Hand Felting

Last year I saw the most beautifully handfelted pair of slippers on Grazim’s Etsy shop. I was instantly inspired to try hand felting.  With the help of a great tutorial, I began learning this wonderful & rewarding craft.  Like painting and pottery you do not pick up the brush or clay and make a masterpiece on your first try.  There is an art form to molding the wool, soap and hot water into something beautiful.  I have thrown out plenty of wool in my first attempts…but my initial frustration has been well worth it.  I love to felt!

I have an Etsy shop with some of my creations – katiecreated.etsy.com

The felted flowers make great additions to knitwear.  

Sweater is Featherweight by Hannah Fettig.

Brooklyn Tweed: Umaro Throw

Over the past few years of knitting I’ve made a lot of things but this one is my favorite.

The pattern comes from Jared Flood, of Brooklyn Tweed, who I consider one of my biggest knitting inspirations.

Pattern:  Umaro
Yarn: Cascade Eco Wool (held double). It’s a very affordable choice for an afghan.
Ravelry Project

Was it hard?
-No. The BT directions are always so clearly written and thorough. I did find it a little tough work on this if I was somewhat distracted – That usually led to mistakes.  The skill level for this pattern is easy and any beginner knitter could do it.

Was it quick?
-Quick for an afghan, yes. But it does take time. The amount of time you spend on this project will be well worth it. It’s knit on a size 15 needle and the yarn was held double so you see progress very quickly which will keep you going.

I love afghans. They’re probably my most favorite thing to knit and to give. They’re so simple to knit – no shaping, no seaming, and you just weave in the ends when you’re done. Every couch should have a knitted afghan.

Yesterday was like Christmas in October because THIS showed up at my house…I can’t wait to swatch it up and start a biiiig project with it!

And the winners are….

Carole and Jill!  Thanks for your participation everyone!  We will be sending you your book in the next few days!

Sunday and Monday we enjoyed a quick getaway to Mystic CT.  The weather was unbelievable and we had a great time.  I bring my Canon SLR everywhere we go.  It is large and clunky.  I still love it ….but it is very fun to use my iPhone.  Usually in my hand anyway, it is so easy to snap a quick shot!I had a lot of knitting time.  It was great!  Madelinetosh & Mystic.

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK (Cove)

Where do you love to knit?

Last chance to enter!  We will be picking our winners this afternoon!  Leave us a comment where you love to knit to enter our Nicky Epstein Knitting Block by Block book give-a-way!

Sneak peak of Mystic Comfort…details soon.

A Sweet Mistake

I saw this recipe for  Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake on Pinterest this past Friday and thought it would be perfect for family dinner on Sunday since my sister Colleen had invited us, asked me to bring dessert and reminded me how much they like cheesecake!

Saturday night I took a trip to Sam’s club to get all the ingredients and woke up early Sunday morning to get the dessert made in time so that it would have time to cool. I got everything done (including the dishes) in time to go to church where I bragged to my mother about the fancy dessert I made.  My mother looked at me confused that I would make so much dessert for just my husband and I and then realizing what was going on said “uhhhh, Kara? That’s NEXT Sunday.”

….

Yep, I made the dessert for the wrong week.

It was worth it. This dessert is very creamy and delicious and rich like cheesecake should be.

I had even made a pumpkin pie before I knew I had the wrong week. And out of spite, once I had my dates all straight, I decided to make a batch of chocolate covered strawberries too.

Thanks Mom for setting me straight before I showed up at their front door!

Nicky Epstein Weekly Knitalong & Giveaway

I recently purchased Nicky Epstien’s book Knitting Block by Block.  I was talking to the owner of my LYS (Knitting Criations in Somers, CT), Pam, and she told me her idea of knitting a block a month.  Since I do not have enough months before Christmas, I thought that I could knit a block a week instead and have a beautiful afghan in no time!  Kara came to my rescue and we are doing this project together as a friendship blanket.  She will knit a square a week with me until we have enough squares.  Then I will do the same for her after Christmas.  Want to join us?   Grab a partner – it will make a great project to work on with a good knitting friend! There IS enough time to start now and have one ready for Christmas!

