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If you have a lot of friends on Facebook, your News Feed can be an array of status updates, links and photos. 

So you’re a 7 Yaks Design fan, but Facebook won’t let you stay up to the minute on all that’s happening?

I feel your pain, instead of letting Facebook determine which friends and pages you’d most like to see first, now you can choose the pages and friends to stay at the top of your News Feed.

Hooray!

Facebook announced that the News Feed has been updated to show you content that matters to you the most by allowing users to prioritize which friends and pages are featured in their News Feed.

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Here’s how to get what you want to see on Facebook:

Step 1: From the Facebook app on your smart phone, tap the More button located in the corner (it looks like 3 lines). Then, scroll to the bottom of the resulting menu and select News Feed Preferences near the bottom of the list.

From your desktop Facebook, go to your settings menu and then choose News Feed Preferences.  If you’re on the 7 Yaks Design Facebook Page, it’s even easier.  There’s a drop down menu if you mouse over the ‘Liked’ button.  Then choose ‘See First’!

Step 2: On your smart phone, tap Prioritize who to see first at the top of the resulting page and choose whose posts you don’t want to miss, whether pages or friends. Tap Done in the upper-left corner when finished to implement the changes.

It’s even easier on the desktop, just click on the photo of the page or person!

This is a great pattern for a self striping yarn and using up your stash!

hat

This hat is made with 1 skein of Noro Kureyon or Taiyo yarn with novelty yarns added for pizzazz.  This is a great pattern for using bits in your yarn stash if you’re not using Noro or another self-striping yarn as the base yarn.

Materials:
Size US 7 needles
Crochet hook

Directions:
Cast on 25 (child size) 40 (adult size) stitches with size 7 needles.

Row 1 Knit 2 stitches together, knit to end, knit twice into the last stitch
Row 2 Purl
Row 3 Knit 2 stitches together, knit to end, knit twice into the last stitch
Row 4 Purl
Row 5 Knit 2 stitches together, knit to end, knit twice into the last stitch
If you wish to use novelty yarns, add to rows 6 – 12 of each section.
Row 6 Purl
Row 7 Purl 2 stitches together, purl to end, purl twice into the last stitch
Row 8 Knit
Row 9 Purl 2 stitches together, purl to end, purl twice into the last stitch
Row 10 Knit
Row 11 Purl 2 stitches together, purl to end, purl twice into the last stitch
Row 12 Knit

Repeat rows 1 – 12 seven times (14 sections) for child size and nine times (18
sections) for adult size.

Finishing:
Bind off stitches. Pick up 60 (80) stitches along bottom edge to add hat rib. Knit 2, purl 2 rib until desired length and bind off.  Sew side seam. Weave strong yarn through stitches at top of hat and pull to gather tightly into chocolate kiss shape.

If desired, use bits of yarns incorporated into hat to make pom pom to add to the crown of the hat.

Here’s a PDF download of the Twisted Kiss Hat Pattern:

Twisted Kiss Hat Pattern
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PUMPKIN SEASON IS OFFICIALLY HERE!

Pumpkin drinks and products are showing up at the grocery stores and all the coffee shops are serving pumpkin lattes. 

If yopumpkin spice all the thingsu want to save a few bucks, making your own pumpkin dog treats is really easy!

 Here are 4 reasons to add pumpkin to dog treats, or canned unsweetened pumpkin, to their food:

  1. Whether your dog has the splatters, or she’s bound up like a straitjacket, pumpkin is the answer to her digestive woes.  Canned pumpkin is very high in fiber, which can help bulk up your dog’s loose stools or soften her hard ones.  And since dogs tend to love the taste of pumpkin anyway, it should be easy to get your pooch to take this “medicine.”
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  2. Fiber isn’t all that pumpkin has to offer. Pumpkin flesh and seeds are loaded with nutrients like vitamins A, C and E, alpha and beta carotene, lutein, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc.  Altogether, the nutritional benefits of pumpkin mean healthier skin, healthier eyes, a healthier coat and a healthier immune system for your dog.  That’s not too shabby for a treat that your dog probably will think is a delicious indulgence anyway.snoopy
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  3. Even if your dog isn’t in digestive distress, pumpkin makes a fine addition to his meals, adding bulk and fiber without a lot of extra calories.  Many dogs love the taste of pumpkin, so yours may gobble it down not only willingly, but eagerly.  You can feed him the same amount of food while replacing some kibble with pumpkin instead, thereby filling his belly and reducing caloric intake, a good strategy if your dog needs to lose a few pounds.  I find it’s nice to change up pumpkin with plain green beans so they don’t get bored when on a diet.  Heck, I get bored being on a diet, it’s always my downfall!
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  4. There is some evidence to suggest that pumpkin seeds are beneficial for urinary-tract health.  The oil of pumpkin seeds is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, which may be good for urinary health, among additional nutritional benefits.  Pumpkin seeds are also rich in many of the vitamins and minerals described earlier, so even if the connection to urinary health is hooey, pumpkin seeds are still a doggy superfood.

