Archive for the ‘News’

Creative Bug: Online Knitting School?

May 07

CreativeBug

I just discovered CreativeBug.com. It’s basically a website dedicated to online videos for Knitting, Crochet, Sewing, and other crafts. From short how-to videos and projects to full craft classes and workshops. But it’s also kind of an online school for knitting and crochet. I love the idea!

What makes Creative Bug unique is that a project is taught entirely through video. Also, you will recognize many famous knitters and crocheters in these videos. Many of whom you may be a fan of already ! They are taught by expert instructors many of whom are well-known designers and crafters with decades of experience. And all in a very easy to follow and enjoyable way.

Each class, workshop, or project features a series of step-by-step videos. The first one I checked out was Norah Gaughan’s Knit Cabled Hat. Loved the way the project was broken up into different smaller videos for each step. The videos looked wonderful and I really enjoyed hearing about Norah’s love of cables too.

It sure beats you-tubing for random how-to videos!

How It Works
CreativeBug.com is not free. However, the monthly subscription is $4.95 and can be cancelled at any time. This subscription gives you unlimited access to videos each month. That’s not bad! Even if I signed up for a month just to take one class, it is well worth it! Also, a very affordable way to take classes for people who’d like to try out Knitting for the first time or people on a budget! There is a free section too that includes classes like How To Thread A Serger and other basic fun stuff.

Check it out! There is a 2-week trial available for new members too.

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Where To Buy: All Your Crafting Needs – Amazon!

May 04

Hunting down just the right fabric, sewing machine, knitting needle, and even yarn is part of our wonderful hobby! There are so many places to search for these things from your local yarn shop, nation-wide craft stores, to online shops and websites. One unlikely place hobbyists may not think to look in is AMAZON.COM!

I have purchased many hard to find items that I was surprised Amazon carried, like this Pendant Yarn Cutter by Clover. They happen to carry many Clover items (heart them for sewing and knitting/crochet tools)! Along with OLFA rotary cutters, Gingher fabric sheers and much more! And for decent prices too.

They have an Arts, Crafts, and Sewing section! I especially like to find sewing supplies on here because they tend to have a large selection and for decent prices! But they carry anything from markers, colored pencils, drawing desks, and drawing pads to fabric markers, rotary cutters, and cutting mats! Stitch markers, crochet hooks, and even yarn and fabric. Ott-Lite crafting lamps, Dress Forms… And everything for your home crafting studio! Including Sewing Machines and Sergers!

Doing Your Shopping Online
I’m a big online shopper/browser for my fiber crafting needs. While looking for things like fabric and yarn are best done in person, shopping for machines, tools, notions, etc online can be a very efficient way of finding the perfect tool and for the best price. While there are so many wonderful sites out there, here are a few places to start:

Larger Knitting and Quilting Specialty Stores online like Fabric.com and Yarn.com.
Small Indie Yarn Shops Online like found on Etsy
Nation-Wide Craft Stores like Joann, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby
Big Box Stores like Target, Walmart, and Costco.

Are you a New Yorker? For more on where to buy Sewing, Knitting, or Crochet items in NYC, please check out my posts here in the Where To Buy section.

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FOTD: Dog Fabrics

Apr 30

FABRIC OF THE DAY: Dog Fabrics! Dog-themed fabrics for the dog lover in all of us.

Timeless Treasures Dog Portraits Black by Timeless Treasures $9.48 per yard
Timeless Treasures Dog Portraits Black
by Timeless Treasures $9.48 per yard

Sweetie Pie Snowmen Scottie Dog Toss Blue by Wilmington Prints, Stella Jean $9.48 per yard
Sweetie Pie Snowmen Scottie Dog Toss Blue
by Wilmington Prints, Stella Jean $9.48 per yard

Dog Silhouettes Hunter Green by Elizabeth's Studio $9.48 per yard
Dog Silhouettes Hunter Green
by Elizabeth’s Studio $9.48 per yard

Pugs Day Off by Michael Miller $9.48 per yard
Pugs Day Off Multi
by Michael Miller $9.48 per yard

Wild Wings Best in Breed by Springs Creative Products, Persis Clayton Weirs $7.98 per yard
Wild Wings Best in Breed Scenic Brown
by Springs Creative Products $7.98 per yard

