Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Crochet Shoes

Here are a few pictures of the crocheted shoes on Jack's feet. They fit and look even more adorable on him. Of course, I'm not biased or anything!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blog Giveawy Reminder

Reminder that time is ticking to enter the drawing:

From 2/9/09:
I've been thinking about doing this for a long time...a blog giveaway. What do you have to do? Post a comment to the blog offering class topic suggestions for spring/summer. All names of posted comments will go into the hat between this posting and March 8th. I will draw for the winner on March 9th and post the winner's name and a picture of the prize.

Good luck!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Needle Felting

I recently knitted a stocking for my nephew Jack. As noted in an earlier post, I plan to make and stuff a stocking for each niece and nephew until they are 18 AND each stocking will include a technique I haven't done before. For Jack, I knitted a felted stocking and then needle felted a Santa on it.

I knitted this a little too loose and it came out HUGE.

However, I felted the hell out of it (about 4 times the normal felting time) and it came out the perfect size. (I'm sure Jack wouldn't have minded if it were larger!)

I then needle felted the Santa on.
I hadn't done this technique before and it was so easy.
I love the finished result. I see lots of needle felting in my future!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Crochet Versus Knitting

I recently taught a few students how to crochet. I love to crochet--it gives me an immediate satisfaction that I don't always get from knitting. It grows sooooo much faster than the little knit stitch does. I get asked all the time if knitting or crochet is easier and which one I prefer. Here is my standard answer:
  • I prefer the look of knitting more than crochet.
  • I prefer the fast action of crochet.
  • I prefer the knitting patterns over most crochet patterns.
  • I prefer crochet afghans over knitted ones.
  • I have better memories of my grandmothers and aunts when I think of crochet.
  • Crochet uses 1/3 more yarn than knitting.
  • Knitting only has two stitches.
  • Crochet has many stitches and options, but it isn't as exact as knitting so you can fake it more.
  • Knitting is an exacting science, more so than crochet.
  • Crochet has the little hook so you can go FAST!
  • Crochet is MUCH easier to fix if you have a mistake.
  • Both are relaxing.
As you can see the pros and cons of each are why I like them. Regarding what is easier to learn, well, whatever you learn first. I hear it over and over again, the knitters insist that knitting is easier when they try to learn crochet. The crocheters insist that crochet is easier when they try to learn to knit. My personal opinion, from many hours of teaching, is that crochet is faster for people to learn. I theorize this because 1. it has a hook so it is easier to grab than yarn than the knitting needle 2. once you learn the yarn over, all the various stitches are just a matter of how many times you YO and where you stick the hook. The other thing I have noticed is that crocheters have an easier time knitting than knitters do crocheting. Why? I think that it is because knitting is so exact. Knitters have a harder time with all the variations you can do in crochet.

Here is a finished picture of Emma in her Swirls cap.

Here are Emma and Jamie crocheting along on their projects.
Jamie is making tons of fingerless mittens that are a fast and easy crochet.
They will make wonderful gifts.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dog Sweater

I knitted up this sweater for a friend's Rhodesian ridgeback. The dog has a 38" chest, so it was more like knitting for a person. I used a Rowan superwash in a light worsted/dk weight. I had to apply a LOT of math to alter a pattern to fit. I used a pattern out of the Doggy Knits book. I, wisely I might add, selected a pattern that does not have leg openings. This made the alterations a lot easier. The belts help to adjust the fit as his weight changes. It is a washable wool.


I'll be honest and state that this was not a favorite project of mine. It turned out really well, but it was torture getting there. I think it was because it was in a dark color and it was SO MUCH St st. I'm also used to knitting for yorkies. This guy equals about 20 of my dogs! However, the "little" guy will be able to stay nice and toasty now. If he's happy, I'm happy.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crocheted Chucks

I saw these little baby Chuck Taylor shoes ages ago and mentally stashed them for a later purpose. When Jack came along, I pulled up the pattern and put it in the line of things to make. They are super cute and REALLY fast. I crocheted up a pair for Jack and a shop sample in about 3 hours total. I have added a Crocheted Baby Tennis Shoes workshop for May. Beginners and advanced beginners are all welcome. They are a great little item to learn on.


