3.17.2014

And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone for all the comments on the last post.  Obviously we have a few hat knitters amongst us. 

I love knitting hats, they knit up so quickly and you don't need a second one like you do for socks or mittens, so no hat orphans. I tend to use mostly worsted or fingering for my hat knitting. 

I hope everyone enjoyed checking out the book, Good Deeds. It really is a lovely collection for a worthy cause.


I tallied up all the qualifying entries and the winner of the $35 gift certificate to the Hazel Knits online store is Brenda G. Brenda kindly left her Ravname, so I shouldn't have any trouble reaching her to let her know about her prize. Congratulations, Brenda! We'll be in touch soon.


3.05.2014

Good Deeds: Contest!

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing the book Good Deeds, Volume One: Hats, which is available as an ebook for purchase on Ravelry or Etsy.

The book, curated by Kyle Kunnecke, includes 15 hat patterns using a variety of techniques (lace, stranded, entrelac, crochet!) in a full range of yarn weights from fingering to super bulky. Each of the designers has donated their patterns so that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the ebook can be donated to Breast Cancer Connections, a Palo Alto-based nonprofit that supports people touched by breast and ovarian cancer.


The photography in this 79-page ebook is stunning, and the charts, where required, look well laid out. With something for everyone, it's easy to find a few favourites among the designs included.

My personal favourite is Franklin Habit's Meliorus. Worked up in four colours of DK Lively, I think this hat would be a winner!


Another favourite is Lars Rains' Raspberry Beret. I'm not sure I can personally pull off wearing this style of hat, but it might be hard to resist knitting it for someone else using a skein of Entice.
Normally I include a contest to go along with my book reviews and award a copy of the book being discussed. However, in this case, I think it makes more sense for each of you to check out the book and hopefully decide to purchase it for yourselves so that the proceeds being donated will continue to increase.

So, instead of awarding a copy of the book, we have decided to award a $35 gift certificate to the Hazel Knits online store. In order to be entered into the drawing for the gift certificate you will need to leave a comment on this post before midnight Pacific on Monday, March 10, 2014, telling me two things. First, check out the patterns in the book and then tell me which pattern in the collection is your favourite. And second, I would also like to know what is your favourite yarn weight for knitting hats.  I will randomly select one winner from the comments.

Please be sure to include information so that I can contact you if you win - an email address or Ravelry name, please. 

Comments are moderated - it may take a while for your comment to appear. 

Hazel Knits was proud to be one of the sponsors of this collection.

2.05.2014



Here's what happens to yarn left outside overnight to cool... Those ships aren't floating - they're ice skating! Buuuuurrrr, it's cold out there. If you live in a chilly part of the world, bundle up and be safe!

1.15.2014

What the HK is on Viki's Needles?

January! A fresh start, right? 

My first order of business was to clean out my knitting basket. I threw away orphaned ball bands, put away needles and various oddments of yarn and recycled printouts of patterns I was done with. Then I turned my eye to my works in progress. Decisions had to be made and a few things went to the frog pond. It's hard to be honest with one's self about the likelihood of ever finishing a project.  But to be honest, I probably wasn't honest enough. There are still a few things around that I will really have to get tough with myself about one of these days. But I'm not perfect, so it won't be today.

And now it is time to look at the HK projects that have visited my needles since my last update here. 

I try to add a few handmade bits and pieces to my Christmas tree every year. And this year was no exception. The first thing I made was this fun Christmas ball using the pattern Sheep Balls and Artisan sock in a Limited Edition Red that I've had for ages (I think it was released at Sock Summit 2009), Nekkid, Sedge and Arroyo. I probably should have used a darker brown for a little more contrast but I still like it.  It isn't instantly recognizable as sheep so it is my little sheepy secret.


Then, I adapted the same pattern to make a Minion ornament for my kids. I'm sure in a couple of years this will look ridiculous on my tree. But for now, the kids love it! And I'm quite proud of it too. Plus, it gives me the giggles whenever I see it.


One of the presents I made for my daughter was an adorable bunny with a collection of sweet dresses. The bunny was made with bits of stash I had around but the dresses had to be made of only the finest materials! Artisan Sock in Flicker, Surf, Queen of the Night and Nekkid. Taking just a couple of hours each, it was fun to come up with assortment of stylish frocks using some leftover stash. My daughter is just learning to knit now. Perhaps one day she will want to add to the collection.




Once January came around it was time for a little selfish knitting. So the first thing I did was finish a hat for myself. Castiel knits up quickly in DK Lively. I choose to knit mine in Queen of the Night. With slightly less frigid temperatures this week, it should be the perfect hat to wear to the bus stop in the afternoons.


So what's on my needles now? Lots of secret projects, as January has also brought with it a new desire to produce more of my own patterns. More on that soon.

In the meantime, I am getting ready to cast on a project for the latest HK Ravelry KAL. If you haven't checked it out yet, visit our group and join in. For January and February, we are featuring patterns inspired by Science Fiction, Fantasy, Fairy Tales and Mythology. It's time for me to make a decision and cast on.

11.28.2013

Quick Knits for the Holidays

In just a few days we'll be turning the page on the calendar to December and realizing that the holidays are just around the corner. For some of us that means gift giving. And for some of us that means hand knit gifts. 

