Tag Archives: bitsy knits

FO Friday: Baby legwarmers and Winner: 30 Min-Knits

For the second week in the row, I’ve finished a quick project from stash yarn for my friend AW’s new baby.

This is my version of the Cozy Crawlers Leg Warmers from Linda Permann‘s Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers.  (The pattern is also available as a free download here.)  I used about half a skein of Bitsy Knits Bitsy’s Sock in the Quite a Party colorway.

I bought this yarn at the 2011 Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival.

It's the yarn in the front.

Once I wound it up, I realized it wasn’t going to work for an accessory for me since it was too… lively for my tastes.

I was also a bit worried about pooling.  (If only I had read this post from Le Tissier Designs then — I would have known exactly what to do with this yarn!)  I’m not too stressed by pooling in infant legwarmers, though ;).

I may have time to make another quick project, but I might just mail these out with the booties, a card, and some children’s books.

 

In other news, according to Random.org, the winner of the giveaway for my review copy of 30 Min-Knits: What Can You Knit in Half an Hour or Less? by Carol Meldrum, courtesy of Barron’s Educational Series, is number 5…

Jane!

Congratulations, Jane, and thanks to everyone who entered!  You can read my review of the book here.

 

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis!

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 15

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

I didn’t think I would have anything to show this week, but time was on my side.

Bitsy Knits Squoosh Superwash in Aquamarine - the stash yarn you voted for me to use on the scarf for my friend, JS.

In just a few short hours, I was able to design and make her a Bruges lace scarf.

It's not really scarf weather here, yet.

I’m really excited to have another gift done, so now it’s time to revisit my lists again:

The “Still to Make” List

1) My dad’s partner – A cabled hat in this skein of Cascade 220 Superwash I won in a giveaway.

2) My grandpa – I need 12 more hexagon motifs to make his holiday stocking.

3 – 5 ) My grandma, my Aunt I, and my cousin MS – Scarves for the ladies?

6) My Uncle M – A hat.

7) My sister – Still deciding what to make.

8 ) My mom – Something smallish.

9) MC, my special guy – Probably a charcoal hat or a pair of house slippers.  (I’m eyeing these two patterns right now.)

 

The Finished List! (~1,096 yds from stash)

I’ve already finished seven projects, and that feels very good!

1) Cabled hat for Dad – Cascade 220 Superwash (from stash) ~220 yds – A Hat Fit for a Fella pattern by Shana Kreikemeier

2) Cabled hat for JP – Malabrigo Rios (from stash) ~145 yds – my own design

3) Bruges lace scarf for OB – madelinetosh tosh sport (purchased at Knitty City for this project) – 270 yds – Sparkling Wave Scarf pattern by Tatyana Mirer

4) Ribbed beanie for cousin PR – Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick and Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (from stash) – 122 yds – my own design

5) Stuffed toy for little cousin, CJ – Caron One Pound in black and white (from stash) – 210 yds - Lala the Panda by Stacey Trock
6) Ribbed beanie for cousin MR - Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (from stash) – 129 yds – my own design

7) Bruges lace scarf for my friend, JSBitsy Knits Squoosh (from stash) – 270 yds – my own design

The Maybe List

Since I seem to be making pretty good progress, I’m feeling more hopeful about the people on my maybe list.

  1. CG, my BFF from high school – I’ll probably making a scarf with this yarn.
  2. JM, another BFF from high school – I’ve been eyeing this hat pattern for him.
  3. My cat – I got a great idea from Minding My Own Stitches, and will probably make this mouse.
  4. Aunt K and Uncle T
  5. RP, colleague and work buddy for the last four years
  6. CA, my other colleague and work buddy for the last four years
  7. Mom’s dog
  8. Dad’s cat

 

Feel free to share your progress on your personal holiday gift making journey in the comments!

Year of Projects, Year 2: Burst

Yesterday, I had a burst of creative energy and the time to crochet.  I designed a Bruges lace scarf pattern and made the sample.

MC took a picture of me outside this morning.

I don’t usually finish one of my Year of Projects goals on the same day that I start it, so I’m as amazed as you are.  This will ultimately be a Christmas present for my friend, JS.  I made it with this wonderful Bitsy Knits yarn I bought at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival last year.

JS and I usually spend time together with another friend, OB.  She’s getting a Bruges lace scarf, too, but one designed by Tatyana Mirer.

By a strange coincidence, I happen to be wearing the same outfit in this photo, taken by MC over a month ago.

