Thursday, April 28, 2011

Taking A Poll...I Want to Hear From You!

During my Wednesday Knit-Nite, some suggestions were banded around about what they would like to see the logo "I Knit So I Don't Kill People" on.  I already have it on a cotton t-shirt (picured below), but some other suggestions were, mugs and totes.

I thought these were great ideas, and I'm looking into both, but I'd like to hear from the public. If you were going to buy an item with this logo on it, which would you more likely buy, a mug or a tote bag?  And if your choice is a mug, would you rather have a travel mug, so you can take it along in the car or would you prefer a ceramic one that can sit on your desk, work area, etc.?

As a knitter, I have a thing for bags, as many knitter/crocheters/crafters probably do.  So the idea of a tote was great!  I wouldn't mind a bag with this logo on it, so I could carry my latest knitting project in it when I'm out and about. But I'm also a caffeine addict, so a mug would be kinda cool too!

So tell me what you think. Take the poll located at the upper right hand side of the screen and leave a comment because at the close of the poll, I will be randomly selecting a name from the comments to win a cute knitting tool - this ladybug tape measure below. Poll will close on June 1st and the item with the most votes will be the next item available for purchase in my Etsy shop.  Happy voting!
From Acorn Street Shop - leave me a comment
and your name could be randomly drawn to
receive this cute little ladybug tape measure

Lantern Moon Handcrafted - be the envy of all your knitting
friends, when you whip out this cute and handy tape measure.
Of course, the runner up will probably be made available as well, but probably not until later this year.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Like To Give A Shout Out!

I follow quite a few blogs and I enjoy reading the informative, often funny, and most times interesting blogs on my follow list.  But I'd like to take the time to just give a little shout out to some of my favorites.

Shout out to my fellow knitter/spinner: Savage Daughter, who just recently started a blog about her spinning exploits.  You can find her at Savagely Spinning With A Wee Bit of Knitting - catchy name huh?  I love it. And you will really enjoy her beautiful spinning product she has done so far.  She is a beginner spinner, but you'd never know it from her work.  I am what you would call a novice/beginner spinner, you've seen my work, but her progress with the technique has far surpassed me.  Head on over and take a little peek at what she's currently working on.

Shout out to Katie, The Knitting Mama, who I recently discovered when I accidentally typed my own blog name wrong (see what you can discover with your mistakes?). You can find her at The Knitting Mama. She has some awesome finished projects that you can peruse (which I'm amazed that she gets so many done with four children at home - Go Knitting Mama!) as well as some great posts about life as a stay at home mom, who stays sane by enjoying her fiber arts.

Shout out to Pam of Knitter Bugs and Dust Bunnies, who graciously follows my blog and gives me great comments. Follow along as she keeps you up-to-date about her cat Nigel and latest finished projects, which if you'll take a peek at her blog you'll see she's making some really great knits for a grandchild that's on the way.

Shout out to one of my most favorite blogs to follow: Fiber Arts, hosted by the online Times Union Newspaper, my hometown newspaper. When I'm feeling a little homesick, I just pull up the blog to see what's happening in the Capital District fiberwise. I'm always entertained and I ususally feel better, especially this winter when they got hit so hard with all the snow. It reminds me why I moved to the Pacific Northwest -you don't have to shovel rain!

Want a little satirical comedy about knitting, life, politics, and everything in between, check out Joe at Queer Joe's Knitting Blog. Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I am guaranteed to find it on his blog.  I love his dark humor and his great attitude about life.  And he's a damn fine knitter to boot!

Learn all you want to know about the Crafty Adventures in the World of Fiber with Nikki at Stitch.Tac.Sew. She gives honest reviews on knitting books and products, yarn, fiber, and producers of yarn and fiber.  Go check her out.

Like a little whimsy with your blog posts with some great recipes to go along with it? Then you'll love reading the adventures of Tink at Tinksmeadow. Go on over and try out some of her yummy looking recipes, you will not be sorry!

