Agujas

The Art of Knitting

Category: Tools

My Knitting Library

This was an early holiday gift from friends. They know me so well! I had paged through the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook at the bookstore and became engrossed with the back story of all those wonderful fibers. Now I can read it anytime!

Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook

Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook -Sample

Just in time for the holiday break, there is this collection of stories about knitting. If it wasn’t so warm out (you know, Texas) I would kindle a fire in the fireplace and start reading now.

Knitting Yarns

This made me think of other knitting books I’ve collected. There aren’t that many but each one has a purpose – spinning, dyeing, intricate color work, knitting art, and gift ideas.

Knitting Books

I also realized I had a few quilting books from prior attempts. Quilting with Japanese Fabrics has photos and instructions for stunning silk quilts. I picked up Hidden in Plain View during a trip to Gettysburg. I found it fascinating how quilt patterns were used as signs on the Underground Railroad.

Quilting and Sewing Books

What’s in your knitting library? Any favorites you recommend?

We have two winners!!

The response to the “Made in China” giveaway was so amazing that one winner just didn’t seem to be enough. In looking through my China stash, I had enough goodies for two care packages so we have two winners!

Double Giveaway

If you will recall, any of the following actions entered you into the drawing:

  • Follow Agujas blog
  • Reblog this post or blog about this giveaway with a link back to Agujas
  • Follow Agujas on Twitter
  • Like Agujas on Facebook
  • Follow Agujas on Tumblr
  • Like this post
  • Comment on this post

The original drawing included “passive” entries or followers of Agujas on any venue who did not necessarily comment or retweet or reblog, etc.; but also included multiple entries for those who did. Using a handy random number generator from the web, the first care package goes to:

hipoptimist

Hipoptimist has been following Agujas for almost a year and half! Thank you and I hope you enjoy your goodies.

For the second drawing, entries only included those who actively promoted the “Made in China” giveaway either by liking the post, commenting, retweeting, reblogging, liking on Facebook, etc. As in the first drawing, multiple actions earned multiple entries and you were included in both drawings. Using the same random number generator, the second care package goes to:

idiosyncratic eye

Idiosyncratic eye had multiple entries and one of those did the trick! Thank you for being part of the Agujas family.

Please contact me at veronica (@) agujasblog (dot) com and provide me with your preferred mailing address. If you are outside of the United States, I will probably use an overnight carrier and may need your phone number as well. (Don’t worry, I will not share it and will promptly delete the information once you confirm receipt).

This has been so much fun!

A Made in China Giveaway

One of my favorite pastimes in China was shopping in local markets. The chaotic aisles and aggressive salespeople in the touristy markets got old after a while. The local markets were much calmer. They were still busy but mostly filled with locals who needed basic household items. While haggling was still expected, the starting prices were usually much more reasonable.

As I wandered the aisles, I found these bags that I thought would be perfect for knitting projects. There were all sorts of patterns and color schemes. The size is just right for 4-5 balls of yarn and a small project, like a hat or scarf.

China Knitting Bag

I love the drawstring top and inside zippered catchall pocket.

China Knitting Bag Drawstring
China Knitting Bag Interior

It’s easy to clean – just wipe with a damp cloth. It has this nifty side pocket for needles or a pattern.

China Knitting Bag Outside Pocket

Then I came across these tin pencil boxes. Some had hinged lids and others like this one a zippered closure. I thought they were perfect for crochet hooks and other notions.

China Notions Box Zippered

China Notions Box Zippered Samples

My next finds were these pill boxes. Some were clearly for medicines with their standard labels for each day of the week. But others were just for small stuff.

China Pill/Notions Boxes

For a knitter, crocheter or seamstress, they’re the right size for stitch markers, safety pins, buttons, sequins and whatnot.

China Pill/Notions Boxes Yellow

China Pill/Notions Boxes Compartments

Lastly, I was in need of stitch markers and had not seen any in the yarn stores I located, so I had to improvise. Every market had bins full of these little charms. There were lucky cats, teapots, and colorful beads. They were very light and made the cutest stitch markers.

China RePurposed Stitch Markers

China Charms/Stitch Markers

To celebrate the end of an amazing overseas experience, I am having a “Made in China” giveaway. I will send a care package of various items like the ones above (plus some yarn and a few surprises) to one winner selected at random.

Any of the following actions will enter you into the drawing:

  • Follow Agujas blog (if you are already a follower, you are already entered!)
  • Reblog this post or blog about this giveaway with a link back to Agujas
  • Follow Agujas on Twitter
  • Like Agujas on Facebook
  • Follow Agujas on Tumblr
  • Like this post
  • Comment on this post

Multiple entries are okay! I will ship the package to you anywhere in the world. Thank you for reading and good luck!

Blogging – Plan or Serendipity?

Back when I decided to start a blog, I thought of all the knitting things I wanted to learn about and share. I came up with a list of topics and drafted several posts before Agujas went live.

The first few months, I planned my posts using an editorial calendar of sorts. I researched, visited, knitted and wrote. I also became an avid photo-taker. I love the process of discovery, both about my subject matter and my writing. I found that the creative processes of knitting and then of writing rejuvenated me. Even after a long day at the office, I still had surplus energy for these creative pursuits. Now the process has become rather organic. Almost as if the blog has taken on a life of its own.

Just when I fear I’ve run out of things to say, some interesting exhibit or artist comes along and incites my curiosity and a story takes shape. So with a little bit of planning, and a good dose of serendipity, I keep blogging.

2012 Blog Planner

What is your process for blogging? Do you set goals to post once a day, once a week? Do you post around certain themes? Or does it just come to you?

My Knitting Notebook

Some time ago, I started keeping all the yarn labels for my projects so that I could remember which yarn I used. Rather than stuffing them in a drawer, I wanted to organize them somehow. I found this simple journal and started stapling the yarn labels onto the pages.

On the margins, I jotted down the name of the project and the date. At some point, I started including a scrap of yarn with the label so that I could remember what the yarn looked and felt like. The sample on the left page below is what I used to make a pair of baby booties, including the pretty ribbon to tie them together. The sample on the right was a souvenir yarn from Romni Wools in Toronto. It’s patiently waiting for the right project.

The yarns below went into making a thick cabled scarf for my husband, a racy striped garter stitch scarf, a cabled hat and washcloths.

I started this knitting notebook long before it occurred to me to download an app or start a blog. Both of those are good memory joggers. I do keep my Vogue Knitting app updated but there’s nothing like being able to touch and feel the yarn between my fingers. Modern technology still can’t replace the tactile experience.

Do you keep yarn samples? How do you organize them?