Thin vs Thick, Yarn That Is

Yesterday, I borrowed a couple of books from the library, “Knit So Fine – Designs with Skinny Yarn” by Lisa R. Myers, Laura Grutzek and Carol Sulcoski, “Power Cables” by Lily Chin, and “ Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts – An A – Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration”.  I wanted to read Knit So Fine because it is one of the few knitting pattern books that specifically focus on knitting with lightweight yarns.

When I was in the process of learning how to knit, the conventional wisdom was knit with bulky inexpensive yarn, and large needles.  The reasoning is to get your fingers adapted to using knitting needle, and thicker yarn knits quickly.  I learned how to knit with a pair size needles and a worsted weight yarn.  In fact, I worked with worsted weight or larger for quite a few scarves until I started knitting with sock weight yarn to make a pair of socks.  I discovered that a lighter weight yarn did not take much longer to knit than a thicker weight yarn.  There is a good argument to be made for using a lightweight yarn, one being a better fit which you so not get with a bulky weight yarn because let’s face when wearing a heavier fabric everyone will look bigger than they are.  The feel of a sweater done in a lightweight yarn is just softer to me and it always means that you will perspire less because with a heavier weight the hotter you will feel and more incline to perspire.  Do not get me wrong, I like to see bulky weight yarns with certain items such as a car coat and a rug, but lightweight yarn knitted into a cardigan is a better feel to me and makes look thinner. 

There is also a price consideration, lightweight yarns can be more economical than a bulky weight and it also depends on if you buy cashmere, alpaca, angora etc. will also affect the price.  Elizabeth Zimmerman also expressed her opinion in the “Knitting Without Tears” (which every person who knits should have in their craft library) about making a sweater with a very fine wool in order to economize if you love to knit.

I think using a lightweight yarn for your sweaters and skirts is a good idea for a better and more flattering fit.  I am a size DD in bra size and 45 in hips, so knitting my garments in a bulky weight does not work for me.  I prefer to look like woman than the Pillsbury dough boy which is not a good look.  I am going to enjoy reading the patterns in “Knit So Fine” and have a couple of projects in mental queue (making quite a few copies for my project notebook).

I cannot end this blog post without writing a little about “Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts”, and one project in the book stood out for me and that’s the glittered eggs.  I love the glittered eggs and so much better than dyeing and they are great as a decorative touch for a dinner party.  I also like the glittered snowflakes and think it would a great idea for a winter white wedding with white, silver and blue glittered snowflakes handing in the reception space and perhaps glittered candles within the space as well.  I have to stop before I have a 10,000 word blog post with ideas.  I am going to end on that note and write Ciao for now.



A Book Suggestion and New Yarn

I wanted to blog about an interesting book entitled “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.  It is an extraordinary story about Henrietta Lacks and her unwitting contribution to medical research.  Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the 1950s and died at the age of 31, but the interesting story occurs after her death.  “While she was in Hopkins’ care, researchers took a fragment of Lacks’ tumor and sliced it into little cubes, which they bathed in nutrients and placed in an incubator. The cells, dubbed "HeLa" for Henrietta Lacks, multiplied as no other cells outside the human body had before, doubling their numbers daily. Their dogged growth spawned a breakthrough in cell research; never before could investigators reliably experiment on such cell cultures because they would weaken and die before meaningful results could be obtained.” This quote was taken from 2002 article written by Van Smith from the City Paper.  I found out about this story while listening to the radio program Radio Lab from the “Famous Tumors” show.   Lacks’ family was also contact years later by researchers to get blood samples from them, but researchers did not mention anything about their mother’s HeLa cells.  This is an incredible and compelling story and would recommend reading the book and listening to the story from Radio Lab.


I stopped at Purl Soho today to pick up a couple of skeins of Cascade Alpaca lace weight yarn for the lace shawl pattern for the Vogue Knitting Early fall issue.  It’s a pretty garnet color and should look beautiful when the shawl is completed.  I think $16.00 for a shawl is a great bargain and it will be handmade.   Along with loving the shawl, I am also swooning over the necklace the model is wearing.  I need to figure out how to make it.    I am going to say ciao for now, and probably will write more about the Sew Serendipity book over the the weekend. 

