Thursday, June 27, 2013

A2Z Yarn Shop Visit

I had the opportunity to take a mini vacation during the week and of course looked up a yarn shop. Hello, A2Z Yarns! Located in Brainard, MN, it was a short trip since I had the kids with me. It was also very busy at the store so I didn't take photos and didn't stay long. However, it was definitely worth the visit!

They had two baskets with 50% off yarn and that got me pretty excited, as you might imagine.
Check out my finds:
The orange yarn is for the shawl I mentioned in my WIP Wednesday/Yarn Along post. You can also click on the link in the right side bar to my Ravelry projects.


And some really sassy purple and black Cascade yarn, a 50% find! The three yarn cakes were in the discount baskets and they are Cascade and Berocco yarns.
Look them up if you're in the area!
Happy knitting!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this or asked to review this by the store featured, or anyone else. Opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A BEAR-y Exciting FO

This week I am very excited to share the finished Need-a- Hug-Bear for my oldest son's 3rd birthday present... Finished three weeks before his big day.
First the bear:

You can count on a Yarn Review Monday post on the main color used for this big guy!
And what is a teddy bear post without both those sweet bears together like the brothers they will soon belong to?

The head shot has laminated notes that I wrote and put inside the bears so that after they have hopefully been loved to the point of disintegration they will have a special note from Mommy inside to make it a little more of a treasure. And their butts; the "Knitted by Mom" labels I got from Amazon.com:

Laminating the notes makes them washable.
I just  cut a 4x6 in half and then folded it again in half to laminate.
I like how I sewed the label on the freckled bear better than the fuzzy bear.
 PLUS, yes, I achieved another goal this month which was starting the afghan for my brother- in-law's wedding for next fall. I can't supply a photo since he and his awesome fiance√© came across this blog over Christmas 2012 when I was letting her play with my tablet. The big reveal must wait till next September... You all know how that goes!
I can show you the Quaking Aspen shawl I just cast on for tonight. I was given some hand spun for my birthday so all I'll need is a second color for the edge. I'm thinking a deep blue. I needed a simple project that still needed me to make use of my brand new steampunk stitch markers.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Yarn Review Monday 3: DGB Confetti

What is YRM: I honestly believe there are good things and bad things about every type of yarn, no matter how much you save or how much you break the bank. 

This is for the lay-knitter, not professionals. This is for people like me who might not necessarily be fiber experts despite being a crocheter or knitter for a long time, but need an honest opinion about yarn before they dive into a project with it.

The yarn:
DGB Confetti
Colorway 33.03
75% Superwash Wool, 25% Polymide-Nylon
100g (3.5oz), 420m




















The project:
Devan by Holli Yeoh


What I liked: Very cool self-patterning yarn. Maintained its pattern well with 28 stitches all the way up to 90-something stitches. I also really like how high the natural fiber content is. Lastly, and I don't know if all their yarn is like this, but my skeins all had the patterning going the same way. In other words, I didn't have to unravel an entire skein just to start in the same spot so my pieces matched. Bonus point in my book! It also seems really versatile. It is sock yarn but you can do some pretty cool things with it for childrens' clothing as well.

What I didn't like: DGB is a Canadian-based company. The Canada part isn't the problem; It is a supplier for independent sellers so it was a bit difficult for me to find. The 33 series of colors are also being/already are discontinued so during my wild internet hunt for the best deal on it, I had a tough time finding what I wanted.

Where you can buy it: I bought 4 skeins from Double Diamond Knits' Etsy shop. A Google search will offer a few other sites to purchase it from as well.

Affordability: Four skeins plus S&H put me out about $41. That was the best  deal I could find. Prices ranged from $6.75-$9 per skein. Shipping prices were all over the board. All over as in $9 per skein with free shipping to $6 a skein for $7 shipping. Ridiculous, I know!  Do your homework before you buy, that is my advice.


Overall rating:

 Obviously, you can only use it for specific projects. I also am giving it a 4 because of how hard it was to find (and yes, I know I had my heart set on a discontinued colorway)!
I'm not a sock knitter so I don't think I would have wanted to spend so much if it wasn't specified for the pattern.

 



Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this or asked to review this yarn by any store or the company itself. Opinions are my own.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Knitting Madness Hangout Recap

The G+ hangout took place this afternoon! I was a little nervous about connecting with the virtual community of knitters in person... I don't even do it in real life! I get excited about projects around non-knitters, who in turn ooh and ahh since anything looks good to the untrained eye. I'm sure you can imagine my anticipation and even a little anxiety, then, once 2pm rolled around!
Here's a recap of how it went!

