Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Review: Noni Flowers

I got a few books at TNNA, and one of them was Noni Flowers by Nora Bellows. This book includes 40 patterns for knit patterns. Some are more realistic than others, but all of them are amazingly beautiful. I was so excited about this book that the first thing I showed my husband after he picked me up from the airport was this book. Even as a non-knitter he was impressed. The photography is beautiful, and honestly this would make a lovely coffee table book when you're not knitting it. Each flower starts with the stem, and then the different parts of the flowers are worked. She uses the correct biology terms for each part of the knit flower, so in addition to knitting beautiful flowers you also learn a little about plant anatomy.

You can see the entire collection of the beautiful flower on the Noni Flowers website: . You can also order the book from amazon:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

TNNA Columbus & Hiya HIya Needles

When I left for Columbus my bag weighed about 25 lbs. On the way back it weighed 45 lbs. I didn't go shopping for clothes or shoes, but got a lot of amazing stuff at TNNA.

Here's a photo of all the knitting related stuff I brought back:

During Sample It I also had the chance to buy a set of the Hiya Hiya interchangeable needles. I have a set of the Knitter's Pride interchangeable needles, and I really love them because it is so convenient. I love that each set has it's own little spot, and it's so easy to find the needles you want.

However, the Hiya Hiya interchangeable needles may be my new favorite. What I love about the Hiya Hiya needles is that each needle is marked with the mm and US needle size. This is great because I am constantly losing my needle size measuring tool (I have no idea what the proper name for them is). I also find the join to be smoother on these than my Knitter's Pride set. 

At the top of the photo are a set of the Hiya Hiya Sharp circular needles. They are very similar to Addi Lace needles, but not as expensive.

Want to find Hiya Hiya needles near you? The Hiya Hiya North America website has a great tool on their website to look for the nearest retailer. Fine it here:

I'll be posting more product reviews in the upcoming weeks!

Friday, June 22, 2012

TNNA Designer Dinner

TNNA starts tomorrow! If you don't know, TNNA is The National Needle Arts, and they hold several shows each year for wholesale purchases. I am here in Columbus with Lotus Yarns helping them to run the booth. This morning we got up to build our booth, then tonight I went to Marly Bird's Yarn Thing, which was amazing! It was dinner with over 100 amazing knitting and crochet designers. I didn't know anyone there, since this is only my second time attending TNNA, and I felt a little bit awkward at first, but as always the knitting community is extremely warm and welcoming. I quickly met a ton of really nice people, and quite a few that I have admired over the internet. I also got an amazing take home bag full of great products. It's far too late for me to tell you about all the lovely things that were in the bag, so I'll be sure to post again later with all the details.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another Miya

I'm really excited that I'm going to begin teaching at the new shop in Cary, Warm N' Fuzzy this fall. I'm going to start with a class on beginning lace, using the Miya Shawl

This will be my third Miya, and this time I'm using Swans Islands Natural Colors Collection 100% Organic Merino Wool in Fingering Weight from Maine.

Look how pretty it is! It's a lovely light purple with a little grey.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

KAL: Holey Hug Shrug

So the KAL actually ended on Sunday, but I didn't get a chance to take photos until Monday, and it's taken me until Wednesday to post about it here. Oh well. Anyways, Here's a photo pre-blocking. It's still a little damp even though it's been sitting out for 2 days, but I'm hoping to take it to Columbus with me this weekend for TNNA!

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Pattern: Mama Miya Infinity Scarf & Cowl

I have a new pattern out today! 

This is the Mama Miya Infinity Scarf and Cowl. It's available in three sizes: 
Cowl: 14” x 12” / 36 x 30 cm
Infinity: 29” x 7” / 69 x 18 cm (pictured)
Double Infinity: 29” x 14” / 69 x 36 cm

This summer everywhere I look infinity scarves are worn with everything from a tank top or a dress. It is the must have accessory, and as knitters why would we buy one, when we could make one with much nicer yarn? I saw a lace mesh one at the Gap today at the what are you waiting for? Go make your own infinity scarf or cowl!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yarn U iphone app

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to try out Mary Beth Klatt's updated Yarn U app.