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This wheat-free peanut butter pumpkin recipe from the Doggy Dessert Chef is fabulous!wheat-free-peanut-butter-pumpkin

 

Check out all of the free dog treat recipes at Bullwrinkle!  There are over 185 dog treat recipes on Pinterest too.

Angelina Spinning Fiber is terrific for blending with your favorite wool roving for added bling. 
A little Angelina will go a long way!  Angenlina is a great way to jazz up your handspun yarns or batts before you spin and add a little zing!

Angelina Collage

 

Elasticity can also be added to handspun yarns or batts with nylon fibers such as Snow Mountain or StarbrightFirestar will creates a shimmer in your yarn, similar to the addition of silk.  You will find that adding nylon will create a yarn with more memory, which is especially important when knitting socks!

All 7 Yaks Design fibers are hand dyed with professional dyes that are both lightfast and washfast for long lasting, fade resistant color.

 

Here’s the ultimate guide to Holiday gifts

for the cool, creative peeps in your life!

1.  Artyarns

Artyarns

Artyarns

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Artyarns is the ultimate in luxury knitting!  Artyarns come from the inspirational genius of knitwear designer Iris Schreier of Modular Knits & Lacy Little Knits publications.  Because Iris couldn’t always find the yarns she needed for her marvelous designs, she developed her own exquisite collection of luxury fibers.  All yarns are beautifully hand dyed in a spectacular range of variegated color combinations that are consistently coordinated across yarn types.

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2.  North Star Alpacas

Alpaca Socks

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The 60% alpaca in these socks are from Maple’s own backyard critters.  Caren, who lives just down the road, supplied the 20% wool blend from her Corriedale cross sheep.  Maple requested that Zeilingers, the mill that spun the yarn and made the socks, add 20% nylon so that the socks will wash up nicely and hold their shape!

These socks are very warm for such a light weight yarn, yet they breathe!  Natural alpaca and wool is just that way.  The color is a combination of all Maple’s alpacas, everything from white to gray to brown to black.  They are probably called a heathery brown.

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.3.  Jen Stephens Couture

Louise Tote

Louise Tote


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This Louise Tote has both function and style!  You will love to carry a OOAK piece of fashion.  It’s a great for anything but especially as a fabulous knitting tote.

With an entirely interfaced top, this is certainly a bag that will last for years to come.  The woven reinforced straps are stitched in tight!  A zipper pocket offers organization for all of your notions… and the tote is reversible!

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Spinning Batt

Spinning Batt

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4.  7 Yaks Design

All of your knitting & spinning tools in one place!

Wonderful fibers, yarns, drop spindles, knitting needles and gauges, beads, buttons and so much more!

Ceramic Buttons

Ceramic Buttons

 

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.5.  Buttons

Handmade ceramic mitten sewing buttons in trendy colors to coordinate with this season’s winter Holiday mitten fabrics.  Aqua blue mittens are adorned with a sweet white patch, while the white mittens have an aqua blue patch.  All mitten sew on buttons are graced with delicate, hand painted black line work.  Each one is meticulously handmade by ThisOnesMineDesigns for your special projects.  All work is done with a paintbrush and neither decals nor silk screening is ever used in her studio.

Simple, functional, vibrant, and so fun to use, especially when paired with popular winter mitten fabrics.  Great for pajamas, jumpers, stockings, scrapbooks, cards, quilting projects, and so on.

Roll-Up Needle Caddy

Roll-Up Needle Caddy

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6.  Knitting Needle Organizer

Summon your inner Abby Shuto and organize to perfection!  This handmade needle case by knitonebeadtwo is designed to store circular, double pointed and straight knitting needles.

