Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along – Gone fishin’

My Fishbowl Beanie is finished! I finally stitched all the fins onto my guppies, and they turned out super cute.

Fishbowl hat guppies no eyes 300x168 Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along   Gone fishinI decided to leave the back and belly fins off the yellow and pink fish to give them a simpler look. However, the ruffle fin matched perfectly with the scalloped tail fin on my blue fish, so he has his own signature style.

 

 

Fishbowl hat guppies with eyes 300x168 Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along   Gone fishinI thought my little fishies were adorable without faces, but after I added their eyes they seemed to have so much more personality.

 

 

This was my first attempt at adding French knots to a crochet project, and I couldn’t quite get them to work. However, I found that doubling the black yarn and threading it up through the bottom of a single crochet stitch, then down through the top of that same stitch a few times worked really well for the eyes.

Fishbowl hat done 300x168 Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along   Gone fishinI crocheted a few quick chains to attach my guppies to the top of the hat, and then started smiling ear to ear. How could I not?! This hat is so much fun!

 

 

 

Fishbowl hat Jasmine 300x168 Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along   Gone fishin

My daughter was even more excited about it than I was, and she put it on as soon as she saw it. Then, she asked if I could make her another little fish as a toy. Of course I will! Thankfully, a crocheter’s work is never done, and I’m looking forward to mixing and matching a few more guppies for her to play with.

 

Have you finished your Fishbowl Beanie? If you didn’t get to join us in the crochet along, you can still order your Fishbowl Beanie kit and make this cute hat for a kiddo in your life. Each kit has enough yarn to make at least 2 hats, or maybe even 3 depending on the sizes you make, so you could make a whole set! I just might make another for a lucky niece or nephew…

 

 

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Love of Knitting in Ireland – Spotlight on the Celtic Crystal Factory

While we’ll get plenty of time to focus on warm and wooly things during our craft tour in Ireland, we’ll also check out a few shiny, sparkly things. After our visit to the Connemara Marble Shop, we’ll stop by the Celtic Crystal Factory to check out some exquisite goblets, decanters, bowls, and more.

Celtic 300x139 Love of Knitting in Ireland   Spotlight on the Celtic Crystal Factory

The Celtic Crystal Factory is a family-run business that specializes in incorporating Gaelic motifs and Celtic designs into Irish crystal. All pieces of Celtic crystal are hand-cut using traditional methods, and the master craftsmen who create these ornate pieces sign and date each one. Each piece also comes with a certificate of authenticity, so you can tell all your friends that you have a Celtic Crystal Factory original masterpiece!

Jen and I are getting super antsy about this amazing trip, November 6-15, and we hope you can join us on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Be sure to check out the trip itinerary to see all the fun activities included in the price of the tour! Then, tell us – which part are you most excited about?

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Earth Day Tutorial – Save energy with dryer balls!

When I first heard about DIY dryer balls from my friend Megan, I jumped at the chance to do a good deed for the environment AND make something fun with yarn. Dryer balls are felted wool balls you put in the dryer with your laundry. They reduce your drying time and help to cut down on static cling, so you can eliminate the irritating chemicals found in dryer sheets while saving energy. That’s a win-win for the Earth and your wallet!

Making dryer balls is fun, fast, and easy. You only need a few materials, and you can probably find them around your house.

You’ll need:

  • Non-superwash (feltable, not machine-washable) wool yarn or roving
  • A pair of old pantyhose
  • Scissors
  • A washer and dryer
  • Laundry detergent

Dryer pre felt in bowl 300x168 Earth Day Tutorial   Save energy with dryer balls!First, wind your wool yarn or roving into balls about 4″ in diameter, and tuck the end under a few strands of yarn to secure it. You’ll need about 5 or 6 to effectively cut down on drying time.

 

Dryer pre felt with pantyhose 168x300 Earth Day Tutorial   Save energy with dryer balls!

 

 

Next, cut one leg off your pantyhose. This will help the balls hold their shape while they’re felting.

 

 

 

 

Dryer in pantyhose 300x168 Earth Day Tutorial   Save energy with dryer balls!Now, insert one ball into the tube of pantyhose, all the way down to the toe. Tie a knot in the pantyhose just above the ball. Insert the next ball into the tube, all the way down to the first knot, and tie another knot just above the second ball.

