Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Blog Review: JUL Designs Mod Loop Leather Closure

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.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Yarn Review: Dale Garn Lerke Pluss

Today, I am reviewing Dale Garn's newest yarn, Lerke Pluss. The yarn was provided to me for review from Heart of the Mitten. They are a online store and yarn shop located in Michigan. Now, they are the exclusive US retailer of Dale Garn.

Lerke Pluss is a blend of 53% Merino wool and 47% Egyptian cotton. My first impressions when I touched the yarn was that it was soft, smooth and cool to the touch. It has a soft ply. There are many strands plied together and the color has a marled look.
The yarn is easy to knit with and it went smoothly across my needles. I have to say it didn't feel like I was knitting with cotton. It had plenty of elasticity because of the merino wool. It has a very nice feel as you are knitting with it.
I used size US8 needles and it was perfect for this yarn's gauge. It knitted up very quickly. The knitted fabric is soft and stretchy, but it still had structure. It wasn't floppy. I also liked the texture of the knitted fabric.
My second test for the yarn was to crochet with it. I used a size 5mm crochet hook. It was easy to crochet with this yarn. It works up quickly and is very smooth. Some times you have to be careful of the plies splitting a little if you don't pay attention as you are crocheting, but it wasn't difficult to manage. The resulting crochet fabric is smooth and stretchy and not stiff at all.
Lerke Pluss would be a great year-round yarn for many projects. I could see myself using this for baby garments. Thank you to Heart of the Mitten for sending me this yarn to play with.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Winners of the Kumori Shawl Pattern Giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway. I am so happy that my new shawl design, Kumori, is so well received.

I had my daughter pick out 3 numbers. The winner of 1 skein of  Feel Good Yarn Co SilverSpun® Silk and a Kumori pattern is ravelry:davetony. And ravelry: dixiekins and yoganan will each be getting a Kumori pattern. I will be contacting all the winners today.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Feel Good Yarn Co: Kumori Shawl + Giveaway

I am excited to reveal my latest shawl design, Kumori. Laurie from Feel Good Yarn Company had contacted me asking if I would be interested in a collaboration. She asked me to design something with a new yarn that she had been working on for her yarn line. We had a great talk on the phone and I learned a lot about her yarn company. I couldn't wait to get my hands on her new yarn.

The yarn is SilverSpun® Silk and all 9 colors are naturally dyed. The lace weight yarn is a blend of 70% Combed Cotton  / 17% Tussah silk / 6% Silver / 7% Nylon. Yes, there is a strand of real silver entwined in the yarn. The hard part for me was choosing a color. I am a fan of naturally dyed yarns. I finally settled on the color, Cloud Burst. In my opinion, you can not go wrong with grey. The color and the name of the yarn actually inspired the name for the shawl. Kumori means cloudy in Japanese.

Feel Good Yarn Company says "The silver content in SilverSpun® makes it therapeutic and conductive. Silver inhibits the growth of odor causing bacteria, has excellent thermal properties, is nontoxic and is quite beneficial for those suffering from diabetes, arthritis and sensitive skin. Silver is also an excellent conductive agent allowing Smartphone or tablet touch screen use while wearing gloves knit from the yarn. The silver is permanently adhered to the yarn and will not wash out."
The yarn is crisp and excellent for stitch definition. With 800 yards to play with, I knew I wanted to make a large shawl. I chose to design a shawl with a Shetland style construction where the center triangle is knit first. Then the rest of the shawl is worked outwards.
This is how I blocked this shawl. The top edge is stretched and pinned in a straight line. Then I stretched and pinned out each picot. I block very aggressively. Shawls can take it. Trust me.
The resulting shape is a crescent shaped shawl. It drapes beautifully over the shoulders. The SilverSpun® Silk creates a light and airy shawl. The yarn really blocks out beautifully. The cotton and silk has a lovely feel to it.
You can get the pattern HERE from my Ravelry store. Or you can purchase the pattern and the yarn directly from Feel Good Yarn Company.

Edited to add a GRAND PRIZE: Thanks to the generosity of Feel Good Yarn Company. They are offering 1 skein of SilverSpun® Silk to one lucky winner. Winner chooses the color and will also receive a pattern.

I am going to give away 2 copies of my Kumori pattern to 2 lucky knitters along with the Grand Prize to 1 lucky knitter. To enter, please leave a comment with your favorite color of SilverSpun® Silk. Giveaway ends on July 21, 2017 at Midnight EDT. Be sure to leave a email or Ravelry name for me to contact you. 

Grand Prize: 1 skein of SilverSpun® Silk and Kumori pattern.
2nd Prize: Kumori pattern
3rd Prize: Kumori pattern.