Category Archives: review
A few months ago I was contacted by the folks over at Stitchcraft Marketing to see if I would be interested in knitting something out of Manos del Uruguay Alegria. Alegria is a fingering weight yarn that is 75% superwash merino and 25% polyamide and comes in 445 yard/100g skeins. I went pattern surfing and decided I really wanted to knit a pair of socks. Fairmount Fibers was absolutely lovely and sent me a skein in the colorway of my choice, which happened to be Turmeric. I chose the Conwy Socks by Nancy Bush.
I was really pleased with the Alegria. It was perfect for the pattern I chose and I loved the stitch definition I got on those cables. The yarn was soft and had a really great hand. I also really enjoyed the warm color. Alegria is available in lots of great colors, and I really like their selection of semi-solid hues. I loved working with it for these socks, but I can also see myself using it for shawls or sweaters.
I only had two minor complaints about the yarn. The first is that there was a knot in the middle of my skein. I understand that industry standard is up to two knots, so I can’t really complain about this, but I was a little disappointed anyway. The other minor complaint is that there were a few sections of the yarn (usually less than an inch in length) where the yarn wasn’t plied as tightly and was a little fuzzier than the rest. Overall those sections don’t really show in the finished object, which is why I consider it a minor complaint.
I found the whole process of knitting these socks very enjoyable and I ended up with really happy socks to welcome spring.
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Fairmount Fibers who sent me the yarn (retail: $24.50) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.
Welcome to episode 127! Lots of WIPs to talk about today, and a review of the new Love+Leche Sweet Sheep Lotion Bar.
Please come and join the Ravelry group.
- In Progress: Conwy by Nancy Bush, Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Turmeric
- In Progress: Find Your Fade by Andrea Mowry, Yarns: Lamby Toes Sweet Pea Sport in Sweet Tooth, Suzy Parker Yarns BFL in Tangerine Twist, Hedgehog Fibers Twist Sock in All That, Knitcircus overdyed by me, The Fiber Seed Sprout in Merlot, and Supernatural Yarns Nymph in Malfoy Manor.
- In Progress: Classic Cuffed Hat by Purl Soho, Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Edison Bulb
- In Progress: Cowl by Chrissy Prange (Leftsideknits), The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga in Dragonfly Tattoo
- Finished: The Topeka Twister Rolags & Mini batt Midnight Ocean
- On deck: Hello Yarn Falkland in Pounce
- A week or two ago I was contacted by the folks over at Stitchcraft Marketing to see if I would be interested in reviewing the new Sweet Sheep Lotion Bar from Love+Leche. You can find my full review here. Love+Leche wanted to extend a special offer to followers of the podcast. Head on over to Love+Leche and use the coupon code “knittea.” If you buy one lotion bar in a tin (min. $14), you’ll also get a free mini balm sample ($4 value) in your order. This coupon will be good until 5/1/17.
Love+Leche is a New Mexico company that specializes in producing soap and lotion bars from natural ingredients. They use local beeswax, flowers, goat’s milk and essential oils to produce lovely bars. Love+Leche started in 2005 under the name Milk+Honey and started selling its soap and lotion bars at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. After growing the business for over ten years, in the last year or so the company decided to work with local artisans to create a lotion bar design just for knitters and fiber artists.
My lotion bar arrived with a sweet note, showing one of the goats whose milk is used in the bars. The Sweet Sheep Lotion Bar comes in a variety of scents including Citrus Rose, Lavender, Lavender Mint, Lavender Rosemary, Lemongrass and Unscented. As you can see I selected Lemongrass. Perhaps my favorite part is the sweet sheep mold that the bar came in.
I really enjoyed the clean fresh scent and the lotion bar made my hands feel fabulous. I really liked the bar because I got the benefits of lotion without having the extra liquid and greasiness that some lotions can leave. In general I don’t use that many pampering products, but in winter my hands get dry, and any dry skin can snag fibers when I’m spinning. So I’m definitely keeping this lotion bar next to my spinning wheel and plan on enjoying it frequently!
Love+Leche wanted to extend a special offer to readers of my blog and followers of the podcast. Head on over to Love+Leche and use the coupon code “knittea.” If you buy one lotion bar in a tin (min. $14), you’ll also get a free mini balm sample ($4 value) in your order. This coupon will be good until 5/1/17.
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Love+Leche who sent me the Sweet Sheep Lotion Bar (retail: $15.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.
About a month ago I was contacted by the folks over at Stitchcraft Marketing to see if I would be interested in knitting something with Louet Gems yarn. Gems is Louet’s 100% Superwash Merino yarn that is both machine washable and dryable, making it a great choice for easy care knits. I had a choice of the sport or worsted weight, and I selected two skeins of the worsted weight in the colorway Peacock. The worsted skeins come in 100g skeins with 175 yards per skein.
With two skeins, I decided to knit a scarf for my nephew for Christmas. I wanted something simple because he’s almost 12, and I figured he might not like anything fussy. I settled on the Wheat pattern by Tin Can Knits. Wheat is a garter stitch scarf with a simple ribbed panel throughout.
