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Tag Archives | Knitting

Review | Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips

Reported by Maria del Pinto

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Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips

The Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips have proven to be the essential tool for many of my crafting needs. These nifty little clips can be used for so many different crafting, sewing, knitting, and jewelry making activities. I am over the moon with them! When I first was sent the package by our editor Nancy, I thought at first “what the heck do I use these for?” Needless to say, once I started playing with them, I realized their potential!

Clover Jumbo Wonderclips

Let’s start with some details about the clips:

  • The clips open to hold layers (about 3/4 of an inch) of material.
  • There is a texture on the clip end to grip material better.
  • Clips are light weight, made from plastic with a metal insert clip.
  • One side is flat – great when you have to set the project down on a flat surface to work, and for keeping a project flat while feeding into your sewing machine.
  • Flat side has 1/4″ markings, perfect for sewing.
  • Clips are easy to both attach and remove, unlike sharp pins.
  • For people with grip or motor issues, Wonder Clips are an easy to grasp alternative to pins.

All those facts are great, but seeing them in action is the best way to understand their possibilities. I used them while working on my Clover Basket Frame project.

Clover Wonderclips on Paper Basket Frame project.

They are perfect for Kumihimo projects.  I used to use a metal ring to add weight to the bottom of my braid but I found that these clips worked so much better.

Weight Metal

I started with one clip then just added more clips to increase the tension on the braid.

Clover Wonderclip to create tension for Kumihimo projects.

I also used Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips as a weight while knitting a scarf project. They came in handy for my watercolor painting class when the clip on my board broke – I just used these instead!

One thing to keep in mind when using them is that the clips will indent fabric or material from the pressure of the metal hinge of the clip, so remember that when putting aside a project for a few hours. Remove them if you are using fragile material before you put the project aside if possible. Otherwise, these are great for use in holding material during the construction of garments, multi-media projects, and more.

Pros:

  • Great for sewing, the flat clear back will not catch as you feed the fabric while sewing.
  • Affordable
  • Great for quilting and other sewing projects.
  • Plastic is easy to clean, so you can use it for any craft.
  • Easy to clean
  • Works with paper, fabric, etc. as long as the thickness is less than 3/4″

Cons:

  • If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or anything similar then these might be a bit challenging to use.
  • You will be hooked and be tempted to buy the other sizes available.
  • These are plastic so they will break if stepped on or run over by a car (don’t ask).

Have you tried Clover Jumbo Wonder Clips? What did you use them for?

CHA Mega Show 2014 | Lion Brand’s 7 Wonders of the Yarn World

Lion Brand had an amazing and fascinating display in their booth at the CHA Mega Show 2014  – the seven wonders of the world recreated in yarn! It was kind of like the Rose Parade – only every surface was yarn instead of flowers!

Lion Brand 7 Wonders Booth

From a distance the display was awesome, but from close-up the detail was stunning. Each “wonder” was made with a different stitch and type of yarn, to show off Lion’s versatility.

The Mayan Pyramid was done with a stripe and chevron technique with Vanna’s Choice and Hometown USA yarns:

Lion Brand Mayan Ruins
Lion Brand Mayan Pyramid

The lace technique on the Leaning Tower of Pisa (made from Vanna’s Choice, Imagine, and Baby Soft yarns) was insanely detailed:

Lion Brand Tower of Pisa

The Taj Mahal had plenty of embellishment in it, created from Chenille, Festive Fur, Vanna’s Choice, Hometown USA, Jiffy, Tweed Stripes, Baby’s First, Vanna’s Glamour, and glitter ribbon.

Lion Brand Taj Mahal Closeup
Lion Brand Taj Mahal

These granny squares will make you flashback to your childhood…but I have to say, none of my childhood granny square wear was half this cool! The Great Wall of China was made from extra soft wool blend, Heartland, and Vanna’s Choice.

Lion Brand Great Wall of China

The textures on Stonehenge were amazing – the moss around the bottom looked real! It was created with Imagine, glitter eyelash, Fun Fur and Chenille.

Lion Brand Stonehenge

The Sphinx looked fierce! It was created in a Colorwork technique with Vanna’s Choice, Homespun, Vanna’s Glamour, Amazing, Vanna’s Colors, and glitter ribbon.

Lion Brand Sphinx

The Easter Island stones got nice warm cable knit sweaters to keep them warm, courtesy of Lion! They are made with Vanna’s Choice, Jiffy, and Wool-Ease Quick & Thick.

Lion Brand Easter Island

So which wonder is your favorite?


Book Review: Vampire Knits

Reported by Jen Geigley 

Whether you’re Team Edward, Team Jacob, a True Blood fanatic, or not exactly a huge fan of the blood-sucking variety, Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting from Twilight to Dawn may be worth sinking your teeth into this fall and winter. Author Genevieve Miller became so inspired by her favorite vampire flick that she began designing her own vampire-themed knitting projects. Through the magic of the internet and Ravelry.com (an online knitting community), Genevieve collaborated with other designers and vampire/werewolf fans across the country to create a collection of patterns paying homage to some of their most beloved vampires and shape-shifters.

The book is full of gorgeous, wearable knitting patterns that anyone would love, like these Bella Swan-inspired mittens.

Or these lovely ‘Pulse Protectors.’

