11.27.2014

Thankful for Family

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who blessed me with the gifts of yarn-love and creativity.

I am thankful for my family:


Mr. AC who supports me in my crafting obsession.


Drama Queen who likes to dream and imagine too.


Princess who is a fun girl that loves to play outside.


Lady Hops-a-lot who is sweet and generous.


Baby, my sweet little girl, whose dress needs as a baby started it all.

I am so blessed! I'd love to hear about your blessings today! Please share!

Happy Thanksgiving!
April

11.25.2014

DIY Holiday from Interweave

DIY Holiday 2014: The Crafting Life
Interweave/F+W; $9.99


I was given the opportunity to review this fun magazine called "DIY Holiday: The Crafting Life" by Interweave/F+W. They say this is the "premier" issue, so hopefully there will be more to come, because this is really a great magazine!

I'm going to tell you all about it, but I'll tell you now to stay tuned for a giveaway at the end...

The neat thing about this magazine is that it is not just one craft. It's not just yarn-craft either. This includes quilting, sewing, beading, knitting, crocheting, weaving, and mixed media. This really is a crafter's paradise. All the projects are fairly small, but with enough variation for you to find something for close friends, family members, teachers, etc. Something for everyone! Enjoy crafting for the holidays!


First up, a surprise to all of us. One of the crochet designs in this magazine, is one of mine! I had no idea it was going to be in here, so I was surprised to see it. This is Vega Cowl that was originally printed in Interweave Crochet Accessories 2012. The cowl is made with star-shaped motifs, joined together as-you-go. It is made with 3 balls of Lionbrand LB Collection Cashmere. This is truly a luxurious yarn! So amazingly soft! I highly recommend using it.


My first time glancing through the magazine I had daughter #2 sitting in my lap. She has recently wanted to learn to sew, and we have been working together on a chiffon blouse. All of the stitching involved is pretty simple -- just straight lines, but chiffon...why did she have to choose that first? It's actually going fairly well though.

Anyhow, my budding seamstress was immediately drawn to the project above, "Envelope Clutch", by Erin Harris. She is determined to have one of her grammies help her sew it. I hope she makes one for me!


There are some really great jewelry projects in the magazine. My girls liked the earrings best, but this one was my fav. It would actually go really well with a greyish-blue dress I have that has an ivory colored belt with a gold-colored belt buckle. This is called "Olympic Medals Necklace" by Chloe Chatenever.

Strange how I'm thinking of these projects for me... These are supposed to be gift ideas, right?


Now, this project I really did think of as a gift. Aren't these awesome?! This project is called "Resin Bangles" by Heidi Boyd. In my extended family each family buys a stocking stuffer for each of the 19 members of the family (my parents, 4 sisters, their spouses, my 5 nieces and nephews, and my family of 6). These would be a perfect stocking stuffer for the girls in the family!

I've never done anything like this, so it seems a little intimidating, but the instructions are very good. I actually feel pretty confident about it now that I've read through them. They are made with resin, so you need resin mix and a mold as well as some other supplies. This could be a fun project to do with my girls. So maybe we'll get the supplies and make one each day until we get them all finished. Which of the 3 bracelets pictured is your favorite? I think I really like the bottom one with the paperclips.


This project is knit and is called "Walker Scarf". The designer is Andrea Babb. Isn't the detail on the scarf ends gorgeous?! That's what really caught my eye on this one. I think this could be a great scarf for a man or a woman. I could see making this for my dad, my husband, or maybe a close friend. What do you think? Who would you make this for? The yarn is Madelintosh Pashmina Worsted, 3 skeins.

So, the awesome thing is that Interweave/F+W sent me 3 extra copies of the magazine to give away! Awesome, right?! Three of you get to win this time! Please leave a comment to tell me which of the above projects you would make as a gift, and who you would make it for (just for fun). You'll be entered in the drawing. I will draw 3 random winners and announce them on Thurs. December 4th here on the blog and elsewhere (Twitter, FB, you know the drill). If you win I'll need to get your address so that I can mail you your copy.

Such a great magazine, and I'm so happy to have a copy for myself! Happy crafting!

April

11.20.2014

On Fire


Introducing my newest pattern, "On Fire Wrap". This pattern is self-published, and is available on Ravelry and Etsy for $4.00. I will eventually have it available on Craftsy, but haven't gotten to it yet. It is also available in hard copy at my LYS, Gourmet Yarn Co. in Oklahoma City on the NW corner of May & Britton.

I will be teaching a project class on this wrap in January at my LYS. Hope lots of you can come! You can find out date, time, and cost, as well as sign up, by calling them at 405.286.3737.

This is the same technique that I used for the Rosalie Wrap that was published in Interweave Crochet. It is Tunisian crochet entrelac with some of the squares left empty to create a square-shaped hole. It reminds me of filet crochet, but with larger squares turned on their points.