This pair is in the mail to Jack (even in the NIU colors).
Need to make them for a girl, use pink/brown/cream.
I used Kraemer's Summit Hill Superwash yarn for this pair.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Custom Stitches KAL Style Show Part III

I couldn't resist putting up a few more pictures from the Custom Stitches KAL. (There were more taken, but I couldn't put up everything. I did give a CD of all pictures to Molli at S&S.

A full view of Diane's Lion Neck Sweater

Jane and I in our Tuxedo Vests (made out of Wool Bam Boo and Comfort DK)

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Classes Added for April and May

I added some new classes to the schedule for April and May:
  • Beginning Knitting April 4th and 25th 9:30-11:30 $30
  • Felted Bags & Fair Isle April 4th and 25th 1:30-3:30 $30 (3 spots left!)
  • Pattern Reading & Alterations Workshop April 11th 9:30-11:30 $15
  • Ella Shawl Workshop May 2nd 10-1 $25
  • Crocheted Baby Tennis Shoes May 9th 9:30-1:30 $25
The Ella Shawl introduces you to lacework if you haven't tried it before. It's a great project to play with color as well.

Pattern reading was added in response to all you beginners who requested it. We'll cover how to follow a pattern and how to make alterations for sizing. Kind of an anatomy of a project idea.

Finally, the crocheted tennis shoes are great for beginner to intermediate crocheters. So cute!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Custom Stitches KAL Style Show Part II

More pictures from the Custom Stitches style show.
So many lovely ladies and all the garments look great!

Slinky Ribs
The Jane Sweater modified to a vest--very clever, Nancy!


The Playmate Sweater

Kathy's Lettuce Coat

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Custom Stitches KAL Style Show


We completed our first shop KAL!!!! It was such great fun and everybody looked great at the style show. Here are a few pictures of the completed projects. If you would like to sign up for the White Lies Design KAL, registration is open and we are filling up fast. Hurry, hurry...

Here is Diane in her Lion Neck Sweater. She knit it out of Duo and it has a beautiful drape. Great job!!!!

This is a picture of the Favorite Cardigan ladies. Three of the ladies used Dream in Color. Karla (far right as you view the picture) used Cascade Colors. All four sweaters are gorgeous!


The Ingenue group also looks great...I know many more people have this one on the list to make. Thus far, people have used Ultra Alpaca, Peruvia, Cascade 220 Superwash, Marble, and Mainland. This is a great sweater that looks good on everybody. Check out our hot little Nikki on the end in the purple. She is ready for a night on the town!!!!

I'm off for the Valentine Swap now, but I'll post more pictures tomorrow of Jane, the Lettuce Coat, Slinky Ribs, and the Tuxedo Vest. Plus, a few bonus pictures of some crocheters that joined us on Thursday night...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blog Giveaway

I've been thinking about doing this for a long time...a blog giveaway. What do you have to do? Post a comment to the blog offering class topic suggestions for spring/summer. All names of posted comments will go into the hat between this posting and March 8th. I will draw for the winner on March 9th and post the winner's name and a picture of the prize.

Good luck!!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Stripes Hat


Just a quick picture of Jack in his hat that I mailed up last week. He looks like a little elf!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How Are Those New Year's Resolutions Going?

