Author Archives: HannahDavis

About HannahDavis

I'm 26, and currently am working as a Mental Health Professional. I live with my fabulous chef fiance and our dog. Of course I love knitting & crocheting, but I also love reading, cooking, swimming, traveling, and photography.

Gentille cowl ta-da!

My busy hands have completed a new project: the Gentille cowl!  Available for about $5.74 on Ravelry (click here), this pattern makes a great one-skein wonder!

"Gentille" cowl - a wearable knitted piece with great drape!

The yarn used was awfully hard to photograph properly, even in natural light, but if you’re wanting a pretty accurate representation of color, check the source: KnitPicks Hawthorne in Ladd’s Addition.  It’s essentially a blend of dark blues and purples with a pop of hot pink that has a tail end of bright orange.  Less brown than in my pictures here.  I think it’s gorgeous, but that’s not the only thing about this yarn I love: it may be 80% wool but it’s not scratchy at all, even after a whole day’s wear; it blocked beautifully; the drape is perfect.  This is my favorite yarn of the year so far, for sure.

Gentille cowl draped on a chairAs you can sort of see, there are two “sections” to this pattern: a garter stitch section and a lacy chevron section.  That constitutes 1 pattern repeat, and my 357 yd skein was perfect for 4 repeats total.  Here are closeups of the two “sections:”

Gentille cowl - garter stitch sectionGentille cowl - lacy chevron sectionI like the way the bright pinks/oranges make a sort of zig/zag pattern throughout.  This is called “pooling,” right?  Well, I really like the way it pooled here (I know sometimes it can be a mess)!

In conclusion, even though the pattern was pretty easy to remember, I don’t regret paying for it — I’m sure I’ll use it again someday.  This pattern mixed the mindless garter stitch with interesting [but not difficult] chevrons, and it looks more complicated than it actually was!  This is the sort of pattern you could churn out in a week for a gift, and I think anybody would love to receive one, don’t you?

Well, that’s all for today, but this isn’t the last you’ll see of the Gentille cowl!  Look out for a special knitting tip coming up soon!  As always, thanks for stopping by!

 

 

everything you need to know about knitting & crocheting tools/extras

Two weeks ago I posted “everything you need to know about crochet hooks” and last week we learned “everything you need to know about knitting needles.” This info is also from 2011 and is permanently available in the menu bar but I thought it worth revisiting!

List of extras for knitting and crocheting

stitch markers

Stitch markers have been unnecessary in every crochet pattern I’ve ever attempted — a scrap piece of yarn marks your spot just as well and doesn’t cost you extra.  They’re much more useful in knitting, at least for me.  They do make markers that look like jewelry if you just want to look pretty, like the glass beaded ones in the tin above.

needles

OK so you do need sewing needles to sew the ends of your yarn into your project.  Just make sure you find some with big enough eyes for your yarn.  The big ones are called tapestry needles.  If you want to get organized you can get a metal magnetic tin for your needles and stitch markers, as seen above.

scissors

Duh.

measuring tape

A cute one is always fun, like the Cath Kidston retractable one above.

needle/hook sizer

Useful if all of your needles or hooks aren’t clearly marked with their size.  The Susan Bates one above is also good for checking knitting gauge!

thread cutter pendants

These thread cutters hang from a necklace so can be kept with you at all times, and they’re very handy.  I totally had to get one because it’s more convenient than digging around for my scissors, and it’s just awesome!  Even works on thicker yarns.  I got the Clover brand.

row counter ring

These are so handy!  Mine is handmade by a woman on Etsy (click here for more info).

wire yarn stranding guide

This ring is specifically for when you are knitting with more than 1 color/ball of yarn at once.  It helps keep the tangles at bay and can be found cheap.

beads (not pictured)

It can be fun to add beads to your crocheted work, but unless the pattern calls for it, I’d stay away from beading!  When you’re crocheting you have to put all your beads for the project on the yarn before you start, because there’s no way to add them as you go along (unless you tie them on with sewing thread or something, but who wants to do that?).  That means you have to count EXACTLY how many beads you will need and TRIPLE check that you’ve put that number of beads on the yarn before starting.

help a study learn more about knitters and crocheters!

help researchers learn more about knitters and crocheters!

Hey everyone! There’s a facebook group that has some interesting research going on about knitters and crocheters. I really want to participate and thought maybe you would, too! Here’s what was sent to me:

“Would you like to participate in the Woolly Wellbeing Research project?
This would contribute to a PhD study into the ways women share their knit and crochet online. Do you post to ask for advice or to show images of what you have made? Does it help you manage feeling lonely or to connect with other crafter-friends? Lots of these questions will be the topic of posts as we share together.
To take part, you’ll need to read the Participant Information document in ‘Files’ and then complete a consent form on the pinned post at the top of the page, just so I know you are informed about the project and how your posts could be used. This is a closed group and all posts are confidential between group members. All material will be made anonymous in writing up research.
Just search for ‘Woolly Wellbeing Research Group’ [on Facebook] or click to connect.
Feel free to share!”

Fibi the Fox – ta-da!

Hello everyone!  Today Fibi the Fox was completed, and it’s time to share her with you!

Fibi the Fox - crocheted amigurumi fox

If you ignore the quantities of dog hair that grace the cushion (that stuff NEVER comes all the way off!!!), Fibi turned out well.  The pattern is available for sale over on Ravelry for about $6.39, if you want to check it out!

