Tuesday, 30 April 2013

2 Easy Steps to add a Link to your Blog Comments

blogging tips social media

I thought I would share a tip with you today that I have had to teach myself, and you may be interested in knowing about.

When I leave a comment on someone else's blog, I want it to look 'Professional' :)

What I mean by that is: a blog comment that is neat and tidy, with all the URLs included linked to the name of my blog or page I am recommending, instead of having reams and reams of link URL.

If you are like me then I hope this tip will help you also

All you need to leave links in blog comments is this code:

<a href="http://URLofyourpage.com">Title of Your Page</a>

To change this code to fit your needs you need to:
  1. Change the "Red" URL to your chosen URL
  2. Change the "Blue" Text with the title of the page you are wanting to link.
And that is it - 2 Easy steps to adding a link to your next blog comment!

This doesn't work in Google+ by the way, there you have to add the URL to the comments, the code above does not work there.

Hope this tip helps you.
x

Monday, 29 April 2013

Free Pattern - Felted Bee Bag

4KCBWEC Felted Bee Bag
Bee Felted Bag

Please note, this bag may be used for personal use only.
Items made from this pattern may not be sold!!

© Marigolds' Loft
All rights reserved

Materials:

150g Drops Eskimo 74 – Dark Yellow (*)
200g Drops Eskimo 02 – Black (X)
150g Drops Eskimo 24 – Yellow (O)
100g Drops Eskimo 53 – Light Grey (I)

Drops Eskimo is 100% Wool – Super Bulky and ideal for felting. Do not use wools that are „Superwash“ as these will not felt.

Abbreviations:
k - knit
k2tog - knit 2 together
ssk - slip, slip, knit

Needles: Circular Needle size 8mm (US 11mm). To knit the straps, you will also need DPNs size 8mm.

Gauge: approx. 11sts x 15rows, because you are going to felt this project gauge is not that necessary.

Chart: Download the Colour Chart HERE


Using circulars cast on 95st in (*). Place a stitch Marker and join in the round and work through the pattern chart (knitting all the way:)).

Begin following the chart from the bottom right corner (Row 1) and work your way across each row and up (return to the right side of the chart for the beginning of each row).

The chart is a 19st repeat, which means that the pattern repeats itself every 20th st. (= 5 repititions in the round)
Be sure to watch your tension with the colour-work. 

For tips on how to have the best tension for colour-work you can watch my video on Colour Work.


4KCBWEC Free pattern fair isle colour work

In the image: 1. - This is how your colour work should look from behind.
Other images - how the bee should look once knitted.

Once you have finished the chart, your work should measure approximately 65cm.

On the last row of the pattern: k47, k2tog, k till end

Finish off the bag by sewing the bottom closed with Kitchener Stitch. (This stitch is also explained on my blog HERE).

To begin the Kitchener stitch, divide your stitches evenly on to the two sides of your circular, placing a stitch marker in the middle.

Now turn the bag so that the bottom is at the bottom. You are now going to create a I-Cord edge to the top of the bag to finish it off nicely. 

On your circular needle, pick up one half of all of the cast off stitches and leave on the needle. Using 2 strands of black cast on 4 stitches onto your DPNs.
°Now knit 3st as an I-Cord, then ssk (slip the next st and slip a stitch of the cast off edge of the bag, knit these 2st together). Pass the I-Cord stitches back onto the front of the left circular, so in front of the cast off edges stitches°. Now repeat °-° until the end. When complete, bind off. Sew in any loose ends.

Straps:

Using one strand of black (X) and one strand of yellow (O), cast on 4 st and work an I-Cord until your piece measures 100cm without stretching. Bind off. Repeat for the other strap.

Felting.


4KCBWEC Felting bags

Place the bag and straps into a pillowcase and wash on a normal setting at 40°C, without prewash.

After the spin cycle remove the bag and stretch into form, preferably leave it to dry and form over a cereal box covered in a plastic bag. Stretch the I-Cord and allow to dry separately.


