Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Curious Case of Handmade Buttons

Does this ever happen to you? You've knit or crochet a beautiful project but need some extra flair to put some wowza in your creation. Have you ever thought of going hardcore handmade and add knit, crochet or handcrafted buttons?

Here are links for tutorials that will help you pull it all together.

Knit Button

Knit Button option 2

Crochet Button

Crochet Button Option 2

Try looking through your knit/crochet library of patterns or books (I see that stack over there waiting to be organized) for more patterns and methods to knit or crochet buttons that you may have overlooked.

TessaAnn's Citrus Pink Lemonade is also a wonderful resource for handmade buttons. There are button tutorials available also. The prices vary, but there is something for every budget and you will be supporting the handmade revolution. Hooray!

So go ahead and get rambo with you finishing touches! I know you want to.

Marg (now wishing I had a more organized pattern stash!)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Recently, I've noticed the owl has been seen over and over worldwide in magazine ads, Etsy, and television so I thought I would investigate the symbolism of this creature and learn why the owl is not just a trendy craft item, but a sign of the times.
For the most part, in many cultures, the owl represents wisdom, truth, patience, darkness, a death messenger, divination, solitude, detachment, wisdom, change, totem of clairvoyants and mystics. With so many challenges in the world today, we can't help but be drawn to the owl because it's such a powerful image of what is happening in our lives and the earth today. The need for wisdom, change, truth and patience all resonate within our society.
The next time you see an owl, consider your challenges and look to the owl for inspiration.

Here are some owl pattern links for knit or crochet projects.

Knit/Cro-Share- Go change the world!

Marg (thinking of new ways to roll with the owls)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Mother's Day will be here before you know it -Sunday, May 10th!

Looking for quick Spring patterns for Mom? Check out Knitting Pattern Central and LionBrandYarn (crochet and knit) for free downloads.
Shimmery Shawl from LionBrandYarn.

Another source for yummy gifts is Unique handmade and vintage items created just for Mom. Start with the Mother's Day Showcase, but don't stop there. Check for more options and search items for Mom by shop name, or item your looking for. Go Handmade!

And last but not least - something to make you giggle that is totally unrelated to knitting or crochet, The SnuggieBarCrawl event in the 'burgh. I just couldn't resist. Who knew those late night ads would lead to the Cult of the Snuggie? If there's an event in your area, GOOOOOOOOOOO!

Back to your regularly scheduled crafting...

Marg (so not wearing a snuggie today in this heatwave)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wonderful, Knitty and Unique

It's Monday and I can't resist checking out the unusual and the new...
i needle you Knitting Needle Gauge Man from Olas Fabrickk on is 10cm tall, making this a handy, portable gauge tool for the knitter on the go...but be prepared to be stopped by other knitters - they're going to want one!

One of my favorite portable items is Knit Outta the Box. It has everything you need to keep you knitting, I was lucky enough to speak with the dynamic creator, Laurie Gonyea, at StitchesEast this year and buy one of her kits.

"Kit contains bamboo knitting needles, 100% washable lambswool - available in 4 colors, a darning needle, a yarn cutter, a needle threader, a ruler, a "How-To Knit" card and 3 different patterns. Plus it comes in its own carrying case!"

The talented artist Rania Hassan now has new cardboard notebooks for sketching that are handprinted. You'll also want to check out her KnitBuddies!
That's all the wonderment for now...

Marg (happily embracing the strange, the unique and the totally unexpected today)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Would you like to support a wonderful cause and also score fabulous patterns? Here's your chance...Vogue Knitting is offering a twofer...Celebrity Scarves AND Celebrity Scarves 2: Buy One, Get One Free for only $24.95. This is a one time offer to support breat cancer awareness and the sale is on until May 8, 2009. A percentage of all proceeds will be donated to ongoing breast cancer research.

There are so many causes and limited money and time to go around these days, but knitters and crocheters have huge hearts and nimble fingers. Our stitches can change lives, so what are we waiting for? If you're interested in a list of reliable charities, please visit my website, for info and links to help get you started. There are many charities needing our help and you may already have your own charities that you are actively supporting - hooray! If you're still searching, please do your homework regarding the org and check their project guidelines. Try using up that stash, swap with other knitters for appropriate yarns, organize a knit/crochet group or challenge an existing group to participate with a charity. There are also some organizations that have yarn available for people who knit or crochet but are unable to buy yarn.

Stitch with gratitude in your heart and the results will astound you.

You're amazing!

Marg (digging deep in the yarn stash and looking toward the future)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


It's another day and we're still here on planet Earth- time to boogie down and celebrate. Ok, maybe a little less boogie and a little more enviro-awareness, especially if you are one of the original boogie wonders... Whatever your views on global warming, cooling and everything in between, I think we all can agree that trying to be better inhabitants of Earth is something we should work on consciously every day no matter our age or experience.

