Dogs like Fashion too. OK, well maybe just the warmth of Fashion.

If you live in the North of the USA and have dogs (or cats for that matter ) that need to go outside on a blustery cold day you might need to think of ways to provide warmth for them inside and out.

tessinknitteddogsweater_fotor
Tessie modeling her custom made sweater.

Number one option look online or in a pet store for a ready made sweater ,coat or bed. Or if you are handy with sewing, crocheting, knitting, maybe you want to try your hand at making something for your special canine or feline friend.  Several years ago I was presented with the need to make a sweater for a friend’s adopted greyhound. I was delighted with the opportunity, but not quite sure where to start. After researching patterns I ended up making my own. The picture of Tessie in the sweater I made for her is above.

Here are some places to start your search for free patterns:

I hope this gives you some inspiration. And if not, there is always Amazon or Pet Stores.  Have an enjoyable warm evening.

Crafting With Yarn Has Many Health Benefits

Taking part in hand crafts  involving yarn  is both rewarding and relaxing. It is a challenge to your mind, but not to the point that you would feel mentally exhausted. This makes it great therapy for de-stressing. It should come as no surprise therefore, that doing yarn crafting yields health benefits.

Read about the health benefits in the following yarnbasketblog post:

By . “10 Most Important Health Benefits of Yarncrafting” , Lionbrand Blog, May 20,2014. Web May 24,2014.  <http://blog.lionbrand.com/2014/05/20/10-most-important-health-benefits-of-yarncrafting/>.

10 Most Important Health Benefits of Yarncrafting  By Kathryn Vacillo
Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo is an expert in the area of using crafting to heal, having researched the topic extensively for her book Crochet Saved My Life. This is part one in her 6-part series for us on the topic of yarncraft health. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here
Yarn heals. Whether you prefer needles or hooks or a combination of both, crafting can soothe your body and mend your mind. Anecdotal evidence has shown this for decades and new research confirms it with science. The benefits people report are seemingly endless. Here are the top 10 yarncrafting health benefits.

 1. Knitting and Crochet Relieve Depression
Depression relief is by far the most reported and studied benefit of crochet and knitting. The repetition of the crafts has been shown to release serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. CNN recently reported that “in one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling “very happy.”
2. Crafting Reduces Anxiety
Yarncrafts helps with various forms of anxiety. It keeps your hands busy and mind focused …… Read More

 

Looking for Yarn?

I often go to the manufacturer’s website directly to look for yarns, sometimes they introduce new, and other times they just might have a good clearance going on.  Bernat, Red Heart, Lion Brand just to name a few. I also sign up for the newsletters by email since you get a heads up on new yarns being introduced , as well as access to  free patterns.

Here is an interesting new yarn that Bernat is introducing… I just love the luscious colors and love working with bright, vibrant self striping colors.

Introducing Bernat Mosaic – Luxury and Style

We have a special treat for you today. Introducing Bernat® Mosaic, your new favorite yarn. First – be stunned by the richness of the colors; Second– be inspired by the inventive color combinations; Third – be amazed as the long stripes appear between your fingers; and Finally, enjoy knowing that caring for the finished product is as easy as can be.

Bernat® Mosaic is a worsted-weight yarn, perfect for afghans, garments, and accessories. The color shifts look great in simple stockinette, with textured details, as crochet motifs, and anything else you can come up with. Bright, dark, subtle, bold – jump into your favorite color scheme and go where the yarn takes you. Even beginners can create their own work of art with Bernat® Mosaic.

bernat-ball_mosaicThere are many yummy colors available to see them click here:     Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     

Source:  Bernat Newsletter and Bernat Website: http://www.bernat.com/index.php 

Window Shopping on a HOT Day!!

I don’t know about you, but on some really steamy days when it is actually cooler in Florida than here in the Northeast, I like to spend the hottest part of the day in the air conditioned office just browsing the web.

window-shopping

 

 

This is how I find some terrific websites that sell:

  • FabricConnecting Threads, Fabric Attic Store on Ebay (I’ve purchased several fabrics from this lady-excellent service, fast shipping, reasonable prices!!)
  • Burkholder’s Fabrics (purchase here frequently!)
  • Quilting kitsSun Valley Quilts -quilt patterns and kits as well as fabric, beautiful assortment.
  • Yarn- Chain stores –Michael’s, AC Moore, but also on a local level you can usually find beautiful natural, unique yarns such as Alpaca at a local yarn shop, (you will also be helping the local economy).
  • Books on quilting, sewing, crafting, etc. You can usually find these at any of the above listed stores or on Amazon.com at a reduced price, perhaps even by” going green “at yard sales.
  • Patterns for sewing, quilting, other crafts- most fabric stores carry these, but you can also look at specialty online stores, one of my favorites for purse patterns is Jackie’s Desighns (I have purchased some very unique purse patterns from this designer, excellent service and fast shipping!)
  • Plenty of  other craft items also , just use Google or Yahoo to search for your particular interest, and have fun browsing!

