Crafting Balance 3KCBWDAY7

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Apr 292012

crochet necklaceI’m a knitter, and I dont see that changing much anytime soon. I can crochet, if it’s simple, like chaining, or even sc or dc if I brush up with a quick tutorial. But for me, knitting is the main craft mode, and simple crochet is something I see as a technique available to enhance the knitted object, much like I-cord or grafting.

I’m a project, as opposed to a process knitter; I want the FO. For me, knitting offers more possibilities in what can be made; you can shape garments, make intricate colorwork, employ endlessly variable textures. I’ve done a few crochet beanies, and even a shrug, but my indispensable hook is most often used to pick up stitches or place beads on my knitting.

That being said, I love making these beaded crochet necklaces – so easy, and they look like chain if you use metallic thread. It’s enough to make me consider myself poly-craftual


Are you a knitter or a crocheter, or are you a bit of both? If you are monogamous in your yarn-based crafting, is it because you do not enjoy the other craft or have you 3KCBWsimply never given yourself the push to learn it? Is it because the items that you best enjoy crafting are more suited to the needles or the hook? Do you plan on ever trying to take up and fully learn the other craft? If you are equally comfortable knitting as you are crocheting, how do you balance both crafts? Do you always have projects of each on the go, or do you go through periods of favouring one over the other? How did you come to learn and love your craft(s)?

Improving Your Skillset 3KCBWDAY6

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Apr 282012

steekAlthough the sign is really just an example of Chinglish – the misuse of “steek” for “shut” in this case – the advice would be well suited for knitting. I’ve done alot of techniques, including short rows, fair isle, mosaic knitting, all kinds of sweater construction, and knitting back backwards.But steeking makes me nervous. Scissors? To cut my knitting? I’ve read plenty of tutorials, including Eunny Jang’s great Steeking Chronicles, but . . . yeah. It keeps coming back to: cutting my knitting?! My nervousness is abetted by the fact that I dont do much colorwork, for which steeking is ideal. But one day, I will make a fair isle cardi, probably with a round yoke, and use this technique. You betcha.


How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and 3KCBWadd to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how’s your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you’d like to have tried them by.

Something A Bit Different 3KCBWDAY5

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Apr 272012

Yarn Haiku

This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.There are no rules of a topic to blog about but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog. 3KCBW

A Knitter or Crocheter For All Seasons? 3KCBWDAY4

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Apr 262012

Spring Candombe in the garden

As spring is in the air in the northern hemisphere and those in the southern hemisphere start setting their sights for the arrival of winter, a lot of crocheters and knitters find that their crafting changes along with their wardrobe. Have a look through your finished projects and explain the seasonality of your craft to your readers. Do you make warm woollens the whole year through in preparation for the colder months, or do you live somewhere that never feels the chill and so invest your time in beautiful homewares and delicate lace items. How does your local seasonal weather affect your craft?

Where I live it’s the beginning of real spring, meaning no longer in the bare-branches-and-daffodils phase, but light green leaves and buds everywhere. Knitwise, that’s bittersweet, because I’m really a sweater knitter and this year my design goal is more garments and less distraction with accessories. HOWEVER, the urge to put away thick & heavy things also leads to reinvestigation of all those light & lovely yarns like single skeins of sock, and silk blend lace.

Forbidden Woolery Whisper  Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller

So my strategy for spring-into-summer knitting is to begin some new shawls out of lightweight yarns, while also keeping up garments by making a few spring sweaters. Preferably outdoors enjoying the garden.

Apr 252012

knit on with elizabeth zimmerman

Blog about someone in the fibre crafts who truly inspires you. There are not too many guidelines for this, it’s really about introducing your readers to someone who they might not know who is an inspiration to you. It might be a family member or friend, a specific designer or writer, indie dyer or another blogger. If you are writing about a knitting designer and you have knitted some of their designs, don’t forget to show them off.

Elizabeth Zimmerman, knitterly godmother to us all, was described by one of my friends as “the Julia Child of knitting.” She made knitting more accessible by encouraging thought outside the box, which to me is what creativity is all about. Not afraid of unusual techniques or shapes, EZ was an advocate of trying new ideas, and a proponent of self confidence and discovery.

