Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ringing in the New Year and Thoughts for 2015

Can you believe it's almost 2015? Well, by the time you read this, it just may be.




I'm sitting here working on some business "stuff" as my husband watches a movie. Big partyers, huh? Must be that age thing.

Which quickly reminds me, tomorrow is my birthday, yes, New Years Day. 51 years old. I remember growing up, every birthday on my day, we all (2 sisters, mom and dad) would pile into our station wagon, and drive 15 minutes down the road to "Granny's Kitchen". Right? What a great name. I wanted pancakes. Every year was the same.



Living in Michigan it snowed. A lot. Especially in January. So the roads were always snow packed and icy, but we never thought twice about going.

So, now that you know what we did on the 1st of January every year as I was growing up, I want to share with you my thoughts for 2015, and what that means for Dishcloth Diva.

~ 2014 had a great year of growth. For my Etsy shop, Ravelry Shop, yet not a lot for Craftsy.
What does that mean? Not quite sure yet.
~ I will be opening a new Etsy shop for hand knit accessories only. You've asked, I deliver. I will still continue to have DishclothDivaKnitsOn for patterns ONLY. The second shop, (I will announce the name soon) will be things for EWE. ☺️ Accessories that are practical, yet stylish. Photography that will be fun, and pricing that is just right. Many brick & mortar shops often find themselves wanting to expand and open another shop to market to a different geographical area. Well, for me, I want to market to a new group of Knitting loving, non-knitters. You know, those that love the look, but don't want to knit themselves. That's exactly where I'm at.
~ Another book? Yes. What is it? *smiling*

I need to step it up a notch. Create more success with my current 2, still going strong, Dishcloth Diva Books. You don't have one yet? oh my! You can click on the links in the upper right side. It will take you to Amazon. And if you're a Prime member! Free shipping. Score!

I've had a couple new released patterns lately. Come have a peek.

One of my newest designs. Boot Cuffs

Another New design. Hooded Cowl
2015 looks promising. I always look forward to waking up on January 1 and beginning the new 365 page book. What will your book look like?

I hope you'll continue to hang with me here on my blog, visit my stores often as I release new patterns and new accessories. Head over to my Facebook page and join in on all the stashbusting2015 that will be going on. I also hope you'll reach for your goals. Goals that were supposed to have been met last year because you set them in 2013. I get it! I'm right there with you.

So, as I always say,
Knit On! and have an amazing 2015, knitters and crocheters.

Hugs!
Deb

Monday, November 24, 2014

Magazine Review: DIY Holiday 2014

Who doesn't love a magazine, a craft DIY magazine at that!

Me too!

I love to sit in Barnes and Noble and browse through the 100's of craft magazines, only to find half of them go home with me. I'm sure you will truly enjoy the this Holiday Issue.

Without giving too much away, it's seriously packed, page after page, with projects. A sewn bib, rattle and burp baby set, Holiday Bauble Coaster Set, a cute crochet light bulb garland.

Oh, I can't forget to mention the Knitted Garter Mug Cozies, or the Go-Retro Wool Quilt perfect for your wall.

Oh my gosh, the Fast and Fun Innovative Trivets, yes, quilted.

See? Have I convinced you yet?

Magazine: DIY Holiday 2014
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 100 pages
Retail: $9.99

This issue is filled with hand-crafted projects for the Holidays. It caters to every type of crafter; quilting, sewing, beading, knitting, crochet, weaving, and mixed media.

DIY
pictures borrowed from Interweave site
And the best part, they provided me with a giveaway copy. Just leave a comment below and I'll pick one lucky winner. This Wednesday, November 26, 2014. It gives you today and tomorrow.

Again, here's the link to this wonderfully, Chock-Full of fun projects, you-won't-be-able-to-stop-yourself magazine.

So, I bid you much love knitters, and encourage you to take a peek at this magazine. You won't be sorry. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Knit On!

Deb






Thursday, October 23, 2014

How I make my "Vanilla Socks"

(Photo is "Opal" Sock yarn.) 


Hi Knitters,

I have had countless people ask me how I do my easy peasy "vanilla" sock. Now, you ask, what do you mean by vanilla? 

Think of vanilla ice cream. Plain, nothing fancy. Just. Plain.

That's what I mean by vanilla sock. A simple ribbing, stockinette stitch for leg (knit all rounds), a simple heel flap and gusset, and more stockinette stitch down the foot. I finish with easy toes.

FREE for you! So print away. I didn't create a PDF for this. Feel free to copy and paste this text into a word document and create a pdf of your own, simply print it out or add it to your favorite app on your ipad. Mine is Notability. 

Click here for the Ravelry Project Page on How I make my "Vanilla" sock. 


Deb's Vanilla Socks
by Deb Buckingham/Dishcloth Diva

Abbreviations
ssk - slip 1 stich knitwise, slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit both stitches together through the front
P2tog - purl 2 stitches together
K2tog - knit 2 stitches together

Materials
1 skein of your favorite sock yarn, fingering weight
US #1 double pointed needles (dpn's) set of 5 
Yarn needle
Scissors
Tape measure to measure your foot and the sock

Gauge
This is one thing that people question me about again and again. I do believe it's important so you get the right fit. Though, my sock will fit the average size 7 1/2 -8 1/2" foot. 

