September Love

I’ve always loved September. It has too many great qualities to ignore. 🙂

My first reason for loving the month may sound a little selfish, but I can’t hide the truth. I was born on September 5th and have always loved my birthday. Now that I am older I try to stretch it to include the entire week. And, in certain years (this year!) my birthday is even a National holiday. A free day off work – it doesn’t get any better than that! I also share my week of birth with one of my very best friends, Ms. Carrie. She was born on September 6th so we invite our friends over, cook some tasty food, and exchange gifts. Of course there’s always an abundance of family time around holidays/birthdays that I also enjoy.

I have always liked learning and thus school. Summer rolls into the Iowa State fair and then straight into September and the new school year. I saw new classes as opportunities to start over, learn, and do better. I’m a smart girl, but I’m a slow kind of smart. I’m the kind that has to re-read her notes one hundred and one times to remember it. So… every year was that opportunity to try for all A’s. A new school year also meant new experiences with friends… and let’s not forget the back-to-school shopping!

Ah, what else is there to love, you ask? The weather! There are occasional sweltering hot days and some overly cool days, but overall the weather is wonderful with just a hint of chill to shoo us into fall. The change in weather also means I get to pull out my winter clothes. I always find old friends (still talking about clothing here) packed away in a tub. 🙂 The change of clothing is especially nice since I started knitting and crocheting. Yarning is a cool weather sport and thus the yarn shops are busier and have overflowing baskets and shelves of yarn.

So since I have such a love for September I decided to make a crochet hat dedicated to the month. I currently have only a newborn size hat created, but it’ll give you a peak of what’s to come. 🙂 I plan to have sizes preemie to small adult available soon!

September Babe Pattern

September Babe Pattern - Newborn Size

Oh, and don’t forget apples, squash, and the like start getting harvested around this time! YUM! What is your favorite month?? My husband also enjoys his birth month best (January), but it’s more for the cool weather and snow than anything else. 😉

Contests, Giveaways, and Drawings

Contests

My local yarn shop is doing a series of contests over the summer with the winners (and a random voter!) winning sweet, sweet yarn. It is $60 for the winner and $30 to the winner of the voter’s drawing. What a great promotional idea, right?? Anyway, the first contest is a knit monster. Ooooooo scary. No, they’re actually pretty cute. 🙂 You can vote for your favorite monster on their Facebook page here or on Nancy the owner’s blog here. Folks are allowed to vote once through each venue. Don’t forget, that’s two entries to win $30 of free yarn!!

And my own shameless promotion… my monster is #11 – Mr. & Mrs. K2tog and I if you are a KT customer I would sure appreciate your vote. 😉 Don’t forget you have to “like” Knitted Together on Facebook in order to vote on their page.

Tasha's Mr. & Mrs. K2tog

Mr. & Mrs. K2tog

Giveaways and Drawings

Let me start by saying I have always been a fan of giveaways and contests. Sign up for “this” and get “that” free. (Though more often it is “…have a chance at getting that free”!) Every year I go to the Iowa State Fair and enter the Varied Industries Building with sign-ups in mind. Hot tub? Yeah, that’d be sweet. A set of fancy pans? Of course! A new lawn mower? Why not! Or so my thinking goes… I even have an email specifically for companies, contests, giveaways, coupons, etc. 🙂

That being said… I have never won a drawing. Ever. For anything. Ahh, persistence… I will not give up! Haha.

Anyway, that brings me to the real meaning of today’s post. I found a post on Ravelry where crafters (namely knit, crochet, and yarn folks) can list their sales, blogs, contests, and promotions. Yippee!! I spent most of Saturday morning signing up for April contests and then bookmarked the page for future reference.

You will find the post in the “Needlework on the Net” forum. There is a new post every month or so titled, “Sales, blogs, contests or promotions? Post here! (Month Year)”. A lot of the bloggers ask you to do one of many things with each item being an entry to their giveaway. Here are the most common requests:

  • Comment on the blog by answering a question
  • Follow their blog, Twitter, Etsy, etc
  • Pick a favorite item from their Etsy or Ravelry shop
  • “Like” their business/shop on Facebook
  • Tell others about their giveaway, contest, etc.

Again, great promotional idea, huh? I also got a great idea from Crochet My Love Designs on Ravelry. She posted a new pattern and put a link to her Facebook page in the pattern’s description. She then told potential buyers that a “Like” on her Facebook page would earn them a free pattern! Woo hoo! I love all of these promotional ideas and am excited to try them out when K1 Sew Too is a little more robust. If I am going to have a lot of people viewing my pages and work I want to be able to “show them what we’re made of”, so to speak!

Alright, so here are some of the drawings I entered in the last couple of days. Perhaps I’ll win one… Perhaps…

  • Blog – A yarn giveaway! And some cutsie pictures. Mmm…. yarn!
  • Blog – Winner gets pretty dishcloths, chocolate, soap (the kind I use!), and chap stick.
  • Blog – Winner gets one of three patterns. There’s a really cool shawl/jacket and a nifty hat/cowl as well.
  • Blog – The first ten to post get the materials to make a military doll. Even if you don’t win the yarn there is a free pattern for said military doll. Cute. And it’s meant to be made for soldiers and/or their families. Who doesn’t like a good cause? 😉
  • Blog – This contest was to win some BEAUTIFUL yellow yarn. The contest is over and I didn’t win… but the yarn is still gorgeous and I have added a new, cool company to K1 Sew Too’s likes on Facebook.

Well, that’s about all I have for now. I hope you enjoy the drawings, giveaways, etc listed. Is there a special place you go for great deals? If so, please share!

In Bloom Cloche

It’s finally here! My In Bloom Cloche is officially for sale on Ravelry, Etsy, and here on the blog.

I posted two projects on Ravelry about a month ago to good response and a short while later posted the cloche in the ‘Free Pattern Testers’ group. I ended up with five wonderful testers that helped me with the clarity of the star stitch and gauge. I couldn’t have done it without them and now feel very confident placing my pattern for sale.

I hope you all enjoy this new crochet pattern! And don’t forget you can purchase a finished cloche if you don’t know how to crochet!

Click here to purchase through PayPal for $2.50!

Wonderful Day

So today was the fiber festival. I didn’t end up selling anything, but I gave out quite a few business cards and people really seemed to like some of my hats. I think most of the folks at the festival were knitters and crocheters looking for snazzy yarn so it was nice to get a couple of compliments. I considered it a success because it was fun and I was able to do some networking as well. :)

After the festival mom and I went to the local (Winterset) fabric store to browse. Want to take a guess what was on sale? Yarn! HA. Apparently they usually don’t sell yarn, but their magazine had leftover kits so they had all kinds of yarn. I think my best deal was Cascade 220 Superwash, which is normally $11, for only $5. After browsing for too long there we went to the local yarn shop, Heartland Fiber. Of course, they had sale yarn there as well – 50% off, too. I sure got some nice deals today… Mirasol Hacho for $4 was another steal…

Of course after all the (trying) to sell and shopping we had to eat! What was the name… I forget the name, but the local cafe next to the yarn shop has very good burgers. We also ordered a tray of onion rings and were accidentally given (in addition to the onion rings) fries with our burgers. No extra charge! It was some great food and since we didn’t order the fries I was able to bring mom’s leftovers home to my hungry husband. (I say hungry because he is always hungry for something good. lol)

So after this fun day of yarn with my mom I returned home. And what do you suppose I returned home to find? My dear husband did all of the dishes, vacuumed, did a load of laundry, and ironed. Holy freaking cow. He is the best. I really do love the man.  He even ran 4.5 miles this afternoon.

Overall, it has been a super great day. I had a great time with my mom, enjoyed the festival with Elaine, got some great deals on yarn, and have a super sweet husband to come home to after a long day. :) What is the sweetest thing your husband or significant other has done for you? I quite enjoy hearing love stories… :) Feel free to comment with your own.

Heartland Fiberpalooza

Well, folks, I think I may get to check another goal off my list come this weekend! A family friend has a booth at Heartland Fiberpalooza and has been granted permission to let me sit at her booth and bring some of my items. (I don’t have enough items for my own booth yet.) I have been feverishly making bunny fridgies and other small items to try to sell. I think by Saturday I’ll have some fridgies, a felted frog (he’s not felted yet in the pic below), three hats, a scarf, and one headband. Plus whatever I can finish tomorrow. 🙂 Either way, I’ll have some business cards and should meet some nice fiber folks! You should come if you have $3.00 and some spare time! I especially invite all yarn enthusiasts as there will be a lot of yarn vendors at the show.