Yarn and Review 001Inspirational Weekend 003 

What a stupid commercial

I do not know if you are going with me

A Book and A Couple of Magazines

Today, it has been raining for most of the day and I decided to make a trip to Borders to pick up the new Knit Simple and Knit Scene magazine.  Actually, I did not know the magazines were at Borders, but I needed a trip to the bookstore.  I am inspired about some of the projects in both magazines.   It’s in my mind’s queue to knit, and I think the hat is nice for the fall.

Book Review Photos 007 Book Review Photos 006

Book Review Photos 009 Book Review Photos 012

I also saw a new sewing pattern book, “Sew Serendipity” by Kay Whit.  She is the owner of Serendipity Studio with a line of patterns she created.  She has created 18 patterns for the new book consisting of dresses, jackets, skirts, and tunics.  The books gives great instruction of how to make the projects including techniques needed sewing a finished garment.  She also wanted the reader who decides to make any of the projects to customized the garments to her liking. 

Book Review Photos 001 Book Review Photos 002 Book Review Photos 004

Book Review Photos 005 Book Review Photos 003

I am going to more reading of this book over the weekend, and make a do list of what I want to sew along with some ideas of my own to make the garments my own.  I do want to make the tunic dress as I like to wear it pants as well.  I am going to turn in for the night and get some rest for fresh start in the morning.  Ciao for now!

Some Book Reviews and Photo Laden

Visiting the book is one of my favorite places.  I love books, a love affair that began from the first my mother brought me a book and a set of World Book Encyclopedias.  Those books are expensive even when my mother purchased a set over 35 years ago.  I also had a subscription to Highlights, Jack & Jill, Ebony Jr., and personal favorite National Geographic that gave me a great curiosity for the world and other cultures, but I digress.

I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday and today, and purchased some magazines and three books that pique my interests.  I went there to buy the book “Tranquilista – Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play” by Kimberly Wilson.  Wilson is a teacher, writer, do-gooder, entrepreneur, and eco-fashion designer.  She is the creative director and founder of Tranquil Space, yoga studio in Washington DC, and has a website Kimberly Wilson where you can read her blog, listen to her podcast, and shop online with her clothing line TranquiliT.

The book is about starting a business and living the life you want.  I am in the process of reading the book, but find it very informational thus far.  However, I love reading her blog and listening to her podcast, it’s about creativity and inspiration.

Books to Review 018

Another little jewel, I picked up at the bookstore is a baking book by Erin McKenna entitled “Babycakes – Vegan, Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from new York’s Most Talked-About Bakery.  I first had a vegan cupcake while celebrating a co-worker’s birthday a few years ago, and thought it was one of the most sumptuous cupcakes I had in my life.  Who would have thought that a baked good without dairy could taste delicious.   One problem, the bakery is hard to get to.  I went the bakery one day after work because I wanted a cupcake, and it was a half-hour walk.  I thought was going to walk into the east river at one point.   It was worth the walk, but not something I would do frequently.  Now, I have the cookbook where I can bake those cupcakes and other baked goods from the book.  Who knew that you could make chocolate and velvet cupcakes, and sandwich cookies gluten and dairy-free.

Books to Review 007Books to Review 009 Books to Review 011Books to Review 016

My next book is a knitting pattern book called “Knitting 24/7 – 30 Projects to Knit, Wear, and Enjoy, One the Go and Around the Clock by Veronik Avery.  I admit that I have a soft spot for purchasing knitting and crochet books as well, and the photography in this book is great along with some nice patterns to knit.

Books to Review 001 Books to Review 004 Books to Review 005

I love this mitten pattern, but really the cape she is wearing.  I wonder if the cape can be translated into a knitting pattern?  I think the bookmark is beautiful and practical, who could have thought to knit one. 

It was way pass my bedtime due to an interruption of a telephone call earlier that cause to prolong the writing of this post a lot longer than anticipated.  I have more photos, but time is my enemy.  I hope to get another necklace done within the next two weeks.  Ciao for now!

Book Review and other Things


Yes I did purchase the new Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts, and I am going write a review.  I brought this book this past Tuesday.  I did receive an invite from Purl Soho a couple of weeks ago attend a launch event for the book at the price of $20.00, but decided not to go.

