The Knook Beginner Set

knook

Have you been interested in learning to knit but put off by the fear of pesky dropped stitches? The Knook combines the best of both knitting and crocheting into one fun and easy-to-learn craft. There’s no need to worry about your work unraveling if a stitch falls and because this method allows you to knit with a crochet hook, you get the added benefit of using a tool you’re already comfortable with !

kids knook

This beginner’s set includes everything you need to learn to knit using a trusty hook. In the kit, you’ll get 3 knooks, 4 super simple patterns, and a helpful how-to book. Grab the Knook Beginner Set for Kids for a great way to craft together as a family.

Go Red for Women

Since February is American Heart Month, the American Heart Association is encouraging everyone to “Go Red for Women.” A fun and easy way to participate is by wearing red to show your support for women’s heart health awareness and research. To help you create your very own “go red” ensemble, we’ve gathered up a few beautiful, ruby-hued projects from Love of Knitting and Love of Crochet.

red holly berryThe Holly Berry Cowl from the Winter 2013 Issue of Love of Crochet is a quick and easy accessory that will brighten up any outfit. The gorgeous red tones in this yarn will definitely draw attention to this lovely cowl, providing a great way to spark up a conversation about American Heart Month.

red cranberry delightThe Cranberry Delight Shawl is another stylish way to show your support for heart health awareness this month. Download this free crochet pattern directly from the Love of Crochet website, and stitch up this beautiful shawl today.

red crimson cashmereThe Crimson Cashmere Cowl and Mitt Set from the Winter 2013 Issue of Love of Knitting is a fabulous red project you can make in a flash. In fact, two skeins of this heavenly soft yarn make one cowl and two pairs of mitts, so you can make a pair for a friend as well.

red easy cranberry shawlFrom the same issue, the Easy Cranberry Shawl is a simple accessory knit mostly in garter stitch. The stunning cables in the center are sure to turn heads, giving you the perfect opportunity to spread the word about women’s heart health awareness.

Of course, you can turn any project into a “Go Red for Women” project by simply choosing a rich, red yarn. We’d love to see pictures of you sporting red handmade garments and accessories in support of American Heart Month, so feel free to share them here on our blog or on our Facebook page! Happy crafting, and don’t forget to go red!

Organize your stash – continued

In the Spring 2014 Issue of Love of Knitting, we featured some fantastic ideas for organizing your yarn stash. In fact, we found so many convenient and beautiful systems for storing your yarn, we couldn’t fit all of them in the magazine! We know that some of you are gearing up for spring cleaning, so here are a few more ideas to inspire you as you tackle your stash.five tier storage organizerIf floor space in your craft room is limited, a hanging organizer would be ideal. The Five Tier Storage Organizer has plenty of space for you to store your favorite fibers. Best of all, the mesh fabric allows you to see your yarn so you always know what you have on hand (and what you need to pick up).

Diamond Cubes Display1Additionally, Diamond Cubes are a beautiful storage solution that can be easily mounted on your wall to save space. These beautiful cubes can be arranged in countless ways to suit your needs.

project bagsThese clear project bags come in a variety of sizes to fit any of your works-in-progress. Remember, you can also create your own project kits using these bags as well.

Yarn tainerIt’s no secret that we love clear storage systems that allow us to see our yarn even when we’re not using it. After all, we want to be able to enjoy it as much as possible! These Yarn Tainers come in several sizes, and the handles allow them to double as transport containers too.

What are your favorite yarn storage ideas? We’d love to hear how you organize your stash, so stop by our Facebook page to let us in on your storage secrets!

A heart-healthy Valentine’s dessert

hearts and cookies

We love sweets almost as much as we love knitting and crocheting, so, in honor of Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, we’d like to share a heart-healthy dessert recipe you can make tonight.

cupcakeBy simply using egg whites instead of whole eggs and replacing cream cheese with cottage cheese, you can whip up a batch of these healthy and delicious Devil’s Food Cupcakes. Just be careful not to spill the yummy sauce on your project!