The Gems yarn was very nice to work with. It was very squishy and not at all splitty. I really liked the hand of the fabric and it only got softer and more enjoyable with a washing and blocking. I will definitely be using Gems in the future for knits for my nieces and nephews. The colors offered are vivid and fresh, and I can imagine any number of sweaters or winter accessories. I will be interested to see how the Gems yarn wears over time, but so far I am completely pleased with it.
If you’re interested in purchasing some Gems yarn you can do so at the Louet website. As a special bonus, if you spend over $100 you can get a free copy of the new Fall 2016 pattern book, She Made them Her Own featuring patterns by Trudy Van Stralen.
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Louet North America who sent me the Gems yarn (retail: $31.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.
About a month ago I was contacted by the nice people over at Stitchcraft Marketing with an opportunity to review a skein of June Cashmere yarn. June Cashmere works with farmers in Kyrgyzstan to ethically source cashmere. The fiber is then spun into yarn in Scotland and then dyed in rich jewel tones in Maine.
June Cashmere offers two weights of yarn: DK and Lace. I opted for a skein of the DK weight yarn and chose the Scarlet colorway. The DK yarn comes in 50 gram skeins with 150 yards of 100% pure cashmere.
The yarn arrived packaged beautifully with an 8.5″ x 11″ color booklet full of photographs about how the June Cashmere yarns come to be, as well as a color card (handy for future purchasing decisions).
I knew immediately that I wanted to make a rich luscious cowl out of this yarn. I selected the Zuzu’s Petals pattern by Carina Spencer. I did have to make a few modifications for gauge and yardage, but I couldn’t be more pleased with how the cowl turned out.
This yarn was pure joy to knit with. It was so luscious and soft and the color is very intense. I had a little trouble photographing the true color because it is so rich and saturated, and looks slightly different in different lights. It had a lovely hand and I really enjoyed seeing the cowl take shape. After a simple blocking to open up the lace edging, the cowl is so amazingly soft and warm. I plan to give it as a holiday gift, but I’m sorely tempted to keep it for myself.
I will definitely be looking to June Cashmere for future cashmere purchases!
As a bonus for my blog readers, June Cashmere is conducting a drawing for three lucky winners. If you win, you have your choice of the DK or Lace weight in any color. You can enter by signing up here with your email address. The contest will be open until midnight on December 19, with winners drawn by June Cashmere on December 20. Good luck!
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at June Cashmere who sent me the yarn (retail: $44.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.
Recently my friend Anne contacted me to let me know about a new venture she was launching, Knit Filament. Knit Filament is a new publication that is the brainchild of Anne Podlesak and Kathleen Dames, designers and friends that celebrate their friendship and their love of designing lovely garments. Anne asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a copy of their premiere issue, Filament No. 1 – Fall 2016. Of course I said yes!
The issue arrived last week and I was immediately impressed by the printing quality. The booklet is 8.5 x 11″ with a sturdy cardstock cover, and lovely colorful pages. My favorite thing about this first issue is its styling; the whole issue has a lovely vintage feel.
Filament No. 1 includes eight patterns for women including:
- Four sweaters: 2 cardigans and 2 pullovers
- A hat and gloves set
- A shawl
- A pair of socks
- A cowl and fingerless mitts set
I should start by saying that I love all the patterns in the issue, but I wanted to share photos (with permission) of my two favorite items in the collection.
The first is a cabled sweater by Kathleen Dames called Beaton. Beaton is the cover sweater and I absolutely love the cables (which I’m sure is no surprise to you) and the shawl collar. It also makes me want to knit a sweater in a neutral color. It looks so cozy for fall and winter.
The second pattern that caught my eye is the pattern for the Milkweed Socks by Anne Podlesak. I absolutely love the texture on these socks created by the different stitch patterns. I have a skein of tweedy sock yarn that I think would be a perfect match!
The remainder of the patterns in this volume are just as wonderful.
The issue itself features various modeled shots of the garments in the front section, followed by the pattern details in the back. Another detail that I love in the front section are the little sketches of the sweaters included along with the actual photographs. Obviously I haven’t knit anything from this volume yet, but all the patterns look to be well written, with clear, easy to follow instructions along with charts and schematics. All in all, I would highly encourage you to give this one a look.
Filament No. 1, Fall 2016 can be purchased in hard copy from the Knit Filament website for $21 plus shipping. Included in each hard copy is a coupon code so you can also download the issue on Ravelry.
If you don’t want to order a physical copy, the issue can be purchased as a digital download only on Ravelry for $21. Finally, patterns can also be purchased individually for between $5 and $7 per pattern.
Anne and Kathleen have also offer to give away a copy of Filament No. 1 to one lucky winner. Please head over to my Ravelry group for details on how to enter to win a copy of your own!
A special thank you to Anne and Kathleen at Knit Filament who sent me a copy of Issue No. 1 (retail: $21.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own, unless otherwise noted.
A few months ago I was contacted by the nice people over at Stitchcraft Marketing to see if I would be interested in receiving a yarn tasting kit from KPC Yarns. KPC (knit purl crochet) Yarns is a Hong Kong based company. They have been in business in various forms for over 50 years and source their wool from a specific farm, in Gostwyck, New South Wales, Australia which has been raising sheep since the 1800s.