I read some of the reviews on Amazon dot com about the book, and a couple them were not so glowing.  I think some people who write reviews had more in mind that the book intended.  Here is my assessment of Martha Stewart’s new book.  As the title suggested is an encyclopedia of sewing and fabric crafts, in other words a reference book.  The question becomes is it a good or bad reference book, I think it’s a good reference book particularly for beginners or people returning to sewing as is intended.  The book gives basic techniques for sewing, appliqué, embroidery, quilting, dyeing, and printing.  The books also has 150 inspired projects that one can create and make it his or her own.  The book includes a CD of project patterns and templates in PDF format to use.

The couple of reviews I read suggested that the book was not exciting, but dull and boring, but the reviewers really did not understand the concept of books for novices or people who have not sewn in years.  Did they read words like basics or novice in the introduction?  I think not.  I purchased the book to learn more about appliqué, dyeing, hand embroidery, and printing on fabric.  In addition, there is something to be said about learning the basics and your creativity will follow.  You can create anything you want when you have learned the basics, and the book fulfills the basics requirement.

I will keep this book among my other reference books on the shelf, and refer to do.  I will also make a couple of projects in the book for practice, so I make new creation.  Ciao for now!


A Relaxing Sunday and Book Reviews

Today was a day of just relaxing and reviewing a couple of books I purchased this past week.  They are books about my two hobbies jewelry making and knitting.  These are books that I will consistently use as my reference guides. 

Before reviewing and blogging, I took a shower with my latest purchase from Pampered by Adrienne.  I brought the lemongrass body scrub and soap, and found it refreshing and relaxing (I was in the state of relaxing).  I will be purchasing the products as often as I can, and will burn the Georgia Peach candles on those days coming home from work when I need to escape for a moment.

The first book review is a book on jewelry-making titled, “Bead Jewelry 101” by Karen Mitchell and Ann Mitchell.  The book describes the skills and techniques of bead jewelry with the first project being a pair of basic drop earrings.  The book teaching using headpins to make earrings, working with eyepins, jump rings, beading cable, wire, chains, memory wire, filigrees, and using other stranding materials such as silk threads to string pearls.  It is a comprehensive book on the subject and like having a workshop in your home or my case a one-bedroom apartment. 

Review Photos 016  Review Photos 017

The next review is a knitting book titled, “Knitwear Design Workshop – A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits” by Shirley Paden.  Paden is the owner and founder of Shirley Paden Custom Knits.  Her knits and articles have appeared in Interweave Knits, Knitters, and Vogue Knitting.  The purpose of the book is to explore various techniques in designing well-fitted garments.  It is for handknitters at any level who want to free themselves of commercial patterns and design their own.  The only prerequisites are to be able to add, subtract,, multiply, and divide.  The books has step by step process of the initial idea to taking measurements, selecting a pattern stitch, drawing a sketch and schematic, writing knitting instructions, and finishing a garment professionally.  This is not a pattern, but Paden added about four projects in the book like a cabled coat with cape collar.  I love this book

Review Photos 008

Review Photos 009  Review Photos 014

Some Finds

This past week, I stopped by Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy of Nicky Epstein’s “Crochet Flowers” (I will get her Knitted Flowers some other time), and saw the new book “The Handmade Marketplace” by Karin Chapin on the shelves.  Needless to say, I purchased the book as well and glad because of the all the information about how to sell your crafts locally, globally and online along with inspiring stories from some people of the craft world like Amy Karol of the Angry Chicken Blog, and Jenny Ryan contributor blogger for Craft Magazine and Apartment Therapy.  If anyone is thinking about starting a side or full-time business with your goods, I recommend this book.  This book also provides information on how to advertise and marketing your business, creating an online newsletter, teaching a class, and how blogging can drive business.

Now confession time, I have subscribe to at least 200 blogs and listen podcasts while working.  I get to find out some great stuff in the crafting arena.  I came across this website while reading the Handmade Marketplace, the Blonde Chicken Boutique.    Tara, the owner sells colorful eco-friendly yarns, but she also provide others with information about running their own business.  I love her site.

I came across another blogger turned author.  Cathy Erway is blogger and her blog is called Not Eating Out in New York – Consuming less and eating more.  Cathy lives in Brooklyn and blogs about her home cooking other experiences.  The book has recipes and writes about her committment of eating sustainable foods in New York.  This discovery led me to another foodie find called Working Class Foodies on Food Nation TV.  It is a brother and sister living in New York teaching how to cook on a budget.  the videos are very instructional and easy for any other who wants to cook a great meal on the cheap.  The working class foodies also have a facebook page.

