Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cowlie Conditions Ahead!

In gratitude to all of you faithful readers who inspire me all year long, I've made this cowl pattern that's a wonderful stash blaster and cold buster. It's a quick and easy project.  Perfect for your next long wintery afternoon.  Sit back, grab some hot chocolate, and enjoy your free January pattern.

Cowlie Conditions Ahead!

Happy New Year Knitting!

Visit for more free patterns, resources, and more.

My new fav yarn used in this pattern.

Bookmark and Share

Monday, December 28, 2009

New year, new knitting resolutions!

It's that time again!  That's right knitties, time for some more knitting resolutions.  These also apply to crafties, yarnies and hooksters of the crochet variety.

Take it away!

1.  Discover a new charity to make items for.  Check out Ravelry groups, visit for reliable charities and other sources you trust.  There are so many people in need this year, don't miss out on an opportunity to use your crafty talents to help.

2.  Meet other people who like to do similar crafts and enjoy the community online and in your local area.  These friendships can last for years and help you grow as a knitter and crafter.

3.  Support handmade artists and spread the word. 

4.  Recycle, reuse, upcycle and celebrate the Earth whenever possible.  Choose eco-friendly materials and always do your homework on how you can improve your efforts to go green.

5.  Economize your crafting materials so you don't end up on late night debt consolidations spots (knitting in shadow, of course).  You will save yourself unhappy feelings in 2010.

6.  Any hoarders out there?  I know, I'm guilty too.  This is the toughest of all for some of us.  Try donating the yarn you know good and well you won't be using or haven't used in a long time.  Let it go---give it a chance for a new's stuffy in that plastic container in the back of the closet.

7. Organize! Yes, another tough one for for some of us.  No. 6 will help you get a great start.  Try sorting, plastic containers, great eco-friendly project bags, or any other orgainizing method that fits your lifestyle.

8.  Invest in a few books and magazines that will help inspire you.  Online and digital are great ways to do this.  Only invest in hardback books or paperback books that are unique and ones you will want in your library for a long time.  There is something wonderful about holding them and flipping the pages, I admit, but going paperless is also wonderful, saving you space, money, and a few trees.

9.  Make your crafting place your own.  Set up an area just for you with all your materials just the way you like them and make it off limits to pets, children, and spouses.  You deserve this space!

10.  Last one, but an important one to keep in mind.  Turn to your needlework or crafting whenever you feel tired, lonely, or just plain bummed out (do people even say that anymore?)  It will help relax, rejuvenate and allow your creativity shine through but warn your friends and family they may want to grab a really cool pair of shades to shield them from your glow.

I know you're going to create wonderful projects in 2010 and remember to craft with intent, helping to make the world a better place because you're in it.

Marg (getting geared up for 2010!)

You might also like
Keep it simple, knitty and organized!

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry free winter patterns!

I was at the LionBrand site this morning and I came across some cool winter patterns (FREE DOWNLOADS people!) I just love their attitude - check out their LionBrandNotebook, (especially the one dated Dec23rd if you need to substitute yarn) and Video Podcasts too!

Yorkshire Cowl

Swift River Hat

Woods Hat & Scarf Set

Also check out AmazingTM Yarn while you're there.

A special note of thanks to all of you who read my little blog, visit my Etsy shop and send me all your wonderful hearts.  Your kind comments and emails of encouragement are appreciated and keep me going.  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year - be safe and stay knitty all year long and together we'll continue to sprinkle a little hope, love and charity into our stitches this coming year.

Marg (grateful for you and hot chocolate!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Owl-licious Baby Bib

Today it's all about this adorable bib from Jenny Hart's  Baby Bib EmbroideryKit:Tools and Techniques for Uttterly Adorable Projects. 

A friend of mine is having her first baby and this seemed to be the perfect time for an embroidery project.  The kit includes all the fixin's (except for the embroidery hoop which is optional)  There are several adorable transfers, thread, needle, and two bibs.  Soooo cute!  Instructions are included - do read them before starting the project.  Jenny includes expert advice to help you get excellent results.

