Fiber Fun Friday– Knitting at the Zoo, Learning How to Knit Lace & Minding Your Yarn Overs!

Get ready, get set, it's the weekend!

Get ready, get set, it’s the weekend!

It’s another Fiber Fun Friday! I can’t believe the weekend is here again. Woo hoo! We’re now on week three of this new feature, which is always a mixed bag of what’s going here and in Creative Knitting magazine.

So what’s on the burner? Are you cooking up projects to keep your needles clicking this weekend? I know that here in Indiana, it’s going to be gorgeous, so of course that means my knitting must be travel-friendly.

If there’s one thing I always do, it is I make sure I’ve got my knitting ready to go when my son gives the word that it’s time to hit the playground or take a trip to the zoo, like we did a few weekends ago.

Have yarn, will travel is my mantra!

Lions and tigers and zebras? oh my!

Lions and tigers and zebras? Oh my!

What’s Happening on Kara’s Needles?

This is also a new feature that I run each week on the Creative Knitting Facebook page, where I do a little shout out and share what I’m working on. Last week, I was busy knitting a cowl that will appear in a future issue. It’s mostly under wraps at this point, but I thought you’d like a sneak peek anyway. Take a look at the progression so far:

Almost there!

Almost there!

Another project that I’m toggling is the Chock wrap, designed by Norah Gaughan for Berroco.

Chock, designed by Norah Gaughan for Berroco

Chock, designed by Norah Gaughan for Berroco.

This has been my go-to project for those times when it’s quiet and I can slip away to the backyard to do nothing but knit and listen to the birds happily chirping and needles lightly clicking.

My version is coming along quite nicely.

My version of Chock is coming along quite nicely.

The yarn recommended in this pattern is Berroco Maya, and it is a dream to work with. It’s a chain tube-style yarn, which gives it a light and “fluffy” hand, but  with lots of durability. Maya is 85% pima cotton, making it nice and breathable for summer, with 15 % alpaca, giving just enough insulation.

In just a few weeks, you can watch the Creative Knitting Autumn 2014 video, where I will share tips and hints about this design. I’ve also included a tutorial portion, highlighting some of the key areas of this pattern. It’s created using two charts simultaneously as the wrap begins to grow.

As I’ve been making my version on Chock, there were a few occasions when I lost a couple of stitches, and had to un-knit a few rows. I discovered that it was because I either forgot to work a yarn over where I was supposed to, or I dropped one on the following row. Learn from my experience and mind your yarn overs!

Join the conversation on Facebook!

Join the conversation on Facebook!

Are your needles ready for the weekend? Join the conversation now on the Creative Knitting Facebook page!

 

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The Editor Wants to Know: Do Knitting Skill Levels Influence Your Decision to Make a Knitting Project?

Do skill levels make you cringe?

Do skill levels make you cringe?

In this edition of The Editor Wants to Know, I’d like to ask the question:

Do Knitting Skill Levels Influence Your Decision to Make a Knitting Project?

A few years ago, we increased the skill levels in Creative Knitting magazine from four to six in order to give you more confidence when choosing knitting projects. I found it discouraging that the decision to make a gorgeous design was dismissed because the skill level was the catalyst for moving forward or not.

I find that many knitters see a skill level and think that it is a reflection of “their” level of knitting, when in fact this is a mistaken way of looking at knitting patterns. The only way to increase your own knitting skill is to take on something that will challenge your skills and help them increase.

I think that all too often we can be swayed away from creating a pattern we fall in love with because we look at the skill level and cringe if it’s anything beyond “easy.” Is this the obstacle you face? If so, I want to hear from you!

Do skill levels influence your decision to make a knitting project?

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Creative Spaces: Meet Tabetha Hedrick– the New Creative Knitting Magazine Contributing Editor, Online Newsletter Editor and Designer Extraordinaire!

Tabetha Hedrick, editor of the Creative Knitting online newsletter and designer extraordinaire!

Tabetha Hedrick, editor of the Creative Knitting online newsletter and designer extraordinaire!

I’m so excited to announce Creative Spaces, a new feature here on the Creative Knitting editor’s blog, where every so often I will interview a knitter who has a really creative space! During each interview, I will pose many of the same questions noted below, and I’ll top each one off by asking my guest what their favorite productivity tool is. Who doesn’t love new tips to make life a little bit easier?

My first guest is Tabetha Hedrick, and she’s one multi-faceted lady! Tabetha is the new contributing editor of Creative Knitting magazine, and she is also the editor of the Creative Knitting  online newsletter. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s a must!

In each newsletter, Tabetha provides an informative tutorial, yarn and product reviews, designer interviews and knitalong announcements. To learn more, and to sign up, visit: AnniesNewsletters.com. So sit back, and enjoy this enlightening interview with Tabetha!

KGW: What is a typical day in your space like for you?

TH: My typical day is pretty much set in the office chair writing, researching, and typing away at the computer (about 60% of the time). I like to swatch and play with new yarns there, too, with a bit of Netflix on (currently sucked into the Supernatural show). I also frequently take pictures against a white counter, thumb through magazines or books nearby, and complete some domestic tasks (such as meal planning). I break things up by getting a few household chores done, yoga, or digging in the fridge for snacks.

White furniture and lost of light make Tabetha's space so inviting.

White furniture and lots of light make Tabetha’s space so cheery and inviting!

KGW: What kinds of things excite you when you spend time designing and knitting in this space?

TH: I’m always excited to have a new project to work on, so plotting it out in the calendar, crunching numbers in my software programs, or sketching rough drafts on paper always get me giddy. I keep my space filled with pretty things, fun colors, and easy-to-use tools.

Plan, plan, plan!