Yarn U is a reference database of yarns. There are 34 different brands included, however for most of the brands the lists are incomplete. For each yarn there is a photo, yardage, yarn weight, stitch gauge, suggested retail price, suggested needle size, and fiber content. There are links on where to find the yarn, and the address for the distributor/manufacturer. Also included are the authors opinion of each yarn, and for some suggested patterns.


  • This app works offline, so you can access all the info on the app without internet. It would be great if you were yarn shopping and wanted to compare the price to suggested retail. 
  • Colorful photos of each yarn and finished objects with featured yarns that load quickly
  • There is a built in way to leave your comments for the author, and Mary Beth seems dedicated to making this app better and better. 
  • In my opinion the app isn't very intuitive. There is a short tutorial which introduces you to all of the features which is helpful. 
  • The list of yarns included is limited, and can't compare to the yarn database on Ravelry.
  • The reviews of the yarns are subjective, and only reflect the authors opinion. 

There are a few parts of the app which seem incomplete. There are pro and con sections for each yarn, but for most of the yarns they are empty. I'm also not sure the purpose of knowing where each yarn company is based, there is a map that shows you where different manufacturers/distributors are located, but personally this isn't information I would use. 

For the time being I'm much more likely to use the yarn search feature on Ravelry. However I think there is great potential for this app and as it continues to include more yarns it will become a stronger tool. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

KAL: Holey Hug Shrug Update

I'm just over half way on my Holey Hug Shrug. I can't wait until it's done so that I can actually wear one of my own knit garments for a change! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Pattern: Spring Wolle Shawl

The Spring Wolle Shawl pattern is finally here!

I started blogging about the Wolle's Color Changing cotton way back in March.

Here's what started it all:

And now the Spring Wolle Shawl:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Holey Hug Shrug KAL

I cast on for the shrug on Saturday, but then decided I was going to knit it in the round, so I started over. I've gotten past all the increases, and have done one repeat back and forth.

Since I'm totally changing the pattern by knitting parts of it in the round there is quite a bit more figuring out to do. On WS rows I have to do the opposite of what's written, and that can be difficult to remember.

Anyways, here's a picture of my progress. I like how soft it is, and I think it'll be nice to wear.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

KAL: Swatch

The Holey Hug Shrug KAL starts tomorrow!

In preparation for the KAL I've swatched with Lotus Yarns Bamboo Soft. It's 100% Bamboo, and ridiculously soft and has a beautiful sheen and drape. This is not an aran weight as the original shrug in the pattern, though I don't think it's sport as listed on Ravelry either. I'd say it's more of a DK/light worsted. However on size 8 (5mm) needles I am able to get gauge (this photo is before I washed the swatch). Yes, you should always swatch and you should always wash your swatch! Why? Because you will (hopefully) wash your garments once they are knit, and when you do they will grow. If you've accounted for this when you swatch you won't be surprised or horrified when you wash your garment and it grows. This is particularly important with lace, when things tend to grow a lot more than they would appear.

You can participate in the KAL by going to the Ravelry group here: Mari Knits Ravelry Group

Here are some notes I posted on the Ravelry group about deciding on what size to knit. 

The schematic shows the width of the ribbing for each sleeve, 10(11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)”, this can be a good way of deciding what size would fit you best, since the rest of the shrug is pretty loose. So, get someone to help you to measure the top of your arm, at the widest point. Turns out mine is 12”, so I’m going to knit the third size, a size M.
To make the sleeves longer, knit extra lace repeats in the very middle of the shrug. I’ve swatched with a lovely bamboo yarn, and have gotten gauge. I’ll try to post a picture of my swatch tomorrow with natural lighting, and then cast on Sunday morning.
Please feel free to post your progress pictures and discuss any questions.
Also, I’m thinking I’m going to knit this one in the round, and I’ll post notes on that when I cast on and decide just how I’m going to pull it off.