 

Continue inserting balls into the tube and tying knots between them. Tie a knot just above the last ball to secure it inside the pantyhose.

Put your tube of wool balls into the washer with a small amount of detergent and a few towels that need to be washed. The towels will provide extra agitation to speed up the felting process. You’ll need to use the hottest setting and longest cycle, but by felting your dryer balls with a load of laundry, you’re not wasting water or energy!

When the wash cycle is finished, throw your wool balls and towels into the dryer and put it on the hottest setting. When they’re finished drying, untie or cut the pantyhose to see your brand new dryer balls! They may felt to the pantyhose a bit, but you can pull them off fairly easily. Look at all this felty goodness!

Dryer after felting 300x168 Earth Day Tutorial   Save energy with dryer balls!

You may need to repeat this process until they are felted properly and will not unravel, but mine only took one cycle.

I keep my felted balls inside the dryer and simply toss my laundry in with them. My clothes dry faster and come out soft and static-free.

If you have some feltable yarn you’re not going to use, try making dryer balls to save energy and cut back on the chemicals used in your laundry. The Earth, and your bank account, will thank you!

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Charity Spotlight – Knit or crochet for baby birds with WildCare

Spring is here, and while that means blooming gardens and warmer weather, it’s also “baby bird season” for wildlife hospitals all over America. These hospitals care for abandoned nestlings by feeding them and providing makeshift nests to keep them warm. If you’re a crafty bird lover, you can help these precious baby birds by knitting or crocheting nests and donating them to WildCare!

Wildcare logo Charity Spotlight   Knit or crochet for baby birds with WildCare

WildCare 227x300 Charity Spotlight   Knit or crochet for baby birds with WildCare

Photo by Melanie Piazza

 

 

WildCare is an incredible organization that educates people about wildlife and treats sick or injured animals. Later this month, they’ll put out a call for wool nests that will either be used in their own animal hospital or donated to bird rehab centers across the country. Sign up for their email list so you’ll know when they start accepting nests this spring.

 

 

 

These adorable nests are fantastic stash-busters, and since felted nests are best, they’re a great way to hone your felting skills! Birds’ feet can get caught in loosely knit or crocheted fabric, so tightly stitched nests are preferred if you can’t felt them. The nests work up in a flash, and you’ll feel good knowing that your yarn scraps went to good use!

Have you ever knit or crocheted a nest for charity? Tell us your experiences here or on Facebook! We’d love to hear your story!

A note about baby birds – It can be difficult to tell if a baby bird has been abandoned. If you find a young bird you think may be an orphan, you can contact WildCare’s hotline or your local wildlife center, and they can assist you in determining if it needs help or not.

 

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Pi Shawl Knit Along – Coming soon!

The Pi Shawl from the Summer 2015 Issue of Love of Knitting is one of those accessories that will definitely wow you. It’s worked from the center out with three beautiful lace patterns, but my favorite thing about this shawl is way the colors effortlessly change from one hue to the next.

LOK LOC summer0843 200px Pi Shawl Knit Along   Coming soon!

This stunning shawl is knit with Frolicking Feet Transitions by Done Roving, which is similar to their original Frolicking Feet yarn but with gorgeous color changes that will make your knitting a breeze! No need to worry about changing colors and weaving in tons of ends with this beauty!

 

 

 

I’m thrilled to announce that the Pi Shawl is our summer knit along, and we’ll start this fun project on May 1st. The special, color-changing yarn really makes the design, so we’re offering this amazing shawl in a kit! Order your Pi Shawl kit today, and be ready to cast on with me on May 1st! The kit includes the complete Summer Issue and 2 pre-wound cakes of Frolicking Feet Transitions, all the yarn you’ll need to knit this showstopping accessory.

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Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along – Fish parts

I’m thisclose to finishing my Fishbowl Beanie! My daughter has been asking about it nonstop, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to sew the little guppies together this past week. I made all the pieces, but I always procrastinate when it comes to sewing my crochet projects.