4KCBWEC felting shaping bag

Finishing:

Once pieces are dry, use your DPNs to push holes through the top of the bag. 


4KCBWEC felting instructions

If you have eyelets on hand you can now insert these and hammer closed. Thread your I-Cord through the holes and there you have a sweet, springy Bee Bag :)


4KCBWEC Felted Bee Tutorial

For the felted Bee on the front – I will be showing you how to make the bee on this weeks' Tutorial Thursday Linky Party

I hope you enjoyed this project and if you do make the bag, I would love to see some of your finished projects.
x

P.S: Would you like to be part of an awesome Mothers' Day Giveaway Opportunity?
Get some easy exposure for your blog, your pattern designs?
Then hurry over and read all about it - spaces are filling up fast :)


mother's day giveaway sponsor

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Social Media / Blogging Tips and Tricks Linky Party

social media linky party

Welcome back to the second week of social media tips and tricks linky party.

Thank you kindly to those of you who linked your social media posts last week.

Rules:
  • Link only tips and tricks for Social Media or Blogging 
  • Do not link if you are selling something!
  • Please link your creative posts on this week's Tutorial Thursdays Linky Party and not here!
  • Link the Relevant Blog post and not your homepage!
  • As it is a Linky Party, it would be nice if you would visit at least 2 other links.
  • Do not link the same topics twice.
  • Share the word, please grab my button and place it somewhere on your blog or link back in some way :)

Do you have your own Linky Parties happening?

I would love to visit them - Link Them up HERE

Did you enter the Giveaway for a blog Makeover and $25 Gift card yet?
No? Click below and grab your chances.


#TBW the blog workshop



4KCBWDAY7 / 4KCBWEC - Looking Forward Plus Free Pattern

Well, Blog Week has come to an end for another year, what fun it has been. Once again I got to visit so many new blogs, all so interesting and wonderful.

Looking forward - I am hoping that next year I will sharing more of my spinning attempts with you all!

To round off todays post I wanted to show you the completed Felted Bee Bag - My souvenir of the 2013 blog week.

Tadaaah:


4KCBWDAY7 Pattern Giveaway

4KCBWDAY7 - felted bag

pattern giveaway felted bag


4KCBWDAY7 Giveaway patterns

It needed to be tweaked a little, and I did need to felt it twice (hence the definitions of the bee are not as prominent as they were after the first felting), but I am quite happy with the final product.
I am sorry the images are not as clear as I would have hoped to have them, but the sun is gone - feels like we are back to winter AGAIN!! :(

I have created a PDF of this pattern and am offering this it as a Giveaway to 10 of my wonderful readers out there.


I have actually decided to cancel the Giveaway and allow you all to have the pattern should you want it. 
I will be posting the completed pattern tomorrow - Monday, so come back and grab your copy then :)

Want to make your own bag?
Come back tomorrow and get it :)


P.S. Did you hear about my Sponsored Mother's Day Giveaway?


sponsored giveaway 4KCBWDAY7

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Sponsored Mother's Day Giveaway!


Make this Mother's Day unlike any other!

I would like to offer something extraordinary this Mother's Day.

There are many cash Giveaways running out there, but I would like to make a Giveaway with a difference.

I am looking for some wonderfully talented people out there, those of you who create patterns, are knitters and crocheters, any craft blogger who would be interested in helping me get this event off the ground. 

This will be an internet based Giveaway with no postal involvement (So no yarns or 3 Dimensional Gifts)

What would you have to do to take part?

The Giveaway will include a Cash Gift as well as a Pattern Pot - which depending on the size of the kitty will be offered to between 1 and 3 winners.
You, as the sponsor, have the option to either sponsor the event with up to 5 of your own patterns (Well-written PDF only) and/or offer a PayPal cash gift. (If you have another idea which you think would be great to include please email me)

All money collected from sponsors will be entered into the Giveaway!

I am only offering 10 Sponsor spots for this Giveaway - You can be included with as little as a pattern or a $5 Paypal Gift.