KPC has 4 main yarn lines: Novomerino, Glencoul, Cashmere and Gossyp. These yarns are available in a variety of weights including laceweight, 4-ply, DK and chunky in anywhere from 40 to 60 colorways. The tasting box included a variety of samples of the above mentioned yarns in many of the different weights.
When the box arrived it was a delight to open.
Inside were approximately 10 or so knit samples of the yarns mentioned above. All the swatches were knit in garter stitch, and included the tags of from the yarns specifying the name of the yarn, the weight of the yarn and the colorway. Also included in the box were a bakers’ dozen of 10g balls of yarn so I could knit my own samples. Each sample ball of yarn had a tag which was fastened with a lovely ribbon. When perusing the KPC Yarns site, they noted that the ribbon and tag could double as a gift tag, providing information about the yarn to the recipient.
In general I was very impressed with the quality of the yarn. I haven’t knit with any of the samples yet, though I plan to shortly (I almost hate to break into the samples though because the box is so pretty as it is.) I really like the hand of the Novomerino, however, and you can bet I’ll be checking out which stockists I might purchase some from.
I couldn’t find this exact box available on the KPC Yarns site, however I did notice that they offer other special “box sets” with various yarns included for between $38 and $45 .
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at KPC Yarns who sent me the yarn (retail: $40.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.
Welcome to episode 102. Today I have a few knits and spins, and two reviews – a sample box from KPC Yarns and the new pattern booklet from KnitFilament.
Please come and join the Ravelry group.
- Finished: Vanilla socks in Opal Harry Potter in Tonks
- In progress: Ardara by Carol Feller, Cascade 220 in Irlande
- In progress: Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B. Anderson, Simply Socks Yarns Poste Yarn Striping in Ghost Town
- Finished: Huckleberry Knits Targhee/Silk in Black Sand Beach
- In progress: Hello Yarn Polwarth in Mom’s Favorite
- On deck: Fat Cat Knits Corriedale in Smoke
Reviews (additional posts to follow this week)
A few months ago I was contacted by the nice people over at Stitchcraft Marketing to see if I would be interested in knitting something out of Briggs & Little yarns. Briggs & Little is Canada’s oldest mill. This year it is celebrating the centennial of ownership by the Briggs & Little families and the mill has actually been in production for over 150 years. Briggs & Little produces premium grade 100% domestic wool that is milled, carded, dyed and spun at their factory in York Mills, New Brunswick, Canada. I looked at some of their lighter weight yarns for summer and chose to try their Durasport, in the Denim colorway.
Durasport is a sport weight single that is 80% wool and 20% nylon and comes in 430yd/4oz skeins. Briggs & Little generously sent me two skeins, one of which I gave away on the podcast just last week. The yarn was lovely and tweedy and just slightly rustic, so I set out to find a simple pattern that would let the yarn shine. I ended up selecting a very little known pattern called Xale Anita by Carmen Gama. It is a garter stitch crescent shawl with a simple lace edging.
I had to make a few modifications to the pattern so that I didn’t run out of yarn, but overall I thought the pattern and yarn were well matched.
I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn. It was sturdy and a bit rustic, like I said, but it really knit up into a lovely drapey shawl. The yarn softened just a bit when washed in wool wash, and blocked out beautifully. I think this would be a wonderful shawl on a cool night, or for extra warmth on a winter day. If you have sensitive skin you might want to wear it over other clothing, but I think many people will find it wearable as is.
I look forward to trying other Briggs & Little yarns; perhaps a colorwork sweater is in my future?
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Briggs & Little who sent me the yarn (retail: $13.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.
A few months ago I was contacted by the nice people over at Stitchcraft Marketing to see if I would be interested in knitting something out of Dalegarn yarns. Dalegarn is now being distributed by Mango Moon Yarns in North America. One of the yarns that particularly intrigued me was Dalegarn Eco Baby Wool, a new certified organic yarn. I asked them to send me a sample in a purple, and in just a few days I had two skeins in my hot little hands.
Eco Baby Wool is 100% wool, and comes in 50g/174yd skeins (approximately a fingering weight). When it arrived, I was pleased that it was a rich dark purple, and had a really nice hand. I set out to find the perfect pattern, which ended up being the Strawberry Semifreddo hat by Natalie Pelykh.
Unfortunately, I had a little bit of trouble with the pattern (mostly my error) and had to rip a bit. The yarn held up beautifully to ripping and re-knitting.
I think the thing I liked the most about this yarn was the cable definition. I was just thrilled that I could find a pattern that I enjoyed knitting that showed off the yarn to perfection.
The only complaint I have about this yarn is that it was a little splitty to knit with. That said, I was doing complicated cables, so I expected that the yarn might get a little splitty as I re-ordered stitches. It certainly wouldn’t keep me from doing another project in this yarn.
Overall, I loved knitting with this yarn. It was fairly soft and yet felt sturdy, like it would wear well. As I mentioned, I loved the cable definition and the rich color. I would definitely use it again in future projects.
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Dalegarn North America who sent me the yarn (retail: $26.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.