Category Archives: Ideas

Dog Impaled By Knitting Needle And Lives to Bark About It

Little Tutti has a warning for all of us knitters who also happen to be pet owners—store your needles away from your fur babies!

This sweet little Papillon was one lucky dog. While the knitting needle did pierce this puppies heart, she miraculously survived thanks to the talented hands of a local veterinarian in her hometown of Durham, N.C. (and thanks to the fact that the needle was very fine—probably a size 2).

Here is an x-ray showing how the needle intersected with the dogs heart. Scary!

knitting needle in dogs heart

This is one lucky dog!

We are so happy to here that Tutti is fine, although she has learned the hard lesson that all of us knitters know— at times, knitting can be RUFF.

 

 

 

 

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Celebrities Who Knit

I just love to see images of celebrities knitting! It changes the whole character of a celebrity; It alters their image from glamorous red carpet star, to ordinary gal who sits in flannel Pj’s and knits by the fire with a good glass of wine and a cat curled up in her lap.

While I am not one to read a lot of gossip magazines, I have noted a recent rise of celebrities caught knitting by said magazines. I dare say that the hot trend for 2015 is learning to knit. Perhaps it’s the astounding popularity of old-school shows such as Downton Abbey that have brought about this knitting revival? Regardless of the reason, knitting is weaving its way into the hearts of many.

Here are some recent images of celebrities who have caught the knitting bug:

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Katherine Heigl shows us that even celebrates need to build a yarn stash. Image Via: The Hot Hits

 

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Most of us knitters already know that the glamorous Vanna White is such an avid knitter that she has her own line of yarn. Image Via: Craftsy

 

sarah jessica parker knitting

Even fashion diva Sarah Jessica Parker has caught the kitting bug. Image Via: Pinterest

Who is your favorite knitting celebrity?

Did You Accomplish Your Christmas Knit List?

yarn stash projects in progress

Does your work-in-progress stash look like this one? Image via Ellie Belle

My answer to that question is a capital NO!  In fact, I am feeling downright bad about myself right now due to the fact that I did not finish one, yes NOT EVEN ONE, Christmas gift that I had planned to knit.

Oh sure, I started lots of projects—I got the ribbing done on a lovely red, wool, cable-knit hat for my mother, and I started a fur cowl but the fur got all funky and I had to rip out like 10 rows, so I put that aside in frustration. Oh, and I have half of a pair of socks finished.

knitting joke

Is this how you feel? Image Via Pinterest

Then there is that bag of yarn sitting in the corner of my den mocking me. Yes, that bag is full of unrealized dreams of fabulous knit Christmas creations that never even got near the point of a needle.

Alas, here I am—Christmas is over, so what do I do now? I really want to just sit and selfishly knit something for ME! Something that makes me feel better and feel accomplished. Why does that feel like such a bad thing? Are all of us knitters plagued with such guilt when it comes to making something for ourselves? Well, I dare say a little selfish knitting is just what the doctor ordered.

So join me in tossing aside that unfinished Christmas knit list (I’ll pick it back up next December). Don some comfy yoga pants, pour a glass of wine, grab some lush yarn from your stash (might as well grab some from that bag of unused Christmas present yarn) and make yourself something special. Hmmm a hat sounds good right about now…I hear it will be a cold January.

Did you finish all your knit or crochet Christmas gifts, or were you like me, a totally well-intended knitter who tragically failed to realize a single goal ?

Upcycling A Turtle Neck Sweater Into A Cowl Infinity Scarf

cowl scarf

Completed project—–Upcycled cowl neck scarf

So I had this old sweater with a hole in it. I loved the neckline and didn’t want to throw it out. Hmmm what can I do with it ( besides toss it)? Here is the sweater before I touched it:

sweater beforeThen I was struck with the brilliant idea of cutting off the cowl neck from the sweater to see if I could create a simple cowl neck scarf instead.

cutting sweatercut sweater

I continued to cut around the edging where the neck was attached to the sweater, being careful to cut below the binded area to ensure the knit did not unravel.

I dare say that you could find any old turtleneck or cowl neck sweater at the thrift store and turn it into a lovely cowl neck scarf. Recycling at its best 🙂

Have you ever upcycled old clothing? If so, what did you upcycle?

 

 

 

Izaac Mizrahi Yarn Review

izaac mizrahi yarn

Photo courtesy of Carrie Fanderclai Photography

Some of my readers are already familiar with my latest love affair—the new Izaac Mizrahi yarn collection. As if that talented man had not already given us enough fabulous fashion through his clothing, he decided to forge into fashioning yarn as well.