I started knitting about five years ago, but really got into it over the past three years with wanting to go beyond the scarf.  After all this time I finally bought Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “Knitting Without Tears”.  I think this reference book will make me a better knitter and allow me to create my own knits.  It is not that I do not like the patterns that are out there, but there is nothing better than creating your piece hanging in your closet and saying that this is my creation.

I did not really do much cooking this weekend, just a simple fish with cheese grits, but thinking about cooking a mushroom ragu with poached eggs and polenta, a recipe from the working class foodies during the week.  I think I have written enough this evening and will write, Caio for now.

Book Reviews and Some New Finds – Part One

It seems that I am keeping up with my resolution for blog entries, and testing new font sizes so bear with me.  I am keeping the font color because blue is my favorite color and yet I do not own many articles of clothing in that color.  Although, I have to say that next to that nice crisp cotton white shirt, the next color would that nice crisp french blue color shirt.  I am digressing.  Back to the subject I want write about.

I am incessant information hound and the Internet is my pearl in finding new and interesting finds.  It does not matter if I am doing a search on history or finding the perfect pair of shoes I am on it.  However, before getting to the finds, I am going get to a couple of book reviews I wrote about in my previous blogs.

I picked up two books (well more than two, but who is counting), Blogging for Bliss – Crafting Your Own Online Journal and Design-It-Yourself Clothes – Patternmaking Simplified by authors Tara Frey and Cal Patch respectively.  Although I started my blog a couple of years, not many read it.  Of course, I have a couple of people who comments and I love them for it.  I am appreciative of people who leave a comment because it lets me know I gave them something to ponder.  I think I could be more personal in blogs (not too personal, lol) thus the reason for purchasing Tara Frey’s BFB book.  I am still a beginner blogger despite the fact that my blog has existed for more than three years.  I have to tighten up on my technical skills with a background and photos, and take a headshot so people will know what I look like.  With that aside, I found Frey’s book helpful in my goals in being a better blogger.  I do very little editing with my blog entries as I tend to write with a flow and my thoughts come while writing.  One can say that I am spontaneous writer.  Frey guides the reader through the reason for blogging, tools of the trade, learning the ropes, and how to create beautiful blogs.  She features more than 50 bloggers that include Alicia Paulson: Posie Gets Cozy, The Angry Chicken, and Knit and Tonic as inspiration for the new blogger or a blogger who has been blogging for a while.  For more information to connect with Tara at Blogging for Bliss.

My next review is a patternmaking book.  Clothing designer, Cal Patch worked for Urban Outfitters and Free People before creating her own Hodge Podge label.  I believe that she currently teaches patternmaking and sewing in New York City and recently purchased a farm in upstate New York.  She currently blogs at Hodge Podge Farm and has an Esty shop where she sells her crochet projects.  First came across Cal Patch while listening to the Craft Sanity podcast with Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood about her new book, career, and life living upstate.  At the time of the interview, Cal had not purchased her farm but in the process of doing so.  I purchased the book at month later.  I thought would be a good idea to create my own patterns than always purchasing them and Cal made a great point during the interview, the patterns you make will be more tailor to your body type because it will be exactly to your measurements (as long as you do not lie about them, loll).  Cal guides you through the process of the tools you need to make patterns, making your own patterns from taking your measurements, customizing, fitting, and grading.  She even explains how to make a pattern from your existing clothing.  I found this book as a helpful guide that is much easier than reading as Cal says those dry textbooks.  She gives directions to make basic skirt, dress, jacket, and pants patterns.  However, her goal for the reader to use her book as a guide for you to create your own clothing, make it what you will.  She does not want you to find the exact fabric or for that matter change up the pattern if like.  She is providing you will the tools to create your own wardrobe.  Become looser and bohemian because you do not have to look like everyone else and that is one of the ideas of sewing your own clothing be unique.

I realized that I have written a lot in this blog entry and will continue with another entry about the new finds when I am done eating breakfast. I shall return.


