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Beginner Quilting Revisited!

 Remember when I said this wasn't turning into a quilting blog? Turns out that was only partially true. Although I am still knitting on the regular, I have also been exploring more quilting stuff. Over the summer, I finished the Quarantine Hexie Quilt  made from all the fabric leftover from making face masks: I was also inspire to put together my first real quilt top! A coworker recommended doing a "Jelly Roll Race Quilt" (for non-quilters, a jelly roll is a common term for precut strips of fabric that are 2.5 inches wide). There are several versions of the Jelly Roll Race quilt, each with a video tutorial, but each one is quick and easy to make because you don't have to do a lot of fussy fabric cutting and piecing. All you have to do is sew all of your fabric strips together into one long continuous strip, and then keep folding it in half to sew one edge of the strips together until you make the size of quilt you want.  It's so easy, even a total beginner quilte
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A Year of Sock Pals!

November 2021 Update: Unfortunately, the next round of sock pals has been postponed indefinitely due to the sudden retirement of the majority owner of Knit 1.  I'm so sad that we won't get to do another session, but it was fun while it lasted! Popping back in to talk about a subject that has always been near and dear to my heart (even if I don't get to do it as often as I like) - sock knitting! I used to knit socks obsessively, and almost exclusively. But as the years went on, issues with my hands (and golfer's elbow?!) severely limited my ability to knit socks without pain. So for a while, I just didn't make them. And it was a bummer!  But then my brilliant friend Allyson, co-owner of Knit 1 Chicago, came up with a brilliant plan: Sock Pals ! Think of it like a pen pal, but with sock knitting. Sock Pals is a combination of a knit-along & sock swap. You get to pick the yarn color and pattern you want to keep for yourself, and then you get matched up with a myste

Mystery Revealed: Brown Sheep Mystery KAL

Sharing my new sock design last week reminded me that I never revealed the mystery from the Brown Sheep MKAL which launched in April of this year ! I wish I could say that I was just waiting to be extra-super-duper certain that I wouldn't spoil the surprise for anyone, but I'm quite certain that everyone who participated earlier this spring has long since finished their project. So, without further ado, here is what the finished shawl looks like: If you like what you see, you can still get a free PDF download when you sign up for the Brown Sheep monthly newsletter by clicking here now through October 2021. After that, I'll have the pattern for sale in my Ravelry store - so get it for free while you still can! Update: This pattern is now available for purchase here in my Ravelry store!

New Sock Pattern: Collin Sox for Knit 1 Chicago

Although it's been a full year since we moved from Chicago, I still have strong yarny ties to the city that was our home for over a decade. Largely, I have the good people at Knit 1 to thank for this - their daily Instagram Live videos are my main connection to the yarn world now that I've left the fiber arts industry, professionally speaking. Their Instagram Garage Sale account  has tempted me far too many times, despite my legitimate SABLE* concerns. Last November, they launched the brilliant Sock Pals program and used one of my patterns for the inaugural KAL. It was so much fun that I've participated in every Sock Pals KAL ever since! So I was thrilled to contribute a new sock pattern to their Designer Subscription Box series for 2021 , which features some fabulous designs from fabulous people using Knit 1's exclusive fabulous yarns (the key word here being FABULOUS). And, 10% of each subscription box is donated to a charity chosen by the designer.  When we started

Easy, No-Mess Yarn Dyeing with Abundant Earth Wool Tinctures

Note: a version of this post originally appeared on the Nancy's Knit Knacks blog, for whom I was ghost writing for at the time. Since the future of this business is in flux (last I checked, the website  was password protected with a conflicting coming soon/closing business message), I wanted to make sure that this tutorial wasn't lost, so I am republishing it here. Have you ever admired a skein of hand dyed yarn and wondered if you could produce similar results at home? There are many methods of dyeing yarn: you can dip-dye, steam dye, kettle dye, solar dye, or even ice dye - but the basic principles are the same: heat is used to transfer pigment onto fiber, often using a  mordant  or  fixative  to aid the process.  Dyeing can be messy, and some dyes create harmful fumes that the at-home dyer may not want to invite into their living space. The good news is that there are plenty of safer options to try: Kool-Aid, food coloring, and even easter egg dye can be used to dye yarns an

Latch Hook: 12 Projects for the Modern Maker [BOOK REVIEW]

On the very first day of 2020, my friend Heidi, the crafter behind the Hands Occupied craft blog , taught me how to latch hook so that I could make a sample for the pattern book she was working on.  Heidi's Latch Hook book & my latch hooking supplies As a sample maker, I was given everything I needed to make the project - mesh, precut yarn, and the latch hook. And I didn't have to worry about any of the finishing work, either. It was a pretty sweet set-up! My sample for the book - the faux shearling throw So when Heidi sent me a copy of  her Latch Hook book  as a thank-you for making the sample, I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could make a project from start to finish.  I chose the Hey Welcome Mat and decided to sub in one of my favorite Brown Sheep Yarns, Lamb's Pride Worsted . I struggled with cutting the yarn lengths at first until I discovered a simple hack using a chenille cutter ; after that, it was smooth sailing, and now I have this fun rug that I will

A Finished Sweater, With Cat Hair

After losing Tilly and Robin within a year of each other, I sure didn't think I'd be finding cat hair in my knitting any time soon. But the universe had other ideas. Over the winter, a white feral cat adopted us. I'd noticed her when we moved into our apartment last summer - I would see her hiding in the bushes or sunning herself in the grass when she thought no one was looking. I assumed she was someone's cat until I realized how skittish she was around humans, plus she had a tipped ear, which is a universal sign that a feral/stray cat has been spayed. Neighbors confirmed that she was a feral kitty (descended from several generations of feral cats, in fact), and that she has survived on her wits and whatever food various residents put out for her.  We had some bitterly cold days over the winter, and I just felt so sorry for this poor kitty! I started offering her treats and slowly gained her trust. She didn't even want to come inside our apartment at first, much le