The benefits for you the sponsor:
  • I will add you to my sidebar for the month of May
  • You will get the Rafflecopter Giveaway embed code to add to your blog so your visitors can enter on your own blog
  • I will introduce you and what you sponsored on the Giveaway Page
  • You will get the extra exposure from all of the other sponsors and myself who will spread the news through the social web!

To grab your spot for this event, you will need to fill in this form and get it off to me asap. I will close the entries as soon as I reach the 10 person limit or on the 2nd May which ever comes first.

This Giveaway will hopefully take place from the 5 May - 13 May

Once I have received your form, I will contact you for all your blog details :)
I can't wait to see what we will have to offer - I hope you are just as excited as I am?

Chat soon :)


We Have a Winner....

online book-club

And we have a winner!
The book that won this months' Book Selection vote is:

the colour of tea
Well-done, it looks like a great read, my copy is ordered and should be here soon!

I will be opening up a discussion thread for this book in the course of today, I will inform all the Book-Club members via Email when that happens :)

Are you not a member of Marigolds' Loft Online Book-club?

That is not a problem, membership is open to all, and FREE.

You can Join HERE

I look forward to some interesting discussions on this book!
x

Did you miss my Weekly Newsletter?

Don't worry, you can read it HERE

4KCBWDAY6 - A Tool to Covet

4KCBWDAY6 KnitPros

If you recall last month's amazing Giveaway I spoke then, and could write pages, of my absolute favourite knitting resource - my KnitPros.

I am not going to repeat all I said in that post, so if you would like to read what I said about them you can do so HERE

Here is the video I made to review this awesome needle set :)


Friday, 26 April 2013

Stash-Busting Update April FOs

4KCBWDAY5, Vlog

Above you see a glimpse of my finished bee bag - want to see the whole thing, finished and ready? You will have to come back on Sunday where I will be introducing the bag in all its' Glory. You will also have the opportunity to win yourself a copy of the pattern :)

Have you been taking part in Blog Week this year?

These are the posts I have published so far this week:

4KCBWDAY1 - The House Cup
4KCBWDAY2 - A Mascot Project
4KCBWDAY3 - An Infographic
4KCBWDAY4 - Colour Review
4KCBWDAY5 - Something Different (For those of you who would like to meet me - this is my first video Intro :)

With Blog Week coming to an end, I have not been doing too much knitting, but I would like to update you on my stash-busting attempts for this month today, as this month is just about done :)

stash-busting 2013, drops

First this month, I finished Kays' Socks. They weighed in at 210g
The second project was my Snowboard girl cap weighing in at 50g

That makes this months total for Stash-Busting - 260g
Added to my stash-busting total so far1244g

Gives me a grand total of 1504g so far -Woo!!


So a recap:

1. Jassy' Jumper - Completed
2. Birthday Gift for my Sister-In-Law - Completed
3. Birthday Scarf for Kayla - Completed
4. Socks for me - Completed
5. Socks for Jas - Completed
6. Socks for Kay - Completed
7. Pullover for Hubby
8. Cleo for me
9. Scarf for me
10. Fingerless Gloves for hubby - Completed
11. Perfectly Pink Sweater

As you may have noted, I am busy with number 11. - The Perfectly Pink Sweater, which is a hibernated project, but is still using my stash :)


I will be sharing this post over at Linda, Linda, Tami and Andrea today.
Have a super weekend.
x

P.S: If you have a linky party that happens on your Blog each week, I would love for you to add it to my Linky Party Page. I love visiting each and every one of those parties - yeah, me I am a party girl LOL!!

4KCBWDAY5 - Something a Bit Different.

I wondered what I could do today that was a little different.

I decided to formally introduce myself to you. 
I have made quite a couple of Youtube videos since the beginning of this year, but always behind the camera.

With that in mind I decided to push my own personal boundaries and stand in front of the camera.
This is definitely not as easy as it seems, but I managed - Yay!

