Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Countdown to Knitmas: Day 25!

We hope you have enjoyed spending the month of December with us here at Anacapa Fine Yarns. We want to thank you for reading our blog, and for all the nice comments we get here and on Facebook.

Have a lovely and safe holiday!
-Your Friends at Anacapa Fine Yarns (Lois, Karin, Anne, Terry, and Kaity!)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Countdown to Knitmas: Day 24!

This tip may be the coolest tip of the whole year - a kfb without the purl bump.

This idea comes form the designer of my current favorite sweater - Funky Grandpa.

Hope what you were hoping for is under the tree!

Happy Holiday Needling,
Can you find my kid?

How 'bout my other kid? Or me? ;)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Countdown to Knitmas: Day 23!

Hey everyone! It's Christmas Eve-Eve and I am so excited. All my gifts are finished and wrapped up under the tree, and now I get to relax and celebrate! Today's post is going to just be a bit of fun. If you have visited our shop, you've probably seen the yarn-related cartoons we have hanging up in our restroom. Here's a few more that I've found searching around Pinterest. Enjoy!

Countdown to Knitmas: Day 22!

A little while ago, a great knitter named Carol showed me a cool thing that she keeps in her project bag. It made me think of the cool toys that James Bond (or Maxwell Smart) would have hidden within unassuming everyday items like a cigarette rocket (or a shoe phone).

So C's trick for 00K(nitter) is to take a simple ballpoint pen with a cap and remove its insides; replace the pen workings with a thin crochet hook and a tapestry needle. Now, you are armed to fix drop stitches, insert a life line, and weave in your ends AND you have wrangled some illusive and important tools. I was thinking that this use would be a good one for keepsake pens from your favorite vacation spot, mechanic, etc.

Happy Holiday Needling,

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Countdown to Knitmas: Day 21!

Hello everyone! I know you've all been furiously knitting and crocheting gifts aplenty, and today I want to share with you all some ideas for wrapping up those gifts to give away using leftover yarn. I often get asked what I do with my little leftover bits, and I always save them because I know I can use them for something someday (can you say hoarder?).

How cute would it be to wrap up the gift using a bit of the yarn you used to knit it? Like a tiny preview of what's inside. Here's a couple ideas for ya:

 I love the idea of transforming some plain brown paper with a colorful rainbow of yarn ties. Easy and effective!

Similar idea, but attach a few tassels and it's instant-fancy!

Make a tiny pom pom and wrap a little yarn around a plain box and you are good to go.

Keep it simple with some pretty colored paper and a big chunky yarn bow!

If you want to get really fancy, weave a little yarn in two colors around a box, how neat and clean does that look??

Happy wrapping!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Countdown to Knitmas: Day 20!

Dante is getting these sweet elf slippers. There are lots of patterns on Ravelry that use this concept, a square knitted from the corner out. I used this one and changed it to fit his foot length; his foot measure 6 inches, so, I increased to 52 sts or until one of the edges of the square measured 6 inches ( and wrote that st. count down for the mate). When it came time to decrease, I decreased until I was down to approx. 22% of my total (12 sts). I used a Self striping colorway of Plymouth Worssted. I could probably make another pair from what remains which might be a good choice to save the frustration of future lost slippers.

This project is quite quick, especially when you are dealing with still smallish feet.

Here are some other cool ones that use the same concept:
3. CFSJ-Pantoufles lutin (This one is in French, but I like the Pompoms.)

Happy Holiday Needling,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Countdown to Knitmas: Day 19!

Less than 1 week left before the big day, and I am scrambling to get all my handmade gifts finished! I still have a few hats left to knit and I'll probably be working on them until I leave for our annual Christmas Eve tamale dinner and white elephant gift exchange with my family.

If you need to whip out some cute and funky presents QUICKLY, I have the answer for you: Arm Knitting.

Back on day 12 Anne talked about Finger Knitting, a great intro for kids to the art of knitting. Arm knitting is a similar idea, but up-sized! This is another great activity for kids, or anyone who has never touched a pair of knitting needles before. Or, if you are already an avid knitter, this is a super fun way to use up some stash and get a cute scarf out of the deal. You can make a scarf in less than an hour, just be sure to block out some time to "knit" where you have nothing else going on, because your arms will be occupied!

Here's a link to a great tutorial on making a scarf with arm knitting. Click Here. Using these instructions, I gave this a go, and here's my finished Arm-Knit Eternity Scarf!

I think it's so cute and stylish! I used 2 balls of Encore Mega, holding 2 strands together. I cast on 7 stitches, and knit until my scarf measured 70", then I bound off and stitched my ends together.
As you can see, it's very long, but I like the option of doubling it around my neck, or even tripling it!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed giving arm-knitting a try, it's so fun!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Countdown to Knitmas: Day 18!

Grandma Lecrivain gave my mom an important piece of advice that she made good use of as we kids grew up. As a household plagued with many bouts of hay fever all year, Grandma advised my mom to use a long athletic sock and a diaper pin in lieu of a scarf with a Vapor Rub, pinning that setup around our necks when we were tucked into bed. You may have had a similar treatment at home but with a scarf, but a scarf can be a bit of a tangle to sleep in and the sock is nice and close fitting without any extra to it. I always awoke feeling improved by the comfort of this care - still sniffling, but certainly improved.

