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Blog Post, Fiber Arts

A Knitter’s Take On KnitCrate

For almost every vice, it seems there is now a monthly subscription service. Knitting is no exception. For this little knitter, my subscription of choice comes from KnitCrate. And how I love getting a yarny surprise in the mail!

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Artisan Crate delivery!

I started a KnitCrate monthly subscription back in October. The holidays were coming up and I knew I would be gift knitting like mad. This made me feel the need for a little something extra for me! The KnitCrate subscription comes each month with two skeins of gorgeous yarn and two patterns, one for knitting and one for crochet. My first crate arrived with lovely Halloween themed sock weight yarn and I was thrilled!

October came with two skeins of Knitologie Yarn by  KnitCrate, soft and gorgeous! I immediately knit up some quick short socks for myself and could not be happier with them! I love that the yarn comes with patterns you can use any time. It even comes with a card for a charity, Butterfly Boxes, which gives hand knit socks to refugees in need. How awesome!

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November KnitCrate delivery!

Certainly, if you do subscribe to a surprise yarn in the mail, it is possible that you may get colors not quite in your wheelhouse or yarn that may not be in your comfort zone. But let’s be honest, if you’re a yarn junkie like me (and if you’re reading this, you are), then chances are high that you will love every delivery of fibery goodness from KnitCrate!

How cute is my kid sister in her Tempest Hat?! Adorable! I loved each one of my KnitCrates, so I decided to try another of their offerings: the Artisan Crate. This crate comes with indie dyed yarn, one knitting and one crochet pattern, and one “extra” item! You can see one of my deliveries above, with three skeins of indie dyed yarn and a coordinating project bag! Love it!

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Artisan Crate with stitch markers and a set of Chiao Goo Needles!

After 4 months of subscriptions and two different crate options, I am smitten! These subscriptions from KnitCrate really do have great value! With the amazing hand dyed yarns, the patterns and the options for extras from the Artisan Crate, and the quality of all of these items, a yarn lover cannot go wrong! I highly recommend KnitCrate for your yarny enjoyment!

I hope you have enjoyed this quick review of a fabulous service. If you click on any of my affiliate links and make a purchase, I do earn a small commission. This means you are supporting my content, for that, I thank you!

Get your very own party in your mailbox, and share if you do! I would love to see what you knit, crochet and create!

Love from HalesBee!

Blog Post, Fiber Arts

Progress, Plans and Selfish Knits

Good day, friends! Welcome to another entry into the diary of HalesBee Handmade happenings. I have been slowly making progress on a couple of WIPs, and have also made a few selfish knitting plans.

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Richard’s cardigan with just buttons left to go!

My man cardigan for the hubby is nearly ready for wear! Knitted in Brava Sport Yarn from Knit Picks in Cobblestone Heather and Canary (yellow). Since last entry, I have completed the sleeves, picked up and finished the collar, complete with button holes and finished off the pockets. Now I just need to find suitable buttons and throw it in the wash! Not to worry, it’s been intentionally knitted with acrylic for easy care!

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Progress on Mom’s Worsted Boxy.

I’ve also been at work on mom’s special request: the Worsted Boxy by Joji Locatelli. This is a large, comfy fit sweater; so, I do have quite a larger number of stitches each row. Still, I am plugging away and loving the fabric I am getting! I am using my own hand dyed yarn in my Jack Frost colorway from my HalesBee Handmade shop on Etsy (affiliate link). I have also been testing out my new Knitter’s Pride interchangeable Zing needles from my Melodies of Life set I just treated myself to. I promise to review them later!

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I got my Knitter’s Pride set on eBay (affiliate link), where you can find some reasonably priced sets. Brand new sets of the same Melodies of Life needles are available on Amazon also, and for very reasonable prices. Here’s an Amazon affiliate link: Knitter’s Pride Melodies Of Life “Zing” Interchangeable Needle Set-9 Pairs / 4 Cords / Accessories

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Selfish socks for me! Done in my own hand dyed yarn.

I’ve also felt a need to cast on a few selfish knits. All this working on sweaters for mom and hubby, and after the holidays!? I need something for me. I went ahead and chose a couple of skeins from my shop – again! I may need to slow down using my own inventory – but I do love some of my colorways!

The sock I’ve started above is using my Pick Your Poison colorway, which will be used for the cuffs, heels and toes of the socks. The main body of the sock will be done in my Always Carry Antidote colorway. See what I did there? I know, I’m so clever 🙂 Both of these are on my TwistleBee Sock Base, a high twist sock yarn. They are both available in my HalesBee Handmade shop on Etsy (affiliate link).