KGW: How do you organize your yarn stash and knitting needles? Do you have an innovative method? (I’d seriously love to know, because my stash is a big mashup mess!)

TH: I have two yarn stash systems. The first is where I store all of my swatching yarns (these are 1-2 single balls that I use exclusively for testing out stitch patterns and new ideas). I have Ikea boxes labeled for the weight of the yarns within: worsted, fingering, DK, etc. The boxes sit on the two bottom rows of my Ikea Expedit bookshelves, in order of weight, of course. My other yarns (project-specific ones) are arranged in the top row of my bookshelf. I tend to keep them in order of when they are knit and they just get placed in the cubby without much other forethought.

My needles– I’m quite happy with my set-up! I knit in the living room, so my needles are stored there. I have two flower vases on the end table that hold all of my straights and double-pointed needles. My fixed circulars are in a cute “Que Lily Della Q” needle case. I use Addi Lace Clicks (both short and long tips) the most, though, and they come in their own cases.

KGW: You are one organized lady! These are fabulous tips. Thanks so much for sharing them. I guess that means I have a busy weekend ahead organizing my own craft space.

KGW: What does your ideal day look like?

TH: And ideal day? Hmm…. that’s sort of a tough one because I feel like I am already working the ideal job! I know that when I set my intention every morning, it is for my work to go quickly and smoothly, without procrastinating (darn social media and its addictive power), and to get it all done before the kids come home from school (and that’s a tough thing to do when you take on as much as I usually do).

KGW: Do you get your best work done in the morning or in the evening?

TH: I am definitely a morning girl! By 1ish, I sag a bit, but then I perk up again when the kids get home from school. The evenings are when I do my best knitting work, however.

KGW: Can you share a productivity tool that you like and how does it help you get things done?

TH: My favorite tool is my Erin Condren Life Planner.  A little expensive, but I love everything about it! I discovered that digital planners just don’t work for me – my paper planner is always with me and spending a few minutes dolling it up with fun stickers, color-coded pens, and plans really gives my day something a little special. I am 100% on top of my appointments and deadlines and I use it for my daily to-do list.

Eye candy for the time-management-loving gal!

KGW: I love this Tabetha! I’ve been trying my darnedest to keep things in a digital planner and in Outlook, but it’s not quite working for me these days. I miss using fun-colored markers and pens and I love the act of writing by hand. It may be time for a time management makeover! 

KGW: Aside from knitting, what other things set you on fire and make you want to jump out of bed each morning?

TH: I am an entrepreneur at heart. I love starting and LEARNING new things! And when I get excited about something, I throw myself full tilt into it. I enjoy everything from  knitting, designing, photography, herbal lore, essential oils, eastern medicine, eastern religion, graphics design, writing… I have a lot of dreams, a lot of goals, and a LOT of over-the-top giddiness that can’t be contained, so with all of that, I am always ready to jump out of bed each morning and learn every single thing I can.

KGW: Thanks for such an inspiring chat and sharing your productivity tools and insights with the Creative Knitting audience. This has been so much fun. I can’t wait to get my new planner! 

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Fiber Fun Friday: Un-Knitting and Having Fun Anyway

It’s been an eventful day in my neck of the woods getting ready for the weekend festivities ahead, but I am looking forward to fitting in some relaxing knitting time. I hope you will too. With the warm weather approaching, will your knitting habits change? Do you knit what you like no matter what the season?

I’m working on the Chock wrap, designed by Norah Gaughan for Berroco. I’ve been humming along, but all of a sudden I lost a stitch. Mind you, this already happened to me once a few days ago. I found it after patiently ripping back, and wouldn’t you know it was a yarn over. I suspect the same thing happened again. It put a little damper on my evening, but instead of letting this get me down, I put my work aside. Better to take a break rather than create more frustration.

"Chock" wrap from Berroco, made with May.

“Chock” wrap designed by Norah Gaughan, made with Berroco Maya.

I decided to put down my needles, and pick up a cowl design I’ve been working on. You’ll see this in a future issue, so I can’t give too much away, but here’s sneak peek on the progress:

Cowl design for Creative Knitting magazine.

Cowl design for Creative Knitting magazine.

I started working on this last Friday, and shared the details in this post. I’ve decided to focus on some simple stitches: nothing but stockintte and seed stitch. Seed stitch is one of my ultimate favorite stitch patterns, and if you’ve been following this blog, then you already know that. There are so many reasons to love it! Read this post and you’ll see why.

When you find the right yarn and stitch combination, all you need is a easy pattern!

I can’t wait to see what kinds of projects you have planned for the weekend. Chime in on this Facebook post and let’s continue with the conversation.

Join the conversation on Facebook!

Join the conversation on Facebook!

Have a fiber filled fun weekend!

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Editor Wants to Know! What Do You Struggle With?

The Editor Wants to Know!

We all have struggles in life, and that also includes knitting. What is that thing that you struggle with? How would you like to improve in this area?

I find for myself it’s probably finding quality time to knit! I have a five, soon to turn six year old son who is incredibly active, so that’s where my focus is these days. I know this time won’t last forever, and there will come a time when I’ll be able to devote more time to knitting.

London keeps me busy. Sometimes I can knit a few stitches from time to time. As long as he gets to be involved in the process!

My son London keeps me busy! Sometimes I can sneak in a few stitches from time to time. As long as he gets to be involved in the process, he’s a happy boy!

So my question to you today is: When it comes to knitting, what do you struggle with most?

  1. Finding the time to knit.
  2. Obtaining the yarns I like at a good price.
  3. Not having the skills to take my knitting to the next level.
  4. Lack of confidence in my abilities.
  5. I don’t have access to a local yarn shop or support group of knitters.

If there’s something else that you struggle with that’s not addressed here, please share your thoughts!

 

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