Friday, January 05, 2018

Yarn Review: Filatura Di Crosa SOLOCASHMERE

I recently had the opportunity to try a cashmere yarn from Filatura Di Crosa. They are an Italian luxury yarn brand. Solocashmere is a fingering weight 100% cashmere yarn. It comes in 25 gorgeous colors. As you can imagine, cashmere is very soft. I wanted to make something with it that would be worn close to the neck.
This is a fingering weight yarn, but I had a feeling it would weave up nicely on a 4" pin loom. The yarn is made of many strands and plied. It has a soft halo. I used a Zoom Loom from the Schacht Spindle Co to make a test square and I really liked the woven fabric. The test square showed me the yarn bloomed and filled in the spaces. I was able to weave 11 squares from 1 ball of yarn.
I played around and decided to use 6 squares to make a close fitting cowl. I seamed all the squares together like above first. This way I can check the fit. This size actually fits me and my two daughters. After that, I joined the two ends together.
For the bottom of the cowl, I single crocheted around and I added a crocheted pom pom at the point of the cowl as I went around. The little pom pom is cute and decorative.
I think a crocheted edging gives a nice finishing look to pin loom projects. The crochet hooks I used are from Knitter's Pride. I used a 4.5mm hook.
Look at my cutie pie wearing her new cowl. It is so soft and light. This is going to be perfect to keep her neck warm.
She loves it and is super excited to wear it to school. I love that I could use one ball of Solocashmere to weave a cozy cowl. My older daughter has requested I make her one also.

Thank you to Filatura Di Crosa for letting me review your yarn. Molte grazie!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Yarn Review: Shepherd's Lamb Rambouillet

Today I am writing about Shepherd's Lamb's Rambouillet 2ply yarn. It is a DK weight yarn and comes in 180 yard skeins. It is a 100% American Rambouillet wool completely made in the USA. Shepherd's Lamb is a family owned and operated ranch in New Mexico that raises Rambouillet and Churro sheep for fiber, meat, pelts and blankets.
This yarn is 100% certified organic and dyed with natural dyes. I chose the color Victorian Rose which was dyed with cochineal. The yarn looks a bit rustic but it is soft enough. It feels wooly but not scratchy at all. I would describe it as a lofty yarn.
I chose to knit the Escalade Hat with the rambouillet yarn. I knew the yarn would give the 2 stitch cable a nice stitch definition. I knit the brim for 1.5" and repeated the hat chart 9 times, then proceeded with the crown shaping.
I washed the hat with a wool wash and blocked it over a balloon. The yarn fulled and bloomed nicely. 
As you can see, my daughter loves the new hat. I am sure she will be "borrowing" this from me. The temperatures have been in the teens and she could use some wooly warmth on her head. In fact, it was 14°F when we were outside taking these photos. She ran back in and made herself some hot cocoa.
The natural dye really shows beautifully in this rambouillet yarn. Take a look at all the colors you can choose from HERE. I fully support American made products and being able to knit with an American made yarn was a pleasure.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Yarn Review: Zen Yarn Garden Gradient Trio

I was delighted to get to review Zen Yarn Garden's gradient sets. The gradient sets are grouped together as Trios or Quartets. The Trio comes with 3 skeins, 200 yards each skein, totaling 600 yards. Quartets have 4 skeins totaling 800 yards. All gradient sets have been dyed to coordinate with each other for multi-color projects.

I chose the Trio in the colors Storm Time. The light to dark blues really appealed to me. The yarn is soft to the touch. It is 100% superwash superfine merino wool that is a 2/4 ply which means 2 plies were spun into a 4 ply.
Swatching is key for helping me decide on what I want to knit with this yarn. Plus, it helps me get to know the yarn. I knitted a stockinette swatch on size US 6 needles and I definitely like the knitted fabric it produced on that needle size. It had a nice drape.
My next swatch was using a lace stitch pattern that I liked. I was pleased with how the lace looked. The knitted swatches had a almost silky feel to it. It's hard to believe that it is just 100% wool. The yarn also stood up to me frogging and washing it a few times. It's a very high quality merino wool.

Now that I have swatched with it and know how the yarn behaves, I am going to cast on a scarf using a combination of the stockinette and lace stitch patterns. I definitely would recommend this yarn if you are looking for gradient sets. Check out the amazing color combinations they have to offer. Thank you Zen Yarn Garden for letting me try your yarn.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Blog Review: JUL Designs Mod Loop Leather Closure

UPDATE: Laura from JUL Designs is offering my blog readers 10% off the Mod Loop with the coupon code VERVE. Offer is good until Dec 31. Thank you, Laura!

I have a fun review for all of you this week. The generous people at JUL Designs sent me one of their Mod Loop Leather Closure to try out. Have you heard of JUL screw-in snap closures? They screw directly into the garment. The threaded cylinder positions between stitches with a backing on the wrong side of the fabric and a screw securing the Mod Loop on the front.

They don't make any holes in your knitted or woven fabric and it is removable. The removable part is what sold me on it. I went searching for different accessories I wanted to out with the Mod Loop. I thought it would be interesting to see the different types of accessories it can be used on.

My woven cowl, which was made on a pin loom, was my first accessory to experiment on. The squares are woven on a Schacht Zoom Loom and seamed together. Woven fabric is not stretchy like knitted or crocheted fabric, but I didn't have any problems working the screws into the woven fabric. Look how great it looks and it keeps my cowl closed.
My next try was on my Turkish Lace Shawl. It's a very long shawl, about 95" long, so it can be styled numerous ways. In the book, they have it wrapped and tied. I used the Mod Loop on one end of the shawl and the other half was placed near the middle. I think it's a great way to keep a long shawl in place and it adds a nice detail.
Of course, I had to try it on a knitted garment. This is a store bought cardigan that has no buttons to close it. It's one of those popular open front cardigans. The Mod Loop was perfect for my cardigan.
I really love the mod look of the JUL closure. The clean lines really makes it versatile for many types of garments and accessories. I was given the Truffle color. The leather is nice and thick and the hardware is very good quality.
In case you are curious about the back. This is what it looks on the back of the fabric. That is the threaded screws and backing disks.The backing disks keep the Mod Loop closure snug against the fabric.
My last accessory to try the Mod Loop on was my Putney Shawl. It's not a very wide shawl so it could benefit from a closure. The Mod Loop added a great look to the shawl. It's a very eye catching closure.

I absolutely adore the Mod Loop Leather Closure. Thank you JUL Designs for letting me try out one of your closures. I can see this being used for so many types of garments and accessories. What a clever design.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Melograno Cowl with Anzula

I am excited to release my latest cowl pattern, Melograno. Melograno means pomegranate in Italian. Anzula’s colorway, Madam, reminds me of the those delicious gem-like seeds. This warm and squishy cowl is worked from the bottom up in the round. It’s a quick knit using Anzula’s Burly. The merino, cashmere and nylon blend is soft and amazing to knit with.
Thanksgiving Special Discount: Buy the pattern for only $4 until Nov 24, 2018 (midnight est). No coupon code needed. Just add to your cart for the discount.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Yarn Review: Be Sweet Magic Ball

I am excited to share my review of Be Sweet's Magic Ball Yarn. Be Sweet’s mission; to bring socially and environmentally friendly products to fashionable consumers that evoke an individual style and help support community development around the world. Be Sweet works with several job creation groups that give artisans the means to support themselves and their families in economically depressed regions in Cape Town and the Eastern Cape.
I have never worked with a multi-textured yarn like this before. The Magic Ball is an arrangement of hand dyed boucle and brushed mohair yarns tied with knobby, ribbon and metallic goodies. I wound the skeins by hand and was delighted to see each section of yarns and ribbon that makes up each skein of the Magic Ball. One section even had little beads threaded into the yarn.
I used a US 10 needle to knit with the Magic Ball yarn. It was so much fun to knit with this yarn. I kept wanting to knit more because I wanted to see which section of goodies I would get to next. This yarn is extremely entertaining to knit with. I think my favorite sections would be the yarn with metallic threads, bobbles, beads and hand tied ribbon. The little hand tied ribbons are such a sweet touch. There are 48 colors to choose from and I did have a hard time choosing a color. I let me oldest daughter choose and she chose Oceans. I think it had to do with the mermaid-like colors of the yarn.
I used 2 skeins of Magic Ball to design a small shawl. It is such a quick knit and the yarn really makes this an eye catching accessory. The shawl is blocking and I hope to get the pattern written up onto Ravelry soon. Thank you, Be Sweet, for letting me review your yarn. I loved knitting with the Magic Ball.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hanashōbu with Anzula

I just released a new cowl design, Hanashōbu, in collaboration with Anzula. The cowl is designed with their new yarn Gerty, a 100% American Targhee. The pattern was an exclusive kit sold at Sample It in the TNNA Summer Show in June. Now the yarn and the pattern are available to everyone. Read more about it on Anzula's blog. From now until Sept 30, you can buy Hanashōbu for a discounted price of $4 by using the coupon code “ILoveGerty” at the checkout.