This is a wonderful project to try, and a way to break away from your usual type of needlework.  We all love our knitting, but after making so many handmade knit and crochet presents this year, I needed a change.

Check out more Jenny Hart books below and consider the possiblities.

Marg (enjoying every stitch)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sock City -icey with a chance of cocoa...

KAL with RavelryGroup KnittyDirtyGirl on Ravelry  OrganicBobYarnPile project bag from the RavelryMini-Mart.  The yarn is from KnittyDirtyGirl on Etsy.  Rachel-Marie is on vacation so do check the box yes, if you would like to be notified when she returns.

Are you an East Coaster? If so, you probably experienced a lot of snow and chilly weather this weekend and today is the first official day of winter.  When you're done shoveling, playing with the kids, and drying off with a cup of cocoa, it's time to get down to some serious needlework of choice.

This weekend, I finally got a chance to start my socks for the KAL (Knit-Along) with Rachel-Marie (knittydirtygirl) Ravelry group. I went old school starting at the top and not the toe with this one and improvised so there is no real printed pattern.

There's nothing like making items for other people, but sometimes you long to join in community and KAL's are a great way to do that.  Push yourself to try new patterns and explore new shapes to make.  You will be surprised how quickly you will improve your skills.  Ask questions, post comments, and see what every one else is doing as you knit along.  You may even discover a new yarn choice.  Check Ravelry groups, forums, and online at your favorite yarn stores.  If your lucky enough to have a group near you, and/or a local yarn store - join in!  I've also seen groups form at some of the major craft stores, so don't rule them out. 

Break out of your snow coma - it's sunny in SockCity, KnitCity, and KALTown.

Marg (I confess to eating a cookie and now I have a serious sugar rush)
 Bookmark and Share

You might enjoy these sock knitting books and kits:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What's in my library holiday book roundup!

Quick post for you today...

Knit, Crochet, Embroider and Laugh your year away with these crafty books.  All of these books are in my library and I reach for them constantly for inspiration and great patterns. I thought I would share some of my favorites with you. These are also wonderful holiday picks for yourself or a friend.  Love yourself, love your friends and stay crafty in 2010.

Keeping it crafty!  Hope you are too.

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Keep it simple, knitty and organized!

Need more stash storage ideas? Here are three articles to help you. Lets take a look!

Knitting - Yarn Storage by busy mom, Kimberly Chapman.

Yarn Storage by Yarncat.

Keep it simple, knitty, and organized - it's a lifestyle!

More blogs on organizing:

Marg (in an organizing state of mind)

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Did I mention free?

Tuesday is a great day to celebrate free holiday patterns! It's still early enough in the week to get creative and accomplish your "me" time with some knitting and crochet. Oh, and did you notice I said free (and fabulous).

Come on, let's get started.

First off ... I adore Cocoknits and the wonderful patterns and Knitter's Block.
Check out their Holiday Freebies section. The Simple Slouchy Hat is one of my favs.

Try some last minute knit and crochet tree and package ornament patterns from LionBrand Newsletter. Listen to YarnCraft#55 for gift ideas that will inspire and motivate your crafty side.

Knit Picks has unique free holiday patterns from Grumpy The Lump of Coal to a sweet Snowmen pattern and more to amuse you and get you out of grumpus mode.

Skip on over to JellyYarns for free Crochet Jelly Glow-in-the-dark Holiday Mini Ornaments Patterns and let the fun begin!

Well I sure hope I had you at "free" or else you just missed out on some really super duper cool holiday patterns!

Marg (embracing the spirit of the holidays)

Bookmark and Share

Monday, December 14, 2009

Getting Loomy!

A rainy weekend is the perfect time to work on projects that you've really wantd to do, but haven't had the time. It's almost as good as a day at the spa and all the chocolate you can eat, isn't it? Maybe better!

Here are a few projects that I worked on and thought you might like a peek. Drum roll, please!