Only after I published the video did I note the reference to the house mascot - oh well, maybe on Sunday :)

Enjoy!


Thursday, 25 April 2013

4KCBWDAY4 - Colour Reivew

I think I have progressed from a year ago where I definitely was into the blues, browns, greys. Today I find myself being much more open to a wider colour spectrum when it comes to possible projects.

Last years Blog week gave me quite a shock when I proceeded to take photos of all my Projects completed and to see the colours that I generally pick.

After last years experience, I think it definitely has made me consider colours more before I purchase them, just because I would like to bring a little colour into my dreary one-coloured project world.

Did I achieve it to bring a little more colour into the things I make?

Here are some of the projects I have completed this year.


4KCBW Drops

Here is the image I posted last year:


4KCBW

Definitely more choices of colour, fibre choices and I feel an obvious growth in my pattern style!
See you tomorrow.
x

I would love to see some new faces on Tutorial Thursdays Linky Party that is taking place today, so do come past and link your creativeness HERE

P.S. It is your last chance to get a $25 discount when booking your spot at The Blog Workshop! Follow the link below and add the Discount Code: TBW25HURRY at the checkout
(This offer expires on 26th April - tomorrow)

Tutorial Thursdays - Guest Post - Desk Organizers

Welcome back to this weeks Tutorial Thursday Linky Party.

Today I am going to kick off by giving the floor to my lovely guest-blogger Gina.
Gina is going to explain to you how to create some simple desk organizers :)

Take it away Gina...

If your home office is anything like a typical one it can sometimes turn in to a random collection of papers shoved into drawers and work items mixed in with personal items or bills. A great way to start tackling that clutter is to make a home for all those things that are laying helter-skelter around the room.
Cup shaped holders are a great place to keep all the change, pens, keys and other random things that accumulate on tables and counter tops. If you make a holder for everything that tends to clutter up your desk one for pens, one for keys, one for change, one for paper clips, etc. then you’ll have neat little holders for everything you need and you won’t have to go fishing through a drawer to find what you’re looking for.
And bonus when you make them yourself is that you can decide how big or small they need to be, as well as what they look like so they can match the d├ęcor of your room or stand out as accent pieces.

desk organizers


To make these you’ll need:
A quarter yard printed fabric, a quarter yard canvas and a quarter yard of felt.
To make the larger cup-shaped holder you’ll need to cut:
  • a 6 ½ inch by 15 ½ inch strip from each fabric to make the side panel
  • a 5 inch circle to make the bottom.
The make the smaller holder you’ll need to cut
  • a 5 inch x 12 ½ inch strip from each fabric
  • a 4 inch circle for the bottom.

Put your strips of fabric together with the print on the top and the felt on the bottom. Stitch across the tops (the long side). Put the ends of your strip of fabric together and stitch together down the short side to make a circle shaped strip.
Put your circles of fabric together with the print on the top and felt on the bottom. Stitch together to make one circle piece.
desk organizers

Place your side part and circles together with the printed side facing inwards. Double stitch around the perimeter, clipping or pinning as needed to make it easier to keep the fabric together as you sew.
desk organizers


Turn it right side out and Ta-da! You should have a cup shaped holder now.
These also make for great homemade gifts if your office space is already neat and tidy.

Author Bio: Gina Vasselli is a writer living in Myrtle Beach who works on behalf of an online fabric store, Fabric Street. She loves helping people find ways to spruce up their homes and lives with crafts and recipes.

Thank you so much for this great idea Gina, don't forget to grab your Featured button below :)

xxxx

And now its' your turn :)

Last week's most visited link was:


Chalk Paint Tutorial Thursdays
Make your own Chalk Paint by Crystelle @ Crystelle Boutique
This is such a great post, thanks so much for sharing

And my favourite Link of the week:

Recycled CD rack
I am such a sucker for recycled crafts- this one is from Hannah @ Sew Lah Tea Dough.
Such a cool way to recycle a CD Rack - Thank you.