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More selfish knitting in my DK hand dyed yarn. Bag from KnitForBrainsDesigns on Etsy.

Last in my entry today is a bit of enabling from Instagram. I saw a knitty friend had completed the Touchstone Shawl by Laura Aylor in three colors rather than one. Loved it! Had to plan one for me! I selected a few more HalesBee Handmade DK colorways (there I go again!) and popped over to Ravelry to get the pattern. My plan is start with my Remnants, do the middle section in Coffee and Pie Oh My!, and finish out with my Chateau de Bleu colorway. I’m so excited to have a shawl for me!

Well, that’s all for this entry, folks! I had better get back to knitting if I want to have more to show later 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed this peek into the HalesBee Handmade life. If you have clicked on the links marked affiliate and made a purchase (which gives me a small commision) then I thank you from the bottom of my HalesBee heart!

Happy knitting! Love from HalesBee!

 

Blog Post, Fiber Arts

Tea Towels: Not Just for Grandma Anymore

I count myself lucky to have had a crafty grandma. I may not have had an opportunity to learn her many skills growing up, but I do remember watching her use yarn, thread, beads, and even eggs and cardboard to create amazing things. I like to think that this early exposure to creativity spurred my own crafty lifestyle.

One of the many and various crafts that I still have from grandma are her embroidered dish and tea towels. I will admit, they are well used. My grandma was a practical crafter, and I know she would have appreciated her gifts being well loved and used. And I do still think of her often when I use one of her hand embroidered dish towels in my own kitchen.

I am at a point, however, where the towels are becoming a bit too well loved; the edges are beginning to tear and fray, a few holes have developed. So I decided to go ahead and retire and store my old embroidered towels from grandma, and go ahead and hand embroider my own.

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One of my new dish towels done with an Aunt Martha’s iron on transfer.

I have plenty of embroidery supplies at home already, all I needed were some new towels to decorate. I headed over to my trusty Amazon Prime account and did some shopping. I didn’t necessarily need new iron on transfers as I have many, but I bought a few new sets anyway!

You can find flour sack towels and the Aunt Martha’s iron on transfer sets I’ve chosen for myself on Amazon at these affliate links (I make a small commission if you purchase through these links):

Royal 12-Pack Flour Sack Towels – 31″ x 31″ Kitchen Towels – Absorbent White Dish Towels – 100% Ring-Spun Cotton Bar Towels

Aunt Martha’s Iron On Transfer Patterns for Stitching, Embroidery or Fabric Painting, Days of the Week Patterns, Set of 5

Aunt Martha’s European Delights Embroidery Transfer Pattern Book, Over 25 Iron On Patterns

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I have quite enjoyed the change of pace from my usual knitting. I have quite a bit of knitting for others to do, and it feels good to make something that’s for me. Side projects like this hand embroidery are great for those moments when you feel like your knitting mojo is in slump. Of course, I also love the thought that I’m doing the sort of kitchen DIY that grandma would have done.

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If you have the time and the crafty inclination, I do recommend embroidering some tea towels for your own home. It may not make dishes and clean up fun, necessarily. But it does give you a bit of a happy tingly feeling to know you prettied them up yourself.

If you need some supplies for general embroidery, you can certainly pick those up at your local craft stores. Or, if you are already going the Amazon Prime route, I have some other links here to hoops and embroidery floss that I myself have used (also affiliate links).

Caydo 4 Pieces Embroidery Hoop Set Bamboo Circle Cross Stitch Hoop Ring

DMC 117F25-HDC Embroidery Home Decor Floss Pack, Assorted Color, 8.7-Yard, 36/Pack

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I hope you have enjoyed this entry into the HalesBee Handmade diary! And if you make a purchase through my affiliate links, that means you are supporting my content, and for that I thank you!

Love from HalesBee!

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Blog Post, Fiber Arts

My Favorite Hat Pattern

Well, my favorite hat pattern at the moment! If you are a true crime fan and have not yet listened to the My Favorite Murder Podcast with Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff, you are seriously missing out.

For those not familiar, My Favorite Murder (MFM) is a true crime comedy podcast. How could a true crime podcast be funny? Well the true crimes themselves are gruesome, disturbing and overall not funny. Georgia and Karen, however, are absolutely hilarious! Granted, they each admit some of the laughter and joking is out of the anxiety and terror brought about by the subjects they discuss. This, though, is what makes them just my kind of people.

