Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Beat The Heat!

Summers just go so fast.
Between summer camps and the various trips the kids have to squeezing in a few moments before the college bound leave us, there are very few quiet moments. Where did the lazy days of summer go? I remember laying in the sun....ok, now we barely do that at all especially not without a high SPF.
Too many changes, and with drought conditions playing in a sprinkler just makes you feel wasteful.

As I type this 1 child is in Chicago and I am packing another one for school in Maine. I am in the midst of tech edits and designs and school supply shopping....and preparing a contest!

You know my obsession with traveler's notebooks? Well Crafty Chi and I designed a Knit Designer's insert set. 2 notebooks, 1 is for keeping track of submission ideas and sketching in stitch patterns, and 2 is how to plan business wise for a show/event/expo. Expense tracking and how to get the most out of your event.
I am very excited about this.

To celebrate, I have a 2 prize collections

1st (with over a $100 value):
1 Foxy Fix traveler's notebook New, your choice of colours: Strawberry Lemonade, Grey or Lilac
1 set of Crafty Chi Knit Design inserts
1 copy of Intwined Pattern Studio software for creating knitting charts
1 skein of hand dyed yarn
1 free pattern for knitting a TN cover
and some cute planner bits including a Sakura Pigma Micron pen

2nd place
1 set of Crafty Chi Knit Design inserts
1 copy of Intwined Pattern Studio software for creating knitting charts

How can I WIN?
Purchase any pattern from the ravelery store between now and September 15, 2015:
But wait, there is more!
Use coupon code 3180miles and get 50% when you purchase 2 or more patterns.
Each pattern is worth 5 points in the raffle.

Odds of winning are based on amount of entries.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Hiya Hiya Interchangeable Needles - SOCK and Sharps

At TNNA in January, I had a wonderful chance to see what was new in terms of needles.
Back when Interchangeables was a new thing ( years and years ago) , I bought a set of Hiya Hiya's and used them for a while but set them aside as they had issues with the cables and they had blunt tips. Note: Blunt tips are very useful, especially if you have a yarn that prone to being splitty.

I tend to work complicated stitches, so I NEED sharp points that can k5tog or other such things.
When the Sharps DPNs arrived on the scene, they became my go to needle for socks and mittens. Whenever I stop in at Heartstrings Yarn Studio, I pick up another set.....i tend to travel with them and lose a needle here and there. I some how missed that this line had been added to the interchangeables!

The Hiya Hiya needles are also light weight and since I have to watch what I carry and how much weight I place on my right arm (yes- the collar bone is STILL dislocated) the lightness of the needles helps me get in more stitches.

Then there is the newly released SOCK interchangeable needles.
These are an answer to many prayers! I travel a lot. I also go into the wilderness and hide in a cabin with knitting books and design. This means I bring a lot more "knitting" gear than camping gear.
With the new Sock Set, I can par down on the amount of things I pack.

Both the cords and needle tips have sizes or lengths etched in them.

Included in the Sock Set is a Sock Adapter so that you can use pieces from other sets.

The Cases have gone through several updates since they were first introduced. There is an interior flap to cover needle tips, adding another level of security so they do not escape.
Also the closures have gone from ties (below) to a frog/knot closure. This is a much quicker way to close the case.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

July Knit-From-Stash 2016 KAL

Helleborus is our July pattern for Knit-From-Stash 2016 
Worked Toe-Up, the sock has a lovely lace floral motif. The knitting pattern is both written and charted. The sock is available in 4 sizes.

 There are about 15 species of hellebores, the most common being the Lenten Rose. It was once used to “purge the veins of melancholy, and cheer the heart”. If you look it up in the meaning of Flowers, HELLEBORUS stands for ‘Relieve My Anxiety’.

Friday, July 01, 2016

DoubleChai Days

Our son Chai is 18!

The cool thing is Chai in Hebrew is Life and is numerically represented by 18.
In tradition of "giving Chai" or giving life, at Birthdays, Bar Mitzvahs, Wedding and other Simchs filled times, monetary gifts in multiples of 18 (or 9) are given. Double Chai or 18 x2 is 36 is a double blessing.

