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Did Ya Hear the One About the SSK?

AWBM Presents the SSK w/grid

Two of My Favorite Knitting and Crochet Sites:
KnitPicks & Lion Brand®

And Say Hello to the SSK

It's never to late to learn a new skill and when I suddenly became convinced I could knit my own sweaters (I always think big, right from the get-go), I was determined to learn all I could.

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So, let’s keep it going. But first (Hey, Julie!), I am an affiliate with KnitPicks and Lion Brand®. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a purchase, I receive a small commission, through no extra cost to you. I actually use these items and would not recommend them otherwise. Thank you for your support.

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I was determined to learn all I could. I even had a LYS, a "local yarn shop" and I was soooo excited, until it closed two weeks after I began my journey into, what was now going to be known as my very own SSK, done my way, as I was about to become a Self-taught Social Knitter (SSK). See how I did that? Know why that's a thing? Because an SSK is a knitting term, that means:

ssk = slip, slip, knit
Slip the next 2 stitches, one at a time as if to knit, to the right needle. Insert the left needle into the fronts of these two stitches and knit them together. One stitch is decreased. This decrease slants to the left.

 Please remember, I love being Left of Center:

AWBM Presents the SSK

Ahhh, now you get it, no? Oui, oui, mademoiselle, nous l'obtenons! Don't mind me... as my daughter, Grace, says, quite frequently when subjects like this are brought up: "I took French." 

And now, back to our
regularly scheduled programming.

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After realizing my LYS was closing, I was devastated. I didn't know anyone who knit, and my next thought was, "Well, how am I gonna do this?" Mind you, there was only the internet back then, years and years ago, and it was fairly new. In fact, I was in the midst of my first graphic design program and we still created paste-upsused rubber cement and ruling pens (I still have mine, BTW, actually I still have all of that stuff :)), so it was a lonnnnng time ago. There was no YouTube, no silly things like Reality TV "stars" to show you how ...  no nothing.

What's a gal to do?

What this one did was start talking about it, to a co-worker, who pointed me to what I think still exists: Online Forums. I capitalized the term because I think it truly needs a little love as it was, after all, a trailblazer. I took her up on that, as she told me if I had any questions, "Just post it. Ask and you shall receive." An answer, sometimes soon, often within days, but I still got responses to any knitting question/problem I had. I still have those "WIPs" (works in progress) on the same needles I first knit them on. I have patience, but there was so much I wanted to make, and I had decided, oddly, that I had to make something for everyone in my immediate family (read: kids and then-husband) before I could make the sweater that got me into this craft ... and that I did.

You get a scarf, and you get a hot,
and you get socks, yada, yada, yada.

Before I wander any further down memory lane, let's talk specifics. The book that started my journey into self-taught knitting was Kids Knitting by Melanie D. Falick.

I'm a firm believer that if there's anything
you need to teach someone,
talk to them as if they're 5-years old.

Works every time.

(BTW: all of the links above are to either books or Wikipedia ... no affiliate links in the bunch :))

So let me hush up and get right to the knitty gritty.

Freddy:  I concur, you are getting a bit wordy.
Sandi:  Well, I had to explain it, didn't I?
Freddy:  You did, indeed.
Sandi:  Indeed.

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KnitPicks, What's Not to Love?
I've been a subscriber for years, I can always find the good stuff when I visit their site, and I love their name. One of my favorite phrases makes me feel like we're kindred spirits:

Knit Happens

They have it all, a wide variety of yarn, notions, knitting and crochet patterns, books, kits, needles, hooks, and a wonderful learning portal: 

KnitPicks Learning Portal

Just the fact that it's called a "portal" and not a "center" makes me want to check it out. You should, too.

Go ahead, we'll wait here.

I like that their newsletters contain exactly what I like and also showcase new things I may want to get to learn more about. There's such a variety of choices and new patterns, plus, I have the opportunity to submit my own patterns as a featured designer (say what now?)

That's music to my ears ... and I intend to pen them into my new life journal in due time. I'm almost finished with my "Clean Up, Clean Out Tour" which ends March 31, 2020, so I'm pumped as there are exciting new projects coming down the pipeline in the first quarter of this new decade, so stay tuned, and get excited with me!!!

