Thursday, December 18, 2014

This Winter will be Different

So. I have long underwear on, and mixed feelings. I love my long underwear, they're comfy and warm... but wearing them means that Winter Is Coming (or here), which is a little scary.




7 years in southern California made me realize I am not a Winter Person. I just don't like it in long stretches. A week or two? Awesome! Snow is fun! Warm clothes are nice! Four months? Kill me now!

And last winter was BRUTAL. If you live in a place with actual seasons, you know what I'm talking about. It was my first winter back in the midwest, and nearly made me turn right back around again. As a born Wisconsinite, I am ashamed to admit that, but there you go.




But. THIS WINTER IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT! It will, because I am going to make it way better. Seasonal Affective Disorder, bite me. Maybe you'll join me in some of these fall/winter activities to make the cold months more enjoyable!


1. Exercise
Warming up from the inside! So far I've instituted a "One Solo Dance Party Per Day" policy, which has been fun. Even when I don't make it to the gym, once a day, I drop what I'm doing and boogie by myself.



2. Weather-Appropriate Crafting
You know what's fun? Making something warm and then wearing it to be warm! Very satisfying.




3. Seeing Family and Friends
We're all in this together! Sharing the time with people you love is key to surviving the long cold dark months.



 4. Tea
Lots of hot drinks. Stay hydrated and happy.



5. Travel
Let's face it, sometimes you just have to get away for a hot minute. I'm planning my February escape to California as we speak.



Do you like the wintertime? How do you handle the cold months? Leave a comment and let me know your tricks!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Styling Cape Vertigo

Have you been tempted by all the amazing cape styles out there this season? I know I have. Capes are a warm, stylish, practical way to stay warm when dressing up or down. They are very versatile and it can be a little intimidating to know how to wear them. 

In honor of the Holla Knits Selfish Knitting pattern sale, let's take a look at three different ways of wearing my Cape Vertigo pattern, shall we?

The first thing you should know is that Boots are a Cape's best friend. Got some boots? You're more than halfway there to creating an awesome #capelyfe look.
   
Look 1 - Like a Boss: Cape + Jeans, Jacket, Boots

Can't touch this.
  
Wear your bad-assest boots, leather jacket and snug jeans. Wrap the cape loosely around your neck starting with one end and fling the other end over your shoulder.


...Or center the cape on your neck, gathering the length into some cozy ripples. Let it hang.



Look 2 - Sweet n Cozy: Cape + Dress or Skirt, Boots, Legwarmers or Tights



Wear a sweet skirt or dress, legwarmers or tights, and your favorite boots. Wrap the cape flat and tight around your neck, keeping the rolled collar exposed, for a smooth shoulder warmer.

  


Look 3 - 70s Office Glam (just go with me here): Cape + Dress Pants, Blouse, Gold Belt, Gold Bracelet, Gold hoop earrings, Attitude





Just drape it on top, casual-like. Yeeaaah girl. Now swagger.

Let's continue to pretend I've photoshopped the remote shutter out of my hand.


Look 4 - On Your Lap: Cape + Sitting Down

The coziest lap blanket of all time.

Get in there.


Cape Vertigo is on sale for $4 this week! Head over to the Holla Knits site to get the pattern at a discount this week only.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hat patterns on sale!

Hey fiber friends, don't miss my 30% off pattern sale on all the hats in my Ravelry shop!

Use coupon code HATSHATSHATS at checkout to apply the discount, or click here to start shopping.

Get your holiday gifts done with these sweet, quick hat and headband patterns. Pictured L to R, top to bottom: Stegosaurus Cap (baby version), Melt Slouch, Gitana, Quick Fancy Headbands, Urchin Shell, and Pincushion.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Finishing up the KAL




My Knit Along with Ewe Ewe (and you?) is wrapping up! Today is the final official day of the Double Deco KAL and I posted about it over here.

I am in love with my new Double Deco wrap!




I knit really loose and it is HUGE.







It's officially cold in Chicago, so I have been using it constantly. Stay warm, fiber friends!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Testing pom pom techniques - Holla Knits Blog Tour

It's that time again... new pattern time! Meet Pom-A-Rama, the slippers with pom-tastic toes. I loved making these babies, and they inspired me to learn some new techniques to make these joyful embellishments.



For this stop on the Holla Knits Accessories 2014 Blog Tour, we're talking all things Pom pom.

