Kraemer yarns Mystery Box 2022

If you’ve been around YouTube for any length of time you might have seen videos pop up in spurts for these magnificent mystery box sales that are apparently a hot commodity. One night well into my second dream, I rolled over to see if they had any available after 3 months of being out of stock. Clearly the answer is yes otherwise this post would not be here! Let’s just start with the basics: The 10 pound Box seemed to be the best option for me considering I just wanted to try them out as a company, see their quality … Continue reading Kraemer yarns Mystery Box 2022

Rate and Review – Knitter’s Pride Mindful Collection

Full Set of the “Gratitude Set” For my reviews, I like to comment first on the item itself, how does it compare to the description and its overall value. Then follow up with my personal opinions/experience of the item. Company description: THE GRATITUDE SET INTERCHANGEABLE LACE NEEDLE SET 5″ The Mindful Collection is defined by Gratitude, a set that is offered in 14 sizes including 1 free size. The stainless steel needle tips are offered in a circular fabric case carrying the floral design using the theme colors of the collection. Offered with 6 smart cords (in both swivel & … Continue reading Rate and Review – Knitter’s Pride Mindful Collection

Pattern Review: Summer Trellis

In keeping with finding new to me designers who offer size inclusive patterns I stumbled across Kniterella on and her Summer Trellis top. I chose this pattern primarily because I loved the simple yoke design. It gave a little intricacy without seeming too involved. This pattern has charts AND written directions which for this new chart reader was a true plus! To be fully transparent the charts themselves are not necessarily easy to remember but the stitches themselves are easy enough to remember in each row. There’s a sweet dancing pair of stitches called Left and Right Twist that … Continue reading Pattern Review: Summer Trellis

Size Inclusivity in Knitwear

This topic of INCLUSIVITY is one that hits the heart on more levels than one, but in terms of knitting and/or crochet patterns I have to admit I’m a little green on the subject. Before you assume this is an experts synopsis of the subject IT IS NOT. I’m just a plus size knitter who has frustrations like everyone else out there. There also isn’t much “expert” information out there. I found a quick interesting read here, which summed up some opinions from her ravelry perusing and what I take are just the frustrations of many on the subject. Since … Continue reading Size Inclusivity in Knitwear

How to Become a Test Knitter?

Have you test knitted before? I’ve always heard YouTube knitters mention this phrase and always thought how exclusive that must feel; to have a hand in a patterns creation. Some people I follow on Instagram and YouTube are always making some of the most GORGEOUS knits before they are released and I wanted in on this process. Then I found out, it’s not necessarily the pattern creation that test knitting involves, it’s more of an assisting in making sure the pattern is error free, worded correctly, size counts are accurate and instructions are detailed or easily understood etc. I put … Continue reading How to Become a Test Knitter?

New Year Better Planning

Before we even speak of what 2022 might mean, I make a practice to have a moment of reflection for those who did not live to see this day. Many friends, family and other loved ones are not here to make plans, set goals etc and they deserve to be remembered. Hugs to you and yours if this is your new normal.

For those of us who have made it across into the uncharted waters of 2022, let’s not walk in fear. We are not new to the challenges Covid brings. You know the old adage “When you know better, you do better”? I also think of another saying I’ve spoken to myself many times “Bob and weave girl, failing ain’t an option”. THIS, is my 2022. Regardless of the uncontrollable things outside, I am putting it in my mind and heart to stay the course for:

  1. Spiritual growth and awareness
  2. Physical health, more so my mental well-being.
  3. Business goals penned and not penciled (time to grow)
  4. Punch fear in the face and do it anyway.

With all of that being said, lets get to the fun stuff. What are your knitting goals/plans for the next 365 days? Do you want to learn new skills? Do you want to learn to knit finally? Raise your hand if you have WIPS in a bag tucked away that are begging to be finished (*me*). I normally choose 1 project per season and a couple of smaller projects to keep my skills sharp. I’ve decided this year I want to intentionally work through my Ravelry queue. I did a purge recently of free patterns I downloaded because I thought they were pretty but after closer inspection Size inclusion was an issue, lack of good instructions, style changes etc. I’ve curated a fairly adventurous list of patterns to complete but I’m convinced I can make a decent dent.