For a while, when the sniffles hit our house, I have been meaning to make some cowls that would do the job of the athletic sock (nobody wears long socks at my house). It needed to be washable, warm, close fitting, and stylish enough that the sniffler could keep the comfort tucked around the collar as the day continues.

I present to you, in Spud and Chloe Sweater:

The Feel Better Cowl
Sizes: circumference - 20(22)inches, child(adult); height - 5 inches

Gauge: 4sts/inch and  rows/inch

Needles: US9/5.5mm 16 inch circular or the size needle required for you to achieve that gauge; Optional - DPNs in the same size as you circular needle for making the i-cord button loop right at the beginning (you can use your circular because it is just a few rows so it is not that annoying to use this tool for that job).

1 large button, approx 1 inch

Yarn: approx 80 yds of worsted weight yarn; my sample uses Spud and Chloe Swaeter (160yds/100g, 45% Organic Cotton and 55% Superwash Merino Wool) and I could get 2 cowls from one ball.

CO 3 sts. Work an i-cord for 10 rows. Insert the left end of you circular needle into spots along the cast on edge ("pick up" rather than pick up and knit"). Knit across these 3 sts.

Now, turn your work and cable CO 74(82) sts for a total of 80(88)sts. (If you would like to make this larger or smaller, respectively, add or subtract inches by taking sets of 4 sts. away. Then, your ribbing still works. If you go larger, then you may need more yarn.) Turn your work again so that the i-cord button loop is in your left hand and the yarn is coming from your right hand. Bring the tips together, making sure that there is no twist, and begin working in the round. Remember to place a beginning of the round stitch marker.

Round 1-4: *K2, P2, repeat from * around
Round 5-24: Knit.
Round 25-27: *K2, P2, repeat from * around
BO in pattern. Weave in your ends.

Sew the button to the cowl. I have been placing them about 4(5) inches to the left of the button loop (with the loop to the top) and in the center of the stockinette. To save having to break out the measuing tape, I would place the center of the button under the 4th(5th) set of purl bumps and then eyeball the center.

As you can see, I have them in in various stages of complete; six knitted and 6 to go.
The Comfort is for the non wool wearing recipient.

Happy Holiday Needling,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Countdown to Knitmas: Day 17!

Guess what? Only 10 days until Christmas! Yay! I wanted to kind of piggy-back off of Anne's post yesterday featuring Ewe Ewe Yarns Wooly Worsted. If you didn't see the cute headband she posted about yesterday, click here.

Ewe Ewe Worsted is my favorite worsted right now. It comes in great colors, is super soft, and great for gifts. For $9 you get 95 yards of merino PACKED with color, and I have a few ideas for your of quick gifts to make with 1 ball.

Perfect as a teacher gift or for your neighbor, a coffee cup cozy! This is a free pattern from Ewe Ewe, click here.

New baby in the family? How cute is this Baby Bear Hat!

Ear bud covers! How genius is that? Keep your headphones tangle-free! Click here.

Last yearn Anne posted a pattern for this cute Headband that uses one ball and some fun buttons. Click here.

That's just a few ideas with what you can do with 95 yards of goodness. Happy knitting!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Countdown to Knitmas: Day 16!

Today and in the following few days, we are going to point you to a parade of really quick and cute gifts that you can easily knock out in the remaining days before Christmas arrives.

First, I want to share the Twisty Rolly Headband by Sara Dudek. Using ewe ewe Worsted, I am whipping these cuties up in many colors. They are done lickety split, fast enough that I may be able to sneak in a couple for myself. I keep daydreaming about wearing it while I am trying to do yoga and being saved from those little flyaway hairs that tickle my nose.

The pattern is a quick little recipe which she enriches with a blog entry and a pdf with pictures and tips, in addition to the pattern.

The gauge on the original is 3.5 sts/inch. My gauge was closer to 4sts/inch, so I cast on 72 sts rather than 65 sts. My finished headband measured about 18 inches unstretched, making for a snug fit on my 22 inch head.

The hardest part about this project was making myself put in a twist before beginning knitting. On a couple, I got a few rounds in before I realized that I had carefully untwisted everything as I joined in the round, as I always do. Rippit, rippit, I frogged back and would begin again with a twist.

This method of putting in a twist is not a true moebius, creating a double twist rather that the cool single that true moebius sports. However, it requires no tricky cast on and gets the job done.

Sara's Ravelry Designer profile led me to check out a really cool company - Krochet Kids International. They are working to empower handcrafters in Uganda. Each item is handmade and signed by the artist. So, if you still have a long list and little time to make for all of those on that list, then you might find some treasure to order from there. I found the pricing really reasonable for the high quality of work and the great styles.

Happy Holiday Needling,

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Countdown to Knitmas: Day 15!

Hi guys! I just wanted to do a quick post today to end your weekend. Whenever I see vintage pictures of celebrities knitting is makes me happy, so I thought I'd share some with you. Enjoy!
Frank Sinatra borrowing Jane Powell's knitting

Fred Astaire watching Ginger Rogers

Liz Taylor

Judy Garland

Audrey Hepburn

Debbie Reynolds

Sopia Loren

and last but not least, Cary Grant! He may be having a little trouble.