
I purchased the pattern, but they were sold out of the Inn-spire. The owner assured me that one of the shops left on my list would have it.  Imagine my dismay when each subsequent shop informed me that they were sold out and it was on back order!  Fortunately, the final shop had some so I scooped it up.  Now, I hope I have the sewing skills (or develop them along the way) to put this project together.  

If you would like to find Inn-spire, good luck!  LOL.  Their website link above has a "where to buy" link or you can buy it online through them. CreateForLess sells it but is out of stock.  You can ask them to notify you when they get it in stock.  

The pattern I purchased is available through AuntiesTwo (scroll down the page to find it).  Other ideas of what to use it for are Leaf Bowls and Votive Holders.  I would love to see what  you can come up with to use this amazing new product!  

Happy Creativity to you All!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday FOs

First up:  Wavy Rib Socks (no pattern link because I just winged it)
Needle: US size 2 - 2.75mm
Yarn:  Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks in the Pansy colorway



Lastly:  My Heart Dishcloth
Hook:  US size I - 5.5 mm
Yarn:  Cotton Mill Ends


Happy Creativity to you All!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday WIPs

For the past few months, I have been very lazy about my blogging.  I would like to give you are good reason for this, but really...I just haven't felt like it.  The blogging mojo has been AWOL and as a result, so have I.  Since I haven't found a way to remedy that, I decided that just forcing myself to type something in this space might redevelop the habit for me.  I don't know if it will work, but here we go.

I promise you that I have been working on projects.  Lots of projects have been completed but not many have been photographed.  I think that the photography issue may be part of my blogging block.  I am very frustrated with the quality or lack of quality in my photography, so I don't want to take pictures of what I have done.  If I don't have pictures to show you, then I don't want to blog about what I can't show you.  It is time to get past all that.

Works In Progress (WIPs):

  1. Moose Afghan (from hell) - about 75% complete, but it is too hot to work on a king size afghan.
  2. Long Cat Scarf - about 50% complete. It is double-knit and the technique is new for me :)
  3. Skull Towel - about 25% complete.  This started out as a dishcloth, but it is going to be to big for that.
  4. Sock Monkey Hat - I just cast on this one.  My sister requested it for her granddaughter.
  5. Ladies Top - about 30% complete.  I haven't worked on it in a month
  6. Semele - about 20% complete.  I haven't worked on it in a month or more.
I think that is all of them.  Check back on Friday when I will post picks of some recent FOs.  Until then, Happy Creativity to you all !

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

.4 oz of mulberry silk for $1.48 USD
I have found an interesting little Etsy shop to share with you today.  Happy Cetta is interesting to me because you can buy little bits of fiber to play with at nice low prices.  This way you can try out a new fiber without investing much or experiment with that new DIY hackle that you made and make your own custom blend of fiber and color.

Check out what she has to offer and Happy Creativity to you all!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

Oops...I missed a Tuesday!  I guess I have been a little distracted lately.  I hope you will forgive me.

Today, I want to share with you Susan's Spinning Bunny on Etsy.  There you can find handspun yarns, drop spindles and lots of hand-dyed spinning fibers.

Don't you want to give this a spin with some lovely, fluffy bunny bits???

Happy Creativity to you all!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

Would you like to see some pretty OOAK batts?  ME TOO!  Head on over to Uniquely Yours Design and check out the colorful and sparkly fiber batts that Jenna creates.  This lady is not afraid of color.  What a fabulous way to expand your color horizon and work with a wonderful mix of fibers.


I Dislike Blocking...

But I really like what it does for a shawl!  Watching the details open up and bloom before my eyes is a wondrous, yet back breaking, event.  Don't skip blocking your work, the effort is worth the end result.

This is the Bobble Shawl by Pia Linden.  I crocheted it in a cotton blend or unknown origins.  Pink is not my color, so I wonder who will get this?


Happy Creativitiy to you All!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

It's Tuesday so lets get tempted.  Today I want to point you in the direction of Yoola.  Yoola offers Unique Crochet Wire Jewelry Patterns kits in PDF and VIDEO!  As you may have noticed from my previous post, I am very interested in beading and jewelry making at the moment, so finding this site is very exciting for me.   Best of all, she has some on sale!




Happy Creativity to you all!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Beads!

Recently I have been having a blast with beads!  I have been making spiral crochet bead necklaces and bracelets and loving it.  It takes me quite a while to string all the beads so that I can make them, but it is so satisfying to create.

I think I will have to invest in a bead spinner to speed up the bead stringing process.  Also, I need to get some better display props for taking the photos of the pieces for this blog, Ravelry, and my Etsy shop.

