Spring Knit Along – We’re finished!

Pet pep Jasmine by garage small Spring Knit Along   Were finished!

Earlier this week, I knit up the little matching bag for my Petunia Peplum Top and I am excited to say that my project is now finished! The cute purse went by quickly, and I was able to take some photos of my daughter showing off her new set.

It was a bit chilly out, but I love how this top looks layered over another shirt. This set is perfect for Easter or any fun, spring day.

 

 

Have you finished your Petunia Peplum Top yet? If you haven’t started yet, you can still pick up a copy of our Spring 2014 Issue and make one for a sweet little girl you know. The Weekend DK yarn by Berroco is a lovely cotton and acrylic blend that will transition into summer nicely.

We’ll announce the start date for our next knit along soon. Our fabulous graphic designer, Danielle, will be making the beautiful Danielle Shawl from our Summer Issue! It was named after her because she loves it so much and it suits her style extraordinarily well. Our Summer Issue issue hits newsstands on April 22nd, but it is now available from our Crochet and Knit Shop. We can’t wait to cast on and knit with you, so grab your Frolicking Feet Transitions yarn by Done Roving and a copy of our Summer 2014 Issue today!

 

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Heads up! – New Mystery Knit Along coming soon

yarn question mark Heads up!   New Mystery Knit Along coming soon

Our last Mystery Knit Along was a big hit, and many of you have been itching to join our next one. You won’t have to wait much longer because our next Mystery Knit Along begins in May!

This mystery project will be knit with a single skein of sparkling lace weight yarn, and it features glittering beads that will truly set off the brilliant design. Both the beads and the yarn will be included in the Mystery Knit Along kit, available soon in our Crochet and Knit Shop.

 

To get the “clues,” be sure you’ve subscribed to our free e-newsletter, and they will be delivered directly to your inbox every other week. You won’t want to miss out on this stunning project, so subscribe today and be the first to hear the announcement when the kits are available. We can’t wait to solve this mystery together!

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Soak – Product spotlight

Since we are focusing on ways to be more environmentally friendly (while having fun and crafting at the same time!), we want to share some great information about a new product in our Crochet and Knit Shop with you.

Soak 164x300 Soak   Product spotlightSoak wash is a gentle, biodegradable cleanser that comes in several yummy scents as well as a scentless formula. Use it to wash your handmade or delicate garments either by hand or in the washing machine. Soak is so gentle that you don’t even have to rinse your clothes after washing with it! This helps to extend the life of your favorite items and leave them smelling divine. The recyclable bottle is made of 100% post-consumer resin, meaning the plastic has already been recycled once through the system.

Soak truly is a product you can feel good about using, and it will leave your handmade items feeling (and smelling) fantastic as well. Try it out, and let us know which scent is your favorite!

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Crochet Along–All done!

I have finished my Raspberry Tart Scarf from Love of Crochet’s Winter issue and I have to say it is quite gorgeous. Well, except for the part where I unintentionally went rogue.

Sigh.

 Crochet Along  All done!I realized as I was reading the directions for row 5 for the second half of the scarf, something wasn’t making sense. I referred back to the stitches I created in row 5 from the first half, and that’s when it hit me—I added some extra stitches. I checked the chart and sure enough, instead of adding just one single crochet in the middle cluster, I added single crochets between the clusters. It definitely took a few minutes to get past my “stunned” stage before I could think about what I should do next. I was only one row away from completing the scarf, so I definitely wasn’t going back. I accepted my defeat of row 5 and moved on.

 Crochet Along  All done!Doing these extra stitches created wavy edges to my scarf instead of a flat, smooth edge. No big deal, but I was really hoping to make it look just like the original in the pattern for my first Crochet Along, but alas, it just wasn’t meant to be for this pattern. Maybe I am meant to free-style for the rest of my crochet life, but I don’t give up that easily. My next Crochet Along is already calling my name, begging me to try again. Look for the project in Love of Crochet’s Summer issue, on sale May 27!

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Getting crafty to go green

yarn earth Getting crafty to go green

 

While we try to be as earth-friendly as possible all year round, it’s nice to take some time to think about new ways we can be good citizens of our world. With Earth Day just around the corner, there is no better time than now! We have a few crafty ideas to help you go green and have fun at the same time.

 

Do you have a stash of flimsy plastic bags hiding somewhere in your kitchen? Cut them into long strips, knot the strips together, and you have thick plastic yarn you can use to knit or crochet a sturdy reusable tote that will last for ages.

If you have some old t-shirts that are too tattered to donate, cut them into strips to make versatile fabric yarn. T-shirt yarn is wonderful for making thick rugs, trendy bags, or even pretty storage containers for your shelves.

Next time you’re near your local thrift store, stop in and see if there are any knit or crocheted items you can unravel for the yarn. You’ll want to be sure the pieces aren’t cut from machine-knit fabric because you want to avoid finding many short, separate strands of yarn in the piece rather than a long, continuous piece. After you ball the yarn, use it to make any type of project you like, and feel good about the fact that you are reusing resources!

