Pattern & Chart Reading Tip

I admit I hate wearing reading glasses, and I can never find them when I need them. My sister shared a great idea with me that I’d like to pass on to you.

Most of us have smartphones or tablets with a camera. Use the camera to take a photo of your pattern or chart and then enlarge it on your device so you can easily read the pattern or chart. You may need to take photos of each section of the pattern but it’s well worth the extra time it takes to do so. Having the pattern and chart portable is very handy, too!

I’ve also found that using my camera while grocery shopping helps with reading those ever shrinking labels! 🙂


Lace Knitting Tip

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

For years lace knitting has been my nemesis. I managed to tackle cables quickly when I first started knitting so it was a complete surprise that lace stumped me so easily.

The light bulb recently went off as to why it was hard for me — the yarn was so fine I couldn’t see my stitches to read them! Once I realized that was the issue I bumped up the weight from fingering to DK and guess what? I can knit lace!  When I have the repeats memorized using the DK weight I can start on my project in a fingering weight.

This swatch is made with Cascade Yarns Cherub DK in color 34.

I used my Knit Picks knitting needles that my sweet hubby gave me for Christmas.

The lace pattern I made my swatch with is the Double Eyelet Rib, which is a multiple of 7 stitches plus 2.

Row 1 (RS): P2, * k5, p2; repeat from * to end.

Row 2: K2, * p5, k2; repeat from * to end.

Row 3: P2, * k2tog, yo, k1, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, p2; repeat from * to end.

Row 4: Repeat Row 2.

Repeat Rows 1-4 for pattern.

If you struggle with lace knitting too, try going up a size in yarn. It just might work for you, as well!


Masika Beaded Scarf

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.

Masika is by far one of my favorite designs to date. Why? Because of all the lovely beads! I also love it because I learned something about myself while writing the beading article and designing the project. I LOVE light yarn with dark beads best. Who knew?

While swatching and comparing stitches I found, for me at least, beads pop more if the background is light and the beads are a complimentary darker color.  I also discovered that beads show more if I can add them during a chain stitch versus any other stitch, such as a single or double crochet.  Any stitch other than a chain stitch tends to bury the bead making them much harder to see.

I finally have the lamps I need to do the tutorial photos. As soon as I get that set up I am looking forward to sharing some how-to tips with you!

In the meantime, you might want to hop on over to Fire Mountian Gems and check out their beads. Their color selection is outstanding! Happy shopping! Yes, I’m an enabler when it comes to pretty things 🙂

Amsterdam Tulips!

Every year, for the last several years, my oldest son has gone on or led mission trips to Uganda. It’s the highlight of his year – he loves Jesus and he loves serving others. As a mom, it amazes me that my sons have grown into such loving, giving young men.

When you are in the daily grind of raising kids you don’t realize how much of an impact you really have on them. It’s the small things that they pick up on – good or bad. Raising them seems to take forever and yet is over in the blink of an eye. It’s the ultimate paradox.

These beautiful tulips were a sweet gift my oldest picked up for us during a layover on his last Uganda mission trip. They will forever remind me that I am loved and thought of even when we don’t get to see each other as often as I might like.  I’m so thankful mine have grown into such thoughtful young men.

Those sweet little faces will soon grow into wonderful young adults. It can be hard, messy, scary and exhausting, no doubt about it. Never give up – these tulips are a lovely reminder that what you plant will grow and bloom.

 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6


Inspiration Wednesday!

Vivid color is always my biggest inspiration.  I will be that colorful little old lady who wears whatever she wants 🙂 much to the embarrassment of my kids. It’s already starting to happen and I really don’t see it toning down anytime soon!

Isn’t this Tencel lovely? It’s a bold and beautiful one of kind hand painted yarn. The fiber artist is from the Eugene Textile Center. She had so many gorgeous choices – it was hard to pick just one! With 550 yards of silky softness, I’m going to have to come up with a design that really shows off the gentle color changes. The yardage is perfect for a shawlette or a pretty infinity scarf.

When working with a variegated yarn Ive found that light and lacy stitches work best. The color changes seem to be more natural and blend better. I know planned pooling is really hot right now but I love the simple beauty of subtle color changes, too!

For now, I am swatching with this beauty – hopefully, I’ll have a new self-published pattern using it soon!


Yarn Fest!

I admit  I am a diehard yarn market, fiber festival junkie! I have been dragging my sweet hubby to them all over the country for years. Yarn Fest just happens to be up the road from my home every year so, of course, we have to go!

I love all the colorful possibilities! If you spin there are always beautiful rovings to choose from. Some are already dyed and ready to go, while others are freshly sheared fleeces that need carding and cleaning before beginning.

Affordable silk in fingering weight is always a huge temptation!

I stumbled across these adorable tooth fairy pillows. How sweet are they?

Free punch embroidery classes were even offered in one booth! Who could resist making such a stunning wall hanging?

This card stating his yarn bowls at Linkin Flames are gluten free made me literally laugh out loud. (P.S. I am Celiac so if this offends you please lighten up – we should be able to see the humor in life.)

I couldn’t resist this stunning shawl! I’m not normally a fan of green but this sure caught my eye.

My photo doesn’t do justice to this gorgeous felted shawl. The colors were showstopping!

I can’t wait for Estes Wool Market coming up in June next! There’s so much inspiration and the colors are mindblowing! If you have a chance to visit a local yarn market near you, don’t let the opportunity pass you by!