It’s nice to have both of their gifts finished so early in the year.

A detail of my Bruges design.

If you are interested in helping me test out this pattern, PM me on Ravelry.  I have a few other things I’m working on right now, so it probably won’t be written up until next week.

(Edited to add: The pattern is now available on Ravelry as Visit to the Kantcentrum.)

For more Year of Projects posts, visit Come Blog-a-long on Ravelry.

Holiday Stashdown Challenge – Week 14

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

Thanks to everyone who voted last week about which yarn I should choose for my friend JS’s scarf.  And the winner is…

Bitsy Knits Squoosh Superwash in Aquamarine.

I pretty much love this yarn, which I bought at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival last year.  (As an aside, if you’ll be in the Hemlock, NY area on Saturday, September 15, I will again be teaching at the festival this year.)

I am on the fence about using the same pattern I used for OB’s scarf (since the three of us celebrate the winter holidays in a group) or just designing a different scarf for JS.  I have two design-related goals for the second Year of Projects, and with time being a premium these days, I might just need to combine my Holiday Stashdown Challenge with my YOP goals.

I haven’t made any other progress on my holiday crafting list since my last post, and I definitely want to finish at least one more project by the end of August.  This Bitsy Knits yarn is so pretty that I’m itching to get started on the scarf.  I just have a few secret projects to finish up first :).

Have you been working towards your holiday crafting goals?  Or were you stalled by the summer heat like me?  Feel free to share your progress on your personal holiday gift making journey in the comments!

Holiday Stashdown Challenge – Week 13

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

Well, I’ve added another finished project to my list since my last update, and (what a surprise) I’ve decided to make a few changes.

You may remember that I was swatching for a hat in Nude Ewe Ron for my dad’s partner.

This has been unraveled, but you get the idea.

I wasn’t too happy with any of the stitch patterns, so I was back to the drawing board.  And then, I won this awesome giveaway and got 10 balls of yarn.  This one started to look like a better fit.

Cascade 220 Superwash in Cordovan.

I’m not sure my dad’s partner could actually handle a handwash only yarn.  So now I’m going to get swatching with this yarn.

Also, I emailed my friend, JS, to ask about colors for winter accessories.  She says her favorites are orange, green, blue, and purple, but that pretty much anything will match her grey coat.  I feel I should make her a scarf, since I made a scarf for OB, and the three of us hang out together a lot.

A detail from the Bruges lace scarf I made for OB.

Perhaps, you can help me choose the yarn for JS’s scarf.  You see, back in May, a FreshStitches tutorial convinced me to use Ravelry’s stash feature, so I happen to have pictures of all these lovelies from my stash.

Austermann Step in 03.
Bitsy Knits Squoosh Superwash in Aquamarine.
Dream in Color Classy in Happy Forest.

 

Dream in Color Classy in Spring Tickle.
Prism Merino Mia in Moss.
Spud and Chloe Sweater in Moonlight.

Do you have any favorites?

[polldaddy poll=6445937]

 

Just to keep me on track, here’s where I stand with my lists:

The “Still to Make” List

1) My dad’s partner – I plan to start on that hat this week.

2) My grandpa – I need 12 more hexagon motifs to make his holiday stocking.

3 – 5 ) My grandma, my Aunt I, and my cousin MS – Scarves for the ladies?

6) My Uncle M – A hat.

7) JS, my crafting buddy – Her scarf will be made from one of these lovely stash yarns.

8 ) My sister – Still deciding what to make.

9) My mom – Something smallish.

10) MC, my special guy – Probably a charcoal hat.

 

The Finished List! (~826 yds from stash)

I’ve already finished five projects, and that feels very good!

1) Cabled hat for Dad – Cascade 220 Superwash (from stash) ~220 yds – A Hat Fit for a Fella pattern by Shana Kreikemeier

2) Cabled hat for JP – Malabrigo Rios (from stash) ~145 yds – my own design

3) Bruges lace scarf for OB – madelinetosh tosh sport (purchased at Knitty City for this project) – 270 yds – Sparkling Wave Scarf pattern by Tatyana Mirer

4) Ribbed beanie for cousin PR – Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick and Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (from stash) – 122 yds – my own design

5) Stuffed toy for little cousin, CJ – Caron One Pound in black and white (from stash) – 210 yds - Lala the Panda by Stacey Trock
6) Ribbed beanie for cousin MR - Moda Dea Tweedle Dee (from stash) – (129 yds) – my own design

 

The Maybe List

I will feel pretty awesome if I get to the folks on this list, but I’m not going to worry about it too much.  These are listed in order of priority.