Measuring Your Foot
This is used for the foot part of the sock. You want to make sure you get the right length so when you're finished it won't be too short, therefore causing it to be too tight around the toe.
Here's what I do: take your tape measure and measure the length of your foot, or the foot of the one you're knitting for, by starting at the bottom of the foot, from the end of your heel to the end of your longest toe. You will subtract 2" from that number and stop knitting at the point. You will then begin your toe decrease.
Example: Mine measures 9 1/2 inches so I stop knitting at 7 1/2 inches. Then begin my toe decrease.

Cuff
CO 64 stitches, divide onto your 4 dpns, and join to begin working in the round.
Work a 1x1 ribbing for 1.5" (K1, p1)
If you forget to stop ribbing, that's OK. It will be just that much longer.

Work Stockinette stitch for 7 inches or desired length. 

Heel Flap
Knit next 16 stitches from needle 1 to needle 4. You will now have 32 stitches to work the heel flap with. You will be working back and forth on just this one needle.

Row 1: sl 1, purl to the end of row.
Row 2: *sl 1, k1; repeat from * to end of row.
Row 3: sl 1, purl to end of row
Row 4: sl 1, k2, *sl 1, k1; repeat from * to last stitch, k1
Work rows 1-4 a total of 8 times or 32 rows

Turning the Heel
You should have just completed a right side row (row 4). This is where you'll continue to work back and forth on just this one needle. It will seem awkward, but just do as each row says, it will work out in the end. You will end up with 18 stitches.

Row 1: Sl 1, p16, p2tog, p1, turn to work back in the other direction
Row 2: Sl 1, k3, ssk knitwise, k1, turn to work back in the other direction
Row 3: Sl 1, p4, p2tog p1, turn to work back in the other direction
Row 4: Sl 1, k5, ssk knitwise, k1, turn  to work back in the other direction
Row 5: Sl 1, p6, p2tog, p1, turn  to work back in the other direction
Continue in this manner until 18 sts remain on the needle. DO NOT TURN.
(You basically work until 1 stitch before the gap, then ssk or p2tog. Don't forget your p1 or k1 stitche before you turn)

Gusset
You should have the right side of your work facing you. 

Step one: using the same needle as you have been for turning the heel, pick up and knit 16 stitches in each of the slipped stitches along the heel flap.

Step two: using a new needle (or empty needle), knit all the stitches across needles 2 and 3. These will be your foot, or instep stitches.

Step three: using a new needle, pick up and knit 16 stitches in each of the slipped stitches along the opposite heel flap.

Step four: Knit 9 stitches from needle 1 on to needle 4. The beginning of the round is now in the middle of your heel.

Needles 1 & 4: 25 stitches each
Needles 2 & 3: 16 stitches each

Gusset Decrease Rounds
Round 1: knit all stitches
Round 2
Needle 1: knit to last 3 stitchs, k2tog, k1
Needle 2 & 3: knit all stitches
Needle 4: k1, ssk knitwise, knit to end of needle

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 a total of 9 times or until you have 16 stitches remaining on each of the 4 needles.

Foot
Continue knitting until your sock measures 2" from the end of the foot. (refer to Measuring your Foot above)

Toe
Round 1:
Needle 1: knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Needle 2: k1, ssk, knit to end of needle.
Needle 3: Knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Needle 4: k1, ssk knitwise, knit to end of needle
Round 2: Knit

Repeat rounds 1 & 2 until 8 stitches remain on each of the 4 needles.
Repeat round 1 only until 4 stitches remain on each of the 4 needles.

Closing the Toe
Now, knit the 4 stitches from needle 1 onto needle 4. Slip the 4 stitches from needle 2 onto needle 3, or visa-versa. It doesn't matter, as long as there are 8 stitches on 2 needles.

Cut the yarn, leaving a 10 inch long. Thread it onto your tapestry needle, and use the Kitchener Stitch to close the toe. The video link is for the Knit Witch. A favorite of mine. 

That's it! I hope you make many socks. Don't ever get, what we call, the second sock syndrome. Quickly cast on sock #2 right away. Have fun with color. 

So, for now, knitters,
{HUGS} and Knit On!

Deb

Not So Crazy Sock Pattern



















Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: 3 skeins or less FRESH knitted accessories


  
I'm in love with knitted accessories. From mittens, to hats, to scarves, and oh yes, socks! 

We all love projects that are 3 skeins or less. Think of the investment when it's more than that. That's why when I was asked to review this book, I jumped on it. Sweater in 3 skeins or less, bring it on. A cowl using 1 or 2 skeins, oh yes!

Author: Tanis Gray
Paperback: 3 skeins or less Fresh knitted accessories
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 143 Pages
Retail Price: $24.99


I'm going to show you some of my favorite projects in the books. The photography is spot on. There are 25 glorious projects for you to knit. 25 designers. 

This book opens with an introduction by Tanis herself about how magical the process of knitting is.

