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Posts Tagged ‘Yarn Review’

To change it up a bit

I have something new to share with you.  Like some other knitters, I often like to bring a little project along, and one of the easiest projects to take along is a sock.  And my kids love hand-knit socks, so what do I do?  You guessed it, I knit them socks when I have some time that my hands are not busy, and I can’t go do something else.  It was my oldest son’s turn to get a pair of socks, and I had found a really cool sock yarn for him.  He approved, and off I went, starting just after summer break.  Well, last week they finally got their toes kitchenered closed. I think they had been waiting for 2 weeks for that, because that is the only part of the socks that I do not know by heart yet.  And then they disappeared onto my son’s feet before I thought about taking a picture!  So here they are, freshly washed, and a picture taken before my son comes home and claims them again.

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The pattern is just plain vanilla, 2×2 rib board, straight knitting down the leg and a slip stitch heel.  Easy to do while paying attention to other things. The yarn?  Oh of course you want to know about the yarn!  The yarn is called Naked Sock from Wisdom Yarns, a brand under the Universal Yarn Umbrella.  The color is called Trapeze, color number 101, and it is actually completely wool free.  It is however machine washable and dry-able!  Very important when making socks for kids…  The actual composition, according to the label is 93% Acrylic, and 7% PBT.  Yes, I went to find what PBT actually is, and have given you a link.  Basically it is like Lycra, kind of elastic, and this yarn has quite a bit of stretch to it. It is put up in 100 gram balls, with 430 meters (470 yards) in that one ball.  It was fun to knit with, once I got used to the stretchiness.

Of course I am still tatting, and TIAS day 6 is up, so I did my best, and got it finished.

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I still have no idea what it is going to be.  I keep changing my mind, and keep remembering that 1 little bead that will be added sometime before the end! I still have no idea, especially since there is only 1 bead needed. Most of the people, including a ballgown or crinoline lady would have 2 eyes, because usually they are not created in profile… And if the zigzag chain would be a garland or belt/ribbon (as some have been guessing), it would usually go down the right front (do not ask me why…) In other words, I am totally lost too! On the other hand, it could be a surprise, be a monk, dancing belle, looking off to the side. I am having much more trouble being patient now that I am part of the TIAS. When I was just watching, I was much more patient to find out what it was.

I guess we will see what the next part brings!

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What else have I finished

It is that busy time of year again.  Several birthdays are interwoven with the holidays this time of year.  But I have other things I want to show you, so while my daughter is taking an almost nap on my legs, I will show you something else.

I know I have told you about a designer named Mmario before.  The one that designed Hippo Gnu Deer, and who organizes the MMKKMMysteries (just click MMKKMM on the right to see more of these projects I did from his mysteries.)  Last summer he started another, MMKKMM 2014.  I finished it in just a few months, and here is what I had left of my yarn:

IMG_7084Really, it was only a few yards.  What yarn?  It was Knitivity Primo Lace, a lovely soft yarn, with a nice sheen.  It is 80% Merino/20% Tussah silk, 1000 yards per skein.  And I got a couple of skeins of this from my parents-in-law, in the gorgeous Winter Spice color way.  Lucky me, don’t you think?  I love the yarns from Knitivity, they are always soft, very well dyed, and very reasonably priced.  I would strongly recommend you take a look, the next time you are looking for some nice, hand dyed sock or lace yarn.

Oh, the shawl?  Here is what it looked like before I blocked it.

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Pretty dumb looking, isn’t it?  Yes it is square, and you can see some holes.  But, once I gave it a bit of a wash, and put it up on my blocking frame:

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Isn’t it pretty?  Yes, those dark dots are all nupps!

Some details, first the center:

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Then one of the quarters:

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I was quite pleased with it, so I took some more pictures, which I will also share:

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After blocking it is about 42″ square.  That is just over a meter, for my metric friends.  Not terribly big, but because it is square, it is actually quite comfortable.  I have not been able to find the finished pattern posted anywhere, but you can always join the Yahoo group mentioned before, and get it from there.  🙂

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Just a little Dress

A couple of months ago, I left you with a little teaser.  Do you remember?