I had several New Year's Resolutions for knitting in 2009. Now that we are a month in, I thought I'd take stock.
  • Keep Ravelry updated: I have managed to not only keep up with this one, but it drives me NUTS not to get things updated right away. I love being able to search my patterns and yarn. I knew that part would be great. What I did anticipate was how much it would help me with my other resolutions...
  • Finish Projects on the Needle as of 1/1/09: I have finished the Medallion bag and the Back to School Vest. I have also made a lot of progress on Myrna (50% done) and Sunny's dog coat (85% done). I am on track to finish the dog coat this weekend and Myrna next week.
  • Only Have One New Nephew Project on the Needles at a Time: I have finished a Sheldon the Turtle, a Simple Baby Hat, and the Stripes Hat. I have Jack's stocking on the needles right now and should have that done in the next week (the knitting part at least). Next up for Jack, a spring colored Baby Surprise Jacket out of Smooshy. So excited to cast this on.
All in all, not a bad start to the year. In addition to these, I did add reading the four EZ books I just bought by end of 2009. I am reading Knitting Around right now. I need to read a chapter a day to knock these out!

My main goal for February is knocking out the dog coat, the two sweaters for the White Lies KAL, and seaming together a blanket for a customer. I think I will feel much better when those projects are off the needles. Then, it will be no obligation knitting for at least three months (I'm self imposing). I plan to knit on my 1/1/09 projects and knit up a bunch of hats that I found online. Guess what the gifts will be for Christmas 09!!!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sheep to Shawl on NPR

My DH heard a story on NPR a few days ago and emailed me the link. The story is about the Sheep to Shawl events that are common at farm and fair shows. Lisa and Elizabeth that work at S&S both are on Sheep to Shawl teams at the Indy fair, so it is a concept that I'm aware of. The thing that cracked me up about the story was that it was called Extreme Crafts. This immediately brought visions of the girls in tripped out gear as they were spinning and weaving to techno music.

If you would like to listen to the segment, you can catch it here:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100185761

Thursday, February 5, 2009

White Lies Design Knit Along Announcement

We had so much fun with the Custom Stitches knit-along that we have planned a spring knit-along! This KAL will be centered around any and all designs from White Lies Designs. Designer and owner of WLD, Joan McGowan-Michael, is known for her fun and flirtatious designs. Joan's wide variety of single patterns and her publications in books ensure that there is a pattern for everyone. The patterns are written from petite to plus size, and many of them utilize short-row techniques.

Read on to see example patterns, books that contain Joan's patterns, and yarn recommendations.

~Molli and the Stitches & Scones staff
More Pattern Options: Visit www.whiteliesdesigns.com
Milinda
Whether you knit the Evangeline, Myrna, Milinda, Krista Tee, or Carina, all of these beautiful sweaters are sure to be a standard in your spring wardrobe.

Tonia is busy knitting the Krista Tee and Marcella and Gina is knitting the Myrna and Milinda. These garments will be in the store soon for you to see in person.

Need Yarn Suggestions? Many of the patterns call for DK weight yarn. Here are some fantastic options to help you shop:

  • Classic Elite Premiere
  • Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
  • Knit One Crochet Too Babyboo
  • Cascade Pima Tencel
  • Cashsoft DK
  • Plymouth Jeannee DK
  • Inca Gold
  • RYC Silkwool DK
  • Green Mountain Spinnery Cotton Comfort
What You Get
Milinda
By signing up for the WLD KAL, you will receive:
  • a password to the online Yahoo group where you will be able to ask questions, post pictures, and share in the knitting experience with the group
  • a folder of materials especially designed for you by the Stitches & Scones staff
  • an invitation to the launch party and wrap-up style show
  • participation in demonstrations
  • hands-on instruction
  • snacks and other goodies
  • entry into the monthly door prize drawings
How to Join and the Schedule
Marcella
Registration fee: $10.00
Yarn must be purchased at Stitches & Scones

Launch party Sunday March 8th from 1-3pm (don't forget the time changes that day!!!)

March meeting: Thursday the 19th from 6-8pm

April meetings: Thursday the 16th from 6-8pm; Saturday the 18th from 11-1pm

May meetings: Saturday the 16th from 11-1pm; Thursday the 21st from 11-1pm

We are limiting the enrollment to 30, first come first serve.



