Monthly Archives: December 2011

Freebie Friday – a Holiday Earflap Hat

Well, we suddenly got very cold here in the Pacific Northwest this week (“very cold” is subjective, I realize. Suffice to say, we’ve been grabbing our warm wooly gear though!).  If you’re also in the middle of a chilly December, check out this adorable hat from April Fehrman.

This is the Holiday Earflap Hat! It’s perfect to keep a young friend’s head nice & toasty warm when they’re out in the chilly air especially with the double thick ear flaps!

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Podcast Episode 174: Spinning with a Wheel

This week, Kelley talks about the other half of her fiber life –
creating handspun yarn with a spinning wheel! Hear all about Kelley’s
advice for those new to spinning with a spindle or a wheel in addition
to all of the possibilities you have by making your own yarn.
Kelley also reviews the books Learn to Spin by Anne Field, and Color in
Spinning, by Deb Menz. Next, Kelley talks about all of the wonderful
fiber options you have for spinning and reviews several …

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Quick and easy holiday ornaments

Love the look of spinning fiber but don’t you don’t spin?  Do you have a ton of fiber odds and ends that are too precious to toss, but aren’t quite enough to make a skein of yarn?

I bought a pack of empty clear glass ornaments at Target – I think it was $6 for a pack of 9 ornaments, although I’m pretty sure you could find them cheaper elsewhere.  In the office, we have samples of the Hanks in the Hood layered spinning batts that just launched on the website, and they come in a really beautiful spectrum of colors and textures and sparkle.

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Fiber, Fiber and more Fiber!!

You don’t need to be a spinner to love fibers! I’m not a spinner but it doesn’t stop me from indulging in an assortment
of fiber.  That’s why I am so excited that Knit Picks is now selling many
types of fiber.

swatch of fibers

There’s Wool of the Andes roving in Bare and in colors, recycled fibers with  Full Circle Roving; there are spinning batts in many colors and now silk hankies!

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Seaming & Grafting

It’s officially one week into December, and like many people, I have a few projects that are just about ready for finishing – things like seaming, weaving in ends, blocking, etc. This year, I will be trying to work on the finishing touches as I go along, which means I will hopefully be able to avoid the mad dash of sewing and seaming.

For one reason or another, as soon as I bind off my last stitch my mind instantly categorizes my project as done. But! There is still so much to do after binding off, I know this yet, I try to avoid it. Once I get into a good workflow, I can spend the weekend finishing up projects and blocking out shawls with no problem. Like everything, starting is the hardest part – even if it is the finishing that you are starting on.

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Holiday Variety

mittens

‘Tis the season for knitting and general fiber craft madness! It’s foggy
outside and I’m keeping my cocoa mug topped off while I round out my
basket full of finished presents for family, friends and… of course,
the various pets! I like switching between something that will give
me that instant gratification and those complicated heirloom-quality
pieces that demand a greater portion of my brain. So, I thought I’d share some of the products of my industrious little
needles, just in case there are some of you out there who need a little
nudge of inspiration!

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There’s still time…

If you’re like me and haven’t started your holiday shopping yet,
don’t fear – there’s still time!  And if you’re trying to find just the
thing for your knitting friends, we have lots of options.

Besides yarn and needles, our kits
make great gifts. It comes all packaged up for you (just need some
paper and a bow!), and contains everything you need to make a project.
They make it easy for you to get your shopping done and find something
for every knitter on your list!

Accessories
Accessories are fun to make and wear and are a great medium for learning new things.

Hugo Hat

This stylish cap pairs a simple slip stitch pattern with advanced
finishing. This is a great project for someone who is a little uneasy
about hemming, lining, seams and sewing – by the end of this hat,
they’ll be a pro!

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Gift idea – Toys!

So how is your gift crafting coming along?  For myself, I’m a little over halfway on my handmade gifts – I have 4 nieces & nephews and each requested some sort of knitted item (yes, I’ve trained them well).  They run in ages from 5 to 12 and all of them love silly little toys – which is good because I love making them!  So I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite toy books & patterns if you need some gift ideas!

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you may remember that I’m a huge fan of Rebecca Danger and her monsters.

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Winter’s hottest knit trends that you can make!

I am what some people call a “fashion enthusiast”.  More accurately, I
am a fashion fiend. In my past life (before marriage, college and job),
I used to model for some really cool local designers, and even a couple
of high-fashion brands.  I stopped modeling professionally when I was
about 18 but those years in the industry have definitely left their
mark.  Every season since then, I have made a ritual of stocking up on
fashion mags and gummy bears and devoting a full day to sifting through
the pages of beautiful (and quite often crazy) fashion trends that will
soon be gracing the shelves of local stores.

Over the weekend, my husband and I were invited to attend a private shopping party at Nordstrom
where, while being fed an unreasonable amount of champagne and hors
d’oevures, we were allowed to browse some of the upcoming season’s
hottest fashion trends. While I am the world’s biggest sucker for a new
pair of jeans, this season’s shopping party was all about accessories
for me.  As I was calmly (ha!) sorting through the shelves of beautiful items,
I started to notice a trend.  Knits!

Most of the items that
I fell in love with were things that most knitters/crocheters could
make fairly easily! I thought that since so many of you are much more
talented than I, I would share some of the things that I saw flying out
the door last night in the arms of proud shoppers, like myself, in hopes
that you can gain inspiration for any last minute gifts. 

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