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New Pattern & Kit: Black Woman Magic Suede, Silk, and Yak Shawl

August 5, 2014

 

I’ve been sick this week and I spent my recovery time creating this fantabulous shawl for you that you can get as a kit right HERE.

If you’ve hung out with Darn Good Yarn for any amount of time, you know that I love easy projects that don’t require too much planning because Darn Good Yarn’s fabulous fibers and yarns speak for themselves. I made this super cute shawl with outrageously lush fringe and pulled it together as a kit for you. This would look cute worn as a typical shawl (around the shoulders) or with traditional back worn in front and then wrapped around your neck. You could also pin and tie it around leggings for a whimsical look perfect for an afternoon music festival in the park.

So, this super simple pattern looks like this:

Grab your size 19 circulars (my cord was about 2 feet)

Then loosely cast on 25 with your yak wool. For each row after, k1, ktf&b, then knit until you have two stitches left on your row, ktf&b, k1

Work both hanks of yak up until you have a small handful of the yarn left and bind off.

Weave in any ends.

Now, the fun part. Make some fringe from the suede and silk.  The pictured shawl shows 3 feet lengths because I wanted it to have some cool drama but you should play around until you find what you love. This kit will come with all the yarn you need (2 hanks of black yak wool from Nepal, Reclaimed Suede Ribbon, and Nighttime Rainbow Recycled Silk Yarn)

xoxoxo  Nicole

 

Knit Your Heart Out with DenKnits

May 1, 2014

Denae Merrill is a serious knitter.  I might even go so far as to say, a hardcore knitter.  On a recent post from her blog, DenKnits, she mentions a Knit-A-Long she is planning of a pattern that she designed, a charity knit-along that she is taking part in for a lap blanket, some blanket squares that she is working on to make a couch blanket for her own family, and a color-work project that started as a hat but then became a scarf.  In the same post (which was only written 2 weeks after the previous post) she also catalogs a shawl that she completed, 2 spinning samples she created, and 2 skeins, one of them 2-ply, one single-ply, that she spun.  When I asked, “How do you finish so many projects?”  She seemed to be under the impression that her knitting output was not unusual.  Considering I have a blanket that I started at age 12 which I still haven’t finished and is currently gathering dust in the corner of my room, I felt a bit differently. :)

Denae got a “learn to knit” kit for Christmas in 2007, but it wasn’t until later in 2008 when she got some hands-on lessons from her Mother-in-law that she really got hooked.  She did have some trouble learning because there aren’t enough good “learn to knit” books written for lefties!  Her MIL is left-handed as well, but she knit right-handed, and that’s what Denae ended up doing as well.  At the time she was traveling constantly due to her job, and a co-worker of hers helped her expand her knitting skills.  I asked Denae if she ever tried out any other crafts.  “I used to do lots of scrap-booking, but knitting has taken over!” she tells me.  While she has tried out crocheting and weaving, knitting remains her strong favorite.

Denae on her YouTube podcast

Denae has many great ways to fit more knitting into her day.  “I knit every day,” she explains while answering my question about her nearly super-human productivity.  “I find some down-time in the evening, I knit when I’m waiting in line – I always have a project with me.”  She has some specific projects that she likes to have going simultaneously.  She usually has a sock project going, just because they travel so well, one simpler project and then one more complicated project.  I may have to try this method myself.  It seems like a great way to prevent being bored with one particular project.  When I asked how she managed to have so many FOs (finished objects) as opposed to the many UFOs (un-finished objects) that I have hovering around my room, her answer was simple.  “I just really want to have the finished product,” she remarks.  Maybe I need to get re-invigorated about some of my old pieces.

 

Denae's 'Tulip Top' of her own design

Denae started making her own designs at almost the same time that she started knitting.  She would find a stitch pattern she really liked, and then modify it so it would work with whatever piece she wanted to make.  As her knitting skills improved and expanded, she got more ambitious.  She would find inspiration in lovely knitted garments in movies or television, and then create her own personalized version.  While she does plan things out prior to starting a new design, Denae tends to be very flexible once she’s in the middle of one.  “I don’t like ripping out work and starting over, I’d rather make it work from where I am,” she says.

In addition to her blog, Denae is on Ravelry under the username “denmoma” – click here to see all of her original patterns – and under the same name on Instagram.  Social networking – especially the fellow hardcore knitters she has met on Ravelry – have really helped expand the reach of her blog and her designs.  She also has a great “podcast”-style show on YouTube where she does product reviews, talks about her own personal twist when designing, and demonstrates some unique and fun ways to wear finished knitted pieces.  You can find all her videos here.  Most recently, Denae has opened up her own small online shop where you can get great kits including her patterns and all of the yarn needed to make them.  Check out her store here.

