Tag Archives: yarn

Book Review: Creepy Crawly Crochet – Perfection!

creepy-crawler-crochetCreepy Crawly Crochet

by Megan Kreiner

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley and the publisher.

As an experienced crocheter (I’ve been crocheting for over 50 years) I feel confident in stating Creepy Crawly Crochet is the perfect instruction book with really cool, creepy but cute patterns.

It begins with fiber and hook suggestions as well as where to find black fiber fill (around Halloween they sell it under the name “Halloween Hay” – who knew?!). This is important for creepy figures that are done in dark colors, because no matter how tight your stitches are, the crocheted fabric will allow white fiber fill to be seen. From felt to project bags there are suggestions and guidance regarding the best type of each item to turn out perfectly.

Kreiner gives step-by-step instructions for crocheting from the beginning slip knot to binding off. She then follows with each stitched used in the following patterns, including “Finishing Touches” like whip stitching your project together and embroidery stitches that will add details to your project.

Tips and Tricks is the next section that helps with the little things that will make your Creepy Crawlies perfect.

The patterns themselves are clear, concise and detailed. There are images to enhance and clarify the directions. Each pattern has a color picture to allow you to see exactly how the project will look when finished.

All of the Creepy Crawlies are cute – in a creepy way. It is hard to pick out one or two that are my favorites over the others, but I have a soft spot for Frankie. He is on the top of my list to make for my grandson. My other favorite is Poe the Raven – he would look very cool sitting on my desk at work next Halloween.

If you aren’t that into creepy, you can still love this book. For instance, Jack and the Headless Horseman is a great pattern for a horse stuffed animal. You could make Jack with a head, and it is just a guy on a horse that all kids would love.

After the patterns, Kreiner has templates for the felt pieces used to finish off the characters. She also gives the abbreviations for the pattern instructions, crochet hook conversion charts, yarn weights and resources.

It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, if you crochet toys or dolls, this is the book for you. I can’t wait to make my favorites.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Book Review: Knitted Toys – Must Have for Knitters

knitted toys.peg
Jody Long’s first knitting book is a grand-slam! This book is everything a knitter wants in a book of patterns. There are 20 different patterns included. Each of them have clear, easy to read and understand instructions. The amount of yarn, other supplies and gauge are included to help new and experienced knitters succeed.

There are smaller, easier projects like Squishy Beach Balls and Sebastian the Starfish. Some patterns have color work, which I personally love to do. The instructions are easy to follow even for a beginner. This could be the perfect time to try intarsia if you haven’t before.

At the beginning of the book there are several pages of information and definitions. Be sure to read them. A needle conversion is included, UK and US needles are both listed. The amounts of yarn (with suggestions as to the type to use if you aren’t using the exact yarn as the author) are listed in yards and meters as well as ounces and grams depending upon what country you are knitting in or more comfortable with.

Most knitting books have one or two patterns that are cute. Every single one of these 20 knitted toys are adorable. It is hard for me to highlight a few favorites, but here goes – and this does not by any stretch of imagination mean I don’t like the others.

The first one I plan on knitting is Mrs. Hopper the Rabbit. She is absolutely charming, wearing a sweater and holding a basket with carrots inside. She is 11 inches tall and will make a perfect gift for Easter.

Primrose the Nighttime Teddy has a nightcap and nightgown and Rusty the Puppy looks so squishy and cute I can just see a toddler cuddling up with these two for a nap.

Most knitters have yarn in their stashes with would more than complete one or more of these terrific toys. The patterns would make perfect take-a-long projects because each piece can easily be stashed in a purse or backpack. I like to knit during my lunch hour at work and will definitely be carrying these projects with me .

I highly recommend this book.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from NetGalley that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

WIP Wednesday – Knitting 2016

 

When the new year begins I like to start a fresh to-do list for my knitting and crochet projects. I usually start out overly ambitious with a list longer than my arm. Some years I only get done up to my elbow, but that’s ok. I’m a gal that likes a plan, but don’t mind changing/altering/deleting the plan for a different plan when the need arises.

The first project I am working on is a pair of socks. The pattern is out of a book one of my son’s got me for Christmas, Socktopus by Alice Yu. It is called Om Shanti. I used 2 size 2 Addi circulars, making both at the same time until I got to the leg (these are toe up). Now I’ve divided them because the pattern calls for moving the stitches from needle to needle to jog the pattern. The yarn is some fabulous hand dyed Merino Superwash Wool in a beautifil colorway called Arizona Turquoise. I think they are working up really nicely and hope to finish them this week.

Arizona socks

 

So far I’ve been asked to make an adorable  Viking Hat for a friend’s new baby. I’m using this pattern: Viking Set – Viking Hat, Diaper Cover and Club by JTcreations check it out on Ravelry.

One of the gals at work asked me to make her a pair of socks. I’m going to use my favorite “plain” sock pattern that uses sport or DK wt yarn because she wants them to wear around the house when it is cold. You can find it here: Moda Dea LM0131, Knitted Socks. I’ve picked up some really soft washable yarn at Hobby Lobby that is part acrylic, part alpaca. I plan to start them when I finish my Christmas socks.