The shape of this wrap is quite a bit different than my previous projects though. Here is a diagram that shows the flat shape of it:


I used Lang Yarns Mille Colori, a worsted weight 50/50 Wool & Acrylic blend. It is a striping yarn, so there are not color changes involved. This is a nice soft yarn that is machine washable (but lay flat to dry).



I am so happy with this wrap and look forward to seeing FOs on Ravelry and on my Facebook page!

Now, to announce the winner of last week's giveaway! Four of you fabulous friends left a comment, and my winner is Daphne! Daphne, please send me an email at bananamoonstudio @ gmail . com (leave out the spaces). If you will give me your email address, I will forward it to Interweave/F+W so that they can get you your digital copy of "Twigg Stitch." Enjoy!

Happy stitching!
April

PS - I am on Instagram now! Find me here. Username bananamoonstudio.



11.13.2014

Twigg Stitch: A Review

Twigg Stitch: A New Twist On Reversible Knitting
By Vicki Twigg
Interweave/F+W; $27.99

I am pleased to share a new knitting book with you all today. So, maybe some of you are experienced knitters and have previously tried knitting a two-color rib. I had never done this until last week. If you have done so, you've seen that unused colors are carried across the back of the fabric (not that I know this from my own experience, but it's what I hear through the grapevine) and therefore, the fabric is not reversible. So, it works fine for sweaters, which you aren't going to wear wrong-side out, but not so great for scarves and cowls, where people will inevitably see the wrong side, unless of course you'd like to glue it to your shirt.

Author Vicki Twigg, spent some time tinkering with this stitch because she was driven to find a way to produce a two-color rib that would look nice on both sides. She succeeded! Not finding anything else like it "out there" she named the stitch after herself -- Twigg stitch.

I was intimidated by the idea, given my lack of experience with colorful knitting. However, I did it! I made a swatch in Twigg stitch!


One side...


and the other. My swatch is a little bigger since taking this, but this is where I captured a picture of it.

Vicki states in her book that a slippery yarn is best for Twigg stitch, because it "settles into the stitches" better, and I was using cotton here, I think too that an animal fiber would be more elastic and pull the columns of the same color together, which will give each side a more uniform color than my swatch does. I think if I were trying out one of the projects, I'd go with a different yarn, but this worked to figure it out.

Vicki gives lots of instructions and pictures to explain how to hold everything, how to maneuver your yarn, how to cast-on, etc. The instructions were great! She shows you how to hold your yarns in separate hands, or both colors in your right hand, or both colors in your left hand. I usually hold my yarn in my left hand, so I tried that way first, but really struggled to hold two different colors tightly enough and still keep them separate this way. I had much better results by holding the colors in separate hands. I've always struggled with keeping enough tension on my yarn when purling...not sure why, just one of my weirdnesses, I guess. That was even harder with Twigg stitch. It will take more practice to get comfortable with it.

There are several lovely projects in the book. My two favorites are...

Fan Shawl (swoon!)


and Brooke Beret (love the color combination!)


Gorgeous, aren't they?! I have some yarn that I think will be perfect for the Fan Shawl.

Now, for the really exciting part! Interweave/F+W has graciously agreed to provide a digital copy to one lucky reader! Awesome, isn't it?!

Please comment below, and leave me your email address, to be entered in the drawing. I'll select a random winner in one week, and announce the winner on my blog!

Hope you win!

April

11.06.2014

Garland Dress


I'm so happy to share with you a pattern of mine that was recently published in the Winter 2014 issue of Crochet! This is actually also my first pattern ever in this magazine. Notably, this is also the first magazine or yarn company project that I have ever gotten to choose the final name for! Every other project I've done for a publisher, they have changed the name I gave it. Many thanks to Ellen Gormley, editor of Crochet! magazine, for being so awesome!

This is a girl's dress in sizes 12 mo, 2, 4, and 6. The yarn is Universal's Uptown DK, so it is easy care and so reasonably-priced! Have ever used Uptown DK? It is so soft! I have some left here at home from making this and will probably use it to make myself a cardigan. Really, a nice yarn. I used colors #104 Bashful (2, 3, 3, 4 skeins) and #102 Lily.

The cable detail on the wearer's left is really a pretty simple cable pattern, but I've set it up so that there are three cables at the bottom, and only one at the top. The two outside cables only go partway up the dress. This took some pondering to decide how to write the instructions for this cable into the shaping instructions for the dress. I actually decided to keep them separate, so the shaping instructions say something like, "work the next row of the cable instructions" instead of including them in the shaping. Would have been much too complicated for anyone to follow!

I hope you all love this sweet dress! I want to see bunches of projects on Ravelry, y'all, so get stitching!

April