Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Slumps. And a Free Pattern Coupon Code.

Yesterday it was almost 70° F (I don't know Celsius-conversions, sorry) and today the weather guy tells me the temps are going to plummet to about 20° F.

Ugh.

Swatching with Miss Babs'
Yowza in "Coffee Break"
I don't know about you, but I get into slumps. I've fallen into a bit of a post-Winter Olympics knitting slump. I wind yarn into balls, swatch projects, sketch designs; but nothing gets past the start. It's times like this when I really turn to Ravelry to find a new project.

Sitting in my queue is a pair of slippers (Stippers) I only made once for my dad and, because of the way hand knitted gifts sometimes work, I got them back. Now he needs another pair of slippers, something warm and woolly and maybe a little taller because I think he might shuffle too much and they slip down over his heels. Or maybe just a pair of socks?

Suddenly, this doesn't seem like the cure for a knitting slump like I thought it might be.

Want one of these? Use coupon
code "RodeoKnitsMarch"
Maybe I can help you. If you're feeling in a slump (or even if you're not), I've decided to offer 25 free patterns to anyone who uses coupon code "RodeoKnitsMarch" when you purchase a pattern from me on Ravelry from 5:00pm EST March 12, 2014 through 11:59pm EST March 15, 2014. You can review all of my patterns here: http://www.ravelry.com/stores/rodeo-knits.

I'm really very curious to see which patterns might be most popular. Let me know in the comments what you think. And don't hold back, I'm a big boy and can handle it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Workman Is Only As Good As His Tools

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knits (or quilts, or crafts, or is a mechanic, a photographer, a cook, a human being), I love tools and gadgets. Gadgets I can do without. I can resist gadgets. I don't need lot of stitch markers and counters.

But tools. I do love tools. And when I find something new that I like, I want everyone to know.

Fair warning: I'm not affiliated with any of these companies; these opinions are my opinions only. But if any of them (one in particular) would like to work something out, you know how to find me.

Two of my favorite tools are my current knitting bag and a new set of needles.

My Knitting Bag

If you see me out and about at a yarn shop, most likely, my knitting bag won't be far away. I can't remember if I saw one a friend owned first or if I found it online first but my Tom Bihn Swift knitting bag is my favorite. It's the perfect size for carrying multiple projects (because I'm definitely not monogamous to knitting projects) and has two very handy pockets on the inside. The handles are the perfect length for carrying or throwing over my shoulder (granted, not the most masculine look but whatever) when my hands are full of need-to-purchase yarn. I also have one of the yarn stuff sacks and a small zipper pouch for holding little things I don't want to lose in the bottom of my bag. Bonus: a yarn stuff sack is also handy when I want to carry my knitting project to work without taking the whole bag.

My Knitting Needles

I almost exclusively knit with circular needles and own many different types and as I knit more and get more experience, I find there are specific things I look for in my knitting needles: a sharp point, a clean join and a smooth shaft. A couple months ago, my LYS started carrying a new brand of needles: Knitter's Pride Karbonz. I bought a pair of circular needles to try them out and, wow, I love them.

I'm slowly building my collection, mainly because I find myself only wanting to start projects that I have the right size in Karbonz to use. The shaft of the needle is carbon fiber and the tip is, for me, perfectly pointed nickel-plated brass, a combination that allows the needles to easily enter the stitches and the carbon fiber grips the yarn just enough that my projects don't slide off the needles too quickly. The cable has just the right about of flexibility that they're easy to work with and don't twist and kink up like cheaper circular needles with plastic cables.

And yes, if Knitter's Pride wants me to be their spokesperson, I'm all for it. Hit me up, KP.