I own many of her books, of which the seminal Knitting Without Tears is my favorite. Her self described pithy style suits me, particularly because I read her for inspiration and solace, more so than for patterns per se. I like to think that my current textural exploration of tucks and shaping with short rows owes itself to her admonitions to knit fearlessly.

Plica tucks  3KCBW


Photography Challenge 3KCBWDAY2

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Apr 242012

don't jump!

Photography Challenge Day!
Today challenges you to be creative with your photography, and get yourself in with the chance to win the photography prize. Taking interesting photographs in this instance isn’t about flashy cameras or a great deal of technical know-how, it’s about setting up a story or scene in a photograph and capturing something imaginative. Your photograph(s) should feature something related to your craft, so that might be either a knitted or crocheted item, yarn, or one of your craft tools.


Apr 232012

3KCBWDAY1 – what does it mean?

Well, crafters are a bloggy bunch, and this week many of the knit and crochet bloggers are harmoniously in unison for the Third Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week. Today’s topic is Color.

Colour is one of our greatest expressions of ourselves when we choose to knit or crochet, so how do you choose what colours you buy and crochet or knit with. Have a look through your stash and see if there is a predominance of one colour. Do the same with your finished projects – do they match? Do you love a rainbow of bright hues, or more subdued tones. How much attention do you pay to the original colour that a garment is knit in when you see a pattern? Tell readers about your love or confusion over colour.

I have indisputable, unabashed favorite colors – grey and purple. Greys from dove to cement to charcoal, even the dirty greys like french grey and the almost black ones like basalt. My favorite greys are cool-toned blueish ones.

Which is in opposition to my favorite purples; those are the reddish-plummy ones. Looking through my stash, I have countless variations of that theme.


And lots of projects of projects to go with both my color favorites.



The colors that challenge me I can say with certainty are earth tones. Orangey-brown, yellow-y green; I dont know what to do with them. However, it might just take the right inspiration to get me started. Recently we visited the Big Basin redwood forest in California, and the mossy, craggy bark on this giant really resonated with me.


I can see a great color progression through blue-green-orange, maybe on a sweeping wrap of some sort, which totally surprises me. That’s the power of color.



Blue Honey

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Apr 052012

Blue Honey Last Look | The Knitting Vortex

Worked sideways in one flat piece from right to left sleeve cuff, Blue Honey is a long, open front cardigan with honeycomb stitch at the shoulders and a wide garter band finishing the collar and front edges. With just two sideseams, it’s a sweater that is easy to knit and flattering to wear, with long, lean lines and pretty details.

Techniques & Skills Used: cable CO, knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, picking up stitches.

Size: 30.75 (33.5, 36, 37.75, 40, 42.5, 45.25, 49.5, 52.25, 55)” bust. This long cardigan is designed to be worn open and thus can fit a wide range of body types; for a good fit, choose a size close to your actual bust measurement.

Garment Measurements:
Bust & Hip: 30.75 (33.5, 36, 37.75, 40, 42.5, 45.25, 49.5, 52.25, 55)”.
Sleeve length from shoulder: 6.25 (6.25, 6.75, 6.75, 7, 7, 7.75, 8.25, 9, 9.75)”.
Length: 24.5 (25, 25.5, 25.75, 26.25, 26.75, 27.25, 28.25, 29.25, 30)”.

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Rios (100% superwash merino; 210 yards/100g), shown in Azules; 4 (4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8) skeins. Sample shown in second size, worn with 1.5” of negative ease.

Other Materials: US 8 (5mm) 40” circular needle; US 6 (4mm) 40” circular needle for picking up stitches.; Stitch markers (4); Yarn needle.

Gauge: 17 st and 24 rows/4” in stockinette stitch; 17 st and 34 rows/4” in garter stitch, after blocking.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.  

Blue Honey side view | The Knitting Vortex  Blue Honey full view | The Knitting Vortex  Blue Honey shoulder closeup | The Knitting Vortex