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  • 36 pockets, 3 rows of 12 pockets
  • Pockets range from 1″ to 3″ wide
  • Holds up to 16 1/2″ needles
  • All pockets are doubled for extra strength
  • Case is lined with batting to protect your needles
  • Case folds and closes with an adjustable belt

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7.  Spinning Journal Cards

Spinning Journal Cards

Spinning Journal Cards


These journal pages are designed by AndreaInBlue to help you keep track of your spinning projects.  The 5.5″ x 8.5″ pages are 3-hole punched and will fit into a standard 5.5″ x 8.5″ mini binder or planner.  They’re professionally printed in full color on both sides of matte recycled cardstock.

In addition to providing space to attach samples of the fiber and the finished yarn, these pages include space to keep track of:
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  • Fiber
  • Date
  • Preparation
  • Dye Notes
  • Purchased From
  • Purchase Price
  • Colorway
  • Selling Price
  • Spun On
  • WPI
  • Final Weight
  • Final Length/Yardage
  • Final Use
  • Additional Notes

8.  Katwise Recycled Sweater Tutorials

Recycled Sweaters!

Recycled Sweaters!

.Katwside has a colorful, entertaining and informative ebook about the ins and outs of arm warmer making.  Even if you are unsure whether this is a project you want to undertake, it is a fun and lighthearted read. The ebook has many color photographs, diagrams, links and anecdotes to set you on your sewing journey.

You can sew these with a serger, a regular sewing machine, or even by hand.  All you need is thread, scissors, and some inspiring scraps.

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.9.  Knitted Gift Cards

Fiber Care Gift Tag

Fiber Care Gift Tag

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This is a set of 8 matching fiber care tags by kNotesforkNitters.  Attach them to your lovely handknits, telling the lucky recipient what fibers you used, and how to properly care for them!

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Yarnplay

Yarnplay

10.  Yarnplay Book

MIX YARNS, COLORS AND TEXTURES TO CREATE BOLD AND BRIGHT HANDKNITS

Why spend hours knitting a boring one-shade sweater?  Pile on the color and discover the joys of knitting with multiple hues in unexpected combinations.  Choose from over 20 projects, including home décor items, hats, scarves, sweaters, vests and more.

7 Yaks Design scored a great deal on raw Alpaca fleece and we are passing the savings on to our loyal customers! (More about that in a second.)

Hmm…
A sale of raw fleece at 7 Yaks Design?

Did you know that Alpaca does not have lanolin making it wonderfully hypoallergenic so that people who are affected by wool will not have a reaction?  The hair shafts are hollow which makes them excellent insulators.  It will keep you warmer than wool in the winter but breathes nicely too.  This soft fleece is great to wear next to the skin!

Raw fleece still needs to be processed to rid it of dust and little pieces of vegetable matter.

Here is a quick tutorial for cleaning the fleece. (Only a minute long.)

And here is a short video showing how to card Alpaca once you have washed it.

Now all you need is the fleece.

From me to you… Enjoy!

We have three Alpaca Fleece colors available.  (Click on the pictures to link to the Etsy offering.)

Light Fawn Color:

Light fawn color Alpaca.

Medium Fawn Color:

Medium Fawn Color Alpaca

Light Brown Alpaca:

Light Brown Alpaca Fleece

We were able to get a good deal on this fleece and we are passing the savings on to you.  Get yours now while they last.

We love Alpaca Fleece.  You will too!

Nary a person in Cleveland remembers real spumoni because the family owned business that made the delectable dessert ceased business operations about 35 years ago.  But, I remember, and no other spumoni will do!

I’ve spent years trying to find someone, anyone who still serves real spumoni, only to be disappointed each and every time when they bring me a bowl of the mixed up, whipped up stuff of ice cream cartons.  Clearly, they just didn’t know there was a difference.  How sad.

I recently found 2 great links that offer the hope of making your own real spumoni, and as crazy as this might be, it is very near and dear to my heart.  Michelle, the Brown Eyed Baker, has wonderful recipes for making your own ice cream for the spumoni.  If that’s too much, then Brian, at The Sac Chef, has incorporated ready made ice creams, and remembered the all important whipped cream layer, of authentic spumoni!

It brings me one step closer to cherished memories of my Grandmother and I going downtown to have lunch at the New York Spaghetti House.  She mastered the Zen art of raising pasta with a fork, and compacting it neatly on a large spoon, with the stealth of a ninja.  I sat in complete awe of the ease and perfection of her ability.  I never inherited her dexterity, which suddenly leads me to the realization of why I failed at glass blowing, because it also requires the mastery of motor skills performed all at once too!