When I make these big lists I try to focus on not the just cute and fashionable, I want a good mix of skill development, yarn exploration, price ranges and finding new designers to support. I also have three daughters so you would think I would be cranking clothes for them all the time but NOPE. I always pick what I would like and just focus on making something that will fit my body to put these designers to the test on true size inclusion, that’s pretty important to me. Im also a very selfish knitter, I want to make items to that make me smile.

Knitting for other people (except those that live with you) requires measurements and TONS of praying that it fits. That’s a stress I absolutely hate. This year though, I will be adding at the very least my daughters to my list and my best friend. How is it I’ve been knitting for over 15 years and never made her a thing?!? There’s also that fear that the gift won’t be appreciated, will they care for it correctly? Will they forget that it needs to hand-washed and ruin a month or more of hard work? With those thoughts in mind I will gift with higher quality acrylics or superwash wool and self make from better quality wool. That sounds doable and fair right? This should help me get through my stash AND still allows a splurge on some good stuff just for me. So in no particular order just yet, lets get into it.

  1. Easy Eyelet Yoke Cardigan/Lite

What is my obsession with this cardigan?? LOL! I have no idea but when I first saw it I was instantly in LOVE. Maybe it was the yarn choice, the photos themselves I’m not sure but whatever it was I finally bought the pattern and IT IS GETTING MADE THIS YEAR!!!

This is a paid for Aran/Worsted weight pattern sized from XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL (28-62″ bust) so it should move fairly quickly. Quick story, I bought a chainette style yarn when it was on a discontinued list because the labeling was wrong, it was supposed to be a DK weight but was spun as worsted, SCORE savings points for me.

Chainette style yarn gives this an airy and ethereal quality

The Lite version is a paid for fingering weight pattern that is sized to fit S-3XL (32-54″ bust). As someone who loves this designers work I will say PLEASE DO A SWATCH. I’ve been off by as much as 4 needles sizes and learned from my first sweater make of hers that gauge is of the utmost importance for some garments we make.

Lite version looks like a true spring/summer staple

2. Autumn by Nazilia Zemdikhanova

I found this watching Orsa Knits on YouTube and she went down a list of free patterns. Wonderful to find a free colorwork pattern that looks good and intricate and not your basic stitches. This is one out of my comfort zone or knowledge base because of the colorwork with more than two colors and it is knit bottom up instead of my top down favorite; however, I was instantly drawn to it.

This free pattern is sized in cm but a quick conversion showed this is written from a size XS to XXL which is roughly 38 to 47 inch bust. Knit is Bulky Weight yarn it should be a fairly quick knit

Unisex Pattern makes this a good gifting sweater

3. Cozy Celtic Raglan by Knitatude / Chantal Miyagishima

This is not something I would wear because it is cropped and its so thick of a sweater. Not to say I don’t love it but I’ll happily make this for the young one.

This is a paid for Super Bulky Weight pattern that I bought based on the peeping eyes of my fashionista daughter. This is sized to fit sizes S – 32-34” bust M – 36-38” bust L – 40-42” bust XL – 44-46” bust 2XL – 48-50” bust. Using super bulky yarn is going to be a bit of a challenge for me as the arthritic pain in my hands might flare due to the size of needles required but since it works up, I’m assuming, uber fast it’ll be worth it.

4. Thandeka Pullover by Noma Ndlovu

This beauty sucked me in because photography alone! Biggerthanlifeknits on instagram, you owe yourself a visit. My choice for this sweater (outside of the smiling face in it) was the cables. I DO NOT LIKE KNITTING CABLES but I absolutely love the intricacy. So in true step outside your comfort zone fashion here goes nothing.