Once I became proficient at this technique, I started looking for more beading challenges.  I found an ebook on Amazon that demonstrated a wonderful beading method for making rings:  Simple Seed Bead Rings You Can Make by Janis Websdale.  It is very easy to follow with good photos and it only cost $3.99 to download to my Kindle Cloud Reader (this is a free Kindle app from Amazon).  This pearl and blue ring is my first attempt at a project from the ebook.

Now, just in case you wonder where the yarn went in my life, have no fear.  I have several WIPs of yarny goodness in progress, so stay tuned for more.

Happy Creativity to you all!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation....a day late!

I'm so sorry that I forgot what day it was yesterday!  Especially since I have found a fabulous fiber artist that I want to share with you.

Claw Tree Fibers has some amazing colorways that I just adore.  Her spinning fibers look yummy and the prices are right.  As an added bonus, if you don't spin, she sells her handspun for your knitting or crocheting pleasure!   Check out her shop and be prepared to pull out the plastic.

Happy Creativity to you all!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Do you wish you could chart?

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while probably know that I have written a few patterns.  I certainly don't consider myself a real designer.  I am just a person who will try creating stuff and share them if it accidentally works out.

Recently, the wonderful man in my life gave me a book, 400 Knitting Stitches: A Complete Dictionary of Essential Stitch Patterns.  With all these stitch patterns at my finger tips, I was itching to put it to use.  Many of the stitch patterns are charted and I have been personally challenging myself to become more comfortable at working with charts by knitting a few shawls.  (I will share pictures of the shawls as soon as my blocking mats are delivered and I get my camera to work again.)

Sooooooooo........How do I take the charts from the page of the book, combine them in a cohesive manner, and make them usable?  ♫ Hello Google my old friend, I've come to search you once again. ♫  I found KnitChart.  This is an extremely basic, free online thing-a-ma-jig (I just don't know if it is an app, or software or just a customizable website or something completely unnamed) that will help you to chart whatever you can imagine. Scroll to the bottom of the page for instructions.  It will not save your work for you, but you can take a screenshot of your design and save it in Word or whatever your preferred word processor is.  

I was able to take 2 stitch charts from the book, combine, adjust, repeat, expand, and mirror image them into a pattern for a sock that I am now knitting.  I am using my favorite sock toe and after-thought heel with the charts.  Easy-peasy!  If you have knit a sock before, then you can do this too!  Please stretch your creative wings and try making your own charted design, then let me know how it went for you.

Happy Creativity to you all!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation!

Get ready, I am going to lead you to a bargain bonanza today!  I don't know how this Etsy seller makes money at these low prices.  The shop is In Stitches by memarcierenee.  She has stitch markers, row counters, needle holders and circular needle markers.  All are at amazing prices.


I love that the needle holders also show you what size the needles are!  Happy Creativity to you all :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

I am going to be very selfish with this Tuesday's Temptation post.  The shop that I want to share with you is my sister's new Etsy shop, Gail's in Stitches.

Gail is an extremely talented crafter and I adore the bags that she makes.  I think you will too if you take a look.  Please see what she has to offer and pass the link on to others.  Here is a little example:


     



















Happy Creativity to you all !!!                                                                                                                                                  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

AWOL...sorry.

Hello fellow fiber fanatics.  I'm sorry it has been so long since I last posted.  I have been frantically working on a multitude of projects to prepare to do my first craft sale.  The sale was today.  I sold a total of .......wait for it.......ONE HAT....ta da.

It was not a true craft fair, it was more like an indoor yard sale with a few crafters along for the ride.  As a result, most of the shoppers were looking for steals, not creations.  When someone mentioned that my $3.00 baby booties were over priced, I knew it was going to be a long day.  Fortunately for me, my sister was by my side with her wonderful creations, to keep me company.  Unfortunately for her, she was with me at the same dismal event.

My sister and I are planning to attempt selling at a true craft fair at the Airport Mall in Bangor, Maine on April 7rh, 2012.  On the bright side, since we didn't sell much of our inventory, we won't have to prepare much for this craft fair.  Hopefully, this will be a better market for our items and we will be more successful.

If I have any readers who are knitters and/or crocheters out there who do craft fairs, could you advise me about what sells well?  What should I be designing and creating?  What should I produce for the summer market?  I will greatly appreciate any advice you can share with me for a successful craft fair.

Happy Creativity to you all!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Give-Away...Revisited.

Unfortunately, the previously chosen winner of my give-away didn't include any contact info as I stipulated in the entry instructions and she didn't get in touch with me by the Feb. 14, 2012 deadline after I announced the winner to let me know how to send her the prize.  I truly wish I had heard from craftycrafter so that I could have sent her the prize. 

