Friday, February 09, 2018

Pin Loom Weaving a Log Cabin Design with Brown Sheep Company's Prairie Spun DK

The Brown Sheep Company has a great new yarn called Prairie Spun DK. It's a 3-ply yarn spun from 100% US wool. The DK weight yarn comes in a variety of colors and a generous 256 yards per skein. I chose the colors: Half & Half, Lost Lake, and Honeycomb. 
I chose to weave with this yarn because Brown Sheep yarns are not just only excellent for knitting and crocheting. As soon I felt the yarn, I knew it would weave up beautifully. It's a smooth yarn with a wooly feel. It can handle texture very well. I used another yarn to weave my samples first. I wanted to make a log cabin cowl inspired by the Fringe and Friends Log Along, but woven with my pin looms instead of knitting or crocheting it.
Once I knew the sizes I would be using, I began to weave with the Prairie Spun DK. I am using the Zoom Loom and my collection of Weavettes. The pattern I weaving is called Waffle Grid.
I wove a bunch of different sized squares and rectangles. Then I started piecing them together to form my log cabin block. I loved how the 3 colors worked with each other.
It's a bit fiddly to seam the block perfectly. But it was well worth my time to get the joins just right. In my video Creative Pin-Loom Designs, I show you how I seam my pin loom squares together.
The Prairie Spun DK has a nice elasticity. It really shows off the waffle grid pattern well. I just need a few more blocks and I can complete my cowl. Stayed tuned to see my finished cowl. 

Thank you to Brown Sheep Company for providing me the yarn for review.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How to block a beret or tam with Eucalan Delicate Wash.

Thank you to Eucalan Delicate Wash for sending me the Eucalan Gift Pack for review. You should always block your knitted, crocheted or woven projects. It helps even out the stitches and lets the yarn bloom. Eucalan Delicate Wash is a no-rinse formula that is non-toxic, biodegradable and phosphate-free. It naturally conditions the fibers with a touch of lanolin and it comes in five scents: eucalyptus, lavender, grapefruit, unscented and their new jasmine scent, Wrapture. Eucalyptus and lavender are naturally moth and flea repellent, making them an excellent choice for wool fibers and fabrics.
First check your yarn label and see what water temperature to use. Typically I use cold or tepid water. You do not want to accidentally felt your project. I am going to be blocking my Iced Eucalyptus Beret. The yarn label says "hand wash cold" so I will be using cold water. I filled the sink with cold water. As you run the water, add a teaspoon of Eucalan. Then soak the hat in the water for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, gently squeeze the water out of the hat. Then roll in between a towel to get the excess water out.
Take a 10" diameter plate and and place it inside the hat.
Thread scrap yarn onto a tapestry needle.
Using a running stitch, baste around the brim of the hat.
Gently cinch the brim to the desired size. You want the brim to gather up because you don't want it stretched out. Tie a knot to hold the scrap yarn in place.
The body of the hat is stretched over the plate to block out the lace pattern of the hat.
Balance the opening of the hat over a jar and let it dry.
The beret is all blocked and ready to wear.
Another good reason for soaking your knitwear in Eucalan? It cleans it. Your project would have attracted a lot of dirt or dust by the time you are done working on it. Eucalan Delicate Wash is great for cleaning before you wear it and for after you have worn it for a while. It's an excellent way to keep your knitwear looking new and smelling fresh. Their no-rinse formula makes it so easy to care for your handmade items. You can even use it on specialty fabrics and fibers such as silk, rayon and cotton.

You can find Eucalan Delicate Wash here. And you can find the pattern for the Iced Eucalyptus Beret here.

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.