Sunday, July 31, 2011

A non-needlework post

I have a real problem wearing earrings. After a few hours of having them in, my ear starts to get red and swollen, and it gets really painful. I've tried all kinds of earrings, but it is always the same result. So when I found this shop on Etsy, I was so excited! Catchall Jewelry has some really beautiful, affordable items for sale including unique 'cuffs' for your ears.
I bought a Brass Swirl Ear Cuff and I wear it every chance I get, it's perfect. I love the idea of the cuff, you don't need a piercing to wear it! Go check out this wonderful shop whenever you get the chance.

Friday, July 29, 2011


I love putting my photos up on Flickr. It's just a great way to sort and share your photos, as well as look at photos from other people. I always put up the photos of my finished projects on my Lazy Daisy Knits account. I also love browsing through different groups, especially The Subversive Cross Stitch Group, some of these projects make me laugh out loud! Crazy for Knitting is another group I look through for inspiration and some awesome ideas, I just can't believe how creative people are! If you want to see some darn cute and interesting knitted stuffed toys, go on over to Mochimochi Friends.
Those are just some of the really great groups that are out there for you to discover. I find that the best way to start on Flickr is just to search something you are interested in, you will probably find a lot of other people who have already posted pictures of it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

FO from this week

I had plenty of left-over yarn from my Granny-Square Vest and I wanted to use the rest of it up. I found a great pattern for a market bag in the 'Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting' book, it was so easy and was great for some mindless knitting. I have used these when I went grocery shopping and they work great.

This is not the greatest picture of them, but the colors are really great and the yarn is perfect for this project.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Some great free patterns

I have a so many great patterns saved in my bookmarks. I wish I had unlimited time and unlimited supplies to make these great projects! Thought I would share some of my favorite free patterns.

This Boredom Buster Bag from A Simple Stitch blog, is a so cute!

 This beautiful Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl is available as a free download.

The Haruha Scarf pattern from MadeByMyself is so pretty.

 I am such a geek and I absolutely love this Goomba Hat pattern. I keep meaning to make this for my boyfriend, I just love it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What to do?

A while back I ordered a bunch of skeins of yarn off of Ebay. I love the colors and the yarn, but I have no idea what to do with them! They are a total of 300 yards and 150 grams. I was thinking of a hat, or gloves? Or a cowl? I have no idea, they will probably sit in my stash until I stumble on the perfect project for them... 

I did a pair a socks with another set of skeins a while back, the kabuki pattern is from 'Knitted Socks East and West'. I love these socks! They are so warm... So maybe a another pair of socks is an option? 

P.S. If you love knitting socks, you need to get 'Knitted Socks East and West'! Such a great book with some really nice pattern in it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Some WIPs

I have been showing you guys a lot of finished projects lately, but I seem to have run out of things to finish! I'm working on a few of 'bigger' items that are taking me a while to get done. Such as this afghan for my sister-in-law. 

I showed her some pictures of different afghans and this is the one she chose. It is from the Creative Knitting Fall 2009 issue. I am making this 'Quick and Easy Afghan' with Loops and Thread's Charisma yarn in Forest, with size 10.5 needles. I don't know how quick this is going to be, but it is a good pattern for mindless knitting. I definitely should have used longer circular needles though, it is bunching up like crazy on the 29" long ones!

My second project is these socks for my boyfriend. I got the pattern from the Son of Stitch 'n Bitch book, Treads is a great pattern for a men's pair of socks. It is simple with a little touch of cables for some visual interest. I am working these up with Lion Brand's Sock Ease yarn in Sour Ball, and I am liking the colors!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lookie at what I found!

I always love it when I find a website that inspires me to create things. Add in the fact that these are Dollarstore items, and we have got a real winner! Dollar Store Crafts is a great blog to just look through and find all kinds of amazing projects, I spent about an hour yesterday going through the site and here are some of my favorite projects.
 This doily-covered soap project looks so great. They say to use store-bought doilies, but I would probably make my own!

 My mind was blown when I read what this was made out of - toilet paper tubes! This faux wrought iron wall art just looks so good and would be so simple to make.

I have noticed a new fad springing up all over the net, friendship bracelets seem to be getting really popular and this friendship bracelet loom is an easy way to get in on the fun!

I am always loosing my stitch markers. I don't know where they all go but I am now using paper clips to keep my spot when I'm knitting. I can quickly make up a bunch of these cute little stitch markers so even if I lose some, they can be quickly be replaced!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shoot! What stitch comes next?

When I first started knitting, I had a real problem keeping track of which stitch I was on, and this made the rib stitch especially difficult. That is until I realized that the knit and purl stitches looked different. That was one of my great "AH HA!" moments. Now I'm so used to looking at these two stitches that I don't even realize that I'm doing it, up until I read a post by a fellow blogger. When she mentioned messing up her ribbing it brought back some memories of me doing the same frustrating thing! I know there are probably tons of people who have already put up some helpful pictures/tutorials for this, but I figured I would just put up a simple picture of each the purl stitch and knit stich. 
If the stitch looks like a 'V', then it is a knit stitch. When working a rib, then this means you are going to knit this stitch!