For the NICU unit this Easter, I plan to make these adorable Lamb Hats, the pattern was designed by Sarah Zimmerman. I won’t make the flaps or ties because they might get in the way since these babies have a lot going one.

© Repeat Crafter Me

I’m going to teach a Lunch & Learn class at work for anyone that wants to learn how to knit. Because we want the participants to make progress quickly, I searched for a pattern for a simple garter stitch scarf. Luckily I remembered Susie at our knitting night working on a cowl on huge needles. She is a new knitter and has whipped up 11 of them since November! She shared the pattern, which is just 10 stitches on size 50 (yes, you read it right) needles using super-bulky yarn. You work with 2 strands of yarn and it zips up super quick. I made a sample in a couple of hours today. As cold as it is here today, I could use this fluffy warm cowl to keep my face and neck warm. 🙂
Other misc projects I will get rolling on will be NICU hats for Christmas and either Thanksgiving or Halloween. Most likely they will be crocheted because they work up faster.
There will be a few Christmas gifts and I’d like to make a few more of the sock patterns that are in Socktopus. I certainly have a wide variety of yarns in my stash that I can use.
And of course my annual WIP. Seriously, I only have to do the one cuff ribbing and the neck ribbing on my brown sweater. I seriously am going to finish it. I have one sock to make to complete the plain black pair I started last February AND the afghans that I have had part of the squares completed for over a hear. As a matter of fact, I used part of the yarn for another project.
What do you plan to make this year?

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under baby hats, Crafts, Crocheting, Easter, Knitting, NICU, Ravelry, socks, WIP Wednesday, yarn

Home Farm Wensleydales – Customer Service Extraordinaire!

I ordered some yarn last week after reading about the farm in a blog post for Woolvember.  The pictures of the countryside and sheep made me want to hop on a plane and visit Cotswolds, England to see it for myself. Per the card I received with my order, the Home Farm has been in existence for over 500 years and is now fully operational spanning 150 acres of “ancient ridge and furrow. I am aching to see it!

Isn’t possible, I decided to order some of their wool. The sheep are Wenselydale and Bluefaced Leicesters, and the pictures on their website are adorable in a sheepy way.  Check it out: http://www.homefarmwensleydales.com/

I purchased two different kinds of yarn. Even though the pure Winsleydale isn’t soft, and recommended for felting or “lacework or aran type coarse jumpers” I felt I wanted to work with some of the pure yarn that was the natural color of the sheep. I absolutely love the color and can picture the sheep that were walking around the countryside wearing this before they were shorn.

20151119_190948

It is not soft, but I love it anyway. I’m not sure what I’ll make with it, but whatever it is, I won’t decide until after the holidays.

20151119_190856

I also purchased a blend of Wensledale and Bluefaced Leicester that has been spun and dyed a beautiful spring green color. I am picturing a spring shawl. It is very soft and feels absolutely lovely. I haven’t decided what I’m actually making, but it will be fun to search for the perfect pattern.

Other than being extremely satisfied with the wool I received, the purchase was easy and delivery was fast. As a matter of fact, it only took 8 days to receive this order. It took over  a month to get an order from a warehouse less than 25 miles from home and this came all the way from England! I cannot explain it.

When I opened the package, the two types of yarn were carefully wrapped in separate tissue paper packages. There was a post card with information on the farm and the sheep, and a delightful, handwritten card thanking me for my purchase and telling me about the yarn. Now THAT is customer service and why I love purchasing yarn and other goods from the farms and people who are tending the sheep or growing the food whenever possible. If possible, I hope you do too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts, Crocheting, farms, Knitting, NaBloPoMo, shawl, yarn

WIP Wednesday 2×2

Why 2×2 you ask? Is it a piece of wood I am referring to? Or perhaps one of those breakfasts they offer at our local dinner – 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 pieces of toast & 2 sausage links? *Sidebar* it should be a 2x2x2x2, but who am I to correct the menu for them & it works.

Anyway, the 2×2 I am referring to is 2 weeks and 2 days late for WIP Wednesday. Life has gotten in the way of blogging these last few weeks, so I figured better late than never.

I’ll keep this short and sweet.

  1. Scarf for my cousin is complete. I have enough yarn to make a smaller version for my tiniest cousin (first cousin once removed, but let’s not quibble – remember the 2×2 above). I may take that on vacation with me, it would be a great project for the ride to Florida.

Becky's scarf complete

  1. The lavender baby blanket is complete. I took it to work this morning and neglected to take a picture first. In my own defense, I didn’t finish it until almost 10 last night and forgot this morning when I left at 6:00.
  2. I had to miss the Knitting Group last week, so nothing to report there. I did get the pink bear hat done for the NICU nurse’s baby as well as another two – one complete and one ready to sew together when I go to the next Knitting Group.
  3. I am joining a KAL that Wool & Co ( http://www.woolandcompany.com/ ) has on their website for the football season. It looks fun. Check out the details by pasting the link above in your browser or right click on it and choose “go to”.
  4. Since I got the 2 projects done that I promised myself I’d do before starting anything else, I am going to start those socks that I have been dying to start since buying the fabulous yarn at the Chicago Yarn Crawl a few weekends ago. Just as soon as I catch up on book reviews 🙂 I’ve finished 2 great books in the last 2 weeks, but haven’t had a chance to review them yet. This weekend for sure.
  5. Last but not least I am making more bear hats. No surprises there, they are my go-to quick take to work projects for break time.

