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SilverSpun Yarn
Knitting, Yarn

Swatch Frenzy and New Knitting Skills

Moeke Yarns

Knitting has officially taken over my life. These past 10 days I’ve become a swatching machine! How many Moeke swatches did I knit even I don’t know – 10, 15, 50?! Every single free minute of my day I am chasing this “aha” moment, trying to catch just the right stitch combination for the image in my head.

This time I decided with Ioana that I will experiment with holding two strands of Elena to create a little bit different from Journey and The Choice look. It’s fascinating to watch how such a small change can transform the fabric, plus it knits up much faster!

You should definitely experiment with your stash and mix it up a little bit. It doesn’t even have to be the same fiber, or color or yarn weight. If you have a lace yarn in your stash that you love and can’t wait to put it in use, but scared of committing to a lace weight big project, just hold two strands together. I am still in love with my Gallery sweater which was knit with 1 strand of lace weight merino + 1 strand of lace weight alpaca/silk blend.

Moeke Yarns

Now to something completely new for me… Sock knitting!!! Yep, I am going to make the first pair of socks in my life, that is decided! After reading Michelle’s, Tahnee’s, Tien’s and Andi’s blogs, I am giving up – I have to see for myself why sock knitting is so addictive!!

The timing is perfect. First of all, I’ve been freezing in the mornings and always have a pair of socks on, why not to put on the hand knit ones? Second, I need a small simple enough project to clear my head a little bit. And the last, but not least, I saw this photo on Purl Soho and fell in love – how adorable are those Pom Pom socklets?!

My latest stash enhancement from KnitCrate will be perfect for my first pair of socks – SilverSpun is a blend of cotton + nylon + spandex + silver. Cotton and nylon will be great for durability, spandex for the stretch and “memory” and silver has great therapeutic properties and blocks all the odor causing bacteria. Perfect sock yarn, in my opinion. What do you think?

SilverSpun Yarn

I am super excited to learn something completely new for me in knitting and have a pair of adorable pom pom socks on my feet. Let’s hope I am not going to frog the whole thing in a couple of weeks 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

SilverSpun Yarn

I’ll see you at Yarn Along!


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Monthly Knitting Santa – KnitCrate Review

Thank you for your amazing birthday wishes yesterday! I haven’t been well 100% lately and your kind words definitely helped, I really appreciate it!

This weekend I got a special surprise package in my mail from KnitCrate, a subscription box yarn club for yarn lovers and fiber artists. They asked me to review one of their surprise packages. First I researched about the company and what it is all about and thought that their concept is very interesting and you will like it.

Knitcrate

KnitCrate is like a year-long yarn Santa for you 🙂 If you become a member of a club, each month you will receive a surprise box with some very delicious goodies inside. You won’t know what’s in there until you open it – pretty exciting, right?!

There are several subscription plans available. Let me break it down for you:

  • KnitCrate for knitters with some experience – you will receive surprise premium yarn, a pattern or two, some cute bonus items and promo codes for exclusive discounts in different fiber related online shops!

KnitCrate

KnitCrate Sock

  • Learning series KnitCrate – if you want to learn the basics of the knitting, but don’t have a plan, then this package will be exactly what you need. Each month you will receive instructional videos, a simple pattern, tools and yarn, of course. So, basically each month you learn something new!

KnitCrate Newbies

KnitCrate Sock Newbies

I received a standard KnitCrate for knitters with some experience. It was pretty exciting to open the box and have absolutely no idea what I’ll find there.

Here is what I got (It’s not a January box, so I won’t spoil the surprise for anybody 🙂 )

Knitcrate

2 skeins of SilverSpun yarn from Feel Good Yarn Company, Trellis Tam pattern by Wendy D. Johnson and some fun extras – tiny snip scissors that fit easily in any project bag and row counter to keep track of my knitting progress; plus promo codes for free shipping at Feel Good Yarn Company and 20% off the entire website The Buffalo Wool Co.

First I am going to tell you about the yarn and then will list pros and cons of such subscription box.

SilverSpun isn’t just a beautiful metaphorical name, this yarn is actually spun with silver! For me that was definitely a big surprise, I’ve never worked with anything like this before. It has 5% of silver interwoven with 87% of combed cotton, 5% Nylon and 3% Spandex.

Knitcrate

Feel Good Yarn Company claims that silver content in their yarns is therapeutic, inhibits the growth of odor causing bacteria, nontoxic and perfect for those suffering from arthritis and sensitive skin. The silver will not wash out of the yarn. Sounds amazing, right?

Knitcrate

This is the second time I get the combed cotton and I can say only good things about it – it is really soft and doesn’t feel stiff at all. If you’ve never worked with plant fibers before, but would love to give it a try, combed cotton is great to start with!