The photography and styling of the book is beautifully done and is refreshingly light, while maintaining that necessary hint of looming darkness. The Twilight feel is really well-represented, and it’s easy to envision your favorite vampire characters wearing the hand-knits in the photos.

 

The Lore Hoodie is my personal favorite project from Vampire Knits, although there are several patterns I hope to try out in the future. All of the patterns are very creative while still being quite practical (for the most part). I admit I was a bit wary before I looked through this book, anticipating a potentially campy/costumey vampire theme. But I was quite impressed with the patterns themselves and many of the projects will appeal to knitters who have never picked up a Twilight book in their life (below are several more photos from the book).

I was excited to pick a pattern to knit right away when I received my copy of Vampire Knits, and I instantly decided I had to knit a pair of Alice Cullen-inspired fingerless gloves. While I didn’t have the exactly perfect color of variegated yarn on hand, I knew I had something close enough to make the cut (I used a skein of blue/green Classic Elite Montera from my stash).

The pattern was easy (and quick!) and I’m loving my new Alice-ish Palm Readers (page 58). Such a perfect fall accessory, and they’d look great knitted in any color!

Curious to know more about this book and how it all came about? I had the opportunity to interview author Genevieve Miller. Here’s what she had to say about Vampire Knits.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
A little about myself?  Hmm… I’m a California native. I’ve been married for 13 years – I met my husband in a comedy writing class in Los Angeles. We have 3 great kids – one boy and two girls. Before having kids I was a teacher. I love vampires, Harry Potter, and thanks to my kids I’m now a Star Wars geek, too!

How were you first introduced to knitting, and how long have you been a knitter?
I learned to knit when I was 11. My mom was pregnant with my youngest brother and we learned together. My first project was a big pink blanket knit with 2 colors at the same time on huge size 17 needles. I took a break from knitting during high school and college and picked up the needles again when I was pregnant with my son, 10 years ago. I rarely go more than a month or two without knitting something.

Out of all the most recent vampire movies, books and television series, which is your favorite and why? Do you have any favorite characters in particular? 
Oh, gosh. Well, of the recent vampire stories, I’d have to say the Twilight saga was what got me back into vampires, and sparked my interested in designing. I love the movies, but the books are where I fell in love.  I like Alice, the hyper, stylish little pixie, but I love Edward!  My favorite “bad boy” would have to be Damon Salvatore from the Vampire Diaries. I confess I haven’t read the books, but Ian Somerhalder plays Damon so deliciously it’s hard to resist loving the scoundrel.

What inspired you to write a book and compile a collection of knitting patterns dedicated to vampires?
Twilight inspired me, actually. I just thought the characters were so varied and interesting that they could inspire a lot of creative ideas for knitting projects. It grew from there, since there are so many vampire stories to draw from. Vampire stories have been around for centuries, as has knitting – they seemed a perfect combination!

How did Ravelry.com play a part in the making of Vampire Knits?
I mentioned my idea in a group on Ravelry and it was met with tons of enthusiasm from fellow knitters.  In a matter of days I had several designers on board and we got to work. I started my own group where we could brainstorm, call for test knitters, bounce ideas off each other, and call for designs. I don’t think the book would have become a reality without Ravelry.

The designers who have contributed patterns to Vampire Knits include all ages and walks of life. How did you find, choose and bring together this diverse group of contributors? 
I met most of them on Ravelry. When I called for submissions, they delivered!

What’s your favorite project in Vampire Knits (and why do you love it?) 
Oh, gosh!  It’s so hard to pick a favorite – they’re all gorgeous!  I love the Lore Hoodie by Cirilia Rose. I want to knit it for myself! I also think the Palm Readers are going to be on my Christmas list for friends. I love the Blood Bottle Cozies, too… they’re so fun!  I can’t choose a favorite and I hope to knit everything at some point! 

The photography/styling in the book is gorgeous. Where were the photos shot, and by whom? 
The photography was done on the publisher’s end. My acquisitions editor, Betty Wong and I discussed what we wanted for the “look” of the models, and they were hired by an agency in New York. I love that the redhead looks like Victoria in the Twilight movies. The outdoor shots were in New York, although they look like they could be in Forks, WA. (There is a photo of Forks at the end of the book that was taken by my sister-in-law, Tere Mendez on our trip to the Olympic Peninsula last July.) The photographer who shot the models and projects is Heather Weston, and my author photo was taken by my other sister-in-law, Candice Eley.

And because I have to ask (you knew this was coming) … Team Edward or Team Jacob? 
TEAM EDWARD!!!

Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting from Twilight to Dawn (by Genevieve Miller) 
Potter Craft
Sells for $18.99
Paperback
144 pages
25+ projects
 
Pros:
The majority of the patterns in this book will appeal to both Twi-hards and people who aren’t so into the vampire thing. The photography and overall look of the book is beautiful, not morbid or overly vampy.
Cons:
If you aren’t bi-stitchual (meaning you only knit and don’t know how to crochet,) you may notice that a couple of the patterns in the fourth section of the book (Bloody Accents) require some crochet know-how.

Are you a knitter who is inspired by Twilight, True Blood and other vampire books, television series or movies? If you’ve knitted a project from Vampire Knits, share it here!
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