Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pre-Stringing Beads Onto Yarn

I plan on doing some projects where I will need to pre-string beads on to my yarn; a perfect time to share a video on several different ways you can accomplish this.  NO fancy equipment required, you can use a needle and thread, a steel crochet hook, even dental floss.  I have a beaded cast on video coming up, which requires beads to be pre-strung, so if you have never done either, keep these ideas in mind for that video!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bluebell Scarf

This is my Bluebell Scarf.  It is knit with one hank of my Alpaca Cloud yarn.   I am offering the pattern for this scarf free with the purchase of the yarn.

Finished size is appx. 8 x 47.5, knit with a US Size 5 needle. Written and charted instructions. The yarn is currently available in two colors, Bluebell and Berries and Cream.

You can get more info from my Storenvy shop HERE.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blocking Your Knits

Before blocking

After blocking

Blocking is like swatching for a lot of knitters - nobody really wants to do it, or understands why it is necessary.  Just look at the pictures above, and that should be reason enough to convince you that you should block your knitting (or crochet, for that matter).

Blocking opens up the stitches, evens them out, and allows you to shape the fabric.  It also makes the fabric drape better and gives it an airier feel.

In the above pictures, you can see what a difference blocking has made.  The lace stitch of the rectangle is visible; the loops of the triangle are more pronounced; and the pentagon actually looks like a pentagon!

While all of my samples were knit with 100% wool (because that is what I knit with about 90% of the time, or another animal fiber), you can and should block other fibers.

I know it can seem like a hassle to take the time to block a lace shawl, when all you really want to do is put it on!  But, if you've spent days, or even weeks, on a beautiful lace shawl, then a little more time to block it isn't going to make much difference -- except that your lace will look absolutely beautiful!

Below are some links with info on how best to block particular fibers (not all fibers may hold up well to wet blocking, or steaming may not be best for another), as well as links to where you can find out more about and purchase blocking materials.  

You really don't have to have a blocking board to pin your item out on, a spare bed or even the floor will do nicely.  So long as it is a place where no cats, kids, or meandering significant others will disturb it, you can pin out your projects just about any place.  

Below is also a video I made, showing three different methods of blocking the above samples: wet blocking for the rectangle, pin and spritz for the triangle, and steam blocking for the pentagon.

Since you will be knitting a swatch anyhow to check for gauge (you are going to swatch, aren't you?), and plan to block your finished item, you should block your swatch also; it's a good time to see what your fabric looks like with the chosen method of blocking.

I am just using pins in this, if I find the time in the future, I will show you blocking wires.  Essentially, you just weave your wires along the edge of the knitting, then place your pins along the inside edge of the wires to block.  Blocking wires eliminate the amount of pins you will need to use along straight edges.

More info on which method to use on which fiber: 

Blocking materials:

 These are not the only products, or the only place to buy products.  I do encourage shopping around, check local craft or yarn shops, ask around on knitting boards, etc. 

Finally, here is the video.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Greenbrier Cowl Kit

Woohoo, my first kit is now available!

I love cowls, they are one of my favorite things to knit!   This kit comes with the yarn already wound, the stitch marker, and pattern. And a nice little bag you can tote the project around in while you work on it! All you need is a 24 inch US Size 10 circular needle (or size for gauge) and a yarn or tapestry needle to weave in the ends.  That's it.  

The instructions are written only, no chart - because it is such a simple pattern you will have it memorized right away.

·       Appx. 34 in. circumference at the top
·       Appx. 38 in. circumference at the bottom

·       Appx. 14 in. length

TThe yarn is 100% wool, bulky weight, hand dyed.  Click HERE to purchase.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sapphires-n-Purls Yarn

Ohhhh, I am selling some gorgeous, soft, smooshy yarn!   Right now I only have a little bit listed to see how it goes.  I will also be adding some kits for sale as soon as I get everything together.  I will have more listed soon!

All of these are hand dyed in a  unique, one of a kind color.  No two hanks will be exactly alike - once they are gone, they are GONE!  I am not keeping my color 'recipes', because I love creating new, unique colors with each batch of yarn.  How fun it is to throw some dye into the pot and see what happens!

Check out my store HERE and see what I have!  

A few more pictures of my luscious yarn.  Right now I have some 100% merino wool and a 50/50 baby suri alpaca yarn.  Both of these are lace weight yarns.  So soft and scrumptious, I've loved knitting up samples and hate to see it go!

Pink Lemonaid 100% Merino 
Red Sky at Night 100% Merino

Totally Tie Dye 100% Merino

Silver Lining 100% Merino

Dusty Rose 50/50 Baby Suri Alpaca

Lavender and Mint 50/50 Baby Suri Alpaca