If you want to display your delectable desserts beautifully, the Stars and Shells Place Mats (Love of Crochet, Summer 2013) or Candlelit Evening candle holders(Love of Knitting, Special Occasions Issue, 2013) would certainly bring some romance to your table setting.

What are your favorite heart-healthy desserts?

American Heart Month and the health benefits of crafting

February is American Heart Month, so we’re here to give you kudos for regularly participating in a heart healthy activity: crafting! We know that crafting is a wonderful way to reduce stress, and the calming effect it provides improves our heart health as well. Carolyn Serviss, a stamping artist and blogger, wrote an inspiring post about the health benefits of crafting. In her article she says, “Passion for a craft keeps you interested, while the rhythmic and repetitive nature confers the mind-body benefit. Knitting, sewing, crocheting, woodworking and other rhythmic crafts are great choices.”

heart yarn

She also explains the importance of making time for your crafty hobbies. She quotes Dr. Robert Reiner, a psychologist who studied the health benefits of leisure activities, saying, “View your craft as if it were a medication that you need to take every day for optimal benefit. If you stop taking the drug or doing the craft, you’ll lose the benefit.”

With that in mind, we challenge you to take some time to knit or crochet every day for the rest of February (if you don’t already), and we hope this helps you form a habit that  continues beyond American Heart Month. If anyone tries to distract you from this goal, just tell them you’re following doctor’s orders!

Gift ideas for your favorite fellow crafters

If you’re searching for the perfect gift for a fellow crafter who seems to have everything, check out the gift ideas from our Crochet and Knit Shop. All the products here are under $20, so you can get one for a friend and one for yourself as well!

cross stitch phone case

The Cross Stitch Phone Case is sure to please the creative, tech-savvy people in your life. Cross stitch an original design or one of the 4 charted designs included, and have fun showing off your handiwork wherever you go.

sweater stoneThe Sweater Stone will keep your handmade and store-bought garments looking like new. Don’t let pilling ruin your favorite garments! Give them new life with this essential product.

tempo tapeTempo Tape allows you to highlight and write notes on your pattern, but the tape comes off easily without leaving a residue. A great gift for a crafter or a studious college student, this tape is sure to make life a bit easier.

Tape measure necklace

The Tape Measure Charm Necklace lets you keep an essential crafting tool close to your heart. Several other styles are available, so check out the assortment of dainty charms in our Crochet and Knit Shop.

lavisheaThe Lavishea Lotion Bar comes in an assortment of tempting scents, and it is a convenient way to keep your hands moisturized without leaving a greasy residue. Our hands are always busy knitting or crocheting, so we want to treat them right!

These are just a few of the wonderful gift ideas from our Crochet and Knit Shop. Click over today and get a special gift for a friend just to show you care.

Be Mine, Valentine!

valentinebag_IMG_0338_medHere is a quick and easy crocheted project to carry (and receive) all those great little Valentine cards and candies! My daughter has already claimed it for her Valentine’s party at school! It’s also a great project to help you learn bobbles if you’ve never done them before. The bobbles I used are called 3-stitch bobbles, and the instructions came from our Beginner’s Guide in the Love of Crochet Spring 2013 Issue.

Download the FREE Valentine Bag pattern here!

If you’re in a rush and need a really cute, but really easy crocheted top for your Valentine’s dinner date, take a look at the Blackberry Lace top from Love of Crochet’s Weekend Crochet Issue. It would be super cute over just jeans, or you could spice it up with a black tank and black pencil skirt! Don’t forget your sassy heels! Ooooooh!

If you just want to try out some more bobbles, check out the Simple and Stylish Sweater from Love of Crochet’s Holiday 2013 Issue for a really beautiful sweater that will go with just about everything.

If you’re a knitter and need some easy projects to update your Valentine look, wrap yourself in the beautiful Easy Cranberry Shawl from our Winter 2013 Issue of Love of Knitting, or the Lacy Shrug from Love of Knitting’s Special Occasions 2013 Issue.