In Honour of Double Chai all patterns in my Ravelry store are 36% off from July 1-5, 2016
with coupon code: DoubleChai

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

June Knit-From-Stash 2016 KAL

Half way through our year long KAL!
This month's sock is a simple knitting pattern, a step up from just ribbing.

Sessile is both Charted and Written, Cuff Down and in 4 sizes. In botany. sessile is defined as "attached by the base, or without any distinct projecting support, as a leaf issuing directly from the stem." Thus Sessile sock has small purl bumps in the ribbing.
These socks are a quick knit that work well with variegated, striped or solid yarns.

Two lengths, both Anklet and Mid Calf, provided.
Written and Charted instructions.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Traveler's Notebooks

I have a slight obsession with leather notebooks. But I wasn't using them because I didn't want to waste the paper in them. I didn't want to write something "unworthy" of the leather. There is something more permanent about the leather compared to a hard paper covered book. 

Midori Traveler's Notebooks caused a sensation and a multitude of spin offs. You could have the feel of leather in your hands and place any book in them. From throw away notebooks to heavy watercolour paper.
They are customizable and changeable. I need a calendar 9 months of the year usually. Undated is bet for me as some months are soo quiet.
Bullet Journals, planners, Bible study notes, book reviews, project ideas, scarapbooky "junk journals....wallets, folders. It is really endless.
In the past I have bought new calenders and planners. Money was spent from Franklin Covey to Target. And I did not use them a whole year. I felt guilty about my failure to track my life on paper.
Traveler's Notebooks work for me. I can slid a calendar in when I need it. I can toss in sketching and drawing notebooks, add a wallet, keep my passport in one. Fill one with the crazy things my kids say, or the things my husband says from one of his pulpits.
I can write down ideas and toss out the bad ones. I can doodle and sketch and brain dump.
What is a Traveler's notebook (TN) you might be wondering. Essentially it is a flap of leather or fabric with some elastic string. I know, it doesn't  sound like much. But there are different types, different sizes, different leathers and colours...
...and an addiction is born.

I have been lucky in most of mine have been from clearance sales or I found them 2nd hand and never been used.
I own mostly TNS from FoxyFix, 1 (red) from Onica Hanby, and 2 from China via ebay. I still feel a bit guilty about the ones from China. What toxins might be in the leather? Were they made by slaves?

4 of my kids have a TN. (Amazon sets for $29.95) Talia sketches during shul in hers or writes song lyrics. Chaī sketches landscapes, writes music or writes out his dash for the Torah parsha in his. Kezzie draws. Zem writes stories and draws and keeps notes. Jaden doesnt think he would actually use one and I am not sure if Tirzah actually uses hers or if it stares at her from her desk at college. They have figured out out to make their own inserts, utilizing long reach staplers and paper trimmers.

Here are some examples of the sizes:
The small ones: No.s 1-5 (or passport, pocket, le petite,  A6 perfect bound, and 5x7)

The larger ones are No.s 6, 6.5, and 7. (or Regular, Reg Extra Room, and Wide

The Onica Hanby REX is slightly wider than the other REXs. It is going to keep notes and stories rom A Tour of Roses teams.
It holds  standard midori insert and 1-2 caheir or picadilly notebook.

The wide has a larger variety of sizes I can throw in it. 7 or 8 standard midori inserts or 4 picadilly inserts. This is my general note taking book for classes.

The wanderlust butterscotch passport accompanied me across Israel, held my passpoet, kept track of the itinerary and receipts. Fits in my purse.
I think I would have liked the pocket over the passport. It is slightly taller. Plus now there are pockets and pen loops now.

I am not crazy about the bay leather. The 5x7 got marked up by something oily via a kid. The smaller was a clearance item so the leather is not typical of the smooth semi gloss bay leathers...coarse and bumpy.
I love the yellow for happy thoughts. It is fun and carefree.

The Le Voyager Abyss is thick, pliable and a tad heavier. It is made from buffalo leather. These two are decadent. I feel more serious writing in it. It has work projects and career stuffs.