My Wish List

Yesterday after work, I decided to browse through Borders Books to see what is new in reading material.  The Cook Yourself Thin hit the bookselves this week, it is the companion cookbook to the new Lifetime series of the same name.  However, I could not resist walking over the craft books section to what I could find in the way of crocheting, knitting, and sewing.  The section is very small and all of the books are crammed together on the selves.  A knitting book could be right next to a sewing book, and I wonder how are could it be to organize the section, but that is another story for another day.  I saw a few books that caught my intererst.  A couple of the books are a couple years old, but it was my first time ever seeing them.  The first book is called “Vintage Crochet” which was first published in November 2007.  This book has some very nice vintage look pattern, but one pattern that caught my eye is a crochet lace dress with flowers to give it a third dimensional look.  The pattern is only done in one size that fit people in the size 8 to 12 group.


 The second book that caught my attention is another crochet pattern called “Embellished Crochet,” and the tunic on the cover had me right away.  This is definitely not your grandmother’s crochet.  I have to see if this book is available at the library so that I can make a copy tunic pattern on the cover and a couple of other patterns in the book.


Here is a knitting pattern book with embroidered and embellished knits called “Beautiful Embroidered and Embellished Knits.  I have always wanted to learn how to use beads and other embellishments in knitted garments.  There are some really cute projects in this book and I have been in the mood for being a little more artsy in my crocheting and knitting.


Another book is specific to different kind of stitch in crochet called “Tunisian Crochet”.  Tunisian crochet is sometimes called the afghan stitch and is considered by many to be a cross between knitting and crochet.  The distinctive fabric created by this technique looks almost woven instead of either knitted or crocheted.   Tunisian crochet is typically worked on a long hook with a stopper on the end –  similar to a knitting needle that also has a stopper on the end so that the stitches held on the tool do not fall off.   Here are a several points about tunisian crochet from the website Crochet Cabana

 1) Never turn your piece. You work down the row on the right side, then back on the same side. (If you want to turn your piece then you might be interested in working with the cro-hook which is basically tunisian, but you turn your work, and uses two colors – and it doesn’t curl.)
2) Always begin the second half of a row by pulling yarn through one stitch only. After you’ve completed the first stitch, pull through two stitches at a time.
3) The last stitch remaining on the hook is always the first stitch of the next row.
4) Always skip the first bar when starting on a new row.
5) You will always be working with the same number of stitches as established on the chain (unless you are doing a decrease or increase)
6) Increases and decreases are worked only in the first half of the stitch row.
7) To decrease curling, purl your first row.


I have other things on my wish list as well.  A dedicated craft space with a visualization board with my desk, computer, sewing machine, serger (serger on the wish list), and fabric stash, knitting yarn and notions.  The color of the room would be blue, green and white with all my craft books and last but not least a stereo with music from everyone from Chopin to Three Doors Down to Indria Arie.

I guess these are my thoughts for the day.  Enjoy the day and what is on your wish list.

Magazine Review and other Going-ons

I am sitting at my computer this morning.  I finished up some work so that I could listen to on-line town hall meeting with the President.  I think it is amazing to have someone in the White House is curious, intelligent, and willing to use technology to keep in touch with his constituency.  I am actually writing a blog entry while listening to the town hall meeting, and it is my hope that I do not begin transcribing his words into my blog.  Talk about multi-tasking.

I actually have a book and magazine review on knitting today.   I mentioned in a blog entry last week about a new book published by Interweave entitled “Simple Style” , which is a part of its style series and added a link so you get a sample of projects in the book.  I wanted to have a knitting pattern book in my collection where I could have some simple things to knit.  Of course, I want to learn more stitch patterns and other details, but for the moment it’s more about building a wardrobe.  The book contains 19 projects with simple knitting techniques.  The book discusses about how to make your knitting easy and at the end of the book is a “design notebook that cover ways to maximize style while simplifying knitting and finishing techniques”.  I put that in quotes because they are not my words, but of the publisher’s words describing the design notebook section.  There are a couple of skirt patterns that seem simple to knit, and one of the skirt has a very nice cable pattern.  I recommend that you should try knitting a project with a cable pattern because you are love way it turns out.   I suggest you might want to purchase the book online Amazon or Borders which is cheaper than going to the bookstore, and you might want to try Overstock as the delivery charge is only $2.00.  There is always the library as well where you can borrow the book, copy what projects you want to knit, and return it (Hey, I don’t judge).