This paid for DK weight, bottom up sweater that is sure to cause me much frustration but twice matched joy in the end. It fits bust sizes 36(40, 44, 48, 52, 56)” .

5. Ponder Wrap by Marsha Healey

You can’t tell me the intrigue in knitting something in a circle isn’t appealing. I was quite amazed at the cast on for this one and once I tried it, I knew this was going to be a new year type of project. I expect it be something I work on in between other projects because this essentially knits up like a blanket with sleeves. Blankets, IMO, are horrible to knit lol. I’d crochet 10 blankets in single crochet before I attempted to knit one of any style. Yet, here we are, punching aversions in the face in 2022. Not only am I ready to knit this blanket with sleeves, this thing is knit in FINGERING WEIGHT yarn. Say Whaaat? Yep.

This paid for fingering weight pattern is sure to test my patience. I can’t speak to sizing because its literally a wrapping style blanket but it is listed as small/medium for petite individuals and medium/large for everyone else. I’m going on faith that you knit more rows for a wider circle but only time will time with this one.

Circular blanket with sleeves

6. The Classic by Espace Tricot

It’s just remarkable that the best options are sometimes the most basic. Basic pieces to build your wardrobe around are what makes knitting a tried and true comfort zone craft for me. Mindless knits must be in my WIP pile because there’s always a car ride, a traffic line or at present, zoom meeting to attend. This item, pictured in black is such a me type of style that it had to make it to my list. Who doesn’t need a basic turtleneck sweater. Layering pieces are clutch for those of us enduring personal summers.

This free fingering weight pattern also adds an additional strand of lace weight yarn which bulks this up to a DK weight. Sizes fit 43 (46.75, 50.75, 53.75) (56, 59, 61.25, 64.25)” bust. It is a top down in the round sweater with short row shaping, which is going to be a new skill checked off the list for me. If you are into mohair or alpaca fiber, this might be a good project to add it to making it feel more luxurious. Scrolling through the project pages on Ravelry, I found so many varieties of coloring for this sweater that it really can be a timeless piece.

There we go my 6 must makes for this year. What do you think of my list? Have you made any of these? If you have please share your experiences and save me from heartache or spur me on to joy. A goal every year is to discover new designers that need support, if you know of a new and exciting designer drop me a comment or DM me on instagram with their information, it is the goal of the year to expand my pattern reviews, jump into test knitting and broaden my relationships in this fiber community.

To end this days work I will simply say:

We have a new year ahead of us and much of nothing can be controlled, yet we are in control of our thoughts, attitudes and actions. Make good choices and don’t be afraid to fail forward. Growth comes from change not comfort.

Follow and share this post if you found it interesting. Save it on pinterest to come back to these ideas later.

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Bellish-The Knitting App

**UPDATE: PER AN EMAIL SENT TO REGISTERED BELLISH USERS THAY HAVE MADE THE DECISION TO CLOSE DOWN THEIR OPERATIONS AS OF JANUARY 2022** Have you been hearing about Bellish? I saw it one day looking on my new iPad for all the knitting apps I had on my Android phone and as always there’s apps that makes claims to help you “make charts” “read charts” “pattern generators” but none actually were 1. User friendly 2. Ad free 3. Actually useful. So when I saw this app saying “Create Patterns” I decided to try it and what a shocker. You can … Continue reading Bellish-The Knitting App

Acrylic yarns – Pill or Anti Pill

“100% Anti -Pill Acrylic” have you seen this on different brands while you’ve strolled the yarn shops, craft stores or big box stores? I sure have and have often wondered what exactly is anti-pill acrylic and what’s it good or not good for. Firstly, what is an acrylic yarn fiber? Acrylic is at its forefront a synthetic fiber that mimics wool yet is able to sustain washing and drying unlike 100% natural wool. The excerpt below from Wikipedia describes our crafter relation to this fiber. Acrylic is the “workhorse” hand-crafting fiber for crafters who knit or crochet; acrylic yarn may be perceived as … Continue reading Acrylic yarns – Pill or Anti Pill