Friday, October 30, 2009

Knitting Therapy Experiment Update

Knitting Therapy Experiment Display
The knitting therapy box is back home and the scarf is complete. I was amazed how nice and even it came out, considering there were a few people contributing to it. Scarves from the Heart will be the lucky recepient of the scarf. The experiment was successful and my chiropractor has asked for another skein of yarn. Good things take a little time, and I feel that it was worth it to raise awareness of knitting, cancer, and the healing properties of knitting while you wait for your chiropractic appointment. All good. Small steps, big changes.
If you missed the previous posts on this experiment, or are interested in knitting therapy posts, check them out here!

HappyHalloweenWeekend! Have a chilling celebration.

Marg (maybe a crochet experiment next time?)

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Last Minute Halloween and Day of the Dead Ideas


It's getting close to "go time" for Halloween and El Día de los Muertos and it's time to get busy! Here are a few links to help you with party, costume, and the motivation to get out there and celebrate the occasion. I have to admit, I'm a huge Halloween geek and have already taken a few historic ghost tours in the area. Don't forget your ghost detectors or protectors, as the case may be. Not a big Halloween fan? No worries, it's a great time for reflection. Follow your heart, turn off your porch light and celebrate your blessings.

Halloween and Samhain - Get the History here!
HalloweenHowl - How to Make Soul Cakes and the history of this treat (and while you're making them, listen to Stings new song Soul Cake)

eSSortment 50 last minute ideas

Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos)

Craftzine - Crafty Chica Challenge, Create a Day of the Dead Shrine

eHow Day of the Dead Mask

Ok, that's the scoop on this holiday!
Marg (remembering my ancestors and lighting a candle)

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Need needles?

Check out KnitPicks for the new acrylic Zephyr interchangeable needles with case (great for travel) and you can also purchase an Options Needle Tip Stand for at home really cool storage! Strong and durable yet lightweight - I think I'm in love. I also like the idea of having a stand for them - you've got options, baby. Check it! Put it on the holiday gift and wishlists. While you're visiting the shop, check out the Holiday Gift Section and the Free Pattern section. This has been your roving knitting reporter, Marg on the lookout for the knitty and knitworthy.

It's time to Zephyr-ize!

Marg (woefully behind in my knitting this week-hope you're not)

Celebrate Autumn!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kit's Karma Creations Interview Day!

KitWright (left)
JoyTroyer (right)

Are you ever drawn magnetically to certain artists at events? This was the case for me, when I saw Kit Wright and her booth at a recent craft event. Grab your herbal tea or pumpkin spice coffee, gather round the knitting couch and get ready for Kit's story.

Inspiration, friendship and creating from necessity are key ingredients to the creative process and a successful business. Today, Kit of Kit's Karma Creations has taken time out of her busy shop to share with us her inspiring creative journey.

Q. Welcome Kit! Please tell us how you started your journey creating such colorful and unique items and your collaboration with Joy Troyer.

A. Coming from a military family with 4 kids, I taught myself to sew early to satisfy my lust for clothes "just like the other kids." From age 14 on, I made most of my own clothes.

Then I married and we had a daughter, a dramatic clothes horse from the start, and an extremely fast growing son (now 6' 6"). This continued to be a creative solution to a limited budget.

Prom Season was a big challenge since our daughter went to many dances with her drama buddies. My most daunting project ever was the "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" Marilyn Monroe dress!

In 2003, my husband and I left Baltimore and moved to California for him to attend school for his second career. The economy had already tanked in California so there were no jobs in the Non-Profit Early Childhood field to be had. So in the best "lemons to lemonade" tradition, I took out my sewing machine and started sewing and going to art fairs.

Luckily, I met
Joy Troyer of, Batik Artist and illustrator of The Everything Seed. and Wind.
She became my mentor, encouraging and guiding me with business advice, website and photography assistance, and invitations to art fairs.
Kit's Karma Creations was born and Joy and I became best friends and business partners.