Well-done ladies and thank you for sharing your wonderful Crafts with us all.
I have pinned your crafts on the PinBoard and added them to the Tutorial Thursday Album on my Facebook Page :)

You will also be featured in this weeks Newsletter

(If you have a Facebook Page or account, I would very much appreciate a share :))

Don't forget to grab your button if you haven't done so already :)


”Marigolds

Now it is your turn - what have you been up to this week?

Please feel free to link up your crafts below.

They do not have to be tutorials, I would love to see any crafts.

:::NEW:::

I have started a new Sunday Linky Party for Social Media/Blogging Tips and Tricks - If you would like 
to link up your tips and tricks on this topic you can link them HERE

Social Media Linky Party

Rules for todays' Craft Linky Party:
  • Firstly, your link must be craft related! Please do not link up goodies which are on other topics. 
  • Grab my button below and showcase it somewhere on your blog OR create a visible link.
  • Do not Link if you are selling something. 
  • Be sure to only link the relevant Blogpost and not your whole blog.
  • Please be so kind and visit at least 2 other posts linked below, it is always nice to receive visitors, this is a linky party after all! :)
  • In linking below you are giving me the permission to use of your image if it is being featured the following week. If I am unable to use your image I can unfortunately not feature you.
  • Please do not link up stuff you have already linked up before!
  • Please note: I will remove content that does not abide by the rules mentioned above. 
Do you have your own Linky Party happening? I would love to hear about it!
Link it up HERE

Marigolds' Loft



Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Work-In-Progress

KCBW4

This week I don't have much to show you as I have pretty busy with Blog Week. It has been wonderful discovering all of the new blogs out there, so many wonderfully talented people :)
So far this week I have chosen my House:

4KCBWDAY1

Worked on a Mascot project:

4KCBWDAY2

BTW - this is a bit of Work-in-progress - It is entering the finishing stages and will be shown to you on Sunday, the final day of the Blogweek. Do come past as it will be accompanied by a pattern Giveaway :)

Today we had to make an Infographic

4KCBWDAY3

Although mine wasn't very craft orientated, I wanted something that showed me something, which it did - was an interesting experience :)

Tomorrow we will be talking colour - I would love to have you visit :)

So as to an image of my WIP this week - it looks the same as last week as I just haven't had the time. It will be interesting to see if I get somewhere for next week as the sun has come out to play, so I will be off into the garden later, as long as the weather holds out, that is!

Reading wise: Still busy with "Friendship Bread" I am just about done, and just in time too! Our book-club vote for the next book finishes on Sunday, so I am looking forward to finding out the next title - one of them is already in the lead, so it will be exciting to see if it wins!

Craft Linky Party

Do come back tomorrow for this weeks' Tutorial Thursday Linky Party
I have another wonderful Guest-blogger, Gina, who will be showing you how to create a really neat handmade desk organizer!
I look forward to seeing what you have been up to over the past week, so do come on in and link your stuff :)




Linky Parties Directory

Talking of links - If you have a weekly linky party, I would love it if you would add it to my Linky Party page. I had to delete the last page - twice - and have lost all my links :(  
I have since added a new format and would love to visit all the links I find there!
Anyway, see you tomorrow, enjoy the rest of your week.
x

P.S. I will be linking this with Tami and Ginny

The Blog Workshop #TBW13
Use Discount Code: TBW25HURRY to get $25 off your booking!
Offer ends 26th April

4KCBWDAY3 - Infographic

4KCBWDAY3

Today's' topic was a bit harder for me as I wasn't quite sure what to show you, or me for that matter!

I thought about showing you my stash-busting results thus far, but that is something I would like to see at the end of the year when I can look back in awe (I hope) of what I managed to achieve.

As my goal is to become a full-time blogger at some point in my near future, this is something that I am very actively working towards this year. 
With this in mind, I decided it would be the most useful to myself and interesting for you, to show you a little of how my little patch of web has grown over the last four months. 