Here we go:

Of course I'd start with a hat. Melissa LaBarre designed this Little Vine Beret. It's made up of knit and purls, increases and decreases. Complete with a chart. I truly love this beret. It's knit with Quince and Co yarn.



Another favorite design of mine is the A Case of Lace Socks. Though, it's a bit intense with its cabling detail, the end result will certainly leave you feeling satisfyied. 



My third favorite design is the Right Round Mitts. Truly a quick knit. The lace repeat is easy to memorize and mirrored. 



What do you think? 

My overall impression is: 

1. You should go out and buy 3 skeins or less FRESH knitted accessories. 
2. You need to know if you are NOT a chart person, this book may not be for you. It it filled with them on most patterns. With that said, there is a great selection of patterns that do not have charts. 
3. This price point for this book is great at $24.99 with 25 patterns. That $1.00 a pattern. 
4. Christmas is coming and I'm sure theres someone on your list that you still need to knit for, right?

It's an accessory book that will keep you knitting. The photography is beautiful, the color choices in yarn are beautiful. 


So, I bid you much love knitters, and encourage you to take a peek at this book. You won't be sorry. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Knit On!

Deb

Monday, October 20, 2014

Knitting For the Season

Don't you love this time of year. It's the season where we begin to dig out our handknits, to include hats. It's the time where the leaves are beginning to fall, the temps are dropping just a bit, and the days are shorter.

My latest design is spectacular. Well, I'm told that anyway. I have this thing with creating a simple design that the beginner will enjoy knitting on, as well as a design that the advanced knitter can have done in just a couple hours times.

The Abby Hat.

A great gift idea! From Grandma/Grandpa to mom/dad, to sister/brother/ to just about anyone. This hat has 3 sizes to choose from. Small, Medium, and Large.



I believe hats are the in thing right now. This one is slightly slouched through the crown so it doesn't feel as though circulation is being cut off. It's knit with a bulky weight yarn.

I took a dishcloth pattern, my favorite rolled brim, and combined them to make this adorable hat. I’m pretty sure Abby will be your favorite go-to hat pattern. Fashionable, simple, yet sophisticated; a great hat to put on while walking the pup.

I'd love for you to head over to my Etsy Shop where you can read all the sorted details. You will also find several more fun hats there. 

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Review: Brioche Chic 22 FRESH KNITS for women & men

How many of us have always wanted to learn the Brioche stitch, but was too intimidated to try?

*raising hand*

Well, let me tell you, this book leaves you fearless when it comes to the ever-so-intimating Brioche stitch.


Author(s): Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark
Paperback: Brioche Chic: 22 Fresh Knits for women & men
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 152 Pages
Retail Price: $26.99

Let me give you a virtual "tour" through the book:

The book opens with Brioche Basics. Ok, here you go...non intimidating step-by-step instructions that will leave you feeling as though you have worried for nothing. I, recently decided to break out my yarn and needles (shocking, huh?) and get to work on this stitch.

Magic!

It IS a bit of extra effort, but the minute you see the texture appear and your piece come to life, it will seem quite obvious.

Helpful tips along the way to ease the "pain" a bit. Go slowly! That's what they suggest and that's what I suggest.

Next appears the beautiful 22 patterns. The photography is awesome, with colorful yarns and simple textures. Everything from a basic Brioche scarf, to an Arrow Yoke Cardigan. 



Arrow Yoke Cardigan


Other projects in this book are pullover sweaters for both women & men...



A beautiful pair of mittens. It has a matching hat. So love this.


And this Star-Crown Beret is a definite in my que.


My love for knitting cowls is endless. I adore this project. It's a Reversible Scarf, loop, circle. Wear long or wrap twice to create YOUR favorite look. 


What do you think. I've only given you a hint of what's in this book, so you'll run right out to your LBS (Local Book Store), LYS (Local Yarn Shop) or Interweaves website to get your hands on it. 

I give this book a *thumbs up* for photography, original design, creativity, and choice of projects. I feel it's worth the buy and a chance to try a stitch you may or may not have tried. 

So, I bid you much love knitters, and encourage you to take a peek at this book. You won't be sorry. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Knit On!

Deb




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Diva Knits and Photographs On!

Just when you think your to-do list is done...well, it's NOT!

Sigh...

So, I decided to procrastinate a bit longer and show you what I've been up to...

Taking pictures is my secret pastime. I love to find that perfect angle, with the perfect lighting. You like?




My daughter is always looking for a hat to wear outside when she takes her class out for recess. This is too stinkin' cute not to make. So, I'm making one for each of my girls. Everdeen Beanie in the Weekend hats book. Made with Ella Rae Classic Sport Yarn. Super cute, huh?




And last, but now least, more socks. My hunny asked if I would make him a pair. Of course. This is made with Online Supersocke 100. I have to be honest, it isn't the softest yarn to work with, but it sure washes up and softens nicely. Very durable.




I obviously could go on and on, but I MUST proceed to my to-do list. I MUST!

So, come visit me on Facebook, check out my Ravelry Store, or perhaps you Love Etsy as I do.

Knit On!
Deb