Nicky’s book is a valuable asset to any knitter wanting to learn different techniques. Tackling them in small blocks makes it a lot easier.


My first block is called The Portal Cable.  I am using Berocco Vintage yarn which is a machine washable blend.

Kara started with the Reversible Hourglass Pattern

With our weekly knit a long now underway we want to encourage all of you to join us!

We are giving away 2 Nicky Epstein Knitting Block by Block books. 

Earlier today in My Pembroke Wrap post I asked the question “Where do you love to knit?”

Just leave us a comment with your name and info telling us where you love to knit!  It is that easy!  We will draw the winners randomly Tuesday.

My Pembroke Wrap

As Kara mentioned I love blue in all shades.  I am drawn to the teals, sky blue, navy, aquas, midnight and periwinkle.  When I saw the Interweave Knits, Fall 2011 magazine with the Pembroke Wrap I decided to go outside my box with bright yellow for Autumn.  This wrap is a great fast project.  I used size 15 needles and it flew.

Pembroke Wrap by Andrea Rangel

Published in Interweave Knits, Fall 2011

Now when I wrap this around my shoulders I think of Cape Cod where I purchased the yarn at the The Black Purls Yarn Shop in Sandwich.  The yarn is from Plymouth Yarn Company  Llama Cotton Worsted.

I cast on while sitting on the beach, enjoying on my family vacation.

Where do you love to knit?  I think the Cape is my very favorite.  Although when the fire in the wood stove is crackling and I am cozy on the couch it is a pretty close second.

We <3 Aran

It’s called I <3 Aran but I have to say that WE <3 Aran.  We both bought this pattern almost as soon as Tanis published it. Then we had the fun part of picking out which color we wanted.  Katie went with Blue & and I went with Gray which is very typical for both of us. I cannot say enough good things about Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran Weight yarn.  It is so nice and very enjoyable to knit with. It flies off the needles.

We’ve become big fans of Tanis – her yarn, her patterns, and her blog. We think you should grab some yarn from her shop for your next project!

Pattern: I <3 Aran from Tanis Lavallée (Blog)
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran Weight in Sand
Ravelry Project by Kara

I’m going to let Katie show and tell you all about her project because she did some really cool modifications to it.  Stay tuned for her post!

Can you see how soft and spongy the yarn is? It has an almost springy quality to it that I really love.

Now that it’s sweater weather here in New England I get to wear this often. ‘Keeps me nice & warm!

Gift Idea I: Crochet Coasters

With only 11 weeks until Christmas we will be posting a series of last minute gift ideas. (although for me this is early :) These crocheted coasters make the perfect gift for co-workers, school teachers and grab bags.  The greatest part of these Granny Circle Coasters is that they are all made using scrap yarn!  So fun to make and can be done in less than an hour.


Change up the yarn for a set of coordinating coasters.  Tie with a strand of yarn and your gift is ready to give.

Yarns used: Sidar Flirt DK – silver, Tahki yarn cotton, Rowan Bamboo Tape and Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Emerald Green)

Cladonia

Pattern: Cladonia from Kristen Kapur.

I love this shawl from Through the Loops.  It feels so nice wrapped around your shoulders. It’s going to be hard to give it away but I have officially completed my first Christmas gift for 2011.  I’m proud of myself because I’m far ahead of last year. I think I started my knitted gifts in November last year.  This year I started at the end of August.

I bought the yarn at a local wool festival and held onto it for a little while looking for just the right pattern to make.  I’m so glad I have another skein because it’s warm and soft and squishy.  I don’t think this will be the last time I knit this pattern, but looking through Kristen Kapour’s designs on Ravelry I think the Nefertem shawl might be the winner for my extra skein.. It was quick & easy and an all around enjoyable knit.  It’s such a practical shawl too – it goes with anything. I won’t tell ya who it’s for, but I have to say – I’m a little jealous. My Ravely project.

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