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. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Miss Babs Summer 2017: Little Dearest Baby Blanket

Last month, I was swamped with getting ready for The National Needlearts Association Summer 2017 Show in Columbus OH. I will save that topic for my next blog post. The week before the show, Miss Babs launched their baby patterns in their Summer 2017 Collection.

I designed a baby blanket called Little Dearest with 2 skeins of Yowza. The colorway is called Deer Moss and it's a neutral color, perfect for either a boy or girl.
Little Dearest is a classic diagonally knit baby blanket that will be loved by babies and parents alike. It is knit with a 100% superwash merino wool which will make this a very warm and snuggly blanket. The alternating sections of Garter and Ridge Stitch create a pleasing texture that will be perfect for a baby boy or girl.
I am thrilled with the response to my new blanket design. I love knitting blankets, but I also know how tedious it can get. That is one of the reasons why I designed it diagonally. As you knit, you increase for half the blanket and then decrease for the other half. It makes it feel like less work. You can purchase the pattern HERE and purchase the yarn from Miss Babs online or at her retail shows.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Knit Noro Accessories 2 + Interview + Giveaway

Knit Noro Accessories 2 has just been published and it has 30 beautiful accessory patterns. I was proud to be in the first Knit Noro Accessories with my Tulip Scarf and even prouder now to have 3 designs in this book. Noro Yarns' colorways are really great for accessories. Knit with it once and you can see the appeal of the long vibrant self-striping colors. There are 30 projects which include gloves, socks, hats, shawls, ponchos, and more. You can see all the patterns on Ravelry.

I designed a shawl, a scarf and a hat for this book. It was a pleasure to design and knit them for Noro Yarns and Sixth & Spring Books. I hope you will enjoy knitting the patterns from this book. Happy Knitting!
 © 2017 Sixth&Spring Books
© 2017 Sixth&Spring Books
The Garter & Lace Diamond Shawl is knit with alternating strips of garter and lace, knit on the bias to create a diamond with vibrant color and texture. It is knit with 4 balls of Noro Silk Garden Sock in #84 Orange/Red/Pink. You start at one corner and end at the other corner.
 © 2017 Sixth&Spring Books
© 2017 Sixth&Spring Books
The Garter Ridges Scarf is knit with 3 balls of Noro Taiyo in #67 Neutrals/Black/Carnations. It has a subtle knit and purl stitch pattern. It is easy to memorize and quick to knit up.
 © 2017 Sixth&Spring Books
© 2017 Sixth&Spring Books
The Lace Beanie is a slouchy beanie that incorporates simple lace and stockinette. It is knit with 2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden Solo in #12 Forest. After knitting with Silk Garden Solo, I want to knit this hat in every color they have. Even though it is one color and not like their usual self-striping colorways, the colors are deep and vibrant. You can have a new hat knit up in a weekend.

Jen Lucas Designs recently contacted me to interview me for the Knit Noro Acessories 2 book. Plus, she will be giving away one copy of the book to one lucky winner! Head on over to her blog to read my interview and enter to win the book. The deadline to comment on her blog post for a chance to win the book is 5/7/17. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Almost Wordless Wednesday

It's fun to look back on my activities and projects from the last several weeks. It's like a week in review with pictures. I always link to products I use whenever I can. Have a great week!
Cashmere Fun Size Bundles from Lux Adorna Knits.
 Planning my weaving project with graph paper and colored pencils.
 Embroidery Alphabet Sampler from KHG Arts.
 Weaving on my Zoom Loom from Schacht Spindle Co.
 Magic Custard Cake is a crowd pleaser whenever I make it for friends.
 Quilkfolk Magazine is a wonderful new magazine for the quilting community.
Knitting with Noro Yarns is always a pleasure.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review: Kraemer Yarns Tatamy Tweed DK

Spring is upon us and it's time to play with some cotton yarns during these warmer months heading into the hot summer. I recently got some Tatamy Tweed DK from Kraemer Yarns to try out. Normally, I am not a fan of cotton yarns because it has no elasticity and can be hard on my hands. Tatamy Tweed DK is a blend of 45% cotton and 55% acrylic. I had a feeling that I would like working with this yarn because of the blend.

My first impressions when I took it out of the packaging? The yarn was cool to the touch and soft. The colors are vibrant and very pleasing to my eyes. I liked the little flecks that were spun into the yarn.
Instead of knitting with it, I decided to try weaving with it. I used my Zoom Loom to weave some squares. It was easy to weave with Tatamy Tweed DK. The yarn wove smoothly and did not snag or fray. If you have any experience with pin loom weaving, you would know that not every yarn is suitable for pin looms. This yarn held up to the 3 layer warp and then weaving with it.
The woven fabric is light and very smooth. I am delighted by the tweed flecks in it. They add little pops of color to the finished fabric. My photo doesn't do it justice, but the woven fabric is bright and fun. I haven't decided what I am going to make with the squares, but I think it will be something for one of my daughters. I am going to keep weaving and see what it becomes. Tatamy Tweed DK is machine washable which I think it's great for kids because it's easy to care for. It comes in many bright colors and neutrals, too. Whether you knit, crochet or weave, I would highly recommend trying this yarn. The cotton and acrylic blend is perfect for anyone with wool allergies. Thank you to Kraemer Yarns for letting me review your yarn.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway: Mosaic & Lace Knits

