Thursday, December 31, 2015

FO: Sweet November Shawl

I'm excited to announce that I completed a decently large object before the new year rings in. 

Project: Sweet November Shawl by Caryl Pierre (inspired by the shawl in the movie Sweet November)
Needles: Size US 10.5
Mods: Since this yarn is bulky, and to not fret about not having enough fringe yarn, I stopped the increases when I reached 157 sts. 
Pattern Review: It is a very nice, very simple lace pattern for beginners to advanced knitters. I highly recommend this fast knit.

My 5-year old son was the photographer of all of these portrait type photos, except for me in the mirror. He's got quite an eye. He told me to make sure that I hold my wings out strong, like a bird! lol!
 It's a very trendy shawl (or scarf).
On my KUAS facebook group page, I had some requests to show action photos of me blocking this shawl out with my new blocking wires from Knitpicks.

Basically, I stuck the wire evenly throughout the cast-off edge and selvage edge (I needed to use more than one wire per side) and then stretched it out as much as I could and pinned it down similar to how you would without the wires. The blocking wires makes your edge much straighter and less wave-like, so I do recommend trying them out. It was a little bit of a pain trying to stick a thick, blunt wire through wet, bulky yarn though.

What's started on the needles for the New Year?
A chunky Seed Stitch hat using Lopi wool in a steel type of color.
Have a wonderful New Year's Eve and day! 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

2-at-a-time fair isle gift hats

Pattern: my own 
The pattern needs to be tweaked. It was supposed to be lightly slouchy, but this fabric didn't behave the way I anticipated. I need to alter the type of decreases and add a few extra stitches for the body.
Needles: size US 7
Yarn: 1/2 skein each of Yarn Bee's Fair Isle Yarn, worsted weight
Method: 2-at-a-time, magic loop 

It took my a couple of weeks, knitting this on the road, knitting this a little to TV and also bringing this to my kids karate class twice every session...but they are finally done! Two gift presents to my friends, done!
This one's for my artist friend, Gina Lee Kim. Her son and my kids used to go to preschool together last year. She is consistently featured in the Cloth, Paper and scissor magazine.
This one is for my neighbor, Kerry. Her boy twins are 8 months older than my twins and they are best buds.
I haven't weighed the yarn yet, but it looks like i have enough for one more pair of hats or mittens if I use both of these skeins. They both have blue and grey in it, so it would work well.

You have to love self-Fair-Isle-ing yarn. Fun stuff. 

On to more gift knitting! What are you up to?

Friday, December 04, 2015

5 Minute Dollar Store Advent Wreath

Here's a quick and easy project! Dollar Tree wreath for 9 bucks! You can use leftover materials from previous years, or find materials from a local craft store too... I just happened to be at the local Dollar Tree and was determined to make one inexpensively!


1. One Garland (or better yet--if you have leftover garland at the house, use that! Form a couple layers of a circular shape large enough to fit 4 glass candle-holders in the center)

2. (Two sets of) Holly and Pine Cone Bouquet ornamentation: cut off the bouquet pieces, leaving a long stem for weaving into the garland. You can hot-glue down, but I just shoved it in the garland without further securing it.

3. 4 Taper Candles (traditionally seen in 3 purple candles, and 1 pink). I even bought 4 LED taper candles because I have two little ones around the house.

4. 4 Glass Taper Candle-holders. I like the ones at Dollar Tree, because they are tall and actually very nice for a buck.

Stick the cut holly and pine ornamentation pieces into the garland evenly in a holly-pine cone-holly-pine cone fashion. Place the glass candle-holders in the center of the garland and firmly stick the taper candles into the holders, making sure it fits very snuggly so it doesn't risk tipping over later on. No one wants a house fire. (Another reason I bought the LED ones as well.)

Light a new candle each sunday, as the candles represent each week of advent. They are usually seen in purple, with the single pink one being the last Sunday in Advent. Mine is in red, because it matches...although while researching about the Advent wreath, it is traditionally in red. Our wreath is a table wreath, and does not have the white candle in the center.

About the Advent Wreath:
SHAPE: The circular shape of the wreath, without beginning or end, symbolizes God’s complete and unending love for us—a love that sent his Son into the world to redeem us from the curse of sin.  It also represents eternal life which becomes ours through faith in Jesus Christ.

NUMBER: The Advent Wreath traditionally holds four candles which are lit, one at a time, on each of the four Sundays of the Advent season.  Each candle represents 1,000 years.  Added together, the four candles symbolize the 4,000 years that humanity waited for the world’s Savior—from Adam and Eve to Jesus, whose birth was foretold in the Old Testament. Some Advent wreath traditions also include a fifth white “Christ” candle, symbolizing purity, that is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas day.  Many circular wreaths can incorporate a white candle by adding a pillar candle to the wreath center.

COLOR: Violet is a liturgical color that is used to signify a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice.  Advent, also called “little Lent,” is the season where we spiritually wait in our “darkness” with hopeful expectation for our promised redemption, just as the whole world did before Christ’s birth, and just as the whole world does now as we eagerly await his promised return.

Happy Advent, folks! To those who do not share the same faith, hopefully it's still inspiration on what you can do with dollar store goods.

Prism Cowl and eye-candy

Happy Friday, Everyone!
Here's another WIP that's been on the back-burner until I finish a couple of holiday gifts:
It's a simple cowl that is larger on the base and will decrease a little as it's knit. I was doing garter strips that got taller as it is knit up.

