Spooky Halloween Kitty

Stitch Markers, Notepads, Lifelines, WIPs, Tool Bags

About a month ago, I happened to be at Downtown Disney, in Anaheim, Ca, for a knitting event. A group of about 40 ladies and a few gents, joined our illustrious hostess, Laura Wilson-Martos of Dizzy Blonde Studios for knitting in public. We sat at the Hearthstone Lounge inside of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, chatted to friends we know, met some new friendly knitters and had fun.

While we were knitting and socializing, we played a fun game: Knitting/Crochet version of Bingo. You had to fill in the squares with knitting & crochet quests like: someone crocheting amigurumi, knitting on dpns (double pointed needles), frogging an item and someone using a “Lifeline” plus more.

lifeline, red yarn

 

A Lifeline you ask? I had no idea what a lifeline was. I had to ask a fellow knitter. It is piece of waste yarn that it threaded onto a row to hold the stitches.  If for any reason you need to undo your work, you can always go back to your last lifeline, pick up the stitches and continue your work from that point on.

That has to be one of the best pieces of advice I have ever learned. When knitting a project that has lots of lace work; i.e., YOs (yarn overs), SSKs (slip slip knits), K2TOGs (knit 2 together), a lifeline will help you from having to deal with a mistake that was made rows ago. As you can see, I have placed a lifeline. Now if there is a mistake, I know I can unravel it to the lifeline and not worry about losing anymore stitches.

stitch markers

 

Stitch Markers are nice to have when working with a pattern that has many repeat sections. When you look at the shawl, the stitch markers are placed every 13 stitches, as the pattern states. The repeats are usually inside the brackets or parentheses of the pattern. One can never have too many stitch markers!

knitter tools bag

 

A Tool Bag is the accessory that a knitter carries with them when doing projects. It can include: scissors, several sizes of darning needles, stitch markers (removable or not), tape measure, stitch counter, lifeline yarn or dental floss, crochet hook, pen and notepad, portable light, magnifier, hand lotion, post its, nail file. All of this including the yarn, pattern, page protector for pattern and needles (or crochet hooks). I have several tool bags to go with my current projects.

Gizmo – a WIP

 

WIPs, Works in Progress How many projects do you start, thinking that it’s a project you can come back to and then forget about it. You go into your yarn stash, find that WIP, and realize you did not remember what you were making. Pattern? Is the pattern printed, in a magazine, online, saved to a folder on computer, on tablet, on Ravelry? So many questions, so few answers.

One of the ways I keep WIPs from being just a WIP is to make a project bag for that project. Items needed for the bag: clear plastic storage bag- gallon size or larger, yarn, needles/hook, pad of paper, pen, Post Its.

With pad of paper, I write down pattern name, location of pattern; i.e. Ravelry, Craftsy, Lion Brand website, and keep a notation of what row/round I have worked on. For me, this works and keeps my projects safe until I am ready to finish them.

post it with pattern

 

If I have a printed pattern, I use a post it, with a notation as to where I need to continue with the pattern, next to the row or section to be completed.

I download a lot of patterns, about 90% of those patterns are saved on my laptop. I do not print the pattern, to save paper and printer ink, and I use my laptop for pattern storage, until I am ready to finish that project. When I leave home with a project bag, I move the pattern to my small tablet for portability to take along.

Currently I have 8 works in progress, with only 1 to be frogged- ripped out- if I cannot find the pattern. Not bad, if I say so myself. My goal is to get most of those projects finished in the next 3 months. All but 2 are knit shawls.

As always, I would love to your comments on this post or any of my other posts.

baggy paper

Finding my niche

R.B. Craft Show 2008

Last Saturday I participated in the El Segundo Hometown Fair. It’s an annual event for the city that brings out families. The kids get to play in the bounce houses, the adults chatting amongst themselves and the arts and crafts vendors get to make new customers.

Typical of beach living it was a cold, windy, damp day. I am often approached by customers asking some common questions about my knit and crochet items. Such as if I teach children and do I teach knitting.

The answer to both is yes.

 I do teach kids how to crochet, with minimum age of 10 years, and not more than 6 kids at a time. If there are more than 6 kids in a class, they lose the one on one teaching, with some catching on and others not at all.