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The yarn and pattern was given to me by a dear friend.  Now, being who I am, I hardly ever follow a pattern to the letter, especially if I appear to run into some challenges.  What pattern you ask?  It has a name that is a little hard to remember or pronounce.  It is called UKHKA 73 (yes, all in caps…), it was published by the UK Hand Knitting Association, and was designed by Audrey Wilson.  I have had the most delightful contact with the UK Hand Knitting Association.  I was looking for Errata for the pattern (something I always do before I start, it often saves headaches later on), and had to contact them.  I had the most wonderful exchange with one of their reps, who happily send me the errata very quickly.  As it turns out, the pattern I had already had the errata corrected in it, so I was good to go.  Of course that usually takes me a while…  I had sweaters and shawls to knit (as in they were on the needles before this project… 🙂 )  So while I made a little progress, it ended up sitting next to my chair like this for a month or 2:

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I wanted to make some adjustments to the original pattern.  First, the yarn (which was sold to my friend as a package deal, and should therefore work well with the pattern) was really a little thick for the stated gauge.  The yarn is very soft, (It is Cascade Yarns, Pacific) and knits beautifully at about 18 stitches per 4 inches (10 cm).  However, the pattern was written at 22 stitches per 4 inch, which makes the resulting material a bit stiff and dense.  So, I decided to change the gauge of the pattern (yes, the calculator was my biggest friend), and cast on what you see above.  The markers were purely there so I could keep count.  Counting about 180 stitches with 2 little girls around is a challenge to say the least… 😀

Now, the yarn, as I said is lovely soft, easy to use, except for a large number of knots in almost every skein.  Often it is just 1 ply that is knotted with a awful, hard to undo knot, but several times the whole thread was disconnected and knotted together.  I seriously dislike knots in my work, but I have not been able to undo the 1-ply knots.  I have cut out the whole thread knots, which hopefully means the dress will not get holes due to bad knots.  The color is good though, and it knits very nicely, not much splitting, even when I was trying to knit with 4 skeins attached to my work.  There is a little fuzzing going on, which probably means I need to watch how I was it, but I do that with everything I knit, I do not think it will be a problem.  The fuzzing is undoubtably created because it actually is a 40% Merino, 60% Acrylic blend.  According to the Cascade website it can be washed on warm, and dried in a cool/low temp dryer.  It comes in a huge number of wonderful colors.  And yet, because of all the knots, and not just in one skein, I do not think I would choose it again easily. Alright, the last bit of info on the yarn, it is put up in nice large skeins of 100 grams (3.5 oz), 213 yds (195 meters).  Suggested needle size is US 7-8 (4,5 – 5 mm).

But, back to the adjustments that I made to the pattern.  The whole dress was 15 inches tall/long.  (Oh, I am making the biggest size, size 3/4) My daughter, when I measure her from the back of the neck (where a T-shirt starts) is 11 inches to her waist, and she is a size 2.  Therefore, I wanted to make the dress longer, preferably with the amount of yarn I already have.  I also discovered that the bodice part is only 7 and a half inches long,  which seems a little short, definitely for what I am envisioning.  I will be making both the skirt and the bodice longer.  And I think I can do it with the amount of yarn that was included in the kit.  😀  I would show you pictures of where I am at at this point, but my camera card is full, and I have not had a chance to do the things I like to do before I empty it.  You will have to wait until next time!  😀

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Presents galore

Ik know, I have not been around much this summer.  My oldest son (now 7!) was home all summer, and between the 4 kids, I had my hands full.  Fortunately I did get to do some knitting, but it definitely took up most of my other times.  I want to start out with showing some projects that I could not show you until now, because they were presents for a very dear friend.  I was part of 2 different forums with her.  So I made her two presents.  The first one was:

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The pattern is called Jean Jacket Sets.  I only made the jacket, and I LOVE it.  The pattern was not the easiest/best, and at one point I had 9 different, separate pieces that somehow were supposed to come together into one jacket.  But I managed it.  I think the little pocket flaps, and the white stitching just were the cherry on top, and made it all of a sudden into a real jeans jacket.  Without that, it is more of a regular cardigan.  I used Cotlin from KnitPicks.  It is made up of 70% cotton and 30% linen, and I love it.  It is machine washable, and dry-able, and I have tried that with a gauge swatch.  It has gone through hot loads, jeans loads, and any other abuse I could think of, and it held up amazingly well.  The yarn is a little loosely twisted, so one needs to watch that one does pick up all the plies, but that is not a problem, most of the time.  It gets even softer with washing, which is amazing, as it is incredibly soft to begin with.