At first, my creations were mainly quilted and embellished liturgical stoles and tote bags . Soon hand-beading and embroidery, and applique nature scenes followed. The beautiful scenery in California inspired scenes with ocean, sun and mountains of golden brown and deep hunter green. And I fell in love with the many ethnic fabrics and batiks available which lead to a period of Asia influenced bags and stained glass stoles.

With our return to the East came a change in the colors and scenery- bright Autumn leaves, rolling emerald green hills, and sand and ocean. Maryland has much of the natural beauty I loved in California and Massachusetts in another color palette!

In 2006, we found that we could print Joy's batik images on fabric. Joy’s spiritual batik images combined with my creative designs, gift for color and sewing magic created a winning line of art bags, jackets, and stoles. Like quilting, it was more then the sum of the parts- magic. In 2009, we debuted our latest collaboration, Karma Quilts (quilted wall art).

Even though now we live 3000 miles apart, Joy and I continue our BFF and Art partner status with the help of Internet, Southwest Airlines, and many phone calls and emails a week. Joy is still in California and I live on the Maryland Eastern Shore near Salisbury.

Q. Please tell us about your exciting design a bag option for your customers.

A. Since any of Joy Troyer's images can be printed on fabric, all can be turned into a Karma Bag. No two bags are alike and are made to order. Just choose your favorite batik print image, color preferences, and the type of bag: Bitty Bag, Love Knot Bag, or Everything "Green" Bag.
Joy's images can be (and have been) made into wall art or stoles too.
I also have a line of Design a Bag Karma Bags with a music theme, Flaming Chalices, or the Happy Humanist logo.
I am happy to make custom bags upon request and have done special orders with dogs (Labs), dancing cats, and peace doves so far.

Q. You have so much variety in your work, Kit, and there seems to be a central theme surrounding every piece. We are all interested in what inspires you the most when you are designing and creating for your shop.

A. One of the great things about teaching Preschool for 30 years was witnessing the daily wonder and magic that children see. Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes a color combination or an interesting shape catches my eye or it is a gorgeous bit of nature. A bill board, a stretch of sand and ocean, an article of clothing, stained glass, a trip to some place new or simply the magic of new light on something familiar... all can spark a picture.

Many times a custom order or an interesting fabric will take me in a new creative direction. A recent request for an ordination stole with a water theme had me experimenting with shiny transparent fabrics in blues and green trying to collage a shimmery water at sunrise effect. That lead to the butterfly bag, another custom order.

Another custom order request for a knitting/craft bag leads me to design a new extra large Love knot bag with specialized pockets for knitting needles and supplies.
And so it goes...

Q. Balance is a crucial element for all of us in life. As an artist and business owner, how do you achieve balance in your day to day life.

A. Balance is really a challenge for all of us. I am not sure I do achieve balance on a daily basis, but perhaps, I do overall. I tend to work intensely and best when under pressure. I create furiously when I get an inspiration or have a time limit. And I rest and regroup after a big event or fair season.
Fortunately since I have some control over my time, my day happens so organically that I don't notice the "plan". I usually work as hard and fast as I can until I get tired then I change gears and work on something else.
And I have a patient, low key, and encouraging husband who accepts that the week before a fair or in heavy special orders season, I may be just a tiny bit "crazy-girl" and he enjoys grilled cheese or makes dinner.
I love the ebb and flow of your process, Kit, and I know that we can all learn from your story and soak up the wonderful palette of colors in your creations. Thank you so much for the interview and for giving us a glimpse of your creative and joyful life.
Visit Kit's Karma Creations for more info, products, and upcoming events.
Remember to buy handmade this holiday season!
Marg (soaking in the colors of Autumn)
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Gnomes,PaintedFelt, and Playscapes Abound!

Fall 2009 issue
Over the weekend, while traveling around the state, I had a chance to get caught up on some of my favorite mags and I thought I'd share with you some of the knitty, feltie, woolly scoop.

