Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Sock Knit-Along: Vanilla Latte Socks

Fibre Friday

Fibre Friday: Sock Knit-Along

It’s been a while since I shared anything for Fibre Arts Friday! I have been busy knitting and spinning. Today, I’ll share what I’ve been working on since the beginning of July; I’ve been taking part in a local knit-along!

Vanilla Latte Socks

sock knit-along
We’ve been meeting every week to knit these socks at our local yarn store, The Bobbin Tree. The pattern we’ve been using is a free, online pattern: Vanilla Latte Socks. It’s a simple pattern, so it’s a good one to start with if you’ve never knit socks before. I am using this yummy, 100% merino super wash yarn from The Bobbin Tree, but you can knit with any sock yarn.

I love knitting socks! They knit up rather quickly and are a great portable project. I spent some time knitting these socks while I was waiting to renew my licence at Access Nova Scotia.

Here is my first, completed sock. I used the eye of partridge style heel for the first time and I love how it turned out:
knit-along
 
Some others in the group are working with self-striping or variegated yarn, which looks fantastic. However, the eye of partridge heel isn’t as visible as it is here, with a solid colour yarn.

If you would like to knit these socks, I have a couple of Vanilla Latte errata for you. First, after you’ve finished your ribbing and move onto the pattern, start on pattern row 2 instead of row 1. Second, when you reach the heel flap, shift your stitches around on the needles so your heel flap starts and ends with a garter stitch on either side.

What are you knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, or sewing this week? Please share!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Knitting Thrummed Mittens

Fibre Friday
It’s Fibre Friday! This week I was inspired to start knitting thrummed mittens. It may be officially spring today, but it’s still very cold and we have way too much snow! After shivering while walking up and down our very steep driveway (because our vehicles copulent get up it) I decided it was time to give knitting thrummed mittens a try!

Knitting Thrummed Mittens

My daughter and I have been enjoying knitting some of the mitts from Craftsy’s Mittens and Gloves Galore class. (We love using Craftsy in our homeschool!) A pattern and step-by-step video for knitting thrummed mittens is part of this class. I chose some of my own, soft handspun yarn to knit them and some of our angora rabbit fibre to make the thrums.

We had fun making thrums together along with the easy to follow Craftsy video. First, we pulled out a tuft of fibre to make a thrum about the same thickness as the yarn.

Knitting thrummed mittens

Then we folded first one end into the middle, and then the other end, to form a bow.

knitting thrummed mittens

Then we rolled the middle of each one between our fingers to felt it and we had our first thrums.

knitting thrummed mittens

Here is what my first mitten looks like so far – I just have to finish forming the thumb.

knitting thrummed mittens

Angora rabbit fibre is so soft and warm. I am having so much fun knitting thrummed mittens! I am determined to get these done quickly so I can enjoy how delicious they are going to feel to wear them! Hopefully I can show you the finished mittens next week!

Have you ever tried knitting thrummed mittens? What are you knitting, spinning, or weaving this week? Please let me know in the comments below.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy I may make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia.

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Friday: Knitting More Fingerless Gloves

Fibre FridayA couple of weeks ago, I shared about A Knit-a-thon, Arm Knitting, and Fingerless Gloves. Since then, I haven’t got much knitting done (or any other fibre arts for that matter), but I did manage to knit more fingerless mitts.

It’s the same pattern from the book, Knitting New Mittens and Gloves, that I borrowed from the library and shared in my post. I knit some fingerless gloves for charity and then both my son AND daughter wanted a pair!

Here is my son’s pair. He wanted his in the same, blue yarn.

Fibre Friday

For my daughter, I knit some up in a beautiful pink bamboo yarn that she just loves.

Fibre Friday

Hopefully, by next Friday I will have some progress on knitting a dog with my daughter, and on the Crosstown Convertible that I started during the Olympics.

What are you or your children working on this week? Knitting, crocheting, spinning, or felting? Please share and feel free to link up!

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Home Economics

Fibre Friday: Teaching Kids to Knit

teaching kids to knitIt’s Fibre Friday! I thought I would share some tips on teaching kids to knit this week.

Teaching Kids to Knit

My 15 year old son, my 10 year old daughter and I all enjoy knitting. Sometimes we knit while we take turns reading aloud to each other during our homeschool day. Knitting also comes in handy for something to do in the car, or when stuck in a waiting room, or even backstage or on set.  Some Friday afternoons you can find us knitting at the Fibre Friday drop-in at our local library.

