Saturday, December 2, 2017

American Yarns - Review, with Free Pattern: "Blueberry WashCloth"

Free Pattern : Blueberry Washcloth using Lily Sugar and Cream
Keep reading for Pattern. 



I was sent some yarn from "American Yarns" to review, and have complied my thought on three types, and also included a bonus pattern for a wash cloth, made from one of the yarns sent. Still time before Christmas to make some handmade gifts!


American Yarns are based in Melbourne, Australia, and stock American and Canadian brands of yarn that are not readily available in the usual Australian Marketplace. They are familiar sounding names, ones you might see recommended by our American crochet and knitting friends online, like Red Heart, Bernat and Caron. They also stock hooks, needles, books and accessories, and provide Afterpay. I was sent the yarns to review and was not paid to do so, and the opinions remain my own. I have provided links to American Yarns and the products I sampled.

I trialled three different yarns, Red Heart Unforgettable, Lily Sugar and Cream, and Bernat Big Ball Chunky.

The first thing you notice about Red Heart Unforgettable is the iridescent sheen. It's really very beautiful. It's a worsted weight yarn, and recommends a 6 mm hook, but I did my swatch with a 5.5 mm. It's 100% acrylic, but has an unspun (roving) look about it. It is incredibly soft and quite silky. It is difficult to frog (undo), so I would recommend having a pattern in mind rather than experimenting! I did read somewhere that the thickness changes, due to the handspun look, but I did not notice this at all. The colours are variegated, in short colour sequences, but they blend very subtlety. It's quite unlike any yarn I have used before when you consider all combined elements.
I swatched up a small ripple, in 'Tealberry' and will continue to make a scarf! I will update with another blog post when that is done!


Next up, I tried Bernat Softee Chunky, in teal. I have used this yarn before and already have a positive view of it! I had previously bought online and had not found any Australian stockists, so very happy to now know of one. The most exciting thing, in my opinion, is the 400 g ball! It is a super bulky weight yarn with a plied look (spun) 100% acrylic, and although it recommends an 8 mm hook, I went up to a 12 mm! The down side is there aren't a huge range of colours, but the softee chunky- available in smaller 150 g balls do provide a few more choices. The colours that are available - grey, teal, black and white, suit my tastes, so I can't complain about that! I started with a simple granny hexagon, and plan to keep going until the ball is finished and have a throw for the bed or lounge room.

finally I tried the Lily Sugar and Cream. A worsted weight 100% cotton yarn. It is plied and non mercerized. It's unusual to see yarn available in 71 grams! But that adds up to 2.5 ounces. It isn't the softest cotton I've tried, but I think that adds a certain amount of durability, perfect for washcloths and grocery bags. This cotton has a really easy centre pull and has a big range of colours, with ombre and striped options also available.

I made a swatch with the blueberry colour and a 5 mm hook. I kept going until I had made a wash cloth, and have the free pattern available for you.


Blueberry Washcloth

Using US terms. Turning chains not counted as a stitch.
With 'Blueberry' Sugar and Cream and 5 mm hook:
Ch 28.


Row 1: (skip 1st ch) 27 sc, Ch 1 Turn.
Row 2: 27 hdc. Ch 2 Turn.
Row 3: *1dc, 1sc. Repeat from *to end. Finishing row with dc. Ch 1. Turn
Row 4: *1sc, 1dc. Repeat from * to end. Finishing row with sc. Ch 1. Turn.

Repeat rows 1- 4 5 times.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 to finish.

Fasten off and weave in ends.


Package up with a fancy soap, like the lime one pictured.


Thank you for reading my thoughts, don't forget, there is still time to give handmade, or out yarn on your Christmas list!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Gift A Long 2017

You might have seen me mentioning this quite a bit on the socials, but it's a pretty big deal leading up to Christmas!


But Wait.. What is the Gift A Long?

" It’s a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear!*

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 6 week long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by a rather extensive list of independent designers.

From November 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm US EST to December 31, 2017 at midnight US EST there will be fun games, contests, and 8 KAL/CALs that will help you get your holiday knitting and crocheting done with companionship and fun!

From November 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm US EST to November 28th at 11:59pm US EST tons of indie designers will be discounting between 10 - 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. Use coupon code: giftalong2017.
Once you’ve got your Gift-A-Long patterns, we encourage you to join a relevant KAL/CAL! (For instance, if it is a cowl, please join the Cowls, Scarves, & Other Neck Things KAL/CAL.) To join, simply write a post in the KAL/CAL thread you want to join, including the pattern name you will be knitting and a link to your project page. KAL/CAL participants are eligible for lots of lovely prizes but you’ve got to post to win Please Note: all prize winners must be group members!

