Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Yarn Review: Cascade Yarns Eco +

Yarn: Cascade Yarns, Eco +
Shade: 7098 - Merlot
Material: 100% Peruvian Highland Wool
Weight: 12 ply / Bulky
Price per gram: 8.8 cents

Sadebruce on Ravelry

This is the highest quality yarn I've purchased to date. It comes in a hank versus a center-pull skein, which means rolling the yarn into a ball is required prior to working with it. It's important to only do this once you're ready to work with the yarn, because storing yarn in a ball for long periods of time can stretch it out.

This beautiful burgundy color is exactly what I was looking for to obtain a fantastic fall and winter look. The pure wool is quite bulky and a bit on the fuzzy side, but being Peruvian* wool it shouldn't pill and fuzz as quickly as Merino* wool. You do lose a share of the softness compared to Merino wool, so save this special yarn for adult items, but as long as your skin isn't too sensitive it's still fairly soft. You don't really want to use expensive yarn on clothing that will be outgrown in six months anyways.

I've already made myself a pair of mittens which I'll have modeled and photographed to be listed for sale on Etsy soon. I absolutely loved how quickly this bulky yarn worked up compared to my usual worsted or lighter weight yarns, but there is a note on Ravelry that mentions this bulky yarn is considered by some to be a light bulky or aran weight.

Since this is a natural fiber and not acrylic, the yarn and anything you make with it should be hand washed in cold water and laid flat to dry.

I purchased this yarn at a local yarn store in Ottawa.

My Canadian friends can search for local stores by province on this list on the Estelle Yarns website. My U.S. friends can find local stores that likely stock this yarn by searching on this map directly on the Cascade Yarns website. (Cascade Yarns is a subsidiary of Estelle Yarns.)

Xoxo, Kate

* What is Peruvian and Merino wool? These wools are named after their sheep counter parts. The Merino sheep is bred for the softness of its wool, but it's also fragile and has a tendency to pill and fuzz quickly, not to mention stretch. The Peruvian sheep is a cross breed between Merino sheep and Corriedale sheep in order to combine the softness of the Merino wool with the durability of the Corriedale wool.

Peruvian Highland Sheep, courtesy of Michell.

1. Corriedale. Wikipedia. Accessed 25 October 2014. Link.
2. Merino. Wikipedia. Accessed 25 October 2014. Link.
3. Wool Production Basics. Penn State. Accessed 25 October 2014. Link.
4. Wool of the Andes Worsted Yarn. Knit Picks. Accessed 25 October 2014. Link.
5. Peruvian Highland Wool. Michell. Accessed 28 October 2014. Link.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oops, I Hooked My Boyfriend on Crochet

There's only three days left! Like my photo to help me win the I Love Yarn Day contest.


I posted my first ever video a few weeks ago, Crochet for Absolute Beginners. I went through the process of teaching someone who is brand new to crochet, how to pick a hook, hold their yarn, make a slip knot, then make chain stitches and single crochets, as well as two different styles of turning your work and a simple finish.

I also went through the important process of practicing with a guinea pig, seeing where a new person had questions because I wasn't clear enough with my explanation - or maybe I didn't think to explain it at all because it comes naturally to me now. This guinea pig was my ever helpful boyfriend. I thanked him for his time and we went merrily on our ways. Okay, he went merrily on his way, I went to figure out how to edit video on a laptop with no screen that continually overheats.

A few days later, I was scrolling through Pinterest, where I of course pinned the adorable Little Pumpkin amigurumi from my Halloween round-up post, when my boyfriend looks over.

"Wait, you can make things in 3-D??"

We went to the store to pick up yarn and I gave him two of my extra hooks, and the rest is history.

I had to help him with the magic circles and figuring out how sc2tog work, but everything else he figured out from what I had taught using the same information from my beginner's tutorial above.

I don't know about you, but when I first picked up a crochet hook I couldn't even make an even square using single crochets. Have you ever taught someone who was just a natural? Tell me about it in the comments!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Second Year of Projects: Update 3

A Ravelry Group

The most exciting part of my week was being nominated to compete in the top ten of the #FiberFavorites contest on Facebook for I Love Yarn Day! Vote for my boot cuffs by liking them to help me win.

This week involved a lot of travel crochet. My traveling companion couldn't help but sleep on the five hour train ride home, so I did a little light reading and a lot of crocheting.

I love crocheting while I'm traveling. I'm already relaxed because I'm essentially on vacation, plus I get to feel productive instead of like I'm wasting my time.

I spent my time making two cabled headbands from my midnight and baby blue worsted weight yarn.



Once I returned home from vacation, I attached the buttons.

I can't wait to get these on a model so I can list them on Etsy.

I think these would be great with a bulky yarn. Then again, I think everything would be great with a bulky yarn. I need to go to my favorite local yarn store before it gets too chilly!

YoP List Updates

Most recent changes are highlighted

Accessories 3/8
Fingerless Gloves 0/1
Miomi Slouch Hat 0/1
Silk & Lace Purse 0/1
Mittens (Pattern One, Pattern Two) 0.5/2
Bailey Boot Cuffs 1/1
Headbands 2/2

Objects Started: 6
Objects Finished: 5
Objects on Original List: 14
Objects on Current List: 19