Be Fearless With WATG

Oh the happiness of a new project. Yes, I may have done an actual little dance when Wool And The Gang wanted to send me a Fearless Cardigan Knit kit. I had seen it on my Instagram Feed when Krysten Ritter posted hers and fell in love with the color she chose too. SO the chance to create my own was super exciting. And I especially love new projects where I get to learn something like new stitches or techniques. When it arrived, and it was the color I loved on Krysten, well I was elated. I dove right in!

 

At first I had to pause a minute. I mean it had some pretty BIG knitting needles and I admit, I was maybe a little fearful. It took a few tries but I got the hang of them big needles! 

As I moved along the pattern it was a bit challenging doing the stitch additions on the needles. I ended up having to restart a couple of times. But an Instagram friend suggested I get these circular needles and as soon as I did I was off and running. Thanks IG friend you know who you are! Oh and yes, I kind of love these big needles now.

Assembly was a breeze. The pattern called for a specific type of assembly and while I followed the pattern this time, I figured out a way to make it a SINGLE fabric so there will be no back seam on the next one. WINNING!

Like I said - the very best thing is a project where I get to learn something new. This project I learned cable cast on technique which I assure you will be used often and horizontal invisible seam technique, AND and how to handle these awesome BIG needles which I guarantee you I will be using for many projects (including more Fearless Cardigans).

Click here to get your own Fearless Cardi Kit and use code WATG144 for an extra 15% off through March 31. GET YOUR KNIT ON and add this perfect transitional item to your closet.

 

 

Disclosure: Wool And The Gang sent me this kit free of charge for the purpose of this review. Although this is sponsored content, opinions and review are my own.

Two Of Hearts - Knit Pillow Talk

Being that I am still a fairly new knitter and in the tail end of busy season, I was a bit apprehensive when We Are Knitters contacted me to make one of their heart shaped Happy Cushion Pillows. Sure it looked super cute... but the shapes? How would I make the shapes? But then I thought, well,  Valentine's Day was around the corner and who doesn't love hearts? I love hearts! So Sure, why not! Then when the kit arrived and they send me an extra ball of yarn in pink, well I was beside my self in squishy yarn heaven.

The pattern had lots of increases and decreases to be sure, but was well laid out and seemed easy enough follow. I usually use the Make One method for increasing but for this project I decided to try something new so I followed the We Are Knitters Tutorial here.

Got my knit on and was cruising right along. I could see the heart taking shape and got super excited. Until I cast off and realized: wait a minute. That's not right. One side was noticeably "less rounded" than the other. Hmmm.....

On the second panel I watched my gauge more closely and still it came out a wee bit distorted in shape. Luckily, I knew I could tweak it during assembly but the perfectionist in me was happy to have the pink yarn to try again. and... NAILED IT! Grabbed some fiber fill from local craft store and time to put these babies together and stuff 'em!

This project was way more fun than I expected. And way less scary lol. Worked up super fast (for this beginner - a little more than an hour for each heart) and the assembly was easy peasy
 

I have 3 awesome takeaways from this project:1. I learned a new way to increase and how to make shapes. YES Shapes!
2. Try new things. Make mistakes. Try again.
3. HAVE FUN! I had a ton of fun with this project.

Going to be making many more hearts and share the love for sure.

 

Get your Happy Cushion Heart Pillow Kit here and use code WAK144Stitches for 20% off through 3/31/17

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: we are knitters sent me this kit free of charge for the purpose of this review & collaboration. Although this is sponsored content, opinions and review are completely my own.

Say Hello To The Augustine Throw

I was so excited when We Are Knitters wanted to collaborate on a blanket pattern. I mean just the thought of all that chunky squishy wool made my heart pitter patter with cozy vibes. I retreated to my cozy corner with this big basket of squishy and started creating.

First I had to decide to Knit or to crochet? It was not an easy choice.

 

I have wanted to knit a throw for quite a while as my knitting skills keep expanding. I see so many wonderful inspiring designs on instagram that give me so many ideas. So it was a tough decision. But this blue they sent reminded me so much of the rich tropical ocean like when I was in St. Thomas, that it inspired me to do an open crochet variation of "shells" throw. It inspired me to create something I imagined I would use while on the beach bungalow deck when I was there not too long ago.

Truly making this blanket brought me back to those wonderful breezy nights and ocean waves crashing behind the bungalow.

The yarn worked up so well for this pattern, no frogging involved! It just flowed which is another sign it was meant to be a crochet blanket. I could not be more thrilled with the final outcome.

You can get the free pattern here.

And you can enter below to win all the yarn to make your own! Yup - that is right: We Are Knitters will send you all the yarn you need to make this blanket in the color of your choice. Enter below.

Disclosure: we are knitters sent me this yarn free of charge for the purpose of this pattern collaboration and giveaway. Although this is sponsored content, opinions and review and design are completely my own.

Discovering New Yarn with Betta Knit

2016-09-08 14.01.38.jpg

Who doesn't love getting happy mail? Now, let's be real. Boxes of yarn arrive here on the regular. But when new yarn company Betta Knit wanted to send me samples to check out for the blog, I mean... heck yeah. You don't have to ask me twice! And get this... they want to give YOU some too! What? Read on!