Yesterday, the Yarn Harlot wrote a blog post saying it was her day of reckoning. The day that she takes stock of what she has knit and what she wants to knit to give as gifts this year. She approaches the holidays (from this point forward) like a job, with spreadsheets and daily quotas.  I prefer a slightly more laid back approach, but to each their own.

If you find yourself in a similar position, with gifts that still need to be knit, you'll probably be looking for quick knits. One-skein projects. 

I thought I'd help by putting together a list of some quick projects from some of our HK friends (plus one really cute ornament I couldn't resist). Hopefully one of these ideas will help you get closer to your goal.

Let's start with Melissa Goodale's gorgeous Wild Cherry, knit with one skein of DK Lively. Ah, DK! So much faster than fingering weight (shown in Cherry Fizz in DK Lively).

 Photo by Mariana Kajlich

If you have a little more time, Verybusymonkey has lots of fingering weight shawls that would make stunning gifts. Dendrology has a nice garter stitch section that would help it move along quickly (shown in Equinox in Entice).


Slippers make a snuggly gift at this time of year and Andrea Rangel's Dinar slippers look super comfy with the yarn held double for a squishy sole (shown in Rick's Cognac in DK Lively).


Perhaps fingerless mitts are what you're looking for. Jennifer Chase-Rapport's Queen Anne mitts are lovely. And she has a pattern for a matching cowl if you're itching to make a set (shown in Frost in Artisan Sock).


But I live where it is pretty darn cold at this time of year, so I need my fingers covered. Might I recommend my own pattern, Willowmere? Taking less than 300 yards, mittens are are great choice for the time challenged (shown in Ruby Love in Artisan Sock).


Anne Hanson's Sparrow Song Cowl would make an impressive gift. The smallest size uses less than half a skein but there are other size options as well, if time permits (shown in Song Sparrow in Entice).


Every year I like to add new handmade ornaments to my Christmas tree and I think I just found this year's pattern. I'll be casting on for Sheep Balls later on today. I'm thinking of using Red Carpet, Sedge, Fudge and Nekkid. I can't wait!


Do you have any last minute gifts to knit? Or do you have any pattern ideas for quick knits? I'd love some more suggestions.

11.21.2013

What the HK is on Your Needes? Vol. 34

Time for another look at Hazel Knits' projects knit by other knitters. And what a talented and creative bunch of knitters I've discovered for you today.

Check out this gorgeous shawl by ravname: patocenizo8. It's a test knit of Dee O'Keefe's Catoctin Shawl in Artisan Sock in Spanish Wine. Lovely!


Olga (ravname: endlessQ) was able to get two preemie vests and hats out of one skein of Artisan Sock in the club colour Big Red using the pattern #1301 Baby Vests as a guide. That's an amazing use of one skein.  


Cathy (ravname: CTea2478) used a tiny bit of Low Tide in Artisan Sock to knit this cute Key Cozy. I can't tell any of my keys apart. I totally need to do this soon!


Robin (ravname: robobin) used Iris in Artisan Sock to knit this beautiful Thistles, Thistles shawl for her Grandmother. Lucky Grandma!


How about this awesome pair of Ann Marie: Pink Ribbon Stockings for Breast Cancer Awareness that Jessica (ravname: miscues) knit for herself using Low Tide in Artisan sock. This is an amazing commitment to one pair of socks. Love 'em!


Sid (ravname: sidhex3) knit a fantastic Pasando Hat in DK Lively in the colour Quill.  Quill is currently an exclusive colour to Gauge Knits in Austin, Texas. This hat is terrific as it qualifies for our current Knitalong featuring patterns by Melissa J. Goodale and doubly terrific as it will be donated to Halos of Hope (a charitable group that provides hats to cancer patients) as part of the the Podcaster Throwdown (a group challenging their listeners to knit hats for Halos of Hope to be delivered at Stitches West 2014). Did you know that we are hosting a mini KAL to support the Podcaster Throwdown  in our group? You can read about it on our Ravgroup.


Siobhan (ravname: FLgirlinFI) knit this cozy pair of Old Joe socks in Artisan Sock in an old exclusive colour Sugar Maple with toes in Fudge. Delicious! And I totally want to use the fireplace now.


And finally, Judy (ravname: Camanoah) knit this snuggly Willow Cowl in Entice in Aquarius. I love the way this long tube collapses on itself to create a slouchy look. Check out the project page to see how the cowl looks laid out flat.


Once again, I'm blown away by all the amazing projects. Thanks to everyone for allowing me to share their knitting. Such inspirations!

11.20.2013

Hitch Winner!

I really enjoyed reading everyone's comments on my last post. It sort of made me realize that I haven't seen very many Hitchcock movies myself. I know I've seen North by Northwest. And I've heard of so many others and recognize them when they are referenced in other movies and tv shows. But I'm not sure I've actually seen very many. At least not all the way through. 

It's like these movies are so much a part of the mainstream consciousness, I'm so aware of them, but I'm not sure I've actually experienced them. Strange.

I think I may have some viewing to do. 

In the meantime, how about I announce the winner.


The name, randomly selected from the comments submitted, was gigiformilo. Gigiformilo, I'll be in touch for your mailing information shortly. I hope you enjoy you copy of Hitch.

Thanks to everyone for your comments. I hope to have more interviews/giveaways for you soon. And congratulations, gigiformilo!