Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Reviews-Day: How Lo-Lo Can You Go?

I don't know about you, readers, but this cold, dry, winter air really takes its toll on my hands. Combine that with the constant handwashing and sanitizing that I do at work, and it's lucky that they don't just quit on me! Fortunately, this year, I have a new secret weapon.

Enter: Lo-Lo
 Back in the summer time, I finally indulged my curiosity and ordered a Lo-Lo Love Sampler Pack from the Bar Maids. I chose five scents: Peppermint Peggy, Pink Grapefruit, Toasted Coconut (my favorite!), Vanilla Cake, and Coco Mango. They arrived at my door super quickly, and it was love at first sight... smell... feel...
Fast-forward to the winter months: it's been the coldest January that PA has seen in a few years, and my hands are doing better than ever, thanks to Lo-Lo! My hands are moisturized without being slimy, waxy, or sticky. I can choose a light, happy fragrance to suit my mood. Unlike the "moisturizers" I've gotten at big-box stores or the mall, they're made from natural ingredients and not alcohol-based, so they don't leave my hands constantly needing more product. The little samplers are so cute and can go with me anywhere and everywhere: in my desk at work, in my purse, in the car... I'm never without Lo-Lo now. And the good news is: you don't have to be without Lo-Lo either!
The Bar Maids have kindly offered to share the Lo-Lo love by providing a coupon code to one of my lucky readers for a free Lo-Lo Love Sampler Pack! They'll even cover the shipping up to $1.80, because they are so fabulous. Want to get in on the action? Simple. Just leave a comment on this post and tell me which of the amazing scents you'd like to try! I'll draw the winner next Tuesday, February 5th.
What are you waiting for? Go get your Lo-Lo on!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mother Bear Monday

Usually on Mondays, I post updates about what I'm making for my Mom. For the past year, I have been working on pieces for her Knitivity. So far in 2013, I'm taking a bit of a hiatus from that (sorry Mom) and working on some other projects.
One of these other endeavors is knitting for the Mother Bear Project. In a nutshell, knitters and crocheters make stuffed bears that are distributed to children who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Recently, I completed my second bear, and I hope to contribute many more. Here she is, getting ready for the first leg of her long journey:

Be sure to check out the blog tomorrow for a new Tuesday Reviews-Day segment and another giveaway!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We-Have-A-Winner Wednesday!

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest for the copy of Hobbit Knits by Josie Mercier!
I ran the random number generator this morning, and it chose #3, which was Ginger! She will receive a copy of the pattern collection via Ravelry. Congratulations, Ginger!
I'm hoping to do many more reviews and giveaways in the near future, so keep checking back here regularly. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Time is Running Out!

Just a reminder that today is your last chance to enter the giveaway for the copy of Hobbit Knits by Josie Mercier! Please comment on last Tuesday's entry before midnight ET to be entered. The winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Reviews-Day! Plus, A Giveaway!

I'm so thrilled to have the opportunity to review a copy of Hobbit Knits by Josie Mercier! I received a review copy of this pattern collection from the designer, and I'm excited to share my impressions with you.

The pattern collection contains a total of five patterns: the Pony Rides in May Sunshine Fingerless Mitts, Elvish Singing Shawlette, Pocketses Vest, Mirkwood Satchel, and the Beorn Cabled Cardigan. The designer provides a nice description with each pattern of how it relates to the book The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein, for which the collection is named.

The instructions for all of the projects are very thorough (the collection as a whole totals 36 pages), and the designer includes helpful notes such as the following: "Note: for those who wish to print off only the pattern essentials, this information is on pages 4, 5and 6 of the pattern." The layout is clean and simple, and does not overwhelm the eye. For the most part, the yarns used in the pattern should be familiar and readily available to most knitters, however, I would have liked if the weight of each yarn were included to make substitution easier for those who don't have access to the yarns used, or who wish to work from their stashes.

 The Pony Rides in May Sunshine Fingerless Mitts come in three sizes and include both written and charted instructions.

The Elvish Singing Shawlette includes both charted and written instructions. It is worked in fingering weight yarn.

The Pocketses Vest is my personal favorite of the five patterns in this collection. It comes in six sizes ranging from a 29.5" bust up to a 49" bust. It includes a schematic, as well as the written instructions. The designer takes care to warn the knitter when the ever-dreaded "at the same time" is coming, by noting that at the beginning of the section.

The Mirkwood Satchel is another one of my favorites. It includes both charted and written instructions for the cable section. I love the cabled strap! This bag features a zipper closure, but does not provide much detail as to the installation of the zipper. If the knitter, like me, lacks experience in inserting zippers, s/he will likely need to consult a friend, forum, or video tutorial for help with this step.

Finally, we come to the Beorn Cabled Cardigan, an absolute masterpiece in cables. This cardigan, once again, includes both written and charted instructions, as well as a schematic. It is written for four sizes ranging from a 33" to a 48" bust, and is designed to be worn with a few inches of positive ease. I do wish that it came in a slightly larger range of sizes, (i.e. more sizes within the established range), because my measurement falls in between sizes. With the amount of intricate cabling, however, it is certainly understandable that the math could prohibit that.

Overall, I really like all of the patterns in this collection, and I'm looking forward to making a few of them, especially the Pocketses Vest. I really admire how Josie Mercier was able to interpret the elements of the book into wearable fashions that don't look like costumes.

If you like the patterns as much as I do, they are available for purchase through Josie's Ravelry Store, both as a collection and individually. You can also enter to win a copy of the entire collection right here on the blog! Just leave a comment about which pattern from the collection is your favorite, and you'll be entered to win. The drawing will take place next Tuesday, 1/15/13. Don't forget to include your email address or Ravelry ID so that I can contact you if you're the winner!

Monday, January 7, 2013

MOM Monday

Here's a quick update: I finally have a picture of the Baby Jesus that I made for my mom's Knitivity set!

Sleep in Heavenly Peace
She was really thrilled with it! Now I have to decide what to make next...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Blog!

Happy 2013 Everyone!

If you're reading this, it means that you successfully found my new blog, hooray! Fortunately, I was able to make a fairly seamless transition to the new URL and all of my archived posts should be available! Should you find any hiccups or bugs, please let me know!

I'm hoping to get back on a semi-regular posting schedule soon, and I have an exciting review/giveaway coming up soon, so stay tuned!