My new creation is the SnuggleTots! I have been mulling this design over in my brain for about 2 or 3 months now, and its finally come to fruition! Knitted in a silky-soft mohair blend, I couldnt get Ava to take this off! Pattern is listed for sale on my Etsy shop (www.nayarx8.etsy.com) It took me about 8 or 9 hours from start to finish, and another 8 or 9 hours to write the pattern. It stretches to fit the wearer. Could probably fit from 12 mos up to 3T with minor adjustments to the pattern. You could also make this in a solid, but I found that by having stripes in the design, it made it easier to line up the pieces and the zipper; go figure! I think any bulky-weight yarn would work for this pattern. Let me know your thoughts and ideas about it!
January 31, 2008
January 27, 2008
** Obviously, these are just my personal opinions and experiences, but I thought I’d pass the info along for anybody that may be able to benefit from my mistakes**
Deciding on what yarn to use for a particular project usually just boils down to personal preference. But, sometimes picking the wrong yarn can make a project go horribly awry. And, you may not find out about until later. For example, a few months ago, I made a v-neck sweater for myself using Bernat Satin yarn in Sage. GORGEOUS color; wrong yarn for this type of project. Why? Because the KK looms are considered large-guage in the looming community, smooth yarns dont always work. By using that particular yarn for that sweater (which is comparable to Simply Soft), it now has unbelievable snags that can no longer be fixed. Its completely ruined. It wasnt all for naught though; I now use the sweater as a guage-guide for other patterns. But, I’d hate for fellow loomers to make the same costly mistakes I have. So, I thought I’d write this blog to tell which yarns I prefer for which projects, and which yarns I dont. If I had my way about it, I would always use my coveted cashmere, bamboo, alpaca, or mohair-blend yarns. But, that isnt very cost-effective, so I have to limit myself to only buying those luxury yarns when they go on sale.
Ebay can be a great place to get yarn. Just watch the shipping charges. No sense in getting a great deal on a lot of yarn only to find out that shipping is the same (or even more) than the cost of the yarn itself. I personally love Yarn Bee yarn, which is only sold at Hobby Lobby. Unfortunately, Hobby Lobby is about an hour away from me, so I never go there. Luckily, Ebay always has quite a few listings for that yarn, so I check it out from time to time.
I’m not personally a huge fan of Red Heart Super Saver yarn, but used in the right project, this inexpensive yarn can really come in handy. Available in a vast array of colors. Just keep in mind that it holds moisture in, and doesnt breathe, so choose this yarn according to your project. I personally wouldnt use it for socks or a sweater, but I would use it for hats, knitted toys, and blankets.
Caron’s Simply Soft is a “Wal-mart” yarn that can be very useful. But, to me, their colors are slightly off. For instance, their white is a dirty white; kind of like snow after car exhaust has been around it. So, if you can find a color that you like, its a great inexpensive yarn to use. Just dont use it for loomed sweaters unless you are using a non-KK loom with a smaller guage.
Bernat Softee Chunky is one of my favorite “Wal-mart” yarns. I think this yarn would work for practically any project. They have a color called “Natures Way” that I LOVE!!! Its a variegated blend of cream, beige, and blue. I would also recommend using their white or natural for cable-knit projects (more on yarns for cable-knitting later) because is very easy to work with, and its also machine wash and dry. At about $2 a skein, who can beat that?!
For those of you who prefer to get yarn at Walmart to avoid paying higher prices elsewhere, be sure to check out their clearance yarn. Last fall, I got a great deal on Bernat Haven Alpaca Blend in several different colors. If you are lucky enough to have more than one Walmart near you, check out all of them if possible. Not all Walmarts carry the same selection of yarn, and from my experience, none of them ever have the same yarn on clearance. Homespun is a very nice chunky yarn (especially paired with 1 strand of a smooth yarn) that is sold at Walmart, as well as most craft stores.
As far as smooth yarns go, I love Vanna’s Choice yarn. Her colors are very rich-looking. She has a smokey purple color that is to die-for! Plus, the texture feels nice to work with.
But, my current favorite to work with is Patons Divine. A super-soft, non-itchy mohair blend. I like to use 2 strands of it for sweaters. Making sweaters on the KK looms requires alot of thought when it comes to choosing yarn because you have to make sure you are using a thick enough yarn that wont make your finished project see-thru.
TLC Amore is a lovely yarn to work with (comparable to Moda-Dea Cheerio), but its pretty thin, so be sure to use at least 2 (if not 3) strands for your projects.
I recently got some Bernat Boucle yarn at Joanns. Wasnt too impressed with it in the store, but it looked amazing after I made a sweater with it for my nephew. Its a little pricier (about $5 to $6 a skein), but there is alot of yardage (255 yds). I think this would be lovely for a blanket using 2 strands.
Personally, I think for use on the KK looms, the only yarn Ive found that you DONT need to use at least 2 strands with, is Wool-ease Thick ‘n” Quick.