OK.. so the box is pretty and I will say - their logo and branding is right up my alley. Made the unboxing super bright and fun. Diving right in I was immediately mesmerized by the Cool Wool in the Dip Dyed version. The color is both vibrant and still faded in some magical way. I work with hand dyed yarn often so seeing this kind of color in this chunkiest of wool made my heart smile.

I was going to make a cardi shrug, which I have been on a roll with lately. But as usual, the yarn spoke to me and said "just play with me". So I did. I tried knitting it. I tried crocheting it. I tried a shawl. I tried a scarf. Frogged each one. Yup. This yarn is so scrumptious that I really did not mind this design process one bit. And I have to say the yarn held up REALLY well.  It didn't fray or fall apart or get all tattered through the process. Even when one time I pulled it apart I lost the end and had to play find the end in a pile of yarn ramen. You know that game right?

In the end... 8th time was the charm and I came up with a super fun pullover sweater we will call Stella. This jumper works up so quickly it is great for beginners and the most experienced crocheter alike. Every level can make this sweater I tell you. I wanted to create something both cozy and breathable so as not to suffocate my skin in all of this cozy wool. I also created a postive ease on this pattern because who wants to have their top ride up on them when it is cold? Not me! I will definitely be living in this top this winter! Get the pattern here or keep reading :-)

And, I had so much fun working with this yarn! I am both sad and overjoyed about finishing my project. I guess I will just have to get some more. :-)

I also had a chance to play with this new thing they call Blow Yarn. Um.. excuse me wonderful cozy squishy awesome yarn but where have yo been all my life?

Now, my only word of caution here is that this yarn does not like being frogged. Nope. Not at all. I definitely found that while I was playing with it that it meshed with itself as I pulled out stitches. So KNOW the pattern before you get going. For real.

It is a blend mostly of Alpaca with a touch of Polyamide & Merino mixed in. I was able to modify one of my favorite hat patterns to create what very well may be my new favorite hat. Yup - I will be rocking this Nepal Beanie all season. Definitely worth checking out the Blow Yarn. Just don't frog your work lol.

I also got to play with their Superwash merino and um.. hello... we all know how I love me some superwash Merino! Well their is definitely some of the yummiest ever. I haven't decided what to make with I Love My Jeans yet. A bit thin I may double it up and make some cool coasters. In fact... yes I will. So expect a free pattern for that pretty soon.

In the mean time.. check out Betta Knit. You can use code 144XBK and get yourself 20% off your purchase of yummy yarn. What? Yup. And that's not all... You can WIN EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO MAKE THE STELLA JUMPER!!!! Worthy of all caps right? Enter below.

Thank you Betta Knit for sending me so many treats to try out.

 

Disclosure: Betta Knit sent me this yarn free of charge for the purpose of this review & pattern collaboration. Although this is sponsored content, opinions and review are completely my own.

Hot Off The Hook: The Riley Scarf (with Giveaway)

I have been on a roll with new designs this summer. I started the summer with some travel and a road trip and have been experimenting with new fibers. So much inspiration flowing I just love it. When I got my yarn delivery from We Are Knitters, it spoke to me and I was in squishy yarn heaven. Creativity was FLOWING! One new design is the Riley Scarf. If you follow me on Instagram you have seen some of this process. It has not all been pretty but it is my favorite part of what I do: bring an idea to life.

Sometimes designs take shape in an instant and my vision springs into life right away. And when I say sometimes, I mean rarely. Most of the time, there is a bit more work involved. I have an idea and start working with yarn on the design. Simultaneously I grab some graph paper and start mapping out my stitch work. As it takes shape I go back and forth - yarn & paper and until it is just right I keep tweaking and designing. Occasionally (read: often) I will pull apart or frog the project and start over a few times. That is how we end up with what is known as Yarn Ramen.

Once I have waded my way through a pile or two or Yarn Ramen, I can usually see the garment taking shape and coming to life. I always get so excited at this stage of the process because not only am I seeing the work pay off, it is the realization of an idea that was simply in my mind only hours (or days) before. Something so magical about that.

Once the garment is complete it is time for blocking. Ah - blocking... the love hate of so many fiber artists. I will freely admit, I do not block everything. But new designs? Garments? Things I will cultivate into collections? You bet! Block party all the way. But I don't mind. Pull out the steamer (or bucket in some cases) a packet of Soak and get to it.  All that work is worth in the end. Always so worth it.

Because then, after all that work, when I see my creation and idea come fully to realization, it is a feeling that is hard to describe. Then add to that, when people buy the pattern to make their own or when they buy the completed garment to keep cozy it only adds to the magic.  I am IN LOVE with this new Riley Scarf and I think you will love it too. And since I know I have both customers who wear my work as well as customers who make their own from my designs, I am launching the Riley with a VERY special giveaway: Enter below to win either the completed scarf or a kit to make your own. WHAT? Yup - that is right. Select your preference and enter below before the pattern or scarf are even released!

Both the pattern & scarf will be available after the contest for purchase here.