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we are knitters abruzzo sweater kit – begin!

Hey everyone!  It’s been a while — so much has been going on!  A family member recently passed away, I got a new job that I start at the beginning of August, my car is in the shop and might be unfixable, my mom and I went on vacation, and all of this plus some other big life stuff has got me really busy (not to mention overwhelmed, minus the vacation)!

Needless to say, I’ve been a bit slow with the crafting, but I did want to do a little update post on what I’m primarily working on now.  I have occasionally picked up my king-size chevron crochet blanket but I’ve been really excited about a knitting kit that the nice people at We Are Knitters were so kind as to send me for review: the Abruzzo Sweater kit!  Here’s some of my progress:

Abruzzo Sweater Kit Progress

First off, let me say how grateful I am to them for letting me try out the Abruzzo Sweater kit because I really do love all of their yarn I’ve tried (and I’m not just saying that, I even used it for my free knitting pattern earlier this year, the Olympia Cowl), and I’d been wanting to try a pattern/kit for a while.  So thank you so much to We Are Knitters!

The photo above is the back side of the sweater.  It’s knit with the cotton yarn from WAK & their size 8 (5 mm) needles.  I’m making the size medium using the colors Salmon & Terracotta and I love both the yarn and how the colors are coming together!

Abruzzo Sweater Kit Progress

There will be much more detail in the in-depth review that I will post about the kit once the sweater is complete, and I’ll continue to post progress here and on my Instagram (@notyouraveragecrochet).  If you’ve made this kit or any other kits from We Are Knitters (or even if you’ve just tried their yarn), let me know what you think in the comments!

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progress: chevron blanket

It’s been hard to do much crafting lately.  I’ve been really busy with other important life stuff.  Some progress has been made on the king size chevron blanket though:

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I know it’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

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Don’t know why I’m in such a crafting slump.  I just don’t feel like doing anything.  I’ll think ‘oh, it would be nice to work on that blanket or that shawl,’ but then I just… don’t.

Bleh.  Do you get in really long phases like this too?

a slow start

2017 was all set to be productive and had gotten on a decent roll until I fractured a metacarpal in my right hand on Jan. 31.  They said 6-8 weeks was the healing time, and that’s over, and my hand feels normal.  Just a little pain if I hit it the wrong way on something hard (on accident, of course).  Of course that meant I had to take a break from pretty much everything for a little while, and I didn’t knit or crochet at all for over 2 months (with the exception of trying 1 time before I went to the doctor and found out the hand was fractured).

It’s been hard to get back going.  Ravelry hasn’t enthralled me as much or taken up nearly as much of my time, the projects sitting around haven’t been calling me to get to work.  I’ve bought yarn only once.

Finally the other day though a #widn tag on Instagram prompted me to drag myself out of my lethargy and actually DO something crafty.  I got to work more on my second Arlequin Shawl:

These Knit Pro Zing needles are awesome af for wool or stickier yarns (silk I’m sure would just slide right off).  I really want to get the new circular interchangeable set and the double point sets.  And I’m loving this pastel rainbow yarn from Devon Suns Yarns.  So gorgeous.

There’s crochet stuff to work on too, like my king size vintage pink chevron blanket, but I haven’t picked that back up yet.  Now that I know I’ll need to buy even more yarn and that it will take longer than I figured it has me a bit reluctant.

But at least I’ve got something started, and I wanna pick it up again tonight.  I’ll probably do a life update soon because, you know, life happens.

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

giveaway winner & life without crafting

The winner has been notified & confirmed!  Congratulations to Meredith, the winner of my “Every Which Way Crochet Borders” giveaway!  I hope you love the book and get tons of use out of it!

If you’re disappointed that you didn’t win this go-round, subscribe to the blog so you can get notified of future giveaways!  I’ll also always announce my giveaways on my social media.

This is another bland post without photos because I have done absolutely NOTHING in the past month even closely related to crafting.  My fractured hand feels much better and while I can now go without wearing a brace (during the day, at least), I’ve been wary of trying to craft because I don’t want to strain anything from repetitive motion before stuff is really healed.  I should be grateful that I can finally open medicine bottles and write legibly, etc. but it is SO HARD not to be knitting or crocheting.

Strangely after 2 weeks of doing nothing I had no problem with going back to my Wing Chun class (during which the hand was broken); I just have to wear some secure hand wraps for a while and not use my right hand (which isn’t hard because there’s so much more to this style of kung fu than punching).  My classmates are aware and I trust them not to accidentally do any damage.

