Cat Snuggles = Destash!

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Finished Projects by Tammy on Saturday 5 July 2014 at 3:20 pm

I always like to have at least one no-brainer crochet/knitting project going on that I can do while watching TV or sitting in a work meeting. While I have made lots of snuggle blankets for local animal shelters, it has been awhile since I have made any for my own cat crew. So as a way to help with my summer destash goals, I’m making snuggles for my furry girls and boy. This is a great way to use up some of those orphan skeins that are left over from projects.

The first one I made from a yummy and now discontinued yarn, Caron’s Spa yarn. Chanel had to test it out about 5 seconds after I put it in one of her favorite hang out boxes.

My second cat crew snuggle is made from some other discontinued yarn. This is Bernat Baby Softee in Tangerine and Aqua that I held together.

I’m participating in The Knit Girllls’ 2014 Destash, and I just have 996 yards to go to make the 5k challenge!

Knitting Reimagined – Book Review

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Thursday 3 July 2014 at 1:15 pm

Knitting Reimagined: An Innovative Approach to Structure and Shape with 25 Breathtaking Projects by well-known yarn crafter Nicky Epstein has a copyright date of 2014 and is published by Potter Craft. It’s a 176 page hard copy book that retails for $29.99 in the US and $35 in Canada (though, of course, it is deeply discounted on

The author explains in the introduction of the book that her focus while creating the knitting designs was to come up with “chic, wearable, but uniquely atypical garments.” She wanted to show how you can use traditional stitches and techniques but play around with structure. If I’m understanding her goals as explained in the introduction, then I think she did this. However, I have to admit that when I first flipped through the book, I was not sure about the “wearable” part of this concept. I would not necessarily call the designs couture, but they are edgy.

I took a closer look at the designs, and my opinion changed a little. There were a few pieces that were not as wild as I had first thought. “Royal Lace Coat with Hood” is a beautiful coat type sweater with an arrow lace design positioned diagonally on the front, back, and sleeves. The hood is detachable. Another project that had a lot of versatility is “On the Block Topper.” It is a type of poncho that you can wear with the pointed parts in front or on the side, and there is a two page spread showing the same design just altered by using different yarn or different stitch patterns.

So, yes, there are a handful of projects that most anyone could wear, but then there are a number that I felt were over the top for the average taste (and figure too). The sweater on the cover is an example of this. Even some of the models, who I could tell were super tiny, didn’t look that great in some of the heavy sweaters in this book that are full of cables and similar details. That said, I think anyone with some knitting chops could probably take any of these projects and use them as a starting point but tone them down to make them more practical. For example, the “Buttons and Bows Manteau” is a sweater dress that has a lot of wavy texture going on from the waist down. However, from the waist up, it’s a nice and classic design, so you could stop before all the wavy part and create a cute cropped sweater.

Each project is given a skill level (beginner friendly; intermediate; advanced) and time rating (quick; weeks; months). There are also extensive graphs provided to show how to assemble each garment. The color photographs are a big bonus in this book because you get to see the entirety of each project with different views like straight on front views but also side views and detail shots

As a knitting beginner, even the beginning level patterns seem daunting to me, but I really feel like this is for more experienced knitters who have pretty much knitted everything twice and want a challenge and method for creating usual pieces that verge on couture.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Free Wire Wrap Tutorial from My Book

Blogged under Free Craft Projects,My Crafty News,writing by Tammy on Thursday 3 July 2014 at 1:03 pm

The second edition of my book The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making is hitting the shelves (virtual and otherwise) this month. To get a look at some of the new additions to this book as well as a free wire wrapping tutorial, head over the the Craftside blog.

Get 25% Off Hobby Holster!

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Wednesday 2 July 2014 at 12:54 pm

The folks at Holster Brands sent me a new product of theirs to test drive. It is called the Hobby Holster, and I have to say it is pretty clever. Pictured above is the holster stuck to my desk, and it has not budged, even though I’ve knocked it around accidentally a little. The idea is that you can use this for hot tools like a glue gun, so it is made of silicone. I have a few silicone utensils and tools for our kitchen. This is using the same concept, but instead, you can slip your glue gun in it while it is still hot and not worry about the glue going everywhere or burning your fingers. Once the glue cools and dries, you can just peel it off.

Though its original intention is for hot crafting tools, I like that you can put other tools in here and have them handy but not cluttering your work area. The top flap sticks to any surface, and then the two pockets provide space to store tools. Plus, the flap has centimeter and inch markings on it, so you can use it as a quick ruler.

The Hobby Holster is available in turquoise, pink, gray, and green. Normally, it retails for $19.99, but starting now through the end of the month (July 2014), you can go to the Hobby Holster web site and purchase at a 25% discount by using the discount code Princess25. If you know of a few craters you plan to buy holiday gifts for, this is a perfect time to shop and get this product at a good price and tuck away for a present later.

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