Knitting for my love with Wool and the Gang


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.

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Washing my woollies with Eucalan & a giveaway!

Eucalan sample pack
Scents available: grapefruit, eucalyptus, natural, lavender.

When I bring out my wool hats and cowls for the fall and winter seasons, I usually just shake off any dust (and, God forbid, any bugs) and move along. When asked if I wanted to review Eucalan, a no rinse wash perfect for delicate items, I got pretty excited. Read my thoughts below and find out how to win some Eucalan for yourself!

I understand woollies don’t need to be washed after every wear, or even every season for that matter. I usually store my pieces in a plastic box in the closet, but sometimes one gets lost behind the couch or stuck under a bed for a few months. I was fairly intrigued by this product because my normal method of washing includes a wash AND rinse cycle. Agitating the fibers too much can lead to felting and that’s a big no no!

Washing my woollies with Eucalan

Washing with Eucalan was a total breeze! You put some water in a basin or large bowl, squeeze in the Eucalan, mix it up a bit with your hand, then soak the item. I put a few hats in this bowl, making sure they were all of the same color family, since it was the first time some got washed and I wasn’t sure of their colorfastness. Once the item is in the water, you squeeze it a bit to make sure the Eucalan soap gets into the fibers.

the soaking woollies

According to Eucalan, the best scents for our wool are eucalyptus and lavender. They are natural moth and flea inhibitors, so washing after the cold season is over, before you put the garments away, is probably a better idea. I decided to do it before because, like I said, hats end up under beds and in the couch more often than not around this house. I’m thinking I will purchase a bottle to re-wash everything at the end of winter.

After the items have soaked for at least 15 minutes, you simply pull them out, squeezing out excess water, and set them on a towel. I like to lay them flat, roll ’em up, and squeeze even more water out. Then, I lay them all on a fresh towel to completely dry under a ceiling fan.

I must say, the scents are wonderful! They aren’t overpowering like a perfume, but are more…crisp and clean! I was so, so happy. I am not a fan of cleaning products scented with lavender, so I didn’t have high hopes, but it definitely smells more herb-y (I love lavender flowers!) and like an essential oil rather than a fragrance.

Eucalan also features lanolin in its formula, so the wool fibers soften and plump up oh so gloriously. I anticipate no itchy necks or ears this fall! You can also use Eucalan on other delicates like lingerie. Read more about their products on

Visit Eucalan on Facebook and read the Eucalan Blog for tips on washing your most treasured items!

Enter the Eucalan Giveaway
Eucalan is graciously providing a Gift Pack to one lucky reader! Leave a comment below telling me how (if) you wash your woollies or just say hello. Submit your entries via the Rafflecopter widget below. You have 5 chances to win! You may need to view the giveaway in a browser. Winner will be displayed next Friday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only. Sorry to my other international readers!

Disclosure: I was sent a sample pack of Eucalan’s products to review on the blog. All opinions and photos are my own.

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The Women of December

Hello, friends! I am completely happy to formally introduce you to my sponsors for the month of December. It’s a very lovely bunch of women with amazing blogs and/or shops. I implore you to click around and visit! You will not be disappointed. PLUS! There’s a few coupons in here. :)



Meet Sandy of The Nerdy Nook! “Hi All! My name is Sandy from The Nerdy Nook, happy to make your acquaintance! My humble little blog features crochet creations, international fashion goodies, life posts, and cooking adventures. I keep my shop stocked with crochet pieces of every shape that integrate the cutesy with vintage stylings. Stop by and say hello to this crafty school nerd!


Meet Julie of Restless Hearts! “This shop is a collaboration of my two loves: treasure hunting and sewing. My grandmother taught me about thrifting. We used to go thrifting all the time when I was little. She also taught me to use what I had, not to be wasteful. I love finding things that other can love and giving them a second chance.

My grandmother also taught me to sew. I went to school for 8 years for fine art, but in the end, crafting was my one true love. I really love embroidery and applique. I also like to use mainly recycled or repurposed fabrics in my work. Giving life to something new and making into a precious piece of art is such a liberating experience.”

Use coupon code FALL20 for 20% off @ the Restless Hearts store!


Meet Mari of Brown Betty Style! “Hey! I’m Mari and my first crafting love is knitting! So when I learned to sew, the first thing I made was a knitting project bag to tote my portable projects on the go. I love having everything at my fingertips, rather than rattling around in my mammoth purse.

Brownbetty Style, my Etsy shop, features my original knitting project bags in cool prints and unique color combinations, as well as log cabin and patchwork pillow covers, cute aprons, knit hats & gloves, and more – check back soon for new stuff! I make things that I’d love to have in my own home, so my pillow covers all feature eye catching patterns that are retro in spirit but modern in design. I love rich colors, prints you’d never find in a store, and the unique inconsistencies that can only come from handmade.”

