Monday, January 2, 2017

Finding Wool Yarn for Less in your Neighborhood

Buying beautiful skeins of yarn from the shop in town is the best way to go for making a sweater or a gift, but if you are designing or funds are low, $22.00 per skein can be a bit daunting. Here are some ideas for finding interesting bits and pieces of wool yarn.

  • Of course there are the second hand stores, be sure to check often and read the labels. Don't pay too much.
  • You can trade with friends, this works well for teen clothing too.
  • At garage sales sweaters are very often knitted a portion of the way and given up on so you can get a whole sweater's worth of yarn for a few dollars. Just unravel it.
  • Sometimes very chunky wool hand knit sweaters that have poor design to them can be bought at second hand shops and unraveled. This is quite a bit of work but at the going rate wool per skein it may be well worth it if you have more time than money.
  • A new source I discovered was a surplus store for housewares similar to T.J. Maxx. They had cashmere skeins for about ten dollars each. Can't tell you why.
  • Box stores have cheap wool but that isn't as much fun to find or environmentally friendly.
Happy knitting.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tip for a beginning knitter

If you are a beginning knitter fumbling with needles and tension for the first time can seem daunting, but like learning to drive a stick shift, remembering that it is a repetitive task and it won't take long to master.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Past

Be wary of the past.....

It will hold you back.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sparkle Skirt Belt Top AND Bicycle

Sparkles are for me.
I know this isn't a painting or a post about a painting, but the piles of magazine images of outfits that I need to put together either piece by piece brand new from various shops, or by purchasing vintage glam from The Wandering Wardrobe consignment shop, are taking over the storage space in my house. I am counting on the computer to reduce my clutter and streamline my shopping.
This is an image from a Vogue magazine.

Magazine Knitting Inspiration

Oversized Inspirational Sweater from W Inspiration from a light tank Paris Vogue Knitting has come so far from the old acrylic lumpy sweater days. Inspiration seems to be everywhere. The oversized, earthy, fat, yarn sweater is something I intend to make. The second photo is a little harder to discern, but it is a lovely delicate tank knitted with a lace weight yarn in a similar earthy gray.

The Red Velvet Chair

I like to imagine that this girl has just gotten a moment to spare and isn't going to waste it doing dishes!

Prairie Market Tote

I thought it would be nice to revisit the Prairie Market tote, the pattern is available on Etsy.

Prairie Market Tote

A simple crochet bag that is made using thick yarn, the joint at the start of the handle is reinforce for added strength.

Dark Chocolate Lace Cape free pattern

Dark Chocolate Lace Cape has recently been set as a free download on Ravelry. A very fast crochet and appropriate for almost any age, there are rows designed into it for lengthening. One of the stitches is confusing though not difficult at all and there are some photos here to help guide the way. please keep in mind that the pictures were posted last to first.

Dark Chocolate Lace Cape

Friday, December 23, 2016

To Throw with a Flourish

Do you pick or throw? Picking (Continental Style) is so much faster, at least it seems to be and so much easier. But knitting is such a slow meditative craft, why not Throw (English Style) with a flourish and make the process as flamboyant as possible. 

Can Knitters be Minimalists?

Can knitters be minimalists? Stash, a prominent word in the knitting & crochet vernacular referring to a fabulous collection of yarns for future or emergency use on projects. Stash sounds a little bit like hoard to me which has not much connection to a streamlined lifestyle when it comes to stuff.

Yet, it is attainable, just make a promise to yourself to cut your fiber consumption by 50% or more and start to work through that compilation of beautiful yarns. Get creative, make presents using one skein or combine to make a crazy blanket. After about a year you may see the end of the tunnel and be able to enjoy your finished projects and lack of clutter.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How to Finish Knitting a Sweater

How to finish knitting a sweater, this can be an elusive task especially a full sized knitting project. Is there an unfinished project like this is your collection of works. Maybe it is done up to the complicated bits or all in pieces that need to be sewn together.

The trick to finishing a larger fiber project is never put it away. Work on it every day, every other day or worst case once a week. Keep track of where you are at in the pattern and if you need to add other small projects that's fine, but once you put down a sweater you may lose your place and if this is a new skill it can be difficult to rediscover where to start up again.

Sometimes picking up a project that fell by the wayside is intimidating because you likely put it down at a complicated place, therefore, always forge ahead even at the tough spots. If you are still in love with the yarn and the idea of the sweater but don't know how to start from where you left off march down to your favorite yarn shop and ask for help or bring the piece to your knitting group and ask someone. Another problem that can happen is sewing all of the pieces together, if this is a hurdle that you just cannot overcome, pay someone to finish it up.

Of course if the whole thing has become too daunting, frog it and make mittens, a scarf and matching hat knowing in the back of your mind that next time you will finish that complex sweater.