Now my review of the spring/summer issue of Knit Simple.  For those who are not familiar with the magazine, it’s published four times a year plus a holiday issue.  I love the magazine because it is so informational with book reviews and noteworthy notions, accessories and more sections of new products to try.  The magazine has expanded to include crochet projects with a woman’s mesh cover-up that you can knit or crochet.  There are two articles in the magazine that I found very interesting.  One is article on 101 top knit tips from expert knitters like Nicky Epstein and Ann Rudd.  Another article is about the new technique of hairpin lace.  Here is the definition from Reader’s Digest’s Complete Book of Needlework: 

Hairpin lace is a crochet  technique done using a crochet hook and a hairpin lace loom, which consists of two parallel metal rods held at the top and the bottom by removable bars. Historically, a metal U-shaped hairpin was used, from which the name originates.

Hairpin lace is formed by wrapping yarn around the prongs of the hairpin lace loom to form loops, which are held together by a row of crochet stitched worked in the center, called the spine.  The resulting piece of lace can be worked to any length desired by removing the bottom bar of the hairpin and slipping the loops off the end. The strips produced by this process can be joined together to create an airy and lightweight fabric. Various types of yarns and threads can be used to achieve different color, texture and design effects. Examples of items made with hairpin lace include scarves, shawls, hats, baby blankets, afghans, and clothing. Hairpin lace can also be added to sewn, knitted, and crocheted works as a decorative accent.

I apologize for the technically definition, but thought it may be important to anyone who may be interested in learning a new technique.  I may want to try creating a wrap with the hairpin technique.  Stitch Diva has a tutorial on the hairpin technique, and I think it is a nice website.  Jennifer Hanson is the lead designer and contributing designers include Wendy Benard of Knit and Tonic, and Stephanie Japel of Glampyre Knits.  I think that is all the time I have for today, it’s lunch time and I am meeting my co-workers for a stitching session today.


 I forgot one thing, I knitted this hat back in the fall and there is still the matching scarf that I have failed to knit with winter being over, but here it is:


I know the photo is huge and now we can see the white lint that seem have made a home on my hat.  You are also looking at my work desk with my work mug and part of a mini-knitted sweater that I made from some scraps a few years ago.  It was when I getting in the process of knitting and wanted to see if I could really knit a sweater.  It is definitely lunch time now as I could eat a small calf (but I will not, grilled cheese is the preference today).  Enjoy your day!

A Sewing Book Review, Nice Finds and What’s Wrong with Repurposing

It’s a beatiful day and the only unfortunate part of it is that I suffer from allegries during this time of year.  I am allegry to just about everything such as grass and tree pollen, dust mites, roaches, ragweed, horses, dogs, cats, feathers, and a few others things I do not even remember anymore.  However, let us just say that from the months from March to November can sometimes give me some difficulty.  I also have a weird allery to rice, mustard, and green peas which means I can not eat these particular foods very often, and grains like quinoa, amanath, wheatberries, and barley have become my new staples.

Well that is my little side note before getting to real purpose of what I want to write about today.  A couple of blog entries ago, I mentioned that I purchased a book called “Sewing Green” by Betz White.  The book has 25 projects made with repurposed and organic materials along with tips and resources for earth-friendly stitching.  Betz gives very useful and old-fashioned advice on repurposing materials as way not only to save money, but be kinder to the environment.  If you or I thought about it, our parents and grandparents would constantly tell us about the importance philosophy of waste not want not.  We can refashion a skirt by adding embellishments to give it a second life.  I will tell you a little secret, I do not have a problem with going into a thrift shop and finding a good quality coat or jacket and creating something new from it.  Is that not the point of being crafty and creative?  We do not always have to create something new, but create something different as well.  In addition, I do have scraps of fabric and yarn that can be used for other projects.  There is one project in the book where you can make a auto sunshade from empty drink pouches such Capri Sun or Kool-Aid Juicers.  Actually, I think that is a very good idea if you have children who drink those juices, just save them and make the sunshade.  This way you have less trash and your carseat can remain cool, it’s a two-fold solution.  Betz also recycled pillow cases by making them into either skirts for women, or sundresses for little girls.  If you have an old denim skirt, you can create a shopping bag as people are beginning to bring their own shopping bags to supermarkets.  I do not know if anyone knows this, but Whole Foods Market will deduct 15 cents from your grocery bill if you bring your own bag.  I think Sewing Green is a good reference book to have for those who like or want to recycle and reuse.  I have a question, does anyone reuse, buy secondhand, and recycling clothes?  If so, how do you do it?

