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  • Travel Tips for Crocheters and Knitters from Moogly!

    Travel Tips for Crocheters and Knitters from Moogly!

    by Tamara Kelly of  www.mooglyblog.com

    Summer time is fun time - and that can mean lots of travel! Us yarny folks don't travel without our crochet and knitting - so here are some great tips to make it a little bit easier this year!

    1. If you are flying, check the latest TSA rules, as well as the rules for any country you are flying to!

    Hooks and needles are officially allowed in carry-ons by the TSA, but stick with aluminum, wood or plastic if you can - those tiny steel hooks don't always get a pass! Scissors are another concern. According to the TSA site, "Metal with pointed tips and a blade length greater than four inches measured from the fulcrum are not allowed." So stick to small sewing scissors or children's scissors to be safe. You can read more about what the TSA allows on their site. Of course, the TSA is only in charge in the US - traveling outside the country means researching the rules there too.

    1. Pack up your project and supplies securely!

    Whether it's a long drive with multiple stops, or a flight to an exotic destination (or grandma's house), you don't want to be fumbling through your luggage looking for your needles in this pouch, and your yarn in that other bag... Get organized before you leave the house! Make sure your project bag closes securely, and your notions pouch as well. Don't lose your hook and get stuck being unable to play with your yarn! Then pack it on top of the other items in your carry-on for easy access!

    1. Leave your most precious items at home!

    We all love to treat ourselves on vacation! But that expensive hand-carved hook, great grandma's scissors, and premium luxury fibers should probably stay at home. Even if it's allowed by the TSA, you might end up with someone who isn't playing by the rules. Add in the risk of theft and leaving it in the hotel room, and it can be a gamble! If you can't bear the thought of losing it, leave it behind.

    1. Don't forget the stitch markers!

    Unless you're saving it for that long day at the beach, you're going to be starting, and stopping, and starting that project throughout the trip. Use stitch markers in the active loop of your crochet, or loops of your knitting, to keep your work from coming undone during the journey. And pack a couple extras - they have a way of disappearing!

    1. Don't forget the pattern either!

    You can't always depend on finding free WiFi! If it's an online pattern, you can print it out using PrintFriendly.com, or download it to your phone. If it's from a book (and you don't want to bring the whole book), you can make copies of those pages to travel with - just remember that those copies are for personal use only!

    1. Plan a good travel project!

    Blankets and sweaters are fun to make, but that doesn't mean the passenger next to you wants to wear it. Make sure that your project is something you can keep on your own lap. Motifs, socks, and other small items are great for travel - small and quick, and you can put the finished ones in your packed luggage to lighten the load on your way home!

    1. Prepare your yarn for travel too!

    Lightweight yarns are a great bet for travel - more yardage for the weight and space! It can also be a good idea to pick a yarn that pulls easily from the center, or use a yarn winder or nostepinne to make the skein into a center pull ball. Asking the people 10 rows back in the airplane to pass your yarn back to you under the seats is not a good time. And who knows what's on that floor - ew!

    1. Bring a backup project!

    I've learned this one myself the hard way! Getting to a destination and finding out the one project you brought isn't going to work out is a real bummer. Something simple like a ball of Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton means you can whip up an impromptu market tote to hold your souvenirs or some dishcloths for your host - and save your down time!

    1. If you're traveling with kids, bring an extra little ball of yarn for them!

    Whenever we travel as a family, as soon as I pull out my project the kids want to get involved too! This is a great opportunity to teach them how to finger crochet or finger knit. It keeps them busy during travel times, and it's so fun to craft together! And isn't that what family vacations are all about?

    1. NO DRIVING AND CROCHETING OR KNITTING AT THE SAME TIME!

    We both know yarn is way more distracting that texting. Let's all get home safe this year, okay?

     

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  • A Trend for Your Home: Chunky Calais Afghan!

