Disclaimer: This post contains a review for a kit I received from Wool and the Gang. All opinions are my own.
Hello, friends. I cannot believe it’s been over a month since I touched base with you guys. While summer is upon us and wool is the last thing we want to think about, crochet and knitting are still activities I do on a daily basis. When the weather isn’t quite appropriate for woolly accessories, I turn my focus to other fibers and types of accessories, like lace shawls, cotton yarn, and housewares. The latter is something I’ve drifted away from, the past few years. When we first bought our house, I went a little nuts making pillows, weaving doilies, crocheting blankets, ottomans, etc. I kind of missed it, so I was thrilled to hear about the new line of crochet patterns for the home from Wool and the Gang.
If you remember, I reviewed one of WATG’s knitting kits, way back in February (see here). I loved the presentation of the kits, from the way they are packaged, to the way the patterns are explained. The same goes for the crochet kit I received a few weeks ago. The Bestitched Box Crochet Kit contained 4 cones of their Jersey Be Good yarn, yarn needles for finishing, a pattern booklet, and (the optional) crochet hook. It’s everything you need to complete your project. You only have to decide what colors to use and what to put in it when you’re done.
I must admit: I had never used jersey yarn! I had heard about it, I have jersey sheets I want to turn into it, and I love projects made from it…but I had never tried it! My first impression of the cones of yarn were they were softer than I had imagined. That’s weird because I wear t-shirts all the time, so of course it would be soft! It felt a lot stronger, too. I guess I imagined it to be super stretchy and kind of cumbersome to use, but it wasn’t at all. I enjoyed crocheting with it very much. My basket feels quite sturdy and I can see it lasting for years.
The Bestitched Box pattern comes with directions for two sizes of boxes and includes photos plus information for pretty much every step. The details say it is recommended for intermediate crocheters, but I believe a beginner would be able to make it. It is made entirely in single crochet, so as long as you know how to change colors (for the stripes), you should be able to complete the box. I made the small one and it is an approximately 8″ square.
The colors I received are “golden compass” and “white noise.” The white is very bright and the yellow leans more toward a buttercup yellow than a golden yellow. It’s still lovely! Also, isn’t my Made Unique pin the best? Sigh. I want to put it on EVERYTHING, but it might end up on a tote this summer.
I loved the photo on the kit of a mix of succulents in the box, so I used this as an excuse to buy more plants. I chose four different ones, including a sedum, pachyveria, jade (gollum), and echeveria. I think they’ll stay small enough to live in the box for a little while, then I’ll have to be more!
What do you think? Have you ever crocheted with jersey yarn? Check out all twenty five (25!!) colors from Wool and the Gang, here! I think I need a hot pink pouf for my living room, right? I already made a blue one that my kids loved to death. I think the jersey yarn might last (a lot) longer!
Thank you to Wool and the Gang for sending me this cool kit to crochet and share with you. Show them some love on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Last month, the fine folks at Cleckheaton sent over one of their beanie kits for review. After reading their story, I was pretty curious just how soft the yarn would be. It comes from specially selected sheep and is milled right there in Victoria. Australia’s finest is right here in south Texas! I wondered if THIS would finally be the wool my kids would not complain about.
This photo is straight from my Instagram. I got so excited after it came that I took the photo and cast on immediately, without taking out my camera for a proper photo. The kit has two balls of Australian Superfine Merino and a two-colour beanie pattern, which you can find for free here, along with a good assortment of other patterns. Those baby sweaters are making me swoon! My cousins and sisters are refusing to procreate for me! I just want a baby to knit for, take photos of, cuddle, and send back. Is that too much to ask?*
Anyway…the colors are gorgeous! This gray is called “iceberg” and it is the perfect name. Icy cold with subtle hints of blue when you look at it a certain way. The orange is simply called “burnt orange” and it the warmest compliment to the gray. It’s a deep, rich pumpkin color and makes me miss fall.
So, what was the verdict? VERRRRY SOFT! We like. I don’t think he even knows it’s wool. I generally shove beanies on my kids’ heads and if they complain, I tell them to just deal with it until we get inside or get to the car. My youngest is the loudest complainer, but this guy tends to be more prone to allergy-like reactions. He’s mildly allergic to cats (proven with an allergy test), so most animal fibers are just meh to him. He doesn’t break out or have trouble breathing, thank God, but wool sweaters and hats aren’t his favorites. He liked this one, though! It’s got a good slouch and the pom pom is awesome.