I am definitely not complaining about his decision to venture into the yarn world. In fact, I think it was a very smart business move. Why focus on just being a fashion mogul when you can take dominion over the yarn world ? After all, who wants to be surrounded by skinny, scantily clad models all day when they could be wrapped up in cozy yarn concoctions instead 😉

Anyway, in my last post I shared with you my discovery of this Izaac Mizrahi yarn.  Since that post, the skeins I bought have been taunting me from the corner of my office saying, “come play with me”. I have finally managed to make a quick cowl scarf out of the Lexington Yarn, and let me tell you it is fabulous to work with! Here is my friend, and talented photographer, modeling the knit cowl that I made for her:

cowl scarf

Photo courtesy of Carrie Fanderclai Photography

The variegated colors in this yarn are vibrant, vivacious and very satisfying to watch develop as they work up (and no, I am not getting paid to say this 😉

The yarn is super bulky with a wool, acrylic mix, making it wearable and not too scratchy. Actually, it is down right SOFT!!!  My only complaint about this colorful yarn is that my skeins had a funny smell to them. Yes, they actually smelled a lot like manufacturing oil. It was very weird, but no matter how much I tried to air it out, the smell remained.

This off-putting smell is probably just the case with the batch I bought (maybe something went wrong in the factory?), but maybe give this yarn the sniff test before you buy.

Have you had the pleasure of working with this yarn? What color did you choose? I would love to see pictures!

Are The People On Your Christmas List Knit Worthy?

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A grateful recipient warms the knitters heart. Image Via: Positive Parenting

I think that all of us knitters and crocheters are familiar with the feeling— the feeling you get when you excitedly gift one of your handmade creations only to discover that the receiver is an unappreciative a$%*#… sorry for the profanity LOL, but you know that’s what you’re thinking, right?

Oh! Those stitches that you lovingly worked till the wee hours of the night, as you dreamed of the smile and look of surprise on the receivers face as they gleefully unwrapped their knitted gift. Alas, your dream is quickly dashed when you see the fake smile on their face and they say, “Gee, thanks what is it? Or, “Thanks, I’ll give it to my dog as a chew toy”.

OK, so those scenarios are slight exaggerations, but we have all gifted one of our handmade goods only to see the lack of appreciation on the receivers face. Hence, the creation of the saying, knit worthy.

These unappreciative receivers do not seem to understand that we toil away hours knitting as a form of love and caring— each stitch is like a little yarn hug.

So, this Christmas I want to stop all yarn artists from giving their wonderful creations to non-knit worthy recipients.

Here is my (rather lengthy) definition of a knit worthy person. Take careful notes, as this is the only type of person who truly deserves your knitted, crocheted or handmade gifts this Christmas:

  • Topping my list: A kind-hearted person who almost always has a smile on their face.
  • All people in the professions of: nursing, paramedics, army, firefighting, police work (see the theme? People who give their lives for others are always worthy of knitted goods.)
  • Homeless people
  • Sweet nieces, nephews, sisters, aunts, uncles (notice the clause ‘Sweet’)
  • Your Mum. Yes your mother will ALWAYS appreciate your handmade goods and cherish them just as she cherished your artwork in kindergarten.
  • Your Dad. If you have a Dad like mine, then he belongs in the same category as your Mum.
  • Your husband or boyfriend. Careful with this one— knitted gifts to unappreciative boyfriends have been the cause of many breakups. Personally, my hubby is the best hubby in the world but he is not knit worthy. Why? Well, he loves that I enjoy my craft, but he just doesn’t get it.
  • Your Pet. Yup, your pet will always remain a loving, knit worthy companion.
  • Your Grandmother or Grandfather

I think that is it. Who is on your knit worthy list? Have you ever had the disappointment of giving to a  non-knit worthy recipient? If so, how did you react/feel?

 

 

 

 

This Online Boutique Is Truly The Cherry On Top

Hmmmm, what’s better than ice cream with a cherry on top? Nothing could be sweeter!

Speaking of sweet, there is an online boutique that is owned and operated by two sweet ladies that live locally in my state of Iowa. The name of their store? You guessed it, The Cherry On Top Boutique. This online store is like a bowl full of candy with colorful confections such as these scrumptious children’s bows and headbands:

baby headband

Being modern and trendy mothers on a mission to share their love of fashion, they also offer plenty of yummy fashions for all of us minivan moms. Of course, these stylish store offerings are much more trendy than yoga pants:

red and black plaid shirt

black and white striped t-shirt dress

Yes, this store dishes up some wonderful confections that are worth buying!  Visit the The Cherry On Top Boutique to see what’s new today. P.S. You may see a few of my boot cuffs there for sale, too 😉

4 Things Every Beginner Knitter Needs To Have

Knitting girls with color

There are some basic supplies that you will need before you begin on your knitting or crochet journey. Image Via: Continuinged North Seattle

It seems that knitting and crochet are trendy again—finally! Long gone are the stereotypes of Grandma knitting in her rocking chair (although personally, that is still quite a comforting image since that is how I plan to spend my retirement years).

Rather, it seems that the new world of knitters are funky, fun, young and dare to be different. Take Stephen West for example, or the many crochet artists who were drawn into the love of hook and yarn thanks to the revival of vintage crochet styles.