LivingCrafts is all about felting, family crafting, painting wool and knitting. The Fall 2009 issue is jammed packed with fun projects to make. There are clear directions and pattern cutouts just waiting for you.
The adorable knitted Gnome hats are a fun item for you to make for the kid'o in your life and a gorgeous felted coat for yourself.
One of my favs is the NeedleFelted Playscape by fellow Etsian Tabitha Smith of manyharmonytrees. Drop by her shop for examples of her work and grab LivingCrafts asap!
Vist the LivingCrafts website for more pics and info on the projects. There's also great resource info included in every issue. Become a fan on Facebook, sign up for their newsletter and don't forget the craft room.
Keep it crafty this week!
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Witches of Etsy

Etsy has gone witchy lately. Check out these witches of Etsy and get in the mood for Halloween. Let the witchy goodness begin...

kandjdolls offers an adorable crochet witch PDF Amigurumi pattern Jazzy the Good Witch.

scarymerry has a STITCH WITCH Custom Made KNITTING NEEDLES and STITCH MARKERS SET. They are available in aluminum or bamboo.

KnittingsMyBag Gotta have a witchy bag like this one! Knitting Bag Small Witchy Woman with 10 Pockets!

Rabbithollowprims check out the Primitive Witch Candy Container. You can also catch the interview with shop owner, Sue O'Conner here on knit1fortheroad.

Buy Handmade and stay witchy!

Marg with the sparkle fairy.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Let the Knitting Frenzy Begin...

In search of a knitting event in your area? Here are a couple of websites that have a comprehensive list of events going on all over the country. Try'em and let the fun and fiber fly!

The Daily Knitter


Knitter's Review

Events can invigorate you, inspire you to try new yarn, techniques, preview what's new in the knitting world and allow you to meet up with other voracious knitters like yourself. New to knitting? No problem. You can benefit from knitting events too. There are classes and demos at most events to help you master the basics.

Enjoy a festive event full Fall.

Marg (enjoying a knit frenzy day)

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Are you a woollie?

Colors of Fall. taken in WestVirginia this weekend during the AppleFestival in Martinsburg.
Is there a chill in the air? Breaking out the scarves, sweaters and caps? We've had two nor'easters so far this Fall here and we are getting ready for the cold. Some adorable wool and felted patterns out there lately. Here's the woolie roundup for the week.
Pick up Sticks Fabulous felting is going on over here! Check out their yarn, too. You will love the color choices.

Scout's Swag Felt Poinsetta Wreath pattern anyone?

Cratstylish "How to felt a sweater" and related felting posts (see side bar)

Woolcrafting has easy felted patterns and instructions.
Go Felt!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Find and keep your place with ease...

StitchDots Rock! Find them at PolarKnit.
Today, I was checking in on PolarKnits . They have new and interesting products, as well as some nifty free patterns.

The StitchDots™ really caught my eye because it has words and symbols imprinted on each marker. Handy words like "Start" and "End" for your row, RS and WS markers (right side and wrongside of knitted garment) as well as Dec (decrease) Inc(increase) and more! Each adorable package has 20 markers and a "retro" pouch. These markers would be very helpful for knitting and crochet projects. I remember struggling with marking projects, especially when I first began knitting and crochet. You will need markers at every level of knitting and crochet so it's a good investment, as well. Keeping your place can be difficult, frustrating, and hold you back. It's wonderful to see such an innovative, yet simple, tool to help keep you motivated.

I've purchased PolarKnit Yarn in the past, and have been very satisfied with the colors and texture. If these markers interest you, check it, mark it, and keep on knitting. Warning! If you're in a knitting or crochet group, you'll have to keep them close - and share where you bought them. We all know a good thing when we see it.

Marg (feeling the knitting, crochet, and crafting spirit today and hope you are, as well)

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Eco Kids!

Flower Power from Envirosax Kid Series

Here's a way to keep the kid (s) in your life interested in the environment and have fun all in one! Envirosax now has a build your own kid pouch...and no, I don't get paid or a bag for sharing - just spreading the word on a great bag. There's also a kid series! While you're there, pick out something for you. I keep a bag in the car, by the door, and use them for knitting/crochet projects. They're durable and fun, my favorite combo.

