Posted on Leave a comment

Winding a Hank of Yarn into a Center Pull Ball

Yarn typically arrives in a ball or a hank/skein. Either way, I like to have them prepared into a center pull ball for easier knitting. The center pull ball doesn’t roll around everywhere. And, there is more even tension on the yarn when it comes out of the center. There are several ways to get a hank of yarn into a ball: using a ball winder and swift, using a ball winder and the back of the chair, or using the entirely manual method employed in the video by my husband when we were on vacation. The key is to not tangling the yarn is to make sure you are unwrapping it and not pulling on it.

The hand wound center pull ball:
I needed to use this yarn double-stranded, so he started the ball with a butterfly. Hold the strand between 2 fingers and then the yarn is wrapped in a figure eight fashion around your fingers and then pulled off and wound into the ball shape (keeping the center strand free so you can pull it out later).

Of course, balls don’t need to be wound by hand at all, a ball winder and swift make quick work of it too. Here’s my affiliate link if you need these tools in your toolbox. Thanks!!

Posted on Leave a comment

Warm tootsies

I felted my clogs last night.

Monumental because I found a Facebook picture of them started January 1, and then finished and waiting for seaming uploaded on February 22.  And they have been sitting in my basket waiting for me since then. Why so long? I didn’t have a chibi!! Can you believe it? That’s like the cobblers children.

And, in July, I got a new-to-me washing machine with tons of water levels, temperature levels and spin cycle. Talk about confusion. The one I had before was simply a stick it in, turn it on and everything felts. Lol.

So, an hour television show, a chibi, and a couple runs through the washer and look what I have.

Felted Clogs

Warm tootsies!! Wet, but still warm. Amazing!! Yarn was two strands of Stonehedge Shepherd’s Wool in two different greens (leftovers) and two strands of Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride (available by special order). They felted a little bit differently, I’m assuming due to the mohair content in the lamb’s pride, so I felted them a little longer but the Shepherd’s Wool gives a little once on the foot. Overall, I’m happy. And after wearing my last one for about ten years, even with my toes peaking through, I need these in the mornings.

Woohoo, one empty basket! Have you made felted clogs?? What is your favorite yarn?

Posted on Leave a comment

Jul handle save 35%, free Noni pattern, 10% off yarn order; AND the new Sharp Large Interchangeables!

Wow! Its been a busy past few days. First up is the December Deal Day 8 — 35% off Jul Hardware, a free Noni pattern and a coupon for 10% off future yarn purchase. Here’s the link to see the deals and get the coupon code:

Then, we just received in the Large “SHARP” tip interchangeables. We have been waiting on these forever. Here’s the link to order those:

I’ve put a few technique classes on the schedule for January: Fair Isle and Entrelac along with our Sweater KAL that will be starting out of the Knit, Swirl! book and the Stillenti KAL that will start in March or April or whenever the yarn gets here.


Posted on 9 Comments

Getting on the road


It’s always hard for me to choose a project for a road trip. i have class samples to do, sweaters to finish, my ongoing lace knitting, socks, and baby blankets.

Today though? It’s going to be baby booties for the twins-to-be. Plus, I’m trying two new products to our store, Knitting Today. They are Cascade 220 Superwash Sport and 6″ sharp hiyahiya double points. I usually use the magic loop technique. Especially while in the car. I couldn’t resist and cast on last night.

The yarn knits well without splitting. The needles are lightweight, get into the stitch easy. I haven’t done any decreases yet. Plus, I’m knitting a sport weight yarn on size 2 needles, but there is a lot of give to the garter stitch. I think they’ll be cozy warm yet still move with the little,piggly-wigglys when they get here (any time now that they are at 36 weeks and momma is dilated to 3cm).

What are you knitting?

Posted on Leave a comment

New Knit Happy!

Weekender Duffle

Karen is a busy, busy  lady, making sure that we have plenty of Knit Happy products to satisfy our need for those fun little extras.  She has added a new collection , called the Uptown Collection, to her line of Knit Happy products. 

These products have a different flavor than the other totes and accessory bags.  They are made of a quilt-look black microfiber that gives them a bit more sophisticated look, hence the name.  While they still boast the Knit Happy logo, they go beyond the knitting totes that we have come to love.  The Weekender Duffle is roomy enough to fit everything you need for a weekend getaway, while the Sling Purse is small enough to be convenient, but is also packed full of pockets.  Click the link at top to see the entire collection.

In addition to the Uptown Collection, there is a new little tote, called the Take-Along Tote that is just right for smaller projects.  I’m thinking this would be a great little poolside bag.  Stuff a bottle of sunscreen in the front pocket, throw a book or Kindle, maybe an iPod, and a sock project in the tote and I’m good for the afternoon.  You can bet that the purse hanger is going to find it’s way home with me some day soon.  I do not like to set my purse on the floor at restaurants, sometimes chairs just aren’t designed to hold a purse, and if one is able to hang the strap over the back of the chair then the purse is hanging out there in everyone’s way.  Or maybe that part is just because I have a purse the size of small luggage.  Either way, I must have this!

