Giveaways · Knitting · Knitting Needles · Projects · yarn

GIVEAWAY! Two Handwork Hardware Chatelaines

As knitters we use some essential tools all the time: stitch markers, progress keepers, scissors, crochet hooks for picking up stitches and needles for weaving in ends. Having all of these in one place for a project is really helpful. That’s not usually the case with me – or at least it wasn’t till I was gifted a chatelaine created by Handwork Hardware.

Victorian-era Chatelaine
Victorian-era chatelaine by Flickr/Wilhelm Storm (www.flickr.com/photos/w-storm)

Winning was a surprise. I was their 200th Twitter follower and received a message saying I’d won a chatelaine. I had no idea there was a contest going on, and (I have to be honest here) I had no idea what a chatelaine was.

Turns out it was invented in Victorian times to hold knitting tools and was designed to be suspended from a waistband, belt loop or knitting bag handle. Who knew? Apparently, the ardent knitters and founders of Handwork Hardware did.

Fast forward about 150 years — architects Cornelia Griffen and Judith Van Cleve have designed a modern-day chatelaine. The outer casing is sturdy and tight; there will be no little tools falling out of this chatelaine. And it’s bright red so you can find it among your yarn should you choose not to suspend it from something.

Handwork Hardware Knitting Chatelaine
Handwork Hardware Knitting Chatelaine

It contains all the essential tools I listed above, and it’s become indispensable for my knitting projects.

And now, through the generosity of Handwork Hardware, I have two to gift to two lucky winners, valued at $15 each. Just use the form below to enter (U.S. residents only, over 18 please, no purchase necessary). You’ll also receive occasional news from BellaKnitta by entering. The giveaway starts today, March 18 and ends April 18 at midnight, Eastern time. Good luck!

Books · gift exchanges · Knitting · Knitting Needles · yarn

Getting to Know You Gift Exchange

I really like the idea of community, and gifting, and squishy yarn mail, and surprises. So when I came across a Secret Santa-type gift exchange running on a Facebook knitting group recently, I thought that would be perfect for BellaKnitta.

The gift exchange is hosted on a website called Elfster that lets you join and build a wishlist, then draws a name of someone to whom you send a gift. You won’t be sending gifts to each other–there are no paired drawings–but you will be able to view that person’s wishlist, name, and address.

If there is no wishlist, you can ask your person a question through the Elfster website. There’s also a public wall to post comments and chat with each other as the exchange is going on.

There’s a spending limit of US$25, so everyone receives gifts of equal value. Gifts and wishes can be anything knitting related; yarn, needles, notions, knitting bags, books, magazines. This is going to be lots of fun!

Register for the BellaKnitta Getting to Know You Gift Exchange by April 8; names will be drawn April 9, and the gift exchange is April 15. In other words, you need to send your gift by April 15. This is an international exchange (the average cost of international postage is US$6) and is per the honor system; please don’t sign up if you don’t intend to send a gift to someone. If you change your mind after signing up, you are free to withdraw by logging on to Elfster and changing your reply by April 8.

You can also share this exchange by sharing this blog post, inviting your friends by email, or posting it on Facebook or Twitter. By signing up for the exchange, you will be added to the BellaKnitta email list (if you’re not part of it already). I am so excited to be hosting this gift exchange! If you like it and want more, please let me know. Have fun and happy gifting!

 

Giveaways · Knitting · Projects · yarn

GIVEAWAY! Bernat Maker Home Dec Yarn

AllFreeKnitting.com is giving away two skeins each of Bernat Maker Home Dec in Green Pea and Lilac Fence Variegated, gifted by Yarnspirations. Bernat Maker Home Dec is a bulky weight, cotton blend, tubular yarn, and feels somewhat like a T-shirt fabric. The deadline to enter is March 19, 2017, at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time.

Bernat Maker Home Dec
Bernat Maker Home Dec

Each ball is 8.8 oz (250 g) and 317 yards (290 m) and is available in 16 coordinating colors, including 8 solids and 8 variegated yarns. It’s an easy care yarn that can be machine washed and dried at low temperature, and is recommended for home decor projects such as blankets, pillows, and bathroom items.

To enter, click here and enter your information. Winners will be reached by email.

 

Charity Knitting · Knitting · Knitting Needles · Projects · yarn

If You Want Happy Feet, Wear Handknit Socks

I finished my first pair of socks last week. And now I can’t stop thinking about them. That little pair of rather plain, workaday tube socks (beginner pattern from a library class) made out of Patons Kroy Grey Marl and the tiniest Knitter’s Pride circulars I’ve ever seen, has become a turning point in my knitting life.

They’re part of the reason I haven’t posted to BellaKnitta in almost a month (plus a huge freelance editing job that kept me busy). It was a simple enough pattern: Knit 8 rows of K2, P2 rib, then knit in whatever pattern desired or in stockinette to the toe, then decrease on double pointed needles. (Not even a heel to deal with – yet – that’s the next class.)

Starting the socks
Starting the socks

I had very rarely used dpns, maybe once, so getting my hands and fingers positioned correctly to not be poked every few stitches took some time. But what a sense of mastery after I’d done it. I quickly finished the second sock, and wore them with the pants I had knitted them to match.

They were soft, so soft, and cushiony; Dr. Scholl’s® has nothing on them. I walked around work that day on luxurious gray cottony clouds. It was the first time I had ever worn handknit socks and it was heavenly. I can’t remember wearing much else that felt as good as wearing those handmade socks.

They were also made out of love, as we know all knitting is, and in the days since I’ve come to realize perhaps that’s why they feel so good. Feet have many nerve endings and if you believe in reflexology, nerves in the foot connect with every major organ and region of the body. When you wear a handmade sock you’re sending that love all over you, and when you give a pair to someone, they feel the love you’ve knitted, too.

Because there are no accidents in this world, while I was having my sock-knitting experience I received a bulletin from my house of worship asking for donations of new packaged men’s underwear for its Midnight Run participation for the month of March. Midnight Run is an organization that gives supplies during the evening to the homeless in the metropolitan New York area. I asked if I could donate new handknit socks, packaged up, and the answer was an enthusiastic yes. I told the other knitters in my prayer shawl ministry and I think a few of us are planning on doing it now.

Finished sock
Finished sock

I’d like to think that when the men wear our handknit socks they’ll feel some of the love we’ve knitted in. I’d like to think it will give them a feeling that someone loves them in a harsh world — but if all the socks do is keep their feet warm and dry and happy, that will be enough.

Sock-Knitting for Charity Groups

Wool-Aid and Ravelry Wool-aid Group

Hearts for Warmth and Ravelry Hearts for Warmth Group

Ravelry For the Children of Pine Ridge Group – Knitting for the Ogala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

Walking with Orphans and Ravelry Walking with Orphans Group