Jen’s Knit Nook: March 2014

Welcome back to my monthly Knit Nook update where I share a look at my completed knitting projects from the last month, any yarn hauls and new projects on the horizon, as well as the contents of this month’s KnitCrate (a knitting monthly subscription service).

March Completed Projects

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I wanted to focus on learning how to knit Hexipuffs for my BeeKeeper’s Quilt this month.  Hexipuffs are exactly what they sound like: small hexagons stuffed with polyfil that will eventually be sewn together to make the completed quilt.  I first learned of the Beekeeper’s Quilt through KnitCrate where you can purchase the pattern in a bundle along with the supplies you need to get started, including the needles, crochet hook, polyfil, and a bunch of mini skeins as well as access to an instructional video where KnitCrate founder Andrea walks you through how to knit a hexipuff.  I can’t tell you how helpful this video was to me in the beginning stages of the learning process!  I knit eight hexipuffs this month in total, which may not seems like that many considering you need several hundred to make a decent sized quilt.  For the first half dozen hexipuffs it took me upwards of two hours to knit each one although now as I am getting the hang of it, my total hexipuff time is down to an hour or so.  I’ve never used DPNs or such small needles or done a crochet bindoff or knit in the round before and the combination of all of those things lends to a much longer knitting time as I pick up these new techniques.  It’s truly been a great learning project for me, as are most projects right now since I’m still a beginner knitter.  I also love this project because it is so very portable, which is nice for someone like me who travels fairly often.  I keep all of my supplies in a small cosmetic case (that actually came in a set of three) from the Orla Kiely for Target Cosmetic Bag Collection (now available in new prints!), including a mini version of the pattern I created in Photoshop and then laminated.  This is the perfect project for the airplane in my opinion, because it is so small in size and each hexipuff can be completed in a relatively short amount of time.  I also think that it’s super cool to be knitting an actual quilt.  I have a feeling this project will end up taking me at least a year or two as I plan on knitting many other things at the same time.  I am using a Large Pastel Balcolore Tub from The Container Store to house my completed hexipuffs.  I keep this on the floor right next to the desk in my office to serve as a friendly reminder to keep working on filling up the bin.

If you’re interested in purchasing the Beekeeper’s Quilt package or other items from KnitCrate you can receive 10% off your first KnitCrate purchase (not including monthly or bi monthly subscriptions) by clicking here!

I find that I’ve really only been making time to knit on the weekends lately and I don’t knit every single weekend at that, which is why I don’t have a lot of finished projects to share.  I am trying to make a practice of knitting some more during the week before bedtime as I work on getting in bed earlier.  I’m hoping to have something fun completed to share with you next month!

Yarn & Supplies Haul

I was very good and did not buy any yarn this month since I was not working on a specific project that called for it.  It is possible, however, that the only reason I didn’t buy anything was because I did not cross paths with any yarn shops this month.  I wonder if I could have resisted had I been in the presence of skeins upon skeins of delicious yarn.  I think not.  I will have to work on this so that in the future I can enjoy perusing yarn without purchasing unnecessary amounts of it.  Having some restraint when it comes to yarn is a good thing I think, at least in my case!

March 2014 KnitCrate

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I absolutely love KnitCrate, which is a monthly (or bi-monthly if that seems like a bit too much yarn coming at you) subscription service geared towards knitters.  There are eight different subscription options, which you can see here if you’re interested.  I subscribe to the Beginner’s KnitCrate, which includes a pattern suitable to that level, enough yarn to complete that project, a couple of bonus items (ranging from soothing to sweet to fun), and promo codes for knitting related products.  It’s basically the most awesome care package a knitter could ever dream of!

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What’s in my March KnitCrate?

✻ SilverSpun 3 Patterns by Feel Good Yarn Company – Each KnitCrater recieves a special code to use at KnitCrate for a free download of the following three patterns: 1) iMitt 2.0 Texting Mitten, 2) It’s A Wrap – Knot! Headband, and 3) Summer Fun Sunhat.  When I first opened the package I thought you could just chose one pattern, but the code is actually good for all three, which is a nice bonus!

SilverSpun Yarn – I recieved two hanks of this cotton yarn that is spun with real silver.  Apparently, silver has many health benefits as it “kills a number of bacteria, including those that cause odor, has excellent thermal properties, is nontoxic and perfect for those suffering from diabetes, arthritis and sensitive skin.”  It’s also conductive meaning you can knit tech-friendly gloves and mittens with it.  I think I might make the sunhat, because the idea of a hand knit sunhat is just too much fun!

Torie & Howard Organic Hard Candy – The sweet extra this month is a tin of hard candies by Torie & Howard, which I have tried in the past.  These candies are delicious!  I received the pomegranate & nectarine flavor, which is delightful.  It’s not too sweet with just a hint of tartness and is the perfect low-cal answer to a sugar craving.  These candies are organic and made with real ingredients.  They even use fruits and veggies to dye the candies to avoid harmful chemicals.  I love how they come individually wrapped in the cute tin.

Ruler/Needle Gauges from Image Stitchery – The fun extra this month is a set of two ruler/needle gauges complete with the KnitCrate logo.  The smaller of the two is perfect for on the go and includes a handy clip.  I was delighted to see these in the KnitCrate as I do not own a needle gauge and now I have two!

✻ Promo codes also included for Andrea Rangel patterns, SilverSpun yarn & kits, and Rowan kits.

