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!