Wool-ease Jiffy yarn is a nice yarn that is fairly smooth with just a bit of “fuzziness” to it. Reminds me a little of Patons Divine, but not as fuzzy, It would be a great yarn for cable-knit, and is also machine wash and dry.
YARNS FOR CABLE-KNITTING:
The general rule is to use a light color, and a smooth yarn to show the stitches distinctly. Darker colors and fuzzy textures will obscure the gorgeous pattern that cable-knitting creates. So, to me, its kind of pointless to go through all the work of cable-knitting a project that doesnt show the stitches well. I personally love cable-knit stuff done in plain white. My one exception to the “rules”; Patons Divine. It actually shows the cable stitches quite nicely. A scarf, hat, blanket, or sweater would be beautiful using this yarn and cable-knitting.
One yarn I cant stand to loom with, is chenille yarn. I love it for crocheting, but not for the looms. The only time Ive ever had yarn break on me during a project was when I used chenille yarn. If you still want to try it, by all means go for it, just wrap your pegs very loose.
Also, try asking your local dollar store about yarn. Mine didnt carry it, but after talking to the manager, they ordered 5 different kinds in assorted colors. Now, Im sure this isnt going to be a great quality, but cheap yarn can be good for testing out a new design that you want to try BEFORE spending a ton of money on the “good stuff”.
January 22, 2008
Toddler Snowman Sweater. Its been a long time since Ive last posted. In the meantime, Ive been loom knitting up a storm! Ive designed a Toddler Snowman Pattern and a Toddler Mock Turtleneck pattern (Mock Turtlneck pattern for sale on my Etsy shop: www.nayarx8.etsy.com) Ive also created a snowman drawstring pattern (available in 3 sizes), a snowman hat, a xmas tree hat, and a cable knit ball.
Last night I just finished a Sweater Dress for Ava. She can wear it with pants or with tights.
Im currently working on an Adult CableKnit Sweater pattern, and a toddler one-piece pajama pattern.
August 8, 2007
I made up this matching set for my daughters best friends upcoming b-day. Its sized 18 to 24 mos. Comes with a matching shrug, tank top, and purse, I added decorative buttons to the tank and the purse. I tried this set on Ava, and it looks so cute on!
The ocean-y, spa-like colors of this variegated yarn grabbed my eye while in Michaels one day, and I just had to get it. I also was ready to start a new project. I always have a hard time deciding between making something for smaller kids than adults because those projects go so much faster! So, I finally decided to try out my tank top pattern, only in an adult size. This is probably the equivalent to an adult x-small/small. I also used a strand of aqua mohair yarn throughout it. I then crocheted the halter-style straps, and did some crochet trim around the bottom hem.
One of the things I love about the loom set is that you can have 4 projects going at once. So, while I had my smaller looms filled with other stuff, I used the big yellow loom and made a shawl. I used the pattern that is in the Knifty Knitter 2 booklet. Its technically not quite done yet; I need to add either fringe or turn it into a shrug. Any ideas? I made it for my sister to may be use at her upcoming wedding, so if anybody has any ideas on a cute way to finish it, please let me know! I need to ship it by 8-13-07. I used two different white yarns; a sport weight and a slightly fuzzy baby yarn. I also added rows of metallic silver funfur througout the pattern.
August 7, 2007
The reason I wanted to start this page is because of my recent experiences with the Knifty Knitter. A few weeks ago, I got the urge to knit. I have crocheted for years, but I have always wanted to make knitted sweaters (preferably cable-stitch). So, I headed to Walmart and got a “teach myself to knit” kit. It came with cable stitch holders, stitch markers, stitch counters, two sizes of knitting needles, tapestry needles, and a instruction book (Notice that I said book, and not booklet. This book has over 15 patterns along with instructions for both right and left-handed knitteres.) Picked out some pretty yarn and hurried home. I was so excited to start! Finally, my daughter went to bed and I settled on the couch to learn my new craft. Well, 24 hours later, I was so disappointed and mad at myself. I couldnt seem to figure it AT ALL!!! I tried every method in that book! The whole time Im messing with this, I kept kicking myself for not getting the Knifty Knitter looms I saw instead. A friend of mine told me about them last winter, and for some stupid reason, I continued to crochet all my winter scarves and blankets last year. This year, I wanted to get a jump on making winter stuff since most of my family lives in CO. And, the Knifty Knitter seemed like a perfect way to make lots of projects in a shorter amount of time.
I spent ALOT of time researching Knifty Knitters and patterns. Printed out 50 pages worth of tips, info, and assorted patterns I really did my homework! So, went to Michaels two days after I got the original knitting set and bought the Knifty Knitter 4 round loom set for about $12. Also picked up some amazing aqua mohair yarn. Came home and immediately started on my first priject; a newborn hat for a friend that is pregnant. An hour later, I was done. Yep! Completely finished. That is how fast and easy these looms were to use. Started pouring over all the patterns I printed off the internet, and 24 hours later, I made a knitted diaper cover (special thanks to Tina Marie Edgar for creating this pattern) and matching tank top for my daughter! The looms were so easy to work with that I was able to create my own patterns from the start. Thats what I did for this tank top.