All this sets my imagination to working as to what project I would enjoy doing next. I also like to follow their blogs or join the newsletter list. This way I can keep up with their sales without any effort. Well enjoy the hot weather, the snow will fly soon enough! Till next time, have a good day!

Knitting Techniques for More Successful Knitting

Knitting Daily (where life meets knitting).

yarnneedles-177-x-132If you are interested in learning to knit, just learning to knit, or an experienced knitter, who can turn down a great offer like this??
Here you can download a FREE e-book, which you can store on your computer hard drive, or print out so you have a copy in your hand.

Knitting Techniques for More Successful Knitting Help for all Knitters from the Knitting Daily Experts

  Knitting excites us. It puts us at ease. Knitting allows us to express our creativity and construct beauty. Knitting challenges us. No matter what drives you to pick up your knitting needles, no matter what your skill level, this free download is a must-have guide that all knitters will appreciate and enjoy. Keep a copy in your project bag so you can always have a quick reference for casting on, cable knitting, stitches for embellishing or fixing errant colors, knitting finishing techniques, and more! Now expert knitting tips will always be within reach once you
download your free copy of Knitting Techniques for More Successful Knitting—Help for all Knitters
.

Claim your free copy today...
This is the guide that every knitter will benefit from and use!

“It ‘s Just Too Darn Hot to Knit/Crochet! ” No It Is NOT!

Many people think of knitting and crocheting as a winter or cold weather only activity because of the weight and warmth of the yarn. It doesn’t have to be that way.

There are so many wonderful lightweight yarns of luscious beautiful colors and textures out there. Cotton yarns and cotton yarn blends,  are some of my favorites, especially for knitting baby items like this hat I made for my granddaughter this spring. And the best part about it is crocheting and knitting are a take along hobby that is easy to carry with you. You can work on it just about anywhere!

kyleehatMedium weight cotton yarn, or “worsted,” makes an excellent knitting yarn for washcloths and dishtowels. There are a variety of patterns available, both free and for purchase, that allow the user to customize a project. Using a cotton yarn blend allows for strength and durability when making washcloths that will be used in the kitchen, and using pure, soft cotton allows for a lovely face cloth.

Finer or thinner weight projects that utilize all-cotton yarn or cotton blends range from socks and shawls to gloves and short-sleeved or sleeveless tops. Cotton sock yarn is generally blended with nylon to give it more stretch and durability, two qualities that pure cotton yarn does not have. Lace weight cotton yarn can make a gossamer shawl look as though it were made of spider silk. For this variety of knitting project, a type of yarn called “mercerized cotton” is used. This type has been exposed to chemical and heat processes to improve the shine and luster of the fibers, as well as increase their absorbency. Tank tops are generally made from mercerized cotton or cotton yarn blended with a more exotic fiber, such as silk or bamboo, to make the finished project feel softer.

There are also different types of yarn blends that can be used. Cotton blended with silk is common, although cotton can be blended in the manufacturing process with just about any other fiber. There has been an increase in cotton blends, leading those who are sensitive or allergic to wool to take up crafting again with new gusto. Hand-dyed yarns also provide a creative and colorful outlet for knitters. Cotton yarn can be purchased that is already specially hand-dyed from smaller, independent companies, or bought in its natural hue for dying at home.

So don’t give up a relaxing, rewarding hobby just because the weather has turned warmer. Get to your local yarn shop or large craft stores in your area such as Michael’s  or AC Moore just to name a few.

IF IT IS TOO HOT OUTSIDE FOR YOU TO VENTURE OUT….SHOP ONLINE AND ENJOY YOUR SUMMER WEATHER.

Source:
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-best-uses-for-cotton-yarn.htm

Ever think of substituting a different kind of yarn than the one the pattern calls for?

I know there are plenty of times I will look at a new pattern, or an existing one, and think; I have yarn in my stash that I could use for that particular pattern that would look great. Only to find ,when you start to knit that it does not hold true to the size. Ahh darn, (many sighs and groans as I rip it out), live and learn. But a solution.

I subscribe to a Knitting Newsletter by Email that has lots of tips and tricks and this particular subject came up the other week. Let me share it with you. Perhaps if you enjoy this article you might want to get a free subcription to her Knitting Daily Newsletter yourself. I HIGHLY recommend subscribing to Kathleen Cubley’s very informative newsletter. It is free and so informative!! To Subscribe CLICK HERE
…………………………………………………………………………………….
Gauge and Yarn Substitution. by Kathleen Cubley. 11 June 2011. Knitting Daily.com

This shows what happens when you knit thinner and thicker yarns on the same size needles. Both yarns produce the same number of stitches per inch, or nearly so. The thin yarn makes slightly more rows per inch. In this swatch, knitted on size 7 needles, the orange (top) yarn, a handspun 3-ply, measures about 16 wraps per inch (which is lace weight). The teal (bottom) yarn is a 2-ply that measures about 8 wraps per inch (Aran weight). Both yarns knit up at a gauge of 4 1/2 stitches per inch. The section knitted from the thicker teal yarn has 6 rows per inch, while the orange section has 7 rows per inch.