Fishbowl hat fish bodies 300x168 Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along   Fish parts

Yellow, pink, and teal guppies

I love how this pattern encourages you to mix and match the different fins and tails to create your own unique guppies! If you’re trying to decide which fins and tails to use, here’s a handy reference so you can see what they all look like.

 

 

Side fins

Tail fins

Back and belly fins

Right now, my project bag has more fish parts in it than a sushi restaurant. I made one fin in each style, which is more than I need for my three guppies, so I’ll have to decide which ones make the cut. Which fins do you like best?

LOCS FishbowlBeanie 200 Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along   Fish parts

Fishbowl Beanie

I hope you’re having as much fun as I am crocheting your Fishbowl Beanie! As always, you can share your progress with us here or on Facebook, and if you haven’t started yet, you still have time to get your Fishbowl Beanie kit and make this adorable hat for a special child in your life. Each kit has enough yarn to make 2 or 3 hats, depending on the sizes, so you could even make several for a special trip to the aquarium!

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Love of Knitting in Ireland – Spotlight on the Connemara Marble Shop

While many of the activities planned for Love of Knitting‘s craft tour in Ireland center around knitting and fiber, we’re also excited to check out tons of other interesting places that are significant to Ireland’s history and culture.

LOK in Ireland 300x139 Love of Knitting in Ireland   Spotlight on the Connemara Marble Shop

Love of Knitting in Ireland

One of these historic places is the Connemara Marble Shop in the town of Moycullen. Here, we’ll learn about the production of this gorgeous stone and shop for one-of-a-kind Connemara Marble gifts.

Connemara 300x94 Love of Knitting in Ireland   Spotlight on the Connemara Marble Shop

The Connemara Marble Shop

Connemara Marble is  over 900 million years old and unique to Ireland. This shop operates the oldest marble quarry, which was first opened in the 19th century. This gorgeous stone has a rich and earthy green color that will make it a fabulous souvenir!

In fact, you’ll have tons of opportunities to snag some wonderful souvenirs during the craft tour. Check out the incredible list of plans that are included in the cost of the trip! Jen and I can’t wait to embark on this amazing adventure, and we hope you can join us because it will be a blast!

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Knit Along Class – How to Knit Seamless Lace Stockings

Since we just finished up the Cape Cod Shawl and we’re between knit alongs at the moment, I thought I’d share some info on a very special, educational knit along, beginning April 30th.

Seamless lace stockings 300x144 Knit Along Class   How to Knit Seamless Lace Stockings

How to Knit Seamless Lace Stockings is a brand new type of online class. In this course, participants can knit along with the lessons at their own pace. It includes videos, quizzes, and interactive content that help knitters to truly understand the material. If you’ve ever “learned” a certain technique in a crafting class, only to realize you couldn’t replicate the technique on your own, this fun, interactive class is just what you need!

 

yarn lightbulb 300x198 Knit Along Class   How to Knit Seamless Lace Stockings

While the knit along runs from April 30th to May 21st, you can access each lesson at any time from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The class includes a detailed, instructional pattern, and designer, Faina Goberstein, will walk everyone through each step and answer questions as they come up.

 

In the end, you’ll be left with a pair of elegant lace stockings and tons of new knitting knowledge, including:

  • Dewdrop decorative cast-on
  • Working with elastic thread
  • Tips for joining in the round
  • Working in the round with your chosen method: double pointed needles, one or two circular needles (all three will be discussed)
  • Reading charts
  • Turning the heel
  • Picking up stitches
  • Making nice decreases
  • Closing the toe

 

You canTibetan Dream 1 Knit Along Class   How to Knit Seamless Lace Stockings use any fingering weight yarn made with wool and nylon, but the sample stockings are knit with Tibetan Dream by Bijou Basin Ranch. This yarn really is a dream to work with!

 

 

 

The 3 week course is only $23.99, so it’s an inexpensive way to stretch your skills while having fun and knitting with a group. I’m especially excited to learn the dewdrop cast on and some tips for picking up stitches. What skills are you most excited to learn in this class?

Click here for more info or to register for How to Knit Seamless Lace Stockings

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Interweave Yarn Fest 2015!