So, I shall now draw another winner from the previous entrants.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that I have some way to contact the new winner.  Here we go....the original entrants are:

  1. Cheryl
  2.  rancidgirl3875
  3.  craftycrafter
  4.  serenova
  5.  Theresa
  6. eboni j.
  7. Karin
  8. Bev Love
  9. stacie
  10. Leslie
  11. Mary
  12. LaBean
  13. Anonymous: bgudroe@yahoo.com
  14. rectangularnomore
  15. Carmen
 YES!  There is an e-mail addy!  Congratulations to Anonymous!  I will send an e-mail out to you today asking for the mailing address to send the give-away prize to.  Thank you to all who participated and who support my exploration of all things yarn. 

Happy Creativity to you all!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

Lady Danio's shop is full of fun, imaginative and useful stitch markers.  Can we ever get enough of this little gems to designate and decorate our WIPs?  I love her creations and her prices are nice too.  Just take a look at a few of her items here or better yet, head on over to her shop and browse.
Happy Creativity to you all!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Busy Needles and Hooks

I know I haven't been posting everyday, but I assure you that I have been very busy with my yarn projects.  Here are some of what has been completed in the past week.


The first project that I completed this week is the Cotton Candy Haze Scarf/Wrap is knit with Berroco Mohair Classic.  I started this a couple years ago and it has been just sitting in a project bag.


It isn't from a pattern.  I just cast on 40 stitches on size 9 needle.  Knit 4 rows of garter stitch. Row 1: Slip 1st stitch purl wise, *yo, k2tog, k1, repeat from * to end of row. Repeat that row 1 until the scarf is as long as you desire. End with 4 rows of garter stitch and bind off loosely.


I like it worn as a wrap or folded in half lengthwise and worn as a scarf.  The mohair and wool makes it super warm.




The next photo is of a Spiral Scrubbie, crocheted in Peaches & Creme stripes Sail Away colorway, and pattern written by Judith Prindle.  It is a very quick crochet and works like a charm and I see many of these in my future :)







Next I made dishcloths from the pattern Dish Cloth on the Edge, written by Rita Maria.  I did change many things in the pattern, so I guess it is more inspired by the pattern.  Essentially, it is a mitered square that is crocheted in the back loop.  I have made several already and love them.  This one was made with the same skein that the Spiral Scrubbie, pictured above, used.







Finally, Ihave been crocheting some little pals!   This guy is so cute and fun to make (Pattern by Kj Hay).  I found him because I decided to start using more of the pattern resources that I already have on hand, so I did a pattern search of my library on Ravelry and he was in one of my Crochet! magazines.  You only need to know how to ch, sc, sl st, and work a magic ring, in order to be able to make one of these cute creatures.  


In the photo I don't have the ends of his hands finished off because it calls for a magnet to be placed inside so he can clasp the hands in a hug and I don't have the magnets at the moment.  I have decided to use hook & loop instead so that he will be more baby friendly.  I like him so much that I am already working on a buddy for him!  


I do have a few more finished objects to share, but they will be saved for another post.  Happy Creativity to you all!  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation!

I love, love, love this shop:  KNITTING ACCESSORIES FROM SCARY TO MERRY by scarymerry.  She has the most adorable stitch markers and knitting needles that I have ever seen.  They just make me smile :)














Take a spin around her etsy shop and you will smile too.  Happy Creativity to you all!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Part 2 of the Afterthough Heel Adventure

For the past 2 weeks I have been spending a lot of time in a VKH.  A VKH is a Virtual Knitting Hangout.  We meet in a hangout on google+ every day and I love it!  They inspire me, motivate me and cheer me and I hope I do the same for them.

In the VKH this past week we have had a Week of WIPs, to inspire us to clean up some of the WIPs that have been sitting around for way too long in our project bags, baskets and closets.  I completed FIVE!!!  It was such a great way for us to clean up WIPs that we decided to have a WIP weekend in our VKH on the first weekend of every month.

One of my WIPs that was completed this past week in my Nanner Socks.  This pattern is by Wendy Johnson and was inspired by the dancing bananas on Plurk.  The yarn is Ripe Nanners by thechickswithsticks.  Unfortunately her shop is inactive at the moment.  I started these socks back in 2008, but only got the toe on one sock done before I set them aside and ignored them.


When I picked them up this week, I had just completed the socks from the last post with the afterthought heel.  I decided that I would do a "true" afterthought heel on this pair.  The difference being that with the previous pair of socks, I inserted a waste yarn as I knit the sock so I could go back to remove the waste yarn, pick up the stitches and knit the heel very easily.  This time, I didn't use a waste yarn.  I just knit a tube and then went back to snip the yarn (yes, I cut my knitting!!!), pick up the stitches and knit the afterthought heel.  It was liberating and the resulting heel is wonderful.  I am so happy that I tried this and I need to give props to my VKH ladies who advised me, and insisted that I could do it!  Thank you so much!


Are you challenging yourself with your knitting?  Do you take any challenges with your crafts?  I am determined that this year I will challenge myself to knit, crochet, spin or whatever, outside my comfort zone.  It is so rewarding when it works and educational when I fail.  I promise that I will let you know about my failures too.  My next challenge is to knit a shawl.  I have crocheted shawls, but never knit one.  Check back to see how it goes.

Happy Creativity to you all!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Love Afterthought Heels!

I don't know where my head has been in the sock knitting universe, but until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of an afterthought heel.  When someone told me that I would have to cut the yarn in the sock, I decided I would never be making one! 

Then I recalled my resolutions for the year, one of which was to learn to steek, and I decided that this would be a small first step in cutting my knitting.  Be brave Beverly.  Take a deep breath.  Watch some youtube tutorials.

My first attempt at an afterthought heel wasn't a "true" afterthought heel.  I used the Knit Girlls tutorial  for  adding a waste yarn where I wanted the heel to be as I knit the sock, and then going back to insert the heel afterward.  I know what you are thinking... I didn't cut the yarn.  Hey, I'm taking baby steps.

This sock was knit from the top down, 2-at-a-time, on US size 1 circs.  I just cast on 80 stitches and worked a k2, p2 rib for about 6 inches, switched to half of the stitches ribbed and half stockinette stitch.  Added the waste yarn where I wanted the heel and knit on.  Super fast and super easy.  (The yarn is Regia Galaxy Saturn.)

Going back to work the afterthought heel was super easy and stressless.  I love this technique!  I don't ever want do work another short row heel in my life.

Ok, I had some success, but I didn't really cut my knitting, did I?  Time to be brave, take the next step, yada yada yada.   Tune in tomorrow for more adventures with afterthought heels.

Happy Creativity to you all!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And The Winner Is...

Fifteen people commented on the Give-Away post and I am very excited to see who will be the winner.  Since blogger doesn't number the comments, I have copied them in order and numbered them for the random number generator. 

  1. Cheryl
  2.  rancidgirl3875
  3.  craftycrafter
  4.  serenova
  5.  Theresa
  6. eboni j.
  7. Karin
  8. Bev Love
  9. stacie
  10. Leslie
  11. Mary
  12. LaBean
  13. Anonymous: bgudroe@yahoo.com
  14. rectangularnomore
  15. Carmen





The winner is number 3, craftycrafter!!!  Congratulations!  Unfortunately, you did not leave your email for me to contact you so I will leave a message on your blog.  If I do not hear from you by February 14th , 2012 (2 weeks), I will let the random generator select a new winner. 

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and as always:  Happy Creativity to you all!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation & Final Chance At Give-Away

First, I want to remind everyone that the give-away ends today at noon US eastern time.  To enter you must leave a comment on the Give-Away post before noon, don't wait!  I will announce the winner on the February 1st, 2012 blog post.

Now for my Tuesday's Temptation:
Isn't it gorgeous???  I just love the greens in this skein! This Sock Garden Party Cake is by ArtByAna.  It is 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon; approximately 463 yards in 100 grams.  I can see a shawlette in this skeins future.

You can find several more colorful cakes for you to choose from, along with much more in her shop.  I have a zippered pouch by her in my cart at the moment.  I am trying not to let that pretty green cake jump in there too :)

Happy Creativity to you all!



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

Do you spin?  I do! Check out the spinning supplies at GrandmaVee's.  She has fiber, orifice hooks, and niddy noddys.  There are even some quilts to see.  The orifice hook pictured below is about to become mine!

Check her out and see what needs to come home to you.  If you haven't entered my give-away, you can still enter until Jan. 31, 2012:  Enter Here!  Happy Creativity to you all!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name...

This beautiful crocheted rose was delivered to me yesterday.  My Aunt Connie made it and sent it to me.  I am waiting (impatiently) for the pattern, so that I can make some too.  I think it is brilliant.  She is making them to sell as a fund raiser to benefit a local organization against domestic abuse.  My Aunt and my Grandmother were my crafting inspirations when I was a child and my Aunt still amazes me with the beautiful creations she makes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday's Temptation

Let's take a look at the shop, Sheeps of Egyptian Cotton, home of Isis, Nile, Scrapsody and Sheeps Clothing yarns.  All Isis and Nile yarns are fingering weight cottons.  Yes, they are cottons!  Not everyone can wear wool, unfortunately, nor is it winter year round.



She also creates some lovely items for those who prefer to have others experience the joy of knitting while they get the joy of wearing.  Just look at this lovely, hand-knit, silk lace scarf.

So, head on over to her shop and see what else she has to tempt you.  
Happy Creativity to you all!

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