KAL/CALs will run from November 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm US EST to December 31, 2017 at midnight US EST, plenty of time to knock out all your holiday knitting and crocheting. We have tons of prizes, games, and great conversation, plus a lot of other fun, so pull up a chair and join us! "

Ok great.. but where do I join?

Join here, In this Ravelry Group 


So in conclusion; I, along with 310 other designers are offering 25% of a bundle of patterns. (My bundle is here) with the code 'giftalong' That's more than 3110 patterns to choose from, so something for everybody! It's live now to the 28th of November, end of day, US EST


*quoted from the Indie Design Group

Friday, November 10, 2017

Christmas Decoration - St Niklaas Star


I've just released a new pattern in time for Christmas, for those who love handmade decorations!




The St Niklaas Star is a detailed little ornament, and while it uses some advanced stitches, I've included quite a few photos to help out those who might want to try out something to lift their game beyond the basic dc.

The pattern is on Ravelry and LoveCrochet at the moment, and will be uploaded to Etsy.

I've used Scheepjes Colour Crafter, the most gorgeous acrylic yarn, in three shades. Sint Niklaas, Wolvega and Pollare, which in turn inspired the name and scandi feel to the pattern.

I ordered my yarn from Yarnish.com.au  who, in my opinion, are the most convenient for Australian customers to order Scheepjes brand yarn.

To purchase from Ravelry, just click this link

or search 'St Niklaas Star' on Ravelry or LoveCrochet

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Newsletter Signup

I'm starting a monthly newsletter, and you'll get informed about new pattern releases, news and special offers.

Facebook is no longer the best place to tell you all about these things, and I'm not going to fight it! It may change again over time, but if you'd like to know about things first, then one email a month (max) will be the way to do it.



I'll never sell or display any email addresses, and will use the mailchimp system.

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Please note that this is different to the Pattern Signup List, which are sent out as required. You can find the link to this list HERE

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Joining the Nebula Square - Zipper Join - Part 2


Today's post (long overdue) is my chosen method to join the Nebula Square. (Find the pattern here.)


I am using the Zipper Join method, which is my favourite join.

I like this join because it makes a feature of the join, but It can be a bit fiddly. If you prefer a seamless join, or something quicker, then maybe this is not the join for you.

I have used a contrasting colour to show the join, but it is not what I will be using on the final blanket.

The Zipper join works into the back loops of both squares, and this first picture shows the back loops.


The second picture shows the direction the hook will go: front to back on first loop, the front to back on second. Right side of both squares are facing you.


Starting at the corner chain, place hook as just described; through front to back of both loops and pull up a loop. Keep your yarn at the back of the work.


Place hook through next two back loops, and pull a loop through all three loops on hook.

This is the same method as surface crochet, but with two pieces of fabric, rather than one.


 


Continue into each loop pair


If you have planned out your blanket layout, you can continue along the vertical axis, and then the horizontal, so joining can be done without cutting the yarn!


Friday, October 6, 2017

Fern Gully Bag

The Fern Gully Bag is one of my newest patterns, and is available now on Ravelry, Etsy and LoveKnitting/Love Crochet.


Purchase direct from Ravelry here:

It is available in both UK and US, both versions are available to download. I think this is easier than having two listings, as it means if someone accidentally picks the wrong version, they can easily remedy.
It uses 1 x 200 g ball of Bendigo Classic Wool, and works up fairly quickly. Great project for someone who has mastered the basics and looking for a next step project.



If that isn't enough value already, there are also instructions for an alternative version of the square, one of the prototype versions that was too pretty to leave out. 


Thanks for having a look! If you do make a bag, please let me know by adding a project on Ravelry, tagging me on Instagram, or sharing on my Facebook page!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pattern Testing Signup



Hello again!
I've worked out the easiest way to ask for pattern testers. An email list.
If you would be interested in testing patterns, or like to find out a bit more, please sign up below. The email will contain 

  • a picture of item or swatch,
  •  hook size, 
  • suggested yarn
  • deadline
  • pattern rating (beginner/advanced)
If you feel the pattern is something you'd be interested in then reply, and a pattern draft will be sent. If you can't do it, no problem. You can wait for the next round!

I will never use your email for other purposes. If I ever set up a newsletter or any other email list, you would not be automatically joined. 

Please fill out the form below. 

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