The other people who planned on participating did not show... I'm wondering if they didn't get the time zones figured out? At any rate, they missed out because Natalie from Marigold's Loft was just a wonderful woman to meet and discusses knitting with. I was also very surprised at how much we have in common.

She also gave me a preview of her plan for next month: Yarn is on the agenda. If you are interested in discussing your favorite yarns keep your sure on her blog for information on next month's hangout.

And speaking of yarn: My review of DGB Confetti will be up bright and early on Monday the 24. Stay tuned.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Transition: Training the Boys to Share a Room

Since the baby (10 months) has been sleeping pretty consistently through the night we decided it was time to move him into the room next to us where our 2.5 year old has a bed room. Our first didn't get kicked out of our room until he was a few months past a year old but this just seemed appropriate for our second.
He doesn't nurse at night anymore which can be attributed to (blamed on) the fact that I work a night shift and my hard-working, exhausted husband can sleep through anything...including crying children. So the hard work was done for me this time around. Hooray!

This is how our first week went:
Night 1: #2 in bed by 6:30 (1830). Told #1 that he has a very important job now and that he needs to protect his brother now when they sleep. (He responds well to being given "jobs" and really likes responsibility. Example? His favorite thing right now is doing the dishes. Not even kidding.) Also told him he had to be very quiet and sneaky when he goes to bed now. #2 woke up when #1 went to bed at 9 (2100). He just HAD to look at his brother in the crib and when he accidentally bumped it, the little one woke up. Nursed and put back in boys' room. Heard them chattering (but no crying) at 5:30 (0530) AM. They were up for the day. The baby had been put to bed early that night since he refused to nap and was super crabby by that time of the day. So I was irritated but not surprised when they were up so early.

Night 2: #2 in bed at 7:30 (1930), which is his usual bedtime. #1 in bed by 8:45 (2045). Again this time, I told him that he still has an important job sharing a room with his brother now, and that he needs to be very quiet when he goes to bed. He threw a bit of a fit when I told him he had to go to bed but I carried him to the room and he was done being upset before we got to the door. He was very quiet and went to sleep right away. #2 up at 6:00 (0600), which is also a normal wake-up time for him. I nursed him right away but he was wide awake and ready to start the day. #1 slept in until 815 (0815).

Night 3: Normal bedtimes for both, at 7:30 (1930) and 8:45 (2045). #2 woke up around 1 (0100) and woke up #1 in the process, but #1 fell back asleep while the baby got a bottle. #2 then woke everyone up again around 6 (0600). Also a normal time for us.

Night 4: In bed at their usual times. Around 6 (0600) #2 woke up and was babbling and singing and making other baby noises. #1 woke up and could be heard telling his brother, " Sh! Brother, quiet! Sleeping!" at which point we intervened and #1 slept another hour.

Night 5: On bed at their usual times. #2 again up at his usual time.  #1 only slept an hour longer than #2.

Night 6: #2 to bed at his normal time. I lost track of time that night so #1 went to bed an hour late...but #2 slept til almost 7 (0700)! #1 woke up about a half hour after. So the little one is probably getting more used to his new crib and his new room.

Last night: Normal bedtimes for both boys. #2 woke up around 5 (0500) to cry a little but fell back asleep til his usual 6:00 (0600) wakeup time. His brother, #1, slept in til around 6:45-7:00.

This all went remarkably smoothly. In time this routine will change once our little one is capable of entertaining himself or when he is able to climb out of the crib, whatever comes first. I am pretty excited for my sons to be able to bond through sharing a room... I never shared a room with my sister growing up and I know we would have a very different relationship if we did. I'm sure I will write about this again if there is any drastic changes in their rooming situation.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Finished!

I spent yesterday knitting like crazy. If I had been using wooden needles I'm sure they would've been smoking.
I present to you...the Devan cardigan! On the child who refused to cooperate for photos. It's a bit large but it will fit by the time Christmas rolls around. The button band puckers a little so I'll have to fix that. I used natural carved shell buttons. They have a Mother of Pearl look.

 
I'm planning on doing a yarn review in a couple weeks for the DGB confetti I used on this sweater, so check back for that on the 24th.

 Click below for more!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Knitting Madness Hangout

Before I send my tablet in for repairs, I am going to advertise a little for an event I'm participating in on June 21.

Marigold's Loft is hosting a Knitting Madness Hangout on G+ so if you have a profile, get in contact with her since there were only 2 spots left as of Wednesday.
This is a great opportunity to connect with those crafty people behind the blogs you love to read, and share new knitting techniques.