The yarn definitely feels more silky smooth than other wools. It hasn’t shed or pilled at all in the past week or so that we’ve had it in rotation. The pattern was great, though I adjusted it to work in the round. I could not see myself working that much stockinette stitch flat! Luckily, it was easy to adapt the crown decreases and whatnot. I had a good time mindless knitting that stockinette in the round. The kit comes in an itty bitty project bag that was great to tote the beanie-in-progress around. I knit in a taqueria!
I can really see myself using this yarn for other projects. There are so many colors to choose from! I want to get my hands on some of that mustard ASAP. Yellow is the color of my Spring and my heart is begging for a yellow lacey cardigan.
*My oldest turns TEN (10!) in exactly 3 months. I think he looks so grown up in that last photo! This has turned on something in my brain that makes me absolutely gooey over babies. Yes, I have the fever. The baby fever! If you have a baby and you see me, just let me carry them, ok? I’ll smooch their wittle face and hand them right back. Or I’ll put them in my knitting bag and take them home. I’m not 100% certain which flavor of baby-crazy I am, this week.
Click here if you want to try one of their Knit-it-Yourself beanie kits!
Happy Saturday, folks! For the first time in several weeks–probably since before Christmas–I have NO commitments, today. It’s so exciting to be doing nothing, so I’m here blogging. I really wanted to tell you guys about this sweet sweet kit Wool and the Gang sent me to review.
They contacted me to knit something for my Valentine. I checked out their selection of Men’s Accessories and chose the Mr. Tosh beanie and the “Shacklewell Grey” colorway. I knew the gray would be what my husband preferred. Tip: know your love’s accessory preference!
The kit came with all the amazing things you see above: yarn, pattern booklet (it contains tips for things like casting on and seaming!), knitting AND finishing needles, and a nice #shareyourknits sticker.
The Sheepaca yarn is 50% alpaca and 50% merino wool, so it is crazy soft! I kind of wished I were knitting a cowl, but my husband doesn’t wear cowls. I’ll probably offer to
cuddle carry his hat when we go out. You can snag some Sheepaca alone, too. Check out the colors available here.
The pattern calls for straight knitting. I was a little hesitant to cast on the straight needles, but I really wanted to try out the rosewood needles. I am SO glad I did! These are so unlike the aluminum or bamboo needles I learned to knit on (and had such a hard time with!). They’re hefty, but not too heavy. The wood is smooth and my stitches glided effortlessly. It was a treat to knit with them. I didn’t once wish I had cast on a circular needle. Seaming at the end wasn’t bad, either! It’s always nice to freshen up a skill you hardly use and I was actually quite proud of my seam (see below)!
The pattern itself was very easy to follow. The booklet was helpful and I think new knitters would really like it. There are instructions for casting on (they suggest longtail, my favorite!), beginning, the stitch pattern, finishing, seaming, etc. It’s detailed, but not overwhelming.
My seam is directly to the right of the heart in the last photo. You can hardly see it! I was so proud. Tip: try out your old skills on something new, every once in a while!
The hat fit great. It matches my husband’s black jacket well and he got to wear it when the temps dropped (again), last week. Yes, I gave it to him early for the sake of the blog. Plus, he’s leaving to Vegas on the 15th, so I wanted to SEE him wear it a bit.
I’m pretty much in love with Wool and the Gang, now. The sweaters, the cowl, the purses…ah! Why don’t you knit something for your sweetie, this Valentine’s Day?
Disclaimer: Wool and the Gang sent me the knitting kit to review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.
A Good Yarn is a sweet fiber arts store in Sarasota, Florida. Last year, they launched an easy-to-use online shop, where you can browse all of their products, from yarns to notions, kits, and my favorite…exclusive colorways!
When I was contacted to review one of the exclusive colorways, I was pretty thrilled. I chose the “Butterfly” colorway, which is one from their Purl Diver Collection. It is inspired by a beautiful photo of a Pyramid Butterfly Fish that was taken in the Soloman Islands. The gold, grays, and black were striking and caught my eye immediately.
The base yarn is Lorna’s Laces Sportmate. A very squishy sport-weight yarn made of 70% merino and 30% viscose.
