Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gorgeous closeout cashmere silk yarn for sale!

I normally try to avoid posting too many plain ads here for yarn that I have for sale, as I really do want this blog to be more about technique, information, and life overall! That being said, I couldn't pass this one up.

Right now I have some extremely luxurious, stunning cashmere silk blend yarn that is on closeout. What we have left is all that we have. This yarn is amazing. It is like working with a cloud. Super soft and a joy to work with, this yarn would be perfect for any special project!

White Cashmere

This yarn also comes in a rich red color as well.

Red Cashmere
At this price, with free shipping, these yarns will *not* last long. So get yours while you can! Treat yourself to a real luxury yarn in sweater quantity!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


So I haven't been posting as much as I want to lately. Naughty me! There are a few reasons. One of course is the holidays. On top of a few holiday orders and family gifts to finish up, we have been spending a lot of family time together, which of course comes before internet time! We have had a little bit of snow, so the boys have been having a blast playing around in it.

Beautiful right? I know! So we have been enjoying some quality time outside throwing snowballs and making angels. Plus, like I mentioned in my last post, I am having a bit of a love affair with plarn. It is a bit of work, but what fun! I can't wait to post some of my plarn creations once I finish up with the plarn itself.

Hope that everyone has had a good weekend and a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Plarn plarn plarn!

Ok so I was going to work on another post in my crocheting basics series, but instead, thanks to the wonderful generosity of my community, I have been making plarn for 2 days straight! For those who do not know, plarn is plastic yarn :) You take plastic bags of any type, grocery bags, etc, and cut them to create yarn. While I may make my own tutorial for plarn creation in the future, since I am literally up to my eyeballs in plastic bags, I thought I would link to a couple of videos I have found helpful in learning to create this wonderful crocheting and knitting substance out of something that generally ends up in a landfill. The first video is 1-ply plarn and the second video is 2-ply plarn. These are especially useful in making charity projects like sleeping mats for homeless shelters. They hold in heat, keep out vermin, do not rot. I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Crochet Basic Tutorials in Pictures: Slip Knot

People have a variety of ways they learn and some are more effective than others. This tutorial is for those who are primarily photo- and written-oriented.

This is a photo tutorial, along with written instructions, for how to make a slip knot. A slip knot is a knot used when starting any crochet project.

Slip Knot 1

This picture shows the tools that you need to begin crocheting. They are simple: A ball of yarn and a crochet hook. In this tutorial, I am using a ball of light blue yarn and a size K crochet hook. You would use whatever yarn and size hook your project requires.

Slip Knot 2

The first thing that you need to do with the yarn is to make a circle. You can accomplish this easily by wrapping the yarn around your fingers and crossing it over, as illustrated in the picture. In this photo, I left a short tail. For most projects, you will want to leave a longer tail (yarn that is not on the working yarn side of your project) so you will be able to weave in the ends when you are finished. Keep this in mind when creating your slip knot.

Slip Knot 3

Once you have the yarn crossed over your fingers, slip it slightly off your fingers to form a circle of yarn. Take your working yarn and push it through the circle, forming a small loop.

Slip Knot 4

Once you have the small loop formed, pull on the loop to tighten the circle of yarn and form a slip knot, as shown above. This knot is wonderful because if you decide that you have not created a long enough tail or want to start your project over, you can simply pull the tail of the yarn and the knot will unravel.

Slip Knot 5

This is a picture of the crochet hook through the slip knot. The tail is hanging down below and the working yarn is pulled to the left hand side, ready to use!

Stayed tuned for more basic crochet tutorials!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Winter Wonderland!

Busy week here getting ready for company! Decorated the house, did a little bit of crocheting and knitting, and spent a lot of time enjoying the snow!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

100% cotton crochet wash cloth and towel set, variegated green

Cotton Crochet Wash Cloth and Towel Set

This listing is for a 100% cotton handmade, crocheted wash or dish cloth and towel set. Colored a variegated green, the washcloth measures 8" x 8" and the towel measures 15" x 7.5". They are perfect for everyone in your family, even gentle enough for the little ones in your home. Ideal for bathing, showering, or use them as dish cloths for your kitchen! While they are easy on skin, they are tough on dishes and will not damage Teflon!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fast Update!

What a busy week and weekend! We are gearing up for winter and Christmas here. Got our decorations done finally :) I haven't had nearly as much time to create as I would like, but I have enjoyed all the wonderful time with my children!  Below is a picture of my older son with his new hat :)


New Etsy Shop!