Knit Happy Tape Measures

That isn’t all!  Check out the entire Knit Happy line, including the new tape measurers,  here.

Posted on Leave a comment

insouciant back in stock!

While Susan has the pleasure of scanning, photographing and describing new yarn, I get to do the fun job of processing reorders, special orders and deciding on new products, books and gadgets. If you’ve been waiting for Cat Bordhi’s Personal Footprints book, its here!! I’ll call you for pickup information or shipping information based on your date of order. Some other new fun gadgets in the store are the Heart Pom-Pom Makers and the Stitchkeepers by Rollie (to keep your doublepoint needles in your project while in your bag!).  restock of Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters

Heart Pompom Makers

Stitchkeepers by Rollie

Enjoy browsing!!  Lea-Ann

Posted on 4 Comments

Stocking Pics

The finished product!

As promised (or threatened, depending on how you look at it), here is a picture of the stocking.  Finished and ready to hang for Christmas 2010.  It was a lot of fun but I am so glad I have it finished.  I’m thinking that before I hang it next year I will change the hanger ribbon to something more substantial.  The ribbon they provided is really too thin to be used for anything other than decoration but I was so desperate to get it done and hanging before I packed everything away that I used it.  I want something a bit wider and not so flimsy.   I stuck in a few close-ups hoping that the beading would show up.  Also you cannot tell that the tinsel is metallic and really picks up the light and shines.  The best thing of all is that my daughter is happy with it, I am happy with it and it gives me a good feeling to know that it is safely resting until needed. 

The really goofy thing is that now I wish I had another cross-stitch project to do.  Like I don’t have enough knitting sitting around, begging to be finished.  Or started, as the case may be.  Then again, can we ever have too many projects going?

Posted on 2 Comments

They’re heeere…

The 5″ tips for the HiyaHiya Interchangeables, not a poltergeist.  They’ve been here for a few weeks, to tell the truth, but I wanted to give them a good test run before posting about them. I’ve been using the 4″ tips and thought I loved them. But apparently it was just a crush because when I switched one of my projects to the 5″ tip (just to see if I noticed much of a difference) there were fireworks and I heard birds singing and felt all warm and tingly. Well, maybe I’m making up the part about the fireworks and the birds.  But, I immediately forgot about the 4″ tips sitting beside me on the end table. For me that extra inch makes a world of difference. Which is funny because I never felt that the 4″ tips were too short; never thought “boy, I wish these were longer” but now that I’ve used the longer I wonder that I never wished for them. I do think that I will want the 4″ tips for smaller projects like socks, but I will definitely invest in the longer tips as I need them.

Also just in are the c2knits patterns that I promised earlier. My favorite is the Moxie, but the Hayley Hoodie is right up my alley as well. I would put long sleeves on it and make it a winter garment, but that’s just me. All these patterns are top down (except for the skirts which are bottom up) and seamless. Doesn’t get much better than that.

By the way… are you ready for some football?

Posted on 2 Comments

Say it with me-

I do not need another bag, I do not need another bag, I do NOT need another bag!

But, these are so pretty!  And they’re just the right size for a smaller project (never mind that I’m not working on any small projects… I’ll start one).  And they have a nice wide bottom so they stand up.  And it is so cool how the handle is attached to the zipper.  They are lovely and I want one.  What am I talking about? 

The new HiyaHiya Project Bag, of course! Available in red, or blue.


Also never mind that I just bought a very cool, one of a kind bag from a local crafter (Melissa Hess, of Green Chick Designs).  It holds my bigger projects, has a pocket big enough for a pattern/book on one side (with a small pocket on the outside of the big pocket) and a smaller pocket on the other.  Also has a nice sized pocket on the inside and a strap long enough that I can carry it messenger style and knit while I’m doing whatever.  I really like that it is made almost entirely of recycled clothing and upholstery fabric.  Very cool.  Check it out…..

.Susan’s bag frontfront of bag..Susan’s bag2back of bag..susans-bag-inside.JPGinside bag.

I just love it when I have something different; when I know that there will most definitely not ever be another “one” just like “it”. You know, something a little “funky”.  I just adore the fabrics on this bag.  As I said before, I don’t need another bag but I couldn’t resist the fabrics.  I find myself running my hand over the circular patterned fabric and the fringe around the top.  If you like the idea of having a one-of-a-kind bag there will be some in the shop closer to the holidays.  She has several different sizes available, each one different.  Can’t wait to see what she comes up with! – Susan

P.S.  Also, never mind that I just commissioned a purse from her.  Not the one pictured above, but one to carry as an actual purse.

P.P.S.  Again, also never mind that she had an adorable smaller purse for a little girl that I just had to get.

P.P.P.S.  I still want the HiyaHiya bag.  What can I say?  I’m a bag whore….