Essentially, pom poms are tight bunches of yarn tied at the center and trimmed so they have a circular appearance. They can also be snipped into other shapes, such as these amazing fruit poms by mrprintables (there's a tutorial in the link!):

Pom Pom Fruit Tutorial

These pretty much blew my mind, and I've yet to try to make them. If you attempt some fruit pom poms, let me know how it goes!

A cool thing about pom poms is that you can make them all sorts of ways-- with or without a store-bought pom pom maker. I'm going to test out a few ways to make them, after poking around on Pinterest for ideas. In my previous pom-making attempts, I've used both the "cardboard donut" method and the plastic store-bought gizmo method. These are both good ways to do it, and have their little quirks and drawbacks like anything slightly fussy. As with anything yarn-related, yarn choice is very important to the outcome, as is keeping tension consistent when you're wrapping.

Let's try some other pom-making techniques!

1. Tiny Poms with a Fork

Technique here.

Why do I suddenly want noodles?

This was surprisingly simple. It felt easy to wind the yarn around a fork, and the tines provide a nice even place to slip the tying yarn through the middle. I had a little trouble cutting the yarn while it was on the fork, but then I looked at the directions again and she did NOT cut it on the fork... so. There you go.

Wee pom!

The resulting pom was a little oblong and required lots of trimming, but it's cute and worked pretty dang well.


2. Giant Pom with a Whole Ball of Yarn

Technique here.

I should have known this was going to be a disaster. Yarn choice is EVERYTHING when knitting and crocheting... and yet, I picked mohair to make this pom pom. Mohair. 

Let's learn from my mistakes, shall we?

Only halfway there, and that's enough


This technique requires you to sort of finger-comb the yarn out from the center and trim it until you have all the strands roughly even. My Mohair Monstrosity was so sticky and fuzzy that I could barely get my fingers through it. What followed was about 45 minutes of frantic pulling and frustrated laughing while I chopped at the fuzz.

I gave up after it became evident that the most I could hope for was a demented Tribble-esque creature. I got halfway through and decided it needed a face to reflect this hilarious epic fail. You're welcome, world!

I'm as surprised as you are, dude.


It should be said that this pom-tastrophe was 100% my fault, and does not reflect a problem with the technique. I want to try this again with a more appropriate yarn, but don't currently have a ball on hand that is this shape and not already spoken for.

3. Hand-Poms

Technique here.

My first thought was "this seems like a great way to cut off your circulation," but fortunately no fingers were severed in the making of this pom pom.


While at times it felt like I might need another hand to pull this off (PUN INTENDED), the pom came out pretty sweet. Getting the wrapped yarn off my fingers was a little tricky, as was tying the yarn evenly around it, but overall this is a pretty solid in-a-pinch method.

post-haircut -- not too shabby!


That's a wrap, folks. I hope you enjoyed this foray into the fuzzy world of pom pom making!

Pardon me while I go vacuum bits of mohair out of my everything.



--

Check out the Holla Knits Accessories 2014  collection, and the blog tour including some awesome giveaways!

Holla Knits Accessories 2014 Blog Tour Schedule:


Nov 6: Knits in Class - Pattern giveaway
Nov 7: Karen Whooley

Nov 10: WeaverKnits - Interview with Karida Collins of Neighborhood Fiber Company
Nov 11: Under the Red Umbrella - Cedar Glen Mitts kit giveaway
Nov 12: Patty Nance at the HK Blog - SEG: 2 Foliage Cowl WofA Bulky Blackberry Kits
Nov 13: Manos del Uruguay - Giveaway: Embrace Your Inner Pixie Kit
Nov 14: Neighborhood Fiber Company - Interview with Ann Weaver

Nov 17: KnittingKirigami - SEG: Embrace Your Inner Pixie KP Stroll Fingering Kit
Nov 18: Angry Knits - SEG: Wooly Mammoth Knit Picks Kit
Nov 19: Baah Yarn
Nov 20: Willow Yarns at the HK Blog - SEG: 2 Cedar Glen Mitts Daily kits
Nov 21: Lion Brand at the HK Blog - SEG: Foliage Cowl LB Kit

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Double Deco Madness

We're into Week 5 of the Double Deco Knit-Along! So many great projects.


I love seeing what colors people chose. Some bold, some subtle, all awesome. These photos are a little old at this point, but you can see the color choices at least. I'll post another update once I have some more current pictures.

Keep it up, knitters!

Friday, October 17, 2014