Books for Teaching Kids to Knit

Teaching kids to knit can be a lot of fun! I started teaching my children when they were each about 4 years old. I used “A First Book of Knitting for Children” by Bonnie Gosse and Jill Allerton. This book is based on the Waldorf method.  It has fantastic, memorable little rhymes for casting on your stitches to start your project, and teaching the stitches: knit, purl, etc.

teaching kids to knit
I even use these rhymes to teach adults how to knit, so don’t be afraid to learn right along with your children!  The book also has some adorable knitting patterns for all kinds of animals and dolls. I also recently picked up a great book at the library last week, “Knit Your Own Dog“.

Getting Started

To get started, we picked up some cute, fat knitting needles with faces on them (size 8 or larger needles, not too long, also work well).  Each child picked out a colour of yarn they liked from my “stash” and went to work. If possible, choose a nice, soft natural fibre such as 100% merino wool.  After a short lesson working beside them, or whenever they got frustrated, I had them put away the knitting to bring out again another day.

Make it fun! You’re building a memory with them, and it’s up to you whether they have warm, fuzzy memories or not.  If you spend some time teaching kids to knit, it’s something that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives. They can spread the joy by teaching others or through knitted gifts.

Neither of my children really caught on right away at 4 years old, although I know of children who have. My son didn’t really “get it” until he was about 8 years old, and my daughter was 5 years old when she started running with it. We all enjoy teaching kids to knit now, and many of our International Students have returned home knowing the basics.

teaching kids to knit

A good way for children to start knitting is without a pattern.  A garter stitch square or scarf make good first projects.  Garter stitch is accomplished simply by knitting every stitch, for every row.  I find the little one learning gets the most pleasure out of their first project by having the stitches cast on for them at first, so they can get the hang of the knit stitch.  To knit a square, cast on about 25 stitches and then knit each row until it looks square.  For a scarf, similarly, cast on about 25 stitches and then knit until it is the desired length.

The most common problem I find for beginners, is adding stitches as they go, usually at the beginning of a row.  Be sure that when they finish a row and turn their needle around to start a new row, that they give a little tug on the yarn at the first stitch (which is the last stitch of the previous row), preventing them from making two stitches out of it.  Also, remind them to count their stitches after every row for their first project, to make sure they don’t end up with a parallelogram!

If you ever have trouble with a concept, one great way of learning it is to watch free videos on the web, i.e. on YouTube.  Once your child has knit a simple project to start, they can choose other projects – there are so many free patterns on the internet.You can also find knitting books at your local library.

Benefits of Knitting

Knitting is a fantastic, repetitive motion activity.  Studies have shown that engaging in a repetitive motion while learning increases retention rate!  So feel free to have your children knit along while listening to you or an audio book, or even some great Classical music.

Knitting is also a great way to give children a sense of accomplishment and pride. There are so many things we do in our lives that we never actually “finish” and knitting a project is something kids can actually get done. It also feels good to give loved ones those precious knitted gifts!

Learning More About Knitting

You can all study the history of knitting and historical knitting patterns together as a family.  If you have a boy, show him some photos of boys and men knitting socks for the war effort.  Perhaps you would even like to incorporate some geography into your lesson, and look at knitting around the world.  Type “Estonian lace” or “Latvian mittens” into your web browser and see the astonishingly elaborate knits traditionally made in that corner of Europe.

Go pick up some needles and knit with your children – it’s never too early to start working on Christmas gifts! Do you and your kids knit? Do you have some tips for teaching kids to knit? Let me know in the comments below. And feel free to link up with what you’re up to in your home or homeschool!

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Friday: Weaving a Scarf

Welcome to Fibre Friday! This week, I’ve been working on a pair of socks to give to my son for his birthday – my kids both love hand knit gifts, especially socks! If you have ever had the pleasure of wearing hand knit socks, you know how incredibly comfy they are. I’m hoping to have them completed before next Friday, when I’ll be casting on the Crosstown Convertible for the Ravellenic Winter Games!

As I’ve mentioned before, my children also enjoy the fibre arts in our homeschool. My 10 year old daughter is currently working on a special cosplay scarf for her brother. It is modeled after Natsu’s scarf from the anime series, Fairy Tail.

Fibre Friday

We all enjoy working with the portable Cricket loom I bought my kids for Christmas a few years ago.

Fibre Friday

I think if she works at it for about another hour, she’ll have the scarf complete and can wet finish it and present it to her brother, who is anxious to see it all done!

Fibre Friday

What are you working on this week? Have you chosen something to cast on when you start watching the Olympics next Friday?

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Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Friday: Handknit socks

It’s Fibre Friday and I have yet to cast on a new project! Well, the truth is I have started and restarted a lace scarf a few times 🙂 I will try again, but in the meantime I am contemplating what I will knit for Ravelry’s Ravellenics. The challenge is to cast on at the opening of the Winter Games in February and complete your project by the end of the Opening Ceremonies. Will you be knitting or enjoying another fibre art during the Olympics in your homeschool?

