12.02.2014

Hay Bale Hat and Headband

Well, about an hour after the Hay Bale Mitts released as the Craftsy November MKAL there were rumblings about a matching Hat or Headband (or both!)... so of course I thought that was the best idea ever!  I love a headband and my girl love's a hat... and we both needed new ones for the upcoming winter season!

I knit 3 hats and 5 headbands while I perfected the yarn choice and pattern shaping (see more about that here).... and ended up with versions I love and I hope you do too!
Hay Bale Hat knit with Manos Maxima in Cherrywood with a handmade pom-pom
Hay Bale Headband knit with Manos Maxima in Sea Urchin
 
Hay Bale Hat knit with Knitted Witt Aran in Prussian Blue and a coveted fake fur pom-pom!
I know I say this about every photo shoot but this was one of my fav's... my girl and I ran outside on a snowy Thanksgiving Day for some fresh air and traded off being model and photographer..... obviously we have a little magic (and spice!)!

The headband takes around 25 grams of worsted weight yarn, perfect stash busting, gift knitting, right? I've worn mine almost everyday since it came off the needles.

You can see more photos, read about the pattern, and purchase it on Ravelry. A big thankyou to my speedy testers, Lorrie, Jennifer and Melanie!!! Y'all were super helpful!

11.27.2014

A Thankyou SALE!

My jewelry & accessory kits are FAST and FUN to knit, and there is still time to receive them and knit them for the holidays!  They are also fabulous gifts for knitters as is... if you have a knitting relative, friend, teacher, helper, or loved one you can wrap one up for them without even knitting it!!!!!!

So, while supplies last or until Tuesday December 2nd at 12 pm EST, I am having a 30% off sale on everything in my Etsy shop.  Just enter the coupon code HUGETHANKS14... there might even be some signed copies of Knockout Knits in there as well : )!

Also, I should let you know that Craftsy is having a huge sale too and all classes are $19.99 or less!  This includes all 4 of my knitting classes with them! 

THANKYOU FOR ANOTHER AMAZING YEAR!!!!! 

xoxoxo, Laura

11.25.2014

Winners... and a heads up!

Happy Tuesday!  If you live in the US you are probably gearing up for Thanksgiving like we are... I'm thrilled to not be traveling and we are keeping it simple and making salmon and gnocchi. (I've been watching this class on Craftsy and feel ready!)

I know it's not traditional, but we aren't big meat eaters so I've never taken to making a turkey which is rather freeing when it comes to Thanksgiving menu planning!  The salmon will be served with fresh cranberry relish, the gnocchi will get a wild mushroom sauce, there will be shaved brussel sprouts (my fav!) for a veg and we'll top it off with Miss B's pumpkin pie!

Over the weekend we made these rolls and my girl and honey were discussing how amazing they would be stuffed with chocolate and topped with cinnamon sugar.... so those might be added to the desert menu, or maybe for breakfast?

So, I've got two winners to announce:
First up, the winner of Hunter Hammerson's new book Curls (which I reviewed last week) is Goodstuff.

Next, we had a great Magmatic BOOM KAL in my Ravelry group and all Boom's finished by November 21st were eligible to win this awesome prize:
From Left to Right- 1 skein of Dream in Color Jilly Lace in Carolina,
1
skein Dream in Color Wisp in Scorched Lime,
1
skein Miss Babbs Yummy Toes in Perfectly Wreckless, 1 skein Shibui Staccato in Velvet
Congrats go to Thecatisfelting for her stunning Michigan Magmatic BOOM in Fiber Optic Swamp Muck... I love how you chose your bead colors to gradiate (is that a word?) in the other direction!
I just have to share a few more Magmatic Boom's as they all came out so uniquely!  You can see them all on Ravelry, but here's a few to whet your appetite:
Clockwise from Top Left, Magmatic Boom's by: Sietsma, DonnaMaReed, LKGervitz, JHWeis, Pajara, JanHick's
Karen and Brenda get in touch with me to claim your prizes! Congrats!

In case any of you are in the New Jersey region, I just announced TWO new events the weekend of December 5th!  I'll be at Chelsea Yarns on Dec 5th and 6th, and at Close Knit on December 7th.  I can't wait to see Chelsea for the first time (I've heard it's GREAT!) and see Close Knit's new location!

Oh, and keep an eye on the blog Thursday night... I'll be announcing a kind sorta big sale in my Etsy shop as a Thankyou for helping support me through this super fun, crazypants year (plus a Craftsy sale as well).

I'm off to exercise... I'm trying to be proactive about the weekend's eating activities!

11.21.2014

Pile of Denial (A Lesson in Yarn)

So, I've had a little yarn schooling this week.... it started with (a bit of) denial, a bunch of knitting, and finally a late night chat with a friend set me straight. Ready for a story?
I decided I wanted to knit a hat and headband to match the Hay Bale Mitts I designed for Craftsy's November Mystery KAL.  So, while I was traveling last weekend I got a skein of Manos Maxima for the hat and a skein of Fibre Company Terra for the headband... which had similar yards/weight and then I knit them. I knew the Terra was a little bit heavier, but the Manos is thick due to it's single ply and they seemed like a good match.
I LOVE the hat, but the headband wasn't quite right, the stitch was getting lost in the textural quality of the Terra so I solved the problem by going to Knitting Etc on Sunday to BUY MORE YARN.

I went with my girl, and she "ordered" a Hay Bale Hat for herself, so we got a skein of Dream in Color Classy. This is the yarn I used for Cruzado Cowl... love it!  It has the same yardage/weight as Maxima, so I assumed I was good to go.

Before I cast that on I knit ANOTHER headband in Swan's Island Merino (admittedly, this was more like 250 yards/100grams). I was in denial.... right? BUT, I'm obviously dense, and also really like to knit so instead of halting and looking at the fabric I kept knitting. Then without stopping to think, I wound up B's yarn, and cast on her hat. I need you to know that I did do a gauge swatch and it was pretty close... but look, it's loosely goosey and NOT at all squishy like the Maxima hat... I'm not happy with it at all!

How can this make sense? Two yarns with the same gauge, yardage and weight and they don't act the same in the design?  NOT FAIR! Last night at knit night Hickory helped me figure the dilemma out and saved me from more mistakes.

Here's the thing, the Manos Maxima is a single ply and that gives it loft that fills in the space between stitches beautifully and helps accentuate the Hay Bale stitch. The Classy and Swan's Island are 4-ply and more tightly spun and the stitch just doesn't show up.... AT.ALL! I don't typically choose single ply yarns as they don't wear as well as plied yarns, but in this case I'm breaking my own rule!

Here's an example of all 4 yarns and how they look in the stitch:
So, there are 3 solutions (all of which involve buying more yarn):
#1. Get another skein of Maxima for the headband!
#2. Get a skein of Knitted Witt Aran for Bella's hat (I want to see if an Aran weight that is smooth and plied, but knit to gauge will work... I haven't tried this combo yet.)
#3. And Hickory's idea (which is obviously brilliant):  Buy 4 more skeins of the Dream in Color Classy in Peacock Shadow and knit a sweater! Cause that yarn is nice and I already have one skein, right?
I took care of #1 and 2 last night...... I just have to knit another headband (cast on above), another hat, and do some photography and the Hay Bale Hat and Headband will be ready for your knitting pleasure! But at least you won't make the same yarn mistake(s) I did!