Friday, January 29, 2010

Knit and Crochet Wishlist Roundup

Looking to drool over knitting accesories and add to your "Better Economy Days Are Coming Soon" wishlist?  Have I got the shops for you.  Start picking the items-Ready, Set, Go!

Skip on over to NobleKnits and cruise through their user friendly site.  Easy, fun, colorful and bound to get you in knit or crochet mode super fast.

Webs ( is always a constant in my life.  Such great sales, yarn selections and quick delivery.  They make my needles click with joy.

DreamWeaver really gets my fantasy side fired up with unique accessories for yarn lovers.

Scout'sSwag has to be my official Namaste' Bag site of choice.  They're quick to get the new colors and designs and easy to communicate with.   Be sure to check out the NEW Monroe and the Wallet!!!  Bags are restocked often.

LionBrand for the young at heart and home of the enthusiastic state of mind.  Yes!!! And the yarn is simply  inspiring.  Good resources for new and experiences knitter's (crocheter's) alike.

KnitPicks - always a treat. Patterns to keep you motivated and yummy yarn.

Well, that's the shop roundup for today.  Wishing you a knitful weekend.  I'll be getting a few projects finsihed during the next winter blast this weekend.

Marg (getting the hot chocolate ready)

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reach for the stars!

The Star Stitch Scarf Pattern is from VickieHowell


Project 6 is packaged and ready to mail in the morning. Yay!  One of the things that I love about charity projects is the opportunity to, not only give, but receive the chance to learn a new stitch and be inspired by a challenge.  You  make new friends and learn about the world around you from different points of view.  Good stuff all around.

Whenever you donate, it's a great idea to furnish care instructions with your item(s).  Try making your own handmade care tags or visit your local yarn store and Etsy for beautiful tags.  Whenever possible, personalize your care tag with a message of encouragement.

Keep knitting and crocheting, join in charity projects whenever you can and remember to reach for the stars!

Marg (reaching on my tippy toes!)

You might also enjoy reading:

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Surround Yourself with Crafty Inspiration

Looking for cute owl products?  Try Zazzle for adorable coffee mugs and cups.  I have to warn you though, you're going to have a tough time deciding which one you like best.  I fell in love with GroovyOwls with Flowers Travel Mug (pictured above) and the coffee cup and use them daily.

Need a new mousepad?  How about a crochet inspired one?  Perhaps you are seriously into yarn or knittingCheck out all the Zazzle knitting , crochet, and spinning items.

Oh, and did I mention you can also find your favorite items on postage stamps?  You can also create your own for your business and wow your customers.

Remember to surround yourself with reminders of the activities and people you love, and you're going to have a wonderful impact on the world.  Yep, people are lining up to see your crafty cleverness and your can do attitude.  Did I mention your winning smile?  Oh yeah - super sparkley.  No spinach - lookin' good.  Are you feeling warm and fuzzy yet?

Marg (enjoying a mid-week mini mental health break)

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The color of the day....


    The Heart Scarves Project is now complete and ready to ship. Yay!  Lately, my projects have been red or reddish, or pink and red as you will see in the February free pattern, coming soon. Working with red made me feel energized and was a nice change from my usual palette of earth tones.  It reminded me of the use of color as a way to influence mood, etc.  I found an article for you to enjoy on the subject, and there are a lot of wonderful books dedicated to this subject.  Try a different color to work with and note how you feel while working with it.  You may be surprised at the result.

The Psychology of Color,
How Reds, Blues, Greens & Oranges Affect Your Mood & Emotions
May 5, 2008 Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

For more info on Red Heart
You might also enjoy reading How's your heart?
and Kiss me, I'm eco...
Visit Red Heart and WomenHeart to learn how you can get involved in this project.

Have a colorful week!
Marg (feeling the red vibes)


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Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Free Pattern Mania

Taken at the Eastern Shore in Maryland by Margaret Nock, 2010

It's gloomy and wet today, time for a pattern roundup! Woohoo...

LionBrand has four new toys to knit and crochet - hooray.  We all know that kids get all the good stuff.  How many times have you gone out to eat and just wanted something on the kid menu?  I thought so. These are wonderful patterns to create for a new baby, charity or for yourself.  I'm partial to the Little Lamb Sock Critter and Purrfect Kitty Sock Critter.

Little Lamb Sock Critter

Purrfect Kitty Sock Critter

Pond Friends Stacking Toy

Nursery Blocks

You should also stop by KnitPicks and check out their free patterns.  Some of my favorites are:

Mock Croc Socks Pattern

Cabled Mug Cozy Pattern

Day at the Beach Sweater Pattern

Well, that's it for now. 

Some days you just have to make your own sunshine!