I thought I would share a photo of the socks I knit my husband for Christmas. He loves my handknit socks and especially likes to wear them when he’s travelling for business. Here he is, modelling them:

Fibre Friday

Next week I will share what project I’ve decided on for The Ravellenics.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Friday: Needle Felting Fun at Home & School Mosaics

Fibre FridayWelcome to Fibre Friday! Every week I will be sharing the fibre arts we like to do and what we are working on on our homeschool!

This week, I would like to share my recent article from Home & School Mosaics: Needle Felting Fun. There are so many great things you can make with your kids – for instance these great butterfly pins! It’s quick and easy so hop on over to read the article and learn all about it.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Reviews, Things to Do, Places to Go

Knits for Nerds – Review

Photobucket When I saw the title, Knits for Nerds, I knew I had to check out this book!  I gained access to a digital galley copy for 30 days on my Kobo from NetGalley, with no obligation to write a review, I just wanted to share these cool, geeky knitting patterns!

Knits for Nerds was written by “Joan of Dark”, otherwise known as Toni Carr.  She has put together 30 projects inspired by comic books, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and all things geeky.  As I viewed page after page of cool projects from shows and books that I love, I realized that I’m going to have to pick up a physical copy of this book so I can get down to knitting!  In particular, I want to knit the ethereal shrug inspired by Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings, the Princess Leia bun-hat (pictured on the cover), and the Trek Girl Dress!  I want to wear one of these knits to the next CON!  And yes, my geeky friends, there are even knits inspired by The Big Bang Theory, Firefly, Harry Potter (ooh, I almost forgot about Hermione’s bag!), and more.  If you belong to the crafting website, Ravelry, you can view projects from Knits For Nerds HERE.

A paperback copy of Knits for Nerds retails for $16.99 US or $19.99 CDN. You can buy online at the Andrews McMeel Publishing Page, Amazon, or at your local bookstore.  So pick up a copy with me and start knitting some of  yours and your kids’ favourites.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

A Mystery UFO for Fibre Arts Monday! May 9, 2011

This week for Fibre Arts Monday I have a little unfinished object (UFO) mystery for you.  Here’s one of the baby things I’m working on.  After I finished knitting it I looked at it and wondered how it was going to turn into the finished object LOL.  Here it is…

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Have you ever knitted something that turned out like this, strange in some way?  Let me know what YOU think this is 🙂

 

Love , Luck &
Laughter,

Posted in Resources, Reviews

WoolWorks! Curriculum Review

PhotobucketFor Fibre Arts Monday this week I thought it would be fitting to share a Fibre Arts curriculum. I received this curriculum in exchange for an honest review 🙂

Harrisville Designs provides fleeces, yarns, looms, educational toys and more for those who love fibre and the fibre arts. They have also put together WoolWorks! a curriculum designed for Grades 3-8. Created for use in a classroom, this curriculum is easily used in your homeschool or local co-op. It comes in a binder, which I find very practical because I can easily add any extra resources or patterns I find to supplement the curriculum (for instance, instructions for making a spindle with a CD for the spinning lesson). This curriculum contains 12 Lessons:

Lesson 1: A Brief History of the Sheep Around the World
Lesson 2: The Science of Wool
Lesson 3: Humans Discover Textiles: Felting
Lesson 4: Simple Machines: Spinning
Lesson 5: Nature’s Rainbow: Natural Dyeing Dyeing Nature’s Rainbow
Lesson 6: Braiding
Lesson 7: Introduction to Weaving
Lesson 8: Weaving Around the World

Lesson 9: Introduction to Looms: The Rigid Heddle
Lesson 10: Tapestry Weaving

Lesson 11: From Grandma’s Knee: Learning to Knit

Lesson 12: Domino Knitting

There are some very easy, quick, and fun things to felt with your children’s little hands and some fibre in lesson three 🙂 Each lesson is full of ideas, projects, and photographs.

One of our favourite parts of this curriculum is the map of sheep around the world. We were already knitting and spinning in our homeschool and doing some simple weaving on a frame loom before we started using this curriculum, but since then we are also weaving on a rigid heddle loom, as I have shared in some previous Fibre Monday posts. After being inspired by the felting lesson, we’ve also experimented with needle-felting 🙂 I used this curriculum with my 7 year old and 12 year old, and also for some ideas for an interactive fibre demonstration with children at our local library. Although recommended for Grades 3-8, I believe it would be great for Primary (Kindergarten) through Gr. 8, and even perhaps beyond.

WoolWorks! costs only $39.95 US plus shipping (9.50 in the US and 11.95 in Canada). Or you can pick u individual lessons for 7.50US. Check out some of the great crafting kits and tools Harrisville Designs has on their website while you’re checking out WoolWorks!

 

Love, Luck &
Laughter,