Knitcrate

OK, now let’s see what pros and cons surprise subscription has for you

PROs
CONs

  • Surprise. You don’t know what you’ll get. The surprise part is so exciting!! You never know what you’ll find in the box.
  • Yarns. Each month you get new premium yarn from a different company. KnitCrate works with indie dyers and big yarn companies; well established and emerging fiber artists. Most probably you wouldn’t even try those yarns on your own, but this way each month you will surprised by new fiber in your hands.
  • New patterns and techniques. Sometimes we stay away from some patterns/projects just because we’ve never done them before. But if you already have the pattern, let’s say with new to you fair isle technique, you might as well try it out and see how it goes – who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with it!
  • Price. Better prices – the retail value of each box is always bigger than what you pay for subscription.
  • Cancel any time. You don’t have to subscribe to 12 months, if you don’t want to, try one, two, three months and see if it works for you.
  • Bonus codes. Really nice exclusive discounts on yarn and notions.
  • Makes great gifts for fiber enthusiasts. A surprise box at your door each month is the perfect gift for your friends who love knitting!

 

  • Surprise. You don’t know what you’ll get. If you don’t like the idea of “a pig in a poke” for your yarn stash and you always HAVE TO know what you are getting, then this package is not for you.
  • Yarns. If you have strong preferences in yarn, such as: you never work with plant fibers or vice versa you are allergic to animal fibers, then you probably won’t enjoy every single package.
  • New patterns and techniques. If you have a pretty small list of things that your prefer to knit and you are not excited about anything else than them, then you probably won’t use all the patterns that come with your monthly package. But you are free to use it for any other project that you like! I, for example, doubt that I will knit a suggested pattern, but I am already excited to try this yarn for some experimenting.
  • Price. If you promised yourself not to spend any money on new yarn for some time, then this is obviously not for you.
  • Bonus codes. Discounts are so good that you will want to use them and enhance your stash even more!

 

 

 


So, if after reading pros and cons, you decide that you want to indulge yourself and receive a surprise box full of knit goodies, here is the promo code you can use – GOK20. This will give you 20% off your first KnitCrate, which makes it a great price for high quality yarns, patterns and other fun that comes along with it!

Let me know, please, what you think about the idea getting a surprise knitting package every month? Do you like the element of surprise or you prefer always know what you are getting?

Will definitely check all the fun projects you are working on in Yarn Along!

Have a great Wednesday!


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Interior Knitting

Moeke Yarns. Heritage.

I happen to have one guilty pleasure – I love visiting interior blogs and browse beautiful images of way too perfect homes. Being quiet inadequate in home decor, I only hope that when the day comes to call one place a home, I’ll be able to use all the wonderful ideas that I bookmark. I admire how people can come up with absolutely beautiful, simple and very affordable ideas how to make your home cozy and inviting. The more I research, the more I am drawn to Scandinavian interior style; everything appeals to me – the abundance of light, neutral subtle colors, wood, textiles, messy beds, simple shapes. My favorite space to visit is My Scandinavian Home, just browse its Swedish home tag and you’ll see what I am talking about – absolutely dreamy spaces that you will never want to leave.

Recently this little space featured in The Design Chaser has won my heart.

Interior Knitting Inspiration

I am definitely drawn to wood and textiles in interior, though this photo might be too literal interpretation of it, but it demonstrates perfectly that with very simple things we can create a very welcoming and homey space that will make us happy every day.

Though I still don’t have the perfect wooden bed, I can definitely play with textiles. I still have some skeins of Heritage from the old batch by Moeke in my stash, so I decided why not to start with small steps and gradually add things that I love into my surroundings.

Moeke Yarns. Heritage.

We just rented a new place and the bed still doesn’t have the proper cover. But I have the wool in beautiful heather shade and my knitting machine, so my plan is to make a bed cover as big as the yardage allows. I won’t be able to make it in one piece, as the machine knitting bed is not wide enough, but this little inconvenience can be turned into a big advantage – I could make 2 or maybe even 4 separate pieces and seam them together with the crochet, using single or double crochet stitch on the right side to create a nice ridge for a touch of texture.

Moeke Yarns. Heritage.

Heritage looks so lovely on the purl side – all the slight color variations and little numbs and bumps of the uneven thread produce such a beautiful effect. Plus it is very warm and I can use it as an extra blanket during chilly nights and mornings.

What I also love about this project that it will be quiet mindless with not too much planning involved and a very easy process. Perfect on-the-side knit that I can work on when I want to recharge and clear my head. I hope I will make it at least for spring when the winds come…

Moeke Yarns. Heritage.

Have a beautiful day! See you at Yarn Along today!


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Magnum Magic

Bulky Peruvian Wool

Happy Sunday! I hope this week treated you well and are enjoying your weekend. Honestly I am really looking forward to the upcoming week for a little break, during last three weeks my days blurred into sleep-work-sleep, barely anything in between.