Come back again, I'll give you the low-down on some of the other fun and interesting blogs I like to follow. Or you can just go to who I'm following and check them out yourself.  Happy blog reading!

What Are Your Warm Weather Projects?

Warm weather is on its way (hopefully soon) and I was wondering what will you be knitting/crocheting for the warmer weather?

My first warm weather project is the shawl that I want to finish before my sister's birthday in August.  It's made from bamboo and acrylic, which to me is a perfect light-weight yarn for the warmer weather.  In between the baby projects I have been trying to work on this shawl, which is coming along much better than the knitted version I initially started, if you remember from a previous post: A Story About a Shawl.  I can't wait until its finished.  I'm loving it so much, I may have to keep it for myself - just kidding...I will be giving it to my sister.

Some of the wonderful light-weight yarns that are coming out are absolutely lovely, like for instance from Cascade, their Ultra Pima Cotton.  I fell in love with the colors they have available like this one here:

Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton
This picture really doesn't do it justice, here it looks a little reddish pink, but its really this beautiful dark eggplant color with a luster that will look great knitted into a summer pullover, but I've already decided I'm going to knit a shawl out of it for myself. Haven't actually decided on what design I will be using, but I've come across so many lovely designs.  I just would like a little something that I can throw around my shoulders when I'm sitting out on the deck after the sun goes down when I need a little warmth as the coolness of the evening settles around me.  One of my favorites so far is by Emily Ross, the Haruni Shawl, which is a free download on both Ravelry and Knitpicks.
Isn't it a beautiful design. It's one of my must haves and one day when I can understand the charts better I'm going to give this bad boy a go!  Wish me luck.

If you haven't decided on a summer project yet, go check out Knitty Spring-Summer 2011 edition, they have some great patterns to choose from like the Julia, a sleeveless pullover - reminiscent of the roman-style tunics made with linen. 

Now many of you know that linen isn't always fun to knit with but after a few washings it becomes quite soft and it is just the right yarn to make this stylish summer must-knit.

Or maybe you can keep cool this summer in more ways than one with this Crochet Summer Top. The lacy top is oh-so-pretty and feminine for the office, parties, or any occasion made from Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton:

Some of the wonderful yarns to choose from are coming out too, bamboo, linen, cotton, silk, and many blends of these yarns just to name a few.  You have so many options to choose from for your warm weather designs, go to to your LYS and check them out!

Like going sleeveless during the hot weather, well it looks like you have a lot to choose from in the sleeveless designs then. Check out DROPS Design's 128-25 Top:

Wow, look at that beautiful textured crochet design along the skirt of this tunic. Don't you just love the warm weather designs?

But if you are like me and don't want to show off the untoned arms (due to months of not working out!), there are some nice lace designs with three-quarter lenghth sleeves that are sure to please. Like this crochet Chevron Lace Cardigan by Milobo, a free download from Without Seams:

Or this knit Lace Cardi by Kennita Tully, a free download from the Coats and Clark website:

So many patterns and not enough time to make them all.  Well I hope you will share what you are making for the soon to be here warm weather and I will keep you posted on what I'm working on! So, drop on by and leave me a comment, would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Reusable Market Bag

When the local grocery stores were announcing that they would charge for the use of the plastic bags, I started buying the reuseable bags that most grocery stores sell anywhere from $1.00 - $2.00.  I thought this was getting a little expensive and some of them weren't even that sturdy.  So I decided to make my own reusable market bag with the thought that I would make a bunch of them to use in place of plastic bags at the grocery store.  After seeing a pretty cool looking one at the Farmer's Market last year, I was inspired by the one I saw a woman using that looked like it was made out of some really stiff material, which I later I found out was hemp.  I'm not really into knitting with hemp, for one it's very stiff and I knit very tight and working with this material would be hard on my hands.

So I searched the web and came across a market bag - Green Living Tote, on Lion Brand's website, that used their cotton yarn, an aran weight that isn't as stiff but is just as sturdy. It's also an easy design that knits up fairly quickly.  I haven't made many, but the ones I have made have become widely popular with my friends and family.