Once I had got into this project, it did seem to flow quite naturally :), and I enjoyed the challenge and set about creating an infographic that I could look at and be grateful for.

Here it goes:

infographic 4KCBWDAY3

I would like to take this chance to thank you all for your amazing support and interest in my blog. 

This infographic has shown me just how important and dear my regular readers and followers have become. Without you Marigolds' Loft would be a lonely little page hanging on the edges of the world wide web. Thanks to you it fills my days with joy, happiness and many new and wonderful friends.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
x



Grab your $25 Discount with the code: TBW25HURRY

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

4KCBWDAY2 - Mascot Project

4KCBWDAY2


This project wasn't as hard as I thought it might be, I guess it is because I had been wanting to design something like this for some time now and this topic helped me along the path :) 

Being in the Bee house I wanted to make something that would incorporate bees, bags and yarn.

Whilst rummaging around through my idea heap in my head it suddenly came to me -  a felted bee bag! Why not, cute, sunny - a sweet "mascotty" bit of paraphernalia!

So I set about the planning of this project - these are the things I found myself needing to answer:

  1. Which yarn - brand, type, colour
  2. Shape - what do I want the bag to look like?
  3. Patterns - do I want the project to incorporate some depth in the form of colour work and patterning or will I be embellishing it as an afterthought?
  4. Size - how big do I want the finished project to be, should it be just to show, or should it be a usable accessory?
  5. What will its' use be - handbag, project bag?
  6. Who will be the ultimate recipient of the finished project? Age plays quite a role.
  7. What techniques will I be incorporating in the project? Should it be a little challenging or straight forward?
  8. Will it be knitted on straights or in the round?
  9. Will it be knitted or crocheted?

Once these questions had been answered I could set about planning the project in earnest.

As I have already felted bags in the past, I knew how much yarn I would approximately be looking at. I of course headed straight over to my LYS Online store to place some Drops Eskimo provisionally in my basket.

Bees - hmm, black, yellows and I opted for a light grey instead of white.


4KCBWDAY2

Okay, now the yarn was sorted and ordered LOL (with a little extra just in case) and in my minds eye the bag was taking shape, colours, patterns how the finished object should look.

My next step was to work out the patterning I wanted to have on the bag. As you all probably know, I am a sucker for colourwork and love spending time creating patterns that fit with my pieces.

I used to work out my patterns by hand on squared paper, but I have since gone over to my PC spreadsheet which just makes things so much easier. 

4KCBWDAY2

This is the most time consuming part of the creation for me, working out the colourwork so that the image I have in my minds' eye can be realized on the screen in front of me.

To begin with the colourwork, I first need to work out how many stitches I will be working with, otherwise I cannot work out my pattern repeats.

I worked out how many stitches through my previous bags I have created, deciding my shape at the same time. I am a "don't like to sew up the seams" kinda gal, so I create my patterns with that in mind, generally in the round so that I don't have too many seams to sew together.

Once the pattern is visible to me and I am happy with it, the last bit of the puzzle is to decide how I will be finishing it off, what kind of straps, what kind of edging etc.

And the last step is to knit the bag for myself to see if I am completely happy with the pattern, if it is understandable and self-explanatory. This step can be tricky, as I don't generally have the patience to rip and redo, it needs to play out like it did in my head for me to be completely happy!


4KCBWDAY2

Lucky for me, this is one of those projects that worked :)

I am coming to the end of this project as we speak and will be unveiling it in all its' glory on Sunday. 

Don't miss it as I will be offering the pattern as a round-off to this weeks fun in Blog week as a Pattern Giveaway for 10 lucky winners! 

Thanks for visiting.
See you tomorrow.
x

4KCBWDAY2
Use Discount Code: TBW25HURRY to get $25 off your registration.
Offer ends April 26th

About Me

My photo

I used to be a homeschool mom, and now that my children go to school, am a mom who has found a creative side and am exploring that with great delight!

I am interested in alternative therapies, studied as a vibrational therapist and incorporate my beliefs into my everyday life.

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