Some of my favorite items on my green list is to always carry my own take out containers to restaurants, for coffee refills and use my own shopping bags. Simple acts that are easy to do, raises awareness and inspires others around you who may not have thought to do them. Here's some links that I find helpful to remind me to keep green.

istaygreen Helps you find lodgings, reviews, and groups that are green.

gogreenstaygreen Articles on the latest ways people and businesses are finding to go and stay green.

greenknitter get the skinny on being a green knitter on this site.

And because I love all bags - whether dollar store, handmade, knit, crochet or sewn- I have to include to the list. They are durable, roomy, fun, and will definitely inspire you to use them daily. There are two new editions to the collection. Planet Green and Animal Planet. There's also a kids and a green grocer series. You will find various prices - and 25% off some of the single bags.

For most of us, going green is like committing to weightloss, once we decide to do it - the results are amazing. Even if we wander off the path, we know that we must jump back on and keep going forward. Just like knitting or crochet...

What a great caretaker you are, knitty earthling.

Marg -excavating ancient terminology and enjoying the colors of Earth today.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Eco-Friendly Expandable Shopping Bag free download fron
In celebration of Earth Day (April 22nd) how about making a reusable tote? has rounded up 35 FREE bag patterns to knit, sew or crochet. Hooray! It's also a great way to use up that stash of yarn and extra material. There's still time to whip up an eco-friendly tote for a friend or yourself. Time to get your green on this week!

Marg - celebrating!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Issue 9 of MixTape - the hip, crafty, eco-friendly craft mag. (in case you've been in the knitting cave a long time and missed the news) is out June 1,2009 folks and it's time to make a mad dash to pre-order your issue today!

Cover Image Lisa Solomon

Here are some of the contributors, including myself, (Crafting from the Heart) that you will enjoy in this issue.

"Craftism Handmade Help Selvedge Queen: Jodie Carleton Crafty Lady: Kitty Speer ( and a WICKED pull out poster designed by Black Pio."

Please don't miss out on this COLOR issue. There's something for everyone- crafting of all kinds, and it's some serious eye candy for those of us who admire great graphics...and I know you do.
Back to your regularly scheduled creative activities...

Marg (daydreaming of crafting in COLOR)

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Here's the link for The Yarn Show on Martha - in case you missed it - I think you will find it inspiring to see the enthusiam for the craft and encourage you to pick up your needles and hooks and get goin' on a weekend project...which is almost here!

and a couple of other links to help you with technique...

Put your imagination to work, knit, crochet and play a little.

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere."

-Carl Sagan

Marg - visualizing tomorrow's knitting project today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Do you love crochet? Are you a hookin' fanatic? Then come on over to Crochet Fanatica, a new ning for those with crochet fever. This ning was started by the fabulous LaTanya Buckner and there are some really talented designers on there.

So for the love of crochet, come on over and post your goodies and help share the luv of a whole lotta' fabulous crochet. Stop by my page and say hi!
In case you've been in your knitting/crochet cave and haven't heard the news... Fall and winter knit patterns are NOW ON SALE on margknittinaround on Etsy (my shop)...and if the savings weren't enough - you receive a free with purchase pattern (VenturaTote). There's still savings on kits and a signed copy of Knit 1 for the Road so check out the recession buster sale.

Well, that's everything new for today - I'm working on a new project for the next book and have to stay focused on a little matter of gauge.
Knit/Crochet and keep the recession at bay.
Marg - doin' the math

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Felted Project "Around Town Bag" from Knit 1 for the Road

This morning, I came across an article regarding knitting and the recession. There's a bit of info from Dr.Stacey of Knit One , here in Pittsburgh, (who is an avid knitter and therapist)and other people you will recognize in the article giving their tips and suggestions for several knitting challenges that we all deal with during difficult times. I wanted to share the link with you and I hope that you will benefit from some of the tips and know that it doesn't have to be doom and gloom every second of the day - turn your faces to the sun, knitties, and keep those needles clicking! It's good therapy and will keep you healthy.

It's the Economy, Knitters, by Daryl Brower for Yarn Market News.

Marg - looking forward to some knitting therapy and sunshine.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Clothes - check

Sunscreen - check

Yarn Stash...?

Going on a little trip and don't want to part with your stash of lovely yarn? Here's a solution for you. The Travel Space Bag allows you to carry your stash with you and keep it safe in an airtight and waterproof bag. The other great thing about these bags is you can squeeze out the air without a vacuum - which I have always found irritating and cumbersome. You just roll the bag by hand and the air leaves the bag. There are also two sizes for you to choose from - Carry On or Suitcase size.
Sounds like you're ready for that road trip now!
Time to stash and go...