Knit alongs are always fun but a loom-along is a party! Check out Vickie Howells' KniftyKnitterLoomAlong Alice WristWarmers on Craft. Vickie gives you loom instructions and photos to help you. You'll want to vist the Flckr group, Knifty Knitter Loom-Along to see what the gang is dong. There's also a Twi-friendly banner to add to your site to let everyone know you're making these fabulous wristwarmers. Sooo fun!

Caterpillar Baby Sack Pattern from Vickie Howell, Issue #7 YarnFoward

I've had this pattern in mind ever since I first saw it in YarnFoward Issue#7 2008. A friend of mine is having a baby girl and I thought this Caterpillar Baby Sack would be perfect. I checked the YarnForward online shop and Issue #7 has sold out but you can still purchase the digital issue on You can also find a project page on under Vickie Howell in pattern search.

Chemo caps for Ravelry group Hearts of Love.

'Tis the season for community, charity projects and sharing. Here are a few chemo caps for one of Hearts of Love projects on

Well, the sun is out and another week is beginning.

Happy knitter, happy life!

Marg (ready for the next project!)

Visit my flckr project page, margknittinaround, for additonal pics for this project or if you're on Ravelry, stop by my margknittinaround project page.

You might also like to check out these posts:

DelicateDesire Fingerless Gloves

Hearts of Love Interview with Teresita Valadez

Bookmark and Share

Friday, December 11, 2009

It Takes a Village of Etsians!

Packages wrapped with vintage, recycled and reusable paper, fabric and crafty pendants, buttons and other items that can be reused.

Presents are gettnig wrapped today to send in the mail. Everything was wrapped in vintage, recycled, upcycled, reused items from Etsy or crafty things that I had on hand. Most of the presents were purchased on Etsy or handmade from patterns in my own Etsy shop, margknittinaround making this one of the most handmade, eco-friendly holidays so far. I chose non-traditional colors rather than the usual green and red and incorparated the handmade theme with owls and butterflies for a more hipster.
Here's a list of Etsy artists who contributed to my wrapping party and wonderful holiday gifts for my two lovely stepdaughters.

Have a happy hipster, indie and earth friendly holiday!

Marg (living in the fast craft zone today)

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Crafty Christmas and Holiday Roundup!

Here's my denim project bag decked out with the Craft Corps Stencil Kit from Vickie Craft Cure Coming Up!

Are you crafty or have a crafty friend in need of a holiday present? Here's a round up of some handy items that will make even the most discerning crafter do the happy dance with glee. Whatever you're celebrating, there's always a need for a crafty project. Put your coffee, hot chocolate or herbal tea cup down and strap yourself into your knitting chair or to your crafting we go!

1. Craft Corps Stencil Kit and Craft Corps the book coming soon! You can preorder the book at Vickie's OpenSky shop. brought to us by Vickie Howell. View other projects made with this kit...Messenger Bag and T-shirt. The kit is easy to use and both items are so reasonably priced that you won't be able to resist! Your crafty friends will thank you.

2. Next Up, Halcyon’s Drop Spindle Kit has everything you need to help you with your first fiber spinning project. A wonderful gift for the adventurous knitter who yearns for the yarnie experience of spinning.

3. Kid's Craft Kits galore on WeekendKits. There are kits for kids with carrying cases or totes, great kid colors and projects that are geared toward kid safe crafting.

4. Snowman PinPunchKit from JoanneFabrics. This makes an adorable ornament or pin. Make an adorable Owl baby bib from Jenny Hart for the new baby in your life.

5. Knit and Crochet Kits from the fabulous folks at LionBrandYarn. These kits are beginner friendly and fun.

Well, there's your crafty roundup for the week. Enjoy!

Marg (dizzy from all the crafty choices!)

Bookmark and Share

Monday, December 7, 2009

Neat Knitting Gifts for $10 or less!

Here are a few nifty knitting goodies to add to your wishlist or give as a gift this holiday season for $10 or less. I thought you'd like that.

1. Blue Sky Pretty Cheep Project Bags for only $6.50 at Webs.

2. Cali Cozy at Scout's Swag for $9.00.

3. Knitting Chart Keeper from Knit Picks for $9.99.

4. PolarKnit StitchDots - Stitch Markers at Noble Knits for $6.95. You might like to read Find and keep your place with ease... 5. Alsatian Soaps Santa's Peppermint Shea & Silk Soap from DreamWeaverYarns for $8.00.