I also teach knitting. Sometimes privately in my home and sometimes through other venues like yarn shops or through a city program.

Customers also ask how long I have been crocheting animals. This question always brings back memories of the first arts & crafts event I participated in. It has been 10 years now that I have been knitting and crocheting for fairs.

To be honest, I cannot remember exactly how I got into selling at craft fairs. My first show was at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. My table had knit and crochet scarves and crochet beanies. The beanie hats were the first time I had ever crocheted in the round. People complimented me on how well I knitted scarves, and that I should have raised the price of the scarves. (Lessons of the newbie!)
I went online and spent many hours looking at patterns.

Turtle was my first animal.

 

My first animal I ever crochet was the turtle. Many mistakes were made but I had to try. Once I got the hang of it, I found it to be easy to crochet.

Some of my wares you can find at Buy Hand Laguna Beach.

In 2007, I participated in a show at a senior center, brought along 8 crochet animals, along with other items. The animals were a hit! I had found my niche and have been crocheting animals for 10 years. I create my own designs too which include the octopod, jellyfish, seal, teddy bear, ducky ball with more to come.

Five years after that beginning All of my ocean related animals are shipped to Buy Hand – Laguna Beach, where I consign them. Their customers love my crochet animals —they have even been photographed for a local newspaper article on the shop!

My Octopod gets featured in article about Buy Hand Laguna Beach.

How did you find your niche?

Baggy here: I love a good story. Tell me how you found your niche in the comments below.

PartyBag

LA Yarn Crawl 2017 “Wrap” Up

Yarn Crawl selfie

 

Did you get a chance to “crawl”? How many shops did you visit?

I crawled, and my husband was gracious to drive me from store to store. We even found a couple book stores for him to “crawl” in.

We mapped our route, packed a snack bag of water, sodas, chips, then started the 2-hour drive at 7:30am, along 3 freeways, to Claremont. It was faster than we anticipated, arriving at 9:00am, so we had time to eat breakfast. Knitting was my companion during this time. Occasionally an LA landmark made it into my photos.

Well known L.A. landmark

 

The goal all was to spend 15 minutes at each store, browsing the shelves, drooling over all the yarn lovely and meeting the shops owners. Twelve of the 17 stores we had never visited before, so it was nice to see what they have to offer.

Everyone had a hand in it

Instagram & Twitter also played a role in visiting the shops. Each shop had 2 yarns featured for the crawlers to snap a “yarn selfie” and post to social media. Photo bombing was prevented at most locations, except one or two, (you’ll see an extra limb or two in those photos) only because of a lack of seating.

Each shop gave the crawlers a logo pin to put on the official LA Yarn Crawl Tote Bag and a FREE knit and crochet pattern. And, several stores gave a free “gift with purchase”. There were product demonstrations, artist trunk shows, and exclusive dyed yarns.

Kathy with Tunisian Crochet Designer & Author, Sharon Hernes Silverman

On Friday morning, I met a Tunisian Crochet Designer/Author, Sharon Hernes Silverman. She demonstrated a different way to crochet Tunisian without the long double ended crochet hook. I had a nice conversation with her, and cannot wait to start crocheting from her books that I purchased.

Not only is yarn available for purchase on the crawl, so are the tools and accessories for both knit and crochet. See the photo evidence of my purchases. You can never have too many locking stitch markers or tape measures, right?

One store even had “$5 & $10 Mystery Bags”. You buy the bag, and inside is a mystery as to what you purchased. I purchased the $5 bag, and inside was Tapestry Needles, Folding Scissors and Row Counter. It was a good purchase.

As you can see, yarn was acquired for crochet animals (Chunky Baby yarns), scarves, shawls, project bags and tote bags. New colors, new fibers, new year.
After 3 days of crawling, 10 freeways, over 300 miles, now the real fun begins… Winding Yarn!

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The Yarn Crawl, What’s It All About?

L.A. Yarn Crawl Participating Locations

 

Any fiber artist, that is crocheter, knitter, weaver, knows what this is. For anyone else, here is what Google has to say about it: A “yarn crawl” is a multi-day event for yarn and fiber lovers connecting them to local yarn shops within a specific area or city. Yarn crawl participants are encouraged by their local yarn shops to develop a self-guided itinerary for a weekend of exploration and fun.