  1. CG, my BFF from high school
  2. JM, another BFF from high school
  3. My cat
  4. Aunt K and Uncle T
  5. RP, colleague and work buddy for the last four years
  6. CA, my other colleague and work buddy for the last four years
  7. Mom’s dog
  8. Dad’s cat

Feel free to share your progress on your personal holiday gift making journey in the comments!

Holiday Stashdown Challenge – Week 2

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting. You can read more details here.)

I’ve reached the point in life where I’m feeling overwhelmed by stuff.  This might be due to the fact that we’re living in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City, or it might be because I’ve been trying to live more minimally.  Although I’ve reduced my stash by one full 60 quart plastic tub so far this year, I still have quite a few yarns with no intended purpose that I’m putting into the maybe list for gifts.

From left to right: Dream in Color in Spring Tickle, Malabrigo Rios in Glazed Carrot (in progress as a hat for JP), Malabrigo Rios in Primavera, and Dream in Color in Happy Forest.
Ron by Nude Ewe.
Back to front: Bitsy Knits Aquamarine and mystery colorway.
Nancy's Hair by No Two Snowflakes.
Emerald Forest by A Stash Addict.

 

Joseph Galler, Inc. Hirten-Tweed, a vintage yarn from my grandmother's stash that's being made into the Pineapple Doily Shawl by Laura Garsten.
LB Collection Superwash Merino in Cayenne and Spring Leaf.

Other yarns that aren’t pictured include:

I also found a pair of Slipper Soles in my sister’s size.  Since I have fewer skeins that I’d like to use for holiday gifts than people on my gift list, I’m sure I will end up buying yarn at some point.  But for now, this will give me a great start.
I read a great post by FreshStitches yesterday about using the stash feature on Ravelry, so my plan for the next week is to try and link up some of these yarns with patterns and project ideas.
I will mention here that I had a super awesome post written, but I lost everything.  This is the best re-write I could muster after midnight.
Tell us all about the yarns you plan to use or buy for the Holiday Stashdown Challenge in the comments, and share links to your posts with us!
If you need some inspiration for a Holiday Stashdown Challenge post for next week, here’s the prompt for Tuesday, 5/29:
Now that you’ve sized up the yarn in your stash and the people on your gift list, what types of projects do you plan to make?  Are you making the same type of (or the same exact) project for multiple people, or does everyone get something unique?  Do you have lofty project goals for everyone on your list, or do you make small gifts with love?  Tell us more about your project ideas!

Handmade Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Great Gifts for Yarncrafters

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the U.S., the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) signifies the official start of the holiday shopping season.  In the spirit of keeping the holidays a little more handmade and small business and a little less mass produced and corporate, I’m sharing several holiday gift guides today.

Great Gifts for Yarncrafters

There are so many great gifts out there for yarncrafters that I hardly know where to begin.

Books

Books are great gifts for yarncrafters, but with so many options out there, it can be hard to choose.

Kits

CRAFT magazine posted a Craft Kits gift guide for 2011.  Here are some of my favorites.

Double Drop Spindle Maple Wood Yarn Spinning Kit from Maine Woods Yarn & Fiber. (Image used with permission.)

Classes


Classes are so fun!  Not only can you learn new techniques and projects, but you get to meet more people who share your passion for knitting and crocheting.

Yarn

Most yarncrafters are always on the look out for new (and more) yarn.  Buying yarn for someone else can be daunting though.

  • Look for tips for color and yarn weight in their Ravelry project pages.
  • Or pick up something unique, like a handspun or hand dyed yarn, or something that isn’t available in their community, like small batch yarn ordered online.
  • Check Ravelry’s Black Friday Yarn Sale thread in Needlework on the Net for weekend sales.
  • I’ve had the pleasure of being introduced to some wonderful yarns from several small companies this year.  You may want to check out A Stash AddictBitsy Knits, or Chopped Tomatoes Design Kitchen.  Other yarns that I’ve admired from a distance but haven’t yet tried include Candy SkeinFunky Monkey, and Swoon Fibers.
Emerald Forest colorway from A Stash Addict.
  • A gift certificate to a LYS is another option, if you are worried about making the final decision yourself.
  • And, of course, I wrote about my favorite yarns here if you are still looking for ideas.