Time with Friends Dogs & Cats Blue by RJR Fashion Fabrics $9.48 per yard
Time with Friends Dogs & Cats Blue
by RJR Fashion Fabrics $9.48 per yard

(more…)

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Adventures in Nerd Knitting

Apr 28

SSSSSS
Stuffed Totoro by Lucy Ravenscar

Check out these awesome knits (and crochet) I found while trolling the interwebs for stuff! If you’re a Harry Potter, Dr. Who, Super Mario, or Lord of the Rings fan type of knitter, then here’s some great ideas for your next project. Many include full patterns and for free! Browse and Enjoy!

Golden Snitch
Golden Snitch
by Just Crafty Enough

Space Invader Socks
Space Invader Socks
by Aija Goto

Knit Bow Tie
Bow Tie
by Man With A Jaw Harp

(more…)

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Free Patterns: By Blue Sky Alpacas

Aug 13

Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern Blue Sky Alpaca Pattern

Finally Blue Sky Alpacas released some free patterns. And look how lovely! Most look like Intermediate Level. All patterns in this post by Blue Sky Alpaca Yarns. And are free!

Aunt Aggie’s Trivet, Suri Hat, Java Cloche
Hot Water Bottle Cozy, Savannah Bow, Sporty Mittens
ZigZag Mittens and Hat. Shadow Capelet, Icehouse Hat

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Fiber Futures: Qiviut Yarn

Aug 01

QiviutQiviut Yarn. Photo by Emily Benson

What is Qiviut Yarn?
It is a yarn made from rare Qiviut fibers. Supposedly the softest fibers in the world, Qiviut is a special wool that comes from musk oxen. It can be used to make yarns which happen to be softer and warmer than Cashmere and light as a feather.

What Makes Qiviut So Special?
It’s stronger than wool yet softer than Cashmere and eight times warmer. And… it doesn’t shrink in the wash, no matter what temperature! It’s also special because the fibers are rare. Qiviut wool comes from animals known as Musk Ox which are only found in so many regions in the world.

Qiviut

Where Does Qiviut Come From?
The Arctic! Qiviut, pronounced “kiv-ee-ute”, is the word for Musk Oxen Down in the “Eskimo” language and comes from the Arctic Musk Ox.

It is actually the “down coat” from the musk ox which is the second, finer layer of fur underneath its outer coat known as its undercoat.

Each spring the musk ox will shed its coat and the Qiviut can be gathered. It is estimated there are only about 125,000 Musk Ox left in the world. From Siberia to Greenland with more than half of the world’s population residing in Canada. Very similar to Cashmere except Cashmere comes from a goat’s down coat!

QiviutQiviut Qiviut Qiviut

Fun Facts About Qiviut Yarn
Usually sold in Laceweight, Fingering or DK Weight yarn weights (think sock knitting yarn for needles like US Size #1-3) Approx. 400 yards per 50g ball. Hanks can range from $77-$185… PER HANK! Qiviut Cloud (or roving) ranges from $32 – $50 per 2oz. cloud for those who’d like to spin their own Qiviut yarn.

Customarily mixed with more “common” fibers like Merino Wool, Cashmere, Silk, Angora, it also comes in 100% Qiviut. Qiviut yarn is usually made by artisan or old world yarneries and sometimes must be made-to-order.

I got a chance to see (and feel) these yarns in person at the Arctic Qiviut booth when I went to the Sheep & Wool Festival up in Rhinebeck several years ago. They were also knitted up in various samples too to display texture and drape etc. They are really nice and light and come in many sophisticated colors and styles.

Were they $90 per hank nice? I dunno. Do we really need to take these poor musk oxen’s down given no one really lives in Arctic conditions and this is 2014? It’s probably best to save these resources to native Innuit or nomadic tribes in Outer Mongolia who rely on these animal resources as a way of life. However, it’s a cool concept and I like the idea of obscure fibers from far off lands.

Want to know more about working with Qiviut? Caryll Designs has a wonderful info page on Qiviut Yarn.

