Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Created By Laurie: Featured Shop - WindyCityKnits

Created By Laurie: Featured Shop - WindyCityKnits: Happy Tuesday everyone! Today's featured shop is WindyCityKnits. Read below to learn a little bit about her, see some of her amazing talen...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why Wool?

I think wool has gotten a bad rap. I thought I'd give some information about wool and explain it's great many benefits.

  • Wool is a natural fiber. Each year sheep produce a new fleece, making wool a renewable fiber source.
  • Wool has the ability to regulate body temperature by keeping you warm when you are cold but releasing heat and moisture when you are hot.
  • Wool has a large capacity to absorb moisture vapour next to the skin making it extremely breathable.
  • Wool has a naturally high UV protection.
  • Wool fibers have a natural protective layer which prevents stains from being absorbed.
  • Wool is naturally fire retardant. 
  • Wool fiber can be bent 20,000 times without breaking and still return to it's natural shape.
I hope I've explained the benefits of wool and why it's the best choice for hats, scarves, mittens and gloves. Wool lasts pretty much forever and can be passed down from generation to generation. The only difference in washing these items is that they need to be hand washed unless they are knit with "superwash" wool. Hand washing is easy but a little more time consuming than machine wash. Hand knits should be washed in barely lukewarm water with no agitation, twisting or wringing. A small amount of mild soap should be used and then rinsed in the same lukewarm water temperature. The best way to dry hand knits is to lay them flat on a towel and gently roll up the towel to absorb the excess water. Then lay the knit flat to dry completely.

Wool Winter Hat
Hand Knit Chunky Slouch

See these beautiful hand knits and many more at Windy City Knits

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Little WCK Bio and A New Hat!

I was filling out a questionnaire for an upcoming blog feature about my background and I thought I'd share a little about me and my knitting background.

I've always loved all different crafts, sewing, crochet, jewelry, but I didn't start knitting until about 11 years ago. A friend showed me how to cast on and make a knit stitch and then I taught myself everything else from books and online tutorials. 
I work part time at a retail store and I care for my two daughters the rest of the time. I do my best to work on my Etsy shop while they're in school so I can spend time with them and not have knitting needles in my hands, lol. My inspiration comes from the yarns I use and nature. I love picking up a skein of yarn, studying the texture and color and thinking about seasonal colors around me. Living in Chicago, where in the winter it can drop below zero with the wind chill, I definitely design and create knitted pieces that are functional too. My advice to shops just starting is to be patient and get involved with teams because they are full of other artisans who have so much great advice and are there to help. 

And I have a new hat to show: 
You can see this hat in two Treasuries on Etsy -
                 Foggy Day in London
                 Read My Lips

And a new Headband / Choker: