Monthly Archives: September 2012

Small Joys: Crafting Books with Peculiar Titles

As one of our resident copywriters, I get first peek at all of the varied and wonderful books available on the website. Often times, simply because of workflow and logistics, I see the book’s title far before I see any related images, patterns or other content; that means that I am often unable to immediately “judge a book by its cover”—allowing hilarity to ensue!

In honor of our super 40% off book sale,
I thought I’d share a few of my favorite oddball, double-take,
laughter-gifting titles. I apologize in advance. I cannot guarantee that
you have the same sense of humor as I do.

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Embroidery: How to do the Back Stitch

Every couple of months, I get the urge to break out of my little knitting bubble to try my hand at some other crafty craft. My latest adventure has been with crochet. I’ve dabbled in crochet here and there but I’ve never undertaken more than a small toy (yet at the moment, I am completely obsessed with working on my first-ever crochet blanket!).

However, a few months back when I got the itch to try something new with my yarn collection – I fell in love with the world of embroidery! This was a whole new way to explore color and texture, it was almost like drawing (slowly) with yarn. I even bought a shadow box to frame my little embroidery sampler that I was working on as a fun way of meshing my crafty explorations with pretty home decor.

So it was no surprise that my interest in embroidery was revived when I saw Kerin’s latest design – the Suzani Jacket!

This pattern incorporates four different types of embroidery to embelish and beautify this colorful cardigan. If you’ve had your eye on this pattern but haven’t had much experience with these techniques (or maybe you just want more fun and unique ways to use up those odds and ends!), we’ve created a series of video tutorials that focus on different embroidery techniques.

For this week’s technique of the week, we’re highlighting the versatile back stitch!

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This is what happens when I stop baking

I have been committed to a gluten-free diet for about four months. (Medical disclaimer – I am not a doctor)

I decided to give the diet a try after reading blogs covering the gluten-free lifestyle. So far, I have been very happy with my results with one HUGE exception. I absolutely love baking! I don’t necessarily eat everything I bake because I use baked goods as gifts to friends and family. It’s the act of baking that gives me so much pleasure.

It is possible to bake gluten-free at home but I feel like it is just too involved so I’ve given up baking. Would you believe I have had withdrawal symptoms? Not for sugar and calories but for the act of baking. I’ve found myself getting up on Saturday morning having to fight the urge to whip up scones, cookies and a pie. Don’t even get me started on my urges to bake bread.

Over the Labor Day Weekend, I decided to focus on having my knitting and spinning as a healthy way to distract me from baking. As much as I love my fiber world, I’ve been astounded at how it has been an effort to have it replace my baking urges. Once I got myself settled, I did enjoy the the hours of uninterrupted knitting.

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Holla Knits Fall/Winter 2012

Our friends at Holla Knits! have a new collection out!

All of us here were big fans of the first Holla Knits! collection and couldn’t wait to see what Allyson Dykhuizen would come up with next. And we were not disappointed! Once again, the Holla Knits! designers show two different versions of each pattern, one in an indie yarn and one in Knit Picks yarn. We are so excited to be part of these wonderful collections and delighted to be included on their blog tour!

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Let’s take a trip…

…through Scandinavia!

My newest collection, Northern Lights, is out – just in time for fall
knitting. The six patterns in this collection were inspired by the
amazing knitting traditions of Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark
and the Faroe Islands.

The beautiful 8-pointed rose common in Norwegian designs becomes the highlight of the Aesa Pullover

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Tempest Time!

Oh man, there’s nothing better than a fully finished project! Blocked and everything! It’s a rare thing at my house so when a project actually makes it through all the steps and winds up actually wearable, it’s time for a little celebration. My Tempest cardigan just became one of those sought-after treasures.

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How to Block a Sweater

After investing a great deal of time into knitting a sweater, you want to give it a beautiful finish. This often involves blocking the sweater to the proper dimensions. When you block a sweater, you are setting the stitches and evening out the fabric in addition to preserving the correct sizing. Generally, sweaters can be wet blocked (good for cotton and linen), spray blocked (good for wool and alpaca) or steam blocked (good for wool and alpaca) depending on their fiber

And to make sure that your first sweater blocking session is a success, we have a handy video tutorial that walks you through all of the steps! The video also shows you what to do for the three different blocking methods (wet, spray and steam). That way you can match a blocking technique that is best suited for the fiber type of your sweater.

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Am I Regressing?

So all I want to knit at the moment is fingering weight garter stitch scarves:

Does that mean I’m regressing as a Knitter?

Well, in all honestly, they’re not like the garter stitch scarves I made when I was first learning to knit – these all have a unique construction, which makes them much more entertaining to work on. I’ve made all three of these over the past couple of months (and this doesn’t include my Color Affection, also in garter stitch with unique construction that I also finished this summer!).

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Long weekend projects

Last weekend was a long weekend for us – I had all these plans to finish up some works in progress, especially my Graham Scarf, so I can start on some bigger projects. Instead, I ran out of the Stroll Tonal I was using on Friday afternoon (completely my fault, nothing to do with Erica‘s wonderful pattern.)  Luckily, Jenny is also working on a project in Goldrush & had some leftovers!  But this meant that I wouldn’t be able to work on it all weekend.  And none of my other projects just seemed to appeal to me and I just fell into a blah mood.

So I decided I needed cute quick projects to make me smile.

I got out the brightest Swish colors in my stash and my E hook & had some fun!

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