Fibi the Fox - crocheted by NotYourAverageCrochet

I used KnitPicks Palette yarn for the body, and a scrap of Cascade Heritage Paints for the scarf.  The arms are a bit long, but that’s because the gauge is looser than the gauge of the body (that’s what happens when you lay a project aside for a while, I guess).

Fibi the Fox - crocheted amigurumi darling fox!This actually took a while to do — amigurumi in general does, I find, because of how tight you have to crochet and all of the nooks and crannies and sewing together of parts.  It’s worth it though!

That’s all for today.  Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you’re enjoying the “everything you need to know about _______” posts (knitting needles & crochet hooks)– there’s one more coming up soon!

 

giveaway!

It’s February, and what better way is there to share the spirit of Valentine’s Day than having a giveaway?  I couldn’t think of one.  I love you guys!

giveaway on NotYourAverageCrochet.com!

WHAT THE WINNER WILL RECEIVE:

  • 1 pack of 6 Susan Bates aluminum crochet hooks in the following sizes: F-5 (3.75mm), G-6 (4.0mm), H-8 (5.0mm), I-9 (5.5mm), J-10 (6.0mm), and K-10.5 (6.55mm)
  • 1 100g skein of sport weight yarn (100% Merino Wool) in the shade Burnt Terracotta, hand-dyed by the lovely ladies at DyeForYarn

The hooks are my favorite brand of the aluminum variety, hands down.  The yarn retails at $22.67 USD and is VERY soft.  Click here for my previous review of one of DyeForWool’s other yarns.

giveaway prize on notyouraveragecrochet

GIVEAWAY RULES:

The giveaway starts today and runs through the end of March 9, 2015 EST and the winner will be drawn randomly on March 10, 2015.  The winner will receive an email alerting them to their win, and they must respond with their full name and shipping address within 24 hours of the email being sent or else another winner will be drawn.  The giveaway is open to all countries.

To enter, you must do ALL of the following:

  1. Follow this blog (via WordPress, Bloglovin’, or email).
  2. Re-blog this post (or share on another social media platform if you don’t have a blog).  Multiple entries can be earned if you share on multiple platforms.
  3. Leave a comment on this post including the following information: a) how you follow this blog  b) the links to your re-blogged post and any of your shares on other social media platforms.

If all three of these have not been met, you will not be entered.

Please keep in mind that if you are a new commenter I will have to verify your comment before it will appear, but you are entered so please do not comment twice.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

-Hannah

everything you need to know about knitting needles

About a week ago I posted “everything you need to know about crochet hooks” and now it’s the turn of the knitting needles! This info can always be found in the menu bar of my site, but I thought it worth revisiting!

intro to knitting needles -- all you need to know about the different types and uses

brands

My favorite brand is KnitPicks, because their needles have pretty sharp points, they’re strong, and they are warm in the hands (at least, the birch ones are!).

sizes

From wire-thin to tree-branch huge, what you need will be on the back of the yarn you want to use, or in the pattern you’re using.  Check out this handy chart to see the two kinds of sizing (metric and U.S.) and how they match up!

types

Circular or straight needles is a choice that is sometimes made for you if the pattern calls for circular, but you can still make non-circular items with circular needles, and some people swear by doing so!  There are many lengths of circular needles, so getting a collection can be expensive (check out the interchangeable sets mentioned next for a solution!).  You can use what knitters call the “magic loop method” to knit smaller tubular items, but I find the loopy “wings” cumbersome.

Interchangeable needles are my favorite because you can buy one set and basically have your sizes and lengths covered, and you can use them as circular or straight needles. Much more cost efficient than trying to collect all the other kinds of needles because they do pretty much everything. The only downside I can spot is that sometimes I just want to knit with straight needles, so I do have a set of those too.

Double pointed needles (or DPNs) are necessary many times when you are making a small tubular object that even the shortest of circular needles are too long for (unless using the “magic loop method” mentioned above), like socks or mittens.  Some people say it’s like fighting a giant stiff-legged spider to use these, but I enjoy them for the most part.

lengths

When using straight needles, you’ve got options from short to long.  If I’m making a skinny scarf, I don’t want 10 extra inches of needle flailing around, poking my dog or my boyfriend beside me, so I’d choose shorter needles.  If I’m casting on for a sweater or large item, longer needles might be required.

materials

This is a personal preference, but there are some points to consider.  Some silkier yarns slide too much on aluminum needles, and some wool yarns are hard to slide on wooden/bamboo needles.  Plastic needles can be a bit bendy, which can affect your gauge by making your stitches slightly looser, so be careful and choose your needle material wisely with the yarn material in mind!

extras

Stitch holders, as seen above in orange, come in a variety of sizes and will securely hold live stitches if you need to use your needles for something else, like another portion of your project or a whole other project all together.  Scrap yarn can serve this purpose just as well if you don’t want to purchase the holders.

Cable needles are short double ended needles (as seen above) that often have a dip or groove in the middle and are used to hold live stitches when cabling and are particularly useful if your cables have more than 4 stitches.  I definitely recommend these for cabling beginners!

Coil wraps, as pictured, are little springy coils that help keep your straight or double pointed needles together.  Just wrap the coil around your pair of needles and they’ll never get separated again.

Point protectors (not pictured) are useful if you travel with your knitting a lot, but I personally don’t have any.  If I did I might avoid stabbing myself in the hand when I reach in my purse…

Circular knitting needle accessories (not pictured) such as keys, various cable lengths, cable connecters, end caps, and ID tags are useful if you’ve got a variety of projects going on at once.  I got all of these things from KnitPicks, myself.