Bag It!

Marg(wishing I had had a build your own kid pouch as a kid)

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Crafty, Spooky and Fun Roundup!

Halloween Mummy Pail from KidsCraftZone

Are you a Halloween geek? It'a ok, I love this time too. You're safe here. Embrace your spooky side and visit these sites chocked full of Halloween fun and celebration.

Party Down at Celebrations and let them help you create an spooktacular Halloween bash. (I know- I probably shouldn't have said spooktacular, but I couldn't resist). You'll find tips on costumes, haunted houses for adults, food & drinks, music and more. Check out PopCulture tab for what's hot on the Halloween Red Carpet.

Etsy, Etsy! Start here for all the season's most wonderful handmade items. Search by name, item, and discover sellers in your area!

Do you live in the kid zone? Check fun ideas for the kiddies at KidsCraftZone.

Need free Halloween knitting patterns? Check KnittingPatternCentral and LionBrand.

Crochet Crazy-Fun ahead at
Crochet Pattern Central


the motherload of various crafts for Hallween is at

Spook out!

Marg (enjoying the geekery of all things Halloweenie)

Boolicious Molly and me getting ready for trick or treaters last year.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Reach high for the big pumpkin cookie...

The next time you have trouble choosing a color for a project. Look around you. These pics were taken this weekend while we were on trails along the Eastern Shore.
Sometimes, the answer is in your own back yard. Dream and knit in color, everyone!
Have a colorful week wherever you are, and remember to grab a sprinkle of inspiration for yourself and share your enthusiasm.
Marg (hoping to inspire, dream, and reach high for the big pumpkin cookie on the top shelf)

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Donate and Create for the Cure!

Last year, I bought a Beanie Baggie from MindYourKnitting in lime with white polka dots (one of the original designs and colors) and found it to be a fun and functional knitting accessory. The weighted bag helps hold your yarn in place. Janie, the designer, is also a knitter. This is getting good, right? There are new colors and designs available just in time for your Fall knitting needs. Add this goodie to your wishlist or think about giving one to your favorite knitter. I like the size (6x6x6), designs, and colors of this accessory.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so be sure and check out the Flowers for Breast Cancer Beanies. MindYourKnitting will donate 10% of your purchase.

You might also like their Yard of Yarn. Great for storing your yarn! Toss yarn in and hang it anywhere.

Do you have a pink project in mind? Share it on CraftStylish this month and $1 will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

There you have it - fun, functional, donate to a good cause, and solve your yarn storage problem all in one place.

Think Pink!

Marg(checking my stash for the cause)

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cardi Party!

One of the latest trends in fashion for fall is the boyfriend look. This look has jumped off the runway and red carpet and into our lives. Some of you have experienced this look before, but I thought you might like to see how this look has evolved. I'm including a few links that will help you put the look together.
The knitted cardigan plays a big roll this year in fashion. If you're raiding a boyfriend, brother or husbands' closet, make sure you follow some of the guidelines, like wearing leggings and heels, as well as making sure to choose flattering colors. This can be done easily with accessories like belts, scarves, neck ties, leggings, shorts and the right pair of heels or boots.
Your first stop should be The Budget Babe where she explains the different ways to wear the boyfriend cardi.
Click on over to FashionMag, Fall 2009-2010 and soak up some great pics and one stylish knitted cardigan.
Sparkle Shelf shows a variety of great looks - choose the one best for you.
Visit my favorite site for fashion Pantone for the scoop on color, shape and style.
Watching the trends can help you get a jumpstart on your knitting, crochet, or sewing. It helps keep your projects fresh and stylish and can be a great inspiration when you are making those holiday presents...AND it's great fun to update your wardrobe with simple knitted items, belts, or shoes. Upcycle what you have, grab the look for less and you'll be in style for the season without breaking your budget.
Party Cardi!

Marg(so glad I learned how to tie a man's tie)

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Meltdowns Lead to Crafty Solutions

A sunflower blowing in the wind on the way to a crafty show.

