Friday, September 30, 2016

Free Pattern Friday: Puuurfect pet projects!

It is almost fall here in Chicago and we are so excited for sweater weather! This doesn't exclude our furry family members! Oh no, just the opposite. We get to deck them out in woolen fuzzy hugs too!  Especially cats! That is if they don't murder you in your sleep.  

The reason that I decided to do pet sweaters today is because I just got some sad news about my very best friend of 14 years, Bella, my dog. She was just diagnosed with inoperable cancer and we have only a few months left with her. So she is getting a new sweater for her last winter with us. I know a lot of you are animal lovers and will understand what I am going through at the moment. I can feel the good vibes coming from all of you right now! So we are going to celebrate the life of our furry family members by making them wear sweaters! 

I think cats in sweaters are my favorite thing in the world!! They look so cute, and angry.  This "Cat's Love Sweaters" pattern by Christine Landry is a great example of cuteness abounding! 


Ok so cats are cute in sweaters but dogs? They are heart melting because they actually love wearing them.  This "Pug Dog Sweater" pattern is a great simple and easy to follow pattern.  I mean, look how much he loves his sweater!

There are some great crochet pet sweaters too!


Min-Pin Sweater by Stacie Labean and photo by JuneBoone on ravelry


Kitty Sweater designed by Starling on Ravelry

Below is my loveable Bella wearing her holiday sweater I made for her a few years ago. She loves it so much that she would bring it to me when she was ready to go outside. The sweater she is wearing is a Drops "Nordic Paws" pattern. It was not an very well written pattern so I changed a few things about it but here is the link if you are adventurous.




Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September Sock Review: Lichen and Lace

We're Lichen this yarn! 


For this month's Yarnbox Socks, we have a fantastic fiber for you!  "80/20 Sock"  by Lichen and Lace is a sock weight made of 80% superwash merino and 20% nylon. This yarn takes the dye so well the color practically dances in your hands while you knit it. Weighing in at 100g and 365 yards per skein, it will give you reason to dance over to your mailbox in anticipation! 


Color Designations: left to right and top to bottom. 

Blue Lagoon - Bright / Blue
Teal Tide - Bright / Teal
Seagrass - Muted / Green
Orchid - Muted / Pink
Beach Glass - Muted / Blue
Baby Eggplant - Muted / Purple



Our sock designer this month is Corrine Walcher and she has designed for us a lovely wavy lace sock; "Iceberg Cove". Constructed from the cuff down, it has great structure and with the 20% nylon in the yarn makes for a durable combination that you will be sure to wear over and over again.



Join us on Ravelry where our members are working these and other patterns.  
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September Luxe Review: Handmaiden


Picture yourself walking thru a cobbled street lined with old town market vendors, or you are strolling through an Italian Vineyard. Imagine the smell of sunflowers kissed by the sun at dusk with dew drops still clinging to the petals. That is what we imagined when we first saw this month's Luxe yarn from Handmaiden Fine Yarns. I literally scampered across the office with glee when I saw the colors in real life. They were all so vibrant and delicious! And the extras this month was like an early holiday present.


This shipment of Luxe contains two bellissima skeins equaling 656 yards of Hand Maiden "Camelspin". Each of these super saturated colorways is reminiscent of the colors of Tuscany. The 75% silk in each skein absorbs the color and gives it a sheen like the sun off the coast of Portofino. And the 30% baby camel gives it a softness like a new pashmina in the markets off the Ponte Vecchio.

                       
Colors (left  to right)
Cezanne - Bright/ Warm
Renaissance - Bright/ Cool
Forest Fairie - Muted/ Cool
Walnut - Muted/ Warm

My absolute favorite was "Renaissance" when it was in the skein and it is gorgeous knit up! Until the designers pieces came in and I had to change my favorite to the Forest Fairie, the fuscia nest to the teal and chartreuse are so beautiful together.


Our two designers for this box have given us some amazing pieces that you will sure be the envy of all the fashionistas of Milan! Kathryn Clark designed a carino shawl, hat and brooch set in her "Autumn Jewels Accessories" collection.

          


Our knit designer Lori Law made for us "Montepulciano Capelet" a teardrop shaped, asymetrical poncho in a delicate lace that is so versatile and easy to wear. Great for keeping the chill off your shoulders rain or shine. Yes, that is yours truly as the lovely model. I had a really great time taking these photos. I even had my partner, who helped with taking the snapshots of me, try on the piece. If I had kept them, (I promised to delete them) you guys would have loved it. He wore it like dracula's cape and gave me the fang face. 




THE EXTRAS!!!
Use the included ornate scissors to trim your tails. These snips by BambooMN are so bella they remind us of Ghiberti's famous bronze doors, the 'Gates of Paradise', on the Baptistery to the Duomo in Florence.  Also included we have a spiral metal shawl pin from Dill buttons that are evocative of traditional Italian scrolling metalwork you find in homes across much of Italy from ostentatious fireplace grates to ornamental garden gate doors to rococo handrails that line the stare cases of many of the public walkways in Siena. 


I studied abroad for a semester in Italy and really fell in love with renaissance art. It is still to this day one of my favorite places on earth that I have seen so far. This box was a lot of fun to put together. Italians have an old world class and style that we are molto felice to deliver to you as a taste of Tuscany in this September's shipment of Yarnbox Luxe. 