If the stitch is bulging out, then it's a purl stitch. This means that if you are doing a rib stitch, you purl it!

So those are two pretty simple pictures, but next time you're knitting and you're not sure whether you need to knit or purl, just remember that the 'V' is a knit and the bulge is a purl! Hopefully this will save some frustration for someone!

Monday, July 11, 2011

This week's FO is...

This is another project I completed from the Early Fall 2011 issue of Vogue Knitting. When my mother-in-law saw this vest, she said she really loved it; the yarn had 'bling-bling' in it and it was perfect for her. So I had to find yarn that had some sparkle in it and Patons Lace Sequin turned out to be perfect for this project! I had to use bigger needles then what the pattern called for (3.75mm & 5mm) to match the gauge. I had no major issues with the pattern or the yarn (but the sequins did make it difficult to rip up my first try at the vest!!) and I absolutely love the results. 
If anyone wants to make this pattern, I have only one suggestion: make sure that when you are binding off for the armholes, do not do it too tightly! I had to undo my first attempt at this vest because I binded off waaayyy too tight!

  The Boatneck Top is another pattern that I would love to try out, but after reading the pattern and seeing the number of stitches involved I got kinda intimidated. Maybe I will make it my next challenge for myself and try it out... We shall see.
In the meantime, Happy Knitting!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Birthday FO!

For my sister's birthday I wanted to make her something special. I thought a pretty granny square afghan would be perfect! I have wanted to learn how to crochet for a while and this was the perfect project to begin with. Some simple granny squares that I learned to make with a great tutorial I found on Youtube.
I taught myself how to knit from Youtube, and now it has showed me how to crochet! This was a great tutorial that walks you through each step and clearly explains what you are doing.
This was a great first project that used up a lot of my scrap yarn!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

From a simple blanket to an afghan and everything in between... There are so many great patterns out there that it is hard to choose which one to make. I love to gift hand-made blankets because they are so appreciated. A gift like this will be treasured and will provide comfort to the receiver.
It isn't always easy choosing the perfect project for someone, it has to be the right 'fit' for the person you have in mind. So if you're looking for your next blanket project (for someone else or for yourself), here are a few ideas.
From my very quick and unscientific research, I have found different kinds of blankets and what they are for. For a bit of interest, I threw in a link to a free pattern for each one. Aren't I the best?

Just a Simple Blanket:

 The pattern for this pretty little blanket can be found on JCasa's blog.

"A blanket is a type of bedding, generally speaking, a large piece of cloth, intended to keep the user warm, especially while sleeping".
Pretty straightforward I think, but it can be subdivided into many different categories. 

Afghan (or Throw):

Graphic Granny Afghan is a free pattern from the Coats and Clark website.

"An afghan is a blanket, wrap, or shawl of colored yarn. It is knitted or crocheted, often in geometric shapes. It can also be referred to as a 'throw'". I discovered that there are many different types of afghans, depending on how they are made. Mile a minute (made in one piece), join as you go (made up of different pieces, when you finish one you start the next) and motif afghans (made up of many smaller pieces - like granny squares). The last one is a good project for those of us that don't want to work on a huge piece that you have to lug around with you ;) !

Baby Blanket:

 This pretty Lotus Baby Blanket would be a perfect baby shower gift. You can get the free pattern from Needyl.

These blankets should be made out of nice, soft yarn. This is a gift that will be cherished for a long time! (As a side note, make sure the yarn is easily washable... Babies tend to make messes!)

Lap Blanket:

This great Pixie Dust Lap Blanket from the Purl Bee is a great accent for the home.

This is a smaller blanket that is easily carried around and fits perfectly on your lap without all the bulk of a full-sized blanket. This is a great last-minute gift because it is not as big as a full-sized blanket but still provides warmth. I made one for my grand-mother and she absolutely loves it, she is able to take it with her wherever she is in the house.

A Blanket Buddy:

This cute little guy is provided by the Lion Brand website.

I know this isn't a real blanket, but it is too cute to pass up. This would be another great baby shower present, and is different then the standard baby booties and hat combo.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This week's FO.

 When I first saw the pattern for this crochet Granny Square Vest in the Early Fall 2011 issue of Vogue Knitting, I was a little annoyed. I hate it when knitting magazines print crochet patterns. It's just a pet peeve of mine... But I really liked this pattern. I have never attempted to make anything crochet, and had only tried my hand at a few granny square patterns, but I wanted to challenge myself. I went out and bought Patons Grace yarn in almost every color the store had in stock! 

I think this is such a unique piece, it is not something I will see anyone else wearing, it stands out and looks so cute. Just perfect for me!