My first attempt at this bag, I thought, 'wouldn't it be nice to add a little texture to it?' Something that would break up the mesh a little. And so, I searched my stitch books for a pattern that I could add to the market bag, and this was the result:

Bag #1: added Horsehoe pattern at
top of bag with two rows of
purl stitch and then start the
handles portion of original pattern 
Horshoe Lace Pattern working in the round:
Worked in multiples of 10
Row 1: *k1, yo, k3, sl 1, k2tog, psso, k3, yo, k1, repeat from *
Row 2: knit
Row 3: *k1, yo, k2, sl 1, k2tog, psso, k2, yo, p1, repeat from *
Row 4: *k9, p1, repeat from *
Row 5: *k2, yo, k1, sl 1, k2tog, psso, k1, yo, k2, p1, repeat from *
Row 6: *k9, p1, repeat from *
Row 7: *k3, yo, sl 1, k2tog, psso, yo, k3, p1, repeat from *
Row 8: knit

I brought the bag in to work with me to show to my friends and I got requests right away to make them bags too!  I was a little taken aback by the response.  But, I couldn't say "no", because they were so stinking easy to make.  So below are two more versions of the bag that I gave to two friends, but I got a little fancy with the detail and added a Honeycomb pattern to break up the mesh in the middle of the bag and to keep the bag from stretching too much.

Bag #2: Honeycomb and Vine Lace Zigzag pattern
Honeycomb with Dainty Chevron added to top
Honeycomb Pattern:
Honeycomb stitch chart
I used the chart to the right for the Honeycomb pattern, but I modified it for the round by reading the even rows from right to left and reversing the stitch (for example if it said to purl, I would knit) because you are working in the round instead of flat (back and forth).

The following is the pattern I used for the Vine Lace Zigzag portion of bag #2, which I found in my copy of The Knitter's Bible by Claire Crompton:

Vine Lace Zigzag pattern:
Worked in multiples of 10
k = knit
ssk = slip, slip, knit (slip two stitches knitwise, insert left needle through front of two slipped stitches on right needle and knit).
yo = yarn over
k2tog = knit two together

Row 1: *k2tog, k4, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1, repeat from *
Row 2 and all even rows: knit
Row3: *k2tog, k3, (yo, k1) twice, ssk, k1, repeat from *
Row 5: *k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, ssk, k1, repeat from *
Row 7: *k2tog, (k1, yo) twice, k3, ssk, k1, repeat from *
Row 9: *k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k4, ssk, k1, repeat from *
Row 11: *k2tog, (k1, yo) twice, k3, ssk, k1, repeat from *
Row 13: *k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, ssk, k1, repeat from *
Row 15: *k2tog, k3, (yo, k1) twice, ssk, k1, repeat from *
Row16: knit

Dainty Chevron Pattern: (Also from The Knitter's Bible)
worked in multiples of 8
Row 1: *ssk, (k1, yo) twice, k1, k2tog, k1, repeat from *
Row 2 and every even row: knit
Row 3: As Row 1
Row 5: *yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k1, repeat from *
Row 7: *k1, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k2, repeat from *
Row 9: *k2, yo, sl2tog-k1-psso, yo, k3, repeat from *
Row 10: knit

My fourth bag I made for a friend who needed items for her Relay for Life auction.  Her team is raising money for the American Cancer Society and of course, again, I couldn't say "no". My Dad, my son's grandmother on his father's side, and my favorite Aunt all died of cancer or cancer related complications, so I felt it was my duty to contribute to this worthy organization.

Bag #4: Large Openwork lace pattern and
added reverse single crochet around
the handles for reinforcement
Large Openwork Lace Pattern:
worked over multiples of 4 (you may have to reduce your number of total stiches by knitting two together in row 1 to get a multiples of 4 within your total number of stitches)
Row 1: knit
Row 2: *yo, k4, repeat from *
Row 3: *yo, drop next loop from left needle (yo increase from previous row), slip1 knitwise, k3, pass slipped st over all three sts, repeat from *
Row 4: knit

My fifth, and favorite bag so far, went to the winner of an auction we hold at work every year to raise money for our holiday adopt-a-family program.  Another worthy cause and I was more than happy to make a contribution to the auction. And the winner was very happy with her bag.