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I also subscribe to the 5 Mini Add-Ons package available through KnitCrate.  Each month I  receive five 30-yard mini hanks in hand painted/indie dyed yarns.  It’s a nice way to try out a variety of  hand-dyed yarns from different providers.  I use the mini hanks I receive through this subscription for the Beekeeper’s Quilt.   This month’s selections include beautiful spring colors from Hazel Knits.  This artisan sock hand painted fingering yarn is super soft thanks to the 90% superwash merino wool / 10% nylon blend.  I love the cheery colors, which will brighten up my quilt.

Check out my coordinating Knit Nook video below for a closer look at my completed project, yarn haul, and KnitCrate goodies:

I am happy to announce that KnitCrate has very generously offered a March 2014 Beginner’s KnitCrate as a prize for one of you!  The March 2014 KnitCrate Giveaway will run until Tuesday, April  8, 2014 at 6 PM CT.  The giveaway is open internationally.  All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter. You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below  (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways).   I’ll announce the winner on THIS blog post and KnitCrate will contact them directly through email.  Good luck!

*** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED ***

Congrats to Angie W. on being selected as the winner of the February 2014 Knit Crate Giveaway!

The Poll Results for *Which knitting publication do you read most frequently?* out of 620 entries:

None (326) 53%
Other (112) 18%
Knit Simple (81) 13%
Interweave (42) 7%
Vogue Knitting International (34) 5%
Knitsy (25) 4%

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties.  If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.

Don’t forget to check out my group on Ravelry called Bliss Knits so we share current projects, knitting stories, and tips and tricks with each other! :)

Happy Knitting!

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* Some of the products mentioned are part of the KnitCrate monthly subscription program, for which I pay for my own membership.  I was gifted the Beekeeper’s Quilt pattern.  The KnitCrate discount link I provide is a referral link, which means if you make a purchase using that link, I get credit towards future KnitCrate purchases.  KnitCrate is generously providing the giveaway prize.  Post contains affiliate links.  This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

29 comments

29 thoughts on “Jen’s Knit Nook: March 2014”

  1. Thank you, Jenn!!!
    I am patiently waiting for my “newbie” Knitcrate! I have been afraid to learn to knit but your posts have given me the courage to jump in and learn a new skill.

    Thanks again,
    Anna. 🙂

  2. I am going to finish the sweater that I started in January (i must confess, feburary i didnt do any), started again last month and now the front and back is finished, left are sleeves, this way it will be all ready for the next winter 😉

  3. Thanks for sharing some more information about the Beekeeper’s Quilt! Looks very interesting and I may just have to check it out! I just finished my very first sweater at the end of March-actually got to wear it a couple of days too since winter decided to flare back up for a few days! I’ve ordered 2 kits-1 from Craftsy and 1 from Lion Brand Yarn. I’m doing the cabling class through Craftsy and will make a scarf, a cowl, and a hat. And, the Lion Brand Yarn Knit A Long is for a shawl which looks gorgeous! Very excited to start those projects soon! 🙂

  4. Hi Jenn-
    I am knitting the Beekeepers Quilt too. If you want to try a new technique for this project… try the magic loop. The magic loop is where you knit with one needle with a long cord and you can knit in the round. I hate knitting with double point needles. The magic loop is much faster httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mqIqRdJc68

    here is the blog post i did when i start this project http://ohshoot.typepad.com/oh-shoot/2013/01/the-beekeepers-quilt-.html

  5. So nice to see you here again, I hope you are fine. I recently started knitting – I make very simple knitting projects : I knit dish cloths in cute colors.

  6. Hi Jen, I love watching your Knjit Crate videos. I subscribed and got my first Crate last month. I promised myself that I wouldn’t start this months project until I finished last months. The yarn this month is just gorgeous and I can’t wait to start knitting with it. 🙂

  7. Hi Jen!!!! Just wanted to let you know the artist Leonid something. .. is on Hautelook! !!!!! Saw it and thought of you! Hope you are having a fantastic week!! ♡Sarah

  8. I am fairly new to KnitCrate also and I love them so far! I signed up for the Indie and Intermediate kits each month! I love watching your posts, I get so excited right along with you! Keep up the awesome posts and thank you for sharing!

  9. Jen, would you recommend the beekeepers quilt kit project for a complete newbie? The quilt really appeals to me more than anything else, but not sure if it’s a good place to start, or if the newbie kit would be better? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Well…it is a little bit tricky to get the hang of in the beginning with the super small needles and working with three instead of two. I’d personally recommend getting a hag of the knitting basics first.

  10. I just can’t get the hang of knitting! I wish there was a similar service for crocheting – I would be all over that!!

  11. I just found your great video review and heard about KnitCrate. I think you looked at needle sizers on this review (or maybe it was a previous one). I always heard that the needle should go all the way through the hole, and not have any wiggle room, I could be mistaken. I’m off to check out your Rav group now. Happy knitting!

  12. I hope I win. Being profoundly hearing impaired, I do not understand the dialogue on you tube.. Let me know if I am entered. I do hope to make the bee keepers quilt

  13. I know you can not show us with the actual pattern, but could you do some kind of tutorial where you show us how to make that pattern card by any chance.

  14. Hi Jen, Glad to see you are knitting. It is such an enjoyable and relaxing hobby. Where do you get the little plastic bags and decorated clip you use on the Balacor Tub? That is a handy way of storing knitting supplies. When I travel, I put my knitting things in the Orla Kiely weekender. This travel bags works just great for toting my project around the country. When I block my projects, I use a fold out board that has a grid on it and anchor my project with fan pins. I will take a picture of it tonight and send it to you.

    Best,

    Christine

    1. I usually just save them when they come with things, but I know you can buy packages of them at Michael’s. You can find decorated binder clips at office supply stores. I’d love to see your photos! 🙂

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