I've been saving this skein for years that was gifted to me from a relative who works at a yarn shop in the Seattle area. It's very expensive yarn, and I was contemplating what I could knit that would do it (and the price) justice. Eventually, I just figured that a soft cowl would have to be good enough and to stop saving the yarn for some "worthier project."

What makes this yarn so pricey? Well, they tie several different novelty yarns, along with natural fibers together. There's even mohair in there. Word of warning will see all those tied joins and it will have to be part of your knit look.

The yarn can be a little hard to work with at times, but it's a very soft knit.

It's a very large skein of yarn, so when I wound it up, I had to make two cakes.

It makes gorgeous photos though...

Monday, November 30, 2015

Belated fancy shmancy NYC trip post

Here's the first of a few belated posts. You know how things get...I'll catch you up eventually.

My husband and a few other members of his work team won an innovation award for a new medical device (sorry, can't really legally say until it's actually released) at his company in October, and so we were flown out and completely spoiled--a two night stay at the Carlton-Ritz (at Central Park), a mystery dinner party the first night and also the fancy award dinner the last night.

It was a short, but amazing trip, and we tried to squeeze in as much as possible. I actually visited two famous knitting shops! Needless to say, there was a lot of subway and walking trips that weekend. Lots and lots of walking.
 As we are from the Chicagoland area, we could not help but joke around about screaming "KEVIN!!" from this room. Hint: Home Alone 2 (they were from Chicago, Kevin flew by himself to NYC by accident and stayed at the ritz around Christmas time).
 Our first lunch there was from this cafe called WichCraft. I got a goat cheese and beet sandwich on an artisan bread. It was ok, but there was nowhere to really sit down and eat.
 I made sure that I visited Knitty City the first day. Just in case things got too busy. I did A LOT of damage there. My husband was really supportive though, and barely blinked when he saw how many skeins I grabbed. Yeah, I'm pretty much broke still after this...but it was really my ONLY purchases during the trip.
Knitty City Stash enhancements:  
Two Madelinetosh DK Dachshund (purple, browns, grey)
1 worsted Madelinetosh Vintage Kilim (pinks and purples)
 1 worsted Madelinetosh Vintage Assorted (gold)
 Joseph Galler Prime Alpaca fingering weight yarn (1665 yds) in Heather Prime Alpaca 209 (a pinkish rusty orange)
 2 worsted Malabrigo Rios in 866 Arco Iris (pinks, orange, blues, greens)
 1 Malabrigo sock yarn in 416 Indiecita (blues, greens, yellow)
 and 1 SweetGeorgia Sock yarn (blues, purple, peach)

 We took the free ferry to see the Statue of Liberty from a far.
 We walked to Chelsea Market. What a neat place. Definitely eat lunch there. It was all decked out for Halloween when we went.
 After already walking countless blocks, we walked through Grenwich Village and all the way to Soho (mind you, about 16 blocks after already walking a lot) to make it to Purl Soho. I was determined.
 My body was a little jello-y after all the walking, but I enjoyed walking around, nonetheless.

Stash enhancements at Purl Soho:
2 Loft yarns in Foothills
2 Shelter yarns in Foothills
3 Loft yarns in Blanket Fort
1 Turbo Addis (40-something inches) in US 1.
 This was in our hotel room after getting back the first night. Everything was edible!! (well, not the plate.)
 We saw many things. These graves were so interesting, so old! They were almost paper-thin.
 9/11 memorial pools. We learned that there are going to be 7 world-trade centers, two of which are memorials and one yet to be built.

 Walking on the way to Grenwich. I think this Italian restaurant was mentioned on Foodnetwork on The Next Food Nework Star from New York.

We had such a great time. I really didn't think we would be able to go to NYC for many years. So glad he's such a hard worker and is changing lives for the better. *Proud Wife*

Friday, November 27, 2015

AMAZING Black Friday Weekend pattern sale!

Hey everyone,
I've haven't been around lately, but I have TONS to share. I'll get back to you soon to share all of my knitting and crafting one by one, but for know, let me share with you this super pattern sale! 75% off all KUAS patterns at my Ravelry Pattern Shop this weekend only! Dudes, that's like a dollar or less on patterns!

Use the coupon code: kuasblackfriday2015 to snatch up this amazing deal and stock up on some patterns. Thanks for supporting my work.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Pattern Give-Away: Coiled Cables & Ribs

UPDATE: Julie S. Congrats on winning! Thanks to all those who participated in this give-away!

Happy Friday, Everyone!
In the spirit of fall, and holiday happiness...I am running a give-away contest this weekend.
The contest is open Friday October 23rd-Sunday, October 25th at 9pm (central US time).
One winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, October 25th between 9-10pm (CT). The winner will be announced on my Facebook Group Page first, and later on my blog if I don't receive a reply.

TO ENTER: Answer on THIS blog post in the comment page: 1.) What is your favorite fall knit type (shawl, hat, gloves, etc.) OR  2. what is your fall tradition (besides Halloween & Thanksgiving) that you must do every year.

IF YOU WIN: Please privately contact me with your Ravelry ID or email address (if you don't have a Ravelry Account). You can message me on Facebook or email me at knittingupastormATgmailDOTcom.