Monday meltdown resulted in no blog yesterday - mini computer meltdown and some pressing life issues combined make for a stressed blogger. Normally, I try to rise above such distractions and continue knitting, blogging and writing in the most bizarre situations, but the combination of craft overload and the meltdown caught me off guard. Luckily, the downward spiral is done and I'm floating back up to my safe knit/blog cloud. I hope you are in your safe place too, today.

Meltdown experiences remind me that our crafts, no matter which ones we are drawn to, help us in so many ways emotionally and spiritually that when everything is spinning out of control, it's even more important to seek out time to recharge with our knitting, crochet or other creative excercises. To help inspire you, I have a round up of some of the wonderful crafters I encountered over the weekend. This is my shortlist - there are many more wonderful crafters to add to the growing link list.

Get ready, set, go! and on Etsy Unique and Wonderful! Bold color and designs for your mind, body and soul. and on Etsy Fun and fabulous clothing for the young and the young at heart.

TinaSeamonster on Etsy - Zombie central!

The devil made me do it clothing for incredible hand-made, one of a kind and upcycled clothing...on Etsy!

Ok - now that you've been inspired - get crafty and repel those meltdowns during your week.

Support the handmade solutions and revolution!

Marg (smooth waters ahead)

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Crafty is the word...

The talented Laurie Gonyea of Knit Outta the Box at her knitting demo during Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair. I'm holding her latest scarf kit.

Red head for my office from the scratch and dent bin that I couldn't leave behind.

This weekend was filled to the brim with crafts, crafty people. and crafting adventures for those attending Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair in D.C. and the Aritsan's Festival in Centreville. While I am still sorting things out and recovering from sensory overload - here are a few pics. I will be featuring artists, Etsians and more for you this week!

Goodie Bag! Free stickers, buttons, and flyers abound.

Wonderful dogs where brought to this dog friendly event for adoption. I couldn't bring one home - my husband was adament, so I was happy to make a donation for the cause and munch on a cookie or two. Lucky Dog does a great job so please stop by their site and support their efforts.

Centreville Artisan's Festival

Drying Pumpkins from the kid's creative corner

Well, that's it for now...more about some of the vendors that caught my eye that I know you're going to love. Stay tuned for the roundup of crafties~

Support your local handmade crafters and let the good times roll.

Marg (ready for the hayride, now)

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Friday, October 2, 2009

The Lovely Bones Knitted Goodies

Can you spot knitted items in The Lovely Bones Trailer?

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If you like spotting knitwear in the movies, you will enjoy the interview with Althea Crome, the miniature knitwear artist of Coraline, Coraline Sweater Pattern and Knitting Animation by Max Alexander

Movie Monday Series at VickieHowell's blog is also another great stop for you!

It's all about the derby girls this weekend...

It's time for the roundup of the week. Two movies caught my attention. The first was WhipIt, inspired by the book Derby Girl by Shauna Cross. I have to admit I've been intrigued by women in the roller derby since the 70's when Raquel Welch first appeared in Kansas City Bomber. It was something I would have never been encouraged to try as a young lady, hence the fascination. We now know from the reality show a few years ago, Rollergirls and a segment on the special, KnittyGrittyKnitsters that derby girls also knit cool accessories unique to their sport, wear lipstick, and like most of us, make sacrifices to participate in an empowering activity, the sport of roller derby that is sweeping the nation and receiving it's well earned due. Of course, the cool names and outfits are also a bonus.

Next is Michael Moore's movie, Capitalism: A Love Story, maybe not so knitty, but interesting none the less. I will still be searching for knitwear on people in the movie anyway.

This weekend I'll be whipping up a cool pattern, Little Arrowhead Lace Scarf from Knit Outta The Box. You will remember the fab interview with the creator Laurie Gonyea right here on this blog-a-roo! If not - check it here!

Keep your eye on all things knitting and knitworthy!

Marg (wondering was I "Mad Marg" in the roller derby in a parallel universe? hmmm)

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