Have you ever tried any of these ideas? What are some other crafty ways we can go green? The Summer Issue of Love of Knitting goes on sale on Earth Day, April 22nd, and we have another fabulous idea we can’t wait to share with you. Trust us – you won’t want to miss this one!

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Spring Knit Along – Finishing up our top and moving on to the bag

This past week, I seamed up the sides and straps of my darling Petunia Peplum top from our Spring Issue. To seam the front and back together, I used a crochet hook to work a slip stitch along the edges on the wrong sides of the two pieces. Then, I worked a single crochet edging around the armholes and neck.

Pet pep top done Spring Knit Along   Finishing up our top and moving on to the bag

 

After seaming, I quickly knit up the flowers for my top and bag. I went ahead and sewed them onto the front and back of the top, so the only thing left for me to do is make the matching purse and sew 2 flowers onto it. This cute bag will work up in no time, so my little girl should be able to wear this sweet set for Easter! She may need to layer it over another shirt, depending on whether or not the weather cooperates.

 

 

Have you seamed your top yet? What type of seam did you use? We love hearing how your project is coming along, so leave us a message below or on our Facebook page!

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The scoop on size – Factors that affect your gauge

Do you find that your gauge varies from day to day or pattern to pattern? Have you ever knit a new pair of socks only to have them come out two different sizes, even though you used the same needles? Each crafter’s gauge can depend on a variety of factors, so it’s important to consider a few things to be sure your finished projects work up to the right size.

baby in big hat The scoop on size   Factors that affect your gauge

I think my gauge was a little off…

Your gauge can be affected by the type of hooks or needles you’re using. Many crafters find that their stitches are larger or smaller depending on whether they’re using wood, metal, or plastic tools. When you make your gauge swatch, be sure you’re using the same yarn and tools you’ll use for your actual project to avoid any sizing snafus.

Many times, our gauge is different depending on how familiar we are with a stitch pattern. Some crafters stitch at a tighter gauge when they are working a new pattern because they are unfamiliar with it and have yet to find their groove. This can affect projects with pieces that are supposed to match up in size, such as socks, mitts, or the front and back of a sweater. If you suspect that this could be affecting your gauge, try making a new gauge swatch before you begin your second piece to see if you need to change hooks or needles.

Sometimes, our gauge will be different on a flat project than it is when we work in the round. Many knitters purl at a different gauge than they knit, so it makes sense that stockinette fabric would stitch up to different sizes depending on how it’s worked.

Our moods can also affect our gauge. If you’re stressed or anxious, you might find that your gauge is tighter than usual. Imagine that your feelings are getting worked into every stitch of your pattern. Then, take a deep breath and let your project help you relax. Feel free to take a break from your craft and return to it when you feel more at ease. Your stitches will thank you!

Do you find that any of these factors affect your gauge? Do you have any others to add to the list?

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Organize Your Stash GIVEAWAY!

In our Spring Issue, we gave you lots of tips and ideas for ways to organize your yarn stash or crafting space. If you’re in the midst of tackling your spring cleaning (or even if you’re not), we have some fabulous prizes that will help you get your knitting supplies in order!

tiny tools case Organize Your Stash GIVEAWAY!

We are giving away 5 Tiny Tools Cases by our friends at ChiaoGoo. These small cases are the perfect size for double pointed needles or crochet hooks, and they come with a handy clip so you can hook them onto your magazine or printed pattern. For a chance to win, all you need to do is like Love of Knitting on Facebook and share this post with your friends!

We’ll randomly select our 5 winners on Monday, April 14th, so be sure to follow us on Facebook to see all of the fun things we’re up to. Good luck!

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Crocheted Coral Reefs – Ecology through craft

Sometimes crafts are a way to relax or show someone we care through a thoughtful gift, but they can also be an effective outlet for expressing ideas to a large audience. Many crocheters are stitching up impressive, lifelike replicas of stunning coral reefs in order to raise awareness about the disappearance of these important underwater ecosystems.

coral reef 300x200 Crocheted Coral Reefs   Ecology through craft

Coral reefs are created over the span of many, many years, and these crafty crusaders are stressing this point by showing the time that goes into creating these stunning crocheted sculptures. Many crocheters work together to create one display, and this is a humbling reminder of the millions of plants and animals that work together within a coral reef.

This is another fabulous example of “craftivists” using their skills to make an important point, and we love how crafts give us all another way to express ourselves. What do you think about these crocheted creations?

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Spring Knit Along – We’ve finished the front!

We’ve finished the front of our Petunia Peplum top from the Spring 2014 Issue, and we’re ready to seam the front and back together.

Pet pep front and back Spring Knit Along   Weve finished the front!

Seaming is never my favorite job – mostly because I feel like it’s not my strong suit. However, it certainly helps to have a plan! I’m going to get out my trusty crochet hook and slip stitch the pieces together. Then, I’ll work one round of single crochet around the neckline and armholes as described in the pattern. I love how quickly this project is working up, and the Weekend DK yarn by Berroco is fabulous to work with!

How is your Petunia Peplum top coming along? Have you started seaming yet? This project knits up in a flash, so you still have time to get your copy of our Spring 2014 Issue and join us in our Spring Knit Along. We’d love to see pictures of your finished project too!

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