Hello everyone! I just wanted to dash off a quick note to say that I have put my first item in my brand new Etsy shop! I am so excited to explore this venue to share my crafts with everyone. Please stop by, take a look, and let me know any suggestions! It is very very new, so it is a work in progress!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

SALE - Mohair Wool Blend Lot of Yarn - Burgundy - 50 gr ball / 8 per pack, Bulky

SALE - Mohair Wool Blend Lot of Yarn - Burgundy - 50 gr ball / 8 per pack, Bulky

This lot consists of 8 skeins of premium fringe yarn, burgundy in color. Each skein contains 50 g (1.76 oz) of yarn equaling 136 yards. Total yardage for 8 skeins is approximately 1088 yards. It is a luxurious yarn which works up quickly and makes beautiful scarves, hats, mittens, and other winter items. Consider buying some for the yarn lover in your life! :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Yarn Basics: No Label, No Problem! How to Determine Weight, Fiber Content, and Yardage of Unlabeled Yarn

Sometimes you will run across yarn in various formats (skeins, hanks, or loose) that will have no identifying information about them. This happens fairly often if you purchase yarn from a garage or estate sale, a thrift store, or are given someone's old stash. Even though these treasures are unmarked, there are ways to gather information that can help you determine what kinds of projects would be appropriate.

First we want to determine the fiber content of the yarn. While you may not know the specific content amounts is the yarn is a blend, you can determine the class of fiber in most cases. To begin with, give the yarn a good feel. Run your hands over the yarn and take in all the qualities of it. After some practice, you will become adept at knowing the feel of different base fibers. Cotton is easiest to detect using feel, as it has a smooth and cool feel. Acrylic and wool can be trickier, since higher quality acrylics are soft and fluffy, which cause them to take on a similar feel to wool blends.

There is a way to tell, however, whether a yarn is acrylic or wool. 


NOTE: PLEASE KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN. Take a glass jar with a lid on it and write BLEACH / POISON on the side. Put a small amount of bleach in the jar and place a small cutting of the yarn in the bleach. Put it way up high, far from the reach of children, pets, or anyone else. When you check the jar in approximately 12-24 hours, if the yarn has degraded or disappeared, it is wool or wool blend yarn. Wool disintegrates in bleach. If it looks the same after 24 hours, it is acrylic. 

Now we have some idea of what our yarn consists of. Next thing that we need to know is the weight (fingering or bulky?) and how many yards of yarn we have! The table below lists the different weights of yarn, the number of yards per pound, and the number of wraps per inch. Wraps per inch refers to a method of determining weight using a ruler.

Zephyr Over 6000 YPP Over 45+ WPI
Cobweb Approx. 6000 YPP Approx. 40+ WPI
Lace 3000-6000 YPP 36-40 WPI
Baby 2400-3000 YPP 30-36 WPI
Fingering 1800-2400 YPP 24-30 WPI
Sport 1300-1800 YPP 18-24 WPI
DK 1000-1400 YPP 12-18 WPI
Worsted 900-1100 YPP 10-12 WPI
Aran 700-1000 YPP 6-10 WPI
Bulky 400-700 YPP Approx. 8 WPI
Super Bulky (Chunky) 400 or less YPP Less than 8 WPI

So now we have all the numbers we need to figure out the weight and yardage of our yarn. The first thing to do is determine how many wraps per inch our mystery yarn is. Take a ruler and mark off 2 inches on the ruler. Take the yarn and wrap it (not too loosely or too tightly) around the ruler, making sure that the yarn does not overlap or leave gaping spaces, but is placed one loop snugly against another. Continue to wrap the yarn in this manner for 2 inches, count the number of wraps created, and divide by 2. Voila! That is the number of wraps per inch of the yarn you have. Once you know the wraps per inch, you can get a good idea of the weight of the yarn by referencing the chart above.
WPI art yarn

For example: You take your mystery yarn and do the wraps as per instructions above. Over 2 inches, you have 22 wraps. So you take 22 and divide it by 2 to get 11 wraps per inch. So per the chart above, this mystery yarn is worsted weight.

Next we want to determine the yardage of the mystery yarn that we have. The easiest and most accurate way to do this is to weigh an amount of yarn (I use 10 yards) and use the weight to determine the yards per pound. You want to measure this accurately so use a kitchen or postage scale if possible, or even a grocery store produce scale. You can use a bathroom scale, but it is likely to be inaccurate because it is not sensitive enough.
soehnle digital kitchen scale

So take ten yards of yarn and weigh that. Then divide that weight by 10 to get the weight per yard. Then weigh the ball or hank of yarn and divide by the weight per yard. That will give you the approximate yardage. As you can see above, worsted weight yarn is generally between 900 and 1100 yards per pound.

While these steps may not get you the exact information that would be on a label, it can nevertheless be very useful in determining the type and size of project appropriate for those mystery yarn balls!
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