Unfortunately, I received this right before that extremely busy time of year that holds holidays, sickness, and more holidays, so it stayed untouched for a while. After most of that excitement of November and December died down, I wound the skein into a ball and went on a Ravelry hunt for the perfect pattern.
I wanted a pattern that would showcase color above all else. I loved the way all the colors looked together! I found the Downtown Cowl and cast on December 30. [US 6 29″ circular needle]
I needed a project for to knit while I sat in a waiting room at the hospital. December 31, my mom had to have a stent placed in her carotid artery, so I anxiously knit the time away. I needed something to keep my mind off what was going on behind closed doors; something to control when I felt so out of control. This was perfect.
Obviously, it knit up beautifully! The colors all mixed into each other in the best possible ways. The length is perfect for wrapping twice around my neck, or three times if it’s a particularly chilly day. The yarn was dyed spectacularly, too. There was hardly any runoff when I rinsed it before blocking. By the way, how in the world do YOU block circle scarves? This one was hard! Thank goodness lace is so forgiving.
The color perfectly coordinates with my gray coat. The golds and white really pop against the black/gray. Check out A Good Yarn and give these beautiful colorways a try!
I keep mentioning that I’ve knit a whole bunch of cowls over the past few weeks. It all started with the #bulkyhatkal and my brand new set of interchangeable needles.
I received the Knitter’s Pride Trendz Chunky Set to work the KAL and they have been the best addition to the set of interchangeable needles I bought from Knit Picks, a few weeks ago. Those only go to size US 11, so I needed bigger sizes to work with bulkier weights of yarn.
I used the US 17 needles for my hat and then switched to the US 15 (seen above) for my cowls. The needles are fantastic! I’m new to interchangeables, so I don’t know how the cords compare, but I can’t imagine them working any better. They have the perfect amount of flexibility and the needle part is a great length–not too long or short. My hands didn’t get that sore feeling that usually accompanies bulky knitting.
I picked up a few different colors of super bulky yarn at Michael’s and just took off! One of the very first patterns I tried was the Swirling Cowl by Signe Marie Ricter. That pattern is for even bulkier yarn than I’ve got, so I increased my CO to 50 and started. When I got about 5 rounds in, however, I decided I wanted to make the swirl go the other way, so I changed things up a bit. Working alternating repeats of left and right leaning stitch patterns, I ended up with a really cool zig-zag cowl!
I wrote up an explanation of my modifications, so you can make one for yourself! If you’d like the original swirly cowl, check out the link I posted above! It is really pretty. Make both?!
Knit with Loops & Thread Cozy Wool
Yarn: One skein of super bulky yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (6 oz/170 g equals 106 yd/ 97m) OR Loops & Threads Cozy Wool (4.5 oz/127 g equals 90 yd/82 m)
Needle: 10 mm (US 15) 16-24″ circular needle
Right-leaning stitch pattern
*YO, K2tog; rep from * around.
Left-leaning stitch pattern
*SSK, YO; rep from * around.
CO 50, place marker and join to work in the round.
Start right-leaning stitch pattern and work for 5 rounds.
Switch to left-leaning stitch pattern, as follows: remove stitch marker (left photo), place first stitch on to right-hand needle without twisting, replace marker (right photo).
Start left-leaning stitch pattern and work for 5 rounds.
Switch back to right-leaning stitch pattern, as follows: do NOT make last YO, instead slip the stitch marker to the right hand needle (left photo), YO, and knit the first stitch (right photo). Resume right-leaning stitch pattern.
Continue switching between right and left-leaning stitch patterns to desired height. I worked 3 repeats each, then finished with another section of the right-leaning stitch pattern.
Bind off loosely, weave in ends.
Cowl knit with LB Wool-Ease Thick & Quick
Ta-da! I think it takes me about 2 hours, or a movie, or 3 episodes of my favorite TV show, to work one cowl. That’s pretty sweet instant gratification, don’t you think? I want to make one with a 100 stitch cast-on and a few less pattern repeats, to loop around my neck a couple times. You only need to remember to CO an even number and the pattern should work out. Perhaps you want to make some boot cuffs? Try casting on about 24 stitches. The good thing is if you have to frog a project to adjust the size, you aren’t working on an incredible number of stitches, so it won’t hurt too much.
Disclaimer: I was sent a set of Trendz Chunky Interchangeable Needles for review. All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was given, but the link above is an affiliate link from Amazon.