Denae's 'Cowl Neck Poncho' made with Darn Good Yarn

When I asked about her most memorable project, Denae said, “The cowl-neck poncho I designed that started the great relationship I now have with Darn Good Yarn!”  Denae had found Darn Good Yarn through Facebook, and had just finished creating the cowl, made of Recycled Photon Rainbow sport weight silk yarn, just in time to enter it in a designing contest that we were holding at the time.  When she won the contest, she used the gift certificate she received to get some great Banana Fiber yarn and came up with another great pattern, “That Sunset was Bananas!” – and we here at Darn Good Yarn loved that one too!  She since has provided us with some lovely hat patterns with our llama wool yarn (find a kit for those here), and a couple more of her patterns will be showing up on the site soon.  Her patterns are some of my favorites that we have on the site! (Shhh, don’t tell any of the other pattern designers.)

So many thanks to Denae, for bringing us such lovely patterns on our website, and for taking the time to chat with me.  Keep on madly knitting, designing, and inspiring!

Happy Crafting,

Marissa :)

February 2 Simple Stretches

January 28, 2011

February 2 Simple Stretches.

To help keep strain off the upper back, neck, shoulders, wrists and forearms I suggest you use round needles instead of the extremely long straight needles. If you are working on a heavy project such as a blanket the weight alone will cause strain and discomfort on all the above mentioned areas. By using the round needles all of the weight will be placed in the center of the needles and there will be less strain.

Upper back stretch:

Sit tall with your feet flat on the ground. Extend both arms out front. Round your shoulders slightly and try to reach as far forward as you can without leaning from your hip joint. Hold this position for 15 seconds.

For a little extra with this stretch you can drop your chin to your chest and you will include your neck.

Shoulder stretch

Sit tall with your feet flat on the ground. Take one arm and cross your chest. Take your other arm and hold it for support. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Then switch sides.

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The above is from the booklet “Stretches for those who Knit and Crochet” This book can be found on the website or on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Stretches-those-who-Knit-Crochet

Ellen is a certified Fitness Practitioner/Personal Trainer, teaching obtainable lifestyle changes for over 25 years. Ellen writes and produces fitness DVD’s  CD’s and Books of the IsoBreathing program. All are now being sold through the IsoBreathing website. http://www.isobreathing.com

Introducing Ellen!

January 5, 2011

Hello my friends,

I wanted to share something with you that will make you healthier this year! Watch the video and follow the series
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xoxo
Nicole

Ellen is a certified Fitness Practitioner/Personal Trainer, teaching obtainable lifestyle changes for over 25 years.

Ellen writes and produces fitness DVD’s  CD’s and Books of the IsoBreathing program. All are now being sold through the IsoBreathing website. http://www.isobreathing.com

Stretches for those tight muscles

January 5, 2011

Stretches for those tight muscles

Did you ever find yourself sitting for hours on end finishing up a project? You try to get up and your muscles are stiff. I am going to post a new stretch each month starting with the top of your body working down to help you relax those tight tired muscles.

Simple neck stretches:

Sit tall with both feet flat on the ground. Take one hand and bring all of your fingers together and place that hand behind your neck as shown in the top photo.

Slowly allow your head to lean back. It will come to rest on your hand as seen in the bottom photo.

This is as far back as you should go. Hold this position and take three slow deep breaths. Then bring your head back up to a neutral position.  Repeat this three times.

Another way to relax your neck is with shoulder shrugs. Sit tall with both feet flat on the floor. Raise up both shoulders at the same time and take a deep breath. Slowly lower your shoulders and exhale at the same time. Repeat this movement 3-5 times.

The above is from the booklet “Stretches for those who Knit and Crochet”

Ellen is a certified Fitness Practitioner/Personal Trainer, teaching obtainable lifestyle changes for over 25 years.

Ellen writes and produces fitness DVD’s  CD’s and Books of the IsoBreathing program. All are now being sold through the IsoBreathing website. http://www.isobreathing.com

North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival- Go Visit!

August 18, 2010

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We’re donating some yarn to the 2nd Annual Fiber Festival being run by the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood NJ. It’s this October 12 and 2 2010.

Go and visit this site to get all the information you’ll need to visit- Just Click this text!
Visit the festival and get some raffle tickets to win a Darn Good Yarn goody basket!

Do you have an event you’re sponsoring and are looking for a similar donation? Please contact us!

Need a donation?

August 18, 2010

Video loading. Please wait:)

We’re donating some yarn to the 2nd Annual Fiber Festival being run by the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood NJ. It’s this October 12 and 2 2010.

Do you have an event you’re sponsoring and are looking for a similar donation? Please contact us!