For the second present I made her this:

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It is a playsuit, no sleeves.  I loved having these kind of suits for my kids, and just put a little shirt underneath to finish off the ensemble.  I think they look better then the sleep and play one piece suits we see in many stores.  Some of those are okay, but I liked this style.   I got the pattern from an old magazine (about 7 years old now) and finally got around to actually making it.  I used Patons Beehive Baby Sport, a 70% acrylic, 30% nylon yarn, also quite soft.  I did alter the pattern some.  I liked being able to change diapers without having to take off  the entire suit, so I added snaps between the legs:

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and a close-up of how I did that exactly:

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You want more close-up?  Alright!  I added a little owl on the front.  The original pattern has a rattle, but I knew the new mother liked owls, so out goes the rattle, and in came a little owl:

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The booties are knitted onto the legs after you finish most of the rest:

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And the armholes are just hemmed:

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As is the snap closure on the back:

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I hope the pictures do not take to long to load, if they do, let me know and I will think of some other way to do this.  I hope my friend and her new baby will enjoy these gifts, in good health and happily.  Happy birthday, little one!

 

 

 

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I can finally tell you about a lovely little sweater I made.  The thing is, a group I belong to made a present for a member who was pregnant.  It was sort of similar to a baby-shower, and everything was handmade.  It was collected by a wonderful member who then sent it on when the baby was born.  But, I did not want to show off what I made, until the new parents received it.  You might have noticed that I am silly that way…. 🙂

Last week we received the message that the brand new mom received our goodies, and loved them.  What did I make?  Well, see for your self:

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A little Raglan, about a 6 month size, though I made the body a little longer, and the sleeves as well.  I like it when a sweater can grow a little with the child.  You want to see the top a little more closely?  Here you go.  I found the most darling heart shaped buttons, that I thought would go wonderfully.

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The idea for the sweater came from the Yarn Harlot.  Other then that, I just made it up as I went.  It’s a top down, basic, raglan, with some ribbing at the neck, wrists and bottom.  Also a little opening at the neck, so it is easy to get the baby’s head through, with the afore mentioned heart-shaped buttons to close it up.  The buttons came from Joann Fabric.  The yarn is Debbie Bliss’ Prima, and I used just over 2 and a half skeins.  It’s color 35706 (you have to love it when they number, not name the colors! :D), a gorgeous, deep red.  The yarn is composed of 80% bamboo, 20% merino, and is lovely soft to the touch.  Most importantly, it is machine washable!  (Flat dry though)  Knitting it was quite comfortable as well, it didn’t split, at least not enough for me to be bothered by it.  I used US 6 (4 mm) needles for most of the sweater and went down to a US 4 (3.5 mm) for the ribbing.

It was a quick and easy project, that worked out very well, if I do say so myself.

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Right now?  Right now I am sitting at my laptop typing a blog post… ;P

But what I want to tell you about is what I have been doing while you have not been seeing much of me here.  For Christmas, my mother-in-law took me to a lovely local yarn store in Clinton, TN.  It is called The Clinch River Yarn Company.  It was a little tricky to find, as it looks at first glance just like any other house along North Charles G. Seivers Blvd., but upon closer inspection, and  paying more attention while driving buy, you can’t miss the big sign in the front yard.  And there was even a rock with a knitted coat…  😀  My apologies, I didn’t bring my camera, so I don’t have any pictures.  The store itself was full of yarn.  I think there were 4 or 5 rooms, with walls full of yarn.  And yarn was also in the middle of the rooms.  And yet it was wonderfully spacious, and very easy to navigate.  I was walking around with a 2 year old attached to me, and never felt very crowded.  The owner was also wonderful, available to help, but in no way pushy.  And when I thought that I had seen all, there was yet another room I had not been in.  It is deceptively big inside!  I ended up with some gorgeous locally dyed sock yarn.  It was dyed by Atomic City Fibers.  It is a nice, even, well plied sock yarn, with a great dye job.  There was quite some variety in terms of saturation among the different colors, but they all were beautiful.  There were 2 skeins per color on display, but 4 available, and the skeins of the same color (as far as I could tell) matched in dye-job.  I ended up with this green, it is actually called Green Salts:

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The put up is 50 grams, or 1 3/4 oz and 218 yards.  It is 75% fine superwash merino, 25% nylon, and so wonderfully soft!  Have I started using it yet?  Well, yes!  I actually ran out to Walmart, a place I don’t go to very easily, because I just don’t like it, and tried to get some needles.   I had fully intended on leaving the yarn alone until I got home, where I have plenty of needles, but I just could not get my mind off of it.  And at the yarn store, I had seen a gorgeous little top that I was planning to make with this yarn, for my oldest daughter.  I managed to find some US 3 needles, DPN’s, not circs (which is what I was looking for), and got started:

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I am a little further now, I have used 2 skeins so far, and they work beautifully together.