Yellow REX or No. 6.5 vs Wide or No. 7

Friday, April 29, 2016

March, April and May Knit-From-Stash socks

I was soo busy last month, I don't think I posted an update for the Knit-From-Stash 2016 Botanic Socks collection.

MARCH  April was Calathea Socks.

Shown in Phydeaucx Designs "spiced peaches" colourway. Photo from Winter TNNA San Diego.
Calathea Individual Pattern:  

Calathea is a plant with striped foliage. It is called Peacock plant, Zebra plant, Snake plant or even Prayer plant depending on who is writing up the labels. It likes humid climates and no direct sunlight. You can not neglect this plant, which is why I don't grow them!

Our Calathea socks have twisty stripey leaves. You will want to block these out when you are done, as the fabric bias wants to spiral.

APRIL was actually Laurier socks! Some how I missed posting March and Calathea!

Laurier or Laurel leaves cover the leg of this sock. The pattern has both Charted and Written instructions. Cuff down, and also available in 4 sizes S- 6”, M-7.5”, L-9”, XL-10” (foot circumference).

April's leaves brings May's....Bark layer?
Rhytidome is the external later that we consider "bark" to be.

Rhytidome socks have texture, knots in the  "wood" and are both a Cuff Down and a Toe Up sock.
These socks have twisted stitches and are on a purl background. "Someone" Is testing them on a knit background....we shall see how that goes. :)

Rhytidome Individual Pattern:

2016 Books update

Early 2016 list:
Natural History of Dinosaurs by Marie Brennan
Tea with Jane Austen by Kim Wilson
A Year with No Sugar by Eve Schaub
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Malice: The Faithful and the Fallen by John Gwynne
The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan
Beauty by Robyn McKinley
The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings ( Tolkien,  Lewis, Barfield, Williams) by Philip and Carol Zaleski

Pride and Prejudice read by Rosamund Pike
A Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller

To this list can now be added (knitting books not included):
The sound of a wild snail eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Originals by Adam Grant
A perfect red by Amy Butler Greenfield 
Snow by Tracy Lynn
Drunken botanist by Amy Stewart 
Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley 
Perfect ruin by  Lauren DeStefano 

Dawn of Wonder by Jonathan Renshaw 
Dragonvein by Brian Anderson 
On our own in Jerusalem's old city by Vicki Andree 
David Copperfield by Dickens, narrated by Richard Armitage 
Rewinder by Brett Battles

Sunday, April 24, 2016

3 skeins or less: Modern Baby Knits

Another wonderful book by the talented Tanis Gray. This book mixes the comfortable baby friendly garments with wonderful color choices making it a must have for microfashion knitting.
I want this bunny!!!!

This Polka Dot sweater reminds me of honeycomb and bees. What makes it a sweater I will actually knit is that it is straight forward, fun so it will keep my attention but not overly fussy so that it would become just another unfinished project.  This is what makes this book a must have for knitting mothers with little ones, adorable knits that are completable.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Highlander Knits

F&W / Interweave have released a new collection of wooly, Scottish knits inspired by the Outlander series.
There are a variety of patterns enclosed from quick knits (perfect for knitting while watching tv), to Cables and lace. "Rustic yet undeniably feminine beauty" of chunky, tweedy knits make this a book you will want to pick up.
I am especially fond of the warm, knee high socks, Standing Stone Stockings.

Highland Knits pattern collection by the Interweave Editors –also has a freemium from Highland Knits on amazon. Get the free pattern at this link:
There is another special on in the interweave store for 20% off withcoupon code  OUTLANDER20

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bleeping Sock Games 2016

The 7th year of Bleeping Socks has begun!
All of the socks are based off of video, arcade or computer and gaming system games. Every 10 days a new sock pattern will be released.

Group info:

The 2nd sock is from Janine Le Cras aka Guernseygal.

Inspired by assassin's creed, the Assassin 's Creed Syndicate socks are beautifully decorated with a button cuff and leg.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Refined Knits

When I received Jennifer Woodhouse's new book, Refined Knits, in the mail before I could even thumb through it my 13 yr old daughter was already stash diving (in my stash, of course). Zemy immediately cast on the Camellia sweater.