6. Attitude Adjustment Mug MiniMart for $8.50,

7. Frogged and Ripped Shots for $10, or

8. Animal Magnet Pack for $5.00. (6-8 are available at Mini-mart) Support this wonderful online community of designers, knitters, crocheters, spinners, fiber artists and all things yarnfully delicious.

9.0 Small Pom-Pom Maker from LionBrandYarn for $7.95.

10. Sheep Tape Measure from YarnMarket for $9.35.

Well, there you have it 10 gifts for $10 or less.

Marg (wishing with my eyes squeezed shut)

Bookmark and Share

In search of the oldest knit artifact...

Lately, I've been surrounded with reminders of history. The oldest community theater in the US, the oldest structures in the state, and on and on and it made me wonder what is the oldest knit artifact in the world? I found two articles that were helpful and thought you might enjoy reading them too. Knitting has evolved through the centuries and we are so lucky to continue the tradition and raise awareness of the wonderful experience of making, sharing and teaching knitting.

History 101 ,
History of Knitting, Hub pages

Take pride and joy in your stitches today - they've come a long way.

Marg (thankful for the first knit stitch and the person who made it)

More history here ...



Bookmark and Share

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Do you knit or crochet?

Quick blog today - you may wonder what brings me to bloggie land on a Saturday but I have just received a KOL update I'd like to share with you. If you knit or crochet or would like to donate to a worthy cause this holiday season, needs your help. The demand for chemo caps is rising dramatically and Christine, the founder, is in need of your crafty talents.

Please visit the site to see the amazing work that is being done and join the community of KOL knitters and knotters. Create a warm cap (no wool, please) for a cancer patient in need. All the info you need is on their site. View their patterns, yarn requirements (RH side of pattern page), download the handy form to turn in with your cap(s) and voila you're ready to make a cap for a very grateful patient just waiting for a beautiful handmade cap. Check out the testimonials and you can see the impact the simple act of making a handmade cap has on a patients life.

If you'd like to help and don't knit or crochet, there is a handy donate button that takes your right to paypal or perhaps purchase their Knots-of-Love tote bag. They're roomy and sturdy (great for holiday shopping)and a wonderful way to raise awareness.

I've worked with this org for awhile and am constantly amazed at the dedication and determination of Christine Shively and all the wonderful KOL members.

Marg (crocheting the rainy day away, hope you'll join me)

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hipster Holiday Ornaments Go Vegas!

Three Hipster Holiday Ornaments made with Vegas Yarn.

Vegas Color Swingers, Pink Champagne, Flying Elvis and Black Jack.I added whipped stitched a felt back to this ornament and a small amount of poly-fill.

A pendant was added to this ornament. The Vegas colors used: FlyingElvis for the trim and Pink Champagne for the crochet circle.

I secured beads to the center with super glue after lightly felting with warm water. The yarn colors used...GhostBar for the crochet circle and trim and Flying Elvis for the star.

Here they are on the tree!

I was lucky enough to see Seussical a couple of weeks ago at The Academy Theatre which is one of the oldest community theatres in the US and is located in Hagerstown, MD . Subconsciously I was inspired by the color and fantasy of this musical, which by the way, adults can also enjoy. My thoughts went from bizarre color combos from the musical to retro 60's attitudes, hippie, yippie and all the rest to hipster holiday. Now that you see how this all came together, I hope you'll enjoy this quick crochet project made with Vegas yarn and a few simple ideas to embellish. I chose Vegas because I like the way it feels, it's varied in texture, has some sparkle and there are enough fun colors to chose from. It also felts quite easily in warm water in your sink or baking dish.
Felt using warm water, enough to cover ornament and swish around gently in a dish until you have the desired look. Remove excess water with a towel and let dry overnight. Embellish and hang on your tree, use it as a package ornament, or a holiday gift.