The pattern is called Clara by Amber Bertram.  It starts with a stockinette bodice on top, and continues with a wonderfully lacy lower half.  This is not a very good picture, I promise I will make a better one next time.  The pattern has quite a few different options so you can customize all you want.  Shaped neckline, square neckline, solid or lattice shoulder straps, a fitted or more roomy lower part, 3 different hem options, it is all possible.  And the sizes are from 3 month all the way to 10 years!  There was a tiny mistake in the chart for the lace hem, but the written version for it is correct.  I did write the designer on Ravelry, but have not heard anything from her.  The pattern in general is very well written, and I think I am likely to make it again in a different size some time.  My daughter can’t wait for me to get it finished.

 

 

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I promised I would not stay away for very long…  😀  I have of course some more projects to show.  For school, my oldest needed a donation to be added to a basket that his class put together that was going to be raffled off as a fundraiser.  The theme was dinner and a movie.  Of course being who I am, I decided to make something, rather then just buy something.  Dinner and a movie sounded to me like a date, and dates require some dress-up!  I have been wanting to try this yarn my friends had been showing me, yarn that seems to be quite popular at this point in time.  It is called ‘Starbella Flash‘, though there are other brands that have very similar yarns.  This happened to be what I found at our local craft superstore…  It is a yarn that I can best describe as netting.  It looks like netting with a glitter edging.  Another friend of mine has made really cool collars with it for christmas, but I was working with this in October, so I just followed the pattern for the scarf.  Basically you add the loops on your needle, needle size doesn’t matter, because the size of the loops are predetermined by our yarn.  And then you keep hooking  the loops from on your needle over the new loops that are supplied by the yarn.  You know what?  Here is a video, which is a little slow, but does show the technique I used pretty clearly.   The yarn is made by Premier Yarns, and put up in skeins of 3.5 oz, 33 yards, made from 86% Acrylic, and 14% Glitter.  This is the result of casting on 8 stitches, and knitting until it was 4 feet long:

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I believe it was pretty well received, I got several compliments about it.  While the techniek is more fiddely then ‘normal’, it was not entirely unpleasant.  Which is why I also decided to make our nieces each one for Christmas:

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These are all made using a cast on of 8, and continuing until the skein ran out.  Which made them all just over 4 feet long.  I was a little disappointed, out of the 4 skeins I bought to make these scarfs, there were 3 that had a break in the yarn.  Because the yarn ruffles so overwhelmingly any discontinuation was easily hidden, but it was still a bit disappointing.  I was actually surprised when my last skein (of course) had no break in it!  My 1 year old daughter also loved this yarn, and proceeded to unwind at least 3 of the skeins while I was knitting, which of course meant I had to re-assemble something along the lines of a ball out of the mess.  This definitely brought home how slippery this yarn actually was.  I ended up using metal circular needles to knit these scarfs (my bamboo ones were in use or I would have chosen them), because that turned out to be the only way I didn’t have my work fall off the needles every 5 seconds.  But she was completely drawn to the yarn, going after it every chance she got.  I actually ended up using the leftovers of the 1st skein to make my daughter a itty bitty scarf (remember, I only knit it to 4 feet long?)  I cast on 4 stitches, and it turned into a very cute 2 foot long scarf for her.

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She absolutely loves it.

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Speaking of my daughter, I also made her a poncho in November.  Since I could not find a pattern I wanted, I made my own:

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The pattern will be written up, but I have to admit I don’t know when.  I used Bernat’s Alpaca Natural Blends, a Bulky yarn that is 70% acrylic and 30 % alpaca.  The skeins are 120 yards, 100 grams, and the yarn is very soft and very warm.  I walk to school some of the mornings, and even at near freezing temperatures she stays wonderfully warm.  At least the parts of her that she keeps under the poncho…  LOL  When I told my husband that I wanted to knit her a poncho out of the alpaca yarn I had, he asked whether I really wanted to use expensive yarn like that on an item that she would only be able to use for a couple of months. (He really does have a good understanding about what fibers are expensive, and which ones are less so.)  But he had not really understood what yarn I wanted to use, as this yarn is not all that expensive, and frugal as I am, I bought every single skein with a coupon… 😀  Once I showed him the yarn, he understood, and wholeheartedly agreed.  With a little bit of luck, she might still fit the poncho next year, but we will see.

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