Books including White Lies Designs patterns: Big Girl Knits, Stitch-n-Bitch Nation, and The Best of Interweave Knits, Bags a Knitter's Dozen, Knitting Lingerie Style, Vogue Knitting Scarves, and Vogue Knitting the Ultimate Sock Book. Patterns eligible for the KAL are credited to Joan.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fiber Festival Planning

Need to plan out your knitting and fiber year? Have you missed some of the shows in the past years and don't want that to happen again? I've compiled a list of events within driving distance to the Indy area. This is no way meant to be a complete list and for any changes in dates/etc, you will need to go directly to the event sites. But, this is at least an fyi list so that you can plan out that yarn money and schedule some fun road trips! (Know of others not included here, comment to me and we can add to the list!)

Let the carpooling begin!!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

EZ Books



Elizabeth Zimmerman is widely considered the mother of modern knitting. The woman was a genius and her work inspiring. I recently took full advantage of the 40% off all books sale at KnitPicks.com and purchased myself four of her books. In addition to my other goals for the year, I have added reading these four books (cover to cover) by the end of the year.

I am starting by reading Knitting Around. If you have read these books and have a nomination for which one is next, please send along your comments.

I am teaching the Baby Surprise Jacket in the spring and really enjoyed the creativity in making it. I was excited to see the mathematics for the adult version in The Opinionated Knitter so I think that will have to go on the list of must make things. She strongly encourages it as a way to use up leftover bits of yarn in the same weights. I knew I was saving all those yards here and there for a purpose! I have two drawers full of scraps. I use them for teaching a lot and thought about kitting some together to make scarves/etc. I might have to kit myself an Adult Surprise together first. Wouldn't it be fun to bring all of our leftovers in one day and trade them. We could all make sweaters out of the mix and matches and not have spent an additional dime! Let me know
if you are interested and I can set something up.

If you aren't a reader, check out EZ and her daughter, Meg Swansen's (a genius in her own right), DVDs or CDs. Fun to watch and educational too.

There is also an additional book, Knitting Without Tears.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stockings for the Nephews...

One of the great traditions I remember as a kid is my that aunt always had Santa fill a stocking for me at her house. When I found out I was going to be an aunt for the first time (and also knowing I wasn't going to have my own children), I decided to have a stocking for each of my nieces and nephews at my house until they are 18. Well, being a knitter, I had to knit them, right? Aidan's stocking was the first fair isle project I every did. I remember being thoroughly impressed with myself that I knit with two colors in a row AND managed to put his initials on it. It was also the first "sock" I ever knit. It is a great pattern available from Mountain Colors.

Now that baby Jack arrived, I had to find a new and different stocking to make for him. I think I'm going to try and do a technique I've never done before for each one. The new technique for Jack's stocking will be needle felting. I've wanted to try this for a long time and even had the tools to do it. I found this great little kit at Wool & Company in Geneva (great store). The pattern is from www.mybagtelle.com. If all goes well and I enjoy it, maybe I'll have a needle felting stocking class. I wonder if we could get Miss Margo to design us some specialized patterns, huh Margo? :) I'm using Cascade 220 Heathers to knit this up.

Just because I'm still the proud aunt, here are some pix of the two guys.

Baby Jack

Big Boy Aidan (can I say he is already almost as tall as me?!?)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My New Rug Hooking Frame Is Here!!!!

I got "hooked" on another craft this past summer--rug hooking. I hadn't really seen many of these in person, but came across some kits at a fiber festival and picked up a kit. Little did I know that my good friend had a great friend who designs her own rugs. I learned from the best!!! I finished up my pumpkin kit and vowed to only ever have one rug on the frame at a time (to avoid the UFO situation I got into in knitting). I have a strawberry-themed rug in the midst of being hooked now. I'm hooking it with yarn instead of felted wool. Thought I give it a try to understand the differences. T was nice enough to let me borrow one of her frames for a few months (okay, maybe a little longer than a few). I broke down and found one on eBay last week. I was so happy when it arrived! I can't wait to hook the rest of the strawberry rug and then go shopping at a fiber fair for another one or two. I really want to hook a Christmas one since I'll have a spring and fall one.

Puritan Rug Hooking Frame