Monday, August 12, 2013


The pattern is wonderful. Well-written and easy to follow, but I just don’t feel the love. Maybe it’s my colors, maybe it’s the stripes with the lace---but I just don't love this shawl as much as I thought I would.  I do like how the stitches in the lace sections gradually get bigger, and I do like how the lace is interspersed with stockinette.  Someday I would like to knit this pattern again all in one color or tonal colors, and then I think I would adore it.  

I knit this shawl as part of a Mystery Knit A-long on Ravelry.  Mystery KAL's are appealing to me, and in that sense I am not one bit disappointed in my shawl.  Who knows, maybe I'll even wear it one day.  Definitely, I will keep knitting mystery shawls and mystery socks, and especially those put out by Through the Loops.  Kirsten writes her patterns in such a way that I have never had any trouble understanding the directions, and her designs are breathtakingly beautiful. 

The pattern:  Germinate aka TTL Mystery Shawl 2013
The Yarn:  Cascade Heritage Silk
Needles:  Size 6 (4.0 mm)



Thursday, August 08, 2013

Summer of Jo-Ann Tie-Dye Tote Bag

A Jo-Ann fabric and craft store is coming to my town, and I am so excited!  No more driving over an hour to get to the nearest Jo-Ann's!  It was also exciting when I was asked to participate in Jo-Ann's Summer Crafting Challenge.  The challenge was to choose one of the 72 projects from the Cape Discovery Spring Craft Catalog, buy the supplies, and then create the project with our own twist.

Emily needs a bag to carry her piano books to lessons, so when I saw the tie-dye tote bag in the catalog, I knew it would be a great project for us to make together.   With the generous $25 gift card from Jo-Ann, we purchased the supplies.  Emily picked out the cat appliqué and cat paw sparkles.  Cats.  Of course.  The child loves cats. 

Since I have never before tie-dyed anything in my whole crafting life, I was glad for the detailed instructions that came with the dye.  It was so easy.  So fun.  Such fun that after we dyed the bag we started searching the house to find something more to dye.  

 Two of the Shirts We Dyed

  Jo-Ann's Inspiration on the Left and Emily's Project on the Right

I love Emily's finished tote bag, and now I want to dye everything in sight. I'll refrain, but I won't refrain from attempting more of the projects from Jo-Ann's.  Did I mention how thrilled I am that Jo-Ann's is coming to town?! 

Take a look at the Jo-Ann Pinterest page for more inspiration or search the hashtag #summerofjoann. Also, if you sign up to become a Preferred Customer, you will receive a 20% coupon. 

One thing about the dye kit—it only came with two plastic gloves.  I ended up with lovely blue hands because Emily wore the gloves.  My fingernails remained blue for weeks!