Marg (thinking I should wear a glowstick today and knit with my glow in the dark needles)

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Where there's craft, there's hope

This week I started a star stitch scarf for Craft Hope project 6 :: foster care teens.  The design was graciously donated by Vickie Howell.

Please take a little time today to visit Craft Hope and learn about the founder, Jade Sims. Read about incredible crafters joining together to spread hope and help to those in need.  Be sure and take a look at Craft Hope for Haiti on Etsy, which is run by Sarah Jackson.

Find out how you can get involved in the projects and make a difference in the world.  Swing by the about page to learn more about the people involved with Craft Hope.

Simple, fun, and inspirational.  Craft is good! 

Marg (feeling the glow of kindness all around me today)

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's a hipster's world...

Perfect hipster goodness can be found at Wool and the Gang every day of the week.  Start with their patterns, ready to knit kits and move on to handy tutorials and blog.  You can even request a lesson - how cool is that?  The young,and young at heart hipsters alike, will enjoy every minute of this website.  It's a great place to get your young hipster just the right kit, info, and inspiration to keep them knitting for a lifetime. Not a knitter, no problem!  They have knitwear for sale made by the talented knitters of Puno. User friendly, unique and fun - I like it!

Wednesday is hipster appreciation day around here!

Marg (enjoying a huge hipster heart)

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fancy is as fancy does!

Time to get rid of the winter blahs and get your fancy on!  Here's a foot friendly kit to help you do just that.

Fancy Feet Anklets Kit by KnitPicks. 

The kit includes seven balls of Stroll Sock Yarn , several fun sock patterns including a Mary Jane shape with eyelets - my favorite!  There's are tutorials on their website to help you and a KAL group for this project. View the designer's (Kerin)interview here. For a full description, please visit the website and feast your eyes, tickle your feet and embrace your fancy side.

Marg (tapping my toes and feeling fancy today)

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Dare to dream....

Monday is Martin Luther King Day here in the US.  We honor the man, the dream and all the people who came together to march on Washington in peace for civil rights. 

I began thinking about the influence of African American's in fashion, art and design in America.  I found these links and thought you might like too check them out.  A picture is worth a thousand words!

Look for ways to keep the dream alive in your own life.

Marg (celebrating the many layers of life today)
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Keepers of the Light Links!

Sunflower in Maryland, near Easton Fall 2009

Today, it's all about sunshine and light. Are you a bright beacon for others?  This blog entry is dedicated to all the orgs and extraordinary people involved in relief all over the world.

Here are a few links I think you will enjoy visiting. There are many more.   Feel the warm glow of kindness, light and love  and don't be discouraged by the dark anymore.

Wherever you are, continue to be a beacon whenever you can, and turn your face to the warm sun today.

Marg (turning my face to the sun)

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yarn Pick!

There are many exhilerating challenges with the beginning of a new year, but one of my favorites has to be the yarn sales at local yarn stores and online.  It's a great chance to stock up on the staples of knitting and crochet. 

This week's yarn pick is TLC Cotton Plus worsted from Coats & Clark.  I'm happy to say that Coats & Clark is in Greenville, SC.  Love that!  I orignially purchased this yarn for chemo caps, but soon realized it's a perfect cotton that you can use throughout the year. I like the color choices, as well, which in my knitty world, is always a plus.

Shop around!  When you're searching through the sale bins, be sure to consider the flexibility of the yarn - will you be able to use it on more than just one type of project?  Is it really a deal?  It helps to have a yarn list with you when you shop as well as price jotted down.  Consider the colors you're choosing and if they will be compatible.  Lay them next to each other as you gather your skeins in the store. I think yarn shopping reminds me of buying the right outfit.  Is it versatile, does it go with any other piece of clothing, how about texture? These questions might help you make better decisions, eliminate the impulse to buy a bunch of skeins that aren't compatible to your yarn needs and cause you to spend way too much. 

Sail through January sales with your list, budget and can do attitude and 2010 will be the best knit and crochet year for you.

Marg (sooo not over budget this month)

You might also enjoy reading...

Nanotechnology + cotton yarn = smart yarn
Crochet for a rainy day....

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Monday, January 11, 2010

How's your heart?

Today, I began this wonderful charity project from Red Heart Yarns and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.  They have joined together to create the HeartScarves Project Knit Kit or Crochet Kit

Each kit has yarn, needles, free pattern, instructions on where to send your scarf as well as healthy heart tips, all in a handy clear plastic tote.

These kits have everything you need to get started, plus information on how and where to send your scarf to someone who is just waiting to feel the love from you. Your scarf/scarves will be sent to a member of WomenHeart Support Networks.  The women receiving scarves are undergoing cardiac procedures and would cherish a scarf from you.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and what better way to show and share love?  I hope you'll join in and send comfort, support, and encouragement by knitting or crocheting a scarf.