It is a bit of a challenge for a 13 yr old. We made 2 modifications. One was the 11 row chart for the button band. A 12th row was added ( knit the knits, purl the purls) so that she didn't have to work the more complicated sts from the wrong side. The second was to adjust length for her height.

Note: errata for casting on Camelia's sleeve sts- the 2nd sleeve numbers for all of the sizes were not transposed, use the numbers for the first sleeve.

My neighbor who is going through breast cancer treatment is also a knitter.
She was looking for a new project to keep her mind calm. After looking at my copy of Refined Knits she bought a copy....and so did each of the members of her knitting group. They cast on and are knitting together the Victoria sweater.

This is a beautiful book filled with many sweaters that we are looking forward to making. I highly recommend this book.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Crafter's Market 2016

Crafter's Market 2016: How to Sell Your Crafts and Make a Living by Kerry Bogert is an excellent resource for anyone in the crafting industry. 
The book covers everything from copyright information, connecting with buyers, email marketing, craft events, venues, publishers, communities......and so much more.
Besides just an information guide, there are wonderful articles on business and how to streamline and eliminate distractions, from the A to Z of who's who of crafters- Abby Glassenberg to Heather Zopetti.
Whether your freelance, design or make a sellable product, this is a must have resource for beginners and well seasoned crafters.

ISBN 13: 9781440244841

From the publisher:
Crafter's Market 2016 is the perfect start to your crafting career. This comprehensive guide will introduce you to a whole new world of possibilities for marketing your craft. Editor Kerry Bogert, author of Totally Twisted and Rustic Wrappings and knitting, crochet and jewelry acquisitions editor for Interweave, will help you start or expand your business with completely updated resources, such as:
  • More than 400 new listings for complete, up-to-date contacts and guidelines for submissions for a total of more than 1,400 craft market resources, including craft shows, magazines, book publishers, online marketplaces and more!
  • Markets for a variety of crafts, including quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet, papercraft and jewelry making.
  • Informative, inspirational articles on hosting creative retreats, managing your time on the internet, growing your business through Pinterest, how to handle custom orders and setting up and utilizing e-Newsletters.
Interview with successful craft professional Carter Seibels Singh on establishing her successful small business, Woman Shops World, on Etsy.Whether you're looking to expand your online presence or you're just beginning to think about how to turn your weekend hobby into a side business, Crafter's Market 2016 is the complete resource for crafting professionals.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

2016 books

Last year I started up reading again, but since moving to town 5 yrs ago, my reading momentum slowed significantly.  I am hoping to be a better reader this year.

Natural History of Dinosaurs by Marie Brennan
Tea with Jane Austen by Kim Wilson
A Year with No Sugar by Eve Schaub
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Malice: The Faithful and the Fallen by John Gwynne
The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan
Beauty by Robyn McKinley
The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings ( Tolkien,  Lewis, Barfield, Williams) by Philip and Carol Zaleski

Pride and Prejudice read by Rosamund Pike
A Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller

Monday, February 01, 2016

February- 2 hearts, 2 feet

For our February Knit-From-Stash 2016 KAL of Botanic themed Knit Socks, in keeping with tradition- we have 2 patterns!

Pineaux the easier of the two patterns for February. Also it is less frilly and suitable for gifting to your guy for Valentines day.

In brown it looks like a pine cone’s scales and in green like dragon scales. Séverine Pineaux is an amazing French fantasy illustrator. Her overlapping leaves create fairy ballgowns and horses.

The pattern works well with stripes, variegated, and tonal yarns. Every other round is a plain knit round which helps the sock progress quickly. Knit up in green and it makes some amazing dragon socks.

Curly Willow

I used to love the heart shaped wreaths of Curly Willow that decorated door for Valentines Day. My friend Melissa makes beautiful curly willow wreaths for those in Maryland. (on left in photos)

The cables on this makes a sort of heart shape and adds lacey elements.

Pattern has charted and written instructions. “Cable suckage” pulls the fabric in thus using a needle a size up from usual. Pattern is available in 3 sizes.

Errata: Chart should be worked 2, 2, 3 times on leg. not 6. As I made the 10 row repeat double on the chart. oops!

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