Hooks and Needles

Crochet hooks and/or knitting needles make great gifts, especially if you pick out something special.

Show Your Appreciation

Making things by hand is a labor of love.  Show your appreciation with a set of This Took Forever woven labels from Sublime Stitching and maybe you’ll get a homemade gift in return :).

Wishlists

Does your favorite yarncrafter have a wishlist?  I rely on the Add to Amazon Wishlist browser button to keep my wishlist organized in one spot.  (Hint: If you are a yarncrafter hoping people will get you awesome holiday gifts, maybe you should do that, too! You can even add patterns from Ravelry so that non-members can see them from the pattern purchase page.)

Enjoy the last gift guide, and feel free to share your favorite gifts for yarncrafters in the comments!

Reminders:

All items (including crochet patterns, finished objects, Tunisian crochet hooks, and yarn) in my Etsy shop and Ravelry shop will be 25% off through 11/28 as part of my Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday sale.  I’m also offering these additional discounts for my blog readers:

  • $2 off with a minimum $10 purchase on Ravelry using coupon code BLOG1111 (through 12/31/11) and
  • $2 off with a minimum $10 purchase on Etsy (refunded after purchase) if you write BLOG1111 in the notes to seller.  Please note that patterns purchased on Etsy can be emailed or sent to your Ravelry pattern library.

There’s still time to enter my giveaway for 60 More Quick Knits in this blog post through November 28.

Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Bruges crochet

(This post is part of my Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters series. To read more posts in this series, click here.)

I decided to take stock of how my project of blogging my way through Crochet Master Class is going.  There are 18 chapters and crochet masters in the book, and so far, I have done:

Today, I’m working on Bruges crochet with Tatyana Mirer, which will bring me about 1/3 of the way through the book.

I was inspired to choose this chapter because I recently received a review copy from Wiley of Robyn Chacula‘s Crochet Stitches VISUAL Encyclopedia and I wanted to work up some swatches as part of my review.  Since the book has an entire section on Bruges crochet (called Brussels stitches in the Encyclopedia), it seemed like a good choice.

An unblocked swatch of the Annaleise stitch from the Encyclopedia.

I used the Bitsy Knits yarn, Bitsy’s Sock in colorway Quite a Party, that I picked up at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival in September.

Quite a Party, at the front, is one of the skeins I bought to match my coat.

It turns out that once I wound the skein, Quite a Party is much more like a pastel baby yarn than I thought it would be.  I don’t think I will use it for a winter accessory for myself, so now it is a yarn looking for a project.

I teach an ongoing crochet class at DC 37 on Saturdays, and several of my students are interested in learning Bruges lace.  Now that I have successfully worked through a swatch, I can walk them through it, too.

For more Year of Projects posts, visit When Did I Become a Knitter.  Stop by tomorrow for my review of Crochet Stitches Visual Encylclopedia!

Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival 2011

(This post is part of my Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class series.  You can find my first three posts on Tunisian crochet here, here, and here.)

On Saturday, I taught Introduction to Tunisian Crochet at my very first fiber conference, the 17th Annual Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival at the Fairgrounds in Hemlock, NY.  I had such a great time at the Festival – even though I couldn’t stay for the whole event :( – and would definitely recommend it to anyone for next year!

My dirty little secret (to those from the rest of the universe that isn’t New York City) is that I can’t drive.  Yes, I took a few weeks of Driver’s Ed in high school but never finished the class.  Thus far, I’ve only lived in cities where driving isn’t required (New York for about 92% of my life, with a year after college in Washington, D.C., and a few years in San Francisco as a pre-schooler).  My lack of driving hasn’t impaired me in my hometown, but it has limited my vacation options and has made me dependent on others when traveling – and, of course, it has kept me living in major urban areas.  (Driving lessons are on my to do/bucket list, by the way.)

Anyway, the person who I was going to be dependent on for this trip :) had to work over the weekend.  So I had a very interesting itinerary as a result.

Here's a blurry phone cam shot of my Friday train ride.

I started out on Friday afternoon on Amtrak to Rochester.  I took a taxi to the hotel in Henrietta, which was, er, um, well let’s just say the price was right and there was free wifi :).  In the morning, I was lucky enough to picked up from the hotel by CR, another teacher on the festival committee.  She’s been working at the festival for the last 8 years, so it was great to hear about her experience with the event during the ride.  We also “talked shop” about teaching for a bit.

This is the building where I taught my class. The class areas were very spacious and we had plenty of room for everyone to spread out.

