knitting blog

Are you a Yarn person but not a tech person?

So I find that the fiber community is pretty evenly split between folks who love the internet and technology and those who are most likely using dial up.  I even ended up being the " web person" for my local spinners guild because no one else wanted to do it.  I feel that this is to be expected because if you enjoy passing your time with yarn and spinning wheels you may not be into all things technology.  As a result I've gotten a good many questions about the website ravelry

Ravelry is an online search engine and community for fiber artist. I personally have sort of mixed feelings on it.  It absolutely can't be beat for pattern searching and finding new designers.  I personally prefer Instagram or Facebook for socializing and sharing projects just because I find the sites more user friendly and updated.  Here are some videos I made to give sort of a run down on the site and how useful I find it for finding the perfect pattern to incorporate some handspun or art yarn.  Please comment if you have any questions and I'll be here to help.  

 

 

Rustic winter , handicrafts, tips, and recipes.

rustic winter
White chicken Chili

Ingredients

1 pound of chicken breast roughly diced
1 can white or sweet corn
2 cans great northern beans
1 little or big can of green chilis
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch seasoning
1 8 oz of cream cheese
1 squeeze of a lime
1/2 can of water

dice the chicken quickly and toss in the bottom of the crock pot. Add everything else except the cream cheese and the lime and stir.
cook on low 6 hr or high 4 hrs.
when 30 minutes from servicing add the cream cheese in chunks and stir . Squeeze the lime over top. serve with chips
IMG_2316.PNG
Taco soup chilli


ingredients

1 pound group beef browned and drained
1 packet of ranch seasoning
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can black beans
2 cans red kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn ( if you want)
1/2 can of water

brown the meat and drain then add all of the ingredients to a crock pot and stir. cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4. Is great served with sour cream and cheese, chips or corn bread if you’re really feeling fancy.
click picture for pattern

click picture for pattern

click image for pattern

click image for pattern

make your life easier holiday tips,

  • If you're like me and take tons of great pictures on your phone but are too lazy or don't want to deal with printing them out at the store( biggest pain ever) check out www.freeprints.com . You can get the app too and then you just easyly select the pictures you want ( even from facebook or instagram) and they print free.  The shipping I think is around $9 so even with that all the free prints are a great deal. I've been really happy with the quality.
  • Another great app if you're multi taking family life and business life is ( ITTT) it's stand for if this then that.  You can easily program lots of automation on your phone. like adding appointments to calendars, pinterest and instagram hack etc 
  • knitting or crochet to avoid putting your foot in your mouth in family gathering situations ha ha

 

If you need some pattern ideas here are some of my favorite designers shops on ravelry

 Little monkey designs for crochet gifts and accessories  

Knitalogy for really great knit beanies and shawls

Caitlin ffrench kinda goth kinda woodsy very cool

Cassondra Rizzardi some of the most imaginative and fun patterns I've seen. 

Alicia Plummer and Melissa Schaschwary help me live out my fantasy of living a rustic north eastern life style. I've made many projects from these two.  

Yarn spinning with babies , it's not for the faint of heart

So I thought y'all might get a kick out of this "bloopers" reel. No I do not expect anyone to learn much of anything about yarn spinning from this ha ha. 

 

Delia and the spinolution pollywog  

 " I help I help" 

new years , simple, luxe, knitting

While impressive patterns and sweater knitting has it's appeal, sometimes you just have to accept that you need to make something simple.  Upon arrival in our new lives I was very excited to get going again with my business. I'd really missed it, the creative planning and the feeling of accomplishment but I was total brain dead.  I feel like this winter has been really tough on most people I know.  My friends in WA state have literally been snowed into their houses for around a month.  I can't even imagine being trapped in a house with my kids for that long.  I have put my handspun sweater on the shelf and have been diligently working on projects people have been requesting.  I had started to notice a theme, they were all cute, practical and multifunction  accessories.  

spinning fiber

I have been making "messy bun hats" and "Toeless Yoga socks" They both keep you warm and feeling comforted while hopefully lifting your spirits a little.  I know with the new year people are  normally trying to be healthy and thrifty so this seemed like the perfect time for affordable easy care items.  I know my personal new years resolution was pretty simple.  It was to stop caring around a dirty diaper bag ( really a travel toiletries bag) and carry an actual grown up lady purse.  I managed to accomplish it  by jan 1st  and have been happier every time I pick up my new purse( lets be real new from the back of my closet).  So that's been my theme so far this year is self acceptance and  spending a little extra money and time on simple hardworking luxuries.  I got my hair dyed by an actual professional so that my roots will hopefully look more rock and roll and less tired mom.  Between that and some new t shirts curtesy of Etsy and Target and some new make up from a friend's website I'm hopefully looking more like a person.  So that was my new leaf for the new year, sounds kind of vain I know but damn it I needed a little more vanity in my life after two babies and an epic move.  

