Monday, July 23, 2018

Lazadas Flexible Blocking Wires

Blocking knit wear is essential. After spending all that time hand knitting or crocheting something, you don’t want to skip this finishing step. It changes the drape, opens up stitches, evens out your stitches, relaxes the fibers and helps the yarn bloom. I like using blocking wires because it makes it faster to achieve straight lines and to pull things into shape. When Lazadus Knitting Accessories offered to send me their flexible blocking wires, I was really excited to try them. The Deluxe Super Flexible Set comes with 10 super flexible blocking wires 35” (90 cm) long each, 5 super flexible blocking wires 70” (180 cm) long each and 60 Nickel plated T-Pins.

The wires that I have been using for years are thicker and pretty rigid. I can get them to bend a bit, but it requires a lot of pins to hold the shape. Lazadas wires are thin and flexible. One big difference I noticed was how much easier it was for me to thread the wires through my piece. 
I used 3 wires to shape this triangular swatch for a shawl. The bottom curve was effortless to shape! Even the straight sides were easy to pin out. The one thing that you do need to be careful of is when you are uncoiling the wires. They are under tension and can hit you in the face if you do not pay attention.
For this swatch, I used 2 wires. One wire for the top and one on the bottom for the points. Then I used the pins to straighten out the sides. The thin flexible works really well for thinner gauge yarns. It didn't cause gaping holes in the fabric.

Thank you Lazadas Knitting Accessories! I really enjoyed trying out your blocking wires. These wires will now be a part of my knitting tool kit.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Weekend Crafting with Berroco Yarns

Do you have any weekend crafting plans? I am going to play and swatch with the yarns I got from Berroco at the TNNA Summer 2018 Show. Their sampler bag has all the newest yarn offerings. I can knit, crochet or weave. The sky's the limit! Have a great weekend. 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Yarn Review: Vinni's Colours Bambi Yarn, Crochet and Weaving

I am picky when it comes to cotton yarns. Cotton can be hard to work with because it lacks elasticity. I was pleasantly surprised when I started crocheting with Bambi by Vinni's Colours. It was cool to the touch and smooth. The yarn is a blend of 70% cotton and 30% bamboo viscose. It crocheted so easily and it was enjoyable to work with.
The yarn is textured with parts of it being thick and thin. As you can see, it crochets up pretty evenly.
Cotton yarns can be very difficult to weave on a pin loom. The 3 layer warp plus the 4th weaving layer can be tricky to execute if the yarn does not have much elasticity. I warped the Schacht Spindle Co Zoom Loom with a little slack. It got a little tight at the very last row when I wove it, but it wasn't hard at all. I know for next time, I will give the yarn more slack when I warp it.
I think it wove up nicely on the Zoom Loom. The thick and thin of the yarn gave the finished square some texture. I would definitely use this yarn for weaving, crocheting and knitting. The yarn is all hand dyed and comes in many delightful colors.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Pin Loom Weaving with Filatura Di Crosa's Zarina Mosaico

Filatura Di Crosa's Zarina Mosaico comes in a palette of 5 colors. It's a 4ply that has a beautiful marled color effect. When you touch it, you will feel that it's buttery soft because it's made from 100% superwash extra fine merino wool.
Zarina Mosaico is a sport weight yarn. It will weave up a little looser on Schacht Spindle Co's Zoom Loom, but I really wanted to see how the colors would look like when woven. Sampling is always the best way to see how a yarn will look like. It's like swatching with knitting.
The elasticity of Zarina Mosaico made it really easy to weave it on a pin loom. And I like how the sport weight wove up. It will make a light fabric with a nice drape.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Tri Loom Weaving with Brown Sheep Company's Synchrony

Brown Sheep Company's new yarn Synchrony comes in playful colors. It's a multicolored blend of 60% cotton and 40% wool. I knew I wanted to weave with it as soon as I got it in my hands.
I used a 3 foot Tri Loom adjusted to a 2 foot triangle for weaving. It's Hideaway adjustable fine sett loom that I borrowed from a weaving guild member. I wanted to weave a bunch of triangles and seam them together to make a scarf.
As you can see, it weaves up beautifully. The cotton and wool blend is going to be perfect for Spring and Summer weather.
I am using the color called Picnic (ST203R). So far I have 2 triangles woven and have plenty of yarn to weave more from 1 skein of yarn.
I have only lightly steamed the triangles for now. I will wash and full it after the scarf is seamed together. It will tighten up the weaving and let the yarn bloom. The woven fabric is cool to the touch and smooth. I love how the colors worked each other as I wove across the loom.This yarn is great for warm weather projects. I bet it would make the loveliest baby blanket.

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.