Yarn Crawl “Passport”

In the Los Angeles area, the yarn crawl is Thursday April 6 through Sunday April 9. There are 21 LYS (local yarn shops) participating this year. Each store has a grand prize gift basket worth over $500 in goodies from the sponsors of the event.

Kathy and her winnings

 

Plan your days out, route the stores, order your yarn crawl tote from a LYS, print out your passport to get it stamped from each store you visit, get free knit and crochet pattern at each store, see the latest and greatest products, see demonstrations, shop the trunk shows. You could win the grand prize at one of the participating shops, like I did 2 years ago.

Yarn Crawl totes and badges

 

For more information if you would like to get “crawling”, you can go to www.layarncrawl.com.

You crawl, I’ll sit here and make wishes

Oops! Baggy was having way too much fun! Did you catch the faux pas?

Quick apology for omitting the scarf in the last post. Baggy hit the publish button before someone was finished placing images. So here is the corrected version of that last post:

Clover Pom Pom maker

R & R continues, so today I am reviewing a product that I absolutely love. It is the CLOVER Pom Pom Maker.
I had a 50% off coupon from Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store, and decided to pick it up. I bought the Large set. It comes with 2 different size pom makers, 2 ½ inch and 3 3/8 inch diameter. There are other sizes you can buy too, including a Heart Shape Pom Maker.

The Clover Pom Pom Maker is quite easy to use. Just wrap the yarn on each half of the maker, cut the wound yarn, tie it off and remove it from the maker. A little fluff and trim and you have a pom pom. Even kids can make poms, with parental supervision.

These can be added to not only scarves and hats, but to shoes, hair clips, wraps, shawls, wreaths.

The Sample Diagonal Knit Scarf pictured is made with 1 skein Red Heart Super Saver yarn, 236 yards, 5oz, 141g. I made the poms first, then knit the scarf. As an added bonus, here is the pattern for the scarf.

Sample Diagonal Knit Scarf

• 200 yards worsted weight yarn, preferably one that is self striping.
• Size US 8, 5mm knitting needles (straight or circular)
• Clover Pom Pom Maker
• Darning Needle
• Scissors
• Stitch Marker

Directions:
CO 20 sts   you can add more stitches if you want a wider scarf. This scarf measures 4 inches wide.
Row 1: (KFB) Knit front to Back in 1st St; K (knit) across to last 3 sts; K2tog (knit 2 together); K last stitch
Row 2: K across
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until almost out of yarn, Loosely Bind Off all stitches after Row 2. Cut yarn, weave in ends.
With darning needle, attach pom to each side on long diagonal. Make sure you tie it tight. And now you are done.
Enjoy the pattern, it’s a fun and easy one to knit.

Baggy here: I’ve got a Kathy fun fact. Kathy likes to make the tassles and poms before the scarf. She says it is to make sure there is  enough yarn to make a long scarf. Humans are such interesting creatures.|

Poms on diagonal scarf

 

Here it is, the diagonal scarf with pom poms
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Baggy New Year, er, Happy New Year!

Where are the snacks?

Here at YarnKat, the holiday fun continues. And Baggy seems to have made a party out of YarnKat. He’s even got his black tie on in anticipation of the New Year. Which is still a few days away.

Baggy here: Don’t I look handsome? I think I do.

Oh, YES, you are one handsome kitty in your bow tie. Speaking of tying things on, someone must have put catnip in the hot chocolate –the YarnKat Holiday Sale has been extended until January 2nd. Big savings all around. 55% off everything!

Baggy: WHAT?!

That’s right. 55%. That $40 scarf you wanted before Christmas is now $18.
Use coupon code YrEnd2016 to save.

Baggy: Gotta be the catnip…


Speaking of year end, we’re doing a little housekeeping. If you subscribed to YarnKat, and have not received any posts or updates, there is a 2nd step you need to do to complete the process. When you enter your email, we automatically send out a confirmation email and in it, ask you to, obviously, confirm your subscription. Make sure you confirm, or you will miss out.

Baggy: Don’t forget to wish them a Happy New Year.