Surely I’ll be back to crafting soon — staying away is hard — but I think part of why I haven’t tried anything yet is because I know it’ll be really hard to take it easy and take breaks and stuff!  For now though, thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

“Every Which Way Crochet Borders” book review, bonus pattern, & giveaway!

everywhichwaycrochet

Hello everyone!  I was lucky enough to be chosen by Storey Publishing (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to participate in a blog tour and review a copy of Edie Eckman’s new book (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).  It’s called “Every Which Way Crochet Borders” and there will be a free border pattern and book giveaway below, so keep reading to learn about this really cool book!  Although the book was provided and the giveaway sponsored by Storey Publishing the opinions below are all my own.  Also, follow the rest of the blog tour for more chances to win the book by clicking here:

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review

OK so, there’s really a lot packed into this 218 page book, and it’s not just the 139 cool crochet borders.  Let’s dive in to some of the details!

One thing I often find lacking in patterns of crochet borders is that you’re left to figure out how to turn corners on your own, which can be incredibly frustrating and can frankly just turn me off to using the pattern at all.  Thankfully Edie Eckman has included great detail in her patterns,

each engineered to flow smoothly around the 90-degree corners that you’ll find on blankets, sweaters, washcloths, and other items.

Each beautiful pattern includes both written and charted instructions as well as any necessary additional information on stitches or other notes, and each pattern is tagged with categories for easy searching (categories include: reversible, wide, medium, narrow, undulating, straight, motifs, open/lacy, layered, fringy, and textured).

Before even getting to the patterns, however, there’s a very helpful section of the book called “Design Concepts” which really put this book a notch above other border books and patterns for me.  It gives a very helpful structured approach to choosing borders for your project based on some crochet principles, such as “Form Follows Function,” weighing borders that compliment vs. contrast with your item, recognizing the potential for the huge differences colors can make, understanding scale, and how to choose the right type of yarn for your projects.  Edie even includes advice and details on how to add borders to other types of fabric, which I found very useful.  And while her border patterns are written out with specific detail, Edie encourages customizing the borders in her book (such as widening borders or combining them), and she tells you how to do it with math that is really very straightforward and takes a lot of guesswork and frustration out of making the perfect border for your pattern.  It is so nice not to have to figure this out yourself!  If you’ve ever had to do this on your own you know that the struggle is real.  Wrapping up the “Design Concepts” section are some helpful tips on troubleshooting, starting and ending rounds smoothly, and even how to fudge stitch counts if necessary!

Man, I wish I’d had this when designing the As-We-Go Stripey Blanket!  The border would have been even cuter!  🙂

The borders themselves are cute and varied — there’s something sure to please everyone and go with just about any project.  Experiment and have fun making your own personalized crochet borders!

free border pattern just for you!

As I mentioned before, check out the other blogs on the blog tour to find not only more ways to win a copy of the book but also more free bonus patterns from the book itself!  For my readers I choose to share border #99 straight from the book itself so you can see how each pattern page is laid out!

Every Which Way Crochet Borders #99

The Stitches & Notes section is very helpful for those who haven’t tried the Solomon’s Knot stitch before.

Every Which Way Crochet Borders #99 Notes

As mentioned above, each pattern is tagged with specific categories.

Every Which Way Crochet Borders #99 Tags

The photo and written pattern are clear and concise.

Every Which Way Crochet Borders #99 Written Pattern

And the charted pattern is easy to read, with repeated sections highlighted.

Every Which Way Crochet Borders #99 Chart

Excerpted from Every Which Way Crochet Borders © 2017 by Edith L. Eckman. Photography by John Polak. Chart by Karen Manthey.  Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

giveaway

And now for the giveaway part!  This particular giveaway is open only to US residents (but any of the other giveaways I hold are open worldwide).  A lucky winner will receive their own free copy of Edie Eckman’s “Every Which Way Crochet Borders,” and all you have to do is comment below with your name and the State you live in (one entry per person please)!  Winner will be chosen by a Random Number Generator on Saturday, Feb. 25.  If chosen you will receive an email from me requesting your mailing address; make sure you check your inboxes because after 24 hours I will draw again if I receive no response!  Winner will be announced as soon as one has been confirmed!  Good luck everyone!

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

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