To give you a taste of the quality of their products, like the most luscious tweed yarns which are to die for (and I have a hard time finding any tweed yarns outside of their site), this is what I got in my Inbox last year, a beautious surprise just in time for the holidays:

KnitPicks Big Sale

Sixty percent (60%) off? Who wouldn't want that? The best part is that they have sales quite often and add new yarn colours, weights and patterns dang near every week. As much as I'm trying to clear out my Inbox they occupy quite a good amount of it.

KnitPicks has great customer service, too. Last year I ordered about 13-15 items, and the total was twice as much as I had anticipated. After it sunk in, I went back online to see exactly what I'd ordered, and realized I already had several items in my cart, so without checking the cart, I added more to it and simply checked out. O. M. Goodness. I immediately called the store and, even though the order was processing, I was able to delete items and the store rep was patient enough to go through the list of items I'd purchased one-by-one so I could say "yea," or "nay" to what I wanted. I shaved off close to $100.00 on that order, and it taught me, once again, to:

Pay Attention

I have a lot of dual orders from a few other stores, too, so you'd think I'd remember that, but obviously I didn't. I was indeed grateful that I caught the error I'd made so soon and that the store had no problem deleting items from the finalized purchase.

Remind me to tell you
about the time I went to Staples
and was there for over 2 hours
trying to fix the store's mistake!!!

... don't get me started ...


I feel good supporting businesses that care about their customers as well as their bottom line.

So having said that, here's a promo they have on right now:  Get a deep discount when you try these yarn sampler packs: 40% Off Our Favorite Crochet Kits. I know this says crochet and not knitting, but let's be clear, they offer products for both so jump on in and enjoy!!!

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Lion Brand® Yarn Company, They Shoot Horses, Not Lions, Don't They?No, that's not their mission statement, this is:

"CREATING A MORE COLORFUL, CONNECTED, AND GIVING WORLD."

They're a fifth generation, family-owned business. Wow, that's impressive. I like that longevity, the passion and that they naturally function as a team. They also have great yarns, signature collections, including including Homespun®, Heartland® and Hometown USA®, and a variety of different fibers and weights. I use Heartland and Hometown for my fingerless mitts and hats, and Homespun, of course, for my Cowl Neckwear Collection:

 Grace in AWBM's Cowl Neckwear Collection

Say, "Hello," Gracie.

With multiple yarns to choose from, they also have notions, needles, books, patterns, designer opportunities and a blog, plus so much more. Boy, are they busy!!!

I also like that they, like KnitPicks, supply their products for sale on Amazon. I would have posted affiliate links to them, but they let me go, strictly due to lack of referrals (from my customers to them), and I'm a bit puzzled as to why they needed to do that, but no matter, when we, Freddy and I, get big, we'll remember them. Oh, you betcha we'll remember them ... I still have them on my list for this year, as well, so I've been making and creating and I'm almost ready to post my first listing on "A" (yes, I did mention that last year, too), but look for that this summer, if not sooner.

Forgive me, Lion Brand®, for I digressed.

And now, back to our
regularly scheduled programming.


Bottom line
: this is also one of my favorite, go-to, yarn suppliers. I use Vanna's Choice, Oatmeal for my Rusty Wheat Fingerless Mitts, as well as: 

Rusty Wheat Mitts in the Making

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I have been a long-standing customer of Lion Brand® and am currently working on making some custom pattern designs just for them.


P.S. No more links!!!

P.P.S. KnitPicks posts the perkiest pics of pretty pastels ... try saying that 5 times fast .. and Lion Brand boasts the best burnt sienna buttons ... mmmhmmm ...

and I had to show more love to LB because I want them to feel special, too, so let's not forget:

Lion Brand® is oh so nice,
Huge selection, low-low price,
Save today, just pick your fav,
Hurry in and slay the day.

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Before we (Freddy and I) bid you adieu, we want to shout out some birthday wishes to cousin Melody (21 Jan 2020) and niece Aja (27 Jan 2020), and hope they had the bestest days ever and fabulous new years ahead.

Happy Birthday to all our January babies!!!

Happy Birthday Gif

AWBM Blog Post #029 | 29 January 2020  | They match!!!

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