X's and O's in advance.

Marg ( feeling the love)
You might also enjoy reading:
Kiss me, I'm eco...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Yarn Bowl Parade...

My Yarn Bowl from Dancing Pig Pots on Etsy

Yarn bowls have fascinated me for quite some time.  There are many different types to choose from, but my favorite is ceramic. Something special occurs when you combine pottery and yarn to create a project.  Here are a few of my favorite sites for yarn bowls that I'd like to share with you.  Enjoy the parade!

Dancing Pig Pots on Etsy has a nice variety of pottery and I especially like the unique way she creates the opeing for the yarn in her bowls, making it easy to remove and switch yarn.

The Knit Witch offers great knitting how to videos on YouTube, but did you know about the Knit Witch Yarn Bowls?  There's even a demo on the bowls.

MaidofClay on Etsy offers a colorful bowl with a wonderful inscription on the bottom.

May the yarn be with you...

Marg (living in a total yarn universe today)

You might also enjoy reading:

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Yarn! New Yarn!

This just in!  Three new Stitch Nation Yarns from Debbie Stoller of Stitch'n Bitch Nation now available at Jo-Ann's.

Check it out!

Stitch Nation Yarns

Happy Wednesday!


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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Knit and Crochet with Ease

Chemo Caps made with LionBrand Cotton Ease

Over the New Year holiday weekend,  I was able to whip up a few chemo caps with LionBrand Cotton Ease.  I found it delightful to crochet with, surprisingly soft and definitely durable.  There's a wide range of colors, which is always a plus for any knitter or knotter. It's 50% cotton and 50% acrylic and falls into the weight category of 4, medium worsted weight which makes it an excellent all year round yarn. If you're making chemo caps and would like to use this yarn, please check with you're  organization's yarn list first, to make sure it's an approved yarn. 

Hope you have something wonderful on your needles this week.
If you'd like to share what your knitting or crocheting, please comment...and as always and forever, spam is a lunch meat on this blog, so save it for a tasty treat for yourself.

Knit and crochet with lots of warm colors this week to chase away the wintery blast blues.
Marg (surrounded by warm colors today)

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Empowering Stitches

Recently, I had the opportunity to see the painting Senninbari (Thousand Stitches) by Henry Sugimoto.  I became overwhelmed by the vision of the female offering a Senninbari (a scarf of rememberance) to a Nisei soldier. 
A thousand stitches created by 1,000 women. Imagine it.  Talk about stitching with intent.  These scarves (or belts) were worn by soldiers as amulets and a rememberance of the women back home.  The custom originated during the first Sino-Japanese war and they were also seen a few years ago in the movie Letters from Iwo Jima. 

The stitches we make, (in all types of needlework) are empowering, much like a prayer - or a thought.  Gather 1,000 and you've got something wonderful.  We can create and enjoy them, pass them forward and continue to create a better world.

Think of your  little stitches today and become empowered. Remember to stitch with intent this week and bask in the glow.

Marg (watching you glow!)

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Adventures of a Sock Monkey Visionary!

You may wonder what brings me to the blog-a-roo on Saturday evening but I'm so inspired I have to share.  Today, we braved the cold to visit Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum.  It's the only Visionary museum in the U.S. and boy is it well worth the visit!  This year's theme is Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness.  There is just about every material you can image used to create many of the pieces - including yarn - yes yarn - Yay!  There are paintings, illustrations, carvings, a metal sculpture garden and barn. Most of the work is created by unknown or little known artists and regular people who don't claim to be artists at all, but are self taught from around the world with a true vision all their own.  It's a wonderful place to rediscover human history.  There are expressive, funny and sometimes quirky pieces, expertly crafted. 

Two of my favorite artists were Judith Scott with her yarn cocoon and Deborah Berger's masks and knitted pieces which were rescued twice, once after the family put them in the trash after her death, and miraculously after Katrina, and were finally donated to the museum.

If you're near Baltimore and have never been to the AVAM, do go and visit.  Check their events page and bookmark the ANNUAL KINETIC SCULPTURE RACE.

Every turn is filled with dreams, ideas, and talented people.  You will be inspired.

On the way out, I had to visit the gift shop and I found Sock Monkey Dreams, daily life at the red heel monkey shelter by Whitney Shroyer and Letitia Walker.  If you have serous sock monkey love grab it for your library.  You will seriously dig this one.

That's it for now...Back to your regularly scheduled knitting and crafting.

Marg (delighted to find both a yarn cocoon and knitted masks on a Saturday afternoon-life is good)

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Knit10!


 Here's a 0 cal hot chocolate for you.  I hope your year is filled with really preeety yarn and pleasing projects!


Enjoy this free January pattern, Cowlie Conditions Ahead!, from, the place for resources, patterns and more!

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