There is a theme for the hangout: you need to learn a new stitch and make a swatch before June 19 so you are prepared on the 21st. There are links for stitch glossaries if you click on the button at left.

You will get an email with a PDF form for what stitch you will be learning so sign up quick so you have plenty of time to get your homework done! She is going to compile everything into a PDF book for everyone who participates so we can go back and use it as a reference. After the hangout I will be writing about how it went so hopefully you can get on board the next time she hosts a hangout.
Until my Nexus is fixed, happy knitting!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Little of This and That

I've finally found a good book and I've been reading like crazy. I bought Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax at the Minnesota Catholic Home Educator's Conference this Saturday and I love it. Yes, I plan to home school and my husband and I both believe very strongly that the education system is decidedly tailored to girls. There is very little accommodation for curious and active boys. This book talks about these problems as well as medicating young children with psychotropic meds such as Adderall, why boys are not moving out when they grow up, and problems with not being motivated.



On the knitting front, I've been working on the cardigan and the bear for my oldest son. The photo is from this afternoon but I am finished with the legs as of right now.
My youngest son decided to yank on the ends of my yarn while I was knitting this afternoon. It was the roving used for the paws of the teddy bear, and of course it just pulled right out. The kid loves eating fibers. I'm surprised he doesn't cough up hairballs.

Yum, right?!


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Monday, June 3, 2013

Yarn Review Monday 2: Paton's Classic Wool

What is YRM: I honestly believe there are good things and bad things about every type of yarn, no matter how much you save or how much you break the bank. 

This is for the lay-knitter, not professionals. This is for people like me who might not necessarily be fiber experts despite being a crocheter or knitter for a long time, but need an honest opinion about yarn before they dive into a project with it.
The yarn: 
Paton's Classic Wool yarn in kimono, harvest, and lotus color ways.
100% wool
100g (3.5oz)=223 yards


L to R: Lotus, Harvest, Kimono
I used most of my harvest color way for the cardigan so there's no full, pretty skein to show off. I haven't used any of the lotus yet.



The projects: Toddler's cardigan and a tablet cover.

Accurate to yarn colors
What I liked: Durable yet soft. My almost 3yr old son wears this cardigan to the park, to the store, to family visits... He can't get enough of it and it hasn't gotten pilly yet. I gave it to him around September 2012.
The tablet cover has held its shape incredibly well and pills minimally. (The cover I made for my husband was done with an acrylic yarn and that has stretched and does not fit his device properly anymore.)
What I didn't like: Washing the cardi. Despite the initial blocking, it shrank like crazy every time I washed it so I am re blocking now to see if that fixes the problem. Since it does hold shape incredibly well, blocking didn't do much of anything for the cardigan. My rating will be dependent on whether I was able to remedy this shrinking problem.
Affordability: Normally it costs $6.99 at JoAnn Fabrics (see link below). I bought six skeins of it when it was on sale for half off. I'm going to be honest and tell you that I think the $7 price would have deterred me from buying if there hadn't been a good sale going, but I do think that in retrospect it is a fair price considering how long it stays nice.
Where you can get it: I bought mine at JoAnn Fabrics online.

Overall rating:

I think this is best suited for hats, mittens, and other projects you might not normally block but still want shape to hold.




1.30.14 Edit: After a year and a half of continuous and sometimes abusive use, the tablet cover only just developed a weak corner at the end of 2013 (November or December). I definitely love the durability of this yarn.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this or asked to review this yarn by any store or the company itself. Opinions are my own.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Love Your Library: June Goals

I think that I'm the only person still doing the Love Your Library Challenge... The mastermind behind this link up unfortunately hasn't posted for it in months... That's alright though. I am having fun with it anyway.

This month's goals are not complicated, not unattainable, but just like the past five months, probably will not get accomplished. Just kidding. Mostly.

1. I am going to finish the Devan cardigan.
2. I am going to start an afghan for my brother in law's wedding gift. I've had a pattern in mind for his wedding gift longer than him and his fiancée have been dating.
3. (Edit 6.3.13) Learn Entrelac for the knitting hangout at the end of this month. It is hosted by Marigold's Loft.

And in the words of Porky Pig (remember him?!), "Th-th-th-tha-that's all, folks!"



Previous LYL posts:

January Goals
January Wrap-up
February Goals
February Wrap-up
March Goals 

April Goals
April Wrap-up/May goals
May Wrap-up