Goodknits readers get 10% off in December with code “GOODKNITS”


Meet Maryam of Pamplemousse 1983! “My name is Maryam and I’m a former elementary art teacher turned stay at home mom to baby Margaux. I blog about Margaux, crafty DIYs, Easy Art tutorials and some of my favorite things at Pamplemousse1983. I also have an Etsy shop featuring my photography so stop by and take a look!”


Meet Alli of One Pearl Button! “Hello, Goodknits readers, I’m Alli! I’m an archaeologist and graduate student who documents my creative life at I blog about crafts, fashion, and photography, and some of my favorite things include scooters, Polaroids, and thrift stores. Stop by and see me sometime; I’d love to get to know you!”


Meet Sarah of Sarahndipities “I’m a stay-at-home mom of five wonderful children, and the wife a wonderful 5th-grade-school-teacher husband. I love to make things that people will actually use and wear…and I love doing custom orders!!! Christmastime is such a magical time of the year…I love making handmade items for gifts! There’s just something special about something you make yourself! In my shop I sell beautiful finished items as well as several patterns so you can make your own creations! Happy Holidays!!”


Please take a moment to browse these links and show them some love! I hope you find them as inspiring as I do.

A look at December

It’s December! Already! I’m sure you’ve heard that a lot and I’m sure it’s crossed your mind at least once. It’s true! The last month of 2011 is here. CHRISTMAS will be here in 24 days! 2012 is staring at us.

If you are reading this post in a reader, come check out the new blog layout! I brought the header back. It’s taking some getting used to and, to be totally honest, I am still not 100% sold on it. I may change things up again in January. We’ll see! this is my first day with it, afterall.

Along with the new blog design, there are a few more things in store for December: DIYs, printables, recipes, guest posts, a pattern or two, and more! It’s going to be fun.

Check out the December sponsors! I will formally introduce you to these wonderful ladies soon! Click on their individual buttons below or in the sidebar. They all have wonderful blogs and/or shops!

Crochet: Holly Berry Pin

My sponsors are totally BRINGING IT, this month! I am oh so grateful for them. November sponsor, Sarah of Sarahndipities is here with a wonderful crochet tutorial! I can just picture these all over hats and on presents. Give them away at your Christmas parties!

Hi! I’m Sarah from Sarahndipities! I’ve loved being a sponsor of Good Knits! I’m guest posting today with a little pattern I wrote up for the Christmas season! It works up super fast and was fun to make! Here’s my little Holly Berry Pin!

Materials needed:
Small amount of medium weight red and green yarn (I used Caron Simply Soft in Cypress and Autumn Red)
Crochet Hook size F (3.75mm)
Yarn needle

If you want to make it into a pin you’ll also need a bit of felt for backing and a pin back.

For the Leaves:

Ch 20 (make sure you leave a three or four inch beginning tail).

Row 1: Sl sl in 2nd ch from hook. Sc in next. Dc, ch 1, dc in next. Sc in next. Sl st in next. Sc in next. Dc, ch 1, dc in next. Sc in next. Sl st in next 3 sts. Sc in next. Dc, ch 1, dc in next. Sc in next. Sl st in next. Sc in next. Dc, ch 1, dc in next. Sc in next. Sl st in last ch.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 2: Working along opposite side of ch: Sl sl in next. Sc in next. Dc, ch 1, dc in next. Sc in next. Sl st in next. Sc in next. Dc, ch 1, dc in next. Sc in next. Sl st in next 3 sts. Sc in next. Dc, ch 1, dc in next. Sc in next. Sl st in next. Sc in next. Dc, ch 1, dc in next. Sc in next. Sl st in last ch.  Pull up long tail, fasten off.

Sew the long tails down the center of the leaves using a simple running stitch.  Overlap the leaves nd stitch them together:

Fasten off, and weave in ends.

For the Berries:

Ch 2.

Row 1:  Sc in in 2nd ch from hook 5 times.  Do not join.

Row 2:  Continuing in a round, work 2 sc in each sc from previous row. (10 sc)

Row 3:  Sk next sc. Sc in next sc.* Rep around, fasten off, leaving a three or four inch tail. (5 sc)

Turn the berries right side out and tuck in the beginning tail.  Make as many berries as you desire.

To turn your holly into a pin, hot glue a small circle of felt and a pin to the back!

You can use your little pin to embellish a scarf, jacket, hat, or gift!

Isn’t it so cute?

I’m working on getting the pattern for the hat shown above finished up, so look for it in the next couple of weeks!

You can find my other FREE PATTERNS by visiting my blog, [HERE].  And you can see the patterns I have for sale by visiting my Etsy Shop, [HERE]!

Hope you all have a Holly Jolly Christmas!


Oh man, how wonderful was that?! Thank you SO much, Sarah! Everyone be sure to visit her blog for tons of inspiration and her shop for BEAUTIFUL crochet wares! You can pick up more than a few Christmas gifts there. :)