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My own MFM Hat samples. #ssdgm

As a fun tribute to my favorite ladies of death and despair, I have designed this simple colorwork hat. The MFM Hat is available as a paid for pattern on Ravelry, as well as in my HalesBee Handmade shop on Etsy. Georgia and Karen frequently encourage makers to sell their MFM wares on their podcast, so I like to think its ok!

The hat is knit in my own hand dyed DK weight yarn. I used my HeartBurst colorway as the main color and my Blindfold colorway for the lettering. Both are available in my HalesBee Handmade shop. I used US size 4 needles for the ribbing, and went up to a size 6 needle for the colorwork. The pattern has just two adult sizes, but you can go up or down in yarn weight and needle size to create a larger or smaller hat as desired.

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Again, for those who do not yet call themselves ‘murderinos’ (fans of the MFM podcast and true crime in general), the hashtag SSDGM stands for their now famous tagline “Stay Sexy! Don’t get murdered!”

I have to add here my appreciation for Georgia and Karen, not just for staying sexy, but also for their ability to always maintain focus on the human element. They speak often of their own therapy and anxieties, the fears they have that may well be part of their obsession with true crime. They always make an effort to honor the memory and trauma of victims and survivors, reminding listeners of the various advocacy groups out there trying to make a difference.

Georgia and Karen also remember to consider, difficult though it may be, the humanity of the people who commit awful crimes. Often lamenting the stigma of mental illness, its vast under-treatment and how many who become killers suffer from some kind of mental or emotional illness or distress. And all while finding a way to crack a smile and allow listeners to do the same.

Clearly, I do recommend that you give My Favorite Murder a listen. Even if you are not a true crime fan, you may find yourself just as addicted to Georgia and Karen as this murderino.

And of course, if you are already a fan, I recommend my MFM Hat pattern on Ravelry.

I hope you have enjoyed this entry in the diary of HalesBee’s handmade adventures! Stay sexy!

Love from HalesBee!

Fiber Arts

WIP Weekend

HalesBee diary entry: February 2, 2018. Groundhog’s Day! Well, the Grand Groundhog himself, Punxutawney Phil, has announced that we have 6 more weeks of winter knitting time. In between Snapchats with my sisters and wondering just how many incarnations Phil have come and gone over the years, I am making plans to clear some old WIPs (works in progress) and being some intended cast ons.

I will admit, as I’m sure is true for many knitters, I allowed a few projects to go to the wayside over the holiday season. As the New Year began, I then sprung into action on new endeavors and continued to ignore the mass of start ups and promised knits that remain unfinished. No more!

This weekend, among other WIPs, I desperately need to finish a cardigan for my husband, Richard. Partly due to the fact that I started it back in October of last year; but mainly because I have yet to actually complete a garment for him other than socks. This of course leads to much teasing and, in order to prove that, “Yes, I can knit you a cardigan,” I must get this long lingering project off the needles and onto the man of the house. Darn it all, it had better fit!

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Progress on Richard’s Cardigan. Project bag shown is from KnitForBrainsDesigns on Etsy.

I have also promised to knit up not one, but two sweaters for my mom this winter. Just 6 weeks left according to Mr. Phil, so I had better get going. The first sweater will be the Worsted Boxy by Joji Locatelli, a simple but lovely loose fitting sweater. I have dyed up one my own colorways, Jack Frost, just for the project. And yes, you can find that colorway in my HalesBee Handmade shop on Etsy. Yay!

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Boxy Pattern and some of my Jack Frost colorway caked up.

The Boxy is ready to be cast on. However, the second promised sweater is still just in the hank phase. I did get the yarn dyed up for mom’s second sweater: Lemongrass also by Joji Locatelli. Mom picked another of my popular colorways, The First Hard Freeze While I won’t cast on until I have finished mom’s Boxy, I do plan to cake up this yarn this weekend and print out the pattern. Hey, every step closer to ready makes me happy!

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The First Hard Freeze colorway all dyed up.

I would like to think that my super knitter powers would allow me to get more done that just these few WIPs this weekend, but I know my limits. Finish a WIP, cast on a sweater, print a pattern – that much I can do. I would get into the list of other projects that need to be gotten off the needles and dream knitting that I have in queue, but we might be here all night! No, for now that’s enough for this entry. I hope you have enjoyed this quick update and I wish you a wonderful, crafty weekend!

Love from HalesBee!