Monday, December 31, 2012

Knitting Resolutions

Congrats to the winner of the last giveaway, 'Amy'!  Amy, I drew your comment via Random Number Generator and I have emailed you to get your address. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest and I hope to continue to hear from all of you!

Like most people, I make resolutions for each new year. And, like most people, I rarely keep any of them. For 2011, it was 'join a gym' year, which lasted for 2 months. For 2012, I took the sage advice of having smaller, more specific and attainable goals and I actually met some of them. I had resolved to get a new job (reached in May) and a new car (reached in June).  I didn't meet some of my other goals but hey, two isn't bad and those were two big ones!

I discovered something else this year as well, which is what I want to share with you all today - The Knitter's Life List by Gwen W. Steege.

I found this book and just had to have it.  Right on the cover, it states 1001 inspirations for every knitter, 122 techniques and tips to learn, 69 styles & traditions to explore, 64 personalities to meet, and 33 yarn fibers to try.  Her book has all of that and more.

I read through it a couple times the week I bought it and it inspired me to make my own resolution list.  I hate marking in books I own, even though there is space for that in this book, so I just created a list of my own on my phone so it's always with me.  I used many of the ideas that Gwen included in her book, but also added a few of my own.  In fact, I have 26 knitting goals on my list, adding more all the time, and I'm aiming to accomplish as many of them as I can in 2013.  Some examples of my personal goals include:

- Knitting a stash of dishcloths (for gifts)
- Knitting a stash of balls (again, for gifts!)
- Make something using Intarsia
- Learn to knit toe up socks
- Learn to knit two at a time socks
- Knit something with cashmere

What are your knitting goals for 2013?  Leave a comment to share!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Last Giveaway of 2012

I have been laid up for over a week now with a bad case of strep! Seems like everyone around me is catching something so it must be making its rounds somehow. For the first time in over a month, I wasn't able to knit for several days straight. Since Thanksgiving, I've had my needles out every second I've been home trying to get my Christmas gifts completed. Or, at least every day until getting sick. At that point, I wanted to make sure I touched my yarn as little as possible to prevent risking germ transfer into the fibers.

The good news is, I was able to get almost all of my gifts done in time for Christmas. The only ones I wasn't able to finish right on time were a sock monkey and a flower clip for a couple friends/co-workers. However, since I ended up being out sick for a week anyway, it didn't matter because I couldn't have gotten the gifts to them in time anyway!

I leave you with the final 2012 giveaway, the one I wasn't able to do last week since I was sick. The first giveaway was a pattern, the second a book, and the third a knitted item. The fourth and final giveaway, as promised, will be yarn. And not just any yarn, but a skein of Noro! I've learned in the last six months just how popular Noro yarn is, and how crazy people go over it. It's bright color ways and high quality of fiber make for a very unique yarn, slightly different with every skein.  I am giving away one skein of 'Transitions', pictured below.

As with the other giveaways, I can only ship within the contiguous 48 states.  All you have to do to win is leave a comment on this blog post by 12pm EST on Saturday, December 29th.  A winner will be chosen at random and emailed for their address so I can ship it to them.

Until next time, happy knitting!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another Winner, Another Giveaway!

Happy Monday!  This has been a week full of knitting.  I finished the gift for my husband, except to block it (pictures of this after Christmas!), and started on a gift for my godson - Daniel the Spaniel, by Oliver Bolivar from Ravelry.  Isn't this adorable?  I can't wait to finish him and see him opened up on Christmas!

This week's giveaway could be a great gift for the child in your life, or the adult who need a stress ball!  I have posted previously about my pattern for the crochet balls, but I will send the winner of this giveaway three of the balls themselves as a prize.  Just two days ago, my family got together and as we sat in our living room, I watched my nephew play with these for at least an hour, tossing them around and chasing after them.  I can't seem to make these fast enough to keep some of my family members supplied, as they keep giving them away as baby gifts.  I also keep my co-workers supplied with these when you just have to have something in your hand to squeeze to handle the stress of the day.

Just like the last giveaways, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post before 12pm EST on Saturday, December 15th.  A winner will be chosen at random and contacted for their address so this can be shipped.  For this giveaway, I can only ship within the contiguous 48 states.

Last but not least, congratulations to the winner of the second giveaway, the second commenter, Chelsea @  

Chelsea, I tried to send you an email but it bounced back, so please contact me at with your address.  Until next time, have a great week!

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Second Giveaway!

Congrats to the winner of our first giveaway, 'suburban prep'.  Hope you enjoy the pattern!

And now for this week's giveaway - 'Stashbuster Knits' by Melissa Leapman.  This is a great pattern book, with 21 beautiful patterns that you can make with leftover yarn, helping move some of your yarn out so you can make room for more!  I'm always drawn to projects like this because I have more yarn than room to store it in.  This book definitely lives up to its promise, with great projects that you'll have a ton of fun knitting.