………………………………………………………………………………………..
Gauge and Yarn Substitution. by Kathleen Cubley. 11 June 2011. Knitting Daily.com
I’ve been reading a lot about gauge lately because I want to knit something on my knitting machine, and gauge is different on the machine than it is on the needles. I came upon this great information in an unexpected resource: one of our new spinning eBooks. Rita Buchanan is a master spinner and teacher, so it’s no surprise she has some good hints about gauge.

Here’s part of her gauge article. To see the entire piece, check out A Closer Look, the new eBook by Rita Buchanan.
Handling a Knitted Fabric and Responding to How it Feels. by Rita Buchanan

We’re continually reminded of the importance of gauge. Virtually every published pattern specifies a required number of stitches per inch (some patterns also note rows per inch) and the directions always emphasize that you must match the specified gauge or your project will turn out too big or too small.

Although gauge certainly matters a lot, it’s not the whole story. Here is a fundamental issue in knitting that is rarely acknowledged or discussed: Two knitted fabrics can have the same or similar gauge yet feel very different.
Pattern writers rarely talk about how a fabric should feel, because they don’t have to. Instead, they tell you what yarn to use. If you knit with the particular yarn that they recommend and match the specified gauge, the fabric will feel right for the project.

However, when you vary from the directions by substituting another yarn, the matter of feel becomes important. You must apply some judgment—and some swatching—to make sure the substitute yarn yields appropriate results.

With a substitute yarn, it’s not enough to match the specified gauge. You must also produce a fabric that feels right for the kind of project you’re making. A dressy sweater, for instance, must feel different from work socks, even though both can be worked at a gauge of 5 stitches per inch. Fabric that feels substantial enough for work socks is too bulky and unyielding for a sweater, while a supple, drapey fabric you’d love in a dressy sweater won’t hold up for work socks.
READ THE REST OF THIS INFORMATIVE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

4 Reasons to take up Knitting

by Andrea Katz

We live in a society that moves at a relentless pace, wanting instant gratification & hardly ever stopping to take stock of what is really important in life. In this environment, many people are searching for something creative & rewarding to occupy themselves. Hundreds of thousands of people are finding that creative outlet in KNITTING. So why should you take up knitting?

tuck-stitch-hand-knitting-29-4-16-22Firstly, as mentioned above, it is a creative outlet. There is nothing like the feeling of achievement of taking yarn & 2 needles (or 4!) & creating a pair of socks or a jumper or a toy for your favourite small person. Knitting involves only 2 stitches that are repeated in varying ways to produce absolutely endless possibilities for your creativity.
Secondly, knitting is relaxing. After a long day at work, coming home and sitting down to knit a few rows enables you to relax (unless you’re knitting a really complicated pattern & getting it wrong – then knitting can be stressful!). Have a few projects on the go at all times so you have ‘relaxing’ knitting & ‘complicated’ knitting & can knit the appropriate project depending on your mood.

Thirdly, knitting exercises your brain. ‘Complicated’ knitting involving intricate lace work, or a pattern that has 54 rows to every pattern repeat can really stretch your thinking processes. Not to mention having to calculate how to pick up stitches or increase/decrease stitches evenly.

Finally, you should take up knitting because you might love it! Many a dedicated knitter was initially a knit-sceptic, thinking knitting was for grannies, but once taught how to use those needles found they loved it because it’s creative & relaxing & exercises your brain & a host of other reasons. Some knit-a-holics tried knitting once, many years ago & failed but on trying again fell in love & haven’t looked back.

So, for the reasons mentioned above, give knitting a go & you might surprise yourself with what you can achieve.

About the Author
Andrea Katz has been knitting for 28 years & is a self confessed knit addict. She knits any & everything & sometimes designs her own patterns.
To view some of Andrea’s knits, see http://babypieknits.blogspot.com/

Summer Coming On-Good Time to Learn Crafts

 

Summer will be upon us before we know it. With summer ,comes vacation, and longer days with hopefully a little more time to relax.

If you have been wanting to learn to do some type of crafting, why wait?

blog_yarnSummer is a good time to learn to do different crafts. Take knitting or crocheting for example….with learning to knit or crochet now, you can make yourself a simple scarf or perhaps a simple knitted or crocheted purse to use this fall.

There are many nice beginner’s patterns out there as well as simplified instructions on learning how to knit or crochet. The manufacturers of yarns usually have a nice variety of free patterns based on your skill level. You will usually need to register with their website ,to use the patterns, but this is also free. Here a few of my favorites:

LION BRAND Yarnhttp://www.lionbrand.com/

BERNAT Yarnshttp://www.bernat.com/

These are just two fine examples of websites that offer so much and for free, what better a price in this hard economy.

Learning a new handcraft will give you something to do, especially if you like many others , will be vacationing at home this year due to economic conditions. You will be able to take pride in your own handiwork, and when someone admires your finished product you can proudly say, “Thank you! I made it myself!”

Thank you for visiting Jennie Salinda and stop by again real soon.