    What's on our needles? Just ask Margaux, Lion Brand's Marketing Analyst, who's taking a cue from 2016 Knit & Crochet Trends and making a big-stitch afghan!

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    Margaux says:

    I love knitting but, I admit it, I’m a bit lazy and I love when my project works up fast!

    The LB Collection® Wool definitely complied with that requirement -- my blanket was ready in a few hours! It’s chunky, soft, modern and just the best thing to wrap up in on a grey day. It’s a nice decor item too.

    Hear all about this fast-finish afghan in the video below!

    :: Can't see the video above? Click here to watch -- https://youtu.be/y75r9Uy9LFc ::
     

    Grab the Calais Afghan Kit -- now 20% off!

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    Knit Calais Afghan Kit made with LB Collection® Wool

     

     

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  • Planning on Crocheting or Knitting for Mother's Day?

    by Tamara Kelly of Moogly
    Planning on Crocheting or Knitting for Mother's Day?
    Whether you have kids, or you were a kid once (which is, well, everybody!), you probably remember those classroom art projects for Mother's Day. Clay, macaroni, paint, and maybe even a bit of yarn all combined to make something that was full of love, if not raw artistic talent. I have a whole collection of interesting clay items and glued together poems from my own three kids, and as they get older and the handmade presents dwindle, it makes me a little sad to be honest.

    My own mother, who had 6 children, has a very impressive collection on her dresser top of tchotchkes and doodads, drawings and trinkets. The first thing I remember making for her was a small wooden heart, which my grandfather helped me whittle. She loved the heart - or at least pretended to - but was appalled that he let me loose with a pocket knife at only 4 years old! Thankfully, no harm done - and last I looked, she still had the heart.

    Now that I'm a mother myself, I know just how special those handmade items are! And while not every mother is the kind that enjoys crafted gifts, we knitters and crocheters are fortunate enough to have the skills to continue creating for our moms, when we are lucky enough to still have them to craft for.

    Of course, when we were kids, the crafts were more often than not teacher directed - I don't know any kid that would come up with the idea of printing out a slightly sappy poem and gluing it next to their hand print on a piece of construction paper. Now, as adults, it's time to step back and think about what mom would really like and appreciate - not what we just happen to want to crochet or knit for her!

    So before you pick a pattern and yarn, be sure to consider these 3 factors!

    1. Color
    Does your mom like brights? Pastels? Jewel tones? Animal prints? Does she have neutrals around the house but always wear a pop of color? Take into account whether it's a wearable accessory or a home decor item - her favorite color might be green, but if she never wears it, use that emerald yarn to make a blanket or throw pillow.

    2. Style
    Is mom's style sleek and modern, fun and funky, or classic and traditional? More pineapple doily, or colorblocked cowl? Triangle shawl, or rectangle wrap - or bikini top with motorcycle leathers? You know crochet and knit patterns are out there to suit every taste with a little searching!

    3. Climate
    There are gorgeous crocheted and knitted afghans out there to suit any taste and style, but if mom has retired to a tropical climate, they aren't the best pick! If it's always cloudy and rainy in her locale, then a floppy yarn sunhat won't get much use.

    Beyond these factors of course, hobbies and lifestyle can affect your choices as well. If she hates cooking, a set of crocheted dishcloths won't suddenly inspire her to take up baking. If she collects goat figurines, look for a goat basket pattern (I happen to know where you can find one of those...). If she is traveling the country year-round in an RV, make sure any gift is both practical and small enough to fit in relatively cramped quarters!

    So don't just follow the teacher's instructions - put some thought into it! Moms are notoriously difficult to come up with gifts for - especially when they like to answer "Oh nothing, dear" to requests for ideas. And for inspiration, there are literally thousands of free patterns here in the Lion Brand Pattern Finder, as well as elsewhere around the web.

    And if she's a crochet or knitter herself... well, you can always order her some gorgeous luxury yarn from the LB Collection and call it a day!

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