QiviutOomingmak Qiviut Shop, Alaska

Oomingmak is an Alaskan co-operative that has brought exquisite Qiviut items to you as a unique northern gift since 1969. It is owned by approximately 250 Native Alaskan women from remote coastal villages of Alaska who knit each item by hand. Each village has a signature pattern derived from traditional aspects of village life and the Eskimo culture; they may come from an ancient artifact or a beadwork design.” –Qiviut.com

Qiviut Yarns by Manufacturer
Bijou Basin Ranch Yarn http://www.bijoubasinranch.com/
Wind Valley Yarns http://windyvalleymuskox.net/qiviut.html
Arctic Qiviut Yarns http://www.arcticqiviut.com/
MOCO Natural Qiviut Yarn http://www.carylldesigns.com/MOCO_qiviut.htm
Cottage Craft Yarns, Canada http://cottagecraftangora.com/
Robert G. Petite Large Animal Research Station Yarn http://lars.uaf.edu/shopqiviut
Qiviuk http://qiviuk.myshopify.com/

Qiviut Yarn Retailers
Bijou Basin Ranch http://www.bijoubasinranch.com/
Northern Threads http://www.northernthreads.net/
Changing Threads http://www.changingthreads.com/
Rushin Tailor http://www.rushintailor.com/

Qiviut
Musk Ox, Norway. Photo by Per Johan Naesje

Photos in this Post
Musk Oxen by Wind Valley
Baby Musk Ox by FerreBeekeeper
Arctic Treasure Pink Yarn by Bisou Bison Ranch
Natural Yarn by MOCO Natural

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Free Pattern: Heirloom Baby Patterns

Jul 17

Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs

Are these patterns gorgeous or what?! I was looking for scarf patterns and got sidetracked. These were too cute to pass up. Love DROPS Design. They’re Scandinavian so the patterns are sometimes hard (for me) to decipher. But if you’re confident in your Knit or Crochet skills and/or are Intermediate to Advanced it should be fine! DROPS Yarn is also hard to find in the U.S. but NordicMart.com carries them online! Read on for more adorable patterns. Patterns are free and some are for Knit and some are for Crochet.

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Free Pattern: 11 Baby Blankets

Jul 11

Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs

Are these blankie patterns especially gorgeous or what?! Some are classic modern, some nostalgic, some fancy. All lovely designs whatever your preference. Love DROPS. All are free and in either Knit or Crochet depending on the pattern. All patterns in this post by DROPS Design. Read on for more lovely patterns.

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Free Pattern: 9 Heirloom Baby Toys

Jul 02

Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs Drops Designs

Love, Love, LOVE all these patterns by Garn Studio AS! . They are my favorite Knit or Crochet designers around hands down. Free or paid! Sometimes the patterns are a bit hard to follow (Scandinavian) and their yarns aren’t carried anywhere in the U.S. … However, if you’re an Intermediate/Advanced Knitter or Crocheter you’ll be able to make sense of these patterns. You can also find their yarns online through NordicMart.com. There are no brick and mortar stores in the U.S. that carry Drops (except for one in California!). Read on for more patterns.

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Free Patterns: Summertime Knits

Jun 17

Debbie Bliss Pattern LOOK at this Awesome Knit Tie !!!! ======>

This tie can take your guy (or smartly dressed gal) from Summer right into Fall!

The Lace Collar is gorg and the little Reversible Bag looks perfect for slipping your Mac Air and some files and folders in before tucking into your actual bag. The cable pattern on the White Scarf or Snood is gorg too. And White Top, oo lala.

Today’s Summertime Knits are from Debbie Bliss Yarns. They gave their website a facelift, look niiice. I raided their free patterns for some inspiration. There weren’t many, and not all are for Summer, but they are great small, summer projects.

Debbie Bliss Pattern Debbie Bliss Pattern Debbie Bliss Pattern Debbie Bliss Pattern Debbie Bliss Pattern Debbie Bliss Pattern

Patterns on This Page:
Moss Stitch Tie by Debbie Bliss
Egg Cozy by Debbie Bliss
Reversible Bag by Debbie Bliss
Lace Collar by Debbie Bliss
Hat by Debbie Bliss
White Scarf by Debbie Bliss
Cutaway Top by Debbie Bliss

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