Join us on Ravelry where our members are working these and other patterns.  
Can't wait to cast on? Subscribe today to get next month's box delivered to your front door! 
Click here to get a Yarnbox subscription of your own!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Free Pattern Friday: Let me Camelspin you a tale.

In this September's edition of our Luxe box subscription we featured a gorgeous yarn, Camelspin by Handmaiden. Our designers came up with some really creative pieces. I know that there are other really great projects out there that you could do with this yarn so we have a few featured today for our free pattern Friday blog post.



First we have a knit piece Tracy's Shawl designed by Wendy Johnson  photo by Mary Anne 



The second piece is Sands by the Sea Shore designed by Kathy Lashley for our crochet selection. I love a simple chevron. With the variation of color in the camelspin it will look really cool. 


Friday, September 16, 2016

Free Pattern Friday: Fingering Fancies!

These fingering weight pieces have some interesting and fancy construction. Use your scraps to make a gradient or one solid color to show off the way it is made. 

This crochet shawl is made by short rows of asymmetric chevrons. 
I can't wait to make this one for myself. So cute! 

This knit shawl is so interesting with it's tiny tails that really do look like butterfly wings. 



Join us on Ravelry where our members are working these and other patterns.  
Can't wait to cast on? Subscribe today to get next month's box delivered to your front door! 
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

August Classic: Rauma Garn

Straight out of Norway! 
The beginnings of this month's yarn manufacturer, Rauma Ullvarefabrikk, feels like it was ripped from the pages of a novel. They are located in Norway at the mouth of the river Rauma. Established in 1927 with some textile machinery in an old sea house and three employees, the company thrived until, war ravished by bombs and was totally demolished during WW2. However, they bounced back and the new factory was immediately raised to what we know today.
Combo 1: Blue Red / Cool & Bright
Combo 2: Pink Green / Warm & Bright
Combo 3: Navy Yellow / Either either
Combo 4: Red Brown / Warm & Muted
Combo 5: Grey Green / Either & Muted
Combo 6: Grey Blue / Cool & Muted
Combo 7: Grey Purple / Cool & Muted

box photo

Their yarn "Mitu" is a lovely example of what they mill there on a daily basis! It is a DK 50/50 Wool and Alpaca blend. Each 50g skein has 109 yds and we are sending you 2 different colored skein for 3 different project options.

The first is a fantastic double knit project from Alasdair Post-Quinn's new book "Double or Nothing: Reversible Knitting for the Adventurous". I happen to love double knitting and can't wait to cast on this beautiful "Bipolar" cowl. I am sure will be a staple in this year's winter wardrobe. 

The second is our crochet piece "Filigree Cowl" by the creative Mary Beth Temple. The texture and play with contrasting stitches really highlights the color contrast of the red and the blue. 

Third is our resident loom knitter Amanda Pratt with her "Harley Quinn" glove pattern. I know they aren't the same colors as THE Harley Quinn, but I think they are fab for when you are sledging that hammer! 


I think I say this every month but I really do mean it when I say I have fallen in love with this yarn after using it for the swatch. This slip stitch mosaic pattern was really easy any beginning knitter can do this pattern with ease.

Join us on Ravelry where our members are working these and other patterns.  
Can't wait to cast on? Subscribe today to get next month's box delivered to your front door! 
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Friday, September 9, 2016

Free Pattern Friday: Hats off to you!

August's Classic box was a huge hit with 4 skeins of 2 colors of Mitu by Rauma Garn, we thought we'd share some other ideas of what you could do with the yarn you got. 
So I tip my hat to you and say happy stitching! 

The first knit piece is this fair isle "Grethes Hat" by Guri Halvorsen

The second knit piece is "For a Cold Day Slouchy Hat" by Stau Grohn

The first crochet design is "Rocking the Cables Hat" by Sheri Weber

The second crochet piece is the "Sprite Hat" by Dawn Dreger


Join us on Ravelry where our members are working these and other patterns.  
Can't wait to cast on? Subscribe today to get next month's box delivered to your front door! 
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Friday, September 2, 2016

Free Pattern Friday: Sweaters!

Happy friday lovely boxers. I have a surprise for you! Starting September 13th we are having an impromptu sweater C/KAL event to coincide with our WIP event that we are hosting on Ravelry this month.

Heather and I have realized that we have sweater quantities of a few yarns in our overstock store and we would love to see you guys knit up something cozy just in time for fall to arrive. For our sweater KAL we have some rules to follow to qualify for prizes. YES! Prizes! All prizes will be chosen using a random number generator for fairness.

Rules
1) You must use Bah Ram Ewe -Dovestone DK, M-yak- Worsted, or Rauma- Mitu dk (All are available in our overstock store)
2) You must cast on no sooner than September 13th.
3) You must finish your sweater by November 1st.
4) You can use whatever pattern you would like.
5) You must put your project in your que, label it with the tag #YBSweaterCKAL2016 and post progress and finished photos in our "Finished Sweater C/KAL 2016" thread.

Here are some free pattern suggestions.







And about a million other options!

If you’re joining in, there’s no need to sign up, just get going and post your progress. We’re going to run this KAL/CAL until things in the Northern Hemisphere start cooling down, so probably from now until November 1.

I hope some of you will join me! I intend to cast on a sweater as soon as I am back from my vacation next week.

Tag your projects #YBSweaterCKAL2016