Mangia bene!

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McMorran Balance

Have you ever purchased an unknown quantity of yarn, or spun some for yourself, and then you’re not completely sure how much yarn is there? It’s easy to find out, by using a simple tool called a McMorran Balance.  The balance is a scale that allows you to determine the yardage of a particular yarn.  It consists of a rectangular plastic box and a balancing arm.  The arm has been calibrated to calculate the yards per pound of a particular yarn once the length of the yarn has been trimmed to allow the arm to balance.  It’s just that easy!

After that you’re on your way to easy math to figure out how much yarn is on your cone, skein or in the ball.  Measure the length of yarn with a ruler or tape measure and then do the following:

  • Multiply the measurement x 100.
  • This measurement gives you the number of yards per pound of yarn.
  • e.g. 8.4 inches x 100 =840 yards per pound

Then weigh your yarn to see how many pounds or fractions of a pound you have (and then do a little additional math if necessary).

Once you know how many yards you have, if you don’t know the gauge of your yarn, that is easy to determine as well.  Using a WPI (wraps per inch) gauge entails wrapping your yarn around a 1″ measuring device.  I have been playing with designs for that too.  One is a ‘studio model’ and the other is a portable ‘keychain model’.

Keychain WPI Gauge

Just because I think everyone needs a little Goth in their life – and something to make you smile for no particular reason – I made this WPI gauge and then sent some along to Queer Joe’s Men’s Knitting Retreat which is taking place this weekend in upstate NY.  Have I ever mention how much I LOVE upstate NY?  (read – one of these days I am going to have my house on a mountain there, just you wait and see!)

The Goth Gauge

To use either of these guides:
Wrap the yarn around the 1″ channel smoothly, with the yarn touching, but not too tight. Once you’ve wrapped, count your number of wraps per inch (or WPI).

WPI Standards:
18 or more wpi – Lace weight
16 wpi – Fingering weight
14 wpi – Sport weight
12 wpi – Worsted weight
10 wpi – Bulky
8 or less wpi – Very bulky

And you thought this was just knitting, no, no – clearly it’s engineering at its best!  After you know how many yards of yarn and the WPI of your particular yarn, then you will know if you have enough to make a sweater size garment and maybe that’s what you were trying to accomplish all along.

Here’s a conversion chart for garments for children, or for garments other than the size mentioned in chart above.

I hope this helps to explain why your collection of knitting and spinning tools keeps growing – we need them all to get the job done!

I have dyed some worsted weight New Zealand wool yarn and I am ready to begin knitting.  Simple enough, but finding time between work and being a new Mom (I have an 8-week old Corgi pup), has proved to be a challenge of near Sistine Chapel proportions.  I’m excited about blending the novelty yarn with the hand dyed yarn and eager to see how it turns out.  I also wanted to share a pair of my favorite sushi knitting needles from ScaryMerry.  If you love sushi like I love sushi, these will be a must-have for you too!

Mitten Project Supplies

Hand dyed yarn with novelty runner and sushi knitting needles

The first few rows of the cuff are going well.  I’m still trying to decide about the gauge because they don’t seem very substantial.  I can always use another pair of ‘driving mittens’  😉

mitten cuff

Ribbed cuff

The gauge is turning out to be okay for the cuff and body of the mitten but I think this combination of yarn would make for a better sweater weight than for mittens.  I tend to be a freeze baby and would want a thicker pair for being outside for any length of time.  I guess driving mitts it will be when these are finished.

The cuff and lower body

The cuff and lower body

Next you knit and place your stitches on holders to separate a portion of the knitting to form the thumb.  At this stage of the design I know it looks a lot like the response from your insurance company when you submit a claim!

Thumb ready for the seam to be sewn

Thumb ready for the seam to be sewn

I have to take the kids to the ‘pediatrician’ – check back for more knitting updates.

Kaylee the Princess of Corgis

Kaylee the Princess of Corgis

Dicca the Warrior Puppy - Don't be fooled by the innocence!

Dicca the puppy - Don't be fooled by the innocence!

Here is a video showing the basic Tunisian Crochet Stitch. This is from CraftyAndy on YouTube. This stitch is also called Tunisian Crochet, Afghan Stitch, Tricot Crochet, Shepherd’s Knitting, Hook Knitting, Railroad Knitting.

You can find beautiful Tunisian Crochet Needles Here.

7 Yaks Design on Etsy

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