I hope to see some of you there!

heartland fiberpalooza items for sale

Finished items for Saturday's Heartland Fiberpalooza

Bunny fridgies for Saturday and my pre-felted frog

Inspiration

Ever since I first saw Malabrigo I loved it. I was in Iowa City for work and since I was just getting into “fancy” yarn I hunted down the LYS to see what was available. The yarn shop was Crazy Girl Yarn Shop and at first I didn’t see anything I wanted to spend money on. (Don’t get me wrong, it is a very nice shop.) However, I was just about to walk out the door when I turned to my right and saw the hanks of Malabrigo Merino Worsted. The skein below (color: Loro Barranquero) is what caught my eye.

malabrigo merino worsted - loro barranquero

Pretty, huh?

I made my first knit hat out of that skein of yarn. (Note: Never make your first anything out of fancy yarn!) Anyway, I loved the colors of the yarn as I knitted, but the yarn does fuzz a little since it is not superwash. Really, that is my only complaint. And Malabrigo fixed that by making Malabrigo Rios! It is a merino wool superwash. Rios is my favorite yarn ever. It knits well, it crochets well, the colors are great, and it doesn’t get fuzzy. It’s also super soft. Ever since I bought a collection of Rios I have been looking for stitch patterns to show off the beautiful colors best. Two of my favorite stitches are the honeycomb brioche (knit) stitch, the crossed brioche (knit) stitch, sc in the back loop only, and the (crochet) star stitch.

Honeycomb Brioche Pidge

Honeycomb Brioche Pidge

Crossed Brioche Winter Headband

Crossed Brioche Winter Headband

This leads me to ::drum roll:: my star stitch “In Bloom Cloche” and back loop only “Spring Spirals Beanie”! They were inspired by the beautiful colors of Malabrigo and a hankering for a spring crochet hat pattern. Clicking on the Spring Spiral Beanie picture will bring you to the blog post with the pattern. (The In Bloom Cloche is currently being tested and will be released for sale soon!)

Spring Spirals Beanie (free pattern)

In Bloom Cloche (pattern for sale soon)

Close-up of In Bloom Cloche

Dreaming of Yarn

Upon waking in the wee hours this morning I remembered a dream.

I normally don’t remember my dreams, but when I do remember them they usually build upon something I was doing or thinking about the previous day. (Makes sense.) Well, yesterday I was thinking about making the Pegboard Lace Tunic. More specifically I was thinking about the yarn needed to make one similar to ShellularKellular’s (on Ravelry.com) version.

shellularkellular's pegboard lace tunic

ShellularKellular's Pegboard Lace Tunic

While researching many, many yarns I came across HandMaiden Fine Yarns Sea Silk. Take a look at those colors! I have fallen in love! Also, before falling asleep I was “daydreaming” of having a fabulously popular shop. I was at a craft fair and since I was so fabulously popular I could buy Sea Silk and create dazzling scarves to sell. It was great. But, alas, back to the actual dream… I was at a LYS near the ocean and had just pulled some sea silk from the ocean and spun it myself. (Note: Obviously, this yarn doesn’t come from the ocean and I have no idea how to spin yarn.) It was pretty horribly spun, very thick and thin and not in a good way, but the colors were delicious. Anyway, I went in to the yarn shop and asked them to wind it for me. The worker, who looked very similar to a worker in my own LYS, looked at my yarn with disgust and asked if I really wanted to pay to have it wound. Apparently it costs $20 to have yarn wound in my dream LYS by the sea. That’s about all I remember… perhaps I should have punched her for turning up her nose to my beautiful yarn. That may have made the dream a little more entertaining. 🙂 But maybe it’s a sign I should purchase some real HandMaiden Sea Silk…. hmmm… 🙂

So do you ever dream of luscious yarn? Or even better, have you ever had a dream about a project to knit or crochet or a pattern to write?

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A note on Sea Silk… It is made of 70% silk and 30% SeaCell. Apparently “SeaCell” is a name HandMaiden Fine Yarns coined and it is comprised of 70% Tencel derived from pulpwood and 30% Tencel derived from kelp. I found an article on Tencel that explains the process of deriving fibers from pulpwood; however, it doesn’t mention the kelp process. Anyway, if you are interested in the eco-friendliness of Tencel or the process you might find this article interesting.

 

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