Knitting has been given a fashionable nudge with runway clothing designers such as Izaac Mizrahi hopping onto the knitting bandwagon with their very own lines of yarn. Although, some of us knitters may fondly remember watching Martha Stewart in her ‘coming home poncho’ as she waved to us from the television screen (and as we all wondered if her reputation would survive)—did these images reignite the knitting bug? Maybe. Either way, I am just happy to see that knitting and crocheting has become hip and trendy again. Which leads me to the whole point of this post—

What does every beginning knitter or crocheter need to have in order to begin a successful journey into the world of learning to knit and crochet?

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Image via Pinterest

1) A Patient Teacher

No matter what, if you want to delve into the craft of knitting or crochet, then you will need a skilled teacher who is PATIENT. One that you can call as quick as a dropped stitch and ask, “What on earth does PSSO mean???”

Yes, a skilled teacher is a must in order to learn this complicated craft. If you do not know of anyone off-hand, then pop into your local yarn store and ask if there is someone willing to teach you. You will soon discover that knitters and crocheters are some of THE FRIENDLIEST people on earth!

2) A Basic Set Of Needles or Hooks

Hooks and needles are the tools of the trade and trust me, it may be a bit of an initial expense, but it is best to invest in a basic set of knitting needles or crochet hooks. I suggest that you buy the most used needle or hook sizes. For knitting, you should buy sizes 6 through 10. Once you improve your skills, then  you can buy some smaller and larger needles. For crochet, I suggest buying sizes E through K. Again, once you improve, you can purchase more varying sizes.

Also, don’t worry too much about buying the expensive wood needles and hooks—those can come later as your skills increase, for now just buy the basic plastic or steel ones.

3) Yarn, of Course

This is where the fun begins!!!! You will quickly fall in love with all the yarn offerings that are currently on the market. Oh, nothing gets me as excited as a colorful sock yarn (not even my husband)—I begin to drool at the thought of its variegations and patterns that will appear as I knit.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. At the beginning it is best to stick with simple and cheap versions of yarn such as worsted weight acrylics or acrylic blends. There will be many scarves that turn into triangles as you begin, so be patient and buy cheaper yarn until your skills improve.

4) Stitch Markers

You will quickly discover that stitch markers are a must when it comes to knitting or crocheting in the round ( in a seamless circle). But guess what! You actually don’t have to buy these—read one of my older posts to learn all about the free stitch markers that you have lying around your home 🙂

So there you have it! Load up on these simple supplies and enjoy the beginning of your yarn’y adventures. I guarantee that with time and patience, you will become an obsessed yarn-a-holic just like me 🙂

Until Next Time,

Happy Crafting!

 

 

 

Cable Knit Hat and Recycled Mittens

Brrrrrr! It was a chilly Halloween last night! Luckily, I had just finished my new cable knit hat! And I had these recycled  mittens on hand that my oh, so talented Mum made me last Christmas—they certainly kept my fingers nice and warm.

recycled mittens

Today, I will share the pattern my Mum followed to make these amazing recycled mittens! Essentially, I dug out some cashmere and angora sweaters that had moth holes, and then Mum cut the pattern out of the good parts of the sweater. Follow this link to view the free up-cycled mitten pattern that she used. These are fleece-lined, so they are sooooo warm and cozy!

My head was also nice and toasty thanks to this chunky wool cable knit hat that I just finished.  As you can see, my daughter very quickly decided that this one was hers LOL!

cable knit hat cable winter hat

This hat was so easy to make and is perfect for the beginner that is looking to try cables for the first time. I will say that the original pattern was meant to be very slouchy, but I altered mine into a snug-fitting hat. Try this free hat pattern  if you want to try the slouchy version of this hat.

Until next time,

Happy Crafting!!!!

Why I Hate Kitchener Stitch

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Blast you, Lord Kitchener, for inventing this frustrating stitch!

Yup! I will say it loud and proud—I hate kitchener stitch. I don’t care that some Lord named Herbert Kitchener invented the bloody technique.  I will continue to stomp my feet like a two year-old and refuse to do it!

Here is why I hate Kitchener stitch:

I have three kids…need I say more?

One slight interruption during the grafting process of Kitchener stitch and I am lost. If you have tried Kitchener stitch before and been interrupted, then you know what I mean. You simply cannot look up, or let your mind wander for a nano-second while attempting this stitch pattern. This just doesn’t work with my hectic, bustling household.

What is with that ear thing’ny that always pops up?

Is it just me???? For some reason no matter what I do, I get this weird little bump that pops up at the beginning of my grafting. What is it? Why is it there? I thought I did it all correctly!? Do you have this problem, too?

It is a technique for knitting experts

That is the dignified title of this stitch—a technique for experts. Well, I am certainly not a knitting expert. However, what constitutes an expert, I ask? I have been knitting off and on since I was 7 years-old and I am now 37. That’s a long time to be knitting, so I figure, if I can’t grasp this concept, then not many newbies can.

OK rant is over. What are your thoughts on Kitchener Stitch. Was Lord Kitchener the devil in disguise? Or do you love this technique?

 

 

 

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