Shawl & Wrap Round Up

Ugh. What to wear, what to wear. I’m headed to San Antonio in eleven days. Yes. Texas in the middle of July. Now if that doesn’t get you excited, then ye ain’t from Texas. (And I am decidedly NOT from anywhere near there;-) So, it will be freezing at the air conditioned hotel where the conference is, and sweltering outside. So, I’ll need a wrap or a shawl of some sort to keep from turning into an icicle while attending the various class offerings.  I’m taking a good hard look at this collection of lovelies. Which do you think will do the trick? (All the patterns are FREE;-) Just click on the photo to take you to the instructions.

 

Shawl 8Shawl 6Shawl 4

 

 

Shawl 3

Shawl 2

Shawl 5

Summer Love Wrap

Shawl 1Shawl 7

 

 

 

Let’s Do A Giveaway!

photo-15

Enter the giveaway to win;-)

I thought it might be fun to try a giveaway If you read about my obsession with washcloths, you know I have somewhat of an overabundance of them. And heck, if I’m giving away a washcloth, you’ll need a bar of luscious goat milk soap to go with it. There’s been a bit of a heat wave here in the desert Southwest, and nothing quenches your thirst like a Margarita on the rocks. (With salt. Lot’s of salt;-) So, that’s the scent I selected for the giveaway.

Now, I don’t have an official giveaway policy in place, but lets say this, one entry per household. (More than one entry from the same URL will disqualify all entries from that URL–you know who you are;-) And, because this is new to me, lets make the giveaway for the US and Canada this time around.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

European Yarn Haul

Albeit humble, my goal for my recent jaunt across the pond was to collect sock yarn from each country visited. I know, only a fellow sock knitter would understand. So, was I successful? Pretty much;-)

First Stop: London

Patricia Roberts ShopPatricia Roberts Shop is a long established secret haunt for shoppers from around the globe. Clever stitchcraft and luxurious yarns combined with exciting colour are the hallmarks of Patricia Roberts handknits. Childrens sweaters and accessories feature cute animal motifs, while the more sophisticated womens garments combine intricate craftsmanship with flattering and subtle styling. All are created in Patricia’s own luxury brand of natural fibre handknitting yarns – specially spun and dyed in a myriad of colours – angora, cashmere, lambswools and cottons. There are also knitting kits for those who want something to keep themselves warm and busy on a cold winters night. “

We arrived in London on a Saturday morning and I was thrilled at the prospect of collecting my first ball of sock yarn! I very cleverly devised our itinerary (for our one and only day in London) to include a stop here. My husband would hardly notice it between our stroll through Hyde Park and our little tour of Harrods. But, alas it was not meant to be. It was closed that Saturday~due to the Bank Holiday on. . .Monday? Ugh. Not fair taking that extra day off! The disappointment was nearly unbearable. I mean, look at what I missed:

Patricia Roberts Shop yarn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sigh. In an attempt to console me, Hubby dragged me to The Wilton Arms, where we watched a bit of Soccer, a bit of Rugby, and enjoyed a bit of local brew. It worked. I left smiling.

Wilton Arms Pub

Second Stop: Douglas, Isle of Man

It turns out, not many folks have heard of the Isle of Man. It’s located smack in the middle of the Irish Sea where on a clear day, it is said you can see The Six Kingdoms, those of the Mann, Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, and Heaven. The island itself is only 32 miles x 14 miles and populated by roughly 84K people. Rich in myth, legend, and folklore, I cannot wait to return to this Isle. However, yarn stores seem to be sorely lacking!

I finally had some success at the Laxey Woollen Mills, where I nabbed a native Manx ball of 100% wool. It’s aran weight, not sock yarn, but I’m counting this as a success despite not being exactly what I was looking for. [Note to self: Move to IOM and open yarn shop.]

Laxey Woollen Mill

Laxey Woollen Mill, Isle of Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pure Manx Loahgton Wool http://www.manxloaghtanproduce.com

loaghtan sheep

This is what a Loaghtan sheep looks like;-)

Third Stop: Edinburgh, Scotland

Kathy’s Knits in Edinburgh was the most delightful shop! They had a “husband couch” which is a must for any yarn store. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s a nice comfy place in the shop for hubbie to sit down and be comfortable, while yarn-a-holics do their deeds. Finally, a sock yarn score! And, a couple of skeins of DK weight to boot. I’m thinking fingerless gloves. Kathy’s Knits had a diverse selection of weights, materials, and color choices. Truly something for everyone. I also found some wonderful examples of Scottish craftsmanship in the form of shawl pins. Came home with two, which is one more than I needed, but I consider it an accomplishment to have whittled the choice down to only two. It was great fun visiting with Kathy.

Kathys Knits EdinburghScotlandYarn1ScotlandYarn2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Stop: Munich, Germany

Now here, is where I hit the jackpot! Seriously! I spent at least an hour here staring at sock yarn, eliminating possibilities one by one, hating the fact that I had over packed and trying to figure out where in my luggage I could stuff one more ball! I finally decided, worst case, I could trash that $3 Walmart shirt I bought three years ago and wore religiously, if it meant one more skein of yarn would find it’s way to my home;-) Woole Rodel is a great little shop. And, it is little, but it’s got a bit of everything. Every weight yarn is represented, a great selection of colors, and some pretty fancy needles to boot. So, did I meet my goal of collecting sock yarn from each country visited? Close enough!

GermanYarn2 GermanYarn1

Grab & Go Projects for Traveling

Years ago, hubby and I were on our way out of town and the weather turned pretty nasty. Heavy, wet snow showers made driving on the highway a nightmare, but we were only 30 minutes from our destination. The rear end of our SUV started to fish tale, and the next thing I knew we were skidding backwards on the highway looking at an 18-wheeler driving toward us and eating up the distance separating us from it. Pretty damn scary! We finally skidded off the road, hit the soft mud of the shoulder and rolled over every so gently. No injuries, luckily, but I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten over that episode. So now, without fail, I grab a project on my way out the door so that I have something to distract me from the road when I’m a passenger.

Somehow, hubby hates it when I get anxious and grab the door handle, or hit the imaginary brakes on my side of the car;-) Imagine that. So, I knit. Or crochet. And it turns I can get a substantial head start on stockpiling finished projects for fall craft shows. Here are my favorite grab and go projects:

These fingerless gloves are crocheted and have consistently been one of my best selling items at craft shows. I can finish one glove in 30 minutes;-)

You can find this pattern here. (Note: I don’t add the picot edging)

FG-Pistachio-1

These fingerless gloves are knitted and as such, take more time to complete. The mock cables are created with a yarn over pattern and don’t require a cable needle as they are “mock.”  You can find this pattern here.

Mock Cable Knitted FG

 

Wash cloths are always a craft show hit. This one is particularly quick to whip up. I have to admit, crocheting is always quicker than knitting, but for wash cloths, I always find that knitted ones are sturdier and hold their shape better.

You can find this pattern here.

Wash Cloth 1

These little wonders are probably my favorite grab & go project. Whenever I make socks for myself, I use the leftovers to make these adorable mini socks and use them as ornaments on our Christmas Tree. They are so dang adorable when they are finished. The pattern is here. 

 

Mini Sock Ornaments