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Here's a little egg wreath I found with feathers and twine.

Max (my young Yorkie) thought is was for him so I had keep it on a table for safekeeping. He also loves the bunnies on the other side of the fence so we are always watchful. The deer that come around don't seem to cause him concern, however, and I'm grateful for that.

Since my husband is on his way to MD for business tomorrow, we celebrated our Easter yesterday with a long hike with the dogs (Max still in training) and dinner at the Crows Nest on the river. Max only barked three times at oncoming dogs which is an improvement, and we kept to our training. Molly of course, was perfect in behavior and happy to be getting dusty and soaked in new smells...a bath is immenient.

Whatever AND however you're celebrating this season, I hope the sun is out and you enjoy the day.

Marg - looking forward to an afternoon of knitting, gourmet jellybeans, and a long walk in the sun.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


LionBrandYarn free crochet pattern
Elegant Simplicity Shawl

Here are a few suggestions for a knitty spring. I've also included some crochet patterns as well. If you are on Ravelry, (and I hope you are or will be soon!)you can search for more fun projects by clicking on the pattern tab.





HAPPY SPRING! And whatever holiday you're celebrating, remember to Knit-Share-Go eco-friendly!

Marg - so glad to see the sun shining today

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Lately, I've been struggling with the balancing act of family, knitting, creating another book, work and life in general. How do we fit it all in? How do we keep our creative side full and our guilt side empty? Small steps lead to wonderful discoveries in this area of life. We learn about our unique capacity to juggle all of the activities in life in a sane way. So what if we get out of balance? We jump back into life and keep going - remembering to grab our knitting, crochet or other crafty projects to take along with us. No guilt trip - creativity is what you do along your life's journey. It magically weaves itself into your daily activities through thought, action and intention. So relax - you're being creative even when you aren't aware.

Think about getting up earlier or indulging in late night knitting or crochet(if you're a night owl) once and awhile. Keep projects organized and ready to go along on any outing. Set up an area to work on projects when you're home. Try to incorporate a knitty activity like pouring over a knitting/crochet book or magazine, work on a project, share your knitting skills, join a knitting/and/or crochet group and enjoy any or all of these activities at least once a week.

Remember to keep your knitting side full today and live guilt free.

Marg (enjoying the last snow day, hopefully)

Sunday, April 5, 2009


April 22nd is just around the corner. It's a great day to celebrate our lives and our earth, as well as share our creativity with others. If you're looking for some projects to help your children learn more about being more eco-friendly then you will want to visit for projects and ideas.

LionBrandYarn has some free EarthDay projects to get you ready.

Crochet Market Bag

Knit Market Bag

Crochet Spring Cleaning Scrubbies

CRAFTSTYLISH.COM also offers a variety of fun projects to help you celebrate.

A great project that is happening in our neighborhood is a new community garden.

Think green and enjoy living on the blue planet everyone-


Thursday, April 2, 2009



Thanks so much to all of you who have left wonderful feedback or added margknittinaround (my Etsy shop) to their favs.

Knitting Therapy Update -
I checked on the knitting last week and there was a total of 7" and some positive feedback on the project. No pic today on the update...I didn't have my camera with me this time. Please click on the link if you're stopping by and missed the original Knitting Therapy Blog for more details. Small steps to knitting awareness.

Great news on the next book - title pending. Rachel-Marie Kanter of and Christine Shively of have graciously given interviews for the book. YAY! There will be more updates soon. ;)

There are also more interviews pending for this blog so stay tuned.
AND, in case you missed the announcement, Knit 1 for the Road is now available as a Kindle download and paperback. You can also grab a signed copy ON SALE NOW on margknittinaround. Portable, fun and great for the knitter on the go!

This has been your official update...binding off now to take Molly and Max for a much needed walk.



Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Front of Package

Back of Package with description

Scissors, stitch markers, tip protectors, tape measure, crochet hook

Row Counter and thread cutter

Okay, finish that knitted row and then check this out!
The Knit Kit is a wonderful tool for knitters because it has a handy "tape measure, stitch counter, thread cutter, scissors, crochet hook, stitch holders and tip protectors all on one compact device." Use the helpful store locator to find them in your area or online. There are clear specs on size and weight as well as a video on their site. Ok, simple to use, clear description and a useful tool -and did I mention the color? So fun...yeah! Definitely a keeper and a wonderful gift for a knitter or a treat for yourself.

Ok, back to your knitting!
Marg - putting The Knit Kit to good use today.


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