I have a couple of nice finds today.  Last week, during my weekly knitting club at work (there are some crafty people at my job and we meet on Thursdays afternoon to knit or crochet for an hour) one of my co-workers went to Rhinbeck, NY a few months back and purchased some yarn from Brooks Farm Yarn.  It’s called Four Play which is 50/50 blend of fine wool and silk (it is so soft), approximately 270 yd/4oz. worsted weight (7-9 US needles).  It is $18.00 a skein, but less than $100, you could knit a nice sweater, or just brought two skiens for a scraf or cowl.  Yesterday, I picked up a copy of Sew News to read the article about sew green ideas.  There were a couple of articles, one on sewing with bamboo, and what does green mean.  Sewing with bamboo gives the basic on how to sew with bamboo with choosing fabrics, benefits of using bamboo, and some resources of where to find bamboo fabrics.  One website I like is The Bamboo Fabric Store which had a selection of knit, knit with loop, and flat woven fabrics, and if you like working with hemp fabric, there is The Hemp Fabric Store with a selection of hemp fabrics.  Another website for bamboo fabrics is the Bamboo Textile Store which as a selection of fabrics as well. 

Here is some information about bamboo and hemp fabrics:

Bamboo fiber is softer than the softest cotton and has a natural sheen to the surface and feels similar to silk or cashmere.  It has a very high soil release value and is so durable that you can throw it in the washer and dryer.  Bamboo is breathable, comfortable and thermal, so it can keep you cool and dry.  It absorbs and evaporates perspiration faster than any other fabric.  Bamboo is anti-bacterial and order free which prevents cultivation of yeasts, molds, and fungus on your clothes.  That remains me, I am allegric to mold.  With people who have allegries like me, it’s hypoallergenic meaning it’s non-irritating to the skin (I have asthma and eczema), and something I did not know bamboo fabric protects you from UV rays (who knew).  In addition, it’s environmental safe as it does not require pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers, and it’s biodegradable.  Bamboo fabric does cost more, but it is a very durable fabric so it lasts for a long time which is a long-term savings.

I am going to end on this note.  Considering that I do have some medical issues, it may behoove me to check out different types of plant based fabrics such as corn, soy, lyocell, and tencel.  I am not fabric or yarn snob, but I think it is a good thing to check out other fabric options and work with them.  I will do some more research on the plant-based fabrics and write them in future blog posts.  This also means that I should stop writing because my entry is getting a little long again, and if you are like me you have more blogs to read with subscribing to goole reader.  Enjoy the day!

A New Book Find

Today, I went to one of my favorite places, Barnes & Noble.  My manager was kind enough to give me a generous gift card to Barnes & Noble and was more than glad to use it.  I did not make to the fabric store, but I might the trip after work.  Well, I pick up this book entitled Sensual Knits by Yahaira Ferreira who owns the on-line boutique Pure Knits.  The books consist of 25 projects by different knitwear designers.  If you are going to purchase the book, it is probably best do it on the website as it cost $12.00 on-line and $18.00 at bookstores (DRATS! I paid the $18.00).

I love a lot of the projects in the book and according to the author an advanced beginner should be able to tackle these projects.  However, you can purchase the book Knitting Patterns for Dummies which I found very helpful, and there is always the Bitch n Stitch groups one can visit to ask more experienced knitters.  I fell in love with balloon sleeve jacket on the cover, and it luxurious and sensual.  The book also has a few dress patterns and a great opportunity to use alpaca, angora, cashmere, merino, or silk wools.

Another find is a magazine called Belle Amoire – Art to Wear published by Stampington & Company.  The magazine prints bi-monthly and I saw the front cover with that elegant and sophisticated apron.  That apron is something you greet your guest at the door and dare not use while cooking.  I suppose aprons are making a serious comeback and there is an article about the woman to creates them for her business.   Well, that is all I have for now.  Take care everybody.