So back to the yarn.  The yoga socks are made from commercially spun hand dyed yarn, They are beautiful and soft while having just a touch of nylon for durability and easy care.  I know I always hate to have cold feet at the end of a yoga session but bare feet are a must for not slipping.  Also in SC I know most people refuse to stop wearing they're flip flips regardless of season.  

yoga socks

The hats are also from a nice wool acrylic blend so that they can be easily hand washed and are affordable.  The messy bun has become the fashion staple of the hurried mom or pumpkin spice latte carrying 20 something alike.  While it is the perfect solution to many bad hair days it's not so practical if it's cold and you can't wear a hat.  So this is the perfect solution.  There are many different types for sale I found this pattern and thought it was simple and would be comfortable and look nice with many different outfits with out looking to over done.  

ponytail winter hat

Not that I've forgotten about handspun, When I got my shop back up I included "freezing fog" a silky soft merino wool and camel hair blend.  due to it's high end fibers it's very lux while still being understated and clean at the same time.  It would look great knit into a simple scarf for cowl and worn with a brightly colored jacket to beat the winter blues.  

camel hair wool yarn freezing fog

knitting for stress relief

Well here at Crafty Housewife yarns(aka Me)  we are in the process moving. I'm finding that it is very hard to be a housewife and stay at home mom, crafty or otherwise while living in a hotel.

 This has been a less than glamours experience so far.  While I am very happy for an opportunity to movie closer to family so that we don't have to endure flying for 14 hours with two toddlers everytime we want to visit people, leaving our well established lives not to mention partners and friends  in all things fiber in the pacific NW has not been easy.  

You always hear how good knitting and spinning is for stress relief I feel like I've been putting that theory to the test here lately.  

The first obvious benefit is that it is very portable.  It was a two day process of a team of movers packing up our house.  I'm super grateful that I didn't have to pack up all of our belonging because lets face it that would have involved not moving or selling everything we owned, but it was a very odd place to find yourself out of place and in the way in while strangers go through everything you own.  This is where knitting first came in handy.  It gave me an excuse to hide in the stairwell by myself with headphones and a tablet watching Bob's burgers, knitting and trying not to think too hard about what was going on.  The second benefit you hear for the stress reliving qualities of knitting is the meditative quality of the repeating stitches.  Having made it to the long term hotel in Knoxville where we will be living after 3 days of packing, house selling and traveling that I hope to completely block from memory I could defiantly use some mental distraction.  I had packed some yarn that I've had in my stash for awhile, a beautiful hand dyed fingering weight.  It reminds me of the colors of the fall leaves of the mountains and Im hoping it will help me start to feel more at home and excited to be here.  

It is also been resheared that  crafting  practices like knitting, spinning and crochet help with enhancing cognitive function, Lord knows I need all of the help I can get in that department.  Here is an excerpt form the New York times:

"Perhaps most exciting is research that suggests that crafts like knitting and crocheting may help to stave off a decline in brain function with age. In a 2011 study, researchers led by Dr. Yonas E. Geda, a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., interviewed a random sample of 1,321 people ages 70 to 89, most of whom were cognitively normal, about the cognitive activities they engaged in late in life. The study, published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, found that those who engaged in crafts like knitting and crocheting had a diminished chance of developing mild cognitive impairment and memory loss." 

 

Last but probably most importantly the art of working with yarn and fiber helps to relieve stress because you're actually making something! It's exciting to have something calming to think about like the details of picking the perfect amount and type of yarn to go with a new pattern you're excited about. You can either get complex by slightly altering a pattern to fit your needs and figuring out exactly how to do it, or you can just start knitting a simple scarf or cowl from left over stash yarn or something special you may have picked up(I know a good place to get something special, ha ha) Not many stress relieving practices also reward you with the feeling of accomplishment and a cute new item when you're done. I know any time I see something I made by hand or was made for me by someone else it makes me smile, even if it's just a dish cloth.  

So take it from me, a long time fiber arts and crafts person as well as an expert at stressing out that knitting or crochet even if it's super simple and brainless while you watch too much ancient aliens or real housewives of ATL can really help.