Since CR dropped me off early, I had a chance to check out the vendors and the animals before preparing for my class.  As a City Gal, seeing the goats, sheep, and alpacas who are responsible for my favorite yarns was a real treat.

Some of the yarn vendors setting up.
How cute is this alpaca?
"Are you talking to me?"
These guys didn't feel like posing. They were too busy munching.
"Look at me, I'm smiling for the camera!"
Miss Molly is a true "Chatty Cathy" but she clearly doesn't want her picture taken. This is the least blurry of the several pictures I snapped of her.
More super cute alpacas.
What do you call the black sheep of the alpaca family?

There were vendors from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania at the event, but it was great to see a local vendor, the Hemlock Hills Alpaca Farm, too.  I especially loved this sign from their booth.

Besides workshops, demonstrations, and vendors, there were also wagon rides at the Festival!

After watching the vendors set up for about 40 minutes, I went back to the 4-H Exhibit Building to set up for my class.  While cleaning off the tables and organizing the chairs into a circle, I was thinking about what I was going to buy :).  I knew that I shouldn’t go wild, but I definitely wanted to pick up a few things that I had seen during set up.  Once my workshop area was organized, I stepped back out when the vendors were officially open for business.

I should mention here that I’ve had a bit of a soap crisis in the past few years.  I used to make my own soap, which, of course, did wonders for my skin since I could formulate it exactly for me.  Unfortunately, my current kitchen layout isn’t conducive to safe soap making (especially with my cat around).  For about a year, I bought soap from Simply Sensational, which was a shop on Etsy that the owner closed for health reasons.  Then for a while I shopped at Dirty Loves Clean, but she seems to have disappeared, too.  For the last year or so, I have tried soaps from tons of online and in-person vendors and have not found the soap which really works for my skin, and I have been back to buying soap at Whole Foods.  So naturally, I was on the hunt for some soap at the Festival.

I found these three soaps - all with great scents - at the Longmeadow Farm tent.

I haven’t used them yet, but I have high hopes.  (By the way, I couldn’t find an online presence for Longmeadow Farm, except in this ad on the Creekside Fabrics website.)

I also wandered into the Bitsy Knits tent and left with some goodies.

My haul from Bitsy Knits.

I got two skeins of superwash Merino wool, the Squoosh! Superwash (in the back) and the Bitsy’s Sock (in the foreground).  Although I don’t “need” another gauge ruler/needle-hook sizer, I was very attracted to this Knit Picks View Sizer, so I decided to add it to my collection.

I was hoping that the yarn would work well with my coat.  I ended up with a Blue Chalk colored coat last year when I waited until the last minute to buy my winter coat and the color options were quite limited.  As a result, I can’t wear any of my handmade accessories that were designed when I had a black coat.  I really want to show off my stuff this winter, and I think these colors go well with my new-ish coat.

Here is the hood from my coat, along with the yarn. What do you think?

After my shopping spree, I went back to the 4-H Exhibit Building to teach my class.  I had a wonderful time, and I think my students did, too!  I’ll be teaching my Tunisian Crochet Basics class again at the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival on September 30.

After I finish my online Crochet 101 class as part of the Crochet Lyceum with Underground Crafter, you can expect to see a version of my Tunisian Crochet class online :).

Once my class was finished, I had to hurry to reach the Rochester bus depot in time.  I was picked up from the Hemlock Fairgrounds by a taxi right after class and I was whisked away to a Trailways bus.  Seven hours later, I was back in New York.

Bright lights, big city: The view of Times Square from my phone cam.

MC picked me up at Port Authority and we headed back home.  It was a lot of traveling within 36 hour period, but well worth it for the chance to see the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival and to teach my Introduction to Tunisian Crochet class.

Visit When Did I Become a Knitter for more Year of Projects posts.

Reminders

  • My local Etsy team, The {NewNew}, is offering 3 September giveaways, including an in-person knitting lesson with me, or a PDF Tunisian crochet tutorial if you are too far away to meet me in person.  You can enter this giveaway through September 23rd here.
  • I’m giving away two more PDF patterns collections of the Fall, 2011 issue of KnitCircus!   This issue includes 26 crochet and knit patterns.  You can enter this giveaway through September 20 here.
  • I’m giving away a copy of Ami Ami Dogs 2: More Seriously Cute Crochet, courtesy of Harper Design.  You can enter this giveaway through September 26 here.