I used the basics...making a crochet circle, slip stitch, single and double crochet and a size H crochet hook.

My basic stitch is double crochet, but you can also use single crochet if you prefer. I added a trim, a five pointed star, beads, and a pendant that I had. Feel free to use a favorite crochet trim or any embellishments you like. You can also try making them different sizes.

The trim I used for the red (BlackJack) and the blue (GhostBar) crochet circle goes like this...

Once you've completed your last round of the circle, slip stitch into the first double crochet (or sc if you choose) and chain 5, single crochet in third chain from your hook. Chain 2, skip one stitch and join with a slip stitch to next stitch. Continue around in this manner for the whole circle and slip stitch into first chain.

Make a small 5 pointed star:

Chain 4, slip stitch into first chain to form a circle and crochet a round of trim 5 times (you will not be skipping any stitches, however) Arrange the points and attach securely to your crochet circle with yarn or glue.

There are many ways to make a star. I chose this way because it was a more relaxed style and went with my trim. Use the method you feel comfortable with or choose another shape if you like.

For the pink (Pink Champagne crochet circle) I added an additonal trim around by chaining 5 and slip stitch around the point of the first trim.

I'm including some helpful links for your crochet questions. This is a free form, happy go lucky project to get you thinking and creating so have fun with it. Consider using non-traditional holiday colors, recycled embellishments and whatever you have handy. Use fabric stiffner if you like - I liked the softer look and didn't use it.

Dr. Seuss Quote...
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.

Dr. Seuss

Resources for you...I found these links that are excellent for this project.

This is your free form crochet project for December. If the project isn't my usual structured pattern it's because this is your chance for experimentation. Use recycled and/or reuse items in the home and take a chance on trying new embellishments. Enjoy, play and wonder, what would little Cindy Lou Who do?

Marg (dreaming in color)

You might also like to check out November's free pattern Autumn Wowza Scarf.

Visit for knit and crochet resources and more!

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Do you have a wrapping strategy?

A wrapping project from Eco-Wrapping Treasure Hunt!

Ok, the presents are going to be ready - how 'bout that wrapping? Here are some wonderful Etsy shops that will have just the thing you need to make fun, eco-friendly wrapping, cards, and tags. You'll also be helping handmade artists at the same time. But hurry, the time is getting near!

Smock letterpress.


The Craft Pantry featured in Childstyle, US Weekly & Hallmark Mags


Feeling crafty enough to try making some of your own unique wrapping? Here are some ideas.

How-To: Recycled Wrapping Paper Bows on Craftzine

Eco Gift Wrapping. Holistic Secrets with Rachel Avalon a great little video with some ideas for keeping your wrapping eco-friendly, economical and organized for all your wrapping needs.

Create Your Own Designer Papers - All Over Stamped Designs at

You might also enjoy ECO-WRAPPING TREASURE HUNT!

I hope you're officially inspired now

That's a wrap!

Marg (re-thinking my wrapping strategy)

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Crafty Fast Track

The sun is out - time to get those projects organized. Use your project bags, plastic containers and any other method that helps you keep this season's projects in their place. I've been finding it frustrating as I bounce back and forth on just a few seasonal projects and using bags and containers helps me keep everything in perspective. It's too easy to fall apart at the last minute during this stressful creative meltdowns allowed. Being crafty is a blessing and a curse...everyone expects something wonderful and handmade from you. We love sharing our talents and are lucky to be able to create wonderful items made with not only skill, but love. If the meltdown has already occured, no worries, scrape yourself off the floor and get back to it - you know you love it. I did a little of that myself yesterday. Can you imagine what it's like at the North Pole around now? Exactly, suck it up crafties, there's work to be done.

Stay organized and you can stay on the crafty fast track and race around the knitty treadmill this year. Woohoo! Was that flash of yarn and glitter you?

Stay tuned for some Etsy favs and another pattern round up for last minute gifts this week right here on this blog.

Marg (wishing I had a few elves on staff - do yorkies count?)

Bookmark and Share


This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. The owner(s) of this blog is not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.To get your own policy, go to
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...