The only pic of the last few projects is apparently the one of the scarf. I dunno why I didn’t snap a few of the others. Because we all know that a whole bunch of words and no pictures make for a boring blog, I’ve included one of my favorites from the knitting calendar that Leslie gave me for Christmas last year. 🙂

Calendar_Stash

3 Comments

Filed under baby hats, NICU, scarf, socks, WIP Wednesday, yarn

WIP Wednesday – Knitting Group

Happiest Wednesday!

Last night I was fortunate enough to be invited to a knitting group by a dear friend. We don’t see much of each other in person, but keep in touch with FB and Words With Friends. We’ve been chatting about forming an informal knitting night, and Judy graciously invited us to her home.

We chatted, catching up with old friends and met new friends. Our common bond of fiber gave us plenty to chat and laugh about. New knitters and seasoned knitters worked on on blankets, washcloths, scarves and shawls. I started the scarf for my cousin’s Christmas gift earlier this week, so that is what I took along to work on.

Judy has some great ideas for our new group. She collected email addresses and is compiling a resource list of yarn shops, websites and tips. I am very excited to hear she has the info to visit local farms that raise Alpacas . Who doesn’t love baby alpaca??

Judy shared a tip I can’t wait to use. When working a pattern where you repeat several rows for a pattern, she writes each row on a separate index card. No more counting, making marks, etc to see where you are in a pattern, you just flip the card to the back of the stack and go to the next card. When you stop for the evening, clip them together and you’ll know exactly where to start the next time you pick up your work. I love this useful tip!

To top off the night, Judy’s husband made each of us a beautiful hand turned Nostepinne. If you (like me) have never seen or used one, here is the description from The Woolery (http://www.woolery.com/Store/pc/Using-a-Nostepinne-d38.htm):

“Nostepinne” or “nostepinde” is a Scandinavian word that means “nest-stick.”; the original Ball Winder. It is a tool used to wind a center-pull yarn ball. A nostepinne is portable, easy to use, and creates a center-pull ball that can be used without changing the twist in the yarn.

I tried using mine tonight. It is going to take a bit of practice, but I am getting the hang of it 🙂

Nostepinne

When we meet again I am going to bring the pattern and yarn for the NICU unit baby bear hats. Meantime I’ve finished my sweater, but it needs the buttons and to be washed/blocked. I’ll have pictures next week.

I hope you all have a friend or a wonderful group to hang out with and knit. Or crochet. Or Quilt…you get the idea 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Crocheting, Knitting, WIP Wednesday, yarn

WIP Wednesday 2 Weeks Late

Helloooo! I’m back after a 10 day vacation and a week of recovery of said vacation 🙂 The first few days were spent in North Carolina and Virginia, then we spent 4 wonderful days with our youngest son and daughter-in-law. I’ll do a post later highlighting all of the fun places we went and things we did, with the exception of the first little town we stayed in, Black Mountain, NC since it is linked to a future WIP.

We stayed at the Red Rocker Inn, and yes there are red rockers in all sizes on the fabulous front porch of the B & B. In the evenings, hubby and I sat out on the porch, chatting while I crocheted on the purple sweater I’ve been working on. I only have a few inches left, then the trim. I am pleased with the way it is turning out.

purple sweater pattern 7.15.15

This is a closeup of the pattern.

Black Mountain is a great little town with shop after shop of artisan crafts to admire and purchase. I was ecstatic to find a local yarn shop nestled between a Dulcimer shop and a great restaurant – The Trailhead check it out here: thetrailheadrestaurant.com ,

I know what you are saying, since I shared my stash closet pictures, what is this crazy woman thinking?? I’m thinking I need some local yarn. Hubby is the best, I was touching all of the yarn, looking for something local and he didn’t even sigh. Nope, not once. Yarn is the best souvenir in my opinion. I get to remember the trip the whole time I use it to make something.

I picked up a wonderful skein of wool hand dyed with lupine native to the area and some had made buttons for my sweater. Here is the yarn and I’ll share the buttons when I finish my sweater. Black Mountain yarn I think it will be enough to make a warm winter hat. I’ll probably save it until after the holidays as I am starting to think of all the things I want to make before them.

I have to confess I also ordered 2 skeins of yarn to make my cousin a scarf for Christmas. It is Abracadabra made by Hikoo yarn, and looks like a whitish cream color until you get it in the sun, then it turns purple. It was pricey and the skeins are only 50 grams of DK weight, so I am going to pair it this skein I picked up last year that is pink & purple with a bit of sparkle. I can’t wait to start it, but want to finish my sweater first.

DSC_0084

I feel pretty good about my progress this week. I just might finish my sweater before next Wednesday 🙂

4 Comments

Filed under Abracadabra, Black Mountain, Crocheting, HiKoo yarn, Knitting, local yarn shop, stash, WIP Wednesday, yarn