Bag #5: Wasp Nest pattern with reverse
single crochet to reinforce the handles in a
complimentary color.
Wasp Nest Pattern:
worked in multiples of 8
Color A:
Rows 1: knit
Row 2: purl
Row 9: knit
Row 10: purl
Row 17: knit
Row 18: purl
Rows 3, 5, and 7 (color B): *k3, sl 2 purlwise (yarn in back), k3, repeat from *
Rows 4, 6, and 8 (color B):  *k3, sl 2 knitwise (yarn in back), k3, repeat from *
Rows 11, 13, and 15 (color B): *sl 1 purlwise (yarn in back), k6, sl 1 purlwise (yarn in back), repeat from *
Rows 12, 14, and 16 (color B): *sl 1 knitwise (yarn in back), k6, sl 1 knitwise (yarn in back), repeat from *
Embellishment: Using Color B: I reverse single-crocheted around the borders of the handles for reinforcement.

Even though I only made one for myself, I really like that I've had the opportunity to make bags for worthy causes and for friends who are enjoying their bags.  I will be making more of them because they are very handy to have when you need to make a quick trip to the grocery store, or to the farmer's market, or even to the library, they stretch to accommodate a lot and yet are very durable.  I hope you will enjoy making these for friends and family or just for your own use.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Story About A Shawl

I started knitting a beaded shawl early last spring for one of my sisters for her birthday (which is in August), because she mentioned to me in passing how much she loved some of the shawls she seen in the stores, but didn't want to pay the exorbitant prices for any of them.  So I searched for a nice pattern that I thought would be easy to follow, but I found reading the chart was not as easy I thought it would be. Somewhere in the very beginning stages I lost a stitch, so I set it aside thinking I would at some point get back to it and fix my mistake.  But I got so busy with other projects that I had deadlines and people waiting for them.  And I never got back around to fixing the lost stitch and well her birthday came and went and I was forced to buy a gift card instead of surprising her with a handmade shawl. Even worse, now a whole year has gone by and my sister's shawl hasn't progressed past what you see below:
Beaded Knit Shawl (Swallowtail Lace Shawl
by Evelyn Clark) that I  started last year
As part of my New Year's decision to try to work through my WIP's and as suggested by:, who said on January 24th... "I would alternate for each new project you make finish an old one!" to my post of "Delving into my WIP's Goodie Bag".  I pulled it out of my WIP's bag and decided, instead of trying to fix the lost stitch and figure out how to read what I considered a complicated chart, I would frog it (pull it apart), and look for an easier pattern to follow. I don't want to give up on this design completely, because it is very beautiful and I really need to get over my anxiety of reading charts, maybe after some practice with easier chart designs, I will give it another go.

But in the meantime, I found this really great crochet pattern that I figured I could whip up in no time.

Frogged the first attempt - changed to a crochet design,
Sidewalk Shawl by Kimberly K. McAlindin
And as you can see above that it is coming along and has this really great pattern going that reminds me of a pineapple.  It's quick and easy to follow and I can't wait until I'm done and can send it off to my sister.  I'm really hoping she will like it. And this time around I will get it done before her birthday. 

I like it so much I might even make one for myself or maybe for my other sister who also, has a birthday in August.  If I'm industrious enough, I could probably pull it off, if I don't get sidetracked again.  We'll see...

On a side note:
I just finished another baby set and I had so much fun knitting it for a good friend.  I decided a sweater was too much since she needed it by May 1st and it will probably be too warm for a sweater by the time the baby is born, so I searched Lion Brand's website and came across this cutie:

The Bunny Blanket Buddy
from Lion Brand.
I paired her with another Feather and Fan Baby Bonnet, and Ballerina Booties. You can check my Sweaters page (very last picture at the bottom of page) for links to the patterns for both the bonnet and booties.