For this giveaway, I can only ship within the contiguous 48 states.  Just like the last one, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post before 12pm EST on Saturday, December 8th.  A winner will  be chosen at random and contacted for their address so this can be shipped. 

Until next time, I leave you with another 'stashbuster' type knit that I've been working on in an effort to move out some of my sock yarn.  This is a simple ribbed sock I just finished last week.  Now that I've finished that, I'm already itching to start on another pair of socks.  Socks are a great 'on the go' project, but I'll go on and on about that in another post. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The First Giveaway!

Happy Thanksgiving! Normally I feel compelled to start these out with how crazy it's been, but I just had 5 days off work (counting the weekend) so I really had no excuse to not post. I did get a lot of knitting done, though. I finished my fingerless mitts, finished a pair of ribbed socks, and started in on a Christmas gift for my husband (he reads the blog so I can't post pictures until after Christmas!)

This summer, I told myself that I would get an early start on my Christmas gifts. Of course that didn't happen, and now I have only one project completed and at least six more to go. It'll be a very busy month trying to get all of that done. I spend most of yesterday knitting, so much that I had a dent in my thumb from pressing on the needle. It was fine by morning, but very sore last night!

Instead of talking about a project in this post, I want to do something special for the upcoming holidays. I read a lot of knitting blogs, and I love it when the writers are able to give away books or patterns, as it gives readers a chance to try something out they may not have known about prior, and it gives the writer a chance to hear from the readers (which is always exciting!).

So for the next few weeks, I'm going to do a different giveaway each week - a pattern, a knitting book, a finished project, and some yarn.  This week, I'm going to start with the pattern.

One lucky winner will receive a free copy of my Lacy Cowl pattern from Ravelry (pictured below).   This is using a repeat lace pattern, which makes it a great beginner project for someone new to lace knitting, or a quick knit for an expert. You can make it a cowl as directed (shown below double wrapped) or don't join the ends and make it a scarf.

This was such a fun project to write and to knit, and I can't wait to share it with one of my readers.  To win, all you have to do leave a comment on this blog post by 12pm EST on Saturday, December 1st.  I will then draw a comment at random and contact the winner.  The next giveaway will post the following week.

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, and I'll see you all again in a few days!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Malabrigo Yarn, Fingerless Mitts

I got way too busy again!  It's almost been another two weeks since my last post and much knitting has been done.

Pictured here is the right hand of a pair of fingerless mitts I'm working on.  The pattern is 'White Caps Fingerless Gloves' by Simone Van Iderstine, available on Ravelry.  I'm using Malabrigo Sock Yarn, in 'Stonechat'.

I have a bit of 'history' regarding Malabrigo.  I briefly went to a knitting meetup a few years ago and a few of us decided to do a sort of knit along, working on the same project at the same time - a cabled bag.  This is before I had ever taken a cable class, or really knew very much about yarn at all.  The person running the group was using Malabrigo yarn, and kept saying how much she loves it and how she knits pretty much everything with it.  I had no idea what Malabrigo was at the time, so I didn't know what she was talking about or what the big deal was.

It wasn't until this year when I started working at my local yarn shop that I realized what Malabrigo was, how popular it is, how great the colors are...and how absolutely horrible it is to wind.  If you have ever tried to wind a skein of Malabrigo into a center pull ball, you know what I mean!  You pretty much have a 50/50 shot of getting a skein that won't completely tangle while winding, resulting in 30 minutes of trying to recover. Many people complain about winding Malabrigo (rightfully so!) but all of them also mention how worth it it is once wound and you're actually knitting with it.  They have some of the best colors available, and it's great to knit with.

Anyway, I bought some of this Malabrigo sock yarn a few months ago and I'm finally putting it to use.  This pattern achieved both using some yarn in my stash (instead of buying more) and to use what I learned in my cabling class I took this summer.

I'm finishing up a pair of ribbed socks, and then plan to finish some more of my half-done projects that are sitting around so I can move on to new projects.  I've started browsing Ravelry more and I have close to 100 projects in my queue now.  Time to kick it up a notch and get more knitting done!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Another Free Pattern

Here is the next size crochet ball I wrote a pattern for.  This is also available for free on Ravelry in my store, Cubicled Knitter/Megh Kizer. 

While the medium size I posted before is great for kids to throw around and play with, this smaller size can work as a toy as well as a stress ball for adults.  I had this tested out by people I work with, and they said the smaller size fits much better in the palm of their hand and is great to use while working. 

These balls are one of the few things I still crochet since knitting is still my main 'craft of choice', so I'm eager to share. More to come later, but I wanted to get this posted right away.  The larger size is soon to come, and then I'll be back to posting more knitted patterns.