I think you just did, silly cat. Happy New Year and thanks for supporting YarnKat.

sleepy-baggy-and-his-bear

Tennis Elbow? I don’t even play the game!

Baggy is so happy he doesn't have to tape his paws.
Baggy is so happy he doesn’t have to tape his paws.

Hello friends!

Are you done with your shopping for Christmas? Have all of your knitting and crochet completed and packaged nicely to give? I have my last 2 shows this weekend and have been quite busy finishing up projects for the  potential sales.
However, a couple of weeks ago, I started feeling a lot of pain in my left arm. This pain actually became unbearable and my work stopped. Pain is not a good sign for a fiber artist with upcoming events. Yikes!
I saw my orthopedics doctor and I learned that I have Tennis Elbow. Repetitive motion, straining the tendons that connect the elbow causing pain –to the point that I cannot hold anything as light as a ball of yarn without pain shooting through my arm. Many things can be done to help prevent this very common condition…. the best being REST!
Unless I want to continue to live in pain, I HAVE TO STOP crocheting and knitting for a little bit of time. Baggy cat won’t like this because he loves yarn, especially the balls which are perfect for his paws.
YarnKat will still be here going strong, just at a much more leisurely pace until further notice from the orthopedics doctor and physical therapists. Meanwhile, I wanted to let you know that  there will be upcoming specials that you will want check out, so stay tuned!

For now, the needles and hooks are on hiatus, taking a well deserved holiday..

 

july-2008-tired-baggy

Happy Thanksgiving From YarnKat

turkeyciipartOld memories: Growing up, my grandparents always cooked the dinner, whether at their house or ours. Long, long hours spent waiting for the bird to be done. Homemade stuffing, stuffed inside the bird, the jellied cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and rutabagas. Dinner was around 4pm and the naps began quickly afterwards. Football was a must watch, family conversations, laughter.

Now Thanksgiving dinner is ordered, less cooking time needed, rutabagas and potatoes not on the menu, appetizers are in place, Martinelli’s Apple Cider the drink of the day, and the Bartholomew Green Slime (lime jello mold) are on the menu.  As we make our way to Long Beach to Lee’s family home, I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

(Ahem, Baggy wishes you all a happy Turkey day, too! Now I wonder how much yarn I can unroll while they are gone…)

Save

baggy-blue-yarn

FREE Cupcake Pincushion Pattern Giveaway

Cupcake pincushions
Cupcake pincushions

After about 3 years of reading other people’s patterns, and making their products, I wanted to try my hand at creating my own. With much effort, lots of paper, lots of “frogging,” I created my first pattern. It is called CUPCAKE.

I had crocheted some cute cupcakes, sold them  at shows, and people asked where I got the pattern. With delight I said “I made up the pattern”. But I did not have the pattern to sell to them. At that moment, a lightbulb flashed over my head… (BAGGY HERE: Well, duh. Sell your patterns, silly human!)

For the next 2 weeks, until November 18th, you can get my very first pattern I ever designed for FREE. Just hop on over to the Shop page, tap patterns and you’ll see your free pattern.
(BAGGY HERE AGAIN: Or you could just tap this link HERE.)

While you’re there,  check out the other patterns I have. I will be adding more patterns along the way, so be sure to subscribe to this blog to keep updated on new patterns and products.

How was that, Baggy?

(MEOW.)

The Day has come…

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Ducky Balls, designed by Kathy

YARNKAT is up and running!

What is YarnKat? Its all about me, my fascination with fiber, and of course one cannot forget the cat, Baggy.
You will share my journey through crochet and knit, the cat will have his say, and our compromise on who is really the boss of whom.

I will also share my thoughts about yarn preference, hook and needle, how to assemble and much more.

This will be a work in progress as I continue learn the day to day operations of the website and blogging.
I would like to THANK the one person, who without her generous time and patience,  gave me “homework” on a weekly basis to get her all the information you see in front of you. My sister Terri Lloyd, web designer (more like template manager, says Terri) and artist.
So stop by from time to time and let me know what you think about YarnKat. Or, if you’re like me and find it easier to get updates via email, subscribe! It’s easy to do, just plug in your email in the box on the right, over there —> .You can also follow my on social media, by tapping the icons underneath the subscribe box.

Now its up to me, so let’s start this journey together…