Nonetheless I couldn’t skip today’s post, first of all because I set a goal for myself to be here on regular basis as much as I can and also I am super excited about new fiber that I welcomed into my stash! I am so head and toe in love with the wonderful yarn I discovered just recently – Magnum, 100% Peruvian Highland wool from Cascade Yarns.

Bulky Peruvian Wool

Guys, this is the softest, coziest and the chunkiest yarn I have ever worked with!!! It is so bulky that even my yarn winder can’t handle it – I wound all the skeins by hand and let me tell you, I didn’t mind at all, just holding the thread in my hands feels so luscious.

Bulky Peruvian Wool

It looks more like a roving yarn, with bouncy and very loosely spun thread. The recommended needle size is 10-12 mm (US 15-17).

Bulky Peruvian Wool

This is probably the highest I ever went with the needle size in any of my previous projects. Feels really weird at first, but you get used to it pretty fast and worsted weight yarn looks like a spiderweb after that!

Doesn’t it look like a liquid metal?!

Bulky Peruvian Wool

I’ve made some swatches and as you can guess they knit up incredible fast, creating a cloud like fabric that is so light and warm! I am just wondering if the project starts pilling in awhile, because of the loosely spun thread, I am not sure though, we’ll see. It will be definitely a yarn that the process of making something is even more rewarding than the actual finished knit.

I am so looking forward to casting on with it as soon as possible. So far I am very happy with my choice and I am definitely going to use it for one little project that I can’t share with you yet, but I have a feeling you’ll like it! 🙂

Bulky Peruvian Wool

Have a beautiful Sunday!


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Craft Goals

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Happy 2017, friends! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and had some time to relax. Honestly I barely felt the holiday spirit this year – was way too busy with too many things. But I am definitely not complaining, I love everything that I do and every day I feel grateful for the opportunity to work – it is my best form of meditation.

As you might have noticed The Gift Of Knitting looks slightly different now. I hope you like it and find it easier to navigate, there are still some changes I want to make. I am working on it!

This past weekend I looked back at the goals that I set for myself last year, including the craft goals that I shared with you in December 2015:

  • Improve my machine knitting skills
  • Crochet more
  • Take careful notes of my projects

I definitely feel much more confident with my LK-150, though I didn’t finish as many projects as I planned. One thing I know for sure is that the best and maybe the only way to get better at anything is to practice. Theory is great, but until you put it into use, you won’t see major changes.

Crochet… Absolute fail!!! I was working on a couple of crochet projects, but they were both frogged. But the good thing is that both of the unfinished pieces gave me a new idea for something fun to try, hopefully it will work out.

The last goal was definitely achieved – yay! I learned how to discipline myself in knitting and keep track of my experiments. Doesn’t sound like too much fun, as just knitting away without breaking my head how to put it into words in the clearest way possible is way more time and effort consuming, but it pays off when I receive “Thank you” notes from you!

And that leads me to my main craft goal for 2017 – sharing as much as I can here! I am really short of time these days, but I have numerous plans and ideas that hopefully will come to life during next 12 months. I really want you to find here inspiration to create, because it makes life so much brighter!

Here is to inspiring 2017!

Do you have any craft goals for new year?


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2016, Thank You!


Reindeer From The Woods cardigan; La Flor sweater pattern; Gallery sweater; Ocean dress; Green Snowflakes cowl; Bamboo Drape sweater; Sand sweater; Gesture sweater; Journey sweater pattern; The Choice cardigan pattern; Wall sweater; YOTH cardigan pattern.

2016… A year of challenge and hard work; great fears and doubts; endless hope, love and gratitude. My cozy little blog that I love so much is like a notebook filled with memories… I look at each finished project and can distinctively remember how and why I started it, what inspired me; I remember the joy of wearing the finished knit piece for the first time and excitement of sharing it with you; I remember the movies watched, songs played, road trips taken while working on each of them! Definitely better than a photo album!

Crafty Score of 2016 – 14 FOs (10 sweaters, 2 cowls, 1 dress, 1 shawl); 7 photo tutorials; 3 patterns.

I guess I could make more, but it’s not about numbers, right? 🙂 I wanted to thank you for your support this year. It means so much to me – this place got me through some rough days and I am beyond grateful for it. I also hope that you’ve found something useful and inspiring here!

I have way too many plans for 2017 and I hope I’ll have enough time to bring them to life and to share with you. One of the first things I’ll do in the new year is to update the website. I want to start 2017 new and fresh!

I wish you happy and peaceful holidays! Sending you and your families lots of love!

I’ll see you in 2017! ♥

Joining the last Yarn Along of the year! It’s been amazing to see so many wonderful projects throughout the year!


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