Can you believe Interweave Yarn Fest starts Thursday, April 16th!? If you’ll be near Loveland, Colorado April 16-19, you should definitely stop by and check it out. Yarn Fest is an incredible event where you can buy yarn and notions, learn from knitting and crochet experts in hands-on workshops, and mingle with industry professionals and fellow fiber enthusiasts.

IW Yarn Fest1 300x88 Interweave Yarn Fest 2015!

I’ll be there helping out on Friday, April 17th, and Jen will be there on Thursday and Saturday. We hope to meet lots of our online friends in person so we can chat about our favorite pastimes together! Here are just a few of the awesome, crafty things you can look forward to:

Marketplace exhibitors

  • Bijou Basin Ranch
  • Brown Sheep Co., Inc.
  • Erin Lane Bags
  • Fancy Tiger Crafts
  • Skacel Knitting
  • Skeindalous Yarns
  • The Buffalo Wool Company
  • The Recycled Lamb

Workshops

  • Crochet Like a Pro with Robyn Chachula – April 16th at 9am
  • Double Hook Crochet with Darla Fanton – April 16th at 9am
  • Brioche With a Twist with Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark – April 16th at 1:30pm and April 17th at 9am
  • Socks: Going Your Way with Kate Atherley – April 16th at 1:30pm
  • Puffs, Posts, Cables and Connections: Designing Tunisian Arans with Darla Fanton – April 17th at 9am
  • Crocheting with Color with Robyn Chachula – April 17th at 1:30pm
  • Tunisian Entrelac with Darla Fanton – April 17th at 1:30pm
  • Fixing Mistakes with Kate Atherley – April 18th at 9am
  • U-turns: Short Rows for Shaping and Pattern with Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark – April 18th at 1:30pm
  • Crocheted Mitered Squares with Mary Beth Temple – April 19th at 9am
  • Double Knitting Cables with Alasdair Post-Quinn – April 19th at 9am
  • Knitting With Beads with Annie Modesitt – April 19th at 9am

I can’t wait to check out the marketplace and sit in on a few workshops, but I’m most excited about chatting with some fellow yarnies! Will you be at Interweave Yarn Fest?

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Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along – Adjusting the size

I didn’t get as much crochet time as I wanted over the past week, but I did manage to finish everything but the fish on my Fishbowl Beanie!

LOCS FishbowlBeanie 200 Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along   Adjusting the size

Fishbowl Beanie

 

This cute hat is for my daughter, who’s almost 5, so I made it a little larger. If you’re also making one for a bigger kid, adjusting the size is super simple. I followed the instructions for the Toddler size, but after round 8 I added another increase round as follows:

Rnd 9: *Hdc 7, 2 hdc in next st; rep from * 7 more times. (72 sts)

 

Then, I worked even in hdc for a couple inches so I could see if it would be big enough. My kiddo tried it on for me, and we were both happy to see that looked like it would fit perfectly (after finishing the body of the hat, of course)! I followed the pattern instructions from here and had her try it on again before I changed to the tan yarn.

 

Fishbowl Hat brim 300x168 Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along   Adjusting the sizeIt’s about 20″ around and it fit like a glove (or a well-fitted hat), so I changed colors to start the brim. I liked my color change best when I used color B to work a slip stitch and single crochet into the first stitch before single crocheting around. The brim worked up in a flash, and I love the alternating large and small scallops along the edge!

 

Fishbowl Hat grass 300x168 Fishbowl Beanie Crochet Along   Adjusting the sizeIn fact, I loved the brim and body of the hat so much that I couldn’t wait to add the seagrass to finish it up. I crocheted three pieces of seagrass, pretty evenly spaced around the hat, and tacked them in place.

 

 

This coming week, I’ll crochet the adorable little guppies to put the finishing touch on this fun project. My daughter can’t wait to wear it, and I can’t wait to see it all come together! If you haven’t started this cute hat yet, you still have time to get your Fishbowl Beanie kit and join me in making one for a special kiddo in your life. It will definitely make them smile!

How is your hat coming along? We’d love to see pictures or updates, so let us know how it’s going here or on Facebook. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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