Category Archives: review
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.
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 Marina. Marina is a superwash merino laceweight single that comes in 874 yard/100g skeins. I went pattern surfing and couldn’t find a shawl I was dying to knit, but had a harebrained idea for a lightweight summer cardigan. Fairmount Fibers was absolutely lovely and sent me two skeins in the colorway of my choice, which happened to be Arboretum. I chose the Frost at Midnight pattern by Kate Davies.
The yarn arrived and was gorgeous! The color was an amazing mix of greens, from mint to olive to a dark forest green. I swatched and got gauge and cast on.
Frost at Midnight is a yoked cardigan. It is knit from the bottom up and the yoke features delicate beading in the pattern of trees. I chose to use Dyna-Mite Matsuno 8/0 seed beads in the Pastel White colorway. I thought the pearl-like beads worked well with the greens. I wasn’t sure if the yarn would be too variegated for a sweater, but it knit up beautifully. I think the variegation adds texture and interest without distracting from the beadwork and the delicate picot edging.
I loved knitting with this yarn. It is super soft and fluffy. I was originally a little worried about the wisdom of using singles in a sweater, but the yarn really held up well. I had to rip a few times and other than being a bit sticky to tink back, it looked brand new when I needed to reknit it. Blocking made it even softer (if that is possible) and the yarn bloomed nicely. I think this is going to be the perfect fabric for the summer in the air conditioning.
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Fairmount Fibers who sent me the yarn (retail: $56.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by the folks over at Stitchcraft Marketing to see if I would be interested in trying a new to me yarn from Kraemer Yarns, specifically their linen blend yarn, Belfast. Kraemer is a 100+ year old textile company that mills its own yarns. Belfast is a DK weight blend that includes linen, cotton, acrylic and viscose and comes in a variety of soft colors. The colorway I received was Loch.
When I first received the yarn I was surprised at how soft it was. It’s not that I expected it to be rough, but both linen and cotton can be more sturdy and neither have a lot of stretch and give, so I was pleasantly surprised that the yarn had a nice hand to it. I went looking for patterns that would only use a single skein, which is 220 yards. I found that most people had used Belfast for summery sweaters or cardigans, and a few had used it for scarves or cowls. I immediately gravitated towards baby knits, theorizing that this soft yarn might make a nice summer baby garment. I decided on Milo by Georgie Nicolson.
The pattern worked up quickly, and I felt the yarn was a good match. The yarn is a 4 ply and some of the strands are a little thick and thin, making this yarn squishy and airy. After I started knitting I realized that one might not want to knit a baby knit in a light colored yarn that requires handwashing, but I do feel that the sweet Milo vest shows off the yarn to perfection and might work for a knitter or someone who has some knowledge in caring for handknit garments.
Overall, I loved knitting this project and really enjoyed working with the yarn. I would definitely consider it for future knits; perhaps a summer shell?
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Kraemer Yarns who generously sent me this yarn (retail: $14.50) 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 trying a new to me yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch. Specifically, Bijou Basin Ranch was promoting their ModeKnit line, a batch of Bijou Basin’s base yarns that had been dyed by designer Annie Modesitt. Having never knit with yak before, I eagerly said yes.
Bijou Basin generously sent me a skein of Tibetan Dream which is their fingering weight yarn that is 85% yak down and 15% nylon in the Fuchsia Ombre Flow colorway.
The yarn was amazing! Although you could definitely use it for socks (and get great cushy warm socks at that!) I decided I wanted to wear this amazing fiber around my neck. So I searched patterns on Ravelry and decided on the Starshower Cowl by Hilary Smith Callis.
I found that using a sharp needle helped with the knitting as the yarn was just a wee bit splitty – mostly likely due to the yak down being a shorter staple. But I loved the hand of the yarn and I felt like I got excellent stitch definition. The pattern and the yarn worked really well together.
The cowl knit up quickly and I was able to use all but about a yard of the yarn – I didn’t want to waste any! The only part of the experience I wasn’t 100% pleased with was the color. As you can see in the finished photos, the yarn is two colored – on one end is a bright vibrant pink, and on the other end is a more muted lavender. From the words “ombre” and “flow” I expected the yarn to be more of a gradient; that is I expected the colors to transition gracefully from one to the other over a longer area, much like a gradient would. In this case I felt like the colors and the lack of a transition were a bit less sophisticated than I would have liked them to be; I find that the colors break up the knit into two ends rather than transitioning throughout the piece.
That said, I would totally order this yarn again. Bijou Basin has some of their own colorways, as well as working with other artists like Miss Babs and Lost City Knits to create other colors on Tibetan Dream and other base yarns. I look forward to trying some of the other gorgeous colorways and other luxury fibers in the future.
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Bijou Basin Ranch who generously sent me this yarn (retail: $49.95) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.