knitting

I am very happy to welcome Laura Nelkin from Nelkin Designs, who is going to show us how to knit some cute wee hearts for Valentines day.

I love love LOVE to create and I split my work hours between my knit design venture – Nelkin Designs, and teaching knitting across the US, I am also the design director at Schaefer Yarn Company.

Oh my, how fun to knit up these wee Lil’ Hearts. Every year at Valentine’s Day I surprise my loved ones with tiny hand-made valentines, and this year they are getting these. The girl will get hers tucked into her lunch box, my honey will find his nestled among his tea bags when he goes to make his morning cuppa! You can make a slew of them and string them as a banner, or tie a ribbon through one and use it as a present topper or wine bottle accessory. Use your imagination on how to surprise your Valentine… It will take you less than an hour to make one of these, so sit down with a cup of hot tea and whip up some love with your needles.

Download the PDF pattern right here.

Wee Lil’ Hearts

These wee hearts are knit in the round with 3 double pointed needles. Each side of the heart is on one needle, and the third is used as the working needle. They are knit at a dense gauge to give the heart structure, and so the stuffing doesn’t show! Adding beads is optional… I do love that bit of bling, but it is not necessary!

There are video tutorials for some of the techniques used in the pattern, casting on in the round over a small number of sts and placing beads here.

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Love this cable knit cowl

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Welcome to my fave books of the year series of posts. Over the next week I will be showcasing my favourite books of the year, last week I discussed my kids fave books, you have met my favourite foodie and sewing books, and later in the week I show you my fave general craft books too.

Also I have a few books for whipup readers, so keep reading to find out which ones. Entries are open for 48 hours, winners will be chosen at random and will be notified via email. Winners will be contacted via email.

I love the calm that comes over me with yarn in my hands, I grab my crochet (lately its all about crochet for me), a cup of tea and tune the world out while I click away with my hook and yarn. I recently started a stitch+itch group with my kids school – which is lovely to get to know fellow crafty types in my community, and I have a friend or two who I enjoy getting together with to talk craft. Also my mum and nanna are/were keen knitters, crocheters and all things yarny – so there is always inspiration. But in the absence of friends what could be better than a good book for inspiration.

If you are wanting to knit for men there are a few good books to look out for – Men’s Knits by Erika Knight and Knits Men Want by Bruce Weinstein are both full of very stylish and form fitting designs. And if are knitting for yourself then may I recommend Haiku Knits by Tanya Alpert – which has some gloriously unusual but very flattering designs, and a very recent addition to my pile is Modern Top-Down Knitting by Kristina McGowan, a book I love for its practicality, stylish designs and interesting details. [STC craft are kindly offering a copy of Modern top-down knitting to a whipup reader so please leave a comment - letting us know your favourite and best knitting book of all time - you have 48 hours to enter]

As for crochet, I realised I don’t have many crochet books on my shelf that I can say that I love wholeheartedly – I would love some recommendations in the comments. But one book that I do really love is Blueprint Crochet by Robyn Chachula, for Crochet clothing for women that is incredibly beautiful, fitted and with some beautifully detailing. This book might be a couple of years old – but it has really stood the test of time for me. [+ Interweave are offering a copy of Blueprint crochet to a whipup reader - so leave a comment with some crochet book recommendations - you have 48 hours to enter].

Another crochet book with stylish women’s clothing is Crochet Me by Kim Werker. I couldn’t find this book on my shelf so I think I must have lent it to a friend, along with Knitting Mochimochi by Anna Hrachovec, one of my favourite cutest knitting books of all time, it has mysteriously disappeared. [But you dear readers are in luck, as Random house are offering a copy of this book to one lucky whipup reader - leave a comment letting us know your favourite pattern that you have knitted - if there is a link online let us know that too - you have 48 hours to enter]

HatHeads by Trond Anfinnsen, which I reviewed back here, remains one of my top knitting books, its glorious to look at and fun to play with. And Comfort Knitting and Crochet by Norah Gaughan is one I couldn’t miss out, simply because it is all about comfort knitting and crochet – snuggling up with a handmade soft and warm afghan – nothing could be better really.

so don’t forget to that some of these books are going to be given to whipup readers. Entries are open for 48 hours, winners will be chosen at random and will be notified via email.

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Oops seems I missed my scheduled spot in the blog tour – so terribly sorry for all of you expecting to see some knitting love here a few days ago. But better late than never!

Modern Top-Down Knitting: Sweaters, Dresses, Skirts & Accessories Inspired by the Techniques of Barbara G. Walker by Kristina McGowan. STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book (October 1, 2010).

Inside this beautifully presented book you will find some beautiful patterns – here is a sneak preview:

Yarn talk- please leave a comment here telling us your favourite yarns. According to ravelry – amongst the most used and popular yarns are:

Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks: 100% Peruvian highland wool (Corriedale/Merino cross)

Malabrigo Yarn: Hand Dyed incredible soft Merino wool. With the subtle variations in color and texture only hand dyed yarns have. Beautiful, soft kettle-dyed pure Merino from a small family-run company in Uruguay :: Cascade Yarns – 220 wool: 100% Peruvian Highland Wool :: Kureyon - Noro - Kureyon has two plies with a “rustic” loosely spun effect. くれよん (pronounced coo-ray-oh-n) is the Japanese pronunciation of the English “crayon;” thus, the literal name of the yarn is “crayon.” Noro Silk garden is 45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair, 10% Lambswool.

Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts: 100% superwash merino wool

Classy by Dream in Color: 100% Merino Superwash

Cascade yarns – eco wool : Lion brand – fishermans wool : RYC Cashsoft DK from Rowan : Ultra Alpaca from Berroco: 50% Super Fine Alpaca 50% Peruvian Highland Wool : Organic Cotton from Blue Sky Alpacas – Organic Cotton is grown and harvested without the use of agri-chemicals. The colors are naturally occurring shades free from bleach or dyes. Made in Peru. :: Sock Yarn from Sundara Yarn

100% Merino Superwash from Wollmeise

More from the blog tour here. And find out more about Kristy on her website.

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What a ripper idea and generous of Jessyz. Link to tutorial.

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