Today, I am reviewing Barbara Benson's book, Mosaic & Lace Knits. It's hot off the presses and I am thrilled to have a copy in my hands. Lace is a very popular technique in knitting. Basic lace knitting is as simple as creating yarn overs. Have you ever tried mosaic knitting? Mosaic knitting is also known as slip stitch knitting. It's a fun and easy way to add some colorwork to your knitting. The easy part is that you are only knitting with one color at a time. There is no need to carry multiple yarns. Barbara took lace knitting and mosaic knitting and combined it together. GENIUS!
© Tom Moore
Isn't this gorgeous? I think Ves really shows off the combined techniques of mosaic stripes and lace very well.
© Tom Moore
If I had to pick a favorite piece from the book, it would have to be Isochronal Arc. The color combinations and the stitch pattern creates a dramatic and stunning look. The arc design is carried all the way up the yoke which really completes the design of this piece.
 © Tom Moore
I think the Lozengy Scarf is a perfect project to get you started with mosaic and lace knitting. It uses a super bulky yarn, simple motif and lace and it is knit flat. You can work up this scarf pretty quickly while learning this new technique.

These techniques may look intimidating, but fear not. Barbara has added a instructional section in the book that covers the basics of knitting slip stitches, how to read lace and mosaic charts, how to work mosaic in the round, and tips and tricks to help you avoid potential troubles. She includes clear photos to help you learn the techniques that will lead you to success in knitting mosaic and lace. I really like the part where she goes into detail about carrying the colors up the sides and what kind of selvage it would create. Barbara took the time to knit a swatch to show the different examples and how it would like like if you chose one technique over the other. I am a real stickler about details and finishing techniques and that kind of information is so important, in my opinion.
 © Tom Moore & Barbara Benson
As a knitter, I just love trying trying new techniques. What would I cast on from Barbara's book? Right now, I am trying to choose between Sailing Diamonds or Lacy Pinstripe Cowlette.

If you like what you see, you can check out Barbara Benson's Ravelry designer page and her YouTube channel, Watch Barbara Knit. You can purchase Mosaic & Lace Knits from Amazon, your local book store or your local yarn shop.

Are you intrigued by mosaic and lace knitting? Would you like to win a copy of this book? Luckily, Stackpole Books is offering to give one of my blog readers a free copy of the book. To be entered to win, leave a comment below letting me know which pattern is your favorite. You can see all the patterns from the book HERE. Enter before April 17, midnight EST time. Don't forget to leave me your Ravelry ID or email so I can have a way of contacting you if you win. Good luck!

Friday, April 07, 2017

Ocean Grove with SweetGeorgia Yarns

Spring has finally arrived and I am excited to announce that SweetGeorgia Yarns just published my Ocean Grove Shawl. This light and lovely shawl is inspired by the Victorian architecture abundant in Ocean Grove, NJ. The highly textural stitches are reminiscent of the details you will find in a Victorian home. The gradient colors add another depth of beauty to further highlight the stitch patterns. It is knit up in Botanic Party of Five set. This gradient set definitely shouts SPRING, don't you agree?
As always, I block with wires and Knit Blockers by Knitter's Pride. It's much faster than using pins. 
You can can purchase my Ocean Grove pattern on Ravelry or from SweetGeorgia Yarns. Read more about the shawl and my Q & A on SweetGeorgia's blog. Also, you might want to check out SweetGeorgia Yarns Spring Party offer:

We are so excited about spring that we've put together three of our favourite gradient shawls into a Spring Party set for the first 100 customers! The set includes Ocean Grove (our newest pattern), Cumberland, and Starburst and each use SweetGeorgia's Party of Five; five mini skeins of fingering-weight yarn with rich hues and lush texture. It's a promise of bright, joyful colour in every stitch. Click HERE to get all three patterns at the bundle price of USD$12.36 (C$16). This sale is limited to the first 100 purchases before it expires, so act fast!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Miss Babs Spring 2017 Knit-Along

Have you heard about the Miss Babs Spring KAL? Miss Babs is hosting the knit-along in her Ravelry Group. Has one of the patterns in the Spring Collection caught your eye? This is great time to pick a pattern and knit with your Miss Babs Yarns that you have stashed away.

Basic rules:
  • Knit up any one of the ten Spring 2017 collection patterns.
  • In Miss Babs yarn.
  • WIPs are OK.
  • Make a Ravelry project page with photo(s) of your project.
  • Finish by May 1 to be eligible for prizes: one $100 gift card and one $50 gift card to

I am joining in the fun by knitting my own shawl pattern, Furinji, for my sister. She chose the color Blarney Stone in Keira. Miss Babs has such great colors to choose from.
It's working up pretty quickly. I find the garter stitch portion of the shawl very soothing. It's great for watching Netflix at night because I don't have to pay too much attention.
I am really enjoying seeing knitters knitting my Furinji Shawl. It's always fun to see other peoples yarn and color choices. Veronica (GoldenIris on Ravelry) has modified my pattern by adding beads at the edge of her shawl. Take a look at her finished shawl and her instructions for adding beads. It's beautiful!